'Matrix' makes timely, unusual China debut

Sunday, November 16, 2003

SHANGHAI, China -- "The Matrix Revolutions" has made almost $2.5 million in China since a simultaneous worldwide opening that Chinese promoters say helped keep revenue from being undermined by the country's notorious counterfeiters.

China plans to release more films in coordination with other markets to help curb rampant piracy, said Weng Li, an official in the state-run China Film Group.

Foreign movies are often released in China months or even more than a year after their overseas debut -- a delay that has enabled and encouraged widespread piracy by Chinese counterfeiters.

Barry Manilow's life is missing 'Harmony'

NEW YORK -- A Barry Manilow musical about the Comedian Harmonists, a group of singers popular during the last days of Germany's Weimar Republic, won't open in Philadelphia next month and its planned Broadway engagement next spring is in doubt.

"Harmony," which has music by Manilow and lyrics by Bruce Sussman, fell short of its $7 million capitalization, according to producer Mark Schwartz, forcing him to call off its December run at Philadelphia's Forrest Theatre.

"Other than the death of my mother, this is probably the most devastating day of my life," Manilow told the New York Post.

Phil Donahue to receive First Amendment Award

NEW YORK -- Christopher Reeve will present his namesake First Amendment Award to veteran talk-show host Phil Donahue at The Creative Coalition's 2003 Spotlight Awards gala on Tuesday.

Celebrity hosts will include Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin, Alan Cumming, Chuck D, Harvey Fierstein, Laurence Fishburne, James Gandolfini, Marcia Gay Harden, Joe Pantoliano, Stanley Tucci, Montel Williams and Alfre Woodard.

The Creative Coalition is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community, dedicated to educating its members on issues of public importance, including the First Amendment, arts advocacy, campaign finance reform and public education.

-- From wire reports

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