People talk 12/2/03
Stephen King recovering from pneumonia, surgery
BANGOR, Maine -- Stephen King remained hospitalized Monday, but his spokesman said the author's condition was improving and that he'd been taken off of oxygen in his recovery from a bout with pneumonia. King, 56, was hospitalized Nov. 23 and underwent surgery two days later to remove fluid and scar tissue from one of his lungs. King is expected to make a full recovery.
Bocelli adds Chinese concerts to tour
SHANGHAI, China -- Making his first trip to China, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli on Monday called for more cultural exchanges to develop understanding among people. Bocelli said events such as his Shanghai visit are "good for music, good for culture and good for people." He is to perform on Wednesday night at Shanghai's Grand Theater. Bocelli, 45, has added a series of Asian concerts to his crowded touring schedule, including appearances in five Chinese cities.
Siegfried: Roy improving after Oct. 3 tiger attack
NEW YORK -- Illusionist Roy Horn of "Siegfried & Roy" is slowly recovering from a tiger attack that has kept him hospitalized since October, his partner said Monday.
"He is moving now, little by little," Siegfried Fischbacher said in an interview on NBC's "Today" show. He's "speaking a few words ... but this develops also every day."
Horn has been off his respirator for two weeks, Fischbacher said, and has recovered enough to spend Christmas in Las Vegas, where the duo was performing at the time of the attack.
"I think he's going to recover everything," Fischbacher said. "I have no doubt."-- From wire reports
MIAMI (AP) -- Former Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch will christen Carnival Cruise Lines' newest ship at Feb. 27 ceremonies in Jacksonville, the Miami-based line announced Monday.
Lynch will break a traditional bottle of champagne against the Carnival Miracle before it begins its three-day inaugural cruise from the Port of Jacksonville. She'll be named the ship's "godmother."
"We are privileged that Miss Lynch, who represents thousands of courageous American men and women serving in our armed forces, has accepted our invitation to be godmother," said Carnival President and CEO Bob Dickinson.
The former supply clerk from West Virginia suffered broken bones and other injuries when her 507th Maintenance Company was ambushed in Nasiriyah, Iraq, on March 23. Her April 1 rescue from a hospital made her an instant celebrity, although she has disputed some of the more dramatic elements of her capture, including reports that she engaged in a fire fight with Iraqi soldiers.
Carnival will make an undisclosed contribution to the Jessica Lynch Foundation, which helps children of soldiers who have either served in the military or been killed on duty.
LONDON (AP) -- "When Harry Met Sally ..." is coming to London's West End as a stage show, starring Luke Perry in the role Billy Crystal made famous in the 1989 film.
The play is scheduled to open Feb. 20 at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, producer James Tod said Monday. Preview performances begin Feb. 10. Plans are for a limited run of 16 weeks.
Meg Ryan's role as Sally has not yet been cast, but Tod said he expected an American actress to take the part.
Best known for playing the tormented Dylan McKay on the TV series "Beverly Hills, 90210," Perry appeared on Broadway several seasons ago in a revival of "The Rocky Horror Show." In coming to the West End, he follows his former co-star, Jason Priestley, and "Friends" star Matthew Perry, who've braved the London stage -- to mixed reviews.
Tod said he wasn't put off by the prospect of bad notices: "If you've got a great project and a great performer, then it doesn't really matter."
The stage version of "When Harry Met Sally...," adapted by Marcy Kahan from Nora Ephron's screenplay, is the latest in a long line of hit movies to have spawned stage musicals and, more recently, plays.
"The Graduate," a British theater version of the Mike Nichols film, had a lengthy run on the West End and a much shorter engagement on Broadway. The hit movie "Billy Elliot" is being developed as a London stage musical to open late next year.
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Celine Dion has canceled her Wednesday and Thursday shows to attend her father's funeral in Montreal.
Adhemar Dion died Sunday at his home, said Robert Stewart, spokesman for Caesars Palace, where Dion's extravaganza "A New Day" has played since March.
Dion performed Sunday night and expects to return for Friday's show, Stewart said Monday. The singer's husband, Rene Angelil, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Adhemar Dion's funeral was scheduled for Thursday.
The 35-year-old performer, best known for "My Heart Will Go On" from the film "Titanic," has credited her career to her father's sacrifices. A former butcher and security guard, he spent his 80th birthday in March with family members at a French restaurant atop the Palms hotel-casino in Las Vegas.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Joey Ramone and his bandmates helped put CBGB on the cultural map, and his friends and fans from the legendary punk rock club have now returned the favor.
The Manhattan corner where the Bowery meets Second Street was renamed Joey Ramone Place on Sunday, 2 1/2 years after his death from cancer at age 49.
"Joey was a true New Yorker," said bandmate Marky Ramone. "This honor today conveys what a monolith of talent he was."
Although many Ramones songs -- like "Beat on the Brat," "I Wanna Be Sedated," and "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" -- reflect their twisted teen years in Queens, they are most closely associated with the East Village and CBGB, widely considered the birthplace of American punk.
"Joey loved this neighborhood. He loved its streets," his mother, Charlotte Lesher, said.
The four bandmates, who all took on the same last name, formed up in 1974. Despite limited musical skill, they quickly developed a thunderous sound, with Joey's sneering, infantile lyrics.
Although they never had a platinum album or charted a radio hit, the band developed a rabid following and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Author Tom Wolfe is sticking up for a New York museum whose windowless, white-marble design has been widely derided.
The city is selling the Huntington Hartford Museum, on Manhattan's busy Columbus Circle, to the Museum of Arts and Design, which plans an overhaul. But Wolfe told the New York Post he admires the building and does not want it changed.
The Huntington Hartford was completed in 1962 by architect Edward Durell Stone.
"Stone was the most prominent architect in America, and he decided that the modernist movement in architecture -- in other words, the parade of glass boxes that marched across America -- had become exhausted, not worth pursuing anymore," Wolfe said. "He did this as a way of saying, 'Enough is enough."'
Wolfe, whose books include "The Bonfire of the Vanities" and "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test," said he faults City Hall for never putting the museum up to be preserved as a landmark.
"It's as if City Hall put it out that the building was invisible," he said. "The city envisions making a lot of money, but it couldn't do that if it was landmarked."
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado says she's getting the hang of motherhood, and is especially happy because she can spend time with her new family on the road.
Furtado, who turns 25 today, recently gave birth to a baby girl named Nevis and has just released her second album, "Folklore."
"It's actually pretty incredible," Furtado said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. "It's a lot more instinctual than I thought."
The father is the DJ in her band, Lil Jaz, whose given name is Jasper Gahunia.
"It's really nice because we're on the road together," Furtado said. "We're like the singing Von Trapps."
She said that unlike her last tour, when she made her bandmates wear "Nelly Furtado" T-shirts and spray-painted rainbow suits, she's going for a more mature look this time around.
"It's not because I'm a mom now, but it's just that I got pretty sick of all those bright clothes. I think I just killed it. But that's what I wanted when I recorded 'Whoa, Nelly!' ... I wanted this bright, fun, wicked rollercoaster ride, and it was so amazing. I think for 'Folklore' I'm going for a black-sequined look."