Claudia Schiffer married in private ceremony
SHIMPLING, England -- German supermodel Claudia Schiffer married film producer Matthew Vaughn Saturday in a private ceremony at a 14th century church near her country home.
The guests included retired tennis star Boris Becker, designer Valentino -- who created Schiffer's silk wedding dress -- and film director Guy Ritchie, Madonna's husband.
"It was very beautiful," Becker said of the service.
Assistants held blankets to hide the 31-year-old model from about 100 people who gathered as she left the Swan Hotel for St. George's Church.
The couple planned a reception at Coldham Hall, Schiffer's Elizabethan mansion in Shimpling in eastern England. They were also to host a celebratory barbecue and soccer game on Sunday.
Bob Hope lends name to veterans chapel
LOS ANGELES -- Bob Hope, who spent decades leading performers overseas to entertain U.S. troops, will have a veterans chapel named in his honor.
The comic received congressional approval to have a chapel in Los Angeles National Cemetery named after him, Daily Variety reported Friday.
Hope needed special approval for the dedication because he is not a veteran and is not deceased.
The bill was passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday and the Senate unanimously approved it Wednesday.
Hope turns 99 on Wednesday, the day President Bush is expected to sign the bill. The Bob Hope Veterans Chapel is scheduled to be dedicated that afternoon.
Hope, who has suffered several health problems in recent years, is not expected to attend, but his wife, Dolores, plans to speak on his behalf.
'Pavarotti & Friends' to benefit Angolans
NEW YORK -- Luciano Pavarotti's "Pavarotti & Friends" concert in Modena, Italy, on Tuesday will include performances by Andrea Bocelli, James Brown, Grace Jones, Lou Reed and Sting.
Each artist will perform a solo plus a duet with Pavarotti on stage at the Parco Novi Sad in the tenor's hometown.
Proceeds will go to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for medical, educational and water facilities to benefit almost 80,000 Angolans in refugee camps in Zambia.
Last year's concert raised $1.5 million for Afghan refugee children in Pakistan, while a 1999 concert collected $1 million for Kosovo refugees.
"It is deeply gratifying that so many wonderful musicians come to our concert each year to give their talents and time to help these vital causes," Pavarotti said in a statement this week.
Late singer's belongings to be sold at auction
MORRIS TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- Perry Como fans have a chance to bid on the late crooner's monogrammed cardigans, golf shoes and candid snapshots with other celebrities.
More than 1,500 lots will be offered by Dawson's Auctioneers and Appraisers at an auction that begins Thursday and runs through June 2.
All items are from the Florida home that Como, who died last May, shared with his late wife, Roselle. His will decreed that their belongings be sold at auction, with proceeds going to his estate.
Up for grabs is one of Como's trademark green cashmere cardigan sweaters, monogrammed "PC," and photos of Como with 20th century icons ranging from former President Eisenhower to entertainer Dean Martin.
King wins blues award for fourth straight year
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- B.B. King won entertainer of the year for the fourth straight year at the 23rd annual W.C. Handy Blues Awards.
Other winners included Buddy Guy, guitarist of the year; Koko Taylor, best traditional female artist; "Presumed Innocent" by Marcia Ball, blues album of the year; and "Here and Now" by Ike Turner, comeback blues album of the year.
Sam Phillips, who founded Sun Records in Memphis and signed Elvis Presley to a recording contract, was given a lifetime achievement award.
The Memphis-based, nonprofit Blues Foundation presented the awards Thursday. More than 30,000 international blues fans and professionals voted for winners in 25 categories.-- From wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- Meg Ryan is tossing her hat into the ring to play female boxing manager Jackie Kallen on screen.
"Against the Ropes," a drama based on Kallen's rise to fame as a manager, publicist and entertainment writer, will be filmed in Cleveland, the Ohio Film Commission said Friday.
Actor Omar Epps from TV's "ER" will co-star in the film directed by Charles Dutton, who won an Emmy for directing the miniseries "The Corner."
Kallen once was the publicist for Thomas Hearns and has managed several fighters, including James Toney, former IBF middleweight and super middleweight champion.
"It's almost hard to believe," Kallen has said of the movie. "I feel like I need to have lunch with Erin Brockovich."
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Academy Award-nominee John Hurt may have cold feet about his American stage debut, but he's warming up the picturesque port city that hosts the Spoleto Festival U.S.A.
The British actor says the only thing he knew about Charleston before he arrived was that "it had a certain importance in a certain civil war."
"In five days, I've had the most wonderful time wandering around," said Hurt.
Hurt will perform at Spoleto in 17 shows of the U.S. premiere of "Afterplay" by Irish playwright Brian Friel.
The actor and Mayor Joseph P. Riley helped open the 26th annual festival Friday with speeches and dance amid church bells and balloons falling at City Hall.
Riley convinced composer Gian Carlo Menotti to stage the first festival here in 1977.
"It is the beauty of the arts so wonderfully enhanced by the beauty of the city," Riley said.
Spoleto runs until June 9. It features more than 120 performances of theater, dance, jazz, opera and other visual arts.
BERLIN -- Conductor Daniel Barenboim complained that the crumbling condition of Berlin's venerable Staatsoper opera house increasingly poses a danger to performers and the audience.
"This really is an illness that no one wants to notice," Barenboim, the opera's artistic director, said at a news conference Friday to introduce next season's program. "It could be too late by the time the doctor is called."
Barenboim's complaint came four days after an aged hydraulic stage lift collapsed during a performance of Mozart's "Don Giovanni," bringing down with it parts of the decor. No one was injured, but the performance was interrupted for 20 minutes.
Barenboim called for the urgent release of funds to restore the opera house on Berlin's famed Unter den Linden boulevard, an 18th-century building that was reopened by East German authorities in 1955 after being gutted at the end of World War II. Last renovated in 1986, its condition now poses a "really great danger," he asserted.
The opera management reportedly estimates that $91.7 million is needed to carry out repairs that would fulfill modern safety standards.
The city government is struggling with huge debts but also is keen to promote Berlin as a world-class center of culture, and the current mayor has dropped his predecessor's plan to merge the Staatsoper with a modern cross-town rival meant to cut costs.
Last September, Barenboim signed a new contract to keep him at the Staatsoper through 2007 after the federal government promised more funds for the orchestra.
Barenboim, an Argentine-born Israeli who took the post in 1992, had threatened not to renew his contract, complaining that his best musicians would leave because of poor pay.
------On the Net:
W.C. Handy Blues Awards Web site: http://www.handyawards.com/
On the Net:
Luciano Pavarotti Web site: http://www.lucianopavarotti.com/
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Web site: http://www.unhcr.ch/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home