Sunday, November 16, 2003

Kidman wins achievement award

Beverly Hills, Calif. -- Nicole Kidman has a jump start on the awards season.

The Oscar-winner and star of the new dramas "The Human Stain," "Cold Mountain" and "Dogville" collected the 18th annual American Cinematheque award Friday night for career achievement.

Acting "was what I wanted to do since I was a very strange little girl in Sydney, Australia," Kidman told a star-studded gathering at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. "I even had my first kiss on stage."

The 36-year-old actress may seem a little young to receive a career achievement honor, but previous winners were also on the youthful side.

Eddie Murphy was the first winner -- in 1986, when he was just 25. Other recipients include directors Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese, and actors Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and last year's honoree, Denzel Washington.

City to honor Godfather of Soul

Augusta, Ga. -- The city of Augusta feels so good about James Brown that it plans to construct a statue of the Godfather of Soul downtown and rename a music festival in his honor.

Brown, 70, grew up in Augusta.

"I'll do anything I can to help Augusta," Brown said. "That's where it all started, you see."

Brown said that lending his name to the spring Garden City Music Festival was something he'd been begging the city to do for 15 years.

"I want people ... to take advantage of me while I'm still here. Utilize this face. It's not that pretty, but everyone knows it," he said.

Manilow's musical takes nosedive

New York -- "Harmony" is out of tune and out of money.

The 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 is in doubt.

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

"Other than the death of my mother, this is probably the most devastating day of my life," Manilow said. "Maybe even more so, because it affects so many other people."

Donahue to receive Reeve award

New York -- Christopher Reeve will present his namesake First Amendment Award to veteran TV host Phil Donahue at The Creative Coalition's 2003 Spotlight Awards gala 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 nonprofit organization of the arts and entertainment community, dedicated to educating its members on issues of public importance.