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November 26, 2014

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Blue Man Group sets date for Venetian move

It's official -- Blue Man Group is moving from the Luxor to The Venetian next year, tentatively to open on Oct. 9, 2005.

The cobalt-blue troupe of performers, noted for such oddball talents as playing percussion on plastic tubes, is scheduled to premiere in a new 1,750-seat theater. Its run at the Luxor will end on Sept. 15.

"We're thrilled that The Venetian is custom-building a theatre for us," Blue Man co-founder Chris Wink said Thursday in a prepared statement. "It's a great opportunity for us to retool our show to accommodate the new space, incorporate the latest technology and toss in a few surprises."

Blue Man was created by Wink, Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton in 1987. It debuted at the Luxor in March 2000.

The Venetian, whose primary source of entertainment once was a showroom/nightclub sublet to a third party, also has announced "Phantom of the Opera" will premiere at the venue in 2006.

Cronkite embarassed

Former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite called the network's report questioning President Bush's Vietnam-era National Guard service "embarrassing" but urged patience until an investigation is complete.

"We must wait while CBS management conduct the investigation they have promised. We can then decide what our reaction should be," said Cronkite, 87, who was in Boston on Thursday night to receive an award.

"The reaction at the moment, of course, is embarrassment for everyone who is connected to CBS, and that embarrassment, I hope, will be squashed in time as we know what happened," he said.

Cronkite's successor, Dan Rather apologized Monday for relying on questionable documents to support the Sept. 8 "60 Minutes" story.

Chan blames writers

Martial arts legend Jackie Chan blamed Hollywood for the failure of his recent movies, claiming they limited roles for Asians and said it was time to hang up his kung fu shoes and become a "real actor like Robert De Niro" a local newspaper reported today.

"It's all the same, cop from Hong Kong, cop from China. Jet Li, Chow Yun Fat and I all face the same problem, our roles are limited," said Chan, 50, referring to other Chinese action stars who have sought roles in Western movies.

"Yes, I get treated like a king over there but I'm not happy. I get frustrated when I see them doing things the wrong way but I can't say anything," he told The Straits Times in an interview.

Garner to be honored

Nearly 50 years after he captivated the public as Bret Maverick, television's first cowardly cowboy hero, James Garner, will receive the Screen Actors Guild's Life Achievement Award.

Garner, 76, also won an Emmy as Jim Rockford, the laconic, underachieving private eye on television's long-running 1970s hit "The Rockford Files," and was nominated for an Oscar as the small-town pharmacist who befriends single mom Sally Field in the 1985 film "Murphy's Romance."

He will be honored at SAG's Feb. 5 awards ceremony, which will air live on TNT.

Unlikely inspiration

Bill O'Reilly has revealed an unlikely factor in his career: Mike Wallace.

The host of Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" says on this Sunday's "60 Minutes" that Wallace made a strong impression on him when he was a youth.

O'Reilly explains that he was inspired by Wallace's tough questioning on "Night Beat" and "The Mike Wallace Interviews" in the late 1950s. A surprised Wallace asks O'Reilly if he is serious. "No spin," replies O'Reilly, echoing his program's No Spin Zone. "I mean, I'm serious about everything."

Singer Clark honored

Singer Terri Clark has been honored for promoting country music during the past year.

Clark received the Connie B. Gay Award from the Country Music Association in Nashville, Tenn., Wednesday for advancing media exposure of the CMA Music Festival and the CMA Awards.

"During the past year, Terri has repeatedly stepped up to serve CMA in a variety of ways far beyond what is normally expected of our artist members," CMA board chairman Charlie Anderson said.

Gold faces charges

Prosecutors in Ventura, Calif., filed three felony counts Thursday against former "Growing Pains" kid star Tracey Gold in the alleged drunken driving rollover crash of her sport utility vehicle.

Tracey Gold Marshall, 35, of Santa Clarita was behind the wheel of the SUV when it flipped on Highway 118 in Moorpark on Sept. 3, injuring her husband and two of her three children, authorities said.

The district attorney's office filed charges of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, driving with a blood alcohol level in excess of 0.08 causing injury, and felony child endangerment.

Grant for schools

New York Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and Caroline Kennedy, vice chairwoman of the Fund for Public Schools, announced a three-year $1 million grant from Bank of America to support arts education in public schools.

Calling arts education a key link between intellectual and social development, Bank of America's President and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis presented the grant at P.S. 116 in midtown Manhattan Thursday in front of an audience that included a class of third graders.

Klein said the money will go toward fostering relationships among public schools and the city's cultural organizations as well as refurbishing schools' art facilities.

Hasselbeck pregnant

"The View" audience received a surprise Thursday: Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck announced her pregnancy.

The former "Survivor: The Australian Outback" contestant and "The View" co-host revealed the news during the ABC daytime chat fest's "Hot Topics" segment.

Performance helped Cruz

Salsa queen Celia Cruz was removed from a U.S. list of suspected communists in 1965 after she performed and raised money for groups trying to overthrow Cuban President Fidel Castro, according to newly released immigration documents.

U.S. officials suspected in the 1950s that Cruz, who died last year of a brain tumor, supported Castro's communist government. She was refused a visa at least twice starting in 1952 because U.S. law at the time forbade entry to foreigners affiliated with communists.

Documents obtained by The Miami Herald for a story Thursday show she was finally granted permission to stay permanently in the United States in 1965.

O'Connor makes plea

One-time pop sensation Sinead O'Connor was back in the news today -- by taking out a full-page ad pleading for people to stop making fun of her.

O'Connor, who shot to international fame in 1990 with her biggest hit, "Nothing Compares 2 U," claimed she'd been "consistently ridiculed, lashed and called mad" for decades, particularly in her native Ireland.

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