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  POSTED JULY 30, 2006

Delta Brings Mrs. Claus to Life in Holiday Classic

This yuletide season, US broadcaster NBC will air a live-action version of the holiday classic The Year Without a Santa Claus. Based on the 1974 Rankin-Bass holiday film favorite that featured stop-motion animation, the film stars John Goodman as Santa and Delta Burke in the featured role of Mrs. Claus.

The star-studded cast includes My Name Is Earl's Ethan Suplee, Eddie Griffin, Chris Elliott, Michael McKean, Saturday Night Live alumnus Chris Kattan, and Carol Kane as Mother Nature.

The story kicks off when a devious elf named Sparky (Kattan) tries to convince Santa that he has to keep up with our materialistic times. Reluctant to do so, and convinced no one believes in him anymore, Santa instead decides to just skip Christmas this year. A greatly dismayed Mrs. Claus enlists the help of Santa's two closest elves, Jingle (Suplee) and Jangle (Griffin), to help prove there are children who still care about the true spirit of the holiday. But their efforts are complicated by the warring sons of Mother Nature, Heatmiser (Elliott) and Snowmiser (McKean), whose help Jingle and Jangle will need to save Christmas before Santa's devious head elf (Kattan) takes over his job.

Ron Underwood (City Slickers) is directing with Mark Wolper (Salem's Lot) executive producing. NBC hopes to have the film ready for this year's holiday season.

  POSTED JULY 30, 2006

Delta Tours Nationally with Del Shores' Comedies

Delta Burke, Patrika Darbo, and Leslie Jordan will star in a national tour of Del Shores' comedies Southern Baptist Sissies and Sordid Lives following a run at L.A.'s Zephyr Theater, August 8-20.

The play Sordid Lives is a black comedy about white trash! In the "coming out" story, three generations of a small Texas family prepare for a funeral, and that's when the hilarious, sad, trashy truth about their lives runs amuck! Delta appeared in the 1999 film adaption of the play which is enjoyed limited national release and reached cult status in Palm Springs.

Southern Baptist Sissies is an exploration into the lives of four gay men raised in the church. Through laughter and tears, each story unfolds to reveal a struggle for self-discovery. Cast members include Delta Burke, Leslie Jordan (Will & Grace, Boston Legal), and Dale Dickey (Domino, My Name is Earl).

The tour will begin at San Diego's North Park Theatre, August 24-26, followed by engagements at Dallas' Majestic Theatre (September 16-17), Palm Springs' Annenberg Theatre (October 7-11), St Louis' Orpheum Theatre (October 27-29), Nashville's Polk Theatre (November 10-12), and Fort Lauderdale's Parker Playhouse (November 17-19). Additional dates and cities will be announced later.

For more information, visit

  POSTED JULY 30, 2006

Gerald McRaney Stars in New Fall Series 'Jericho'

Gerald McRaney has joined to cast of the highly anticipated new CBS Fall series, Jericho. The series is a post-apocalyptic look at life in a small Kansas town after the horrific unleashing of a nuclear war.

"One of the themes in this show is ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, and how they cope with things that are really, right now, beyond our imagining, but could happen at any moment. And it's an exploration of who we are as a people and how we would deal with it," said Mac in a recent interview.

"It's fascinating, to me, to do something like that."

McRaney will be playing the mayor of the Kansas hamlet that finds themselves cut off from the rest of the world after a series of mushroom clouds are witnessed far off in the distance. Watch for Jericho this Fall.

**Source: The Times Picayune.

  UPDATED JULY 30, 2006

'Lucky You' Hits Theaters in September

Last year we reported that Jean had finished filming Lucky You with Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore and Robert Duvall. Now the long anticipated film is about to be released nationwide!

In Lucky You, director Curtis Hanson brings us a story based in the world of high-stakes Las Vegas poker. Huck Cheever (Eric Bana) is a blaster — a player who goes all out, all the time. But in his personal relationships, Huck plays it tight, expertly avoiding emotional commitments and long-term expectations. When Huck sets out to win the main event of the 2003 World Series of Poker — and the affections of Billie Offer (Drew Barrymore), a young singer from Bakersfield—there is one significant obstacle in his path - his father, L.C. Cheever (Robert Duvall), the poker legend who abandoned Huck's mother years ago. As these two rivals progress toward a final showdown at the poker table, Huck learns that to win in the games of life and poker, he must try to play cards the way he has been living his life and live his life the way he has been playing cards.

Lucky You hits theaters on September 15.

Visit The Official Lucky You website from Warner Bros. for more information and to see the trailer.

**Source: Smart Stuff: Officially Jean Smart

  POSTED JULY 30, 2006

Ginna Carter Brings 'Dorothy' to the Dixie

Actress/playwright Ginna Carter will be clicking up her heels at the Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center in October for a solo performance of Dorothy -- After Oz. In the play, which Ginna recently workshopped in New York at The Roundabout Theatre’s Black Box and at The Alley Theatre in Houston, a young woman struggles to convince her superiors of a trip she once took to a magical land.

What if Dorothy Gale was a real person in today's world, who really went to Oz, returned -- and then had to deal with the aftermath? That's the question asked comically and poignantly in Ginna Carter's solo show, Dorothy -- After Oz.

Carter, who may be remembered best by Designing Women fans for her appearance as one of Julia's nieces, says, "I've always wanted to take a fictional character and juxtapose their known traits with a very specific [modern] perspective." The first version of this piece won a round of Fifteen Minutes of Fem competition at the Egyptian Arena Theatre in 2002, and was a finalist for the Aspen Comedy Festival 2003.

This version of Dorothy -- After Oz is still a one-act, but, says Carter, "I am continuing to add to it, to figure out 'what would you really have to go through in her circumstances?' The character Dorothy is so amazingly brave and determined."

Ginna will be bringing her show back to stage for a special one-night performance at the Performing Arts Center dedicated to her mother, Dixie, on October 7. For more information, visit the official website for "The Dixie".

**Source: The Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center

  POSTED JULY 30, 2006

Jean Smart Among 2006 Emmy Nominees

The nominees for the 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards have been announced. Congratulations to the series 24 for its 12 Emmy nominations -- the most of any television series! Nominations include Best Drama Series, Kiefer Sutherland for Best Lead Actor, Gregory Itzin for Best Supporting Actor and Jean Smart for Best Supporting Actress.

One of the most innovative, thrilling and acclaimed drama series on television, the Emmy and Golden Globe award winning 24 stars Kiefer Sutherland as Agent Jack Bauer, who heads -- or at least used to head -- the field operations of the Counter Terrorist Unit in the United States. Created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran, the series is presented in a unique format where each episode covers one hour of real time with the season’s entire story taking place in one day. Once again, viewers are able to follow several key characters through a day that none of them will ever forget.

Jean joined the cast in Season Five as Martha Logan, the emotionally volatile First Lady to the petulant, legacy-obsessed President. From her very first scene until her devastating smirk in the season finale, she blew away critics and reviewers, so it is no surprise to find her among this year's Emmy Nominees.

Good Luck, Jean!!

**Source: Smart Stuff: Officially Jean Smart


Annie Potts Takes Center Stage in 'Diva'

Pasadena Playhouse presents Diva, by Howard Michael Gould January 20, 2006 – February 19, 2006, directed by David Lee and starring Annie Potts as Deanna, a forty-something actress whose fiery diva attitude makes her a star in the hottest sitcom on television.

Diva begins with an explosively funny scene that sets the stage for a behind-the-scenes look at television's most egomaniacal diva. During the course of Gould’s comic masterpiece we come to know Deanna, a film goddess breaking into television and displaying the kind of spoiled and licentious behavior that causes turmoil among all those within earshot. When the comic dust settles, playwright Gould takes us back in time to discover how hidden relationships and self-absorbed machinations bring this sitcom star and her producer to the breaking point. Gould has created a play that is both hilarious and scathing – coming from a writer who has found the comedy within Hollywood extremes.

As a special treat for Belled Subscribers, the Pasadena Playhouse will be offering a 20% discount for tickets to Diva for a limited time. Call (626) 356-PLAY and mention code EM82 for discount and and enjoy the show! Note: Diva contains adult language and mature subject matter.

**Source: Pasadena Playhouse Publicity


Jean Smart Makes Her Mark in New Season of '24'

The clock has already started ticking on the thrilling and unpredictable fifth season of 24, which features Jean Smart in the pivotal role of Martha Logan. As the emotionally volatile First Lady to the petulant, legacy-obsessed President Logan, Jean's performance is already blowing away critics and reviewers.

"Smart expertly injects Martha with enough irrational bitchiness -- bittersweet outbursts, wild tears -- to seriously undermine her. Yet just when the audience is ready for Martha to be packed off, she goes lucid, turning her manipulations into wily, surprising street smarts." ~ Entertainment Weekly

"The standout element this season is Jean Smart as Martha Logan." ~ Orlando Sentinel

"The most compelling person in the season opener -- Jean Smart as the first lady. Smart makes us empathize with her frustration without overselling it." ~ Seattle Post-Intelligencer

24's "Day 5" airs on Mondays at 9pm ET/PT on FOX, with the intense series unfolding on a weekly basis without repeats or preemptions all the way until the heart-stopping season finale.

**Source: Smart Stuff: Officially Jean Smart, Photo courtesy of FOX Publicity.


Judith Ivey Stars in Kennedy Center's 'Roses'

Tony Award winner Judith Ivey is currently starring in The Subject Was Roses at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Directed by Leonard Foglia and starring Ivey and Bill Pullman, the play runs Jan. 7-29, 2006, at the Eisenhower Theater.

The Subject Was Roses tells the story of Timmy Cleary's return home from service in World War II, where he finds that his parents have become perfect strangers -- to him and each other. When Timmy insists his father take credit for the roses he bought his mother, long-hidden resentments rise to the surface, as this attempted act of kindness instead becomes the epicenter of domestic warfare. When the deception is uncovered, the tenuous ties still holding them together begin to unravel and each person's doubts--about marriage, family values, and Timmy's achievements overseas--threaten to sever any hope for reunion.

Visit for tickets and more information.



Dixie Carter & Hal Holbrook Star in 'Southern Comforts'

Dixie Carter and Hal Holbrook are set to grace the stage together again in Southern Comforts, which will run from February 7 - March 5, 2006 at the Coconut Groves Playhouse in Miami, and March 7 - 12, 2006 at the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale.

Southern Comforts tells the story of long-time widow Amanda Cross and her visit to a small northern New Jersey town where her peaceful life is turned upside down when she meets Gus Klingman, a cantankerous widower. Beautiful and deliciously Southern, Amanda peels away the rough layers of Gus' unhappy heart to reveal the silenced passions of a man and a lover. Can love between opposites last?

Tickets for Coconut Grove are available at the Coconut Grove Playhouse or at (305) 442-4000. For the Parker Playhouse, call (877) 642-7529.