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Arts & Entertainment Revue

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This arts roundup is worth catching. Host Eric Burns, who has made pithy sense on shows as disparate as CBS Sunday Morning and Entertainment Tonight, has always been a smart, no-nonsense fellow. He makes a fine guide for Arts & Entertainment Revue, which, refreshingly, makes no distinction between the popular and high arts: You’re as likely to see a lengthy report on a new opera as you are a profile of a rock star, and you often can see both within the same hour.

The show’s only problem is that it frequently seems a bit late in catching up to things. Burns introduced a recent segment on David Byrne, for example, by saying, ”You may know him from Talking Heads, but now he has a Latin sound.” Well, the Heads-less Byrne has had a ”Latin sound” for at least the past year. This is not news, even to casual followers of pop music.

On the other hand, I really enjoy the old-fashioned idea of having an actor read from a great work of literature each week — my favorite has been Christopher Walken chewing his way through a chunk of Moby Dick. Walken reading Melville — now there’s something you won’t see on The Tonight Show. B