ON THE ROAD Mariah Carey will embark on her first U.S. tour in seven years, according to MTV News. So far she has confirmed only nine dates (starting on March 16 in L.A.), but more are likely. Also, some of the many guest stars on her album ”Rainbow” may pop in along the way for duets, she says. ”I’m going to see who’s around whatever city we’re in,” she tells MTV. ”Hopefully, in Atlanta or Chicago, maybe we’ll have Da Brat. I haven’t asked her yet. I have to give her a call and see what’s up with her. I was paging Jermaine [Dupri] last night. He said he’ll be there.” Hey, Mariah, if you’re in Missouri, don’t forget to look up Tony Orlando, who’s like Branson’s Jermaine Dupri!
CASTING Drew Barrymore will produce and star in ”So Love Returns,” an adaptation of Robert Nathan’s romantic drama about a hermitic widow who learns to love again from a magical woman who comes out of the ocean. Drew should beware of an NC-17: The MPAA is notoriously prudish when it comes to algae-covered sex scenes…. Meanwhile, joining Drew in ”Charlie’s Angels” will be Tim Curry, doing his villain thing again…. Sharon Stone is debating coming to Broadway in the David Mamet play ”Boston Marriage,” the tale of two lesbians in the early 19th century…. Bless the gods of the proscenium, Quentin Tarantino is acting again! He’s taken a cameo role as a blind preacher in Adam Sandler’s son-of-Satan comedy, ”Little Nicky”…. Benjamin Bratt will take the lead in USA’s TV-movie adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway short story ”After the Storm”…. Jonathan Frakes (”Star Trek: The Next Generation”) will make a sumptuous meal of the hand that feeds him by joining the cast of the sci-fi parody ”Steve Was Here.” For his own sake, it better not be too irreverent to the genre, because hell hath no fury like a Trekkie shut-in scorned…. James Garner will appear on ”Chicago Hope” in a four-episode story arc at the end of this season, playing the new multimillionaire owner of the hospital. If the story line works, Garner may be a regular next season. And if David E. Kelley goes on another firing spree like he did last year, Garner might be starring in ”Chicago Hope: The One-Man Show”…. Monica Potter (”Patch Adams”) may join Morgan Freeman in ”Along Came a Spider,” the prequel to ”Kiss the Girls.”
BIG WINNER Chalk up a second millionaire for Regis: ”Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” handed over another seven-figure check on Tuesday night’s show when Miami’s Dan Blonsky knew how many miles the sun is from Earth (93 million). And of course, the answer to the question ”How far is Dan Blonsky from being an actual millionaire?” is $450,000, since taxes will likely cut his prize down to around $550,000.
DIVAS APLENTY Elton John and Tina Turner’s reported tiff on the last ”Divas Live” special must have given VH1 an idea: This year they’ll add men to the lineup, turning the concert into a battle of the sexes of sorts. The male and female divas will perform at the same venue, but on different nights so as to reduce the risks of slap fights.
IN TREATMENT Jeff MacNelly, the 52-year-old cartoonist behind ”Shoe,” is receiving treatment for lymphoma. This won’t affect his daily cartoon, and he’ll still provide illustrations for Dave Barry’s weekly column, but he will scale back his other job as an editorial cartoonist. He says he expects a full recovery.
OBITUARY Derek Anson Jones, who directed the Pulitzer Prize-winning play ”Wit,” died Tuesday from AIDS-related complications at the age of 38. Jones won the 1999 Lucille Lortel award and was nominated for a Drama Desk award for his work on the play.