MADGE Madonna has mentioned plans to take ”Music” on the road, and now her rep has confirmed that she will be appearing in a handful of clubs in London, Paris, and New York, reports New York’s Daily News. Though the dates are not yet set, fans in England — where the pop star has not performed live in seven years — are aflutter with the announcement of the Material Mom’s plans. Adding fuel to the fire, British tab the Sun reports that Madge (as the natives call her) will likely be joined by the techno groups Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers. In this month’s Rolling Stone the singer says that playing small gigs — instead of her usual arena shows — would be a pleasant return to her early days as a performer. ”I like the idea of doing that and playing to 2,000 to 5,000 people.” Ah, yes, the good old days, when a mere utterance didn’t earn her a headline.
LEGALESE Ex Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith is seeking half of her deceased 90-something husband’s fortune in court this week. Smith claims that oil tycoon Howard Marshall promised her a sizable chunk of his $1.6 billion fortune when the two met long ago at a topless bar in Houston. They wed when she was 26 and, she says, they lived in marital bliss for fourteen months until he died. Attorneys for Marshall’s stepson, Peter, who is contesting the claim, are expected to argue that Smith only married Marshall for dough. The model’s lawyer denies such aspersions: ”This is not about a gold digger sucking money. This is about a relationship that was very profound.” They’ll be using waitresses from Hooters Bars as key witnesses, no doubt.
AWARDS It’s Ozzy Osbourne versus the suits yet again. The Black Sabbath frontman has asked that his group be removed from the list of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees for a second year. ”Why don’t they let the fans vote?” the rocker said in a statement. ”As it is now, what’s the point? It’s a joke. It’s about glad handing and grandstanding and I don’t want to be part of it.” Good point. Except that we haven’t seen too much of his fellow noms Paul Simon or Laurie Anderson on ”TRL” recently.
FILMS The new Björk musical, ”Dancer in the Dark,” may have won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, but it’s had a much harder time winning over British critics. As a result, the English distributor of the Lars von Trier directed feature, FourFilms, is offering to give moviegoers their money back if they don’t enjoy the spectacle on opening night, according to the Hollywood Reporter. ”If you go to see ‘Dancer in the Dark’… and decide, after having watched the film for at least 30 minutes, that the experience was not worth the price of your ticket, the cinema manager will refund your money,” a FourFilms spokesperson promised. Wouldn’t it be great if they did that with the next Tom Hanks movie?
CASTING Oh, good. Now, there will two of them. Leonardo DiCaprio has signed on to play identical twins in ”Johnny Eck,” a film based of a story of Robert and Johnny Eckhardt, Variety reports. Johnny was born without the lower half of his body; Robert was completely normal…. The Rock has landed a $5.5 million movie deal. The wrestler will star in the ”The Scorpion King,” a spin-off of his smaller role in ”The Mummy II,” reports Variety. The paycheck, which is exceptionally large for a first time star, befits the WWF behemoth…. ”Mississippi Masala”’s Sarita Choudhury has taken on a starring role in the 40 Acres and a Mule production ”3AM,” according to the Fader Magazine. She’ll play the owner of a Queens taxi company.