News and notes

LOOSE ADAPTATION It was silly in 1984: Kevin Bacon doing his best Solid Gold impersonation to schmaltzy Kenny Loggins tunes. Nevertheless, in 1998 Footloose is enjoying a revival, this time as a stage musical. At a July 27 sneak preview, director Walter Bobbie explained the resurrection. ”We’re not remaking it,” insists Bobbie, ”we’re making it.” The story, about a small town where rock & roll and dancing are against the law, ”is almost fable-like,” he adds. ”There are no good guys or bad guys … just people with opposing views. And that creates theatrical tension.” So what’s fresh about this Footloose? The production, slated to open on Broadway in October, will feature nine new songs (by such fading rockers as erstwhile Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar and Eric ”All by Myself” Carmen). The choreography has also been updated. Meanwhile, everyone’s still talking about Bacon. ”I’m sure he’ll be there opening night,” says Bobbie. ”I haven’t had any contact with him, but why wouldn’t he?” — Rob Brunner

TICKET TO DERIDE Now that The Larry Sanders Show is gone, where can stars go to poke fun at themselves? Try the big screen. In April, noted non-humorist Steven Seagal earned praise with a self-mocking cameo in My Giant. Similarly, John Malkovich will commit image self-flagellation in the upcoming comedy Being John Malkovich, about a puppeteer who finds a porthole to the actor’s brain. And in Free Enterprise, William Shatner exuberantly parodies his off-screen persona. ”I’d heard about his [egotistical] reputation and was a little scared, ” says Enterprise director and cowriter Robert Meyer Burnett, ”but he was so cool.” In fact, Shatner insisted on making ”his character more messed up,” says Burnett, who rewrote the script to give the Trek-head a raging libido and an obsession with producing a musical Julius Caesar. ”Just wait until you hear him rap Mark Antony’s funeral speech as ‘No Tears for Caesar.”’ — Zack Stentz

ETC. ”I want to live with you! … comforted by your oddness/Seduced by your knowledge/Of my ways,” pens Jewel in her poetry book, A Night Without Armor. The subject: ex-paramour Steve Poltz, with whom she cowrote ”You Were Meant for Me.” Though that was news to him. ”When I heard [from a mutual friend] that it was about me, I was like, ‘It is?”’ says Poltz. Don’t expect him to return such delicate words to the Alaskan beauty: ”The poems I write,” he says, ”turn out more like sea chanteys.” — Jae-Ha Kim

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