Madonna cancels stage performances. Plus, news about ''Terminator 3,'' Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Stone, Lance Bass, ''O Brother,'' Al Pacino, Liza Minnelli, and others
Credit: Madonna: Steve Granitz/Retna

CURTAIN CALL It’s got to be hard to schedule your day when you’re Madonna. She reportedly agreed to compose and perform the theme song to the upcoming James Bond movie, ”Die Another Day,” on the condition that she be given a cameo in the movie, only then to turn around and tell the producers she didn’t have time to be in the film. That’s because she’s starring in a play in London, the art-world comedy ”Up for Grabs,” starting May 23. However, now she’s announced she won’t be able to perform the matinee shows because she’ll be too busy recording the Bond theme during the day. ”We completely understand that Madonna has daytime recording commitments that cannot be rescheduled. As a result, we are determined to accommodate all matinee ticket holders,” said the play’s producer on Friday. Those stuck with tickets for afternoon understudy shows can exchange their seats for evening performances or get refunds.

BOYCOTT Whoopi Goldberg won’t be descending from the rafters in a feathered ”Moulin Rouge” getup in Cincinnati anytime soon. She was scheduled to appear there on June 12 in a sold-out installment of a lecture series on women with interesting lives, but she’s decided to join the boycott of the city by some African-American performers. Bill Cosby, Wynton Marsalis, and Smokey Robinson are among those who’ve refused to perform in Cincinnati in an embargo stemming from the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by a white Cincinnati police officer last year, an event that sparked riots and protests. (Not joining the boycott, however, was O.J. Simpson, who emceed a recent hip-hop show there.) ”I’m disappointed that the boycott seems to be creating a situation where the city of Cincinnati is missing out on things like this,” lecture series organizer Bob Benia told the Associated Press on Saturday.

REEL DEALS Meet the new John Connor. It’s Nick Stahl (”In the Bedroom”). He’ll be joining Arnold Schwarzenegger in as the adult version of Edward Furlong‘s young action messiah. Let’s hope Stahl proves harder to kill than he did in ”Bedroom,” ”Bully,” and ”Disturbing Behavior,” or the human race is doomed….

Dustin Hoffman will star in ”Confidence” as a crime lord who’s been swindled by grifter Ed Burns, who offers to make good by pulling an even bigger con on a third party. Director James Foley, who shoots next month, knows from cons, having directed ”Glengarry Glen Ross.”…

A month after interviewing Fidel Castro for a documentary tentatively titled ”Looking for Fidel,” Oliver Stone was in the West Bank, interviewing Yasser Arafat for another documentary. Stone said he had interviewed several Israeli leaders as well, hinting that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was among them (though an Israeli government spokesperson could not confirm to Reuters that Stone and Sharon had talked). ”These characters that you meet — Mr. Arafat and Mr. Sharon, whoever it is — they remind you what life is about, what leaders are about, what power is about,” Stone said. He added that he meant to present a balanced portrait of the Palestinian leader. ”You know, David versus Goliath — nobody ever tells Goliath’s side of the story, you always hear David’s. The smart, objective newsman would ask Goliath what it was like to fight David. That’s what I’m asking.” So, wait a minute, which one is Goliath?

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