The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 7, 1997 · Page 141
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December 7, 1997

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 141

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Sunday, December 7, 1997
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Page 141
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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7, 1997 The Palm Beach Post SECTION J BOOKS 'WITNESS FOR NATURE' A sympathetic biography gives us a closer look at Rachel Carson, the woman who launched the environmental reformation that continues to this day. BACK PAGE 1 INSIDE ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT From soul to rock 'n' roll, there's a CD boxed set that's sure to please someone on . your Christmas list. PAGE 3J ': J I r 3 X Ak' Jul - A if S. .M.Mrtltf 4 f I 'I do about 14 things ,: for a living. One nice thing about that is you can be out of work in three professions altogether , and never even notice it. ' Steve Allen Allen still loves sound of laughter By Hap Erstein Palm Beach Post Theater Writer His third mystery novel has just been published. A new 75th birthday special will be aired on some public television stations this month, coinciding with the release of a soundtrack CD. He and his wife just filmed an episode of the TV series Homicide, in between his lectures and personal appearances m- I 1 J .'TV VS..'. I Havana, I I try? i tttW!": y : 1 ( THE ESCAPING AFRICANS were tricked into taking a zigzag course northward. The journey ended at the tip of Long Island, where the ship was impounded and the Africans thrown in the clink. Djimon Hounsou (center) plays Joseph Cinque in the Steven Spielberg movie Amistad, which opens Friday. 3 n 3 across the country. Yet when the Kaplan Jewish Community Center's "Off-Broadway" series contacted Steve Allen, v asking to do his 1982 comedy revue, Seymour Glick Is Alive, 0 & Allen yr(7n historical footnote to ttotfyivood spotlight Why has an obscure, but important, slave mutiny suddenly attracted the interest of writers, an opera company and film director Steven Spielberg? By Gary Schwan Palm Beach Post Arts Writer History unchained Some facts about the Amistad case: B The incident In 1839, Africans rebelled aboard the slave ship Amistad off the Cuban coast. After killing two Spaniards, they sailed a zigzag course, winding up in Long t wasn't the longest voyage in history, but it was far-reaching. It stretched from Cuba to the Supreme Court, from a cook with a tasteless sense of humor to a former president of the United States who had none at all, except when ridiculing the "slavocracy" Island Sound. They were jailed in Connecticut. B The trial: Were they murderers and mutineers, or kidnapped freemen caught up in an illegal slave trade? But Sick, he not only said "yes," he churned out some updated musical material and a gaggle of new jokes for the show. All in a day's work for comedi-an-author-performer-Renaissance man Allen. "I do about 14 things for a 'living," he says. "One nice thing ;about that is, you can be out of work in three professions altogether and never even notice it, because you're so busy with the other nine." 1 OK, Allen is talented in many fields, but he's no mathematician. He is best known as a fixture of television, from creating and hosting the original Tonight Show to his Emmy-winning, entertaining history lessons, Meeting of Minds. But such visible electronic landmarks are merely the tip of the Allen industry. According to a recent Guinness Book of World Records listing, Allen was the globe's most prolific songwriter in modern times, now with some 6,700 tunes to his credit. You can hear about two dozen puckish ditties in Seymour Glick, a tongue-in-cheek tribute to a fictional hack tunesmith, beginning next Saturday at the Kaplan JCC. Or you can catch Steverino there this afternoon at 1, promoting the show and hawking his book, Die Laughing. ' ',, What you cannot do is see Allen and Phyllis Diller at the Royal Poin-ciana Playhouse this weekend. i-l Please see ALLEN2 of the South. The 1839 revolt of African captives aboard the Spanish slave ship La Amistad once earned a footnote in American history. Now it's getting blockbuster treatment. Director Steven Spielberg's movie Amistad, starring Djimon Hounsou, Anthony Hopkins and Morgan Freeman, opens Friday. Lyric Opera of Chicago commissioned a two-act Amistad from composer Anthony Davis that premiered last month. The Discovery channel is airing a special on Thursday; A&E network is airing one on Dec. 16. Howard Jones' authoritative book Mutiny on the Amistad has been reissued. There's a new novel, David Pesci's Amistad, and even a lawsuit against the Spielberg movie by Barbara Chase-Riboud, who claims the screenplay borrows from her Amistad novel, Echo of Lions. Why all this attention to Amistad? "It's come to a head thanks to . . . Spielberg's direction," said Clifton Johnson, director emeritus of the Please see AMISTAD7 Cinque, the 25-year-old unofficial leader of the Africans. Supreme Court. Roger Baldwin, an abolitionist attorney. Martin Van Buren, eighth president of the U.S., who favored appeasing the Spaniards and the Southern states in hopes of re-election. B The impact It was the first civil rights case, a test of human rights vs. property rights, according to author Howard Jones. Adams Should they be returned to Spanish custody, or allowed to go home to Africa? Abolitionists rallied to their cause, and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court. B The personalities: Cinque, a 25-year-old who became the unofficial leader of the Africans. Former president John Quincy Adams, who argued for the Africans before the ART REVIEW -"tlV Do you hear what I hear? Radio stations are already playing Christmas songs. As the holidays near, how many will you hear and how many do you want to hear? X. V B When does the holiday music start? Right after you finished your second helping of Thanksgiving turkey. Most stations are now playing about a song an hour. That number increases as the holidays near. By Christmas Eve, it's 24 hours a day at most stations. Station managers warn, though, that you can turn off listeners by playing too much too soon. "Christmas music is like cauliflower," says Jeff Rudolph, manager at the big band station, WDBF-AM 1420. "It's good, but only in little doses." B How Is it programmed? At contemporary station WEAT-FM 104.3, the motto is simple: play "safe, familiar and traditional" Christmas songs. Think Elvis crooning Blue Christmas. Others mix up the playlists. WDBF plays some Ha-nukkah tunes and urban WIIQT-FM 105.1 throws on a few West Indian Adam Sandler's The Hanukkah ; Song, The Waitresses' Christmas ' Wrapping, Joe Diffie's Leroy The Rednecked Reindeer and, of course, Elmo ; and Patsy's Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer. B Do listeners complain about hearing too much holiday music? Yes. "The biggest complaint we ' have," says WDBF's Rudolph, "is that Christmas music brings up too many sad memories. People don't want to feel that sad early in the ; season. Our demographic is older. . . ' we're dealing with widows and wid-' " ' owers. Now we play more Christmas -music later in the season." i B When does the music ' ; stop? , ; 1 The day after Christmas, usually ' i That's still 19 days away, if you're ' counting. KEVIN D. THOMPSON ' holiday songs. On the other hand, light rocking WMBX-FM 102.3 won't even start until next week. B How many holiday songs does a station have? WMBX has only about 40. Others have 300, but rarely play them all. B What are the most popular songs? It depends on the station's format. At the country WIRK-FM 107.9, Alabama's Christmas In Dixie, Garth Brooks' White Christmas and George Strait's Frosty the Snowman get the most airplay. On WHQT, it's The Temptations' Silent Night, Nat King Cole's The Christmas Song and The Whispers' This Christmas. On the classic-soft-rock -adult stations, expect to hear the usual suspects: Barbra Streisand, Mariah Carey, Neil Diamond and Whitney Houstoa B What are the quirkiest holiday songs? 1 l Sadness, stress and self-scrutiny Among the usual paintings in the Society of Four Arts' annual competition are more somber portraits that hint at artists tackling personal themes. Above is Joe Manning's Until Death Do Us Part, a portrait of his wife, who died of cancer. V Page4 i

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