The Index-Journal from Greenwood, South Carolina on February 18, 1998 · Page 26
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The Index-Journal from Greenwood, South Carolina · Page 26

Greenwood, South Carolina
Issue Date:
Wednesday, February 18, 1998
Page 26
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S3 Wkcdjf, February It, UN SPOTUGHT movies 1. Titanic 2. Great Expectations 3. Good Will Hunting " 4. Spice Work! 5. As Good As tt Gets 6. Desperate Measures 7. Wag the Dog 8. Deep Rising . 9. Fallen , 9. Hard Ra'in (tie) video rentals 1. Contact .2. FaceOff 3. Conspiracy Theory 4. Con Air 5. My Best Friend's Wedding 6. Soul Food 7. Chasing Amy 8. Money Talks 9. Austin Powers 10. The Game books 1. Paradise Joni Morrison 2. Fear Nothing, Dean Koontz 3. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier 4. The Winner, David Baldacci 5. A Certain Justice, P.D. James 6. Cat & Mouse, James Patterson '7. Cuba Libre, Elmore Leonard 8. Sharp Edges, Jayne Ann Krentz 9. Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden 10. The God of Small Things, Arundhari Roy fl books 1. SimpleAbundance, Sarah Ban Breathnach 2. The Millionaire Next Door, T.J. Stan ley, W.D. Danka 3. Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil, John Berendt 4. Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt 5. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer 6. Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom 7. Don1 Worry, Make Money, R. Carlson 8. The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger 9. Talking to Heaven, James Van Prough 10. Conversations With God, Book I, Neale Donald Walsch pop singles 1. Nice & Slow, Usher 2. Together Again, Janet 3. How Do I Live, LeAnn Rimes . , 4. Truly Madly Deeply, Savage Garden ! 5. Been Around the World, Puff Daddy & The Family 6. 1 Don! Ever Want to See You Again, Linda Sam 7. A Song for Mama, Boyz II Men 8. No, No, No, Destiny's Child 9. How's It Going to Be, Third Eye Blind 10. Dangerous, Busta Rhymes 'r : ' albums (-prj 1. Titanic' Soundtrack 2. Let's Talk About Love, Celine Dion 3. Spiceworld, Spice Girls 4. My Way, Usher ' 5. Yourself Or Someone Like You, Matchbox 20 : 6. Backstreet, Backstreet Boys 7. Savage Garden, Savage Garden ' 8. Tubthumper, Chumbawamba 9. Harlem World, Mase 10. Spice, Spice Girls Womam) sCuoofts accow aft GaopDidl odd cJeimimy Joimes' By Lorri Antosz Benson TVDATA FEATURES SYNDICATE Valentine's Day came early to the "Jenny Jones" show last month with an episode titled "You Made My Heart Soar, and Now I Want More," which focused on lost-love reunions. Mike Pack, one of the show's associate producers, was persuaded to play Cupid, complete with ballerina tutu and oversize diaper. His mission was to go through the audience with his bow and arrow, having members judge the success rate of the reunions onstage. But he would inspire a romantic inquiry all his own. A uc dill- mated, producer was as surprised as Jones when a female audience member diverted attention from the guest panel LORRI BENSON by asking, "Is Cupid single?" True to Cupid's reputation, however, Pack's heart belongs to only one woman, his fiancee. "Though I might not be engaged after this," Pack said, anticipating her reaction to his outrageous costume. Pack's story makes it sound as if working on a talk show is all fun and games. In reality, it's not always easy. Take the job of travel coordinator; one never knows what challenge each day will bring. One coordinator from a top talk show discusses some of her more difficult assignments, including transporting a 700-pound man from his home to the studio. "People don't realize the logistics required to move a man that large," she says. "I had to book two seats on the airplane and arrange for a special cart, plus hire six men to carry him from vehicle to vehicle." It took five hours on a Sunday to make all the necessary arrangements. Another perplexing problem was devising a travel plan for conjoined twins. "They didn't face the same direction, which posed some major obstacles, especially for the airlines," the coordinator says. "You really have to be creative. I can't tell you how many times I say, 'How am I going to do this? And my friends think they have a rough job." Congratulations to late night's "Vibe" and "The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show" for passing muster and getting renewal pledges for the 1998-99 season. . Securing Sinbad as host was a key move toward the renewal of "Vibe," and he now has some creative control over the show as one of the executive producers. "The opportunity ... affords me tremendous range to stretch my creative muscles in many different directions," Sin-bad says. As for the Wayans show, it now has another season to make its mark before having to contend with Magic Johnson's "The Magic Hour," scheduled for a June launch. f 1 TJUj J S If il V " ' ' "V .. -, I ' 1 1 J J V : i I j ft - -. A t4'"- J Ullman stars In "Tracey Takes On ..." on HBO. Ullman talks about the true art of comedy, role playing By Matthew Gilbert BPI ENTERTAINMENT REPORT NEW YORK Front and center on the aural landscape, just this side of the clinking teacups and the cloying doorbell, there is a cacophony of insane voices that might as well be "Monty Python's Flying Circus" in its entirety, perched about this cuckoo's nest of a midtown hotel suite chatting or else maybe the three faces of Eve, the 12 angry men, and the 16 sides of Sybil, nattering on about nothing, bonkers as ever. But open your eyes and the noisy commotion is just a lone Tracey Ullman, taller than you'd expect, prettier than she'll admit, talking animatedly about her brilliant career and lapsing in and out of the homemade characters who inhabit it, from collagen-swelled actress Linda Granger and Tina "Brown-esque editor Janie Pillsworth to shark litigator Sydney Kross, modeled after crass lawyer Leslie Abramson. She is an irrepressible star. v More than most comics, Ullman takes physical transformation to new heights, utilizing state-of-the-art prosthetics and makeup to visually complement the wonders of her elastic voice. On her HBO series, "Tracey Takes On ..." (new episodes premiere Sundays at 10 p.m.), Ullman is unrecognizable as many of the show's 17 major characters, male and female. "We still get letters asking, 'Can I have a picture of Tracey and the rest of the cast?' " Ullman says with some satisfaction. One night back in the late 1980s, when she was filming her Fox variety series, "The Tracey Ullman Show," she knocked on the door of the show's executive producer, James L. Brooks, dressed as a black female character she was developing. Brooks, sitcom genius, film director, and her mentor and friend, didn't recognize her. "I try to do the minimum amount of rubber on my face," she says, "because it's torture. But then that turned-up nose on Birdie Godsen" Ullman switches into her devout Christian voice "it looks great." The reason Ullman is shlepping her alter egos across America, and suffering the tepid rigors of hotel tea, is to promote three things: a new season of 'Tracey Takes On ..." on HBO, the release of two "Tracey Takes On ..." video compilations, and a humor book based on the series: It's typically enterprising of the woman who has made jumping mediums look like hopscotch, already having made a Top 10 record, "They Don't Know," in 1984; feature films including "Plenty" opposite Meryl Streep and Woody Allen's "Bullets Over Broadway"; two Emmy-and Golden Globe-winning TV series; and a Broadway turn in the poorly received "The Big Love." Ullman says she thinks of herself mostly as "a character actress," and she's glad her success has not been contingent upon beauty. "I haven't got looks to lose," Ullman says. "I'm not a glamour girl. It's so sad, those girls who were gorgeous." Ullman is always on the prowl for characters and material, and she sometimes finds her inspiration reading "The New York Times," listening to National Public Radio, or watching TV. When a waiter wheels a tray of tea into the room, she observes him, and queries him about his country of ori-, gin, which is Bangladesh. When he leaves, smiling about Ullman's interest, she plays back his accent and talks about wanting to create Pakistani brother characters with Cheech Marin for "Tracey Takes On. ..." There's no strict formula to the genesis of an Ullman character, but often they begin with a waiter in a hotel. When she created Sydney Kross, Ullman's desire to come up with "a very tough and ambitious career woman who can't date because she never has time" coincided with the constant presence of lawyer Leslie Abramson on the news. "I loved the look of her," Ullman says. "On our, show, we're making fun of everyone. We're saying Brits are inhibited and anal. Jews are all loud and live in Boca Raton. I'm saying Asians put nicotine in doughnuts and wear canvas shoes. I have a go at everybody. I have a go at myself. I laugh at my husband a lot. People's faults are human and real. I do it in good spirit, and not in a mean-spirited, racist, bigoted nasty way. And people love it." Arm Landers Father should stop bailing out daughter Dear Ann Landers: You blew it with your advice to "Wit's End in Sylmar, Calif.," whose stepdaughter was forging Daddy's signature and stealing thousands of dollars. Last time I checked, this behavior was illegal. Why wasn t the girl arrested? "Wit s End" said the girl's graduation gift a new car disappeared without a trace. Did anyone consider filing a police report? How does someone get "saddled" with a $1,200 phone bill? Twice, no less. Does this 26-year-old problem child still live at home? The stepmother makes no mention of whether or not the daughter works or has any source of income. Have the par ents ever demanded that she reimburse them for the cost to repair the car she smashed up when she went joy riding? What about reimbursement for the other money they allowed her to cheat them out of? To top it off, "Wit's End" and her husband spent $2,200 to get the girl out of jail after she was convicted of credit card fraud and forgery. Why? They should have let her sit there for a while so she could think about her irresponsible and foolish behavior. You said the girl's behavior was bizarre and gave those parents your condolences. You should have told them to stop bailing the girl out and let her learn life's lessons the hard way. Lori in Fresno, Calif. Dear Lori: I guess my best defense is to plead temporary insanity. I can't believe I was so far off the mark. There's more. Keep reading: Dear Ann Landers: You weren't hard enough on that stepdaughter in California. The woman who wrote said, "My husband has worked hard to give his daughter everything." That sentence explains the root of the problem. Why do some nnrants fool tVi t7 Vinvo in envo t Vi oi r rYi i 1 rl rtin auarv. thing? The handwriting was on the wall when the father gave his daughter a car that disappeared with no explanation. Obviously, the girl didn't need the car in the first place, or she would have taken better care of it. And why would they bail her out of jail for forging signatures and abusing credit cards? Maybe she would have learned a lesson if they had let her suffer the consequences for her behavior. Now, not only is this young woman a problem to her parents, but thanks to them, she ' is also a problem to society. I actually feel sorry for this 26-year-old. She is no child. She's a grown woman. I can't imagine what will happen when her parents are no longer around to rescue her. Please, Ann, remind parents that they aren't doing their children any favors by giving them everything under the sun. They must set limits and be firm. And they shouldn't be afraid to say "no." Lafayette, Ind. Dear Lafayette: Thanks for your wise input. CREATORS SYNDICATE t 4

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