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Jazz program opens PSO's Music 101

| Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2005

The Pittsburgh Symphony Association is opening its lunchtime Music 101 program Wednesday with jazz from the orchestra's White Tie Group.

That group is a trio made up of orchestra members who know music doesn't have to be printed to be good. It consists of pianist Harold Smoliar , who is principal English horn in the orchestra, bassist Donald Evans and drummer Andrew Reamer.

The lecture and performance series is designed to let performers and other members of the orchestra family offer a closer look at their music. It is held 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the Dorothy Porter Simmons Regency Rooms in Heinz Hall, Downtown.

The programs are free. Participants can bring bag lunches or purchase one from Truffles and Flourishes Catering for $7.50. For lunch orders, call: 412-344-4624 or 724-773-0878 .

-- Bob Karlovits

Cultural events in the city today

Cultural events in the city today include:

Pittsburgh Public Theater presents "RolePlay" at 8 p.m. Performances continue through Sunday at the O'Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave., Downtown. $33.50 to $52.50. 412-316-1600.

'Today' anchor's penthouse causes problems

City officials have ordered Ann Curry to shorten the penthouse she had built atop her Upper West Side home or face a public hearing.

The "Today" show news anchor and "Dateline NBC" co-host has been clashing with neighbors over the structure and other renovations since she bought the four-story brownstone in November 2003, neighbor Lynne Lummel told the New York Post for Monday's editions.

The city's Landmarks Preservation Commission told Curry last week that she has to shorten the 18-foot penthouse or appeal in a public hearing for an exception to city rules, agency spokeswoman Diane Jackier said.

A message left with a "Today" show spokeswoman wasn't immediately returned early Monday.

-- The Associated Press

Interview interupted by Benigni antics

Roberto Benigni delivered four minutes of slapstick comedy antics during a live appearance on state television to promote his latest comic film, set against the backdrop of the Iraq war.

Sitting down Saturday night next to the TV anchorman, Benigni took off a red sweater and draped it on the embarrassed-looking man's shoulders. He then ranted in favor of poetry and against war, which he said "makes no sense and is vulgar."

He even delivered some false news for shock value, joking that Premier Silvio Berlusconi had resigned.

Benigni is promoting "La Tigre e la Neve (The Tiger and the Snow)," a comedy set in today's Iraq that stars the 52-year-old actor-director and his real-life wife, Nicoletta Braschi .

He and Braschi also starred in "Life Is Beautiful," about a father's attempt to shield his young son from evil in a Nazi death camp. That film won the Oscar for best foreign film and Benigni won a best-actor Oscar.

-- The Associated Press

Sawyer honored by Louisville

Diane Sawyer has joined Muhammad Ali , jockey Pat Day and KFC founder Col. Harlan Sanders as a fixture in downtown Louisville.

Sawyer, host of ABC's "Good Morning America," is the latest person featured in the "hometown heroes" mural series installed by the Greater Louisville Pride Foundation.

The mural of the Glasgow, Ky., native, which was installed Saturday, is 55 feet wide and 65 feet high. It faces Third Street but can be seen by cars traveling on Interstate 65.

Chad Carlton , a spokesman for Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson , said he believes the murals bring a welcome spotlight to many of those who got their start or made their names in Louisville.

Sawyer's mural cost about $35,000 to create and erect. It was sponsored by WHAS-TV and ABC, which produces "Good Morning America," said Mike Sheehy , president of the foundation.

-- The Associated Press

Madonna says she's strict with her children

Madonna says she's the disciplinarian with 9-year-old Lourdes and 5-year-old Rocco . The former material girl told Newsweek that she doesn't let her children watch TV or look at magazines. She says milk and ice cream are also off-limits.

"When Daddy gets home, they get chocolate," Madonna said. "I'm the disciplinarian."

She's also strict about laundry duties: If Lourdes leaves dirty clothes on the floor, "we take all of her clothes and put them in a bag, and she has to earn all of her clothes back by being tidy," Madonna said. "She wears the same outfit every day to school until she learns her lesson."

-- The Associated Press

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