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Briefs: Cultural events in the city

| Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006

  • Pittsburgh Public Theater presents "The Secret Letters of Jackie and Marilyn" at 8 p.m. Performances continue through Sunday at the O'Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave., Downtown. $34.50-$49.50. 412-316-1600.

  • City Theatre presents "A Picasso" at 8 p.m. Performances continue through Sunday at City Theatre, 1300 Bingham St., South Side. $15-$45. 412-431-2489.

  • City Theatre presents "Sister's Christmas Catechism" at 8 p.m. Performances continue through Dec. 31 at City Theater, 1300 Bingham St., South Side. $40 and $45. 412-431-2489.

Torn faces charges in crash

Rip Torn , who was acquitted of drunken-driving charges two years ago in New York City, was arrested again Monday in a city suburb after a collision, state police said.

No one was hurt in the crash in North Salem, Trooper Edward Gillespie said. The 75-year-old character actor refused a sobriety test and would be arraigned on a charge of driving while intoxicated, Gillespie said.

In 2004, Torn was acquitted when jurors said the prosecution failed to prove that he was drinking before his fender-bender with a taxi. A police videotape showed Torn cursing and berating officers before turning down a sobriety test, but his lawyer said that was due to anger, not drinking.

When he was acquitted, he shook the hands of the male jurors, kissed the hands of the female jurors and said, "I love New York."

-- The Associated Press

Paltrow says article was inaccurate

Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow insisted Monday that contrary to a recent article in a European newspaper, she feels "proud to be American" and would never compare her homeland unfavorably to Britain.

In a statement issued through People magazine's Web site, Paltrow said she was "deeply upset" by remarks attributed to her by the Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias, which quoted the actress as saying: "The British are much more intelligent and civilized than the Americans."

"I never, ever would have said that," said Paltrow, 34, who is married to British rock star Chris Martin , the lead singer of Coldplay, and resides part time with him and their two children in London.

"I feel so lucky to be American," she said. "I feel so proud to be American."

Paltrow denies giving an interview to the Portuguese daily, though she did speak at a news conference in Spanish, according to People.

"This is what I said," Paltrow explained. "I said that Europe is a much older culture, and there's a difference. I always say in America, people live to work, and in Europe, people work to live. There are positives in both."

-- Reuters

Clooney's longtime pet passes

George Clooney 's beloved potbelly pig Max has died, Clooney's publicist said. He was 19.

Max, who lived at Clooney's Hollywood Hills home, died "peacefully" of natural causes on Friday, Clooney's publicist, Stan Rosenfield , said by phone Monday.

"Max, like any pet, became a member of the family," Rosenfield said. "He was a big pig, as pigs go. I can't tell you how much he weighed."

The Oscar-winning actor, 45, who owned the hog for 18 years and reportedly once said the porker was his longest relationship, told USA Today, "I was really surprised, because he's been a big part of my life."

-- The Associated Press

Tenor won't make award concert

Luciano Pavarotti , battling pancreatic cancer, recently completed medical treatment and is looking forward to resuming his concert tour next year, but won't attend a ceremony this week to receive an award, his manager said Tuesday.

His London-based manager, Terri Robson , said in a statement that the 71-year-old tenor will not go to the northern city of Bergamo to pick up the award at a concert where some of his students are singing Wednesday night.

The occasion would have been his first public appearance since undergoing surgery over the summer.

-- The Associated Press

Police say drinking was factor in fatal crash

Eyewitnesses said actor Lane Garrison of TV's "Prison Break" showed signs he may have been drinking the night the car he was driving crashed into a tree, killing a teenage passenger and injuring two others, police said Monday.

"Mr. Garrison displayed symptoms of alcohol intoxication, and the investigation into Mr. Garrison's impairment is ongoing," police Lt. Mitch McCann said at a news conference Monday.

McCann would not say whether police tested Garrison's blood-alcohol level. The actor suffered minor injuries.

Garrison, 26, has not been charged with any crime and won't be before the investigation is completed in about six to eight weeks, McCann said.

-- The Associated Press

Mason drops suit against Jews for Jesus

Comedian Jackie Mason on Monday dropped a lawsuit in which he claimed the missionary group Jews for Jesus damaged him when it used his name and likeness in a pamphlet.

Mason appeared in federal court in Manhattan, where he accepted an apology from the group in return for dropping the lawsuit. Outside the court, Mason did a little spontaneous standup with reporters, but there was a serious tone to his wit.

"There's no such thing as a Jew for Jesus. It's like saying a black man is for the KKK," the 75-year-old Mason said. "You can't be a table and a chair. You're either a Jew or a gentile."

Members of Jews for Jesus, founded in the 1970s, practice Judaism but regard Jesus as the Messiah.

The group's executive director, David Brickner , said in a letter to Mason dated Monday that he wanted "to convey my sincere apologies for any distress that you felt over our tract." He said the tract featuring Mason was one of hundreds of pamphlets the group regularly writes and distributes.

Brickner said he believed its publication was protected by the Constitution, but the group was willing in the interest of peace and love for Israel to retire the pamphlet.

-- The Associated Press

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