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Jewish Showbiz News

Last updated: 2003-11-25

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

Actress Natalie Portman is being tipped to star as Superman's girlfriend Lois Lane in a new blockbuster set to film next year. The 22-year-is said to be one of the hot favourites to star in the Warner Bros movie, tentatively titled Superman, although her agent has refused to confirm the speculation. Actor Nicolas Cage and British star Jude Law are among those who are in the running to don Superman's tights. Portman, meanwhile, is also set to co-star with Pianist Oscar-winner Adrien Brody in a biopic of Hungarian-born World War II photograher Robert Capa. And she's still got one more Star Wars outing to come; Episode III, the final part of George Lucas' epic sci-fi saga, will be released in summer 2005.

The latest Broadway show from comedian Jackie Mason is to close after only 14 performances.  Laughing Room Only, a mix of stand-up comedy and sketches performed by Mason and five other actors, tells the story of Mason's attempt to stage a $10m Broadway musical on a budget of $19.99. However the show, which includes musical numbers entitled This Jew Can Sing and Jew-Gentile Tap-Off, received poor reviews when it opened last Wednesday, and the curtain will come down for the final time next weekend. Mason has performed six of his one-man shows on Broadway in the past, the first of which, The World According To Me, won him a Tony Theatre award.

Grammy-award winning composer Michael Kamen has died aged 55 after a heart attack. Kamen, who had been suffering from multiple sclerosis, was best known as a composer of film soundtracks, working on the scores for such blockbusters as the Lethal Weapon and Die Hard movies. He also received Oscar nominations for his work on the Bryan Adams chart-topper Everything I Do (I Do It For You) from Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, and for the theme to the Johnny Depp film Don Juan De Marco, Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman? Kamen's other work included collaborating with Pink Floyd on their classic album The Wall. He won a Grammy Award in 2001 for his work with rockers Metallica.

In Brief:

  • Jerry Springer: The Opera has been named Best Musical at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards in London. The musical, based on the wacky antics on Springer's controversial TV show, recently opened in the West End after a successful run at London's National Theatre. Dempsey and Makepeace star Michael Brandon plays the title role.
  • Mel Gibson is considering legal action after a New York newspaper showed a pirated copy of his controversial new film The Passion Of Christ to a group of religious leaders. The New York Post screened the film to a rabbi, a priest, a professor of religion, their film critic and one of their readers in order to gauge reaction from a variety of religious and cultural perspectives.

Happy Birthday this week to: Former Brat Pack actor Judd Nelson (44 on November 28), songwriter Randy Newman (60 on November 28), film director Joel Coen, one half of movie-making duo the Coen Brothers (49 on November 29), stage and screen actor Mandy Patinkin (51 on November 30), playwright David Mamet (56 on November 30)