Spielberg has cast Hoffman, Williams, Julia Roberts for 'Peter Pan'


Steven Spielberg has finally assembled his all-star cast for "Hook," the continued adventures of Peter Pan.

2 "Hook" is scheduled for release in December.


"Kiss Me, Kate" may have the best score Cole Porter ever did. It also one of the most enjoyable musical comedies ever written for the stage. For reasons difficult to explain, most dinner theaters stay away from it.

Act 2 is doing it at the moment. They're not afraid to tackle it, and they do rather well with it. Some of the performers are quite good, and others are less than that. All, however, sound good when they sing, and that, you might say, is more than half the battle.

"Kiss Me, Kate" was first produced on Broadway in 1948. As students of the theater may know, it takes place at Baltimore's Ford's Theater, which gave the authors, Sam and Bella Spewack, a chance to rib the city for its provinciality. This is the show in which the leading man talks about deer roaming the balcony of the theater. We also hear a comment about the Baltimore heat.

The musical is one of those on-stage/back-stage things in which the actor and actress who are playing the leads in a musical version of "Taming of the Shrew" are ex-marital partners who are battling with each other, on stage and off.

The score includes the title song plus "Wunderbar," "We Open in Venice" and more, more, more. Porter had a risque sense of humor that was expressed in some of his songs, but audiences back in the '40s were a bit more innocent and weren't always aware of Porter's meaning. Listen to the lyrics in "Kiss Me, Kate," and you may find new meaning in them.

Helen Nathan is good as the feisty Lilli-Kate, Daniel McDonald is Fred-Petruccio, Alexandra Auty is Lois-Bianca, and Lee Cook and John Calucci have a good time as the gangsters who sing "Brush Up Your Shakespeare." McDonald is responsible for the breezy direction.

You'll enjoy. The buffet is very good. This particular score, always worth hearing, is worth hearing again.


"Before It Hits Home," a contemporary drama about a black family and how members of the clan cope with the realization that one of its members has AIDS, will continue at Washington's Arena Stage through March 2, in repertory with "Born Guilty," another new play. Baltimore's Trazana Beverly has a starring role in "Before it Hits Home." Call (202) 488-3300 for information.


"Starlight Express," in its third week at the Lyric Opera House, will give its 500th on-the-road performance tonight at 8. The show has already played 37 cities. It will continue at the Lyric through Feb. 17.


It looks as though Sylvester Stallone is going to concentrate on 1/8 comedy. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Stallone has been signed to do "Stop or My Mom Will Shoot," which Ivan Reitman will produce. It is being written by Will Davies and Will Osborne who did "Twins," the Reitman-directed film that did so much for Arnold Schwarzenegger's career.

Stallone recently finished "Oscar," a comedy about a mobster who wants to go straight. He has also been signed to so "Bartholomew vs. Neff," a comedy written by John Hughes ("Home Alone"). In "Stop or My Mom Will Shoot," Stallone will play a cop whose mother witnesses a murder.

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