A recent AIDS benefit concert in memory...


A recent AIDS benefit concert in memory of Donald C. Arenth netted $2,160 for HERO, the Health Education Resource Organization that backs programs and services for people with HIV disease and AIDS. Andrew A. Barasda Jr., executive director of HERO, thanked Frederick C. Petrich and others for their part in arranging the concert by an ecumenical community choir and four organists at Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church on Park Avenue May 12.

Stage party

Following Friday's performance of "The Mystery of Irma Vep" at Center Stage, the company and 92 Star, WYST-FM, will host a post-performance party on the theater's mezzanine level. Patrons who attend this production are invited to join cast members Will Love and Derek D. Smith. Barry McKay of 92 Star is the disc jockey for the event. Drawings will be held for T-shirts, gift certificates to local restaurants and a subscription to the Center Stage 1991-92 season. Tickets are on sale now for that performance and all performances through June 16. Tickets can be purchased at the box office, 700 N. Calvert St., or by calling 332-0033.

"China Beach' is back

Colleen McMurphy is back. But you have just seven more hours to catch her. After that, she's gone, perhaps forever. McMurphy is the tender, troubled protagonist of "China Beach," the exceptional drama series recently canceled by ABC. The drama series, which premiered April 26, 1988, told of McMurphy, a young woman nurse serving in Vietnam. In 64 hour episodes, the series revealed how that experience continues to affect a generation. "China Beach" told its stories with rare feeling and intelligence for television, winning four Emmys along the way, including one for Dana Delany, the actress who plays McMurphy. "China Beach" hasn't aired since Dec. 8 of last year. It ranked No. 107 last season, out of 131 shows. In tonight's show (10 p.m., Channel 13), McMurphy attends a wedding in 1983. The song "I Could Have Danced All Night" stirs her memories of the war, and the show jumps to China Beach in 1969. The medical unit was staging its version of "My Fair Lady" when McMurphy realized her deep feelings for Dr. Dick Richard (Robert Picardo). In next week's episode, the series jumps to 1975 to depict the fall of Saigon.

: George Lucas, creator of the science fiction series and director of the 1977 original, plans to develop and produce a second trilogy of movies from "a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away," according to Lucasfilm Ltd. spokeswoman Lynne Hale. "George Lucas said he will do the next trilogy of 'Star Wars,' " Hale said. Hale did not specify when the first film would be made, but expected the three to be completed over the next five to seven years. Analysts project that a new "Star Wars" movie could be released to theaters by 1997. It is believed to be the first time Lucasfilm has confirmed that there would be a new series of Star Wars adventures, although Lucas has hinted as much for some time. While Hale said "everything at this stage is speculative," the next Star Wars trilogy is believed to be a "prequel" to the original, which would follow the early adventures of Ben "Obi-Wan" Kenobi, Darth Vadar and the child Luke Skywalker. "George Lucas has an idea of what he wants to do but we are not not even pre-production at this stage," said Hale. Any news of a "Star Wars" movie sparks excitement in Hollywood because it represents "the purest opportunity for a true Hollywood blockbuster," said Paul Bricault, an analyst with a Carmel, Calif. research firm. After all, 1977's "Star Wars" ($267.4 million), 1980's "The Empire Strikes Back" ($222.6 million) and 1983's "Return of the Jedi" ($252.4 million) form the biggest series of movies in Hollywood history. In total, the movies earned about $1.4 billion in today's dollars, Bricault said.

Coffee, tea or snake:

Can snakes fly? Ask the folks who found a four-foot python in an overhead luggage compartment on a flight from Orlando to New York City. Shortly after Delta flight 236 took off Saturday morning from Orlando International Airport, a passenger putting belongings in the compartment was surprised by the slippery stowaway. Word spread very quickly. The non-poisonous constrictor didn't injure anyone, but did cause a bit of a stir until another passenger helped bag the brown, yellow and tan reptile. The slinky freeloader spent the rest of the flight in one of the plane's restrooms. Delta officials aren't sure how it got on the plane. No one had contacted Delta Monday about retrieving the python. The snake was taken to a shelter run by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York, where it was doing well Monday, said the ASPCA's George Watford. The python likely will be given to a zoo if no one claims it, Watford said.

Clancy explains:

Tom Clancy, a star presence at the huge American Booksellers Association gathering breaking camp in New York today, was asked what his new book, "The Sum of All Fears" -- out in the fall -- is about. He said nuclear terrorism. Pressed for details, he added: "Well, you know what nuclear is, right? You know what terrorism is, right? Put the two together, OK? That's my book."

Pryor recovering:

Richard Pryor, 50, left Los Angeles' UCLA Medical Center yesterday, five days after triple bypass surgery.

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