Hilary Swank's buying baby furniture -- what does it mean?

The Baltimore Sun

WHAT DOES this mean? Hilary Swank, the two-time Oscar winner, was shopping for a baby bed at Bellini in Beverly Hills. Her boyfriend, agent John Campisi, accompanied her. Maybe she was just getting a gift for an expectant friend. Or for herself?

More shopping

Britney Spears was also spotted shopping in Beverly Hills -- not for baby furniture, blessedly! She popped into Niketown. Spears bought -- at the suggestion of store manager, Kevin Oberle -- a pair of Air Zoom Vomero shoes. (Oberle is also a top distance runner.) These have a padded bottom made of high-tech foam called "Cushlon." She also purchased a tank top and shorts, the staples of her wardrobe.

Despite the disorder of her personal life -- now at odds with mama Lynne Spears -- the pop princess insists she is working out and getting back in shape for another shot at stardom.

Behind the ferns

Conrad Black, the Canadian publisher, is awaiting a jury verdict in his Chicago trial where he stands accused of looting his own newspaper company for money, which some say he used for personal high living.

Conrad's wife, the beautiful Barbara Amiel, has kept a very low profile while all this has gone on. She doesn't even like to eat out in the Windy City for fear of attracting attention. Protesting their mutual innocence, the Blacks instead dine regularly in the Ritz Carlton Hotel, but not in their suite or in any of the dining rooms. They have a special place in the lobby surrounded by vast palms and ferns and planted trees and here they have a table set with the most exquisite abundance and nobody even gets a glimpse at them. They are extravagantly invisible.

Closing lines

Here's Raul Esparza speaking onstage to the closing night audience of Company recently.

The Tony-nominated actor in the revival of Stephen Sondheim's musical had received several standing ovations during this final performance.

In his curtain speech, Esparza praised the composer, the show, his cast mates, and he even brought the understudies onstage. He said, "People ask -- what happened to Broadway? But I think we are heading for another Golden Age. And when we talk about it, we'll say we were lucky to be there!"

This and that

Who was where on July 4? If you'd been on the Isle of Capri here's who you might have seen stroll by -- Barbra Streisand, her son Jason Gould, her husband, James Brolin. Also -- Barry Diller, Mariah Carey, Quincy Jones, Sandy Gallin, and singer Babyface. ... Why such shock and awe that Sex and the City will be a feature film? "Exclusive news!" yelled one media outlet after another. But didn't Sarah Jessica Parker announce this on Entertainment Tonight back on June 7? She did. Sarah, Kristin Davis, Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon will reunite on the big screen. ... Here's an e-mail from press agent Peggy Siegal over the Fourth at the advent of the Valentino party in Rome: "Hi, Liz. I just came back from a private tour of the Vatican!"

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