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Good actors, one very bad doctor show up in unscripted 'Head Case'

The Baltimore Sun

I'M GOING to a party this week for Alexandra Wentworth in Manhattan. She just happens to be the comedy crazy wife of ABC's rising news star George Stephanopoulos, and maybe you remember back when she and George attempted a talk show?

Watching Ali last summer as she conducted her vacation obsession - netting crabs in the Hamptons' Mecox Bay with her two adorable daughters - little did I know she was percolating an epic TV bow. This show, titled Head Case, starts at 10 p.m. tomorrow on Starz Originals. Ali plays Dr. Elizabeth Goode, who is a very bad psychiatrist from what I can see. The doctor is, Ali says, "unorthodox and inappropriate" with her clients in this unscripted show, where all the referral clients in L.A. turn out to be celebrities and VIPs. (In one scene, this wild and woolly shrink simulates sex with patient Cindy Margolis. Others visiting Dr. Goode are actors Andy Dick, Jeff Gold- blum, Joel Madden, Greg Grunberg, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Jonathan Silverman and one of my personal favorites, Rosanna Arquette.

The veteran comic Steve Landesberg plays Dr. Goode's office partner, the staid and boring Freudian Dr. Myron Finkelstein. Most of his clients are dead.

But this is Ali's show from the get-go. Head Case is unusual; give it a shot!

The slogan for this show is something I admire: "America's greatest epidemic is celebrity. Meet the cure."

A 'Homecoming'

One of TV's most evil villains, Ian McShane (foul-mouthed and mustachioed in HBO's Deadwood) is also one of the most loved and charming actors in New York. He wins raves not just from fans but also from his acting cohorts in Harold Pinter's fiercely bittersweet 40-year-old drama The Homecoming. It's a smash at the Cort Theatre. What a treat to welcome The Homecoming back to Broadway.

As directed by Daniel Sullivan, Mr. Pinter's mysteriously menacing but still slyly humorous play is gifted with wondrous turns by Raul Esparza, Michael McKean, James Frain, Gareth Saxe and - best of all - Eve Best. She is fearlessly great and holds her own among these brilliant guys.

Glam for a cause

Save Feb. 28 for the smashing 20th anniversary of the Bailey House Auction Party at the Puck Building. They plan to raise a million plus for homeless New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.

ABC's Jeffrey Schneider and partner, architect Jeffrey Povero are the head guys behind this while Tim Gunn, John Bartlett, Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler host. Sotheby's Hugh Hildesley will wield the gavel. This is always a glam party, sexy and star-studded. It's also a good deed in a very scary world.

Leading ladies

Soon comes a new biography on Richard Burton, written by Michael Munn. In it, he links Burton to two famous women - Lana Turner, with whom he made a movie, and Marilyn Monroe.

Everybody's dead, so it's impossible to confirm. Lana encouraged intimacy with her leading men. She was a movie queen, and that was part of her function, as she saw it. But Burton doesn't seem like Monroe's type. Certainly not in his cocky early Hollywood days - before Elizabeth Taylor elevated him to superstardom.

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