Songbirds

It's tempting to call Dark Mischief a killer band, though that would be a slight exaggeration. Only Mike the bassist and Buli the guitarist are technically killers.

Love Song

It wasn't until this spring in Chicago that director Hal Prince saw how difficult it was for Carol Burnett to finish writing "Hollywood Arms." The play was in rehearsal there, and Prince realized one night they'd arrived at a scene that didn't work.

Life Of Bonnie

Bonnie Hunt has got to be TV's most unlikely sitcom star.It's not that she's unfunny--she steals just about everything she's in, from playing Renee Zellweger's wonderfully bitter sister in "Jerry Maguire" to her sharp and consistently hysterical appearances on the "Late Show with David Letterman." It's just that Hunt, 38, hasn't exactly had the best of luck on series television.Her new show, "Life With Bonnie," is her fifth sitcom in the last decade.

Miami Heat

Whoever coined the phrase "hotter than hell" must have visited the Everglades in July. It's about 96 degrees on this oppressive morning, with 110 percent humidity because some sadistic guys are walking around pumping extra moisture into the air.

Paging Doctor Phil

Stop Your Whining! Get Off Your Backside And Listen Up To The Tough Talk Of Oprah's Favorite Shrink, Five Days A Week. He's Now So Big He's Got His Own Show.

'Hairspray' Hits Broadway

Of all the minor miracles in the Broadway musical "Hairspray," nothing beats what happens at a place called Mr. Pinky's Hefty Hideaway. The Hideaway specializes in "quality clothes for quantity gals," and thank goodness someone's cornered that market.

Theater: 'Hairspray' Goes On Hot

The buzz on "Hairspray" is so loud, it's a wonder anyone can hear the orchestra. "Hairspray" is the latest movie turned Broadway musical, this one adapted from the John Waters campy 1988 comedy about a fat girl who triumphs.

So You Wanna Be A Star?

Joseph Negroni has a song he'd like to play. OK, it's really just the theme to "Jeopardy," but you've never heard it like this. Negroni is a human bongo. He cups his hands over his mouth and makes sounds that pop like a bag of Orville Redenbacher's, only in tune.

The Insiders

The Stock Scandal Involving Martha Stewart Has Pulled Back The Curtain On A World Where The Rich Pass Around Business Gossip The Way The Help Passes Out Canapes

Prime Time Crime

Television is not what you'd call the most inventive entertainment medium on the planet. One network strikes gold with a game show, everyone gets one. One program hits it big with corpses, suddenly the bodies start piling up.

Television: So Bad, It's Good

American Idol" is the Mae West of TV talent shows: when it's good, it's very good, but when it's bad, it's better. "Idol" is the first program since "The Gong Show" to understand that talented people are fine, but it's the terrible performers who are truly entertaining.

Television, Everything Old Is... Even Older

Television has long had an unhealthy appetite for nostalgia--how else do you explain two "Dukes of Hazzard" movies? Even so, the networks are planning a retro feeding frenzy in May, with reunion programs that revisit the good ("M*A*S*H," "L.A.

Television: Prairie Home Companions

It takes less than 40 minutes for the first person to start crying on "Frontier House." That's not so bad, given that "Frontier" is one of those semisadistic PBS shows where mild-mannered history buffs travel back in time to live just like the natives--in this case, like homesteaders in 1883 Montana.

Theater: Hiss, Family Robinson

I want to say one word about the Broadway production of "The Graduate." Plastic. Not the plastic that inspired the line in the 1967 movie where Benjamin Braddock received the most hilariously misbegotten career advice ever offered to a young college graduate.

Newsmakers

The Oscars made all kinds of history this year, and not just because they were the first awards where Russell Crowe didn't pick a fight. It was the longest show (4 hours, 23 minutes) and the first time African-Americans won the top acting awards.

SIX FEET UNDER OUR SKIN

People die every week on HBO'S "Six Feet Under," but even the corpses aren't as brain dead as the family of the next episode's stiff. Poor Harold Mossback had a heart attack in the back of a bus.

All Aboard The Crazy Train

Kelly Osbourne just got a tattoo. It's no big deal--a little heart tucked high on her left hip. "If I show you, you can't kill me," she tells her dad. Mr.

If Only It Were Just A Movie

My first thought, when I heard that CBS was making a September 11 movie featuring footage shot inside the World Trade Center, was do I really need to see that?

Eve Ensler Uses The V Word

Say what you will about "The Vagina Monologues," it is certainly truth in advertising. Vaginas. Monologues. No intermission. Which is why what happened one night in Boston last month was so surprising.

A Stritch In Time

It's not for nothing that Liz Smith describes her friend Elaine Stritch as "divinely difficult." "If being difficult is part of being true to yourself, then she's got a point," says Stritch. "Other than that, f--k her." Oh, my.

Tops Of The Morning

Tom and Nicole may now be the most famous unmarried couple in America, but Katie Couric and Matt Lauer run a close second. They've been cohosting the "Today" show for five years, and if you feel you know them because they come in for coffee every morning, you're not entirely wrong.

It Was A Precedent-Setting Year For Tv

Here's a depressing thought: 2001 may be the first year in recent memory that failed to produce any break-out television shows. That's right--not a single show that debuted this year seems poised to become a top 10 hit.There were a few modest additions: CBS's "The Guardian," the WB's "Smallville," Fox's "Bernie Mac." But none of them has created the big-ratings buzz that "C.S.I." or "The West Wing" or "Malcolm in the Middle" generated in their debut years.

Tales From Behind Enemy Lines

Tony Kushner was in Ireland on September 11, and by the time he got to New York his answering machine was filled with messages. "Are you going to cancel the play?" "You're not going to do the play now, right?" Talk about a lousy welcome home.

Raise A Glass For 'Ab Fab'

The waitress arrives and, along with her, the moment of truth. "What would you like to drink?" she asks Jennifer Saunders. This is what you might call a loaded question.

What Channel?

John Edward sees dead people. In fact, he talks to them--or, rather, they talk to him. Edward is the host of "Crossing Over," a sort of television seance that also happens to be the year's No. 1 new talk show.

Watch Your Back, Buffy

The tag line for the ABC drama "Alias" is "Sometimes the truth hurts," which is true enough for a show about a young woman who thinks she's a CIA agent only to discover she's been tricked into working for the enemy.But how about the stuff in "Alias" that somehow doesn't hurt its heroine, Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner)?

Anguish On The Airwaves

Television has always had a way of searing the most horrifying images into our national psyche. Corpses piled up in a Vietnamese village. A masked kidnapper waving a gun out a window at the Munich Olympics.

Television: The Queen Of Country Becomes A Sitcom

Remember Reba McEntire in the TV movie "The Gambler Returns"? Neither does she. "I played..." She stops to think. "Just a part. Just the female part." Or how about "Country Gold"? "I don't even remember doing it," she says.

Tv Comes Through

Television has a way of burning the most horrifying images into our national psyche. Bodies lying along a road during the Vietnam War. A masked kidnapper waving a gun out a window at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

Fighting The Good Fight

The price of war is always high, but in Hollywood it's getting downright exorbitant. The bill for "Pearl Harbor" weighed in at $135 million, and it would have been higher if Disney had paid more than $4.99 for the script.

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