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TOURING & FESTIVAL NEWS: Walther Productions Moves All Good Festival To July 9-11

(CelebrityAccess News Service) – Walther Productions is moving its flagship music festival, the All Good Music Festival into thick of the summer festival season. The newly crowned All Good Summer Festival and Campout, traditionally held the weekend before Memorial Day, will celebrate its ninth annual edition July 9-11 at Marvin’s Mountaintop in Masontown, WV, the site of last year’s event.

The scenic 643-acre site attracted thousands of festival-goers last year to the wooded rolling hills of West Virginia just 15 miles southeast of Morgantown. But this year, promoter Tim Walther promises festival goers that they will not have to battle the cold weather complications that arrived in 2002 and 2003.

“Two years ago, we went from two inches of rain and 40 degrees one day to freezing temps and snow showers the next,” said Walther. “We certainly cannot control the weather, but we can assure you that it will not snow on this year’s All Good summer celebration. So come join us this summer in the luscious green rolling fields nestled high in the West Virginia mountains overlooking Cheat River at Marvin’s Mountaintop. The weather being cooler in the mountains promises to serve as a retreat from summer heat and humidity as opposed to the foundation for another Survivor episode.”

“I can’t figure out if I’m just shamelessly self-promoting or if I have cabin fever,” said Walther, whose winter activities have been confined to programming the all-new Funk Box in Baltimore and promoting at several theaters in the Baltimore-Washington corridor. “But I am real excited about this festival season …it’s gonna be a hot one.” –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

The Pixies To Reunite With An April Tour Set

(CelebrityAccess News Service) – The Pixies are going to perform together for the first time in more than a decade. Acclaimed as the most influential pioneer of the late '80s alt/rock movement and who effectively blazed the path for groups like Nirvana, Radiohead and Pearl Jam to rise to superstardom, The Pixies have officially confirmed their much-anticipated reunion. The original line-up – Frank Black/vocals, guitar; Joey Santiago/guitar; Kim Deal/bass; and David Lovering/drums – are already holed up in a Southern California rehearsal space working together for the first time since they disbanded in 1993.

In April, The Pixies will kick off an 11-city "warm up" tour of North America, marking the first time they've toured together since 1992's massive "ZOO TV" in support of U2. This string of dates will culminate on May 1 when the band co-headlines (with Radiohead and Kraftwerk) the first night of this year's Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival to be held at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio, CA. The band will then embark on a European tour starting May 28 and ending July 10.

Later this year, 4AD/Beggars Banquet will release PIXIES, a DVD that features four elements: eight Pixies' videos ("Debaser," "Here Comes Your Man," "Monkey Gone to Heaven," "Velouria," "Dig For Fire/Allison," "Alec Eiffel," and "Head On;" a live concert filmed in 1988 at the Town and Country Club in London; the definitive Pixies documentary entitled "Gouge," which features interviews with Radiohead's Thom Yorke, David Bowie, Bono, among others, as well as "behind the scenes" footage. A "best of" album with the working title "Wave Of Mutilation – Best of Pixies" will be in-stores later this year and will offer twenty-three tracks including a remixed "Debaser," "Here Comes Your Man," "Gigantic," "Allison," "Nimrod's Son," "Dig For Fire," and "Monkey Gone to Heaven."

The Pixies formed in Boston in 1986 when Charles Thompson dropped out of college and convinced his friend and roommate, Joey Santiago, to do the same. The two recruited bassist Kim Deal who suggested drummer David Lovering join the group, and the lineup was made official. Thompson adopted the stage name Black Francis and the group named themselves The Pixies after flipping through a dictionary. The Pixies quickly gained a cult following as well as critical acclaim for their signature blend of screaming punk noise, indie guitar rock, classic pop, and surf rock riffs mixed with impossible-to-ignore melodic hooks and Francis' bizarre lyrics about religion, UFOs and metaphysics – their own unique sound.

During their six years together, The Pixies released five albums on the 4AD label – "Come on Pilgrim" (1987); "Surfer Rosa" (1988); “Doolittle” (1989); "Bossanova" (1990) and "Trompe Le Monde" (1991). Experiencing particular success in the U.K. and Europe, The Pixies played sold-out festivals and received a multitude of fan, peer and critical acclaim – the U.K.'s NME named "Doolittle" the "Second Best Album Ever." The band's influence was far-reaching: U2's Bono referred to The Pixies as "one of America's greatest bands ever;" David Bowie called their work "just about the most compelling music of the entire '80s," and Kurt Cobain, who identified "Surfer Rosa" as his favorite album of that entire decade, confessed, when writing "Smells Like Teen Spirit," that, "Basically, I was ripping off The Pixies."

Tour dates for The Pixies' reunion tour will be announced shortly. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Wrist Injury Cancels Ryan Adams Tour

(CelebrityAccess News Service) – Ryan Adams will undergo surgery this week to repair a broken left wrist. His recently announced March tour dates in the UK and United States will be canceled while he recovers and completes physical therapy. Adam's broke his wrist during a show in Liverpool, England on January 22. About 90 minutes into the set, Adams was singing his song "Shadowlands" to the enthusiastic crowd from the edge of the stage. He took a step forward, and fell. He finished the song but had to cancel the remainder of the concert.

Adams was to headline the tour in support of his critically acclaimed CD "Rock N Roll" (released November 4), as well as his two EPs, "Love Is Hell Part 1" and "Love Is Hell Part 2." While "Rock N Roll" continues to heighten Adams' reputation as one of today's most prolific songwriters, it is also his first release on which he played all of the guitars and many of the other instruments. — Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Winter Chill Claims Two Shows On Broadway

NEW YORK (AP) — New York's chilly winter season has claimed two big Broadway musicals and hurt several long-running shows.

"Gypsy," starring Bernadette Peters, and "Never Gonna Dance," a homage to the 1936 Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers film "Swing Time," will both close before the end of the month, done in by declining box-office receipts and frigid weather.

In a statement, the producers of "Never Gonna Dance" said the show "has not been able to build an audience and survive the devastating industrywide impact of the current record-breaking cold weather." Broadway was particularly hard hit last week when a big snowstorm hit New York Tuesday Jan. 27, the evening before a two-performance day.

"The winter is always a difficult time for shows that don't come out of the Christmas season quite as strongly as they would like," Jed Bernstein, head of the League of American Theatres and Producers, said Monday. "The wet and cold weather has not helped anything in New York, whether it is the restaurants, the retailers or the theater."

The revival of "Gypsy," which features Peters as the domineering mother of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, folds Feb. 28 at the Shubert Theatre after 347 performances, while "Never Gonna Dance" calls it quits Feb. 15 after only 84 performances.

The weather particularly staggered several veteran musicals, with "42nd Street," "Rent," "Beauty and Beast" and "Aida," all playing to less than 50 percent capacity for the week ending Feb. 1.

There were a few bright spots. "The Producers," with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick headlining, sold out, doing its customary $1 million-plus business. "The Lion King" "Mamma Mia!" and "Hairspray" slipped a bit, but all three managed to reach more than 80 percent capacity.

"Gypsy," which reportedly has recouped only about 40 percent of its investment, opened last April to generally positive notices. For the week ending Feb. 1, it grossed $360,035, about $140,000 below its weekly break-even point.

"Dance" will close one week after "Taboo," the Boy George musical produced by Rosie O'Donnell, which had announced last month that it will fold Feb. 8.

"Never Gonna Dance" has a new book by Jeffrey Hatcher and features the music of Jerome Kern, including such standards as "The Way You Look Tonight," "A Fine Romance" and the title song.

The show, which stars Noah Racey and Nancy Lemenager in what are the Astaire and Rogers roles, has struggled at the box office ever since opening Dec. 4 to mostly mixed reviews. For the week ending Feb. 1, the musical grossed $242,002, filling only 41 percent of the seats at the Broadhurst Theatre.

Dion Cancels Weekend Shows In Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Celine Dion ended her Friday show early and canceled weekend performances after suffering an upper respiratory infection, her publicist said Monday.

Kim Jakwerth said Dion will return to the stage Wednesday to perform her show, "A New Day," at Caesars Palace hotel-casino.

The show, slated to run until 2006, is dark on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Dion, 35, is best known for her hit song "My Heart Will Go On" from the movie "Titanic."


On the Net:

School Cans MTV Show Due To Super Bowl

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Officials reneged on a plan to allow MTV to film a reality show at an Orange County high school, citing the network's Super Bowl halftime show that ended with pop singer Janet Jackson exposing her breast.

Laguna Beach Unified School District board members, faced with opposition from angry parents, voted unanimously Wednesday to forbid the network to chronicle the lives of students at Laguna Beach High School.

Board members had approved the deal last week and shooting began off school grounds on Tuesday. Depending on the number of episodes aired, the district was to make $12,000 to $40,000, plus royalties, for college scholarships.

Board members said they made the shift after the MTV-produced Super Bowl halftime performance when Justin Timberlake ripped off part of Jackson's costume, revealing her right breast.

"The tenor of the landscape has changed in light of the events during the Super Bowl," said school board member Bob Whalen. "It has put us in a difficult position with the production in our community."

Parents, some of whom were uncomfortable with students auditioning for MTV even before the halftime show, attended Wednesday's special meeting and angrily demanded the district scrap the deal.

Board members worried the deal would not allow the district to protect students.

"Last week it didn't seem like the contract was counter to the district's mission, which is the education of the students," board member Kathryn Turner said. "This week it does."

MTV spokeswoman Janet Hill said in a prepared statement that the network regretted the board's decision. She said producers will discuss whether to continue with the program by filming the students off school grounds.

Festival Doesn't Want To Use Brown's Name

AUGUSTA, GA (AP) — With James Brown facing a domestic violence charge, a music festival in his hometown no longer wants to name itself after the Godfather of Soul.

Organizers of the event once dubbed the James Brown Music Festival said the backlash over the singer's recent arrest made it hard to find corporate sponsors. The Greater Augusta Arts Council said the annual May event would revert to its original name, the Garden City Music Festival.

Brown was arrested at his Beech Island, S.C., home last week on charges he pushed his wife, 33-year-old Tomi Rae Brown, to the floor during an argument in a bedroom and threatened to kill her. She was treated for scratches and bruises, and a mug shot of the 70-year-old Brown with mussed hair was widely distributed.

Whether Brown will still perform at the festival is uncertain, but the city is moving forward with plans for a $40,000 bronze statue of him, scheduled to go on display the day before the music festival.

Officials approved a $10,000 payment toward the monument's construction Wednesday without discussion.

Brown grew up in Augusta and has had offices and a radio station in the city.