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Showbuzz

April 6, 1999
Web posted at: 5:35 p.m. EDT (2135 GMT)

Today's buzz stories:

Wynette

Lawsuit blames Wynette's husband, doctor for her death

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (CNN) -- Almost a year after legendary country singer Tammy Wynette was found dead at her Nashville home, three of her daughters filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit against her husband and her doctor.

In legal documents, daughters Tina Jones, Jackie Daly and Georgette Smith charged that Dr. Wallis Marsh of Pittsburgh did not monitor Wynette's condition closely enough and overprescribed medication.

They also said George Richey, Wynette's fifth husband, did not get medical care for her when Dr. Marsh told him to on the day of her death.

Nashville Medical Examiner Bruce Levy said on Monday he was reconsidering the daughters' request to have Wynette's body exhumed and autopsied.

Tammy Wynette died April 6, 1998. Her husband found her body, and Dr. Marsh flew down from Pittsburgh to sign the death certificate, where he listed a "pulmonary embolism" as the cause of death.

Of Wynette's many country hits, "Stand By Your Man" and "D-I- V-O-R-C-E" are two of the best loved.

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New York theater loses innovative producer

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Lucille Lortel once said, "If you love theater, you must be innovative." She followed that advice throughout her long professional life, bringing about 500 plays into production over more than 70 years. Lortel died Sunday at the age of 98.

Lortel's career in theater began with bit parts in the 1920s. Within a few years, she began helping to produce and stage plays. She made her mark in this role, bringing many new actors and playwrights to the American stage.

Lortel's eye for and confidence in young talent boosted the careers of countless actors, composers, designers, directors and playwrights. Among those she discovered were Eva Marie Saint, Zero Mostel, Edward Albee, Samuel Beckett, Sean O'Casey, Peter Falk and George Peppard.

In 1955, her husband gave her the Theatre de Lys -- now called the Lucille Lortel Theater -- in Greenwich Village as a 24th anniversary gift. Its first production was a hugely popular adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's and Kurt Weill's "Threepenny Opera" that made off-Broadway famous.

She also helped start the White Barn Theater, which is still thriving in Westport, Connecticut.

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Johnson

No deal between Boyz II Men, Magic Johnson Music Management

BEVERLY HILLS, California (CNN) -- It looks like the first deal for Magic Johnson's music management company has gone sour, or perhaps was announced prematurely. The soul/R&B group Boyz II Men has not signed a contract with Johnson's company, as a news release stated last week.

Nathan Morris, one of the founders of the Grammy-winning group from Philadelphia, said the band is sticking with its current manager, Quadree El-Amin, of Southpaw Entertainment.

MJM director Phil Robinson said Friday, he was shocked and upset to learn that members of the group were not consulted about the management negotiations and he hoped they had not caused them any problems or embarrassment.

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Paul Simon (top, left) and Bob Dylan

Sixties survivors Dylan and Simon to tour together

NEW YORK (CNN) -- It's confirmed: A summer tour starting in Colorado Springs, Colorado on June 6 will put Bob Dylan and Paul Simon on the same concert stage for the first time. The possibility of the pair touring together has been rumored since March.

Each will play a 75-minute set, and in some cities their faithful fans will be treated to a few duets. The tour will conclude on July 31 at Jones Beach on New York's Long Island.

Dylan still tours almost constantly, and told USA Today, he is excited about working with Simon. "He's written extraordinary songs, hasn't he?" Dylan said. "I consider him one of the preeminent songwriters of the times. Every song he does has a vitality you don't find everywhere."

Simon last toured in 1992. On the upcoming summer tour he said, "I like Bob, I like his music. I've known him for a long time, and it's a nice chance to play. I like the idea of where we came from and what we evolved into. We came out of the same early rock 'n' roll context and took similar routes, although mine's more urban."

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"Xena: Warrior Princess"

'Xena: Warrior Princess' episode withdrawn after Hindu complaints

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- The producers of "Xena: Warrior Princess" have decided not to re-air an episode which makes reference to the Hindu deities Lord Krishna and Hanuman.

Renaissance Pictures apologized Monday to the Hindu community for offending them and said the company will not produce any further episodes involving Hindu deities.

"Xena: Warrior Princess" is an action-adventure series which stars Lucy Lawless as Xena.

"We certainly had no intention of offending anyone," a spokesperson for the studio said.

The episode in question first aired in February, and quickly drew complaints from a Hindu group, the World Vaishnava Association.

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