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Showbuzz

May 24, 1999
Web posted at: 3:58 p.m. EDT (1958 GMT)

Today's buzz stories:

When it comes to selling tickets, Bruce Springsteen is still The Boss

Springtime for Springsteen

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (CNN) -- The Boss is still in demand, perhaps hotter than ever before. Tickets to Bruce Springsteen's upcoming string of concerts -- this time at Continental Airlines Arena in his home state -- went on sale over the weekend. By Sunday night, 10 shows were sold out, 10 more were added, and 308,000 tickets had been paid for. The 15-night stand runs from July 16 through August 12.

Springsteen is to be teamed in concert with the E Street Band for the first time in more than a decade, although the musicians worked together in the studio for a 1995 greatest-hits album. The band and singer last mounted a major tour together in 1988 and '89. The first 10 of the new shows -- more than 200,000 tickets -- sold out in just five hours. Promoters say fans flooded phone lines at the rate of 15,000 calls per minute.

The demand for tickets even prompted three Newark firefighters to cut in line, officials said. The firefighters apparently pulled up to a Ticketmaster outlet in their fire truck just before tickets went on sale. Saying they were doing a fire inspection, the firefighters walked inside -- while fans waited outside -- and bought four tickets to see the Boss.

One fan says that when the firefighters left, one said getting the tickets was "one of the perks of the job." The Newark fire department, however, conducted an internal investigation after fans complained. A spokesman for the department says the firefighters would not be allowed to keep the tickets.

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Martin mania hits Dallas

DALLAS (CNN) -- Speaking of hot tickets, Ricky Martin caused a stir in Texas this past weekend. Hundreds of screaming and singing fans withstood 90-degree heat to catch a glimpse of the Latin music star who's skyrocketed to fame with the release of his first English-language album.

Martin appeared at NorthPark Center, an upscale shopping mall, for a two-hour autograph session Saturday. He's currently promoting the self-titled album, which includes the hit single, "Livin' la Vida Loca."

Cover-boy on several national magazines, the 27-year-old Martin -- who first gained fame as a teen in the Latin pop group Menudo -- is attracting throngs wherever he goes. Two weeks ago, an enthusiastic crowd that gathered to see him at a Manhattan record store reportedly outnumbered the people across the street lined up for an advance screening of the new "Star Wars" film.

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Lucas

Lucas bids for part of Presidio

SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- And as long as "Star Wars" has come up -- and when doesn't it? -- George Lucas is hoping to claim some prime coastal land in San Francisco. He's made a bid for a 23-acre piece of the Presidio, a former Army base that covers 1,480 acres near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Lucas says he wants to use the site to build a visual effects archive and digital-training institute. He says he envisions a 15-acre great lawn with terraced promenades and a cafe for public use.

But Lucas has some competition. Shorenstein Co., a powerful developer, has proposed the 10-building Presidio Village, with offices for CNET and other technology firms; 459 units of housing arranged around two courtyards; retail space; and a central green.

The Presidio's board of directors is to choose Thursday between two proposals.

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Bernhard

Bernhard on the Middle East: Make phone calls, not war

TEL AVIV, Israel (CNN) -- Now for a star on wars. And when to stop them.

Actress-comedienne Sandra Bernhard is over it with this Palestinian-Israeli thing. She says it's time for Israelis and Palestinians to end their conflict.

On a weekend performance trip to the region, she picked up on how many Israelis seem to enjoy using cell phones. With such easy communication at hand, Bernhard said she thinks Israelis and Palestinians are "lazy" people who deserve each other.

"You guys are too much," she told the Israelis. "Just get on the phone and call the Palestinians. You are all the same, I'm telling you. There is no reason for this to go on any longer."

No word on whether Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak broke off his coalition-building effort to rush to the phone and yak with Yasser Arafat on La Bernhard's advice.

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