Live summer concerts to bring big names to ritzy L.I. enclave

Celebrity News

May 30, 2007|By Liz Smith | Liz Smith,Tribune Media Services

THE HAMPTONS in July and August! So much happens there during the summer months, but the coming series of live concerts on the grounds of the Ross School in East Hampton will probably rate at the top in terms of interest and attendance.

The setting is intimate and exquisite; the performing stars will be Prince, Billy Joel, James Taylor, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. At each event guests will enjoy living legends in concert, fine food, drink, art exhibits and luxurious lounges. (Tix are super-pricey, so luxury lounging is mandatory for those who can cough it up.)

Proceeds go to Ross School's Steven J. Ross Scholarship Fund. (These concerts are the brainchild of Steve's widow, Courtney Sale Ross.)

Dollar signs

Music genius and certified odd person Phil Spector, on trial in the death of actress Lana Clarkson, was rather miserly with his ex-wife, Ronnie, after their divorce. But Spector's trial has brought out that if he wasn't once-married to somebody, he could be awfully generous -- he was a lavish tipper; a $500 gratuity on a $55.25 restaurant tab, for instance. But he could be oddly penurious, too.

For several years he had the best L.A. Lakers season tickets, next to Jack Nicholson. Spector would always take his friend, the late lawyer Marvin Mitchelson, to the games. But Phil eventually declined to renew his tickets because he objected to the skyrocketing cost. At the time, Marvin expressed his astonishment: "Phil could afford to buy the team, the Staples Center and Los Angeles itself!"

All that saved Lakers money has secured Spector the best possible defense -- can it beat down a murder rap?

His hands are full

Blair Underwood has only two hands, but he juggles like nobody's business. As an actor, he's been seen in a recurring role on TV's The New Adventures of Old Christine and soon tackles HBO's new series In Treatment, playing a Navy fighter pilot home from Iraq who's not coping well.

As a director he's got the indie Bridge to Nowhere ready for release. This stars Danny Masterson, Ving Rhames and Bijou Phillips.

As a producer, Blair is working on the series Easy Money for The Learning Channel, about a group of lottery winners from St. Louis who went from modest to high-living overnight.

And as a novelist, Blair has joined with best-selling authors Tananarive Due and her husband, Steven Barnes, on a fiction thriller, Casanegra: A Tennyson Hardwick Story. It hits the stores in July. This is Underwood's second book. His first was the nonfiction hit Before I Got Here, a collection of anecdotes from parents about the existence of a child's soul before birth.


"Twenty years ago I was too egocentric and vain to even consider playing someone as physically unappealing as [the late President Richard M.] Nixon. Now, I don't care what I look like onstage." That's Frank Langella, Tony-nominated on Broadway in Frost/Nixon. Even today Langella is impressive enough, looks-wise, that this was offbeat casting.

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