Musical to close
The Broadway show “9 to 5: The Musical,” which features a score by Dolly Parton, will close Labor Day weekend, its producers announced Wednesday. The musical, which has had a disappointing four-month run, will have played 148 performances when it closes Sept. 6. A national tour is expected to start in September 2010. The show is based on the 1980 film “9 to 5” and stars Allison Janney, Stephanie J. Brock and Megan Hilty as three office workers who plot against their boss, played by Mark Kudisch.
Howard joins ‘Eclipse’
Bryce Dallas Howard is no stranger to blockbusters. She’s co-starred in “Spider-Man 3” and “Terminator Salvation.” Now she’ll bite into another role, having been cast as the vampire Victoria in “Eclipse,” the third film in the “Twilight” series. Rachelle Lefevre played the part in the first two movies, “Twilight” and the upcoming “New Moon.” According to Summit Entertainment, Lefevre isn’t returning because of a scheduling conflict.
Barker speaks up
Bob Barker, formerly of “The Price is Right” and a longtime animal rights activist, has asked the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina to stop exhibiting bears in pitlike enclosures at three zoos. According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, Barker met Tuesday with Principal Chief Michell Hicks and five members of the tribal council. Barker asked the bears be turned over to a sanctuary in California. The bears are displayed in walled enclosures set into the ground. Hicks said the tribe follows federal regulations in caring for the bears.
Madonna has added a new job to her resume — new international correspondent for Israel’s biggest daily newspaper. Her byline appears on the front of page of Wednesday’s Yediot Ahronot with an excerpt from her upcoming article “How My Life Changed.” The full article, which was translated by the paper into Hebrew, will be published Friday. Madonna isn’t Jewish, but she has adopted the Hebrew name of Esther and studies Jewish mysticism. She made a private trip to Israel in 2004.
Launching a label
Country singer Gretchen Wilson has plans to start her own record label. Wilson, best known for her 2004 hit “Redneck Woman,” said Wednesday in an interview that if things go as planned, she’ll have a new single in September, followed by an album in November. Sony Music Nashville announced Tuesday that Wilson and the company parted ways after three albums. Sony said the split was mutual. And what does Wilson want to call her new label? Redneck Records, of course.
Compiled from wire reports by Melissa Sullivan