Enter Paltrow, stage left
LONDON — Gwyneth Paltrow plans to make her British theater debut in the spring with her “Shakespeare in Love” director John Madden in charge.
“We kind of agreed (to) it in principle a week ago,” Madden said Friday, “having spent a great deal of time in ’Shakespeare in Love’ with me saying to her, ’You’ve got to go on the stage.”’
Paltrow is due to open at London’s Donmar Warehouse theater in the same part that won Mary-Louise Parker a Tony Award for best actress in “Proof” in June.
David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, still running on Broadway in New York, will cast Paltrow as Catherine, a talented young woman who has inherited her father’s mathematical genius — and may also have inherited his mental instability.
The remaining three roles have yet to be cast, though Madden said he expected the remainder of the company to be British.
The joint presence of Paltrow and Madden might seem a dry run for an eventual film of the play, but Madden — who began directing in the theater in London and New York before shifting to film — said such thinking is premature.
“We’re doing this as a piece of theater,” he said in an interview. “That’s what the focus is and what the raison d’etre is.”
“Proof” begins rehearsals April 8 and starts previews May 9, before a May 15 opening night. The limited run will end June 15.
Paltrow’s mother, Blythe Danner, is a Broadway veteran who most recently starred last spring in the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies,” earning a Tony nomination.
Estefan sues actor
MIAMI — Music mogul Emilio Estefan Jr., the husband of singer Gloria Estefan, has sued an aspiring Venezuelan actor, accusing him of defamation and abuse of process.
The Circuit Court lawsuit filed Thursday describes Juan Carlos Diaz as an unwanted trespasser who has harassed the Estefans. Police records show Diaz twice has been issued a trespassing warning, one at the Estefan’s mansion and the other at the gym.
Estefan, his wife and his lawyers said they would have preferred to keep accusations in the courts. Estefan said Diaz’s repeated public statements accusing him of making threats and unwanted sexual advances forced them to speak publicly.
A hearing to grant Estefan a permanent restraining order against Diaz has been pushed back to Feb. 21. He already has a temporary restraining order.
Ellis Rubin, Diaz’s attorney, did not immediately return a call for comment.
Emilio Estefan received the Person of the Year award from the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 2000. He has produced hits for his wife, Ricky Martin, Jon Secada, Shakira and others.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Phoenix Pictures has acquired the film rights for “Misconception,” a legal thriller co-written by O.J. Simpson defense attorney Robert Shapiro.
Shapiro co-authored “Misconception” with novelist, screenwriter and director Walt Becker.
Published last spring, “Misconception” follows a surgeon general nominee who becomes the target of an anti-abortion extremist in a scandal over an extramarital affair, a pregnant lover and an illegally procured abortion drug.
Shapiro and Becker will be executive producers on the film, the production company said Thursday.
Phoenix Pictures’ films include Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “The 6th Day” and the upcoming thriller “Basic” from director John McTiernan.
Shapiro was a member of Simpson’s defense team when he was acquitted in the 1994 murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. Simpson later was found liable for their deaths in a civil trial and ordered to pay $33.5 million in damages. Shapiro did not represent him at that trial.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Broward judge sent actor Brad Renfro to jail after he turned himself in for a probation violation.
The star of the 1994 film “The Client” appeared in court Thursday after he was charged with driving without a license and public intoxication Jan. 14 near Knoxville, Tenn., his hometown.
Renfro, 19, is serving probation for trying to steal a yacht in August 2000.
Circuit Judge Ronald J. Rothschild ordered Renfro’s arrest.
“The fact that you’re back here accused of a crime is grounds to detain you,” Rothschild said.
Authorities said Renfro and a friend had tried to steal a 45-foot yacht from Holiday Harbor in Fort Lauderdale. As they motored away, they forgot to untie all the docking lines, which snagged the $175,000 vessel, damaging its stern.
In 1998, the actor was charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana, but avoided jail time with a plea deal.
Renfro’s movie credits include “Ghost World,” “Bully” and “Apt Pupil.”