Musician writes play based on Poe's works

Musician writes playbased on Poe's works
NEW YORK -- Rock musician Lou Reed, who gained fame writing about drugs and the seedy underbelly of New York, has a kindred spirit in Edgar Allan Poe.
On Tuesday, in collaboration with avant-garde theater director Robert Wilson, Reed, 59, will usher in a new song cycle based on Poe's works. He has written the play and 13 songs for "POEtry," which runs through Dec. 8 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
"I realized that when I was younger, I had really missed out on Poe -- the subtleties, the nuances, the psychology," Reed said in Sunday's editions of the Daily News. "You can't just say he was macabre and had a sense of dread. He was interested in psychology -- why you do things. It's very easy for any contemporary person to relate to Poe and the psychological things that he's interested in."
"POEtry" was inspired by famous Poe works such as "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Fall of the House of Usher," but Reed reinterprets them for a modern audience.
"For the truly obsessive, they can get the original Poe," Reed says. "I amplify it. I think it's more understandable."
Reed formed Velvet Underground in 1964 before beginning a solo career in 1970. His hits include "Walk on the Wild Side," "Sweet Jane" and "Rock and Roll."
Actress Swank findsinequality in new role
LOS ANGELES -- King Louis XVI and wife Marie Antoinette got equal treatment in the French Revolution -- both lost their heads on the guillotine.
But actress Hilary Swank believes a double standard was at work in the treatment of Jeanne de la Motte Valois, whose conniving provoked a scandal that helped stir French citizens against the monarchy.
Swank stars in the new costume drama "The Affair of the Necklace," based on Jeanne's impersonation as a Marie Antoinette confidante to obtain a priceless necklace, using the proceeds to buy back her unjustly confiscated family estate. The scandal and ensuing criminal trial further eroded public sentiment for the already shaky royal family.
Jeanne suffered a public whipping and was exiled from France. Had a man masterminded the ruse, though, perceptions would have been far different, Swank says.
"She was a woman very out of her time," Swank said in an interview last week. "Had a man done that, I don't think it would have been as big of a deal. Or it would have been as big of a deal, but people would have responded to it differently.
Swank, 27, won an Oscar for "Boys Don't Cry." She also appeared in "The Next Karate Kid" and the film version of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and she played Carly Reynolds in TV's "Beverly Hills 90210."
The idleness of March?Not for Liza Minnelli
NEW YORK -- March will be a busy month for Liza Minnelli, who plans a wedding and a television tribute.
The entertainer and producer David Gest will marry March 2, Gest's publicist said.
"I am the happiest I've ever been," Minnelli, 55, said in a statement. "Everything I've been through was worth it to find David."
It is the first marriage for Gest and the fourth for Minnelli.
The two were introduced by Michael Jackson when Minnelli, the daughter of filmmaker Vincente Minnelli and actress Judy Garland, appeared on Gest's production of the singer's 30th anniversary special.
Jackson and his brother Tito will serve as best men at the ceremony.
Today's birthdays
Actor James Avery is 53. Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg is 44. Rock musician Charlie Burchill (Simple Minds) is 42. Rock musician Charlie Benante (Anthrax) is 39. Rock musician Mike Bordin (Faith No More) is 39. Actor Fisher Stevens is 38. Actress Robin Givens is 37. Rapper Skoob (DAS EFX) is 31. Black Entertainment Television host Rachel is 29. Actor Jaleel White is 25.

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