December 14th, 2009
04:02 PM ET

Catherine Zeta-Jones takes on Broadway

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Catherine Zeta-Jones made her Broadway debut in “A Little Night Music” at the Walter Kerr theater Sunday night.

While reviews of the actresses performance have been mixed, the one thing most reviewers (particularly those with a Y chromosome) seem to agree on is that she looked positively gorgeous onstage and off.

The Academy Award winner took on the role of aging actress and habitual maneater Desiree Armfeldt, in the Stephen Sondheim revival, opposite veteran stage actress Angela Lansbury (who has been awarded raves as per usual).

In the New York Times, critic Ben Brantley praised Zeta-Jones’ "lively Broadway debut" and said: "In addition to being drop-dead gorgeous in David Farley's wasp-waisted period dresses, Ms Zeta Jones brings a decent voice, a supple dancer's body and a vulpine self-possession to her first appearance on Broadway."

Variety’s David Rooney praised the "luminous" Zeta-Jones, calling her "bewitching, confident and utterly natural.”

Emma Brockes of The Guardian was less bewitched by the actress’ beauty and more critical of her technique. “While Catherine Zeta-Jones can act and sing, she can't do both at once in this production – at least not in one take,” Brockes wrote in the London newspaper.

"When Zeta-Jones steps on stage the anxiety of the audience is palpable. You feel bad for her. At the opening bars of ‘Send in the Clowns’, she gets a look on her face like something terrible is about to happen, which it is."

Peter Marks of the Washington Post concurred, saying: “Catherine Zeta-Jones is not ideally cast as regretful, wistful Desiree in Trevor Nunn's virtually never-right revival of the suavely farcical ‘A Little Night Music.’”

The 40-year-old actress and mother of two children with husband Michael Douglas, began her career onstage in London’s West End, but has been more popular in television and movie roles for nearly two decades.

Despite the mixed reviews, fans of the actress are flocking to the theater. In a time when Broadway sales are struggling, tickets for “A Little Night Music,” are being offered for nearly $300 on eBay.

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Filed under: Celebrities
December 14th, 2009
01:42 PM ET

Hugh Grant ties one on and scores a mint

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Most folks lose their phones or send unfortunate text messages when they’re drunk. Hugh Grant  made a profit of $18 million.

The star of “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” was lauded as an art connoisseur in 2001 when he bought an Andy Warhol portrait of Elizabeth Taylor for $3 million. His timing was thought to be impeccable six years later when he sold it for $21 million in 2007.

But it was less of an eye for art and more of a love of drink that led to the sale. Grant recently admitted he had been on a two-day bender when he ordered an assistant to bid on the painting at a Sotheby’s auction in New York.

Grant’s faithful assistant indulged his boozy whim. “To my horror, she did, and even worse, got it,” Grant recently admitted in an interview while doing press for his new romantic comedy with Sarah Jessica Parker.

“It all began with drink. I'd been having a drunken dinner with my father the night before, and I said, 'We ought to go see my brother Jamie. You know, the Concorde's amazing.' And he said, 'I hear it is.' So I bought him a Concorde ticket and we went. We had lunch, drank a lot of beer. And I was thinking about some stuff in the Sotheby's auction and I saw the Liz Taylor.”

Grant also said that even though the sale of the painting bolstered his bank account, he wished he had hung onto it. "I slightly regret selling it now, even though it made me rich," the actor said in an interview posted on the UK's Daily Mail website.

The pop art painting was one of several portraits Warhol created at the height of his fame and creative output in the 1960s.

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