Buzz Briefs: Michael Jackson, Phil Spector

FILE ** In this Nov. 8, 2007 file photo, pop star Michael Jackson poses on the red carpet during the RainbowPUSH Coalition Los Angeles 10th annual awards in Los Angeles. Representatives for the king of Bahrain's son say he is suing pop star Michael Jackson for $7 million. The Bell Pottinger Group says Sheik Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa has filed a breach-of-contract case against the troubled singer at London's Royal Courts of Justice. The suit is to be heard Monday, Nov. 17, 2008. In 2006, Jackson announced he would put out a new album for Khalifa's record label 2 Seas Records. Media reports say Khalifa is arguing that the promised work was never delivered. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, file) AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, file


Jackson's "Thriller" To Hit Broadway

"Thriller" a Broadway musical?

Producer James L. Nederlander says he has acquired the rights for a stage version of Jackson's iconic music-video spoof of horror films. The show will include songs from two of the pop king's best-selling albums, "Thriller" and "Off the Wall."

"The Nederlanders and Michael Jackson represent live theater and musical excellence, so let the music begin," Tohme Tohme, a spokesman for Jackson, said Monday in a statement.

"I love the idea of making 'Thriller' a musical. Girl meets boy, they fall in love, boy has big secret, now what?" said Nederlander, head of the company that owns nine Broadway theaters.

No word yet on who will write the book for the show or what songs will be included in the production, or who will direct and choreograph.


Spector Retrial Enters Final Act

Nearly six years after a glamorous actress was shot to death in the foyer of his storied castle, music legend Phil Spector's long, strange voyage through the justice system is nearing what could be its final act - his lawyer's presentation of what happened on that fateful night.

Prosecutors rested their case last week in what is the second murder trial for Spector. The first ended in a mistrial when jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict and deadlocked 10-2 in favor of conviction.

Both sides are hoping for a verdict this time, a decision that would determine Spector's future. If convicted, the 68-year-old record producer could be sentenced to 18 years in prison, realistically the rest of his life.

A verdict would also render a decision on just what happened to Lana Clarkson, a statuesque, blonde beauty who became a 1980s cult figure following her starring role in the Roger Corman film "Barbarian Queen."

The new jury must decide the same question that ultimately stumped the first: Did Spector, a man known for threatening people with guns, shoot Clarkson or did the 40-year-old actress, down on her luck and despondent about her future, turn a gun on herself?


Janet Jackson Won't "Rock Wit" Japan

Janet Jackson has postponed her "Rock Witchu" Japan tour next month because of the global financial crisis.

Japan concert organizer Kyodo Yokohama said Monday she would postpone five concerts in Japan scheduled between Feb. 14 and Feb. 22 "due to the impact of economic crisis."

The Grammy-winning singer had planned to perform in Saitama, near Tokyo, as well as in other major cities, including Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka. The events are part of the world tour that started in 2008 - her first in nearly seven years.

The tour will be rescheduled for later this year. New dates are expected to be announced in late March, Yokohama said.

The 42-year-old singer canceled seven performances in the U.S. in the fall because of a bout of vertigo.


Tyler Perry: "Sloppy Job, No Pay"

Six construction companies have filed liens against actor-screenwriter Tyler Perry's home and movie studio, claiming they are owed thousands of dollars in unpaid bills.

Fulton County court documents show the companies claim they are owed nearly $200,000 for work on Perry's 30,000-square-foot home and production studio in Atlanta.

Perry tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he withheld payment from the companies for undocumented charges or sloppy work. He tells the newspaper he is being treated unfairly because he is a celebrity.

A publicist for Perry did not immediately return a call for comment Monday from The Associated Press.

The 39-year-old Perry has a new movie, "Madea Goes to Jail," debuting Feb. 20.


"Bye Bye Birdie" Says Hello To First B'way Revival

The swivel-hipped Conrad Birdie is coming back to Broadway.

The Roundabout Theatre Company says next season it will present the first Broadway revival of "Bye Bye Birdie," the musical tale of an Elvis Presley-inspired rock 'n' roll star and his effect on the teenagers in one small Ohio town.

Also on tap for the Roundabout during the 2009-10 season is a revival of Noel Coward's "Present Laughter," starring Victor Garber as a charming, world-weary matinee idol - not unlike the playwright himself.

Robert Longbottom will direct and choreograph "Birdie,' first seen on Braodway in 1960, and Nicholas Martin will direct "Present Laughter."

Dates, theaters and further casting will be announced later.
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