GOOD MORNING: There probably won’t be a dry eye in the world Sunday when Michael Jackson performs and talks “Heal the World” in the Super Bowl halftime show–budgeted at $ 1.5 million. Jackson doesn’t receive a penny for the appearance. But his Heal the World Foundation receives a 30-second public service announcement during the game. A similar spot on the NBC’er cost $ 150, 000. Garth Brooks sings the national anthem, also gratis. And the entire gross of Brooks’ two concerts over the weekend go to the South Central Youth Education Training Center. The NFL also donates the proceeds from its NFL “Theme Park” alongside the Rose Bowl at Brookside Park to charities … Jackson is totally involved in the halftimer which, it’s estimated, will be seen by 1.3 billion viewers in 87 countries, translated into 16 languages. Halftime producer-director Don Mischer has had seven meetings with Michael–including one in the rain at the Rose Bowl. Michael will do four other items besides “Heal” in the show. Jackson, concerned to have fans so close to him in the huge bowl, will be surrounded by 4,000 children–from his alma mater, the Gardner St. Elementary School–plus others from the L.A. Unified School District involved in “L.A.’s Best” program initiated by Mayor Tom Bradley. The Super Bowl set for Jackson weighs 10 tons and consists of 22 pieces, which have to be moved onto the field in three minutes and 20 seconds, set up in one minute and 40 seconds–and removed 10 minutes later in time for the second half. Mischer has 250 volunteer stage hands working to get the show on/off the field. They’re reserve police, firemen and National Guardsmen. There will also be card stunts from the stands–images designed by school children of L.A. It all relates to “Heal the World.””Michael really believes we have to start with kids to heal the world,” says Mischer … The halftime show will be shorter than those in the past because the NFL wants the break for the players to be the standard half time … James Earl Jones is also in the show and will narrate with his stentorian tones. Michael wants his seg to be “emotional”… The Radio City Music Hall production is exec produced by Arlen Kantarian and Scott Sanders. And co-produced by David Goldberg and Michale Fuir. Frito-Lay sponsors. Next show for Mischer is the “People’s Choice Awards” March 9, CBS. And, among future plans by RCMH is an all-sports awards show … And talking of Michael Jackson, we spoke to Oprah Winfrey who admits she’s very excited about doing the 90 minutes “live” interview with him Feb. 10 (ABC) from his home in the Santa Ynez Valley. “It’s a real privilege,” Oprah told me. Will he sing? “He’s willing to do whatever’s feasible at his house,” she said. Will she do more of these spex? “This is IT!” Winfrey laughed. Asked about her wedding date? “I’m making no plans until after the show with Michael,” Oprah smiled.THE MIRISCH CO. and Ned and Nancy Tanen’s Channel banner have teamed with TriStar for “Stealth,” the story of the Stealth Bomber and its men during the Persian Gulf war. Walter Mirisch who has been working on the movie since the war wound, has visited the secret base near Tonopah, Nevada, and huddled with top brass at the Pentagon all of whom have given their blessing and cooperation–after all, Walter did “Midway” and “Gray Lady Down” among his other classy pix. How will the current conflagration in Iraq affect this movie? “The climax during the war was so dramatic we couldn’t top it,” said Mirisch, adding–“so far”… Steve Shagan turned in his script of “Sacred Ground” to Par over the weekend. The murder mystery is set in L.A.–“a 1994 ‘Chinatown,’ ” says Shagan. His “Cast of Thousands” (Pocket Books), about everyone you know in Hollywood, is just out and moving up fast on the charts with several producers, including Arnold Kopelson, talking the feature … With Par topper Sherry Lansing departed from the producer ranks on “Intersection,” Bud Yorkin takes on those chores for the movie directed by Mark Rydell … Danny De Vito heads to the Berlin film fest with “Jack the Bear” out of competition and “Hoffa” competing … Maria Conchita Alonso, back from performing at the D.C. doings, launches into two features, “Roosters,” with Edward James Olmos and directed by Marcus Delson in Arizona; and then she heads to Denmark to join Jeremy Irons, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close and Vanessa Redgrave in Bille August’s “House of Spirits”… Cy Coleman played tunes Sammy Cahn lyricked and Jack Jones sang at Sammy’s funeral Friday. Among those who spoke were Tony Danza, Stanley Donen, Les Beider, Tim Rice, Jay Morgenstern, Billy Friedkin, Frank Military and Sammy’s daughter Laurie. Those on hand included Sammy’s longtime friend David Tebet, the Sinatras, Frank and Barbara, Nancy Sr. and Tina, Ross Hunter, Marilyn and Alan Bergman, Paul Anka, Diahann Carroll, Vic Damone, Angie Dickinson, Ross Hunter, Lee Iacocca, Annabelle and David Begelman, Jane and Jerry Weintraub, Audrey and Billy Wilder, Edward James Olmos, Barbara and Marvin Davis, Veronique and Gregory Peck, Alicia and Red Buttons, Joan and Jackie Collins and Harry Crane … Joy and Regis Philbin cameo on “Mad About You” this week. Regis and Kathie Lee Gifford will air shows from here in L.A. next week.
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- Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida
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