Per­son­al­ity Pa­rade

Albuquerque Journal - Parade - - PERSONALITY PARADE -

Q Is Will Smith re­ally di­rect­ing a Broad­way mu­si­cal?— Janey Moore, Bal­ti­more, Md.

A Credit him as a pro­ducer, not di­rec­tor, of Fela!, the daz­zlingly in­ven­tive mu­si­cal about the late Nige­rian mu­si­cian and po­lit­i­cal ac­tivist Fela Kuti. Sahr Ngau­jah, , who plays the ti­tle role, tells us, , “Fela’s life urges you to fol­low your r own voice, fol­low your own pas­sion, and don’t be afraid to do so.”

Q As a wife and mother, how does CNN’s Chris­tiane Aman­pour feel about re­port­ing from all those danger­ous places?— James Perkins, Port­land, Ore.

A “I’m just re­ally lucky that my fam­ily has not put pres­sure on me,” Aman­pour, 51 and the mother of a 9-year-old boy, tells us. “But the height of my war­time ca­reer was mostly be­fore I was mar­ried. I don’t be­lieve I could have been as ef­fec­tive as I hope I’ve been, whether in Bos­nia or Rwanda, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, had I had to think about com­ing back to my fam­ily. Ev­ery time I go away now, it’s with a re­ally heavy heart. Of course, when I get to where I’m go­ing, I come alive. I love do­ing what I do.”

Q Who is the voice of the pot­hole in the GEICO com­mer­cials?— Michael Wil­liams, Smyrna, Del.

A We’ve heard a lot of wild guesses: Reese Wither­spoon, An­nie Potts, Emily Proc­ter— even Brit­ney Spears. Wrong! It’s voice-over ac­tress Dayci Brook­shire, 27, whose youth­ful, en­thu­si­as­tic tones have landed her a lot of jobs: “I’ve played ev­ery­thing from a 5-year-old boy to the talk­ing pot­hole to a Bri­tish char­ac­ter, to what­ever,” the na­tive North Carolinian says. Adapt­abil­ity pays.

Q Ellen DeGeneres is al­ways talk­ing about an­i­mals on her show. When did she get her first pet?— Jim Adams, New York, N.Y.

A “My first pet was a stray cat that I brought home when I was re­ally young,” DeGeneres tells us. “ I don’t re­mem­ber how old I was—maybe 5,6? I named the cat Debbie, af­ter Debbie Reynolds, be­cause that cat had a mouth on her.” Not sur­pris­ingly, Ellen is co-owner of the pet-care com­pany Halo. See pho­tos of celebri­ties and their pets at Pa­rade.com/pets

Q Pres­i­dent Obama fa­vors a play­off sys­tem for col­lege foot­ball, rather than the old-fash­ioned bowl sys­tem, which be­gan with the first Rose Bowl in 1902. What do you think?— Joseph Hill, At­lanta, Ga.

A We’re firmly on the fence. A re­cent Gallup poll in­di­cated that 69% of col­lege-foot­ball fans agree with the Pres­i­dent, but op­po­nents ar­gue that play­offs would di­min­ish the reg­u­lar sea­son’s sig­nif­i­cance and un­der­mine tra­di­tion. “It’s as if you al­ways went to your grand­mother’s for Thanks­giv­ing, and some­body said, ‘ You need to start go­ing to your un­cle’s—you’ll like it bet­ter,’ ” says for­mer White House press sec­re­tary Ari Fleis­cher, spokesman for the anti-play­offs Bowl Cham­pi­onship Se­ries. What­ever the fu­ture may bring, we’re watch­ing the Crim­son Tide take on the Longhorns this Thurs­day. Pass the pop­corn!

Q You picked Ge­orge Clooney and To­pher Grace as two of to­day’s stars who could play Clark Gable. No way!— He­len Ed­wards, Or­lando, Fla.

A Lit­tle did we know what a hor­net’s nest we were stir­ring! Scores of read­ers have ques­tioned our taste and eye­sight and sug­gested sub­sti­tutes such as Eric Dane, James Brolin, and even Leonardo DiCaprio. All we can say is, Long live the King!

Q When do you think Tiger Woods will com­pete again?— again? Ann Ev Evans, Den­ver, Colo.

A We asked long­time sports com­men­ta­tor Len Berman f for his opin­ion. “It wouldn’t sur­prise me if Tiger re­turned for the Mas­ters in April,” he tells us. “His goal is t to beat Jack Nick­laus’ record of 18 ma­jor golf tour­na­ments. Tiger has 14. So if at all pos­si­ble, I don’t think he’ll want to miss a ma­jor. That’s pre­sum­ing ev­ery­thing stays nice and quiet be­tween now and then.”

Q Will the there ever be any more episodes of Reb Reba McEn­tire’s sit­com Reba?— James Benn Ben­nett, Port Arthur, Tex.

A “Un­for­tu­nately not,” McEn­tire tells us. “We’re very sad be­cause we had a lot more sto­ries to tell.” But the 54-year-old coun­try ti­tan is still telling sto­ries on her lat­est al­bum, Keep On Loving You. And she has now sur­passed fel­low leg­end Dolly Par­ton with the great­est num­ber of Top 10 sin­gles for a fe­male artist—57—on the Bill­board Hot Coun­try Songs Chart.

Will sup­ports in­spir­ing new mu­si­cal

Aman­pour: War is scarier now

Reba: Still top­ping charts

Ellen: Pets are her pet sub­ject

The ir­re­place­able Gable

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