Entertainment briefs – February 23

Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron and Twilight co-stars Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner have joined the lineup at the Academy Awards.

Oscar presenters appeal to youth

LOS ANGELES — Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron and Twilight co-stars Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner have joined the lineup at the Academy Awards.

Oscar organizers announced Monday that Hannah Montana star Cyrus, High School Musical co-star Efron and Stewart and Lautner will be presenters at the awards show March 7.

They are four of Hollywood’s biggest rising stars, bringing some youth appeal to the Oscars, whose overseers are trying to boost the show’s TV ratings.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences previously announced that Sean Penn, Kate Winslet and Penelope Cruz, who won acting Oscars a year ago, will present the honours this time around.


Placido Domingo needs surgery

LOS ANGELES — Placido Domingo is expected to undergo surgery later this week after the internationally acclaimed tenor suffered abdominal pain during a recent performance in Tokyo.

Publicist Nancy Seltzer said Monday that Domingo will undergo the surgery at a New York hospital. She would only describe the procedure as “medically recommended preventive surgery.”

Seltzer says Domingo expects to resume his performance schedule after a recuperation period of about six weeks. He was on a world tour when he was stricken.

Domingo, 69, is general director of both the Los Angeles Opera and the Washington National Opera, as well as one of the world’s greatest opera singers.


3-D screen shortage limits film runs

LOS ANGELES — Movies in 3-D are becoming such big moneymakers that Hollywood is cramming them into theatres, even though there aren’t enough screens available to give each film its fullest possible run.

That will mean an unprecedented number of 3-D movies for film fans to choose from this spring. And there could be smaller profits for Hollywood studios than they might otherwise get with fewer 3-D competitors.

The Walt Disney Co.’s Alice in Wonderland hits theatres March 5. On March 26 DreamWorks Animation SKG will release How to Train Your Dragon. Then on April 2 Warner Bros.’ remake of Clash of the Titans to 3-D appears. And Avatar might still be playing in some places too.


Rice to play benefit concert

SALIDA, Calif. — Officials with a California non-profit group say former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has agreed to play the piano at a benefit concert to raise funds for a local school.

The Salida Performing Arts Foundation says the concert at a private residence March 27 will also include cellist Michael Reynolds and tenor Dennis McNeil.

Tickets cost $500 a person, or $5,000 for a table of eight.

Salida Performing Arts Foundation co-founder Brad Friley says he hopes to use the money to purchase additional violins for fourth-graders at Salida’s Sisk Elementary School.

Rice, who was secretary of state under President George W. Bush, is an accomplished pianist. She is currently a fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.