Monday, September 08, 2003

LOS ANGELES ( - Xena's warrior cry is about to make beautiful music with Tarzan's monkey holler.
Lucy Lawless is joining the cast of The WB's "Tarzan" in the crucial (but only recently added) part of Tarzan's aunt.

The Kiwi actress will play Kathleen Clayton, a publishing magnate and younger sister of Mitch Pileggi's Richard Clayton, the acting head of Greystoke Industries. Kathleen and Richard have very different ideas of how to handle their recently rediscovered nephew Jack (Travis Fimmel). Richard believes that Tarzan must be rehabilitated and reintroduced to non-simian society, while Kathleen wants to give the monkey man time to find his own way.

Both may have ulterior motives, as they know that whoever controls Tarzan also controls Greystoke.

"Lucy has a tremendous sense of humor, warmth and grace," says The WB's Entertainment President Jordan Levin. "She has a fun, larger-than-life personality that will shape the character of Kathleen Clayton as she makes it her own and that is what attracted us to her for future development."

Lawless, who starred in "Xena: Warrior Princess" from 1995 until 2001, is only signed as a regular for the show's first season. Her deal with The WB also includes an exclusive series development deal for the 2004-2005 season.

"Tarzan" reunites Lawless with executive producer Laura Ziskin, who performed the same duties on "Spider-Man," which featured a small cameo from Gabrielle's former bosom buddy.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Xena paraphernalia going under hammer
The New Zealand Herald


Decomposing bodies, a headless corpse and a large collection of
swords and medieval weapons will all be up for grabs today in an
auction of props from canned television show Xena:Warrior Princess.

Hundreds of props are on sale. They come from a private collection
that is taking up too much room.

More than half the swords are real but there are no dangerous items
and many of the props are made of polystyrene.

Thornton Auctions in Penrose will host the auction.

Owner Brad Jackson says Xena junkies have already shown overwhelming

Fans have come from as far south as Christchurch.

The auctioneers also received 125 hits a day on their website from
American Xena followers. Mr Jackson says some potential buyers have
medieval shops - he knows of one buyer who plans to make a "Xena
room" in his antique shop.

Other buyers will be Halloween tricksters and "someone that's into
playing tricks and things like that."

The prize items include a chaise longue adorned with skull heads and
a bust of New Zealand actor, the late Kevin Smit.

There are also two thrones with dinosaur backbones.

The highest price may be fetched by two "cobra" candelabra.

They are each more than 2m high and are estimated to fetch $3000 as a

The props are on sale because a Xena fan who bought up to 600 Xena
props has reluctantly decided to sell them because he no longer has

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

From Mary D's updates:

The following is from Renee via Missy Good

Renee will be doing a signing session of 2 hours at Comic-Con on Saturday, July 19. The information about the con - from the official site is:
July 17-20 at the San Diego Convention Center

Comic-Con International sees an incredible migration of professionals of all walks of the creative life each and every year. In addition to the largest contingent of professionals working in the comic book industry of any convention, Comic-Con attracts creative people from movies, television, animation, gaming, and the toy industry.
For more information go to: Comic-Con
New Renee O'Connor movie begins filming in Las Vegas
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

SHOOTING STARS: NBC's `Las Vegas' pondering how much time to spend in Glitter City

Hello ... and goodbye again. (At least temporarily.)

Shooting Stars returns after two weeks on hiatus (showbiz-speak for "vacation"). Next week's column will be missing-in-action once again, due to an out-of-town assignment.

So this is it until July 7. Let's dig in -- and catch up on NBC's upcoming "Las Vegas," which launches production July 29.

Exactly how much time the series will spend in its title location, however, has yet to be determined, show creator Gary Scott Thompson noted during a visit to last week's CineVegas Film Festival.

NBC is considering four options, Thompson says. The first (and unlikeliest) involves shooting everything in "Las Vegas' " namesake. The second involves a 50-50 split between Glitter City and Hollywood. The third (also unlikely) calls for construction of a soundstage casino, where special-effects backdrops would create the Vegas atmosphere.

The likeliest prospect, however, involves periodic treks from Los Angeles to Las Vegas "to get the scope of what Vegas is," Thompson explains, much as "ER" and "NYPD Blue" do in Chicago and New York, respectively. (And "CSI" does occasionally here in Neon Nirvana.)

With eight-day shooting schedules for each hourlong episode, "you do either five, six or seven days" in the studio, Thompson explains, then "bank the extra days and wait until you have three episodes to shoot and then you come here."

Thompson anticipates that the series -- which stars James Caan as an ex-CIA agent who heads security for the fictional Montecito casino empire -- will begins its production schedule in Las Vegas.

Shifting from the future to the here and now, two independent features are filming today -- one on the Strip, one downtown.

The comedy "Diamonds and Guns," starring Renée O'Connor (alias "Xena: Warrior Princess' " longtime sidekick Gabrielle), begins a seven-day shoot at the Riviera, with locations ranging from the parking garage to the pool, the convention center rooftop to the casino, according to the Riviera's John Neeland.

Writer Dawn Higginbotham, who's also co-producing the project, describes the farce as " `Swingers' with girls" and " `Romeo and Juliet,' Vegas-style," centering on two friends (O'Connor and Helena Beaven) whose one last fling turns into a comedy of errors.

To that end, "we wanted to stick to the classy-style, old-school" Vegas look, according to Higginbotham, which explains why "Diamonds and Guns" wound up at the Riviera.

An even older-school Vegas casino, -- Las Vegas' oldest, Main Street's Golden Gate -- welcomes "@lien," which is scheduled to complete a two-day shoot today, according to producer Melissa Berry.

The quirky tale, from Haxan Films (home of "The Blair Witch Project"), deals with young lovers on a cross-country trek -- one of whom is using the odyssey as an excuse to rendezvous with an Internet romance known only as (you guessed it) "@lien." (Before arriving in Las Vegas, the production shot in Georgia, Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico; the movie's final destination is another place with a Golden Gate, San Francisco.)

Also downtown, the History Channel's "Hands on History" visits the future neon museum's boneyard as part of a segment devoted to the history of neon, according to associate producer Brandy Downing of Jupiter Entertainment.

In addition to the boneyard, the Young Electric Sign Co. -- better known as Yesco -- also will host "Hands on History" host Ron Hazleton and crew to demonstrate "how neon's developed and made," according to Downing.

Elsewhere on the documentary beat, "Big Rig" rolls into Las Vegas Thursday to continue production on a "portrait of America told through the eyes of truckers," explains producer Brad Blondheim.

In addition to capturing the action an international trucking show at the Las Vegas Convention Center, director Doug Pray (who's also directed the theatrical documentaries "Scratch" and "Hype") plans to film interviews with truckers at other locations around town.

Another documentary shooting this week focuses on longtime Las Vegan Dolores Fuller, onetime muse of cult director Ed Wood -- and a music industry veteran who wrote several songs for Elvis Presley. Shooting on the hour-long project began over the weekend at the Alexis Park, where Fuller signed autographs as part of the Starstruck in Las Vegas event. The documentary's Presley connection extends to producer Don Wilson, a former member of Presley's entourage who's made several Elvis-related projects.

Also on this week's location calendar: "Around the World in Eight Days," a Hungarian TV show with Tamas Frei, which begins a scheduled three-day shoot Saturday at downtown and Strip locations; Bellevue Entertainment's documentary "Las Vegas Live," scheduled to wrap production Thursday; and the Sci-Fi Channel's "Scare Tactics," which continues its hidden-camera antics for the next few months.

Finally, two British-related casting notes.

The BBC needs (more than) a few good men, fit and 40-plus, who have military fatigues, to work as extras for a computer fraud documentary shooting July 11 at Red Rock Canyon. It's a nonunion shoot and pays expenses only; if you're interested, e-mail information and pictures to the BBC's Liz Collier at

And Britain's ITV needs British families who vacation regularly in Las Vegas for a show about Brits who can't get enough of Glitter City. (British families featured on the show will receive free trips back to Vegas.) E-mail for more information.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

From Creation Entertainment:


Here's a recent article from the "Ireland on Sunday" newspaper. Reports are that Lucy is being a real trooper and not afraid to get "down and dirty." She's having a great time and is fun to work with.

"Grainne Mhaol" By Siobhan Gaffney

Lucy Lawless stars in the adventures of the formidable statuesque leather clad fighter, Xena Warrior Princess amassing a massive cult following throughout the world as she battles barbarians, oppressors and demigods.

But now the Xena Warrior Princess' actress is coming to Clew Bay and Clare Island to get face to face with the myth of a real warrior woman; 16th Century pirate sea queen Grainne Mhaol.

The adventures of the 16th Century pirate queen of the seas are to feature in a special Discovery Networks Europe series exploring history's most fearless female warriors.

LA based actress Lucy Lawless told Ireland on Sunday that she was 'really looking forward to getting to the west of Ireland to see first hand where the amazing Grainne Mhaol ruled the high seas'

Lawless has a strong connection to the area where the real life warrior woman, Grainne Mhaol controlled. Her family, the Ryans originially from Quilty in Co. Clare ended up in her native New Zealand when her great grandfather had a 'scuffle with the police and was sent down under for

The Warrior Woman who is anxious about leaving her three children from 14 years down to 10 months for 3 weeks, 'turned down many lucrative but dissatisfying offers from US TV to do make this fascinating series.

I just can't wait to get to Ireland and to start filming, running around the Irish countryside with a film crew will be just fantastic' she said.

Grainne Mhaol -mhaol meaning cropped hair- was known to have chopped her long hair off to survive in the mainly male dominated world of pirate infested seas, controlling Clew bay with an iron fist from her castle on Clare Island

Grainne who was known as Grace O'Malley by the English was married with 3 children before she began her famous career on the high seas, marshalling 3 pirate ships and up to 200 men as she opposed the English attempts to remove her from her kingdom.

'The facts are thin on the ground about how exactly Grace become this amazing and feared warrior, she was a women who had no English but decided she wanted to meet Queen of Elizabeth so that's what she did, she sailed up The Thames river in London and demanded an audience with the Queen,
something that was completely unheard of.

Grace had no English but excellent Latin forcing Queen Elizabeth to talk to her in a foreign tongue.

They were two women in a tough mans world separated by tradition but who experienced many of the same hardships'

After Grainne's first husband was been executed by Queen Elizabeth's troops she remarried in 1556 Iron Richard Burke and had a son named Tibbot. She was captured by the crown's forces and jailed for 2 years returning to her castle on Clare Island to continue her defiance.

In 1558 Elizabeth I pardoned her in an attempt to bring peace to the region but his attempt failed as the local English administrators continued to go after the woman who had been a thorn in their side for years.

'She was a woman who paid a heavy price for her strong beliefs and has to some extend been written out of history' Lucy Lawless told Ireland on Sunday.

Fighting was her only means of survival and this she did until the Irish defeat at the Battle of Kinsale in 1601 ended her dominance. She died in 1603 and has since been, to a large degree, overlooked as a genuine heroine of Irish history.

Her career spanned from the supremacy to the suppression of Gaelic rule. Folklore conveys her alliances with English forces, her imprisonment in the goals of Limerick and Dublin, and her partial submission to Elizabeth Ist, Queen of England. Her actions were brave attempts to uphold her government over her fast retreating Gaelic kingdoms.

The series entitled 'Warrior Women' presented by Xena Warrior Princess, Lucy Lawless will also feature other fierce women including Joan of Arc, Boudica, Queen of the Iceni Tribe, Chinese heroine Hua Mulan and Apache warrior Lozen and will be broadcast later this autumn on the Discovery Channel.

Lucy Lawless will be hosting a new Discovery Channel series of five hour-long programs tracing the history of female fighters. She has just started filming the series.

Tentatively set to air in the fall, no dates or times set yet. As we receive more programming info, we'll pass it along.

Here is a list of the five women they will be profiling and some web page links for those who want to "read all about it."

Joan of Arc (France) --
Joan of Arc

Boadicea (England) --
Another Boudicea link

Hua Mulan (China) --
Hua Mulan
Another Hua Mulan link
Yet another Hua Mulan link

Grace O'Malley (pirate) (Ireland) --
Grace O'Malley
Another Grace O'Malley link
Yet another Grace O'Malley link
Still another

Lozen (Apache warrior) (New Mexico) --
Lozen link
Another Lozen link

Your friends at Creation Entertainment

Saturday, February 22, 2003

From The Auckland Herald:

17.02.2003 By FIONA RAE
Way back in my callow youth, when I would ride around Christchurch on a
motorbike and had dyed orange hair, I used to hang out with a bunch of
people who lived in a grungy flat above a fruit shop.

Some of them were in a band called Say Yes to Apes and, as far as I can
remember, all of us seemed to spend a good deal of time drinking beer and
talking rubbish. As you do.

One of them was Kevin Smith, flabby teen, already betrothed to Sue and not
really knowing what he wanted to do with himself. At one stage, he talked
about joining the police. Something to do with helping kids.

This is not to say I knew Kevin Smith but more to say that I was just one of
an extraordinary number of people that did. Consequently, a tribute to Kev,
who died a year ago, was always going to be a big ask.

So it was good to see Saturday's Remembering Kev: A Tribute to Kevin Smith
included aspects of his life other than his performing career because, as
Auckland Theatre Sports creative director Claire Kelso commented, it was
Kev's complete knowledge that he brought to the stage.

With his background of music and acting, he was also well grounded with the
family, he was interested in current events, he was hugely interested in
sports, and he brought this complete knowledge, with a great sense of
humour, with great stage presence and he combined it all.

It's true, he had everything and could just about do everything. He was
always looking for the truth and humour in a situation and I wonder what fun
Kev might have gained from having his life and career compiled into a
commercial hour.

Kelso also believed that his improv work was his best, although the role for
which he will be remembered by the largest number of people is Ares in
Hercules and Xena. It was a role that fitted Kev nicely. All those winter
afternoons in Timaru and Christchurch watching trash telly had paid off, as
had all those mornings at the gym.

It's hard for us down here to estimate the impact of that role in the United
States. New Zealanders have never really taken to that fantasy thing in a
big way. US fans were, and are, legion and it led to the role he was about
to take up in the US, starring with Bruce Willis in the movie Tears of the
Sun. As Robert Bruce explained, Kev was to play the role of Willis' buddy.
That's a Hollywood break by anyone's standards although typically, as
Michael Hurst commented, he wanted the role, the job, not stardom.

The consistent testimony of his friends in the documentary spoke about his
remarkable ability to connect in a real way. No one who met Kev was
unimpressed, from the fruit-shop owner with whom he talked rugby to, no
doubt, Bruce Willis' casting agent.

It's a bloody shame, frankly. As his friend Michael Woodnorth (Woody) says,
the world's not quite as funny as it was when Kev was here.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

'Xena,' 'Hercules' Swing DVD Distribution
Thu Feb 20, 3:19 AM ET
By Michael Speier

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - DVD distribution shingle Anchor Bay Entertainment has bought the home video rights to syndicated TV sensations "Xena: Warrior Princess" and "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys."

The company also has inked a deal with Davis-Panzer Prods. for subsequent seasons of "Highlander." Last year, Anchor Bay released the first season of "Highlander" as a boxed set along with a special edition of the 1986 feature film.

"Hercules" bowed in 1994 as a made-for-TV movie and went on to six seasons across 100 episodes. "Xena," a spinoff that debuted as a series in 1995, aired 130 episodes, also through six seasons.

The "Highlander" feature has spawned three sequels and 140 TV episodes. Dimension is planning a fifth feature film in 2004, and an animated series is also in the works.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Renee and Danielle, and Claire ... OH MY


We have super-hot news for fans in Great Britain (and throughout Europe!) The sensational Danielle Cormack and Claire Stansfield will be on-hand at our Strong Women of Sci-Fi Convention coming to London's Hilton Metropole on August 29-31, 2003.

You know Renee O'Connor is also on hand!!!! Plus more to come: this is gonna be a wonderful weekend: come on aboard and support this convention so we can make it a regular annual visit!

Grab the very best gold weekend seatings (which include lots of extras) by visiting us at:
Might they have Renee's Valley Forge appearance???
This in from Creation Entertainmet ... Due to popular request, and thanks to Xena's two amazing superstars, we are able to finally release archival videotape of the earliest convention appearances of Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor!

This exclusive videotape is almost two hours in length and we know that fans around the globe will treasure this video as a major part of their collections!

You'll see Lucy and Renee amazed at the enthusiasm of sold-out crowds that turned up for their early appearances: and you'll capture these wonderful moments in time: perfect if you were there and even better if this will be your first introduction to this historically warm, funny and moving footage!

This product will be shipping in March, so please place your orders with us now to insure delivery to your homes!

LUCY AND RENEE: THE EARLY CONVENTION YEARS: you'll love this! Visit us at: to grab your copy today. PAL video available for our overseas friends too!

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Rumor or fact?
"Xena: The Movie: ITV reports that the film will go ahead with not only "a stunning soundtrack provided by the series' original composer - Joseph Lo Duca" but a special Xena and Gabriel relationship them called "When I Look at You" by Mariah Carey.

Dark Horizons

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Norowzian Scares Up Boogeyman

Mehdi Norowzian will direct the horror film Boogeyman for Sam Raimi's Ghost House Pictures, a unit of Senator International, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Principal photography begins in May in New Zealand.

Boogeyman tells the story of a young man who returns home to face his childhood fears of a monstrous entity that may or may not be real, the trade paper reported. Eric Kripke, Juliet Snowden and Stiles White wrote the screenplay, which is being produced by Spider-Man director Raimi and his Xena: Warrior Princess producing partner Tapert. Steve Hein and Gary Bryman are executive producing the film.

Raimi and Tapert founded Ghost House in April 2002 with Senator to produce horror, SF and fantasy movies. The company is also producing 30 Days of Night, based on a comic-book series.
Sadly, today is also the one-year anniversary of Kevin "Ares" Smith's death. Prayers go out to his family and friends.
Renee's birthday made the UPI Almanac

Click here: UPI Almanac

Big Yachts and Bigger Shindigs

(Newscat Note: Lucy mention toward bottom.)

New York Times

Click here for the story straight from the site

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Feb. 15 — What does a brassiere made to look like stuffed yellow chickens have to do with yachting?

That question was foremost on the minds of everyone at the January awards ceremony for the Louis Vuitton Cup, the series for challengers for the America's Cup, which is now under way. The guests were mostly sailors from the two squads that made the challenger finals — the American team Oracle BMW and the Swiss team Alinghi. Burly guys who looked awkward in suits, they had been invited to a big empty field and handed Champagne flutes, and were readying themselves to receive silver plates and other post-regatta knickknacks.

That's when the show began: a procession of models in revealing outfits that included, among other things, that chicken bra.

The uninitiated might find some incongruity between a 151-year-old sailing competition with a dull patina of stodginess and the spectacle of a woman whose torso clucks. But don't forget: nearly everything about the America's Cup is absurd.

Consider: a competitive team costs upward of $100 million; a good lawyer can be as important to a team's success as its helmsman; and when the last sail is furled, the winner gets to rewrite the rules.

Like the event itself, which began Saturday (Friday in the United States), Alinghi vs. Team New Zealand, the scene around the Cup is one very indulgent free-for-all.

Bob Fisher, a British writer who has covered 12 America's Cups, and who has probably been to more Cup parties than anyone, said the standard for a Cup social event is as high as a super-yacht's mast. "It is, after all, a social sport, and one would consider if this is the pinnacle of yachting, then the parties should match," he said.

The hub of Cup social life in Auckland is Viaduct Harbor, a restaurant-ringed marina that was built to accommodate the last Cup in 2000. One hundred and twenty yachts cram the basin, 105 of them super-yachts of more than 100 feet. These are the boats that plow alongside the racing yachts during the race, and it's where the boozing happens after the final gun.

"It's a cracking affair on a world scale — 10 out of 10," Mike Slade, a London real-estate mogul, said a few days ago after stepping off his yacht, a 97-foot baby-blue rocket ship called the Cannon Leopard. "You don't have to have a big boat to enjoy the event, but it's quite expensive for the average player. For those of us with the big boats, we've got a built-in circus."

Many of the yachts that make up the spectator fleet in the America's Cup are literally too nice to sail. Their owners drive them onto a submergible ship that makes stops in the Mediterranean and in Florida. The ship steams halfway around the world to New Zealand in 20 days, and when it arrives, it takes on water, and the yachts float off. Craig Harris, the New Zealand agent for the company that runs the service, said shipping a 130-foot yacht from Florida to Auckland costs about $250,000.

Once in the harbor, things don't get any cheaper. Peter Kiely, the president of the America's Cup Village, a government organization that oversees the marina, said that dockage runs $15 per meter per night. Put another way, once in Auckland, that 130-footer will cost about $20,000 a month just to park. Many yachts stay for the entire five-month regatta, and many slips have been reserved since the end of the last Cup in 2000. After dockage, there's the crew, food and fuel. And don't forget the booze.

"They've bought lots of very stylish Champagne — Cristal, Dom Pérignon, Krug — and specific rare vintage wines," said Jeff Poole, the owner of the Fine Wine Delivery Company in Auckland. For this Cup, Mr. Poole sold a $3,500 bottle of Château Pétrus to one yacht owner and a $1,750 bottle of Bollinger Champagne to another. Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle and a Cup backer, ordered two six-bottle cases of Cristal — one for guests aboard his yacht Katana, another to congratulate his competitor, Ernesto Bertarelli, the Swiss billionaire, for a win.

The number of super-yacht owners of course pales next to the number of super-yacht crew members; each boat has a crew of 3 to 30. The relationship between the two worlds is a kind of nautical Gosford Park, where crews down below traffic in horror stories from above deck. Recently, a husband and wife who split duties as first mate and steward on a super-yacht quit when the owner propositioned them for a ménage à trois.

The crews of the big yachts rarely get to sip the Château Pétrus. Instead, they go on pub crawls around the harbor at bars called the Loaded Hog, O'Hagan's and HQ. When they are feeling especially adventuresome, they head to downtown Auckland and the red-light district. Even the favorite naughty hangout for super-yacht crews, a divy strip bar called the Mermaid, has its own peculiar flourish: patrons throw dollar tokens into a large tank of water, and naked women fish them out.

Many of the most over-the-top parties at America's Cups for the last 20 years have been given by Louis Vuitton. Vuitton, which sponsors the challenger series, gave a fabled bash for 3,000 guests aboard the Kitty Hawk in San Diego (the Beach Boys played) in 1992. Bruno Troublé, a former America's Cup sailor who has organized parties for the Vuitton Cup for the last two decades, said his shindigs have a single modest goal: "To impress the guest so much they remember it for the rest of their life."

It was Vuitton that was behind those models with chicken brassieres as well as two other notable parties at the current Cup. The first was a party for crews in October in an abandoned warehouse that featured giant flaming torches and free booze for more than a thousand hard-drinking yachties.

Then there was the Vuitton Cup Ball, which took place in December at a navy dry dock — a huge pit large enough for an ocean liner, with a 10-story wall of iron at one end that held back the Hauraki Gulf, where the races are held. Lucy Lawless, the New Zealander who in another life was Xena, the warrior princess, boogied with America's Cup sailors; and an evening of fireworks, laser shows and trapeze acts culminated with the skippers of the various teams floating across a pool in giant inflatable bottles, atop models of their yachts.

"It was a bit tricky to get the skippers in the bottles," Mr. Troublé said. "We had to convince them that it wouldn't be ridiculous. It wasn't easy."

Almost since the beginning, the Cup has been seen as a global marketing tool. Thomas Lipton learned as long ago as the 1920's that his America's Cup appearances, however unsuccessful (Lipton went 0-5), helped him sell his tea.

Today the Cup does for luxury goods what the Super Bowl does for beer. Cindy Crawford, a few days ago the host of a party sponsored by Omega watches, expressed consternation over "this whole boating fashion thing." She hadn't settled on what she would wear on race day.

"I was thinking of something kind of Jackie O," she said.

At a party at Auckland's new Hilton last week, Cartier draped models in what it said were $10 million worth of jewels. It's impossible to go to any Cup event without being handed a flute of Moët — at one party, by a squad of transvestites. The latest product to attach its name to the Cup is a drug called Cialis, a treatment for erectile dysfunction like Viagra with at least one difference: it lasts for an alarming duration — 36 hours.

For some purists, the shilling goes too far. Kimberly Jones, a socialite from Newport, R.I., whose husband, Dyer, a former commodore of the New York Yacht Club, directs the challenger regatta, said she remembered a time when the sailing and the parties had "the true Corinthian spirit."

"You didn't need a spectacle, because the people were the spectacle," she said. "It was a pageant. You felt the sailors on the boats were like men going out with standards to joust."

Mr. Fisher, the writer, said that in Auckland yachting has a populist feel. "The country is very sailing-oriented, so therefore every man thinks he has a right to be part of the Cup," he said. "The whole of society has changed out of the blue blazer image, and the America's Cup has gone with it."

The Cup takes roughly five months from start to finish, and with all the receptions, parties, brunches and field trips, it eventually begins to feel like a wedding that won't end. Mr. Fisher said the key to surviving is preparation.

"If you were going to run a marathon, you'd go out and pound the streets every day," he said. "If you were going to go to the America's Cup, every day you'd do a reasonable amount of drinking."

Xena's queen at fantasy convention

Click here for the story straight from the site.

By Gary Scott
Staff Writer

PASADENA -- Almost two years after ``Xena: Warrior Princess,'' and loyal companion Gabrielle appeared in their final television adventure, fans continue to flock by the thousands to the annual Xena convention at the Pasadena Conference Center.

An estimated 5,000 people are expected to attend the three-day event, which runs through today. In addition to tables full of merchandise … T-shirts, scripts and autographed pictures … fans are given the chance to mingle with former cast members.

Mostly young and middle-age women, the fans are as devoted to the female warriors as ``Star Trek'' devotees are to Spock and Capt. Kirk. A one-day ticket is $61, and many said they were planning to stay the duration.

``When I come home from work, it's good to watch the show and escape,'' said Sabine Mitchell, 41, of the San Francisco Bay Area. She said she has Xena artifacts everywhere, from her mousepad at work to her checkbook, and she watches tapes of the show every night after work.

Her friend, Rose Minasi, credits Xena with making her more interested in history. Minasi said she comes to the conventions because ``you get to see the actors as real people.'' Stephanie McCarren, a 19-year-old from Fullerton, said she has been attending Xena conventions for three years with friend Heather Beach, 18, of Tucson, Ariz. Their favorite character is Callisto, played by Hudson Leick.

``We hang out and watch the stars,'' said McCarren. ``This will be my fifth time seeing Hudson ... She knows my name.''

Between talks by former cast members, fans watched clips and spoofs of the show, including a silent movie that put Xena and Gabrielle in a bathtub together … a wink to the homosexual undertones in the show.

The fantasy atmosphere was heightened by Renaissance festival performers, The Fireblood Knights, who wear period costumes and sell a variety of swords and weaponry associated with medieval times.

The convention's highlight was a live chat Saturday evening with Lucy Lawless, the statuesque Australian who played Xena, and Renee O'Connor, who played Gabrielle.

At various times Saturday, a short man wearing an ``I Love Xena'' T-shirt dueled with a sword carrying, armor-plated dame and chased two young Xena fans toward the convention doors. It was all done for comedian Jimmy Kimmel's new late-night talk show.

-- Gary Scott can be reached at (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4458, or by e-mail at

Feb 9, 4:00 PM (ET)

By The Associated Press
(AP) TV superheroine Xena, played by New Zealand actress Lucy Lawless, is
shown in this 1996 file photo....

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - Her television adventures may be over, but "Xena:
Warrior Princess" still attracts a crowd.A talk by the princess warrior
herself, actress Lucy Lawless, was the highlight of the annual Xena
Convention, which ended Sunday and was expected to draw 5,000 over three
days. The TV show's final episode aired two years ago after six
seasons.Appearing with Lawless on Saturday evening was Renee O'Connor, who
played "Xena" sidekick Gabrielle.On Saturday, mostly young and middle-aged
women mingled around tables of "Xena" merchandise, scripts and autographed
The convention also featured talks by other former cast members, and clips
and spoofs of the show, including a silent movie showing Xena and Gabrielle
in a bathtub together, a reference to the perception by some viewers that the
women were lovers."We hang out and watch the stars," said Stephanie McCarren,
19, who has attended Xena conventions for three years.McCarren's favorite
character is Hudson Leick's Callisto."This will be my fifth time seeing
Hudson," she said. "She knows my name."---On the Net: Xena: Warrior Princess
Renee O'Connor is 32 today!
Go to Creation Entertainment to vote on the Xena movie poll.
Xena-Related News

Alas, this is an overseas TV documentary but I thought y'all might like to see it. Posted from a Xena list:

The Dominion Post (Wellington)
February 11, 2003, Tuesday
Pg. 8
Remembering our Kevin


What: Remembering Kev: A Tribute to Kevin Smith.
Where: TV2.
When: 8.30pm, Saturday.

KEVIN SMITH was one of New Zealand's biggest talents. His smouldering good
looks, amazing acting talent, hilarious improvisation and appealing
personality made him one of New Zealand's finest. Remembering Kev: A Tribute
to Kevin Smith is a celebration of his life. Smith's friends and colleagues,
such as Lucy Lawless (Xena), Lisa Chappell (McLeod's Daughters) and Craig
Parker (Mercy Peak), tell stories about Smith's life on and off-screen from
his childhood days in Timaru through to his Hollywood dream coming true just
before he died.

Narrated by Peter Elliott, it is a special collection of stories from
friends one year on from his death. They share memories and stories and

"It was a privilege to be able to make this," says producer Tessa Tylee.

"Everyone who worked on it feels that as well, because most of us had met
him at least once and, like everyone says, he was so nice to everyone and
well respected in the industry.

"We couldn't have made it without the support of Kevin's wife Sue, his agent
and great friend Robert Bruce and all the friends who gave their time to
share their memories," she says.

Footage ranges from Kevin's early days at Christchurch's Court Theatre to
Desperate Remedies with Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Gloss with Chappell and
Parker as well as his role on Xena with Lawless.

The show also includes footage of Smith at his best in other arenas: live
comedy in Theatresports, The Great Debate; and mention of his roles in
theatre productions A Streetcar Named Desire and The Blue Room.

Tylee says that the generosity of people has been amazing. Chappell, now
based in Australia, was able to share her stories, and even Elliott donated
his fee to the Kevin Smith Trust.

The trust, set up for his children, is set to hold a charity function on
Sunday where the tribute will also be shown.

Following the special is the action-drama telefeature Lawless starring Smith
and Angela Dotchin.

New Renee interview!

Go to: "A HREF="">Ladyhawke-Productions

Outtakes an interview with...

OUTTAKES is an article featuring interviews with professionals from all walks of the entertainment industry. This week’s interviewee is a Ladyhawke favorite, actress/director Renee’ O’Connor. We asked Renee’ to share some of her thoughts about the survival and success of women in an industry where they are still a minority. We also mixed in a few personal questions on behalf of her many millions of fans world wide.

OUTTAKES with Renee' O'Connor

Ladyhawke Productions (LHP): Renee', you get asked to do interviews all the time. Why did you decide to do this one?

Renee' O'Connor (ROC): Well, my two new friends at Ladyhawke Productions feel somehow that I may be able to shed some light on aspiring women in entertainment. Don't wait with bated breathe, because I am not a writer and not the most insightful at the best of times. All the more reason to try anyway, right?

LHP: "Just try", is that your motto?

ROC: It's a remark I heard shouted at me by a young girl in New Zealand. She was laughing at my reaction to an apparatus I needed to mount, SEVERAL feet off the ground, and use to fly down a hill.

LHP: During your stint on Xena?

ROC: Not on XENA. This was merely a recreational tool the New Zealanders use to entertain unsuspecting guests. Myself included. There were no wires to keep me safe. No cushions to break my fall. And just as I felt my fear of heights remind me that I had no business being up there, this little girl says "just try". Ha! But I let go of reason and flew through the air with the greatest of ease.

LHP: So it is a motto of sorts...something that has carried you through when you've been afraid?

ROC: Well, of course working in the entertainment industry is not as simple as saying "yes, I'll try", but having the courage to make the leaps of faith will definitely help you along the way. We have to believe in ourselves and visualize our goals to persevere through a very competitive field.

LHP: Which person(s) has most influenced or inspired you in your life and/or career? Why?

ROC: I was very fortunate to have a family who supported me emotionally. My mom will always be my biggest fan and a woman who gave me the freedom to realize my dreams.

LHP: If you could, what part of that would you like to pass on?

ROC: I only hope I am able to encourage my own children to see past any obstacles and reach for their own dreams.

LHP: What should a girl/young woman hoping for a career in the entertainment industry be forewarned about?

ROC: Well...I've been asked several times "how does one break into show business?" These are strange times right now, with both the challenges in the economy and the television/movie industry having to compete even harder to find their audiences. I feel the best approach is to write your own stories!

LHP: LOL. That's great. Write your own. Well I guess we've got a few great recent examples of that ideology don't we... "Kissing Jessica Stein" and "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". Both female driven films starring their authors.

ROC: There is no need to go to Hollywood anymore. Let them come to you! They will if you have taken the time to nurture your talents, writing being the most important one. Attend film festivals and meet other people who also need support. It will not come easily, but if you are challenging yourself in your craft, your work will eventually take on a life of its own.

LHP: you feel that women in the entertainment industry supportive of one another?

ROC: Well, yes...and no. I have met women who feel threatened by other women in the industry, but maybe by people all together. I have never understood why someone must feel she needs to be ruthless in order to gain respect.

LHP: How do you protect yourself from those who are ruthless, yet stay open and available to those who are, like yourself, kind and nurturing?

ROC: I have been aware of my intuitive reaction to people I meet, male or female, and I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to know women in television/film who ARE intelligent, creative, supportive, and kind.

LHP: Do you think that your experience is unique because you were on such a long running hit television show?

ROC: I feel there are good people in every city who are looking to help others. I met a woman director and teacher who said that we are not successful until we have taken our knowledge and mentored another. I loved that! A quote to live by.

LHP: Now for the truly revealing questions...What CD is playing in your car or home stereo right now?

ROC: Café Afrique, Sting, Miles Davis, Little Shop of Horrors, Moby.

LHP: What kind of pets, if any, do you own?

ROC: One dog we found at a kennel, maybe a mix of Bull Mastiff and Ridgeback- and a cat who adopted me years ago.

(The first time Renee' described this dog to me, I had visions of the animal swallowing Miles, her little one, whole. She has reassured me, on more than one occasion, that there is no need to worry- Miles crawls all over him and he's gentle as a lamb. Phew)

LHP: What book or magazine is currently on your nightstand?

ROC: "Emotional Intelligence", Congreve's, "Way of the World", and a friend's book- Devil's Playground.

LHP: What is one thing that always makes you smile?

ROC: Hearing my son's laughter.

LHP: Where can we tell people to watch for you next...what's next on your creative horizon?

ROC: I've got a few balls in the air at the moment...projects I'm not really ready to discuss. But I will be at the Creation Entertainment show in Pasadena in the first part of February.

LHP: Any last words (of wisdom) you'd like to share?

ROC: Hmmm...yeah... Life is not a dress rehearsal.

Go to: Playbill

Xena" Actor Raimi Is Foreigner at Michigan's Meadow Brook, Feb. 12-March 9

By Kenneth Jones
07 Feb 2003

Ted Raimi, a Detroit-area-bred actor who was a regular on TV's "Xena: Warrior Princess," "Hercules" and "seaQuest DSV," returns to his roots in the title role of The Foreigner at Meadow Brook Theatre, Feb. 12-March 9.
Raimi, whose brother is "Spider-Man" film director Sam Raimi, performed in hybrid student-professional productions as part of The Theatre Company at the University of Detroit-Mercy more than a decade ago, and would later appear in such picture as "Patriot Games," "Darkman," "Shocker" and "Army of Darkness." David Regal, artistic director of The Theatre Company for many years, directs the Meadow Brook run.
The cast of Larry Shue's The Foreigner includes Paul Hopper, Mary Benson, John Biedenbach, Robin Lewis-Bedz, Kristopher Yoder and Joey Bybee.
Meadow Brook is Michigan's largest professional theatre, located in Oakland County (where the Raimis attended high school), in Rochester, MI, 20 miles north of downtown Detroit.
For ($19-$38) ticket information, call (248) 377-3300 or visit
This is the second time Meadow Brook has staged the Larry Shue comedy. The company was founded in 1967 as the resident professional theatre of Oakland University.
Renee going to London con!
This in from Creation Entertainment ...


The wonderful Renee O'Connor has graciously agreed to make her first overseas convention appearance at our upcoming LONDON "STRONG WOMEN OF SCI-FI CONVENTION" scheduled for August 29-31, 2003.

Renee will be performing in a stage play on the Saturday daytime of the convention.

Grab the very best seating for the weekend and make your hotel reservations now through us (and you'll get a complimentary hand signed autographed photo from Renee O'Connor if you reserve through us!) now at our site at:

AOL Click

Your friends (going to London!) at Creation Entertainment

Gina was on Hercules as Nebula and, I think, Xena. Wasn't she Cleopatra? I may be wrong. She was also on the ill-fated Cleopatra 2525

This article was posted at

Gina Torres Turns Bad for 'Angel'
Thu, Feb 13, 2003 05:28 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES ( - Fans of "Angel" who were left
bewildered by the ending of Wednesday's (Feb. 12) episode
will find out later this season who's been behind all the
havoc befalling Los Angeles.

Turns out the Big Bad looks a lot like Gina Torres.

Torres, who starred in "Firefly" earlier this season and
appears on "The Agency" Saturday (Feb. 15), has signed to do
episodes of "Angel," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"Firefly," like "Angel," is the brainchild of Joss Whedon.

Her character is described as a "godlike" being who's been
the guiding hand behind recent events on the show. That
mean she was the unseen being to whom The Beast made an
offering in Wednesday's show, and that she was behind
Cordelia's (Charisma Carpenter) turn to the dark side at the
close of Wednesday's episode.

In addition to "Firefly," Torres also starred in the
syndicated series "Cleopatra 2525" and had a recurring part
as Sydney's
nemesis Anna Espinosa on ABC's "Alias."

"Angel" returns to The WB's schedule Wednesday, March 5.

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Just saw "The Two Towers" today. Awesome movie. I love Sam's line, "... There is some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for."

Here's an article I found just now with Karl Urban, who plays Eomer, in the movie. Karl also played Julius Caesar and Cupid in "Xena: Warrior Princess."

For the journalists out there -- wouldn't it be fun to get to write leads like the one in this article?

He's a warrior--and sex symbol in spare time