From Down Under: Dead Broadway star to be identified; Naomi slams Barbara; Kylie Minogue's queer fanclub
by Rob Irwin
Published: February 15, 2004
WE kick off this week with the sad news from The Sun Herald that the body of Broadway star Jason Raize Rothenberg has yet to be formally identified by dental records which are still on the way from the United States.
RAIZE, who had once played the role of Simba in the Broadway version of The Lion King, was found hanged on an Australian horse stud on February 7.
FANS might also remember Jason as the voice of a native American boy in the animated Disney film Brother Bear or from his nature series on TV - Keeping It Wild With Jason Raize.
AUSTRALIA stood up and cheered this week when Naomi Watts matched fire with fire when Barbara Walters put her on the spot over dating Heath Ledger - a man 11 years her junior. Quoth Watts: "You fall for the person, not an age." Go Naomi!
WATTS, 35, and Ledger, 24, got together on the set of the film Ned Kelly in Australia in 2002.
OUR favourite director, Peter Weir, sailed to victory at the London Film Critics' Circle awards earlier this week, with Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World beating Oscar favourite Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King for the best film award.
IF only this was a sure sign that the Russell Crowe epic would also go on to win the Oscar this year, alas, even we at From Down Under are forced to admit that this is an unlikely event.
HOT on the heels of her recent Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording, Kylie Minogue has now received the nod from the Queer Eye For The Straight Guy team. "We love Kylie," Carson Kressley told The Sunday Telegraph at the launch for the team's CD soundtrack, What's That Sound?
KYLIE must have made quite an impact with the guys, as they added that they would like to come down to Australia ASAP. Kressley even went as far as to jokingly ask The Sunday Telegraph yesterday for "anything you can do - put in a good word with the Australian prime minister".
"WE all want Australian boyfriends," added Jai Rodriguez.
CHECK this out... while casting calls in Sydney and Brisbane have turned up a lot of Aussie blokes wanting to impress US TV execs for the upcoming series Hero of the Outback, The Age reports that just three guys turned up to the Melbourne casting.
MAYBE they were scared away by the requirements? They run as follows: "We are looking for a single man, 25 to 35 years of age, who has a passion for the outdoors, adventure and romance. He's a modern day Indiana Jones who is sophisticated, handsome, rugged and successful. He can start a fire without matches, catch fish in his bare hands, leap from a plane and waltz while quoting Shakespeare. He's not a competitor, he's the star of the show. He already has all it takes to survive in the outback."
APPARANTLY, the whole point of the show is that the Aussie hero (who is unlikely to come from Melbourne) will be stranded in the Australian outback with dozens of beautiful American women, who will be weeded-out week by week. Damn, now why didn't we apply...?
FINALLY this week, you might remember a recent edition of From Down Under which mentioned an upcoming stage show called XXX, produced by Spanish group La Fura Dels Baus which was also responsible for the opening ceremony of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Well, as From Down Under should have seen coming... it's been censored.
ACCORDING to reports, Australia is the first country in the world in which parts of the show's pre-recorded video segments have been modified to satisfy Australian censorship laws. The Sun-Herald even reports that the play opened to boos from the audience at its Australian premiere in Melbourne last week when it was announced that scenes had been censored to gain an R-rating from the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC).
THE report said that offending scenes, depicting explicit sex acts, were pixelated or obscured by bright lights. How ridiculous. While hardcore porn plays to men in stained raincoats in towns across Australia, a stage show which has played to thousands of people around the globe attracts censorship. At embarassing times like these, it almost makes us wish we weren't reporting From Down Under. See you next week.