"There are nearly 50 shows a year and the theater is small," the naysayer continued. "It only holds about 4,500 people. . . . Ticket sales need to start skyrocketing or else there's going to be a lot of disappointed investors and people involved with the show."
Please leave a message
The advocacy group Autism Speaks is offering custom-recorded phone messages from original TV "Batman" Adam West, "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston, singer Cher, actors Jack Black, Peter Dinklage and Jim Parsons, "Star Wars" star Mark Hamill, "Star Trek" actors MichaelDorn and Zachary Quinto, and broadcaster Vin Scully.
Here's a suggestion.
For Cranston (as Walter White): "I have made a series of very bad decisions and I cannot make another one. So leave a message. For the good of my family."
"We got a good mix and match," said Ed Asner ("The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Up"), who dreamed up the unusual fundraiser with his son Matt, who works for Autism Speaks. "They've all been really happy to do it."
From Oct. 7 to 13, a limited number of 20-second-long MP3 messages you write will be recorded by each celebrity on a first-come, first-served basis for fans to do with as they wish. All requests must be of the PG variety and each costs $299.
Last year, the fundraiser created some memorable messages: Betty White warned listeners to one phone number, "If I have to tell you what to do at the beep, then you're an idiot and shouldn't be using a phone in the first place." Callers to another number got Will Ferrell saying, "Leave Jimmy a message while we eat some meat loaf." And Patrick Stewart lent his smooth British accent to one: "You could leave a message," he purred, "but we both know it would be nowhere as awesome as this greeting."
Some 342 messages were made last year during the inaugural campaign, helping raise $100,000. All proceeds support autism research and advocacy efforts.
The U.S. Postal Service is planning to add soul singer Ray Charles to its "Music Icons Forever" stamp series.
Postal officials say the agency released a stamp featuring Charles yesterday along with one of the artist's previously unreleased songs.
Charles pioneered the soul and R&B genres. He died in 2004.
Ashanti and the Morehouse College Glee Club are scheduled to perform in his honor at the Atlanta school's Ray Charles Performing Arts Center. And Chaka Khan is headlining an event at the Grammy Museum, in Los Angeles.
Pence and sensibility
A Jane Austen museum in the U.K. said yesterday that it has raised enough money to buy the writer's ring back from Kelly Clarkson.
Earlier this year, the British government placed a temporary export ban on the gold-and-turquoise ring that Clarkson bought at auction in the hope that money could be found to keep it in Britain.
You think they could do the same with One Direction?
Jane Austen's House Museum in southern England said that it had raised $252,436 - enough to keep the ring - thanks to a very large anonymous donation.
Clarkson - an Austen fan who owns a first edition of the author's novel Persuasion - was persuaded to sell the bauble to the museum.
"The ring is a beautiful national treasure and I am happy to know that so many Jane Austen fans will get to see it at Jane Austen's House Museum," she said.
* Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, one of the imprisoned members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot, declared a hunger strike yesterday to protest what she described as inhumane working conditions and threats to her life at a women's penal colony.
Rad Nad, as we like to call her (mostly because it's easier to spell), is serving a two-year sentence for "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred." She and two other group members were arrested in early 2012 after Pussy Riot burst into Moscow's main Orthodox cathedral and tried to perform a "punk prayer" denouncing Vladimir Putin.
John McCain denounced Putin and nothing happened to him.
* Life & Style reports that "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm will have surgery to remove throat polyps in Boston next week.
An L&S source reportedly heard January Jones blabbing about the surgery at the Emmy Awards.
Hamm had been ignoring the two large polyps until he recently coughed up blood, says L&S.
In addition to their polyp talk, Jon and January were also heard gabbing about fantasy football.
* Tattle thought the Emmys this year were too long, dull and morose, but we're hypercritical.
Ellen Pompeo ("Grey's Anatomy") wasn't a fan, either.
"I didn't see any diversity in the Emmys at all," she said. "The Emmys felt so dated to me. . . . That dance number was embarrassing. Did you see one person of color in that dance number?"
- Daily News wire services contributed to this report.