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On stage, Lindsay Lohan gets tepid response

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It wasn’t a car crash, but there weren’t fireworks, either.

Critics writing in Friday’s papers gave a lukewarm welcome to Lindsay Lohan’s professional stage debut, which followed months of hype and speculation about whether the wayward star was up to the job.

“Shock news: Lindsay Lohan can act a bit,” wrote Dominic Maxwell in The Times after the opening night of David Mamet’s Hollywood satire Speed-the Plow. The Guardian’s Michael Billington called Lohan’s performance “perfectly creditable.”

Lohan seemed tentative at times and had to be prompted once on Thursday’s opening night, but she has undeniable charisma, and some reviewers felt her uncertainty suited the character.

Billington said the performance “doesn’t mean Lohan is ready to play Hedda Gabler tomorrow … [but] she holds the stage with ease and doesn’t let the side down.”

Lohan plays the pivotal role of Karen, an office temp whose naivete throws the plans of two ambitious producers into chaos.

Lohan, 28, has said she wants to role to be the start of a new chapter in her roller-coaster career. But some critics said Lohan should never have been allowed on the West End stage.

Mark Shenton of the theater newspaper The Stage called her casting “a disgrace” and said the actor was “out of her league.”

In the Daily Mail, Quentin Letts called Lohan’s casting a marketing stunt and said her acting “is that of a not specially gifted schoolgirl.”

REALITY OVERLOAD

A former member of the Jersey Shore cast is delaying a court hearing in his tax fraud case so he can film another reality TV show.

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino was scheduled to be arraigned on federal conspiracy and tax fraud counts Monday in Newark. But the proceeding was moved to Oct. 23 after Sorrentino’s lawyer said his client has to tape another reality show in Los Angeles.

Sorrentino and his fiancee are scheduled to appear on Marriage Boot Camp, which films for two weeks ending Oct. 19.

Sorrentino and brother Marc pleaded not guilty at an initial court appearance last week. Prosecutors contend the pair filed false tax returns and overstated business expenses on about $9 million they earned through two businesses. Both are free on $250,000 bail.

QUITE AN HONOR

Steve Martin is being saluted with this year’s Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. The AFI announced Friday that Martin would be getting its highest honor for a career in film.

The award will be given at a tribute in Los Angeles next June. The gala ceremony will be aired for a third year on the TNT network and by its sister channel, Turner Classic Movies.

Martin, 69, followed initial stardom as a standup and TV performer with his debut feature film, The Jerk, in 1979.

Previous award recipients include Al Pacino, Warren Beatty, Mel Brooks and Jane Fonda.

RAPPER CITED

Rapper Too Short has been cited at a Southern California airport a day after fleeing a security checkpoint when a screener found a loaded handgun in his carry-on luggage.

Burbank police Sgt. John Pfrommer says the rapper, born Todd Anthony Shaw, was passing through the checkpoint Wednesday when a Transportation Security Administration employee noticed the handgun going through a baggage scanner.

The rapper fled the building, leaving his belongings behind.

Pfrommer says Too Short returned to the airport Thursday with his attorney and was cited on misdemeanor possession of a loaded handgun in a public place.

He was released and is due in court Nov. 3. Police didn’t know who the rapper’s attorney is.

Too Short rose to prominence in the late 1980s out of Oakland. His hits include Life Is … Too Short and Blow the Whistle.

FORCED OUT

The host of the popular BBC television program Top Gear and other members of the crew have fled Argentina after being pelted with rocks by people who believed one of their cars had a license plate alluding to the Falklands War.

Officials said a crowd of about 50 people began hurling rocks at the BBC group Thursday as they drove in a caravan under police escort to the Chilean border in the southernmost province of Tierra del Fuego.

They were forced to leave the cars behind in an area between Tolhuin and Rio Grande. One minor injury was reported, and images by local newspapers showed broken windows and other damage to the cars, which were taken into police custody.

SCARY TOWN

Sleepy Hollow, meet Sleepy Hollow.

Two of the actors from the Fox TV series, Orlando Jones and Lyndie Greenwood, were set to cut a ribbon in the New York village to open the Halloween season Friday evening. The village administrator says the Headless Horseman was also invited.

Irving’s eerie 1819 short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, has helped make the village and surrounding area a tourist destination at Halloween.

It also inspired the TV show, in which story hero Ichabod Crane is transported to the modern world.

But the TV show is produced in Wilmington, North Carolina, rather than Sleepy Hollow, which is 25 miles north of New York City.

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