NAMES & FACES
'Tamburlaine's' Dark Night
Ticket holders looking forward to tonight's performance of "Tamburlaine" got a disappointing surprise. In a statement issued last night, the Shakespeare Theatre Company said lead actor Avery Brooks suffered an injury on Thursday, necessitating a one-night cancellation.
"Avery Brooks was injured at home and is unable to perform in Saturday evening's 'Tamburlaine,' " the statement said. "We have canceled the performance (8 p.m., Sidney Harman Hall) and are notifying our patrons."
No word on exactly what happened to Brooks, 59 -- by phone, a rep said the accident "may have been holiday-related, in terms of setting up things and tripping" -- but the theater expects him to be back on his feet in time for his next scheduled performance.
The media honeymoon seems to be over for actress Eva Longoria, 32, and her 25-year-old NBA star hubby, Tony Parker. After five months of apparently blissful married life, the pair this week fended off swirling rumors that Parker had an affair with a French model in September, just two months after his nuptials.
"I love my wife," the San Antonio Spurs point guard said in a statement to People magazine. "She's the best thing in my life, and I have never been happier." For her part, Longoria said Parker "has been nothing short of the perfect husband." In a separate statement, Longoria's rep called the allegations -- made by model Alexandra Paressant-- "completely, 100 percent false and untrue."
According to the Herald Sun of Melbourne, Australia, this is not Paressant's first entanglement in a scandal involving a high-profile athlete. She may face legal action for public statements made last year about her former boyfriend, Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho, who was bashed in the Brazilian media after his team's loss to Italy at last year's World Cup -- and Paressant's subsequent claims that he snuck out at night to party and stay up late with her during the tournament. In a statement on his Web site, Ronaldinho denied the claims and said he planned to sue to clear his name.
Hoping to get Johnny Depp's autograph? You're probably in luck . . . but don't expect Will Ferrell or Ren¿e Zellweger to be as gracious, a new ranking of the most autograph-happy celebs reports.
The annual "10 Best and 10 Worst Hollywood Signers" list, which appears in the December issue of -- what else? -- Autograph magazine, dubs Depp the most obliging actor when it comes to inscribing his name. "Though soft-spoken and laid-back, he likes to talk to fans and get to know them while signing," an autograph dealer says of Depp in the magazine. Also named as cooperative are A-list powerhouses George Clooney, Jack Nicholson, Dakota Fanning and Katherine Heigl.
Along with Ferrell and Zellweger, some of the worst signers ("not that they're bad people," the magazine adds): Tobey Maguire, William Shatner, Bruce Willis and Scarlett Johansson.
Engaged: Golfer Greg Norman and tennis star Chris Evert, both 52, announced yesterday they plan to tie the knot. No wedding date has been set by the couple, who both split from their longtime spouses in the past year, People magazine reports.
Quoted: "Plato said in 'The Republic' that the ideal age for occupying ruling positions is after 55. In my opinion that ideal age should be 60. And I imagine that 60 in Plato's day would be somewhere around 80 today." -- Cuban leader Fidel Castro, 81, in his forthcoming autobiography, "Fidel Castro: My Life." The book, which unfolds in question-and-answer format, is due out next month.
-- Marissa Newhall, from staff and wire reports