Correction to This Article
An earlier version of this story misquoted David Simon. This version has been corrected.

Black Eyed Peas to play Super Bowl

Sunday, December 26, 2010; 6:00 PM

Quick close

Brendan Fraser has bombed spectacularly fast in a Broadway season that has seen the shows of several high-profile actors close quickly - T.R. Knight, Patrick Stewart, David Hyde Pierce and Mark Rylance among them.

"Elling," a play about two recently released mental patients in Norway that marked Fraser's Broadway debut, opened last Sunday with hopes of running through March, but will close this Sunday after only 22 previews and nine regular performances. Fraser's co-star, Tony Award-winner Denis O'Hare, received critical praise for his work in "Elling," only to find himself tweeting on Thanksgiving: "What a world what a world. Got to be on CBS for the parade and oh, they are shutting down the play."

The revival of "La Bete," with Rylance, Pierce and Joanna Lumley, and David Mamet 's "A Life in the Theatre," starring Stewart and Knight, have also fared poorly. "A Life in the Theatre" will close Sunday, ahead of its scheduled end date of Jan. 2, and "La Bete" will close Jan. 9.

Bowl of Black Eyed Peas

Score one for the futuristic hip-hop supergroup. The Black Eyed Peas will be the featured halftime act at next year's Super Bowl, Feb. 6 at Cowboys Stadium, it was announced during Thursday's Dallas Cowboys game against defending champ the New Orleans Saints.

The Grammy-winning group - Fergie, Will.I.Am,, and Taboo - will follow last year's performance by the Who. If the Black Eyed Peas' sold-out performance last February at the Verizon Center is any indication, skintight bodysuits, keytars, face-concealing helmets, break-dancing routines, robotic poses, patriotic call-and-response and floating motorcycles are all well within the realm of possibility.

The group's new album"The Beginning" (the follow-up up to last year's "The E.N.D.") is set for release Tuesday. The Super Bowl remains the most-viewed TV program in the United States. The 106.5 million viewers who watched the 2010 Super Bowl became the largest TV audience, breaking the record held by the series finale of "M*A*S*H."

Closely guarded 'Wood'

Tran Anh Hung, the director of a soon-to-be released movie based on Haruki Murakami 's 1987 book "Norwegian Wood" says it took four years to receive Murakami's approval in 2008 to adapt his book into a movie. "Murakami protected his work," he told the Associate Press on Friday in Tokyo. "He gave us two conditions. One is that he would like to see the script. The other one is he would like to know the budget for the movie."

Set in late-1960s Tokyo, the story follows a university student named Watanabe who is torn between two women: Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend who committed suicide, and Midori, a self-confident and independent woman. Model Kiko Mizuhara makes her film debut as Midori. Ken'ichi Matsuyama plays Watanabe. The movie will open in Japan in December and is scheduled for release in 36 countries.

'Wire' goes to college

Pop culture continues to crash on campus. The University of Baltimore recently announced a class on zombies. Now there's a college course based on "The Wire" in the city where the HBO drama was set: Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore has introduced a class this semester based on the show, the Baltimore Sun reported Thursday. The class uses the show to look at problems big cities in America face.

"There is nothing that makes me more optimistic about the future of the country," show creator and former Baltimore Sun reporter David Simon reportedly told the Peter Beilenson-taught class during an appearance earlier this semester. For their midterms assignment, students visited and wrote about needle-exchange sites and juvenile justice centers.

- Christian Hettinger, from Web and wire reports

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