Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Cats," now in its fifth year of a German-language production in Vienna, might make its way to the Soviet Union this spring. It appears that Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze, who saw the production with his wife while on an official visit to Vienna in 1986, has persuaded the right folks at home to invite the cast to perform at Moscow's Operetta Theater.
A spokeswoman for the theater said yesterday it is "99 percent sure" the Austrian cast will give a guest performance from May 20 through May 30 this year. The production will probably be presented in English at the request of the authors, she said.
A Vocal Matlin
When hearing-impaired actress Marlee Matlin picked up an Oscar for best actress last year at the Academy Awards, she used sign language to deliver her acceptance speech. This year, when she presents the Oscar for best actor, she is expected to use her voice. Matlin has been working with speech therapist Dr. Lillian Glass, who has worked with other celebrities including Dustin Hoffman, Julio Iglesias and Sheena Easton.
He's been called a lot of things, but this may be a first: On Monday, the president of the National Religious Broadcasters introduced Ronald Wilson Reagan as "our beloved president -- President Wilson." The gaffe, made by Robert A. Cook, chancellor of King's College in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., drew peals of laughter from the audience and a smile from Nancy Reagan, who was sitting nearby.
Michelle Phillips in the Clear
Singer-actress Michelle Phillips is off the hook. An Amarillo, Tex., judge ruled that the celebrated former member of the Mamas and the Papas could not be prosecuted for possession of two ounces of marijuana because the officer who found the drug did not have probable cause for a search. Phillips, 43, currently starring in the nighttime soap "Knots Landing," had been scheduled to go to trial next week. She could have faced a $1,000 fine and six-month prison term.
"I'm just very grateful we were able to find an attorney whose basic purpose was to show that the law had not been upheld and my right to privacy had been ignored," Phillips said.
She and her boyfriend, Geoffrey Tozer, were arrested Dec. 2 during a traffic stop near Amarillo. Tozer was never charged.
The Directors' Director
Steven Spielberg of "Empire of the Sun," James L. Brooks of "Broadcast News" and Adrian Lyne of "Fatal Attraction" were among the directors nominated Monday in Los Angeles as the best in their field by the Directors Guild of America. Veteran Italian filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci also was nominated for "The Last Emperor," and Lasse Hallstrom of Sweden for "My Life as a Dog."
The guild award is an important harbinger of the Oscars, with the directors' honoree having varied only three times in 40 years from the selection of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The DGA awards will be announced March 12.
Hail From the Symphony
And football fanatics will be happy to learn that Redskins fever has infiltrated the more refined ranks of society. Mstislav Rostropovich conducted the National Symphony Orchestra in a rousing rendition of "Hail to the Redskins" at the Kennedy Center last night ...