Hitchin' Time for Garth & Trisha
Skipping Nashville for the groom's native Oklahoma, country music stars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood crooned I do's to each other Saturday in a low-key wedding ceremony. "It was the perfect Christmas gift to each other. We could not be happier," Brooks said in a statement. The nuptials were in contrast to the couple's very public betrothal in May in front of 7,000 concertgoers at Buck Owens's Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, Calif. A larger-than-life bronze statue of Brooks had just been unveiled when he turned to Yearwood, got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. The crowd went wild when Yearwood tearfully accepted.
The couple met in the mid-1980s, and their work together won them a Grammy in 1997. This is the second marriage for Brooks, 43, and the third for Yearwood, 41. Brooks has three daughters from his first marriage to Sandy Mahl.
Bocelli Goes Elvis
Italian pop and classical singer Andrea Bocelli sampled his forthcoming album at a private concert over the weekend in Nevada. Bocelli was joined by songwriter and producer David Foster on a floating stage Saturday in Lake Las Vegas.
Opening with the Latin bolero "Besame Mucho," the duo stuck largely to the Spanish and Italian love songs featured on Bocelli's "Amore," which is headed for stores in February. But the Tuscan crooner also played to the Vegas crowd by delivering his own rendition of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love."
Dubbed "Amore Under the Desert Stars," the concert was taped for the "Great Performances" series on PBS and is scheduled to air in March.
We'll Just Say Miss Iceland
Miss Iceland, Unnur Birna Vilhjalmsdottir, was crowned Miss World 2005 on Saturday. The 21-year-old Reykjavik student is the daughter of Miss Iceland 1983. The green-eyed brunette expressed her delight at becoming a goodwill ambassador and charity fundraiser for children's causes throughout the next year. "It was wonderful, so wonderful. It has been an amazing night," Vilhjalmsdottir told the Associated Foreign Press. "I did not think that I would win; it was a big surprise."
Mementos of Marge
Antiques aficionados and baseball fans fielded some bowls over the weekend at an auction of items from the $123 million estate of late Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott. Articles on the block Friday in Cincinnati included swords, dog dishes, poker tables and punch bowls.
Schott's Reds memorabilia was not for sale, but that didn't stop baseball fan Chris Smith. He bought dog dishes and a dog place mat for $175, even though he doesn't have a dog.
"I'm a huge baseball fan," said Smith, 31. "I always liked Marge, and I just wanted a couple of her things."
The auction drew about 250 bidders and raised $180,700 for the Marge and Charles J. Schott Foundation. Schott was 75 when she died last year.
A play based on U.S. peace activist Cindy Sheehan and written by Nobel laureate Dario Fo had its world premiere in London on Saturday night. The one-woman play, based on Sheehan's letters to President Bush and other writings, stars British actress Frances de la Tour. Both Sheehan and Fo were in attendance . . . Actresses Julianne Moore and Salma Hayek performed joint master of ceremony duties for the annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert yesterday in Oslo. The concert, featuring Gladys Knight, Duran Duran, Westlife and Sugababes, was held in honor of Nobel peace laureate Mohamed El Baradei and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
-- Ashby Strassburger