Outer Critics Circle presents awards

The Associated Press

NEW YORK ─Terrence McNally had the inside track on the outer circle.

McNally's play ''Love! Valour! Compassion!'' was named best Broadway play by the Outer Critics Circle, a group of theater writers who work for media outside New York.

The group picked Andrew Lloyd Webber's ''Sunset Boulevard'' as best musical Monday.

Nathan Lane was chosen best actor for his portrayal of a sarcastic, musical-loving gay man in McNally's play. Cherry Jones was named best actress for her role as a dutiful daughter in a revival of ''The Heiress.''

Glenn Close, the silent-screen diva Norma Desmond in ''Sunset Boulevard,'' was best actress in a musical, while best actor in a musical went to Matthew Broderick as the ambitious young man in ''How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.''

NEW YORK ─Al Sharpton is whittling down.

The preacher and black activist has lost nearly 75 pounds since July, and ─ at 232 pounds ─ he's not done yet. His goal is 210.

Sharpton says his 7-year-old daughter Ashley inspired him to get in shape: She told him he was fat.

But it was constructive criticism, says the 40-year-old Sharpton, who has traded in his size 54 suits for size 48.

''I'm lean and mean and will last longer on the scene,'' he says in Monday's New York Daily News.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. ─Ralph Emery is coming out of retirement in style: with a show that's got his name on it.

''The Ralph Emery Show'' premieres July 10 on The Nashville Network, which caters to country music fans.

Emery, 62, has been a popular country music disc jockey and TV host for 38 years. He was host of ''Nashville Now,'' the first show to air on TNN, from 1983 to 1993, when it was replaced with ''Music City Tonight.''

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