"SOUL TRAIN" may be making a comeback.
Stage and film producer Matthew Weaver, who helped create "Rock of Ages," has acquired the theatrical stage rights to the TV show and said yesterday that he's hoping to repeat his success by turning "Soul Train" into a show that attracts both die-hard Broadway fans and those who usually avoid Times Square.
"I'm nervous and I'm humbled and I'm excited," said Weaver, who heads the production company MediaWeaver Entertainment. "I do think we're the right people to do it because I think it's got to have that spirit of 'Rock of Ages,' which is part old-fashioned musical but also part party."
"Soul Train," a sort of black version of "American Bandstand," featured such acts as James Brown, Al Green, Ike and Tina Turner, Hall & Oates, Donna Summer, Marvin Gaye, the Jackson 5, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Whitney Houston, David Bowie, Prince, Run-D.M.C. and Destiny's Child during its 35-year run. Moves that "Soul Train" dancers developed spread nationwide.
Don Cornelius started the "Train" in 1970, in Chicago, and served as its host until 1993. It aired in syndication from 1971 until 2006, and spun off an awards show that is still aired. Cornelius killed himself in 2012.
Weaver plans to next hire a writer and get music rights. His only time frame for the stage is "when the story's right."
" 'Rock of Ages' is an awesome show, but it's not just because we have 'Sister Christian' and 'Don't Stop Believin' ' and serve liquor in the aisles that that show is still running five years later. It's still running because we have a great story and great characters," Weaver said.
"To me, that's the heart of 'Soul Train' - a great story and great characters. The music will be great, the fashion will be great, the ambiance, the vibe. But if you don't have a good story, none of that means anything."
Out and about
Ellen DeGeneres is America's most powerful gay person, according to Out's annual Power 50 list, ranking the LGBT community's most influential voices.
The rest of the top 10: 2. Tim Cook (Apple CEO). 3. Rachel Maddow (MSNBC host). 4. Tammy Baldwin (U.S. senator). 5. Glenn Greenwald (journalist). 6. Ryan Murphy ("Glee," "American Horror Story" creator, producer). 7. Neil Patrick Harris (actor). 8. Andy Cohen (Bravo executive). 9. Michael Sam (football player). 10. Robin Roberts ("Good Morning America" host).
* Lindsay Lohan's mother, Dina, has pleaded guilty in New York to a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated.
Can a reality show be far behind?
Newsday reports that Dina also pleaded guilty to speeding during her court appearance yesterday on Long Island.
Speeding during her court appearance? That's what happens when you misplace your modifiers.
The Nassau County prosecutor says Dina is expected to be sentenced June 3 to a conditional discharge and 100 hours of community service. She will also pay a fine.
Police said she was driving 77 mph in a 55 mph zone when she was arrested on Sept. 12, in Oyster Bay. They said her blood-alcohol level was more than double the legal limit.
Or about half Lindsay's.
* MSNBC says host Lawrence O'Donnell was injured with his brother Michael in a taxi accident Saturday while vacationing out of the country. The network didn't specify where.
The two were transported back to the United States and are expected to make a full recovery, the network said.
O'Donnell will be off the air for several weeks as he recuperates. MSNBC said Alex Wagner was scheduled to sub for him on "The Last Word" last night, with Ari Melber filling in tonight and tomorrow.
A political analyst, journalist, writer and producer, O'Donnell has hosted "The Last Word" since 2010.
* Paul Walker's brothers are filling in to help finish filming on "Fast & Furious 7."
Universal Pictures announced yesterday that Caleb and Cody Walker have been enlisted to complete the shooting of some of the film's action scenes. Production has resumed after it was suspended following Walker's death in late November.
* TheWrap.com says Leonardo DiCaprio has agreed to star in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's gritty thriller "The Revenant," based on Michael Punke's novel, The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge.
The story is about a 19th-century fur trapper who gets mauled by a grizzly bear and is left for dead by cohorts who rob him. When he survives, he sets out to exact grizzly revenge on those who betrayed him.
* According to TheWrap.com, Stephen Colbert will sit down with David Letterman on next Tuesday's "Late Show," CBS announced.
Though Colbert has appeared on the "Late Show" before, this will be his first time joining Letterman since the announcement that he will be replacing Letterman next year.
Conservatives, at least according to their pundits, can thus get an early start boycotting the show.
But one quick mathematical point: Regardless of Rush's outrage, it doesn't matter if every conservative turns off CBS at 11:35 p.m. (the same way it doesn't matter to Rush if liberals don't listen to him).
Barack Obama got votes from 65 million Americans in 2012. If 62 million of them don't watch Colbert, he will be a late-night ratings hit.
- Daily News wire services
contributed to this report.