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New faces of 'Charity'; facing news media's troubles

PLAYBILL Even as its cast is being radically remade on the eve of the show's opening in Boston, the Broadway-bound revival of ''Sweet Charity" is in great shape. At least, that's what producer Barry Weissler would have you believe. ''What can I tell you? This is part of producing," Weissler said yesterday. Not only is the show's star, Christina Applegate, out with a broken foot, but now principals Solange Sandy and Natascia Diaz have been sent packing, replaced by Kyra DaCosta and Janine LaManna. Weissler, who admitted he's had better weeks, said he decided a month ago to remove Sandy and Diaz. ''We saw something we didn't like, and we think we have a better show now," he said. Some critics thought the show was fine as it was. Reviewing ''Sweet Charity" during its run in Chicago, Variety's Chris Jones liked what he saw, calling Sandy and Diaz a ''couple of knockout second bananas." Weissler responded that he's not interested in pleasing critics. ''I only care about the audience," he said. ''Only the people count."

FATHER KNOWS BEST While Applegate's replacement, Charlotte d'Amboise, is kicking up her heels in ''Sweet Charity," her brother, Christopher d'Amboise, will be nearby -- Providence, actually -- choreographing the world premiere of the Charles Strouse musical ''You Never Know" at Trinity Repertory Theatre. (Previews begin April 15.) Charlotte's frère told us there is a good chance that their father, dance great Jacques d'Amboise, will come to town to see ''Sweet Charity."

RATHER TALKATIVE A week after Dan Rather signed off at CBS, one of the key players in the drama that forced anchor Dan from his chair is speaking at the Fletcher School at Tufts. Louis Boccardi, former president of the Associated Press, gives a talk today titled ''A Veteran Newsman Looks at Today's Turbulent Media Landscape." Boccardi and former attorney general Dick Thornburgh cochaired the independent inquiry that slammed the ''60 Minutes Wednesday" report on President Bush's National Guard service.

THEY GOT TWO The Studio, the women's clothing store in Brookline co-owned by Ilene Epstein, is offering a pair of tickets for the Sox home opener, and considering who Epstein's son is -- Sox GM Theo Epstein -- the seats are probably pretty sweet. Anyway, Epstein and partners, her twin sister Sandy Gradman and Marcie Brawer, are raffling off the tickets, with the proceeds benefiting the Red Sox Foundation. (You can't win if you don't play, as they say, and the raffle closes the week before the April 11 home opener.) The Studio has been a regular supporter of the Red Sox charities, even before Theo was elevated to GM. To purchase a raffle ticket, either go to the store or call 617-738-5091.

PERNICE GETS THE CALL ''Moonshot Manny," local rocker Joe Pernice's musical tribute to Sox slugger Manny Ramirez, will be on the soundtrack of Bobby and Peter Farrelly's movie ''Fever Pitch." Pernice and his manager, Joyce Linehan, got the call from the movie's music supervisor, Tom Wolfe. Wolfe said Nick Hornby, author of the book ''Fever Pitch," wanted the song on the soundtrack. Pernice released the song last fall on the Internet, where it's still available for download at www.pernicebrothers.com for a $1 minimum donation to First Night. What's unknown is just how the song will be used. ''We don't know yet whether it will be used in the body of the movie or as the third end title," said Linehan, ''so the people cleaning the theaters after the movie's over will hear it a lot."

Catherine Foster of the Globe staff contributed. Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.

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