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February 24, 1988

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) _ Blue-collar rocker Bruce Springsteen, who kicks off his ″Tunnel of Love″ tour with the first of three sold-out concerts Thursday at the Worcester Centrum, was in town making final preparations.

Springsteen, 38, arrived in Boston Tuesday with the E Street Band and an entourage of workers and headed to the arena. Fans gathered outside hoping to catch a glimpse of Springsteen, guitarist Nils Lofgren or saxophonist Clarence Clemons and hear the band rehearse.

″I tried to get tickets and it was impossible,″ said Jess Adzima, of Sudbury. ″I took off this afternoon to see if Springsteen was hanging around. When I heard the music, I said, ’That’s Bruce.‴

Springsteen last played at the Centrum in September 1984.

Centrum Marketing Director Kathleen M. Heinz said 39,000 tickets have been sold for the shows on Thursday, Sunday and Monday.

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NEW YORK (AP) - Aidan Quinn, who stars in the Broadway revival of ″A Streetcar Named Desire,″ says he’s not worried about filling the shoes - or torn T-shirt - of Marlon Brando.

The 1947 production of Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play was Brando’s first major theatrical role. The film that followed, also featuring Brando as Stanley Kowalski, is ″etched into everyone’s psyche and memory,″ Quinn admitted in the March issue of Details magazine.

″But that’s a real cowardly reason not to do something,″ says Quinn, who starred in the film ″Desperately Seeking Susan,″ the made-for-TV movie ″An Early Frost,″ and the off-Broadway production of Sam Shepard’s ″A Lie of the Mind.″

″The truth is it’s a great piece, a great play and a great role.″

The play, now in previews, opens March 10.

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - Wearing a rumpled oversize tuxedo and shoes without laces, comedian Steve Martin jumped up and down like a game-show contestant when he received the Hasty Pudding Club Man of the Year award.

″I won 3/8 I won 3/8″ he said to the delight of the audience of nearly 200 at Harvard University. When he reached the podium, Martin deadpanned, ″There’s a cash prize for this, right?″

He received a brass pudding pot, but no cash.

The nation’s oldest undergraduate theatrical organization gave its annual award Tuesday to Martin for ″his lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment,″ said program co-producer Andrea Campbell.

Martin said receiving the award made up for his movie ″Roxanne″ not being nominated for an Oscar. ″Yes it does, because it’s such a prestigious award, and so few people have gotten one,″ he said.

The Hasty Pudding Club awarded Lucille Ball its Woman of the Year award last week.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Tammy Faye Bakker wants Oscar-winner Sally Field to play her in a made-for-TV film about the saga of her and husband Jim Bakker’s fall from grace as leaders of the PTL evangelical ministry, a network official says.

NBC has hired the Bakkers as consultants for its movie. CBS also plans a film about the couple.

″If Tammy had her way, Sally Field would play her in the movie,″ said Ken Raskoff, director of motion pictures for television at NBC.

Both NBC’s film, ″Fall From Grace,″ and the CBS movie ″God and Greed: The Jim and Tammy Fae Bakker Story,″ are in early stages of production. Both networks say it will be three months before a first draft is ready.

″Looks like we are going to have a ‘who’s-going-to-get-on-the-air’ thing,″ said Sandy Emry, production coordinator at CBS.

Jim Bakker resigned from the PTL television ministry in March after word leaked of a 1980 sexual encounter with former church secretary Jessica Hahn.

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Author Ken Kesey has donated a $33,395 bus to the University of Oregon, with the hope of preventing accidents like the one that killed his son and another member of the school wrestling team four years ago.

″The problem with a van is that it’s not as stable as school bus construction,″ said Kesey, who gained fame two decades ago for his escapades on a very different kind of bus, whose journeys were chronicled in Tom Wolfe’s ″The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.″ Kesey himself is best known for his novel, ″One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.″

Kesey’s son, Jed, 20, and fellow wrestler Lorenzo West died when their van skidded out of control on a snow-covered road between Pendleton and Pullman, Wash. Two other wrestlers were seriously injured.

Kesey and his wife, Faye, were among those who filed lawsuits in which settlements were reached last fall. The Keseys used their settlement to purchase the custom-built bus, which is loaded with safety features.

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WHITTIER, Calif. (AP) - Historian Stephen Ambrose, writing the second volume of his biography about Richard M. Nixon, says students today don’t see anything so horrible about Watergate.

The New Orleans historian recently wrapped up a three-week visit to Whittier College, Nixon’s alma mater. Ambrose, 52, brought in former Nixon administration officials H.R. Haldeman, Robert Finch and Maurice Stans to add to his lectures.

″I suppose I had assumed that just being at Whittier, they (students) would have absorbed something about Nixon. It turned out, precious little,″ he said. Because students ″don’t see anything so horrible about Watergate″ there is a national resurgence of Nixon’s reputation.

″It’s the damnedest thing, but it’s quite true. The Nixon revival is full- blown now and well under way,″ Ambrose said.