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More "Webb's City'

Webb's City: The Musical returns to Mahaffey Theater for performances Nov. 15-24, the LiveArts Peninsula Foundation announced this week. With music by Lee Ahlin and book by Bill Leavengood, the musical about St. Petersburg entrepreneur Doc Webb and his "World's Most Unusual Drugstore" drew strong attendance last year at Mahaffey and Ruth Eckerd Hall. It will be the first production of the foundation, formed to commission and produce theater projects to "preserve and celebrate Florida and Tampa Bay's heritage." General manager of the foundation is veteran area director Diana Lucas Leavengood, who is married to Bill Leavengood.

Bye, bye "Moneyline'

A simmering dispute between Moneyline co-anchor Stuart Varney and CNN management resulted in the network's accepting his resignation Wednesday. Varney, a 20-year CNN veteran, left the network in 1998 but was lured back to co-anchor Moneyline with Willow Bay after Lou Dobbs departed to start an Internet venture devoted to space exploration. Moneyline went bicoastal in September, with Bay in Los Angeles and Varney in New York. Varney couldn't be reached, but the word is he didn't like the bicoastal aspect or the increasing number of correspondents on Moneyline. Push came to shove last week; Varney, a devout Christian, was offended when CNN founder Ted Turner called Ash Wednesday observers "Jesus freaks" at a CNN retirement party for anchor Bernard Shaw. Bay returns to New York March 26 to anchor alone. No word on whether Varney will be replaced.

Stand up Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld will appear on the Late Show with David Letterman Wednesday night _ not as a guest, reports the New York Times, but as a stand-up comic. "He just decided that he wanted to do his new act on TV," Seinfeld's spokeswoman, Elizabeth Clark, told the paper. It will be Seinfeld's first appearance doing stand-up on TV since his 1998 HBO special.

PYT on tour

Epic Records' girl-group PYT will open for Destiny's Child on the first leg of the Destiny's Child North American tour beginning Sunday in Farmington, Mo., and concluding March 31 in Manhattan, Kan. PYT is a pop/R&B group with north Tampa roots. It has toured with Britney Spears and 'N Sync and sang at this year's Super Bowl. Its first single, Same Ol', Same Ol' is out in advance of its debut album, PYT (Down With Me), which is expected in stores in June.

Britney Spears, an author?

British publisher Boxtree has paid about $724,000 for the rights to a novel penned by Britney Spears and her mother, Lynne. A Mother's Gift, about a teenage girl who wants to be a star, was snapped up in December by Random House, which reportedly paid $1-million for a two-book deal. A representative of Boxtree says the book "will come out here and in America in May."

Short takes

NASHVILLE DISCORD: Kenny Rogers is suing his manager of 33 years, Ken Kragen, after firing him two months ago. Rogers says Kragen lured new teen trio 3 of Hearts from Rogers' Dreamcatcher Management Co. to Kragen's own management company. Rogers charges that Kragen tried unsuccessfully to steal country acts Diamond Rio and Sara Evans from Dreamcatcher.

RINGO ON TOUR: Ringo Starr, 60, is resurrecting his "All Starr" band for a summer tour that kicks off in Toronto on July 26. Signing on are Sheila E., Howard Jones and Greg Lake from Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

RACY NEW GIG: Former Beverly Hills, 90210 star Jason Priestley has signed on to provide color commentary on seven Indy Racing League events for ABC Sports, the network says. Priestley is an active race-car driver, having competed professionally in dozens of events over the past few years.

_ From Times staff and wire reports

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