WEEK IN REVIEW: Reese's Rich Reward

09/06/2002 at 10:00 AM EDT

REESE'S PIECES: Reese Witherspoon, 26, is set to collect $15 million, her biggest paycheck to date, to reprise her role as the determined, if shallow Beverly Hills sorority girl turned Harvard-schooled legal eagle in "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde," Variety reported. The studio is so intent to get moving on the project -- a sequel to last year's hit, "Legally Blonde" -- that it has set a November start date, despite not yet having a director on board. The finished product is due for release next July.

MADONNA REINVENTED: Continuing along a new path of purity, Madonna, 44, is strumming Cat Stevens' "Morning Has Broken" on her acoustic guitar at least once a day, practicing yoga and cutting the erotic scenes out of her upcoming movie "Swept Away," reported Vanity Fair magazine. She has also assembled a children's book, which she describes as a collection of allegorical tales for 5- to 8-year-olds that she assembled with her British movie-director husband, Guy Ritchie, 33. (They have a 2-year-old son together, Rocco, and Madonna is also the mother of a daughter Lourdes, 5.)

STONES ROLL: Life began at 40 for the Rolling Stones in Boston Tuesday night. Make that their 40th anniversary, as the aging rockers kicked off their 25-city "Licks" tour with "Street Fightin' Man" and some glowing reviews. "There's nothing so exciting as starting an American tour and there is nothing so exciting ... as starting here in Boston," Mick Jagger, 59, told the crowd at the Fleet Center. As rock critic Jon Pareles wrote in his positive review in the New York Times: "The prospect of a band whose charter members are pushing 60 or past to 'rip up this joint' might be pathetic if it were any other band but the Rolling Stones (who) defy time and derision by pleasing themselves first."

BASS GROUNDED: The on-again, off-again, on-again plans for Lance Bass to join an October space mission is off again, after the 'N Sync singer failed to pay up in time to meet deadlines set by the Russian Space Agency, a spokesman for the agency told Reuters. Bass, 23, who had been prepping for the $20-million, eight-day mission to the International Space Station for the past several months, would have been the youngest-ever person in space.

HAPPY COUPLE: Social history was made last Sunday when The New York Times ran its first-ever same-sex wedding announcement in its Styles section. The honor went to Daniel Gross and Steven Goldstein, who were affirming their partnership in a civil-union ceremony in North Hero, Vermont. Goldstein, 40, owns a public-affairs consulting firm in New York and was co-manager of Jon Corzine's successful 2000 campaign for the U.S. Senate from New Jersey; Gross, 32, is a vice president of GE Capital.

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