*Many thanks to Kym Taborn - the following transcript is from a pre-release of "This Week in Xena News" (http://whoosh.org/xmr/twxn.html).

The Times-Picayune February 2, 1999 Tuesday Pg. D1


By Chris Rose

When Lucy Lawless showed up last week at the Voodoo Spiritual Temple on Rampart Street, there was some speculation that the Aussie star of "Xena: The Warrior Princess" was there to recruit the temple's Priestess Miriam for an upcoming episode of the show.

That was not the case, however. Lawless, in town to promote her show at the National Association of Television Program Executives convention, was on a more personal mission: "She wanted me to cast the bones," says Priestess Miriam, a Mississippi-born voodoo spiritualist and proprietor of the colorful and mysterious temple on the edge of the French Quarter facing Armstrong Park.

Surrounded by offerings of food, rum, coffee and candles, Xena gingerly took a seat opposite Priestess Miriam, who opened a miniature casket and withdrew the chicken bones she uses to divine the spiritual status of her clients. She then cast the bones onto the table and read them. The bones, she says, "tell the fortunes of all of us who roams."

Priestess Miriam was somewhat vague about Xena's current affairs: "I learned that, outside of being a movie star, she has physical adjustments, pain, losses -- the same as the rest of us," Miriam says. "I wouldn't classify it as negative. I would say it's interchangeable."

As is the case with all NATPE-related events in New Orleans, no deed goes unrecorded. Xena had Leeza Gibbons in tow, who brought along an "Entertainment Tonight" film crew to document another rich slice of life in New Orleans. No word on the air date.


Chris Rose's column appears in this space three times a week. You can reach him at work at 826-3309, home 269-8863, by fax, 826-3186, or by e-mail at noroses@bellsouth.net.

GRAPHIC: Lucy Lawless, aka Xena, paid a visit to Priestess Miriam while in town for the NATPE meet.

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