Welcome to Act I of the Monitor's latest production, "Arts & Leisure." No more dress rehearsals. Today we open with the full monty.

Look to Editor's Notebook each Friday for the buzz of the week. Topics today might have included Hollywood's early jump on opening dates for summer, box-office records set by the unsinkable "Titanic," or highlights of the Golden Globe Awards show.

But to us, the week's most talked-about story in entertainment is this eight-page section devoted to film, television, performing arts, fine art, and sports. Not even Jerry Seinfeld could rate higher at the water cooler.

This paper has long been distinguished for its thoughtful entertainment coverage. We like to think our arts and leisure stories enrich, inspire, educate, and even delight readers. Our aim is to continue that tradition while becoming more useful and family-oriented than ever before.

This goal doesn't come from out of the blue. It's in response to your comments. We've been listening to our readers. Closely. And we hear you.

Our popular movie guide is back - this time, adapted to reader requests: You told us you like tips for parents in the Family Movie Guide, but you prefer the comprehensiveness of Freeze Frames. Our solution? Offer a value-added guide that blends the best features of both - and now

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