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            Bottega Veneta exudes 1940s Hollywood glamour in Milan

AP Photo/Antonio Calanni

Bottega Veneta exudes 1940s Hollywood glamour in Milan

Milan Fashion Week took a formal turn on the third day of previews for next fall and winter.

Mindful of the price point, designers were not churning out looks that could be tossed into a suitcase for a fanciful journey, but rather pieces that could hang in the closet for years to come, even left alone for a period only to re-emerge as relevant as the day they were purchased.

The old debate continued about whether to get items to the store quickly to satisfy the consumer accustomed to instant gratification. But while some designers were quick to get out capsule collections, from Moschino to Ermanno Scervino, the overriding Milan mindset retained its commitment to luxury craftsmanship and materials, which cannot be rushed.

Some highlights from Saturday's shows, including Bottega Veneta, Missoni, Scervino and Jil Sander.

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HOLLYWOOD'S GOLDEN ERA AT BOTTEGA VENETA

Bottega Veneta's looks for next season exuded a 1940s Hollywood glamour, with a strictly formal collection for men and women.

The female silhouette befitted any Hollywood diva: broad shoulders, rounded hips and tailored at the waist with long continuous lines. Creative director Tomas Maier said the shape conveys "the pencil mark on a sketch."

Sweeping metallic-thread evening dresses created a liquid effect and had distinctive detailing, with one tying demurely on the derriere. Riding trousers were the staple for daywear, worn with tucked-sweaters and knee-high boots. Contemporary touches included multi-directional pleats on the daytime dresses — a technique achieved with a mostly polyester base to keep the shape — and a disciplined deployment of sequins and elegant studs. Big furry coats were from goats, a purposefully sustainable choice.

Glamorous accessories finished the looks: sheer black hose with polka dots, suede and nappa wedge footwear and crystal combs sweeping the hair into place. Colors included bright ochre and tangerine for the day and ice blue and desert rose for the evening.

Bottega Veneta's menswear also started with formal wear, with both smoking jackets that nipped in the waist and bombers paired with bow ties. Maier said the two clothing lines were conceived together, sharing materials and ideas.

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DESIGNING FOR A WORLD OF WOMEN

Despite the collection's strong point of view on Saturday, Bottega Veneta's creative director, Tomas Maier, said he had no specific muse in mind.

"I never think about one single woman. I grew up in a home with a lot of women, a lot of sisters, my mother and aunts. Everyone very different, everyone with their own personality and their own problems," Maier said backstage. "That really took me off the road of having a dream woman."

Instead, he deliberately seeks to create looks that work for women of different shapes, skin tones and hair colors.

"It is on our minds at all times," he said.

___

BIRD OF PARADISE FOR VIONNET

The French brand Vionnet made its Milan runway debut Friday evening in the 15th-century Casa degli Atellani palace, recreating a salon atmosphere amid carved wooden panels and centuries-old frescoes.

"We are Made-in-Italy, and this is why we are here in Milan today," said creative director Goga Ashkenazi, who took over the historic brand in 2012. "There may be a time when we go back to Paris, but for us, it is the same. We feel very at home here."

The collection was inspired by the exotic bird-of-paradise, which Ashkenazi compared to "women of modernity" like Yoko Ono and Imam.

"They belong to the world, and they are amazingly self-confident, each one a character," she said.

Avian references appeared in encyclopedic prints on silken fabrics, while the bird-of-paradise's colorful plumage also inspired flashes of colors, including turquoise, green and pinks, which contrasted with taupe and black.

Ashkenazi captured the fluidity of the brand founded in 1912 with light chiffon and crepe de chine silks that conveyed classical Greco-Roman styles. But she kept it modern with contrasting bias-cut denim, including flowing bell bottoms, and twists on dresses that had an industrial touch, inspired by the drill. Even the shearlings hung on the body in a fluid manner.

"That was the intention, the break in styles," she said. "We are respecting our beautiful history of course, but we are giving it a twist."

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Follow Colleen Barry on Twitter: https://twitter.com/collbarry


            Iranian director sends video to message to US rally

AP Photo/Michel Euler, File

Iranian director sends video to message to US rally

An Oscar-nominated Iranian film director has sent a video message to a rally attended by celebrities and top talent agents. It's intended to thank the Hollywood community for its support during his boycott of the awards ceremony.

After U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order temporarily banning immigrants from seven Muslim majority countries, including Iran, Asghar Farhadi decided to boycott the Oscars.

The video has been published on Iranian social media. In it, Farhadi condemns the new U.S. president's policies and says they are "trying to promote hate."

Farhadi said in his first public appearance since the ban: "It is comforting to me to know that, at a time when some politicians are trying to promote hate by creating divisions between cultures and religions and nationalities."


            Legend, Miranda, Bareilles make Oscar rehearsals musical

Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Legend, Miranda, Bareilles make Oscar rehearsals musical

Lin-Manuel Miranda owned Friday's Oscar rehearsals. He sang a tune from "La La Land," posed like John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever," invoked a 1990s Billy Crystal Oscar monologue, and reprimanded his dad from the stage for having his cellphone light on.

The creator of "Hamilton" joined Sting, Justin Timberlake and John Legend for a day of music rehearsals at Hollywood's Dolby Theatre Friday. Miranda is nominated for "How Far I'll Go" from "Moana." Timberlake is up for "Can't Stop the Feeling" from "Trolls." Sting will sing his nominated song from "Jim: The James Foley Story," and Legend will perform the two nominated songs from "La La Land."

Wearing a sweatshirt that read "Rehearsal is the best part," Miranda sang a few bars from "City of Stars" before his rehearsal began.

"I can't get it out of my head!" he said.

Later, he called out his dad from the stage.

"Luis Miranda," the 37-year-old Grammy, Emmy and Tony winner bellowed into the microphone. "Turn your light off. I can see it from here."

Lin-Manuel Miranda will become the youngest member of the EGOT club if he takes home the Oscar on Sunday. He's set to introduce 16-year-old Auli'i Cravalho at the show, who voiced the title character of "Moana" and will perform his nominated song.

A novice actress discovered by chance in her hometown of Honolulu, Cravalho repeatedly ran through the tune with a confidence and charm that belie her age and inexperience.

"She's literally never done this before," said Disney Animation spokeswoman Amy Astley, adding that the Friday's rehearsals represented Cravalho's first time ever onstage.

The starlet even smiled as she sang, completely undaunted until she noticed Meryl Streep's seat-saving placard in the theater's front row.

"There's my role model in life right there," Cravalho said.

She confessed her concerns to Miranda after the rehearsal. The banner-wielding dancers behind her: did they cause too much of a breeze in her hair?

"It's like a bespoke Beyonce fan," Miranda said in comfort.

Earlier Friday, Legend sat behind a grand piano on the Oscar stage. The last time he performed here, he went home with an Academy Award, winning best original song for "Glory" from "Selma."

This time, Legend rehearsed a medley of tunes he didn't write, but the composer of the nominated songs from "La La Land" was by his side to offer guidance.

Legend will perform a newly arranged medley of "City of Stars" and "Audition" by the film's triple-nominated composer, Justin Hurwitz, who kept his sheet music notes under his arm throughout Friday's rehearsal.

"It's really cool to mess up on this stage," Legend said with a smile after striking an errant chord on the piano. Hurwitz coached the Grammy winner between takes.

Set against a backdrop that moves from a Los Angeles sunset to a starry night sky, choreographer Mandy Moore led a team of dancers through a routine that evokes the timeless ballroom moves Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling perform in the film. Two dancers even appear to float through the sky during the number.

"It's gonna be good, I promise," Moore told Hurwitz.

"It looks beautiful," he said nervously.

Co-lyricist Benj Pasek watched proudly from a seat in the theater.

"I am freaking out," the 31-year-old Oscar nominee said, adding that he brought his mother along to rehearsals.

"She's becoming best friends with all the people who run the Oscars," he said.

Sara Bareilles, who will sing for the show's In Memoriam tribute, had a brief Broadway-style moment with Miranda and "Hamilton" director Tommy Kail. The stage stars attempted to present the singer with a bottle of water, which she dramatically shunned, until embracing the Tony winners seconds later.

The 89th Academy Awards will air Sunday on ABC.

___

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .


            Jack White launches vinyl record plant in Detroit

Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

Jack White launches vinyl record plant in Detroit

Detroit-raised rocker Jack White is building on a vision to blend music and manufacturing in a part of his hometown that long inspired him.

The Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, guitarist, drummer and producer is overseeing the launch of a vinyl record pressing plant in the back of his Third Man Records shop north of downtown Detroit. Third Man Pressing holds its grand opening on Saturday.

The eight presses represent some of the first newly built machines installed in the U.S. in more than three decades — corresponding with a vinyl revival. White told The Associated Press on Friday that "there's so much demand for the records and so little supply."

"Two years ago we could not buy new presses," said White, decked out in yellow shoes and custom-made Third Man shirt. "We're the first place to really be the guinea pig of this."

White marvels at the bright yellow, German-made machines, which earlier this week churned out records by some legendary Detroit bands that inspired him, including The Stooges and MC5. He said the presses will kick out the jams, as it were, by pressing eye-popping, genre-spanning platters by Detroit bands of renown and then spread to other Third Man artists and those of other small labels.

The plant also is part of a revival for a part of the city where White and his former band, The White Stripes, got its start 20 years ago. White also attended high school at nearby Cass Tech, ran an upholstery shop and took "a couple classes" at Wayne State University.

"Out of the darkness comes the light: What was traditionally known as the roughest neighborhood in Detroit, the Cass Corridor, is now showing the most incredible fruits and beauty and progress," said White, who has recently collaborated with Beyoncé and A Tribe Called Quest.

White, who employed vinyl for his earliest releases, founded Third Man in Detroit in 2001 and both he and the business relocated to Nashville, Tennessee. Detroit's retail store opened in 2015. White and Shinola, a Detroit-based maker of watches, bikes and other goods, jointly bought the building.

"Down the street, Shinola is selling $2,500 turntables that they're making right there in front of people's eyes behind glass. We're going to be making records two doors down in front of glass. Can you believe this?" he mused. "This is in the Cass Corridor. You would have never have guessed any of this was going to happen. It's worth every cent, every second of energy people have put into it."

His goal is to keep expanding in Nashville and Detroit so that "there's nothing involved in the record that is not part of the Third Man system," including making record sleeves and metal plates for the presses. He likens the goal to that of another famous Detroit manufacturer, automotive pioneer Henry Ford.

"They had an idea about pouring raw materials into one end and out the other end came Model T cars," he said. "We're going to get there."

____

Follow Jeff Karoub on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jeffkaroub . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/author/jeff-karoub.


            Obama returns to Broadway to see Arthur Miller's 'The Price'

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File

Obama returns to Broadway to see Arthur Miller's 'The Price'

The Obamas just can't quit Broadway.

Former President Barack Obama and his daughter Malia Obama have caught a new revival of Arthur Miller's "The Price." They attended the play starring Danny DeVito, Mark Ruffalo, Tony Shalhoub and Jessica Hecht at the American Airlines Theatre on Friday.

In "The Price," a police officer feels that life has passed him by while he took care of his now-dead father. He and his estranged brother must reunite to sell off dad's possessions.

The Obamas were big boosters of Broadway during his presidency, especially "Hamilton," ''A Raisin in the Sun" and "Joe Turner's Come and Gone." Members of the Obama family also attended "Memphis," ''Kinky Boots," ''Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," ''Sister Act," ''The Trip to Bountiful," ''Motown the Musical" and "The Addams Family."

Hillary and Bill Clinton have also been attending Broadway shows since the election, seeing the musicals "In Transit" and "The Color Purple."


            Foster, Fox call for unity at rally for immigration rights

Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

Foster, Fox call for unity at rally for immigration rights

As most of Hollywood gears up for the Oscars on Sunday and the whirlwind of events and parties this weekend, celebrities and top talent agents gathered in Beverly Hills Friday to do something to do something a little different: rally for immigration rights.

Jodie Foster, Michael J. Fox and Keegan-Michael Key were among the speakers at the rally, organized by the United Talent Agency outside of their Beverly Hills headquarters. The talent agency, better known as UTA, planned the nearly two-hour United Voices rally in lieu of holding their annual Oscars party. Security officials estimated there were 1,200 people in attendance.

Key, who kicked things off, said the event was intended to, "support the creative community's growing concern with anti-immigration sentiment in the United States of America and its potential chilling effect on the global exchange of ideas, not to mention freedom of expression."

He welcomed all, including a handful of Trump supporters, because he said "this is America, where you get to believe what you want."

One Trump supporter walked through the crowd in a Make America Great Again hat early on saying "you're not going to block me."

For the most part, however, the crowd was subdued, civil and attentive to the celebrity speakers.

Michael J. Fox, who became a United States citizen some 20 years ago, remembered being annoyed at the 8-year process to citizenship and now wonders what he was complaining about.

Turning immigrants away, Fox said, is "an assault on human dignity."

One of the best-received was Jodie Foster who enthusiastically yelled "this is a great idea! Why didn't I think of this?"

Foster said she's never been comfortable using her public face for activism and has always found the small ways to serve, but that this year is different.

"It's time to show up," she said. "It's a singular time in history. It's time to engage. And as the very, very dead Frederick Douglass once said 'any time is a good time for illumination.'"

The Oscar-nominated Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi also spoke via video from Tehran to praise the show of unity among the cinema community. Farhadi previously said he would boycott Sunday's ceremony as a result of President Donald Trump's Muslim travel ban.

"It is comforting to know that at a time when some politicians are trying to promote hate by creating divisions between cultures, religions and nationalities, the cinema community has joined the people in a common show of unity to announce its opposition," Farhadi said. "I hope this unity will continue and spread to fight other injustices."

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer and Reza Aslan were among the others who took the podium during the event, which also included a DJ set and live performances from the X Ambassadors and Ben Harper.

UTA previously announced that it was donating $250,000 to the ACLU and the International Rescue Committee and has set up a crowd funding page to solicit more donations. At press time, over $320,000 had been raised.


            Meryl Streep added as Academy Awards presenter

Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Meryl Streep added as Academy Awards presenter

Meryl Streep, whose Golden Globes speech prompted President Donald Trump to call her "overrated," has been added as a presenter to Sunday's Academy Awards.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on Friday unveiled its final batch of presenters, including Streep. The actress is also a nominee for a record 20th time. She's up for best actress for her performance in "Florence Foster Jenkins."

In her speech at the Golden Globes last month, Streep drew a loud standing ovation for a speech that bluntly criticized Trump. She particularly voiced disgust for his mocking of The New York Times' Serge Kovaleski, a disabled reporter.

Other presenters announced Friday include Ryan Gosling, Taraji P. Henson, Jennifer Aniston, Warren Beatty and Matt Damon.


            Foreign film Oscar nominees decry 'climate of fascism' in US

Cohen Media Group via AP

Foreign film Oscar nominees decry 'climate of fascism' in US

The six directors whose films are nominated for best foreign language film at the Oscars decried the "climate of fascism' in the U.S. and other countries, in a joint statement two days before the Academy Awards.

The statement, released Friday, was signed by Iran's Asghar Farhadi, Denmark's Martin Zandvliet, Sweden's Hannes Holm, Germany's Maren Ade and the two directors of Australia's "Tanna": Martin Butler and Bentley Dean. The directors blamed "leading politicians" for generating fear by "dividing us into genders, colors, religions and sexualities."

Farhadi, a previous Oscar winner, has said he would boycott Sunday's ceremony following President Donald Trump's travel ban of seven predominantly Muslim countries, including Iran.

The filmmakers said Friday that whoever wins the award, it will be dedicated to people working to "foster unity and understanding."

Shannen Doherty looks back on her treatment as she waits to learn if she is cancer free

On Friday morning, actress Shannen Doherty posted a Flashback Friday picture on Instagram from when she was in the depths of her chemotherapy treatment in October. The emotional photo shows Doherty curling up in bed after a round of chemo sessions.

"Last day of chemo. Exhausted. Now that I’m done with chemo and radiation, the waiting game is here," Doherty captioned the photo. "Waiting for test. Waiting to see if I’m clear or not. Waiting for reconstruction. Waiting. I think when one gets cancer, they are always waiting to a certain extent. To those who know … I’m waiting with you."

>> Read more trending stories

After the post went live, fans began to shower Doherty with support and love.

"Sending up prayers and positive energy!" one fan wrote.

Another shared a story of a loved one’s own cancer battle: "Sending my love strength to you. My mom just had her last reconstruction and is waiting for recovery. It’s still a long road, but the worst is over!"

"This next week will suck but it’s all a downhill glide from here! Lots of love and support and strength and good vibes from Austin, Texas."

Doherty certainly has the support of fans hoping for the best.

#fbf to this morning. Oct7,2016... not that long ago. Last day of chemo. Exhausted.  Now that I'm done with chemo and radiation, the waiting game is here. Waiting for test. Waiting to see if I'm clear or not. Waiting for reconstruction. Waiting. I think when one gets cancer, they are always waiting to a certain extent. To those who know... I'm waiting with you. #cancerslayer A post shared by ShannenDoherty (@theshando) on Feb 24, 2017 at 8:47am PST


            Clooney uses Cesar award to warn about hate in age of Trump

AP Photo/Thibault Camus

Clooney uses Cesar award to warn about hate in age of Trump

George Clooney used the stage at the 42nd Cesar awards, France's equivalent of the Oscars, to criticize U.S. President Donald Trump, without directly calling him out by name.

Receiving an honorary Cesar on Friday, Clooney said that "citizens of the world" must work "harder and harder not to let hate win."

He said that "the actions of this president have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies and given considerable comfort to our enemies."

The fault, he said, "is not really his" because fear was already present. "He merely exploited it, and rather successfully."

The critique was delivered with some humor, with French 2012 best actor Oscar winner Jean Dujardin providing a purposely wacky translation, and adding his own dig: "Donald Trump is a danger for the world."


            Clooney, in Paris, jokes about Trump's Paris comments

AP Photo/Thibault Camus

Clooney, in Paris, jokes about Trump's Paris comments

George Clooney, attending the Cesar Awards in Paris, apparently doesn't agree with President Donald Trump that Paris isn't what it used to be.

"Yes, no one wants to go to Paris anymore because it's horrible here, apparently," Clooney quipped with a smile as he stood next to his wife, Amal, on the red carpet. "Well, we have some things to work on in the United States." He added: "I think you guys have some of the same issues here, so good luck."

Clooney was at the Cesar Awards, the French version of the Oscars, to receive an honorary award.

Trump, speaking earlier Friday at a gathering of conservative activists in the United States, said that "Paris is no longer Paris" — due to the threat of terrorism — and that a friend of his never goes there anymore.

Amal and George Clooney are expecting twins in June.


            Efforts to stop anonymous sources clash with 1st Amendment

CPAC

Efforts to stop anonymous sources clash with 1st Amendment

Of course, any effort to limit sources would conflict with the First Amendment. Separately, 39 states and the District of Columbia have reporter shields, which offer various protections from subpoenas and the forced disclosure of sources, according to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. But there is no shield in federal law, despite past efforts in Congress to pass one.

"The Supreme Court has held back on recognizing a constitutional reporters' shield," said Gabe Rottman, a lawyer at the Center for Democracy & Technology in Washington.

At the federal level, "there's been a grand struggle between the courts and reporters," Rottman said. "Reporters have to face the unfortunate fact that they may be held in contempt if they don't disclose their sources. That's also seen as a badge of pride by many reporters."

Some high-profile cases:

— New York Times reporter Judith Miller was held in contempt and spent 85 days in jail in 2005 rather than divulge a source in the government's investigation of leaks about an undercover CIA agent. She ultimately testified before a grand jury after saying her source, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, had waived confidentiality. Two courts, citing national security, ruled against Miller in her contempt case, and the Supreme Court declined to hear her appeal.

— In 2014, defense lawyers in the Colorado theater mass shooting failed to persuade courts to force Fox News reporter Jana Winter to reveal her sources. The lawyers wanted to know how she had learned that James Holmes sent his psychiatrist a notebook containing violent images before the 2012 attack. Winter was protected under a New York shield law.

— Former prosecutor Richard Convertino spent years trying to learn the source of a 2004 Detroit Free Press story about a secret ethics investigation against him when he worked at the U.S. Justice Department. David Ashenfelter refused to reveal how he got details, invoking a constitutional right against self-incrimination. An appeals court closed the matter in 2015 with a decision in his favor. "I'm relieved that this legal nightmare may finally be over," Ashenfelter said at the time.

Rottman said Trump's comments about anonymous sources could have a chilling effect on people who want to tell reporters about waste, fraud or something worse in government.

"The use of anonymous sources has been essential in drawing back the veil of secrecy from an overstepping government," Rottman said.

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Follow Ed White at http://twitter.com/edwhiteap


            Dance scenes in movies can be tricky, but sometimes magical

Dale Robinette/Lionsgate via AP

Dance scenes in movies can be tricky, but sometimes magical

of leaps and pirouettes, not to mention bicycles sashaying along the roofs of automobiles. It's not easy to stage a successful dance scene for the cameras — especially on a highway interchange — but when such a scene works, it can be memorable.

One secret, says "La La Land" choreographer Mandy Moore, is not to compete with the camera, but in a sense, to find a way to dance WITH it. "When it's done right, it's this perfect marriage of how the camera is moving in conjunction and collaboration with the movement of the dancer," she says.

Dancing on a stage is three-dimensional; on a screen, you lose an entire dimension. But what you can do is use the camera to convey emotion in a dancer in ways you can't onstage. "You can see how dance changes the person — that's a key," says Wendy Perron, former editor in chief of Dance Magazine and author of "Through the Eyes of a Dancer."

Because everyone has their favorite dance moments in movies, and because the Oscars are coming, and because, hey, it's just fun to remember this stuff (all available online), here are a few scenes where the cameras helped create dance magic:

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YEP, IT WAS HEAVEN

"I'm in heaven," Fred Astaire sings to Ginger Rogers, warbling Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek" in the 1935 film "Top Hat." And so are we. "Fred is so cool and she's so coy," Moore notes, adding that the scene is so successful because it tells a story through movement. "They're almost a little icy the way they start, and then just this beautiful way that they open up through the performance, and they're just so free and gorgeous through dancing together," she says. Check out those swoon-worthy twirling lifts toward the end.

___

LOG-SPINNING AND ARM-WRESTLING

There's some real gymnastics in the rip-roaring choreography by Michael Kidd in the 1954 film, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers." The big dance in the barn — with guys competing for the gals — is a showstopper. Moore loves that this dance story is told without lyrics. "These days, we're so used to being spoon-fed what we're supposed to feel," she says. Check out that guy on the spinning log, not to mention what can best be described as a balance beam routine that includes arm-wrestling.

___

DANCIN' IN THE RAIN

Of course, Kelly's rain-drenched virtuoso performance in the title song of "Singin' in the Rain" (1952) is a wonder — especially when you consider that, according to movie lore, he had a bad cold and fever. Then there are Donald O'Connor's athletics — including wall-climbing somersaults — in "Make 'Em Laugh." But let's consider the recently departed Debbie Reynolds, who at age 19 had no dance training, and somehow held her own, expertly tapping away with Kelly and O'Connor in the joyous "Good Morning" — which she has said made her feet bleed.

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MAMBO IN THE GYM

There's no debating the brilliance of Jerome Robbins' choreography for "West Side Story" (1961). But which dance scene gets top billing? For Moore, it's that opening with the Jets and Sharks and those snapping fingers. "You just do that snap and a little jump and everybody instantly knows it's 'West Side Story,'" she says. For Perron, it's the Mambo dance at the gym, where Maria (Natalie Wood) and Tony (Richard Beymer) fall in love. Especially that cinematic moment "when all the others blur out, and Tony and Maria come into focus, and it's just an amazing falling-in-love moment. The music slows down, and there's an inevitability about their coming together and ignoring the whole world."

___

THE MAGIC OF MIKHAIL

You can dispute the overall quality of the 1985 "White Nights," but here's one thing you can't dispute: the dancing prowess of Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines. The two, who both play defectors (it's complicated), have silly dialogue but compelling dancing, together and apart. And, if you only have two minutes on your hands, search for "Baryshnikov" and "11 pirouettes." For 11 rubles, he does what is really one single pirouette with 11 revolutions — perfectly. In street clothes.

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STEP IN TIME

They're doing a high-profile "Mary Poppins" sequel, but for many it will be hard to match some of the memories of the 1964 original, like Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke dancing in "Step in Time" — that joyful chimney sweep scene on the London rooftops. "It takes the dirty, sooty experience of working on chimneys and makes it magical," says Perron.

___

TRAVOLTA TRIFECTA

You gotta hand it to John Travolta, who's provided more than his share of lasting dance memories. First there was "Saturday Night Fever" (1977), where the actor earned big-screen fame as Tony Manero, king of the disco floor and champion of the strut. Only a year later he tore up the gym floor in "Grease," co-starring Olivia Newton-John. And in 1994, there was that understated — but unforgettable — twist contest with Uma Thurman in "Pulp Fiction."

___

YOU KNOW, THAT LIFT

No one leaves Baby off a list. Before Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling did "La La Land," they did "Crazy, Stupid, Love," (2011) in which they recreated the famous "Dirty Dancing" lift made famous by Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in 1987. You know the one. Enough said.

___

A STORM OF DANCING

If you watch one dance clip, let it be this: the Nicholas Brothers, Fayard and Harold, in their have-to-see-it-to-believe-it performance in "Stormy Weather" (1943). It's not just that the brothers, who overcame racial hurdles to earn fame for their astounding talent, tap and twirl and jump onto tables; they jump into full splits, too, in moves that look like they'd be horribly painful. At the end, they leapfrog over each other down a staircase, landing in splits each time. And then they get up and smile. "They're unstoppable," says Perron. "And they make it look so much fun."

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            White House bars major news outlets from informal briefing

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

White House bars major news outlets from informal briefing

The Associated Press chose not to participate in the briefing after White House press secretary Sean Spicer restricted the number of journalists included. Typically, the daily briefing is televised and open to all news organizations credentialed to cover the White House.

"The AP believes the public should have as much access to the president as possible," Lauren Easton, the AP's director of media relations, said in a statement.

On Friday, hours after President Donald Trump delivered a speech blasting the media, Spicer invited only a pool of news organizations that represents and shares reporting with the larger press corps. He also invited several other major news outlets, as well as smaller organizations including the conservative Washington Times, One America News Network and Breitbart News, whose former executive chairman, Steve Bannon, is Trump's chief strategist. When the additional news organizations attempted to gain access, they weren't allowed to enter.

The White House said it felt "everyone was represented" by those in the pool and the invited organizations.

"We decided to add a couple of additional people beyond the pool. Nothing more than that," said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

When asked by a reporter attending whether he was playing favorites, Spicer said the White House had "shown an abundance of accessibility," according to an audio recording of the briefing later circulated by the pool.

The pool included Reuters, Bloomberg, CBS, Hearst Newspapers and CBS Radio. Others in the briefing were Fox, NBC and ABC. Bloomberg reported that its reporter was unaware of the exclusions until after the briefing.

John Roberts, Fox's chief White House correspondent, told anchor Shepard Smith on the air Friday that Fox supports complaints being filed by the White House Correspondents Association and pool TV networks.

"You can speculate, Shep, that there might be some extenuating circumstances as to why those people were not invited, we're going to look into that further...." Roberts said.

In a statement, the correspondent association's president, Jeff Mason, said the group was "protesting strongly" against how the briefing was handled by the White House.

CBS News said in a statement that it was the pool's radio and TV outlet Friday.

"We recorded audio of this event and quickly shared it out of an obligation to protect the interests of all pool members," the news division said.

When Spicer was asked by a reporter at the briefing whether he was playing favorites, he said he "disagreed with the premise of the question," according to the audio.

"We've brought more reporters into this process. And the idea that every time that every single person can't get their question answered or fit in a room that we're excluding people. We've actually gone above and beyond with making ourselves, our team, and our briefing room more accessible than probably any prior administration. And so I think you can take that to the bank.

"We do what we can to accommodate the press. I think we've gone above and beyond when it comes to accessibility, and openness and getting folks — our officials, our team."

During a panel discussion last December, Spicer said that open access for the media is "what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship."

Reaction to Friday's events from the barred outlets and others was swift.

Davan Maharaj, editor-in-chief and publisher of the Los Angeles Times, called the newspaper's exclusion "unfortunate."

"The public has a right to know, and that means being informed by a variety of news sources, not just those filtered by the White House press office in hopes of getting friendly coverage," Maharaj said in a statement. "Regardless of access, the Times will continue to report on the Trump administration without fear or favor."

Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, said that "nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties. We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest."

CNN's Jake Tapper took aim at the White House as he kicked off "The Lead with Jake Tapper" hours after the briefing.

"A White House that has had some difficulty telling the truth and that has seemed to have trouble getting up to speed on the basic competent functioning of government, and a president who seems particularly averse to any criticism and has called the press the enemies of the American people — they're taking the next step in attempting to avoid checks and balances and accountability.

"It's not acceptable. In fact, it's petulant, and indicative of a lack of basic understanding of how an adult White House functions," Tapper said.

The Committee to Protect Journalists also condemned the move by the White House.

"We are concerned by the decision to bar reporters from a press secretary briefing," CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said in a statement. "The U.S. should be promoting press freedom and access to information."

___

Elber reported from Los Angeles. AP Writer Frazier Moore in New York contributed to this report.


            Richie recovering from procedure, postpones tour with Carey

Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP, File

Richie recovering from procedure, postpones tour with Carey

Lionel Richie says he won't recover from a knee procedure in time to launch his tour with Mariah Carey next month.

The 67-year-old singer said in a statement Friday that their All The Hits Tour will be postponed until the summer. The 35-date trek was supposed to launch March 15 and wrap on May 27.

Richie said "unfortunately my recovery from a knee procedure will not have me 100 percent ready to start the tour." He said he doesn't want to disappoint his fans and he's looking "forward to being back onstage so we can all be 'Dancing on the Ceiling' together again."

Purchased tickets will be honored at the new dates, to be announced soon.


            Court closes Robin Thicke restraining order trial to public

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File

Court closes Robin Thicke restraining order trial to public

No public proceedings will be held in singer Robin Thicke's trial focusing on a restraining order his ex-wife wants amid allegations he abused her and their son, a judge ruled on Friday.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Roy Paul ruled the two-week trial will start March 6 and be held behind closed doors as witnesses are questioned.

Actress Paula Patton's attorneys wrote in a court filing this week that they want to call 26 witnesses, and several child welfare service workers and sheriff's deputies appeared in court after being subpoenaed.

The judge will decide whether the temporary restraining order that Thicke's ex-wife obtained should be extended for up to five years.

Patton accused the "Blurred Lines" singer of severely spanking their son and being physically abusive during their marriage, which ended in 2015. In January she was granted a temporary restraining order that requires Thicke to stay away from her and have only supervised visits with his 6-year-old son.

Thicke has denied abusing his son, and his former attorney has said there was no basis for Patton's domestic violence allegations and called them retaliatory.

This week Patton's lawyers accused Thicke in a filing of evidence tampering and modifying a court order in an attempt to get her arrested for kidnapping.

Patton was granted sole custody of the boy on Jan. 26, and a judge ordered Thicke to stay away from her and her home.

To obtain the temporary restraining order, Patton included a sworn declaration alleging Thicke was abusive during their marriage and pushed her to the ground and kicked her during a fight in April 2013.

The custody dispute flared up weeks after Thicke's father, "Growing Pains" actor Alan Thicke, died in December.

Thicke and Patton dated for 10 years before marrying in June 2005. She filed for divorce in October 2014, and their judgment was finalized a few months later.

___

This story has been corrected to show the ex-wife's surname is Patton, not Putton.


            Brazil's Carnival begins with parades, parties but no mayor

AP Photo/Mauro Pimentel

Brazil's Carnival begins with parades, parties but no mayor

Revelers across Brazil began Carnival celebrations on Friday, taking to the streets to dance, drink beer and spirits, and blow off steam at a time of economic angst and fury with politicians over a sprawling corruption scandal.

The world's most famous Carnival bash in Rio opened in a strange way. After a day in silence, the city's evangelical Mayor Marcelo Crivella delayed the traditionally opulent starting ceremony until 8:30 p.m. only to skip it with the excuse that his wife was sick. Eventually, Rio city hall put out an email saying that Carnival was "officially open."

But several so-called block parties in Rio were underway by the afternoon. Thousands of revelers danced amid 90-degree (32 Celsius) heat with high humidity, standard during the Southern Hemisphere summer.

At the "Carmelitas" block party in Rio's bohemian Santa Teresa neighborhood, revelers dressed up as nuns, with many carrying signs insulting politicians who oppose marijuana legalization.

"The lord says: you will try all the herbs that came from the seeds," read one banner.

"Carnival is a very nice and democratic party," said partygoer Nilse Azevedo. "Whoever wants to pray, prays. Whoever wants to have fun in the street has fun."

But it was the odd opening to the iconic festival, which brings in more than $ 1 billion to Rio each year, that was the talk of the day.

At the sambadrome, where top league samba schools begin competing on Sunday, revelers waited Friday for the traditional handing over of the city's key to "Rei Momo," or the king of carnal delights. This was always done with great fanfare by former Mayor Eduardo Paes.

But the current mayor, Crivella, decided to send the head of Rio's tourism agency to represent him at the opening ceremony. Even stranger was the quick removal of Rei Momo, who did not give interviews as usual and was escorted out of the sambadrome by security guards.

It isn't clear whether Crivella, a retired Pentecostal bishop who took office on Jan. 1, will attend any of the five days of parades at the sambadrome. Rio's city council has already authorized him to travel abroad on the next few days.

Earlier Friday, when it was still unclear whether the mayor would come for the opening ceremony, Maria Cristina held the symbolic key to the city, appearing like somebody who had been stood up.

"I would also like to know what is going on," said Cristina, the guardian of the key, when asked by an Associated Press reporter about what she would do with it.

Cristina said the mayor's office had told her and the symbolic key-holding group to come, but hadn't said more about the plans.

The mayor "should separate religion from politics at our Carnival," said Marisol Portela, a homemaker who had come to the sambadrome. "He will not be missed. We will throw our party anyway."

The annual Carnival celebrations come at a difficult time for many Brazilians. The economy is mired in recession, leading to daily announcements of job cuts and much angst about the future. Many states, including Rio de Janeiro, are so broke that thousands of public workers are being paid months late, if at all.

Latin America's largest nation is also recovering from a brutal impeachment fight last year that led to the removal of President Dilma Rousseff for illegal mismanagement of the budget. The man who replaced her, Michel Temer, is deeply unpopular.

Temer and several others in both chambers of Congress have been caught up, either through formal charges or in plea bargains, in a massive corruption probe that has jailed dozens of politicians and businessmen in the last few years. Temer denies wrongdoing.

One of Rio's big block parties is dedicated to the president. It's theme: "Out with Temer!"

In Sao Paulo, where samba school competitions get started Friday night, there was heavy rain and thunder. Some streets in the eastern part of the megacity were flooding. Images on Globo Television show cars fully submerged and floating.

______

Associated Press video journalist Mario Lobao in Rio de Janeiro contributed to this report.


            Little Big Town's momentum grows with Ryman residency

AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Little Big Town's momentum grows with Ryman residency

At the close of the first-ever residency at the Ryman Auditorium on Friday, country vocal group Little Big Town gave the audience a glimpse of how some of the first performers on that stage sounded like.

"We're going to try to sing without mics. That's the way it used to be here," said singer Karen Fairchild before the four-piece vocal group launched into "The Beginning."

The Grammy winning band launched their residency at the 125-year-old venue in Nashville, Tennessee, nicknamed the "Mother Church of Country Music," for its role in popularizing the genre. Without amplification, the room grew quiet as the four vocalists stood on the edge of the stage and let the acoustics of the venue carry their voices.

Little Big Town marks a return to their roots with the album "The Breaker," out Friday, with the No. 1 single "Better Man," written by Taylor Swift. It's the first single off their new record.

The four-piece Grammy-winning country group is also celebrating an addition to the family — singer Kimberly Schlapman recently announced that she has adopted a daughter, Dolly Grace.

Singer Phillip Sweet said the timing of these milestone events has given him pause. "It's almost like this moment is marked by this beautiful little life that has come into our world," he said. "And it's so precious and special and I think it makes us truly stop and enjoy that moment in our real lives."

Sweet and Schlapman, along with husband-and-wife Jimi Westbrook and Karen Fairchild, make up the vocal band that hit a career high in 2015 with the multiplatinum hit "Girl Crush," which earned accolades at the 2016 Grammys. They also experimented outside the genre with a pop record "Wanderlust" produced by Pharrell Williams in 2016.

And the band didn't let that momentum fade.

"We didn't want people to know who wrote it for a little while because we wanted everyone to hear the song with no subtext," Sweet said of "Better Man." ''I feel like people listened with different ears because of that."

In a departure from previous records, the band members only had a hand in writing three songs on the album. "Don't Die Young, Don't Grow Old," co-written by Fairchild and Schlapman with "Girl Crush" writers Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose after Westbrook's sister Joyce died in 2015 due to cancer, has a poignant message for the band.

"It was kind of therapeutic for them obviously to write it," Sweet said. "This is what you would say to someone you loved. Just a reminder to always live in the moment every chance you get."

The group has a tradition on release week to play their entire album beginning to end. Friday's show was the first of at least nine dates they have booked at the Ryman throughout the year, with more dates likely to be added. Built in 1892 as the Union Gospel Tabernacle, the building has become synonymous with country and bluegrass and served as the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974. Musical icons from Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, The Carter Family, Patsy Cline, Earl Scruggs and Bill Monroe have all graced its stage over the past 125 years.

Sally Williams, general manager of the Ryman Auditorium and vice president of concerts and entertainment at Opry Entertainment Group, said the Ryman wanted the first residency to reflect the diversity of the musicians who have performed there.

"We wanted to be working with someone who was genre bending, who was very firmly rooted in country music, which is Nashville, but also very open and creative and inclusive of other genres," Williams said. "And Little Big Town is so much that."

The band also welcomed two of country music's biggest stars to the stage, Sam Hunt and Chris Stapleton, to sing with them during the show. After playing their new album in full, they finished the evening with a collection of their biggest hits including "Pontoon," ''Tornado," ''Boondocks" and "Girl Crush."

Swift, who has said she's not touring in 2017, performed "Better Man" during a special performance in Houston as part of the pre-Superbowl festivities, but Sweet said the band is ready if the pop star ever wants to perform the song with them.

"I mean, come on, Taylor," Sweet said. "We would love to do it. If she's up for it, we're up for it."

__

Online:

www.littlebigtown.com

__

Follow Kristin M. Hall at twitter.com/kmhall

Most Americans have no idea who's up for an Oscar this year

And the Oscar goes to ... um, you know, that movie, with that guy, about that thing...

That's how the average American might hand over the hardware come trophy time this Sunday. A National Research Group poll conducted for the Hollywood Reporter found that 60 percent of Americans polled in early February could not name a single best-picture nominee. But 70 percent plan to watch the awards show, airing at 7 p.m. on ABC, anyway.

>> Read more trending stories

The poll surveyed 800 people, half of whom voted for Hillary Clinton and half of whom voted for Donald Trump in November's election, to ensure a balanced representation.

>> Related: The Oscars 2017: Complete list of nominees

"On average, Clinton fans were slightly more cinema-aware and were more likely to have seen the nominated films," the Hollywood Reporter noted.

To refresh your memory, the nominees are "Arrival," "La La Land," "Moonlight," "Fences," "Hacksaw Ridge," "Manchester by the Sea" and "Lion."

>> Related: 2017 Oscars: Two-sentence summaries of every Best Picture nominee

Judging from buzz and other awards leading up to the Oscars it looks like "Moonlight," and "La La Land" are the favored contenders.


            Versace 'power woman' designs, Etro funky nomads in Milan

AP Photo/Luca Bruno

Versace 'power woman' designs, Etro funky nomads in Milan

Gigi Hadid drew a crowd to Milan's Rinascente Department store where she was showing off Tommy Hilfiger's latest fall-winter collection.

Hundreds of fans showed up, and she obliged some with the chance at a selfie. Hadid leads the pack of "It" models headlining Milan Fashion Week, which was in its third day on Friday.

So far this week, Hadid has walked the runways for Max Mara and Moschino, where she was joined by her sister Bella and Kendall Jenner. Hadid had a little stumble on the Moschino runway when her shoe caught the hemline of a dress fashioned to look like it was recycled from a Persian carpet. With a few high steps, she recovered with aplomb.

Here are some highlights from Friday's shows, including Emporio Armani, Etro and Versace.

____

POWER THROUGH POSITIVITY AT VERSACE

Donatella Versace has long promoted the power women through her uncompromising fashion. On Friday in Milan, she did it again.

Emblazoned on her creations for next fall were key words: Solidarity; Equality; Courage; Unity. The words were embroidered on sheer layers peeking out from under black wool skirts. On the sleeves of blouses. And most symbolically, on patches placed on knit hats that recall the caps worn at recent demonstrations by women across the United States. Versace's hats weren't pink and didn't have cat ears, but the sentiment was unmistakable.

The Versace woman for next season is unapologetically streetwise. She wears a hoodie under her down-to-business suit, refusing to compromise her knowledge, the very definition of equality.

"This is a collection about the power of women, and women who know how to use their power," Versace said in her notes.

Versace tapped into all aspects of a woman's life, from work to play to evening. There were suits for the work day, but always with a streetwear edge, such as a cropped sweater with an open blazer and cropped pants. There were sexy body-hugging dresses that can transition from day to night. And there were pretty floral dresses that had a vaguely battle-fatigue camouflage effect. Sheepskin jackets are fitted, to show the curves.

Versace said the collection "is a call for unity, and the strength that comes from positivity and hope."

Model Naomi Campbell and Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton took in the show from the front row.

____

BACK TO THE FUTURE

Marco de Vincenzo's latest collection was down-to-earth in a back-to-the-future way. That goes for both the color palate, which included a series of looks in a well-rubbed coppery sheen and leopard prints, and the back-to-basics nature of the collection, focusing on twists of the classic wardrobe.

De Vincenzo says he based the collection on "a woman who from the past who imagines the future."

"I didn't do this for nostalgia. I did it because I needed to take a step back and look at the past, to something familiar," he said.

The looks employed familiar forms, including blouses with pleated skirts, fur coats, pencil skirts with knitwear and strands of pearls. But everything was slightly off-kilter.

Ruffles and pleats gave geometry to the looks. De Vincenzo artfully combined horizontal pleats with more classic plisses for a modernist twist on familiar forms. Plaids and checks clashed both in pattern and color schemes, pinks and burgundy appearing alongside light blue and ochre.

Synthetic furs were printed with futuristic landscapes, covered with plastic fringe.

Footwear included crystal-covered booties, worn unzipped, and sneakers inside ballet flats.

Even since launching his own line, De Vincenzo has kept his day job as accessories designer for Fendi, and Silvia Venturini Fendi showed up backstage to wish him well.

____

FUNKY NOMADS AT ETRO

Veronica Etro has created a collection for free-spirited women nostalgic for the Grateful Dead.

The designer said the eclectic looks of colliding patterns and exploding colors were inspired by long-ago trips to Mexico and India. She imagined creating them for her paisley tribe to wear at a high-altitude festival.

"It's a way of gathering, of coming together, all in a joyful way," Etro said backstage before the show. "I felt this thing of really showing colors, of being positive, energetic and full of optimism."

Honoring her free spirit, the Etro women takes on her trek both clothes to catch the wind — like light print dresses with long pleated skirts — and clothes to protect against it, namely patchwork puff jackets.

The overcoat defines the silhouette, long and regal. Beneath it, the festival-goer can wear short shorts, corduroy and shearling-mix pants that gather right at the top of a walking boot. For evening, there are ethnic beaded and mirrored mini-dresses to be worn with high patchwork boots.

The looks are personalized with patches of lotus flowers, dragons and even a yin-yang paisley.

____

COLORBURSTS AT EMPORIO ARMANI

The Emporio Armani show opened and closed on black and white, but the real statement of the season for designer Giorgio Armani's youthful line was color, including an unexpected appearance of wintertime pink.

There were bright pink crepe dresses with black blazers, pink tunics over slim pants, a furry pink vest over a matching wrap tunic and trouser and a pink evening dress with beaded fringe.

There were other bursts of color too. Some were seemingly spontaneous, like confetti at Carnival on navy blue prints, while others were more studious, architectural red accents on an otherwise simple black cocktail dress.

Armani has taken his cue from the models, who showed up to work in leggings, and incorporated the streetwear mainstay into his collection alongside his more typical slim trouser and cropped pleated pant. This is, after all, the line for young dresses. And for them, Armani played with transparent PVC tuxedo jackets or skirts over elegant trousers or tights.

While some designers are combining their womenswear and menswear lines, Armani deployed a few men to underline the continuity between the collections, including geometric print button-down shirts, pleated trousers and blazers that work for any gender.

Footwear was mostly flat, while cross-body bags incorporated a new O clasp, putting the accent on Emporio's final syllable.

___

ARMANI RESIZING TWO LINES

Giorgio Armani has announced the end of two of his lines: the more casual Armani Jeans and Collezioni Armani, concentrating those concepts into his Emporio Armani line.

The 82-year-old designer expressed some regrets for the move but said it was a sign of the changing times. "This is not something done with a light heart after 35 years," Emporio told reporters backstage after the show.

The shift also includes a rethinking of his retail stores, the designer was quoted by the Italian news agency ANSA as saying.

"People want to enter a story and be entertained by what they see. They want a mix of things, to understand how much they can pursue leisure, also (be) reassured by an important name," ANSA quoted him as saying.

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Follow Colleen Barry on Twitter: https://twitter.com/collbarry


            Lawsuit: Rapper Young Jeezy blew off concert to party

Mark Davis

Lawsuit: Rapper Young Jeezy blew off concert to party

A Houston music promoter said in a lawsuit that he agreed to pay Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy $1,000 a minute for an hour-long concert in Texas last December, but the musician skipped the concert for a party and kept his $30,000 deposit.

>> Read more trending stories

Now Jay Jenkins, the 39-year-old rapper who goes by Jeezy or Young Jeezy, faces a civil lawsuit filed Feb. 8 in the U.S. District Court in Houston that accuses him of fraud and breach of contract.

The promoter, Darryl Austin, said in the lawsuit that Jenkins' brush-off damaged his reputation and cost him more than $100,000 in expenses and lost revenues. Austin said he had sold $154,000 worth of concert tickets and paid for advertising and booking Houston's Arena Theatre for the Dec. 9 concert.

"Fans think it is (my) fault," Austin said in his lawsuit. "The venue has lost confidence in plaintiff Darryl Austin's ability to follow through when he books events at their facility and will require more up-front money for him to reserve events."

So far, he added, the Arena Theatre hasn't returned the deposit he paid to reserve the space.

The lawsuit also named Sammy Mumphery and YJ Productions and Concerts, Jenkins' Atlanta agent and promoter who had arranged the contract for the concert performance.

Austin said he had worked with the same parties to set up earlier concerts by Jenkins in Houston.

Jenkins and Mumphery couldn't be reached for comment.

According to Austin's lawsuit, Jenkins didn't like the venue, even though he had played there "on at least six other occasions."

Last October, Jenkins agreed through his agents to put on a one-hour concert at the Arena Theatre for $60,000, according to the lawsuit. Austin said he signed a contract with Jenkins' agent for the engagement the next day and paid a $30,000 deposit.

However, a month later, Jenkins' agents told Austin the artist didn't want to perform at that venue. Austin said he had already sold more than 1,000 tickets at that point, according to the lawsuit.

"Feeling cornered and in distress," Austin said in the lawsuit, he agreed to increase Jenkins' fee to $80,000.

"However, at the last minute, (Jenkins) decided to attend an album release party in Atlanta for his new album and to nix the Dec. 9 … performance in Houston," Austin said in the lawsuit.

He said he tried to salvage the concert by offering to fly Jenkins back to Atlanta afterwards in a private jet, or to reschedule the concert to Dec. 17.

But Jenkins "still refused to perform and refused to return the $30,000 he had taken as a deposit," according to the lawsuit.

Austin said he wants Jenkins to pay at least $100,000 in damages plus more cash for the damage done to his reputation, and he wants his deposit back.

Or "in the alternative," according to the lawsuit, Jenkins can perform the concert he agreed to and pay whatever damage award a jury decides.

This is not the first time Jenkins has faced legal troubles, according to multiple news accounts.

In 2005, he was arrested in Miami Beach, Florida, for alleged illegal possession of a concealed firearm, but the charges were later dropped, according to The Associated Press.

In 2007, after destroying his Lamborghini when he crashed into a taxi on Peachtree Street, he told The Atlanta Journal Constitution that the accident gave him "a new appreciation for life." Several months later Atlanta police charged him with DUI.

In 2014, Jenkins was arrested for battery after an alleged fight with his son.

He was arrested again several months later in California, a few days after a deadly shooting backstage at a concert, when police raided his tour bus and found an AK-47 assault rifle.

The charges were dropped after it was determined the rifle belonged to Jenkins' security chief, who had been hospitalized earlier after being shot at another event.

Jenkins has also faced legal disputes with other artists over music copyright issues.


            'Real American' singer guilty: kept gun on plane, in airport

AP Photo/Rob Carr

'Real American' singer guilty: kept gun on plane, in airport

Rock guitarist Rick Derringer has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $1,000 fine after stepping off a Delta Air Lines flight from Mexico with a loaded handgun in Atlanta's airport.

Derringer told a federal air marshal he kept his gun with him on commercial airline flights 30 to 50 times a year, and never before had a problem carrying it through airport checkpoints, prosecutors said.

TSA spokesman Mark Howell said earlier that the agency investigates such statements when it can, but there's no way to substantiate claims dating back years.

In 2015, some U.S. Congress members said fake weapons, explosives and other contraband went unnoticed in 67 out of 70 tries — about 96 percent of the time — at TSA airport checkpoints.

Derringer's plea this week involves a single charge: Carrying a Kel-Tec pistol on an airplane and in a secure area of Atlanta's airport on Jan. 9.

"It was just a mistake, a simple human mistake," said Kenn Moutenot, his manager and the drummer in The Rick Derringer Band. Nothing like it will happen again, "not even a water pistol," he said Friday.

Derringer, 69, of Bradenton, Florida, sang the 1965 hit "Hang on Sloopy" and later recorded "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo."

Derringer has also been a writer and producer, helping to shape the careers of artists including Cyndi Lauper, Steely Dan and "Weird Al" Yankovic, and he's not done yet, embarking on a nationwide tour next month, Moutenot said.

Derringer is now working on a remake of his 1980s song "Real American," which has been used as theme music by pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump. He's hoping the new version and its music video will transcend politics and bring the nation together, Moutenot said.


            Bill Cosby won't face a barrage of accusers at his trial

AP Photo/Mel Evans, File

Bill Cosby won't face a barrage of accusers at his trial

In a major break for Bill Cosby, a judge ruled Friday that just one of the comedian's multitude of other accusers can testify at his trial to bolster charges he drugged and violated a woman more than a decade ago.

The 79-year-old TV star is set to go on trial in June, accused of sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. Prosecutors wanted to put 13 more women on the stand to show that his alleged conduct was part of a distinct pattern of behavior.

Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill disallowed all but one of those women, saying in a one-page ruling that he carefully weighed the possible value of their testimony against the potential prejudice to Cosby.

The one witness who can testify says the comic drugged and assaulted her in 1996 at a Los Angeles hotel.

Cosby's lawyer had no immediate comment, but the actor himself re-tweeted news stories on the ruling, adding the hashtags "#KeepWatching" and "#PayAttention."

The judge's decision is a setback for prosecutors and means the case will now rest more heavily on Constand's credibility.

"There is an obvious value to the prosecution when you have numerous accusers. That alone adds tremendous weight to the case," said lawyer Joseph McGettigan, a prosecutor in the Penn State sex abuse scandal.

The ruling could also shave weeks off the trial.

Cosby, who is free on $1 million bail, could get 10 years in prison if convicted. He is expected in court again Monday to ask that the jurors be selected from another county because of the heavy publicity.

Prosecutors compiled the list of 13 potential witnesses from the nearly 50 women who have come forward in recent years to say they were drugged and molested — a barrage that destroyed Cosby's good-guy reputation as the star of TV's "Cosby Show" in the 1980s.

His lawyers objected to the testimony about "prior bad acts," saying that in some cases the sex was consensual, while others involved models and actresses falsely accusing Cosby to gain money or attention.

His attorneys also argued that some of the allegations were so vague — with some of the women unsure of when the alleged encounters even took place — that it would be impossible for Cosby to defend himself.

While the ruling is a big victory for Cosby at his trial, it could deprive him of grounds for appeal if he is convicted. In 2015, a Pennsylvania appeals court threw out a Roman Catholic Church official's conviction because the jury was allowed to hear from 23 priest-abuse victims who were not directly part of the case.

"It's the best of times and the worst of times for Cosby. It gives the defendant the opportunity to try the case that should be tried, the lone accuser," said defense lawyer William J. Brennan, who was involved in the church case. "If it doesn't go his way, he probably is limited on appellate issues. However, I'd take this, hands down, over the alternative."

The ruling is one of two key pretrial issues in the case. The judge earlier ruled that the jury can hear Cosby's damaging testimony from Constand's 2005 lawsuit against the comedian.

Cosby's deposition runs to nearly 1,000 pages and covers a string of extramarital liaisons dating to the 1960s. It was the release of the sealed testimony in 2015 that led prosecutors to reopen the case.

Constand told police he gave her three unmarked pills and then penetrated her with his fingers as she drifted in and out of consciousness. The comedian has said the sexual contact was consensual.

The additional accuser who can testify worked for one of Cosby's agents and had known the entertainer for six years when he invited her to lunch at his bungalow at the Bel Air Hotel to discuss her career plans.

She said he was in a robe and slippers when she arrived and offered her wine and a pill that she consumed after he assured her it was safe. She said he then sexually assaulted her on his bed.

At a news conference in 2015, she said she wanted to come forward at the time but feared retaliation. She said she left her job at the William Morris Agency because "I did not want to see or work with Mr. Cosby."

Among the other accusers who won't be allowed to testify, one said she was an aspiring actress when Cosby assaulted her at a home near Reno, Nevada, in 1984. Another said Cosby drugged and assaulted her in the late 1960s after befriending her and her 9-year-old son.


            Ellen, Wal-Mart give scholarships to school's senior class

Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File

Ellen, Wal-Mart give scholarships to school's senior class

Ellen DeGeneres has handed out college scholarships to the entire senior class of a New York City charter school.

DeGeneres surprised the 41 students from Brooklyn's Summit Academy this week at her California studio during the taping of Thursday's episode of her chat show . The four-year scholarships paid for by Wal-Mart will cover tuition for any state university in New York. DeGeneres says the entire gift is worth $1.6 million.

The school's first graduating class was last year. School officials tell DeGeneres that 93 percent of members of the class are enrolled in college.


            Charles Barkley drops curse word on 'Inside the NBA'

AP Photo/John Locher, File

Charles Barkley drops curse word on 'Inside the NBA'

Charles Barkley accidentally used a curse word on-air when describing the New York Knicks' play on TNT's "Inside the NBA."

During highlights of the Cavaliers' 119-104 win over New York in Cleveland on Thursday, Barkley used a synonym for excrement in reference to the Knicks.

Host Ernie Johnson immediately chided Barkley, who repeatedly apologized. Fellow analyst Shaquille O'Neal joked that he'd pay any fine from the Federal Communications Commission.

TNT's cameras also caught Barkley's shocked reaction after saying the word. He covered his mouth before laughing off the slip of tongue.


            Prague kicks off repairs of its iconic 19th century carousel

AP Photo/Petr David Josek

Prague kicks off repairs of its iconic 19th century carousel

Prague's historic carousel that gave joy to generations for more than a century is set to return to its former glory.

Placed at the Letna Park in 1894, two years after it was built, it would be hard to find a local who had not sat in the saddle on one of its iconic model horses covered with real horse hides.

Originally the merry-go-round, housed within a purpose-built building, was rotated by manpower, with an electric engine replacing that in the 1930s.

The days of the neo-Renaissance structure considered the oldest functioning of its kind in Europe seemed to be numbered a decade ago due to its poor condition.

But the National Technical Museum that acquired it in 2004 from its private owners has finally secured enough money, partly thanks to public donations, to finance a major renovation project, which kicked off this week.

Museum director Karel Ksandr expects the carousel to return its former beauty and function next year. Ksandr said it will open only on weekends and holidays to ensure it will be fully functional for another century.


            Rae gets laughs, King draws tears at Essence pre-Oscar gala

Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Rae gets laughs, King draws tears at Essence pre-Oscar gala

Actresses Aja Naomi King and Yara Shahidi quoted James Baldwin. "Insecure" creator Issa Rae shared awkward memories of her first trip down a Hollywood red carpet. And singer-songwriter Janelle Monae, who makes her acting debut in two films best-picture nominated films at Sunday's Oscars, insisted black women "have a right to have our stories told."

Essence magazine recognized these four young entertainers Thursday at its 10th anniversary Black Women in Hollywood gala, which is set to air as a special on the Oprah Winfrey Network on March 5.

"Stories written, directed, produced and acted by black women are necessary," Common said as he and actor Kofi Siriboe opened the program at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

"This event is a reminder that we are here," host Gabrielle Union said. "Regardless of whether or not anyone sees us."

The need to be seen, heard and valued was a theme of the evening, as pioneering artists such as Debbie Allen and Viola Davis lauded the next generation of storytellers, who in turn thanked them for paving the way.

Allen described Rae as "an OBG: an original black girl." The 32-year-old writer, director and star of HBO's "Insecure" listed Allen among the many black women who inspired her. Rae said the choreographer, director and producer has "been goals since I was a child, then I realized I can't dance so I was satisfied just being a fan."

Tracee Ellis Ross said she and Shahidi, her TV daughter on "black-ish," are "kindred souls from different eras."

Shahidi said she sometimes wonders what she's doing "in beautiful designer clothes while the world is reeling backward."

"What I am I doing to contribute to the world around me?" she said. "I'm fortunate because you all have taught me by example what the role of the arts is: to disrupt, to remold and to create."

Past Essence honorees Shonda Rhimes and Diahann Carroll were among the guests Thursday. Other past recipients include Davis, Allen, Ross and Union, along with Oprah Winfrey, Halle Berry, Cicely Tyson and Ava DuVernay, who appears on the cover of the magazine's March issue.

Pharrell Williams, who's up for an Oscar as a producer of "Hidden Figures," presented an award to Monae, a star of that film and "Moonlight." He described her as "the definition of a pluralist."

"It's on another level," Williams said. "Like, you're really talented, sis."

Monae spoke passionately about the autonomy and agency of black women.

"The world must continue to know that we are not your expectations," the 31-year-old entertainer said. "We have been the backbones of communities from the ghettos to Silicon Valley. We're not monolithic. We are multidimensional. And we have a right to have our stories told."

She noted that "Hidden Figures," which stars three black women, has brought it more than $140 million so far.

Davis introduced King, her co-star on "How to Get Away With Murder," by praising the honesty and openness she brings to her performances.

"That is the goal," Davis said. "That is the gift."

The 32-year-old actress responded with a poetic speech that moved several in the room, including Union, to tears. She talked about struggling to overcome an inner critic that tells her she's unworthy and doesn't belong.

"But in order for me to survive in this industry and in this world, in order for me to thrive, I have to stop believing that the root of my talent is a tree growing in someone else's yard, as if the fruit it bears doesn't belong to me," she said. "We are living in a world where we watch our culture being consumed and are left starving for ourselves, and I don't want to be hungry anymore."

___

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .


            7 things to know now: Trump at CPAC; FBI on Russia; Alan Colmes dies; Oscars

Associated Press

7 things to know now: Trump at CPAC; FBI on Russia; Alan Colmes dies; Oscars

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. Asking the FBI for help: White House chief of staff Reince Priebus has asked a top FBI official to dispute media reports that President Donald Trump's campaign staffers had contact with Russian intelligence agencies during the presidential election. According to The Associated Press, Priebus' request came after the FBI told the White House it believed a New York Times story describing those contacts was not accurate. So far, the FBI has not said anything publicly about the report.

2. No mass deportations: John Kelly, secretary of Homeland Security, said Thursday that the United States has not planned any mass deportations of undocumented immigrants, and would not enlist the military to enforce immigration laws. According to the AP, Kelly said any deportations would comply with existing U.S. law and human rights requirements.

3. Trump to speak at CPAC: President Trump will be speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday morning. He is expected to express his appreciation for the support he received from conservatives during the election, according to top aide Steve Bannon who spoke Thursday at the conference being held near Washington D.C.

4. Another vacancy on the court: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said he thinks, “the odds are very good" that a seat on the Supreme Court will become vacant this year. Cruz, in an interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier, said he has no “inside information” about one of the eight current justices deciding to leave, but "that most of my professional career has been as a Supreme Court litigator and I know the Court well." Judge Neil Gorsuch was nominated to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last year at the age of 79. His confirmation hearings are set to begin next month.

5. Colmes dies: Fox News commentator Alan Colmes died Thursday after a brief illness. Colmes, a liberal, was paired with Sean Hannity, a staunch conservative, for a nightly show that ran from 1996 to 2009. In a statement Thursday, Hannity called Alan Colmes "one of life's most decent, kind and wonderful people you'd ever want to meet."

And one more

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will host the Oscar Awards on Sunday as Hollywood honors its own. “La La Land” is expected to be a big winner going into the show with 14 nominations. The ceremony starts at 8:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.

In case you missed it

A blast from Oscar's past.


            Fans in Japan rush to get Murakami book with esoteric title

Fumine Tsutabayashi/Kyodo News

Fans in Japan rush to get Murakami book with esoteric title

Fans of Haruki Murakami rushed to Japanese bookstores Friday to get his latest work with an esoteric title.

"Kishidancho Goroshi," or "Killing Commendatore," is a two-part story about a 36-year-old portrait painter and what happens after his wife divorces him and he moves into an old house on a mountainside west of Tokyo. The mysterious events include meeting a neighbor and finding the painting that shares the book's title.

Murakami has described it as a very strange story.

Devoted fans of the internationally acclaimed and best-selling writer lined up outside stores on the eve of the book launch.

Shinchosha Publishing Co. said overseas availability is not yet known. No details are known yet on translations.

Murakami, 68, usually shies away from the limelight, although he has spoken out on issues such as world peace and nuclear energy.

He began writing while running a jazz bar in Tokyo after finishing college. His 1987 romantic novel "Norwegian Wood" was his first best-seller, establishing him as a young literary star.

The preceding novel "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage" was released in Japan in 2013, and a collection of short stories, "Men Without Women," was published in 2014. His million-seller "1Q84" in 2009 was one of his longest novels, with the Japanese edition coming out in three volumes.

The book launch coincides with "Premium Friday" government initiative to encourage office workers to leave early for a longer weekend.

Unfortunately, fans in Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido would have to wait until Saturday to get their books because a freight train carrying the shipment had an accident, Shinchosha said.

The publisher has said 1.3 million copies are planned for first-edition prints, a huge number for Japanese literature that usually comes in the several thousands.

___

Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi

Find her work at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/mari-yamaguchi


            China's Recon buys $100M majority stake in Millennium Films

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File

China's Recon buys $100M majority stake in Millennium Films

China's footprint in Hollywood is expanding following a wire and cable maker's purchase of a controlling stake in independent studio Millennium Films, which produced "Rambo" and "The Expendables."

Recon Holding said Thursday it is taking a 51 percent stake in Millennium for $100 million.

The company, based in Yixing near Shanghai, is controlled by Tony Xia, who was a little-known businessman until last year, when he bought struggling English soccer club Aston Villa with ambitious plans to turn it around.

The terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter, give Recon majority ownership of Millennium and its library of 300 films.

The studio is known for its action titles, which include 2008's "Rambo," the fourth installment of the Sylvester Stallone action franchise, "The Expendables" series, and "London Has Fallen."

Chinese investors and Hollywood studios have been in a frenzy of deal-making in recent years as both sides seek to expand in each other's movie industries.

Chinese companies are hoping to gain filmmaking expertise as well as beef up the country's global cultural influence, also known as "soft power." Hollywood, meanwhile, covets China's strong box office revenue growth as domestic earnings stagnate.

In the past year, Chinese companies have sealed deals with entertainment companies including Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Amblin Partners and Dick Cook Studios.

Xia owns Recon Holding through his conglomerate Recon Group. One of its companies, Lotus Health Group, is the world's second biggest maker of food additive monosodium glutamate. Another subsidiary makes digital hardware for urban infrastructure.

Xia's made a splash with his $87 million purchase of Aston Villa because the businessman, who studied at Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, had no soccer credentials.


            Caitlyn Jenner calls Trump transgender decision 'a disaster'

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File

Caitlyn Jenner calls Trump transgender decision 'a disaster'

Caitlyn Jenner is taking President Donald Trump to task for his administration's reversal of a directive on transgender access to public school bathrooms.

Jenner addresses Trump in a video posted Thursday night on Twitter. She says, "From one Republican to another, this is a disaster."

The Trump White House has ended a directive issued during Barack Obama's presidency that told public schools to let transgender students use bathrooms and locker rooms of their chosen gender.

Jenner is particularly critical of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying, "Apparently even becoming attorney general isn't enough to cure some people of their insecurities."

Addressing Trump, the former Olympic champion says: "You made a promise to protect the LGBTQ community. Call me."

Jenner came out as a transgender woman in 2015.