The American Ballet Theatre, the troupe that gave Cuba's prima ballerina, Alicia Alonso, her start seven decades ago, will stage two November performances at Havana's Karl Marx Theater — its first shows on the island in a half century.
One of the top two ballet companies in the United States, the American Ballet Theatre will perform scenes from ballets including "Fancy Free" and "Siete Sonatas" on Nov. 3 and 4, its executive director said Tuesday.
Those shows are more evidence that while chilly U.S.-Cuba political relations have changed little under President Obama, cultural and artistic exchanges between the two countries are becoming more common than during George W. Bush's administration.
Badu pays fine, is on probation
Soul and R&B singer Erykah Badu has paid a fine and will serve six months' probation for stripping off her clothes to film a music video at the Dallas site where former President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, a city official said Tuesday.
The 39-year-old music star had been charged with disorderly conduct in April over her nude video shoot in Dealey Plaza for her single "Window Seat," from her latest album "New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)."
Badu agreed with prosecutors in her hometown of Dallas to serve probation that will end Feb. 11, and she paid a $500 fine late last week, a spokesman for the city of Dallas said.
In "Window Seat," Badu sheds all her clothes throughout the course of the song as she walks and runs through the plaza. At the end, a gunshot rings out and she collapses to the ground naked, as blue blood spills out to form the word "groupthink."
Picasso show a boost for Met
Pablo Picasso is as popular as ever.
An exhibition of 300 works by the Spanish modernist drew more than 700,000 people to New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art between April 19 and Aug. 15. That makes it the most highly attended show since 2001.
The museum announced Tuesday that "Picasso in the Metropolitan Museum of Art" was the seventh-most attended show since it began tracking exhibition attendance 50 years ago. It averaged 6,700 visitors per day.
Rapper Jay-Z tops rich list
Rap star Jay-Z topped a list of the richest rappers in 2010, earning more than twice as much as runner-up Sean "Diddy" Combs.
Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter took in $63 million in personal income between June 2009 and June 2010, according to Forbes.com. Combs logged $30 million, followed by rapper Aliaune "Akon" Thiam at $21 million.
Despite beginning a jail sentence in March for weapons charges, New Orleans-born rapper Dwayne "Lil Wayne" Carter came in fourth, earning $20 million, ahead of California rap icon Andre "Dr. Dre" Young, who took in $17 million.
Almost all stars at the top of the list share a common strategy: diversification. The top-earning rappers pulled in cash from alcohol sponsorships, clothing lines, nightclub properties and film appearances, in addition to concert tours and record sales.
OCPAC to stage 'Tommy'
The tiny Chance Theater is easy to miss as you drive by its home on La Palma Avenue in Anaheim Hills. But as audiences and other performing arts groups know, the storefront-size company has a reputation for quality that makes it a big player in the local scene.
In February, the Chance's recent, well-received production of "The Who's Tommy" will transfer to the Orange County Performing Arts Center, where it will play in Founders Hall as part of the Off Center Series. The musical is scheduled to run Feb. 10-20.
A spokesman for OCPAC said that this is likely the first time that an Orange County theater group has restaged a production at the center. OCPAC typically hosts touring Broadway shows and international performing arts groups.
—David Ng and Mike Boehm
Horror honors: Filmmaker Eli Roth ("Hostel," "Grindhouse") will be honored Sept. 24 at the annual Eyegore Awards that help launch Universal Studios Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights, which will run on 17 dates through the end of October.