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Quick Takes: Sugarland held backstage

August 16, 2011

It came down to seconds and one critical decision that may have saved the lives of country duo Sugarland and others at the Indiana State Fair, where five people died when the stage collapsed.

Tour manager Hellen Rollens looked at the sky and decided to hold the band backstage a minute before 60 to 70 mph wind gusts toppled the roof and the metal scaffolding holding lights and other equipment on Saturday night in Indianapolis. Their set was destroyed in the collapse.

Sugarland, comprising Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush, are planning to perform as scheduled in Albuquerque, N.M., Thursday.

—Associated Press

A Gaga Xmas at Barneys in NYC

Luxury department store Barneys is teaming up with flamboyant pop singer Lady Gaga for a Christmas holiday campaign and window display called "Gaga's Workshop."

Barneys said Monday it would turn over an entire floor of its flagship New York store to the pop singer's interpretation of Santa's workshop, as well as dedicating its 2011 holiday window display to the Gaga theme.

Barneys said it would donate 25% of all the items featured in Gaga's Workshop to a charity of the singer's choice.


'The Leftovers' gets gobbled up

Tom Perrotta has had good luck with Hollywood.

The 1999 movie version of his novel "Election" got one Oscar nomination and became a cult favorite starring a perfectly annoying Reese Witherspoon and a beleaguered Matthew Broderick. The more serious "Little Children," which involved infidelity and danger in a small town, starred Kate Winslet and was nominated for three Oscars.

Perrotta's newest book isn't even out yet and it's already captured Hollywood's attention. "The Leftovers" — his take on the idea of being left behind after the Rapture — is being published Aug. 30 by St. Martin's Press, but Perrotta is already at work on a dramatic series based on the book for HBO.

—Carolyn Kellogg

Hopper stamp to be unveiled

Edward Hopper — the American artist of such classic paintings as "Nighthawks" and "Early Sunday Morning" — is about to receive an honor from the U.S. Postal Service.

On Aug. 24, a new postage stamp based on his circa-1935 painting "The Long Leg" will be unveiled at a public ceremony at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, where the original artwork resides.

The new "forever" stamp is the latest in the Postal Service's American Treasures stamp series, which also includes homages to Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt and John James Audubon. The stamp features a cropped image of Hopper's original painting.

This isn't the first time that a Hopper painting has been turned into a stamp. Hopper's "The Lighthouse at Two Lights" served as the inspiration for a 6-cent stamp in 1970 commemorating the 150th anniversary of Maine statehood.

—David Ng

Elvis fans gather for annual vigil

Thousands of fans of Elvis Presley from around the world, some wearing his trademark outfits and thick sideburns, made their way to his Graceland estate Monday for a candlelight vigil ahead of the 34th anniversary of the singer's death on Tuesday.

Droves of fans trek each year to Memphis to remember Elvis, who died on Aug. 16, 1977. Among the first in line was 60-year-old Joe Makowski, who claims he saw Elvis in concert 81 times, and his girlfriend, Pamela Hembree. A New Jersey native who owns four of Elvis' concert-worn scarves and has attended several vigils, he said it was time to introduce Hembree to the Elvis Week experience honoring the life and career of the rock 'n' roll star.

"I get to meet new fans and meet new people, so that's why I line up here early in the day," said Makowski, who went to Las Vegas twice a year between 1971 and 1976 to see Elvis perform. "The biggest thing I get out of it is seeing the young fans that weren't even born until years after he passed away."

This year, fans have something else to commemorate. It was 55 years ago — 1956 — when his first two albums were released.

To mark Elvis' breakout year, music producer Ernst Jorgensen and his team have assembled a five-CD box set called "Young Man With the Big Beat," which RCA/Legacy will begin selling Sept. 27. It includes the first two Presley albums, rare live recordings, outtakes and interviews, plus an 80-page book.

—Associated Press

TLC cancels 'Kate + 8' series

TLC's fascination with Kate Gosselin and her bountiful brood has come to an end: The network has canceled "Kate + 8."

Kate, her ex-husband Jon Gosselin and their eight children spearheaded the multiples movement on TV in 2007 and helped solidify the Discovery-owned cable network in the ratings with "Jon & Kate + 8" and its follow-up, "Kate + 8," the name it took after the parents split up.

The final episode of "Kate + 8" will air Sept. 12.The network says it hopes to check in with the family periodically for future specials.

—Yvonne Villarreal

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