YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Russian president meets Deep Purple

Also, 'Maya' works declared fakes, Gwen Stefani donates to quake relief.

March 24, 2011

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a big heavy-metal fan, has fulfilled a lifelong dream by getting to meet his favorite rock band, Deep Purple.

The British group met the leader for tea at his residence of Gorki outside Moscow on Wednesday, Russian news agencies said.

The 45-year-old president told Deep Purple that it has been his favorite band since the age of 12. He also revealed that as a DJ at his school in Leningrad he would play rock music at discos, after first getting the approval of the Communist youth organization.

—Associated Press

'Maya' works declared fakes

A sculpture of a Maya warrior that sold for $4.1 million at a Paris auction house this week is a fake, Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History said.

The masked, stone figure, sold by a private collector, was billed as an impressive piece of Pre-Columbian art and was believed to be a unique work dating from around 550 to 950 A.D. It sold Monday.

But Mexican experts at the institute who studied the auction catalog said the piece, a warrior holding a shield and weapon and wearing a turban-like hat, had been made recently and was carefully carved to give an ancient appearance. An additional 66 pieces in the auction also were fakes, they said.


Old characters get reanimated

Cartoon Network is getting in with the new — and old. The cable network said Wednesday it will launch 13 new animated series, a live-action series and an original movie over the next year. And some of the new programming will feature a lot of familiar characters.

As part of the network's partnership with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, the cable channel will introduce a block of original programming called "DC Nation," beginning with "Green Lantern: The Animated Series" in 2012.

And the '80s classic "ThunderCats" is getting reimagined for a new generation of viewers. So are icons Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck in "The Looney Tunes Show," which premieres May 3. Then there's the small-screen take on the big-screen hit "How to Train Your Dragon."

—Yvonne Villarreal

Stefani donates to help Japan

No Doubt singer and songwriter Gwen Stefani is donating $1 million to Save the Children's Japan Earthquake-Tsunami Children in Emergency Fund to assist with the relief and recovery efforts following the recent disaster.

Stefani has been a devotee of Japanese culture and people since the band first toured the country in 1996 and has held a special affinity for the Harajuku art-fashion-music district in Tokyo. She wrote and recorded the song "Harajuku Girls" for her 2004 debut solo album, "Love.Angel.Music.

Baby," and named her fashion clothing and fragrance line Harajuku Lovers.

Additionally, she's launching a charity auction next week on the band's website, where fans can bid to join her at a fundraising event in Los Angeles. She also has designed a limited-edition Harajuku Lovers T-shirt to be sold at, with 100% of proceeds going to the Japanese relief efforts.

—Randy Lewis

Satyr-ical show has eye on future

"Cyclops: A Rock Opera" is on the way to Pasadena.

The original musical from Psittacus Productions opened in January at Son of Semele Ensemble's stage in Silver Lake. Now, says Psittacus co-founder Louis Butelli, the troupe is renting the Carrie Hamilton Theatre at the Pasadena Playhouse for an April 7 to May 8 run of 15 performances, hoping that what he calls an "audition" will succeed well enough for the show to be extended as a co-production between Psittacus and the Playhouse.

"Cyclops" is based on the only ancient Greek satyr play to have survived from the 400s BC, when bawdy, anything-goes satyr shows gave Athenian audiences comic relief from intense tragic drama. The heroic Odysseus confronts the one-eyed giant cannibal again in this show, only this time, the announcement says, he's accompanied by "a loud and crude rock band, the Satyrs."

—Mike Boehm


Remembering: Turner Classic Movies said it will pay tribute to Elizabeth Taylor with a 24-hour film marathon on April 10, including "Raintree County," "Giant," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "Butterfield 8."

Renewed: MTV has ordered two more seasons of "Real World," which will bring the total to 27 since the series premiered in 1992.

Ending: "Inheritance," the fourth and final novel in the Christopher Paolini series that began with "Eragon" and has sold 25 million copies worldwide, will be released Nov. 8, the publisher said Wednesday.

Los Angeles Times Articles