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Quick Takes

March 30, 2011
  • Singer-songwriter Neil Young.
Singer-songwriter Neil Young. (Angela Weiss, Getty Images )

ABT dances in Russia

The American Ballet Theatre has returned to Moscow for the first time since the 1960s and the first time since the defection of Mikhail Baryshnikov, who left Russia's famed Bolshoi Theatre to bring his luminous star power to the U.S. ballet company.

ABT opened a three-night run Tuesday on the new stage of the Bolshoi Theatre, whose company was touring Canada when Baryshnikov defected from the Soviet Union in 1974.

The ABT program includes "Fancy Free," a Broadway musical-like ballet choreographed by Jerome Robbins to music by Leonard Bernstein, and two even more modern pieces, including the world premiere of "Troika," which is dedicated to Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich.

—Associated Press

A Dodgers gig for Domingo

When the Dodgers play their home opener against the San Francisco Giants on Thursday at Dodger Stadium, none other than Plácido Domingo will be on hand to perform the national anthem.

The Spanish tenor — a huge sports fan — will be joined by Broadway singer Davis Gaines, who will sing "God Bless America."

No stranger to Dodger Stadium, Domingo performed at the park in 1994 as part of the Three Tenors, with Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras. And he sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" there before a Dodgers-New York Mets game Oct. 4, 1988.

—David Ng

'Pierce' ratings fail to dazzle

HBO had Oscar winner Kate Winslet and some good reviews, but that wasn't enough to turn "Mildred Pierce" into a ratings star.

Sunday's premiere of the miniseries, based on James M. Cain's 1941 novel about the travails of a Depression-era housewife, delivered just 1.3 million viewers, according to the Nielsen Co.

That was on the low end for an HBO miniseries. The historical drama "John Adams" premiered to 2.5 million viewers in 2008. "Mildred Pierce" was on par with "Generation Kill," the 2008 miniseries about the Iraq war that featured no big-name stars.

—Scott Collins

Eminent '60s band to tour

Buffalo Springfield is expanding its latter-day reunion from last fall into a limited tour this year that will include several shows in California, including stops June 4 and 5 at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles and June 7 and 8 at the County Bowl in Santa Barbara.

The celebrated group featuring Neil Young, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay will start its tour June 1 and 2 at the Fox Theater in Oakland, and will make a previously announced appearance June 11 at the Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tenn.

Buffalo Springfield formed in 1966 in Los Angeles and released only three studio albums before disbanding in 1968.

Original members Young, Stills and Furay reconvened last fall for two performances at Young's annual Bridge School benefit concerts in the Bay Area.

Bassist Rick Rosas and drummer Joe Vitale, who will support the surviving members on the reunion tour, filled in at those shows for original Springfield members Bruce Palmer and Dewey Martin, who died in 2004 and 2009, respectively.

Tickets for the L.A. shows go on sale Friday at Ticketmaster.

—Randy Lewis

Blogger Hilton writes for kids

Gossip blogger Perez Hilton will publish a children's book with Penguin, it was announced Tuesday. The book will be called "The Boy With Pink Hair."

Hilton, whose given name is Mario Lavandeira, sported pink hair on the cover of his 2009 book, "Red Carpet Suicide."

Penguin said "The Boy With Pink Hair" is the story of a child whose unusual hair color provides him "the opportunity to find what makes him special and share it with the world."

—Carolyn Kellogg

Finally

Keep shooting: FX's "Justified," the western-flavored drama starring Timothy Olyphant, has been renewed for a third season.

Broadway lights: The lights on Broadway will be dimmed for one minute at 8 p.m. Wednesday in honor of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson, whose credits included "Talley's Folly," "Angels Fall" and "Fifth of July." He died Thursday at 73.

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