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December 14, 2012

Rothko vandal sentenced

A Polish man who defaced a Mark Rothko painting in London's Tate Modern gallery with black ink to promote an obscure artistic creed was sentenced Thursday to two years in jail.

Wlodzimierz Umaniec, also known as Vladimir Umanets, was arrested after visitors discovered a scrawl across the bottom of Rothko's "Black on Maroon" on Oct 7.

The 26-year-old later said he had written the words "a potential piece of yellowism" on the abstract painting to draw attention to Yellowism, an artistic movement he co-founded.

Prosecution lawyer Gregor McKinley said restoring the painting would cost around $320,000 and take up to 20 months.

—Associated Press

Candle tale may be Andersen's

For years, the somber fairy tale about a lonely candle who wanted to be lighted dwelt in oblivion at the bottom of a box in Denmark's National Archives. Its recent discovery has sent ripples through the literary world because it is believed to be one of the first tales ever written by Hans Christian Andersen.

The famed Dane wrote nearly 160 fairy tales in his life, including classics such as "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Little Mermaid." The tale of the candle may have been written when he was still a teen, experts say.

Retired historian Esben Brage said Thursday that he found the six-page text on Oct. 4 while searching through archive boxes that had belonged to wealthy families from Andersen's hometown of Odense in central Denmark.

A senior curator at the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense said the work is likely one of the author's earliest, written at the age of 18 — seven years before his official debut in 1830.

—Associated Press

Strike looms over Broadway

Just as the Broadway theater community was getting back on its feet following Hurricane Sandy, another potential showstopper is headed its way.

The union representing cleaners, porters, elevator operators, matrons and other service workers at most Broadway theaters has voted to authorize a strike.

The union, Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, is in a dispute with the Broadway League, primarily over healthcare benefits. The current contract is set to expire on Dec. 30.

A strike would affect 32 of 40 Broadway theaters.

—David Ng

Carole King wins Gershwin Prize

Carole King has been named the 2013 recipient of the Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the first woman to receive the distinction given to songwriters for a body of work.

The former Brill Building writer co-wrote hits in the 1960s including the Shirelles' "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," the Chiffons' "One Fine Day," the Drifters' "Up on the Roof" and the Monkees' "Pleasant Valley Sunday," among dozens of others, before becoming a star in her own right with her 1971 album "Tapestry," one of the biggest-selling albums of all time.

King will be feted in Washington next spring at a ceremony that typically features the recipient and a variety of top-name performers singing his or her songs.

Previous Gershwin Prize winners are Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney and the team of Hal David and Burt Bacharach.

—Randy Lewis

'Sideways' play to go to La Jolla

The recent stage adaptation of the bestselling novel "Sideways" that debuted in May in Santa Monica is moving up in the world. The La Jolla Playhouse said it will produce the play starting in July, with former artistic director Des McAnuff at the helm.

Rex Pickett adapted his own novel for the stage. The plot follows two middle-aged male friends as they make their way through California wine country and meet two women who become possible romantic interests.

The 2004 movie version of the novel, directed by Alexander Payne, was a critical and commercial success.

—David Ng

Finally

Renewals: TV Land has picked up a second season of "The Soul Man," starring Cedric the Entertainer as a former R&B singer who decides to become a preacher, and a third season of "The Exes," a comedy starring Donald Faison and Kristen Johnson. Both series will return in June with 10 episodes each.

Artwork: "Three Weeks in May," the famous 1977 work by artist-activist Suzanne Lacy that mapped rape cases across Southern California, will now have a permanent home at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. It was recently featured in an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

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