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December 16, 2013 | By David Ng
Tim Roth is joining the cast of Harold Pinter's "The Birthday Party," which will be directed by William Friedkin at the Geffen Playhouse, with an official opening set for Feb. 12. The new revival production will also feature British stage veteran Frances Barber. "The Birthday Party" was Pinter's second full-length play and was first performed in 1958. Roth will play the role of Stanley, a former pianist whose birthday party at a seaside boarding house is disrupted by enigmatic visitors.  Barber, who appeared in the all-female staging of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" by the Donmar Warehouse that came to New York earlier this year, will play the role of Meg, who runs the boarding house with her husband Petey. The cast will also include Steven Berkoff and Nick Ullett.
December 4, 2013 | By Nardine Saad
Jay Z and Beyonce are giving themselves the gift of health for the rapper's birthday. The musical power couple are challenging themselves to a 22-day vegan diet.  The "Magna Carter Holy Grail" rapper, who turned 44 on Wednesday, made the announcement on his Life + Times blog Tuesday, letting fans know that he and his wife are undergoing a major lifestyle change in an effort to become more spiritual. "Psychologists have said it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. On the 22nd day, you've found the way," he wrote . PHOTOS: Beyonce and Jay Z "On December 3rd, one day before my 44th birthday I will embark on a 22 Days challenge to go completely vegan, or as I prefer to call it, plant-based!
December 2, 2013 | By David Ng
Hard as it is to believe that an opera singer can make gossip headlines, Maria Callas was, in her prime, a media phenomenon whose personal life was fodder for journalists and chroniclers of high society.  A symbol of jet-set elegance, Callas was a temperamental celebrity who had a fiery love life. Her diva-hood  on and off the stage was legendary. The American-born Greek soprano would have been 90 on Monday, a fact marked by a Google tribute. Callas was born in New York in 1923 to Greek immigrant parents.
November 26, 2013 | By Lee Romney and Hector Becerra
Oakland police are investigating what may have motivated two men to approach a birthday party Monday night and open fire, hitting seven men. The status of one of two men who were critically injured was upgraded Tuesday to stable condition. All victims were aged 23 to 31, Oakland police said. Several calls regarding gunfire were first reported shortly after 6 p.m. between 96th Avenue and Olive Street. When officers arrived, they discovered several victims. Initial reports state that two armed suspects approached a group of men who were celebrating a birthday and began shooting at them, according to police.
November 10, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON - Two people were shot to death and at least 22 others were wounded late Saturday at an 18th birthday party that drew a crowd after it was advertised on social media. Harris County sheriff's investigators were seeking two suspects Sunday morning in connection with the shooting at about 11 p.m. in suburban Cypress, about 30 miles northwest of Houston. A man and a woman died, one at the scene, another at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital. investigators said. Authorities did not release names of the victims.
November 4, 2013 | From a Times staff writer
A Southern California man who said he always wanted to skydive finally did it Monday on this 100th birthday. Vernon Maynard, a retired car dealer, and his two great-nephews made their first skydive from 13,000 feet in Perris, said Jean Walcher of the U.S. Parachute Assn., the Associated Press reported. They were accompanied by trained instructors. Skydive Perris manager Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld said Maynard, of Palm Desert, obtained a doctor's note before making the jump, according to the AP. Maynard's daughter Linda Hironimus said her father's friends made arrangements for him to skydive after he said he always wanted to try it. ALSO: LAX shooting: Condition of wounded teacher is upgraded to 'good' Driver shot and killed in Paramount after 4-hour chase is identified Tomahawk-throwing champion chases burglar from her home with ax  
November 4, 2013 | By Samantha Schaefer
Five women involved in a single-car crash early Sunday that killed two of them were out celebrating the upcoming birthday of one of the passengers. The crash occurred around 1:35 a.m. Sunday when the 2011 Nissan Sentra, which was traveling north on the 110 Freeway, hit a tree and a chain-link fence near Avenue 52, said California Highway Patrol officer Monica Posada. Firefighters responding to the crash used hydraulic prying tools to rescue one or more of the victims from the car, which was badly damaged, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.
November 4, 2013 | By Chris O'Brien
Multiply the following as quick as you can in your head: 7,686,369,774,870 x 2,465,099,745,779 = ? Got it yet? If you took longer than 28 seconds, then you missed your chance at breaking a world record held by Shakuntala Devi. The woman known as the "human computer" died in April, and Monday would have been her 84th birthday. On Monday, Google paid tribute to the woman once known as the human computer with this doodle . For more on this amazing woman, check out this Los Angeles Times profile of her from 25 years ago.  The story says of Devi:  " Devi is a sari-clad diva of numbers, a math prodigy who can calculate as fast and accurately as any hand-held contraption.
October 31, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
Happy birthday, John Keats. The Romantic poet best known for his odes -- "Ode on a Grecian Urn," "Ode on Indolence," "Ode on Melancholy," "Ode to a Nightingale" and "Ode to Psyche" -- was born 218 years ago today. The great English poet died in 1821 at the age of 25. He was born on Halloween in 1795, more than a century before English children took up the custom of wearing costumes on All Hallows' Eve, though he surely would have enjoyed listening to goblins recite a certain rhyme at their neighbor's doors.
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