A daily dose of arts and entertainment

November 2012 Archives

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Comedian and 2013 Oscars host Seth MacFarlane announced a national search today for a lucky few college students who will hand out Oscar statuettes on Hollywood's biggest night.

"The Oscar Experience College Search," presented by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and MTV's college network, MTVu, is directed at college students interested in pursuing careers in film.

To enter, applicants must submit a video answering the question, "How will you contribute to the future of movies?"

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the producers of the Oscars live telecast on February 24, 2013, will pick a minimum of six winners, who will be flown out to Los Angeles. Each lucky student will be on stage to hand an Oscar statuette to a celebrity presenter, who will then award it to the winner.

"We wanted everyone appearing on that stage to feel a deep commitment to film and its legacy, and most importantly, its future," Zadan and Meron said in a statement.

The competition is part of an effort to attract a younger audience.

More information is available here.

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Chicago's festival season begins in May. The city's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events announced the lineup on Wednesday.

Dates are subject to change:

Chicago Neighborhood Festivals: May through September.

Chicago Neighborhood Festivals: May through September.

Chicago Farmers Markets: May through October.

15th Annual Kids and Kites Festival: May 4.

Chicago Memorial Day Parade: May 25.

Millennium Park Music Series: Downtown Sounds runs May 27-July 29; Loops and Variations, June 13-July 18; Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz, July 25-Aug. 29.

30th Annual Chicago Blues Festival: June 6-9.

Chicago Bike Week: June 10-14.

Bike to Work Rally: June 14.

28th Chicago Gospel Music Festival: June 20-23.

17th Annual Chicago SummerDance: June 27-Sept. 15.

33d Annual Taste of Chicago: July 10-14.

21st annual Race to Taste: July 13.

55th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show: Aug. 17-18.

35th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival: Aug. 29-Sept. 1.

15th Annual World Music Festival, Sept. 12-22.

Events will also continue to be presented year-round at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.

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Just as the name implies, "One of a Kind Show and Sale" offers a variety of unique trinkets, paintings and furniture that was designed by artists, craftspeople and designers.

The show runs from December 6 to December 9 at the Merchandise Mart, 222 Merchandise Mart on the 8th floor.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $9 for seniors. Children 12 and under are free.|
A portion of ticket sales will benefit Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.

A list of hours and merchandise is available here.

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Universal Studios and author E L James recently filed a copyright infringement lawsuit earlier this week against Smash Pictures for its porn adaptation of the novel.

According to reports, the film used, "exact dialogue, characters, events, story, and style from the Fifty Shades trilogy."

"The first XXX adaptation is not a parody, and it does not comment on, criticize, or ridicule the originals. It is a rip-off, plain and simple."

Universal and James are seeking all profits from the products along with monetary damages and an injunction against further sales.

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Carrie Underwood has been signed to play arguably the most-beloved nanny in the history of entertainment - in the most beloved musical of all time.

The country-singing fourth season American Idol winner, 29, will play Maria von Trapp in next year's live TV broadcast of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music, People reports.

"Speaking for everyone at NBC, we couldn't be happier to have the gifted Carrie Underwood take up the mantle of the great Maria von Trapp," said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, which plans to air the three-hour show (based on the original Broadway version) sometime around the holiday season a year from now.

The original Maria von Trapp was first immortalized on Broadway in 1960 by Mary Martin, then in the Oscar-winning 1965 Best Picture of the Year by Julie Andrews.

Underwood's previous acting credits were roles on TV's How I Met Your Mother, as the love interest of Ted (Josh Radnor), and, in her film debut last year, as a church leader in Soul Surfer, a coolly-received feature about real-life shark victim Bethany Hamilton.

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Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry have reached a truce over the violent Thanksgiving tussle at the Oscar winner's mansion.

"The parties have reached an amicable agreement. There will be no further statements regarding this matter," Berry lawyer Blair Berk told the New York Daily News.

Both sides were in a Los Angeles courtroom Thursday to discuss the settlement with the family court judge overseeing the paternity case for Berry's 4-year-old daughter with Aubry.

It's still not clear if authorities will pursue a criminal case against Aubry.

He was taken into custody Thanksgiving morning on suspicion of misdemeanor battery after a fight with Berry's fiancé Olivier Martinez.


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Dr. Dre is the highest-paid musician, according to Forbes.

The rapper-producer raked in $110 million this year, taking in $100 million before taxes in a deal with HTC and his Beats headphone line, Rolling Stone reports.

The rest of the top five earners were from the U.K., with Pink Floyd bassist and singer Roger Waters following Dre with $88 million, largely from his The Wall Live tour. Elton John came in third, grossing $80 million, and U2 slotted in at forth, with a combined $78 million from their three-year 360 tour. Take That topped off the top five with $69 million, boosted by an eight-day residency at London's Wembley Stadium, the highest-grossing single stadium tour to date.

Read more here.


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Michael Jackson's father, Joe Jackson, has suffered a stroke and is recovering in a Las Vegas hospital, Reuters reports.

"He was doing well and says he's feeling OK," said Brian Oxman, a close family friend and one-time attorney for Michael Jackson.

Joe Jackson, who had a history of strokes, started to feel weak while on a walk in a park near his home, and was then admitted to a hospital.

"He was talking fine," said Oxman. "He sounded excellent to me."

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Andrew Lupp can serve as Chicago's entry into the long-cherished American musical tradition whose most distinguished practitioners include Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, James Cagney and yes (in an act of Astaire worship), even that border-crossing ballet star, Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Lupp, a thoroughly modern 21st century throwback of sorts, is now starring in the Marriott Theatre production of "My One and Only," the dance-driven, Gershwin-infused musical.

In the role of Capt. Billy Buck Chandler, the romantically distracted 1920s aviator (and Texas hayseed) who falls for an English aquacade star, Lupp sings and dances up a storm, whether splashing his way through an elaborate duet with his "one and only," or going beat-for-beat with tap master Ted Louis Levy.

Get more information at the Sun-Times here.

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Another Chicago-based TV show didn't make the cut.

"Mob Wives Chicago," the Midwest spin-off of the New York original will not a see second season, a VH1 spokesman confirmed with the Sun-Times' Lori Rackl.

"Mob Wives Chicago" debuted in June and ended its 11-episode run in August. It followed the finger-pointing, hair-pulling, name-calling exploits of five local women whose ties to organized crime are tenuous compared to the Staten Island cast.

Last season on New York's "Mob Wives," the ex-husband of star Renee Graziano, whose sister Jennifer Graziano produces the franchise, wore a wire that helped send Graziano's father back to prison.

The Chicago version didn't have nearly as much drama -- or viewers. New York, which returns for a third season in January, boasted ratings three times as high as the 500,000 or so who tuned in for Chicago's Sunday night episodes on VH1.

Similarly, Chicago-based "Boss" was cancelled, "The Mob Doctor" has been suspended and "Chicago Fire" is hanging on by a thread.

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Lindsay Lohan "truly flipped out and punched that woman for no good reason," says an observer who watched it all go down at the Avenue nightclub in New York's Chelsea neighborhood, Sun-Times' Bill Zwecker reports.

The "Liz & Dick" star was arrested early Thursday and charged with third-degree assault in the spat with Tiffany Eve Mitchell of West Palm Beach, Fla. After almost four hours in the police precinct, she left with a black jacket pulled over her head.

According to my source and other observers on the scene, Mitchell did not initiate the confrontation with the actress.

A second source at the club told this column, "Lindsay apparently didn't like the way the woman and her husband -- plus the couple who were with them -- were looking at her" as they sat in another booth in the club's VIP section.

"Lindsay clearly thought they were staring at her, laughing and mocking her. ... She supposedly heard a crack about her Liz Taylor movie, and you could see her just get all steamed up."

According to several witnesses, Lohan approached the woman and told her to "get out of my face," and then returned to her table. At some point shortly afterward, Mitchell walked by Lohan and appeared to accidentally bump into the actress -- and that's when she reportedly got belted in the kisser.

TV's worst daughters

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I did a story earlier this week about annoying TV daughters who slow down the plots on some of television's best shows.

Readers wrote in with their suggestions for obnoxious offspring.

Larry from Addison:
I would probably add the daughter in Castle to your list. In addition, I also like the way you complemented Maisie Williams (i.e. Arya in Game of Thrones). With violent/sex driven show like that, it is great to see a character who you wish was your daughter and in my opinion sets a great example for young women.

Karen wrote:
I realize that your article focused on recent TV series, but when we're talking "most annoying, plot-disruptive daughter in TV history," Rachel Green of ER just can't be left out of consideration, and arguably is the prototype. A harmless little girl when the series began its 15-year run, she dropped off the screen for multiple seasons when her mother divorced Dr. Mark Green and moved away, only to return as a shrieking teenager, landing on his doorstep when she runs away from her mother's house. As soon becomes obvious, Mark's ex had done nothing wrong; it was the show's writers who inflicted this brat on us. Rachel treats Mark and his new wife, Dr. Corday, like crap and misbehaves at will, most dramatically when her baby sister poisons herself by finding and swallowing Rachel's illegal drugs while Rachel is supposed to be babysitting (which was, like, so unfair of her parents to make her do!) but isn't really watching the baby. Baby nearly dies, Dr. Corday wants Rachel out of her house, Mark shields the girl and refuses to tell the police the truth, the marriage falters -- talk about plot disruptions. Rachel remained impossibly truculent right through to (almost) the bitter end, as Anthony Edwards was written off the show: dying of a brain malignancy, Mark takes his family to Hawaii, where he grew up, to spend his last weeks, and Rachel still sulks until it's time for her "heartwarming" reconciliation to her dying dad. But the show had taken it too far. There was no redeeming her, you just wanted her off the screen.

Leighton from Bellwood:
There are some shows where the sons get in the way of the show. The 2 that I can think of immediately are Falling Skies & The Walking Dead.

Who else deserves the title of annoying TV daughter?

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Jessica Simpson is reportedly pregnant again, seven months after giving birth to daughter Maxwell Drew Johnson, US Weekly says.

"It definitely wasn't planned. But yes, Jessica is pregnant again," a source reveals to Us. The surprise baby-to-be is the second for the singer and Fashion Star mentor, 32, and fiance Eric Johnson. (A rep for Simpson had no comment.)

Engaged for the past two years, Simpson and former NFL pro Johnson, 33, welcomed Maxwell -- a whopping 9 pound, 13 ounce bundle of joy! -- on May 1 of this year.

And while Simpson felt energized about her 70-pound slimdown post-baby, her greatest inspiration is being a mom.

"Motherhood is a dream," she told Katie Couric back in September. "It really is absolutely amazing."

Notes the source of pregnancy number two: "She really is overjoyed!"


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Actress Demi Moore is reportedly in another May-December romance, this time with the son of a famous painter and filmmaker.

According to Page Six, Moore, 50, is dating Vito Schnabel, 26, son of Oscar-nominated director Julian Schnabel ("The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"). The pair met in India on November 7th at a birthday party for Naomi Campbell's billionaire boyfriend, Vladimir Doronin.

A source who was at the party told the paper the pair "were dancing and grinding all over each other, openly, in front of other guests" and continued to see each other quietly since the party.

Vito, a NYC art dealer, is known for dating older women, including Elle MacPherson and Liv Tyler, while Demi famously married the much younger Ashton Kutcher, who is now dating his "That 70s Show" co-star Mila Kunis.

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Teenage actor Angus T. Jones of the comedy "Two and a Half Men" apologized Tuesday for a series of interviews denouncing his own show.

Speaking to religious media outlets, the 19-year-old Jones had called the CBS comedy "filth" and "very inappropriate" and talked about how his religious awakening has affected his attitude toward life and work, the Associated Press reports.

"Two and a Half Men," television's third most popular comedy, remains heavy on sexual innuendo even with Ashton Kutcher replacing bad-boy Charlie Sheen following his firing for drug use and a subsequent public meltdown. Jones, who started on the show when he was 10, plays Jake Harper, son of the uptight character portrayed by Emmy winner Jon Cryer.

In a statement issued late Tuesday, Jones said he had the highest regard for all of the people he has worked with on the comedy, including creator Chuck Lorre and Warner Bros. studio chief Peter Roth.

"I apologize if my remarks reflect me showing indifference to and disrespect of my colleagues and a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed," said Jones, who reportedly makes $350,000 an episode. "I never intended that."

Jones wasn't at the studio lot for a rehearsal on Tuesday. He's not scheduled to appear on the two episodes that are being filmed before the end of the year, said a person close to the show who spoke on condition of anonymity because Warner Bros. and CBS haven't commented publicly on Jones. His character has recently joined the Army and his airtime has been cut down.

In a radio broadcast, "The Voice of Prophecy," recorded for the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Jones' birthday in October, Jones had described his religious path. He has been attending a Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Los Angeles area.

Jones said that "it's very weird that I'm on a television show, especially now that I am trying to walk with God. My television show has nothing to do with God and doesn't want anything to do with God." Still, he said he had no plans to get out of his contract.

In another interview posted on Tuesday with Christianity Today, Jones described himself as a "paid hypocrite."

"Even though it's my job to be an actor, I have given my life to God," he said. "I am very comfortable and firm in that, but I still have to be on this show. It's the No. 1 comedy, but it's very inappropriate and the themes are very inappropriate. I have to be this person I am not."

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The story "Scrooge & Marley" is a familiar one: author Charles Dickens' tale of a miserable miser coming to see the error of his ways after visits by three revelatory spirits during Christmas.

Only in this version, the miser -- Ben Scrooge (played by Skokie-born David Pevsner) -- is gay. So is his ill-treated assistant Bob Cratchit, who raises five adopted children (including Tiny Tim) with his life partner Drew.

Along the same lines, Scrooge's lesbian niece Freda (as opposed to nephew Fred in the Dickens original) and her partner Mary are expecting their first child. Fezziwig is embodied by former Chicago entertainment scribe and well-known T-shirt devotee/joke puncher-upper Bruce Vilanch -- 'nuff said.

The locally made "Scrooge & Marley" was shot on a shoestring budget during 12 very long days this past May.

Narrated by actor Judith Light of "Who's the Boss?" and "Law and Order: SVU" and co-starring Evanston's own Tim Kazurinsky as Marley's chain-rattling ghost, "Scrooge" has its national premiere Thursday at the Music Box Theatre. It plays there through Dec. 6 and will briefly screen in several other markets across the country.

"It started out more campy, in the vein of 'Hey, let's do something really fun and funky,' " says co-producer (one of many) and co-screenwriter Ellen Stoneking, an Annoyance Theatre veteran. She penned the script with the film's co-director Richard Knight Jr. and, in the early going, their late friend Tim Imse. "But the more we got into it, the more I started thinking of friends of mine who are gay with children and I thought, 'Well, wouldn't they like to sit down to a lovely family movie with people like them?' "

Not everyone was sold on idea, however, Sun-Times' Mike Thomas explains. When it was announced on the Huffington Post that Barbra Streisand's out son Jason Gould would sing the film's closing credits song, readers quickly registered their displeasure.

Read all about it here.

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She was dissed on "The Bachelor" and came in third place during her first stint on "Dancing With the Stars," but Melissa Rycroft is now a winner, the Associated Press reports.

The reality TV star and her professional dance partner, Tony Dovolani, were named the champions Tuesday on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars: All Stars."

The pair beat out fellow finalists (and former champs) actress Kelly Monaco and Olympian Shawn Johnson to claim the sparkly mirror-ball trophy.

Rycroft and Dovolani came into the final contest with a pair of perfect scores. Those points were combined with viewer votes and a last set of judges' scores for an "instant dance" for which they had less than an hour to prepare.

Rycroft was a contestant on "The Bachelor" in 2009 and first appeared on "Dancing With the Stars" that same year. The 29-year-old also starred in a reality series earlier this year, "Melissa & Tye," about her marriage to Tye Strickland and their move to Hollywood so she could pursue an entertainment career.

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Mike Tyson has never fought professionally in Chicago, but the former multiple-time world champion will finally be performing here.

"Iron" Mike is taking his one-man stage show, "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth," to the Cadillac Palace Theatre for three shows Feb. 15-17, the Sun-Times reports.

The three performances run during a 10-week national tour, which starts Feb. 12 in Indianapolis. The show, which originally debuted in Las Vegas and had a run on Broadway, is directed by Spike Lee and written by Tyson's wife, Kiki.

Tyson admits he enjoys opening up to the audience and feels that a Chicago crowd will connect with him.

"Many of my stories, people here live every day," Tyson added. "[Former Chicago Mayor] Harold Washington gave me the key to the city. It's truly a great city with great people. They'll get my story."

Tyson, who has had cameos in "The Hangover," "The Hangover 2" and HBO's "Entourage," says he enjoys being on film and TV but the stage is the most rewarding.

"It's instant gratification," Tyson said. "With a live audience, they can connect with me more and I know they're enjoying it."

Tickets go on sale Dec. 7 and range from $50 to $95. For groups of 15 or more, tickets are available now by calling Broadway in Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710. Tickets are also available at Ticketmaster locations and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

For more information on the "Mike Tyson Cares" foundation, visit MikeTysonCares.org. Tickets for the Dec. 7 event are on sale at the website.

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Here's your chance to be the next Jeff Mauro, the Chicagoan who turned a love for sandwiches into "The Sandwich King."

Open casting for The Food Network's "Next Food Network Star" takes place on Nov. 28 at The Westin, 909 N. Michigan Ave., from 10 a.m. to noon.

If you can't make it on Wednesday, you can also apply by submitting a home video. For more information, visit here.

Chicago Gourmet 2013 isn't for another 10 months (and you've probably still got Thanksgiving leftovers), but you will be able to pre-order tickets to the gourmet food and wine festival starting at midnight tonight.

Chicago Gourmet features more than 100 of Chicago's finest restaurants and chefs, as well as hundreds of renowned vintners, spirit makers and premium breweries from around the world. There will also be dozens of live cooking demonstrations, expert seminars, gourmet tastings and book signings by internationally renowned chefs, master sommeliers and winemakers.

Tickets for the festival, which will run Sept. 27-29, 2013, will cost $109 per day or $199 for a weekend pass during the presale. Regular price tickets will be $159 per day or $265 for the weekend pass when they go on sale next year.

The presale will continue until Dec. 25 or until they sell out.

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The Beatles audition tape rejected by a record label executive in arguably the biggest blunder in pop history has resurfaced and will go on sale at a London auction next week, Reuters reports.

Ted Owen of The Fame Bureau, an auction house specializing in pop memorabilia, said the 10-song tape was recorded on New Year's Day, 1962, at label Decca's studios in north London.

Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Pete Best - who would later be replaced on drums by Ringo Starr - performed up to 15 songs at the session, 10 of which appear on the tape to be sold on November 27.

Decca's senior A&R (artists and repertoire) representative Dick Rowe, who later became known as "the man who turned down the Beatles", decided against signing them in favor of Brian Poole & The Tremeloes who also auditioned that day.

"Guitar groups are on their way out," he is widely quoted as saying.

Rowe did, however, sign the Rolling Stones, who went on to become one of the biggest acts in British rock, and experts dispute whether it was him or a more junior colleague who passed the Beatles over.

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The idea was that Lindsay Lohan was going to be an incarnate to Elizabeth Taylor, who like Lohan, was a child star who went on to become a tabloid magnet as an adult.

But the critics say that Lohan didn't do Taylor justice in "Liz and Dick," which tells the saga of Taylor and her twice husband, Richard Burton. They were a little kinder with Grant Bowler's performance of Burton.

Here's Lori Rackl's review on the film.

The film airs Sunday on Lifetime.

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Two-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis' preparations to play Abraham Lincoln on film included secretly spending time on the former president's turf.

Day-Lewis, along with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and producer Kathleen Kennedy, came to Springfield in November 2010 to tour Lincoln sites, at times standing in the Old State Capitol's chamber and asking to be left alone for 10 minutes, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. At the time, the public didn't know what Day-Lewis was filming.

Steven Spielberg's film "Lincoln," which is just Day-Lewis' fifth film in the past 15 years, details the months leading up to the president's assassination in April 1865, as he maneuvers to pass the 13th amendment, abolishing slavery and ending the Civil War.

Day-Lewis had hoped to go unnoticed in Springfield, wearing sunglasses and a fedora at the museum that, in 2011, had more than 293,000 visitors, the Associated Press reported.

But as the secret tour pressed forward, the group stopped at a coffee shop, where the actor accidentally blew his cover.

"His phone rang and he said, 'Hello, this is Daniel Day-Lewis,'?" Dave Blanchette, deputy director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, recalled. "Then the secret was out," evidenced by the flood of picture-taking and tweeting by onlookers.

Goodwin said recently that Day-Lewis told her "those days in Springfield were really important."

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The fashion mogul, 37, has split from her longtime partner, actor Djimon Hounsou, 48.

"Djimon Hounsou and Kimora Lee Simmons have officially separated after 5½ years," the Amistad star's rep tells People. "Though never married, they have one child together, Kenzo Lee Hounsou, who is 3½ years old."

Over on Twitter, Simmons wrote this: "There have been quite a few hurtful rumors circulating. The truth is Djimon + I have been separated for some time. We have remained happy, loving, co-parenting friends + family. We all have much to be thankful for." Simmons had characterized her relationship with the Academy Award nominee as "kind of" engaged.

Simmons is also mom to two daughters by ex-husband Russell Simmons.

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School is out for Chevy Chase.

Sony Pictures Television said Wednesday that the actor is leaving "Community" by mutual agreement with producers.

His immediate departure means he won't be included in the last episode or two of the show's 13-episode season, which is still in production.

Chase had a rocky tenure playing a bored and wealthy man who enrolls in community college. The actor publicly expressed unhappiness at working on a sitcom and feuded last year with the show's creator and former executive producer, Dan Harmon.

The fourth-season premiere of "Community" is Feb. 7, when it makes a delayed return to the 8 p.m. EST Thursday time slot. The show's ensemble cast includes Joel McHale and Donald Glover.

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Two people had their dreams crushed last nights in the shocking "X Factor" elimination show -- Arin Ray, 17, and Beatrice Miller, 13.

That left 8 contestants going on to the next round.

Ray got the bad news first, just after the show had tried to prove it had a heart by tricking out a middle school music room with fancy, sponsor-provided equipment and inviting the school's choir to perform, the LA Times reports.

Then, Miller and CeCe Frey discovered that they'd received the next two lowest numbers of votes and would have to compete for the remaining spot in the top 8.

It was up to the judges to make the call. Demi Lovato, Frey's mentor, voted to send Miller home. And Spears, Miller's mentor, opted to send Frey home.

Simon Cowell's vote would decide whether Miller went home or the vote would go to deadlock. "You know what, Beatrice, I liked you from the beginning, but I think this is all getting too much for you," he said. Though Cowell noted that Frey was a repeat visitor to the bottom two, that wasn't enough to sway him. After telling Miller he didn't think it was "the right time" for her, he cast the vote that sent her home.

Here are the rankings for the top 8:

1. Carly Rose Sonenclar
2. Tate Stevens
3. Vino Alan
4. Emblem 3
5. Diamond White
6. Paige Thomas
7. Fifth Harmony
8. CeCe Frey

What did you think of the show? Were the right two sent home?

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Tonight, IFC debuts to the world the latest chapters of R. Kelly's musical serial/hip-hopera/brilliant exercise in absurd storytelling, Trapped In The Closet. But before you wade back into the drama surrounding Sylvester, Gwendolyn, Cathy, Twan, and everyone else, refresh your memory with this helpful infographic tracking the main characters through Chapters 1 through 22.

Click the image to open up a large version or click here to view a PDF.

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Not everyone had a good Thanksgiving.

Halle Berry's ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry was booked on a battery charge after a fight Thursday.

Aubry, a Canadian model who is the father of Berry's daughter Nahla, got into a fight with Olivier Martinez at the actress' Los Angeles home on Thanksgiving.

Before police arrived on the scene, Martinez reportedly made a citizen's arrest. Both men were taken to the hospital following the brawl. Aubry reportedly sustained a broken rib, while Martinez injured his hand, starpulse reports.

The commanding officer for the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations and Community Affairs Group, Andrew Smith, told People.com that Aubry "was booked for a private persons arrest for battery" once he was released from the hospital.

Aubry's bail was set at $20,000.

The fight allegedly stemmed with problems related to child custody. Berry had recently unsuccessfully tried to get permission to move to France with her daughter to live with her fiance and get away from the paparazzi.

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The annual McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade travels through downtown Chicago on State Street from Congress to Randolph, from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. Thursday.

It features giant helium balloons, decorative floats, marching bands, celebrities and Santa Claus.

It's free to all ages.

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Four shows will be visiting the city next year as part of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater's World Stages series, the ongoing international festival that regularly exposes local audiences to some of the most intriguing productions from around the globe, Sun-Times' Hedy Weiss reports. Included will be productions from Belarus, South Africa, Great Britain and Italy:

† "Minsk, 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker" (Jan. 30-Feb. 3 in CST's Upstairs Theater): Belarus Free Theatre, the embattled ensemble that thrilled audiences with its 2010 production of "Being Harold Pinter," will return with a show that explores the sexually repressive nature of one of Europe's last surviving dictatorships. (Kathy Acker was an American experimental novelist, punk poet, playwright and essayist.)

† "Cadre" (Feb. 15-24, Upstairs Theater): In partnership with the fabled Market Theatre of Johannesburg, South Africa, Chicago Shakespeare will present this world premiere -- written by and featuring South African artist Omphile Molusi (the luminous star of "Itoseng," presented at CST in 2010) -- that tells the story of a former soldier in the sub-Saharan African Azanian People's Liberation Army during and after apartheid.

† "Roadkill" (May 11-26): This Olivier Award-winning American premiere, conceived and directed by Cora Bissett with text by Stef Smith, is a site-specific performance for which audience members will be transported by mini-van to an apartment in Chicago. There, they will be confronted with the brutal realities of sex trafficking in a story drawn from the harrowing details of a young Nigerian woman's plight. (The production is the catalyst for the British Council's collaboration with CST and St. Ann's Warehouse in New York City to create a public program that engages local partners in a dialogue on the impact of human trafficking.)

† "Inner Voices" (June 25-29 in CST's Courtyard Theater): This production by the Piccolo Teatro di Milano of a 1948 play by Eduardo De Filippo, one of Italy's most translated writers, investigates perceptions of morality amidst an economically devastated post-World War II landscape. It is being presented in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago to commemorate the Year of Italian Culture in America.

For tickets call: (312) 595-5600 or visit www.chicagoshakes.com. All tickets for "Minsk, 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker" and "Cadre" are $20.

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Jurors awarded nearly $777,000 Tuesday to a former "The Price is Right" model who claimed she was discriminated against by producers because of her pregnancy, AP reports.

Brandi Cochran, 41, said she was rejected by the game show's producers when she tried to return to work in early 2010 after taking maternity leave.

The Superior Court jury determined her pregnancy was the reason she wasn't rehired and awarded Cochran $776,944 in the suit against producers FremantleMedia North America and The Price is Right Productions.

In their defense, producers said they were satisfied with the five models working on the show at the time Cochran sought to return.

A second phase of the trial will determine whether Cochran should be awarded punitive damages. Cochran's attorneys had asked for more than $8 million, City News Service reported.

Jurors began deliberations Thursday, telling Judge Kevin Brazile several times that they were deadlocked before reaching the verdict.


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Women kicked butt last night.

Three women were chosen to go the finals in "Dancing with the Stars."

Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough, Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani, and Kelly Monaco and Valentin Chmerkovskiy will duke it out starting next Monday for the new and improved Mirrorball trophy.

Read all about it here.


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Kevin Clash, puppeteer and voice of Elmo, resigned from Sesame Street on Tuesday following a sex scandal that widened to involve claims from a second man who filed a lawsuit alleging that Clash sexually abused him as a youth.

Announcing the decision with what he called a "very heavy heart," Mr. Clash said in a statement, "Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work 'Sesame Street' is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately," New York Times reported.

His statement came at around the same time that a lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York accusing him of "sexual activity" with a 15-year-old. The accuser, Cecil Singleton, is now 24. The suit said that Mr. Singleton "did not become aware that he had suffered adverse psychological and emotional effects from Kevin Clash's sexual acts and conduct until 2012." It sought $5 million in damages.

The first man that had accused Clash of underage sex, when he was a teen, withdrew that claim, but then said the reason he did so was because he was paid to.


Here's some very recent history: Colby Burnett, 29, AP World History and Regional World History teacher at Fenwick High School in Oak Park, bested 14 of the nation's brainiest K-12 educators to win the JEOPARDY! Teachers Tournament on Tuesday.

Burnett will take home the $100,000 grand prize and he has a guaranteed spot in the upcoming February 2013 JEOPARDY! Tournament of Champions.

From the quiz show's press release:

Claiming victory in the name of Fenwick was particularly poignant for Burnett, who graduated from the private college preparatory school himself in 2001 before earning a Bachelor of Arts in history and political science from Northwestern University.

"I felt immense pride in representing my school as an employee and as an alumnus and I really turned it on when my students' encouraging send-off was shown at the first commercial break," said Burnett, who currently coaches the school's scholastic bowl team. "Winning the $100,000 means that I set out and achieved what I wanted to do."

Burnett intends to use his winnings to purchase a condominium in Oak Park for his mother, whom he credits with his thirst for knowledge.

"My mom has always supported me and I've wanted to give her a house for quite some time," said Burnett. "She moved back in with her parents once she was divorced; I was raised in my grandparents' house (in Oak Park), which we lost after my grandmother passed away. Truth be told, I didn't know if she would accept my offer!"

'Boss' gets the pink slip

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The premium cable channel Starz announced Tuesday that it won't air a third season of its critically-acclaimed series "Boss" about fictional Chicago Mayor Tom Kane.

The Kelsey Grammer-starring series recently wrapped its second -- and final -- season.

It's sad news -- if not entirely unexpected -- for the show's fans, of which I'm one. I loved "Boss'" blend of soap opera sudsiness, Shakesperean drama and big-city politics, Chicago-style. Grammer's performance was mesmerizing and same goes for the rest of the cast, many of whom are Chicagoans.

"After much deliberation, we have made the difficult decision to not proceed with 'Boss,'" reads the Starz statement. "We remain proud of this award-winning show, its exceptional cast and writers, and are grateful to Kelsey Grammer, Farhad Safinia and our partners at Lionsgate TV."

"Boss" debuted last year with a riveting scene: Mayor Tom Kane in an old slaughterhouse, being told by his doctor that he had a fatal, degenerative disease. Kane tried to keep his illness a secret and continue to rule the city with an iron fist. Nothing could get in his way in his pursuit of power. Nothing, it turns out, except Starz executives.

Starz says there might be a 2-hour "Boss" movie made to give the series a finale, but no deal has been confirmed yet.

That would give viewers some welcome resolution as to Kane's fate. I'd tune in, even though I'd rather be tuning into a season three premiere.

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It's that time for Chicago's new Christmas tree to be lit up at Daley Plaza.

Live performances and festive music begin at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow, then the tree will be illuminated at 5 p.m.

It's free for all ages and marks the official holiday season. Get more information here.

Sir Patrick Stewart is quite the cut-up lately. In his most famous role, that of Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation, he wasn't exactly at his goofiest. Ditto the "X-Men" flicks. But over the years this distinguished British thespian has let his hair down considerably (and metaphorically--he's bald) for roles on such wacky animated yukfests as "Family Guy" and "American Dad." And just a couple of months ago he cranked up the looniness for an appearance on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." (http://tinyurl.com/9n25gug)

So it comes as no surprise that Stewart, 72, has agreed to join international opera star Renee Fleming in co-hosting "The Second City Guide to the Opera" on January 5. A joint effort of Lyric Opera of Chicago (where Fleming is creative consultant) and Chicago's venerable comedy bastion Second City, it was reportedly dreamed up by Fleming after she attended a Second City performance on Wells Street. Besides featuring opera-themed comedic sketches (some including the evening's luminous co-emcees), the unlikely mash-up will showcase Fleming's golden pipes as she sings to live accompaniment.

The Second City Guide to the Opera
January 5, 2013
Civic Opera House
20 N. Wacker
312-332-2244
http://tinyurl.com/cpt83x4

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Justin Bieber cleaned up at the American Music Awards on Sunday.

His wins included the show's top award, artist of the year. His mom joined him onstage as he collected the trophy, beating out Rihanna, Maroon 5, Katy Perry and Drake.

The 18-year-old also won the honor in 2010. He said it's "hard growing up with everyone watching me" and asked that people continue to believe in him.

Bieber and Nicki Minaj performed together -- and separately -- at the AMAs, and were both multiple winners.

But another collaboration was the night's most colorful performance: Korean rapper PSY and MC Hammer. Hammer joined the buzzed-about pop star for his viral hit "Gangnam Style." PSY rocked traditional "Hammer" pants as they danced to his jam and to Hammer's "Too Legit to Quit."

Get the whole scoop here.

And see the "five biggest jaw droppers," according to E!

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Never learned how to make Thanksgiving dinner? Or want to make it a little fancier this year?

Alliance Francaise, 54 W. Chicago, will teach you how to make a Thanksgiving dinner the French way. You'll learn how to "French-ify" turkey, along with butternut squash soup, a root vegetable gratin and an apple pie.

The class will run on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is $70 or $80 plus a $15 materials fee.

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No mass-produced stuff here. Only one-of-a-kind things like clothing, jewelry, art and music.

Sound like watch you're looking for?

The 10th annual DIY Trunk Show will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Broadway Armory, 5917 N. Broadway.

You'll be able to shop more than 150 vendors selling handmade art, clothing, jewelry, accessories and more. Wishbone will be on hand to serve food, and CHIRP will spin records.

Learn more here.

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Join Sound Opinions hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for a special screening of "The Blues Brothers" at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Avenue.

See this film on the big screen and hear DeRogatis and Kot discuss its musical importance in the Chicago canon of film and enjoy this musical love letter to Chicago.

Visit here to get tickets.

Thirteen Chicago art and culture non-profits will split $50,000 new grants awarded to them by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The grants are provided through MacArthur's International Connections Fund, which aims to help Chicago nonprofit arts and culture organizations advance their work by collaborating with peer organizations abroad.

"Sharing artistic experiences and promoting cross-cultural learning can help inform, engage, and entertain audiences and bring fresh perspectives to the creative organizations involved," said MacArthur President Robert Gallucci in a statement.

The grants from the fund will go to these non-profits:

Chicago a cappella - $18,500 in support of a musical and cultural exchange between artistic director Jonathan Miller and composer, choral director, and conductor Jorge Cordoba Valencia, a premier choral composer and director in Mexico.

Chicago Cultural Alliance - $40,000 for the cultural exchange of representatives of the Alliance's Swedish American Museum, Chinese-American Museum, and Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art with ethnic museums in their home countries.

Contratiempo - $20,000 to collaborate with the bilingual alternative culture magazine Humanize, based in Madrid, Spain. Each will contribute to the other's publication.

Every House Has a Door - $32,500 to expand a Bristol, UK performance piece to include material developed from the Randolph Street Gallery Archive, held at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, through artist and performer residencies.

Fulcrum Point New Music Project - $50,000 to support the collaborative creation of a new work fusing western classical and Indian classical music by Fulcrum Point, the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, composer Param Vir, Fulcrum Point Artistic Director Stephen Burns, and sarod virtuoso, Soumik Datta.

Global Girls - $45,000 in support of a cross-cultural residency. Girls from the South Side will share their techniques in using the performing arts to help learn new skills with students of Kattaikkutte Sangam, a residential performing arts school outside of Chennai, India.

Hedwig Dances - $50,000 for a collaborative exchange with DanzAbierta dance company of Havana, Cuba to jointly choreograph two dances that will be performed in both countries.

Latinos Progresando - $40,000 to establish an ongoing cross-cultural exchange between Chicago's Little Village and Centro Cultural Bacaanda arts organization in Oaxaca, Mexico. The experience will be developed into a theater piece.

Live the Spirit Residency - $45,000 to support a jazz education and composition exchange with London-based artist education and development group Tomorrow's Warriors who will perform the work at the Englewood Jazz Festival.

portoluz - $50,000 in support of an exchange and performances of son jarocho music in Chicago, Berwyn, and Cicero between musicians from Chicago and Veracruz, Mexico.

Puerto Rican Arts Alliance - $40,000 to support an ongoing international collaboration with the Puerto Rican Philharmonic Orchestra and Quique Domenech, a master musician and teacher of the cuatro, a traditional instrument of Puerto Rico.

Silk Road Rising - $50,000 for collaboration with the American University of Beirut and the Lebanese American University in Beirut to translate, adapt, and present a staged reading by Syrian playwright Saadallah Wannus.

threewalls - $22,000 to jointly curate a series of exhibitions with Or Gallery Vancouver and Or Gallery Berlin highlighting visual artists and work from the three cities.

For more information, go to the MacArthur website.


Drury Lane Oak Brook Theatre has been forced to cancel the opening night of "Singin' in the Rain" on Thursday due to an injury sustained by actor Sean Palmer, who is starring in the lead role of Don Lockwood, the Sun-Times reports.

Palmer, who will undergo surgery for the injury to his knee, will continue with previews through Nov. 18.

Veteran Broadway actor Tony Yazbeck will take over the role starting Nov. 21. The new opening night date is set for Nov. 30.

For ticket information, call the Drury Lane Theatre box office at (630) 530-0111.

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Jon Bon Jovi's daughter was arrested earlier this morning at her upstate New York college after allegedly overdosing on heroin.

Town of Kirkland Police Department arrived at a Hamilton College dorm room after hearing a report that Stephanie Rose Bongiovi, 19, had overdosed, TMZ reported. Emergency medical personnel found her unconscious but alive.

The police department says that there was a "small quantity" of heroin in Bongiovi's room, along with "marijuana and drug paraphernalia." She was arrested on three misdemeanor counts: possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and criminally using drug paraphernalia. Bongiovi, along with 21-year-old Ian S. Grant, who was also arrested, are ordered to appear in court at a later date.

"In addition to violating state law, the actions alleged to have been committed by the students violate Hamilton College policy," Hamilton College says in a statement to WKTV. "The college is cooperating with the police investigation. Our first concern is always for the safety of our students. Out of respect for the privacy of our students and in accordance with federal regulations we do not discuss individual health or disciplinary matters," Zap2It reported.

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Anyone who doubts Madonna's ability to still get down should check out this video of Madonna and Psy doing the Gangnam style.

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The music of Handel comes to life in Chicago every Christmas with his magnificent Messiah performed by a chorus of thousands, world-class soloists and a full orchestra of local professional and amateur volunteer musicians.

The Do-It-Yourself Messiah will take place on Monday, December 17 and Tuesday, December 18 at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets will be sold for $10 starting tomorrow at noon. Tickets can be bought at the Harris Theater box office,
by phone at 312-334-7777, or online.

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November 15 is Beaujolais Nouveau Day.

When the clocks strike midnight on the third Thursday of each November, Frenchmen flood the bistros and brasseries to get their first taste of the year's latest Beaujolais -- a fruity, barely fermented, super-young red wine made from gamay grapes.

To celebrate in Chicago, some restaurants and other venues will have an opportunity to taste the wine, in some cases with a meal.

They include:

Bistronomic
A meal for $39 that will feature wine with Homemade Country Pate, Beef Bourguignon, Banana Brioche Pudding plus a glass of Beaujolais Nouveau. November 15. 840 N. Wabash Ave.

Paris Club
Guests will be treated to complimentary appetizers and Beaujolais Nouveau by winemaker Joseph Drouhin. Admission is FREE, no RSVP necessary. 59 W. Hubbard.

Beaujolais Nouveau at Chicago French Market
A special wine tasting will be held at Chicago French Market inside the Oglivie Transportation Center. November 15, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Complimentary. 131 N. Clinton Street.


Passport to France.
The French-American Chamber of Commerce's Passport to France is held each year in honor of Beaujolais Nouveau's official uncorking. The event will feature some of Chicagoland's top French chefs, French wine and spirits, a silent auction, live music from DJ Sadie Woods and more. Thursday, November 15, 6p.m. to 9 p.m.

And if you're still in the mood for French cooking and wine a week later, check out Bistrot Margot's annual Thanksgiving Prix Fixe available on Thursday, November 22, from Noon until 8pm. Reservations are still available. Bistrot Margot is located at 1437-39 North Wells Street.

The menu will be:
Bistrot Salad ~Caesar Salad~Brie Cheese Soup~Onion Soup~Brie Tart

Main Course, choice of:
Barramundi with Lemon-Basil Butter Sauce
Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Wild Mushroom Sauce
Roasted Turkey with Sweet Potato Gratin, Herb Stuffing, Vegetables, Gravy, Cranberry Sauce
Braised Lamb Shank with Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Rosemary Jus
Roasted Chicken Breast, Wild Mushroom Sauce
Rainbow Trout with Sage Brown Butter
Steak Frites with Garlic-Parsley Butter

Dessert, Choice of:
Grand Marnier Bread Pudding~Pumpkin Pie~Dark Chocolate Terrine~Profiteroles

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Between her songs and her interviews, Barbados-born singer Rihanna isn't shy about telling what she really thinks.

The new GQ feature is no exception.

Writer Jay Bulger trails Rihanna for a night of clubbing and along the way gets her first candid comments about the infamous Chris Brown-Drake brawl that erupted at a New York nightclub in June.

In that scuffle, Brown sent a bottle of champagne to the table of rival MC Drake, to which Drake sent back a note implying he was having relations with "the love of your life."

"There's no proof of that being for my love. That's my answer to that question," she told Bulger.

Read more of the article here.

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A number of sources on the set of the hit ABC sitcom "Modern Family" tell Sun-Times star Bill Zwecker there long has been concern about what one show staffer called "the horribly dysfunctional relationship" between teen star Ariel Winter and her mother, Chrystal Workman.

According to Zwecker's sources, long before Workman was pulled into court and charged with both physical and emotional abuse of her daughter, who plays Alex Dunphy on "Modern Family," stars and staffers working behind the camera had expressed concern for Winter's well-being.

"I've seen many, many stage mothers and stage fathers," said a longtime Hollywood TV exec who works on "Modern Family."

"But never have I seen someone who was so openly mean to the young star who was her meal ticket. The entire cast was aware of how much Ariel has been going through," indicating those "aware" cast members included Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sarah Hyland.

Find out which restaurants in Chicago made the Michelin 2013 list for top honors.

It is a parsimonious list, awarding a total of 16 stars to the crowded Chicago restaurant universe, restaurant critic Michael Nagrant explains for the Sun-Times. By comparison, Michelin has awarded 34 stars in San Francisco and 52 stars in New York City.

It is a diverse Chicago list nonetheless, including modern gastronomy temples like Grant Achatz' three-star Alinea and the now two-star L20 (which regained a star after losing one last year). It also includes places that conservative old diners love like Spiaggia (maintaining its one star) and Sixteen (earning its first star). It includes hipster temples like Longman & Eagle (one star) and Schwa (one star), and forward-thinking regional Mexican places like Mexique -- one of the list's bigger surprises -- garnering its first star, and Topolobampo (one star).

But based on the buzz and protesting clamor of Twitter-crazy Chicagoans and buzzing foodies, the list of Michelin 2013 starred Chicago restaurants may not be a "best" list, Nagrant says.

What do you think? Did they nail it or not?

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The man who claimed he had underage sex with the puppeteer behind "Sesame Street" character Elmo recanted his claims on Tuesday, Reuters reports.

The unnamed man, now 23, had claimed that Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash had a sexual relationship with him when the accuser was 16 years old, potentially engulfing one of the biggest childhood brands in an underage sex scandal.

"He wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship," the law firm Andreozzi and Associates, who represent the man, said in a statement.

Clash, 52, who had denied the allegations, said in a statement obtained by Reuters on Tuesday: "I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further."

New York-based Sesame Workshop said on Monday that its own inquiry had concluded that the claims of underage sexual conduct against Clash were unsubstantiated.

"We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close, and we are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode," Sesame Workshop said in a statement on Tuesday.

Clash, 52, the voice of Elmo for nearly three decades, had acknowledged a past relationship with his accuser but said on Monday the pair were both consenting adults at the time. He termed the allegations "false and defamatory."

Sesame Workshop said the allegations involving Clash came to its attention in June when the accuser first contacted the company by email. A company executive said it had found "absolutely no evidence that the allegations were true."

The Elmo character debuted on "Sesame Street" in 1979. While Clash was the third performer to animate the child-like shaggy red monster, Sesame Workshop credits him with turning Elmo into the international sensation he became.

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In a move that likely had nothing to do with his being shirtless role for most of the summer movie hit "Magic Mike," actor Channing Tatum has been named the sexiest man alive by People magazine.

"My first thought was, 'Y'all are messing with me," Tatum told the magazine after hearing the news.

The 32-year-old actor, who is married to actress Jenna Dewan-Tatum, is training to play an Olympic athlete in his upcoming film, "Foxcatcher".

Tatum joins a long list of Hollywood heartthrobs who also have also received the "sexiest man" title from the magazine including Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Ryan Reynolds, George Clooney and Matt Damon.

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"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" world premiere is happening tonight and Yahoo! Movies is bringing you Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner to you live from Los Angeles.

Keep an eye on the video player below for the live stream starting at 6:30 p.m:


In case you missed them, here's Roger Ebert's reviews of the first "Twilight" movies:

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The puppeteer behind Elmo is taking a leave of absence from "Sesame Street" after denying allegations that he had an inappropriate relationship with an underage boy.

The Sesame Street Workshop has released a statement saying that they found the claims against Kevin Clash to be "unsubstantiated," but did find that Clash "exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding internet usage."

The Workshop said they received a communication from a then 23 year old man who alleged that he had a relationship beginning when he was 16 years old with Clash:

"We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action. We met with the accuser twice and had repeated communications with him. We met with Kevin, who denied the accusation. We also conducted a thorough investigation and found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated."

Clash reportedly told gossip site TMZ, "I had a relationship with [the accuser]. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not."

The Workshop statement says that Elmo isn't going anywhere: "Elmo is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of Sesame Street to engage, educate and inspire children around the world, as it has for 40 years."

Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen of Saturday Night Live and Jeff Tweety of Wilco are a few of the biggest names who'll take part in this year's holiday benefit for Chicago's Onward Neighborhood House (www.onwardhouse.org). Held at Second City's e.t.c. theater (1608 N. Wells, 2nd Floor of Piper's Alley) and titled "The Second City That Never Sleeps: Letters to Santa," the 24-hour improv-and-music marathon starts Tuesday, December 18 at 6 p.m. and is open to all ages.

Tickets $20
312-337-3992
http://www.facebook.com/events/185753358223386/

The presidential election sure was exciting, and I'm not even talking about the results.

Flipping through the TV channels was half the fun, trying to find the latest wacky behavior before the Twitterverse descended on it.

ABC News' Diane Sawyer, of course, turned out to be the belle of the bizarro ball. Pretty much the entire world is convinced she was either a) drunk or b) suffering a stroke. To state the obvious: neither is good. To me, Sawyer looked liked she'd helped herself to a handful of happy pills. She was slurring her words and acting much stranger than we've come to expect from the veteran, no-nonsense journalist.

Wrote AP:

Sawyer spoke more slowly than usual while seeming to prop herself on outstretched arms at the anchor desk she shared with George Stephanopoulos.
"OK," she said at one point around 10 p.m. EST, "I wanna -- can we have our music, because this is another big one here? Minnesota, we're ready to project Minnesota, rrright now. ... Well, tonight we know that President Barack has won Minnesota," she rambled on, stumbling over the president's name.

Sawyer wasn't the only talking head raising eyebrows.

Obama victory music: 'How You Like Me Now?'

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Bruce Springsteen spent the days leading up to the election as President Obama's opening act, performing short acoustic sets at several rallies. Jay-Z, too, shared the stump with the president at several stops, even tweaking his classic "99 Problems" for the occasion. ("I got 99 problems but Mitt ain't one!")

We hoped against hope that either of the pair would stay on the circuit and join Obama at his victory rally last night in Chicago. No such luck.

The best musical moment at McCormick Place, though, occurred over the PA. Shortly after NBC and CNN called the election for Obama, a song with a rousing, soulful title/chorus blared through the hall: the Heavy's "How You Like Me Now?"

Michelin released its coveted list of Bib Gourmands exactly one week prior to the launch of the highly anticipated 2013 Michelin Guide.

There were 64 restaurants selected in the Chicago area this year, with 19 newly added to the category.

The Bib Gourmand designations indicate quality restaurants that are affordable (less than $40 for two courses plus dessert).

Here's who made the list this year:

Ada Street *
Ann Sather
Antique Taco *
Au Cheval *
Avec
Balena *
Belly Shack
Bistronomic
The Bristol
Browntrout
Ceres' Table
Chilam Balam *
City Tavern *
Cumin
Deca
De Cero
De Colores
Frontera Grill
Gemini Bistro
Gilt Bar
Girl & the Goat
Green Zebra
GT Fish & Oyster
Han 202
Jaipur
Jam *
Jin Thai
Kabul House
Kai Zan *
Lao Hunan *
Lao Sze Chuan
La Petite Folie
Los Nopales
Maison *
Marion Street Cheese Market *
Maude's Liquor Bar
Mixteco Grill
Nana
Nightwood
Opart Thai
Owen & Engine
Paramount Room
The Publican
The Pump Room *
Purple Pig
Q BBQ *
Raj Darbar
Riccardo Trattoria
The Savoy *
Sen
Slurping Turtle *
Smak-Tak
Smoque BBQ
Sol de Mexico
Spacca Napoli
The Storefront Company *
Twin Anchors
Untitled *
Urban Belly
Urban Union *
West Town Tavern
Wood *
Xni-Pec de Yucatan
Yolo

Removed from list
Arami
Fogon
Hopleaf
La Creperie
Lula Café
Mexique
M. Henry
Mundial Cocina Mestiza
Perennial Virant
Taste of Peru
Thai Village

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The MythBusters are coming to the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates this week, but don't expect to see pop scientists and special-effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman sending patrons out to the lobby to see if opening and shutting all the doors at the same time will cause a drastic change in air pressure, the Chicago Sun-Times explains.

"I love the idea, but no," Savage said in a phone interview.

Fans of the "MythBusters Behind the Myths" can get tickets to the 7:30 p.m. Saturday show at the Sears Centre, 5333 Prairie Stone, Hoffman Estates. Go here or here.

The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, hosts an all-star standup comedy show benefiting Hurricane Sandy victims Thursday at 8pm.

WGN's Pat Tomasulo hosts, with J. Chris Newberg of "America's Got Talent," Mike Lebovitz, Russ Williamson and more performing. To get in, donate a minimum of $25 and/or donate supplies such as blankets, canned food and heaters.

All proceeds of ticket sales will go to the American Red Cross. Call 773-327-3175x1 for more information. 18+, two drink minimum.


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Florence native Fabio Viviani, one of "Top Chef's" all-time fan favorites, will be one of the chefs featured on Bravo's "Life After Top Chef."

The show will air at 8 p.m. tonight.

But you can get the scoop on Viviani before that in Chicago Sun-Times' Lori Rackl's article.

And Bravo serves up its 10th installment of "Top Chef" Wednesday, with 21 hopefuls trying to impress the judges for the chance to become official contestants this season in Seattle.

Only one of the would-be top toques hails from a Chicago kitchen: Chrissy Camba, 31, a Hoffman Estates native who lives in Lincoln Square.

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Usually companies are thrilled to get a little shout-out in movies, but not this time.

Anheuser-Busch, brewers of the iconic Budweiser beer, says Denzel Washington's "Flight" reflected poorly on their brand, since Washington's character is often seen drinking to excess, snorting cocaine -- and surrounded by bottles and cans of Budweiser and other alcoholic beverages.

First reported earlier, Chicago Sun-Times' Bill Zwecker has more details.

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Admit it, seeing what first lady Michelle Obama was wearing was almost as important as seeing the winner President Barack Obama's acceptance speech.

USA Today explains that when Michelle Obama took the stage with her husband in Chicago, she wore a dress designed by Michael Kors.

The designer said in a release this morning that he was "pleased to announce" Mrs. O. wore a "magenta silk chine pintucked dress."

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Derrick Rose tweeted photos of his newly born baby on with the message: "My lil man PJ," Chicago Sun-Times reports.

During promotional interviews for his shoe, the Bulls guard has alluded to becoming a father a few times but has kept the details private. Mieka Reese, Rose's longtime girlfriend, is the mother.

Rose has been rehabbing a knee injury from last season and is not expected to return until February.

The Bulls confirmed that the boy was born about two weeks ago but had no other information.

See the pics here.

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Horror-movie host Rich Koz, better known as Svengoolie, is recovering after a heart attack Saturday.

On his Svengoolie Twitter and Facebook accounts Sunday, the following message was posted: "After a very busy Halloween holiday season, I'll be taking a short reprieve from updating my blog. Daily updates will return soon!"

A press release from Weigel Broadcasting Co., which airs Koz's show locally on WCIU-TV and nationally on Me-TV network, said, "Rich's condition is improving and his family has asked for privacy at this time."

Koz is a Chicago native and graduate of Maine East High School and Northwestern University.

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Kirstie Alley says John Travolta wasn't the only man she had a secret relationship with.

The "Dancing with the Stars" contestant, 61, has revealed that she and the late Patrick Swayze fell in love on the set of their 1985 TV series, "North and South." Though they were both married at the time -- Alley was still with her second husband, Parker Stevenson, whom she divorced in 1997 and Swayze was with Lisa Niemi -- the co-stars developed intense feelings for each other, Alley says.

"Both of us were married," Alley tells "Entertainment Tonight," clarifying that they "did not have an affair."

"But again, I think what I did was worse," she added. "Because I think when you fall in love with someone when you're married, you jeopardize your own marriage and their marriage. It's doubly bad."

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Sam Worthington, star of "Avatar" and "Clash of Titans," got some pepper spray at a restaurant, but it wasn't part of a recipe.

Worthington was pepper-sprayed and subsequently arrested over the weekend for attacking a doorman at a restaurant in Atlanta following an argument about his intoxicated state and lack of ID.

The actor, 36, tangled with a doorman at the Vortex bar and grill when he was turned away for being verbally abusive and apparently intoxicated, according to a police report obtained by Celebuzz.com.

When police were called, the arresting officer charged the actor with disorderly conduct and stated the following: that 'Mr. Link tried to converse with Mr. Samuel by attempting to let him know why he could not enter', that 'Mr. Link then stated that Mr. Samuel was being disorderly verbally by using profane language' and that 'Mr. Link pepper sprayed Mr. Samuel and hand cuffed him' following Worthington's physical attempt at gaining entry to the building.

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Rihanna has just completed work on her November 19 album release, Unapologetic, and one of the songs that will be on it is a duet with Chris Brown, who she is currently dating and who violently beat Rihanna a few years ago.

The song is called "Nobodies Business." The pair raised eyebrows earlier this year when they each jumped on remixes of their songs, "Birthday Cake" and "Turn Up the Music" back in February.

At the same time, rumors are stirring around the internet that Rihanna's alleged reconciliation with Chris Brown has caused a huge rift in her friendship with Katy Perry.

Rihanna's list for Unapologetic also reveals collaborations with Eminem, Future, and Mikki Ekko.


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More than a decade after Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes died in a car crash in Honduras, the surviving members of TLC are planning a new album and a reunion tour in which Lopes could play a long-rumored starring role as a hologram, People reports.

"The hologram is something we talked about and thought about years ago. Obviously timing is everything, but we're definitely talking about it," Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas tells the U.K.'s Metro newspaper.

The idea to resurrect Lopes, who was 30 when she died, for stage shows was rumored last spring, after a hologram of Tupac Shakur wowed audiences at Coachella. But this is the first time the band members admit they are considering it.

There is no time line yet for the new album or tour.

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Kristen Bell confirmed that she's expecting her first child with fiancé Dax Shepard.

Check out her tiny baby bump.

Bell and Shepard, who stars on Parenthood, expect their baby in late spring.

The couple began dating in 2007 and became engaged over the 2009 holidays.

Vote with your feet

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Looking for bipartisan togs to wear to the voting booth? Toms offers individuals their classic slip-on canvas shoe with a message for today's election and for all future elections. For those on either side of the aisle, the shoemaker also has the donkey and elephant styles for both men and women.

Talk about putting your best foot forward.

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The New York Times has weighed on what it calls an outstanding pizza shop. And it's not Uno, Lou Malnati's or any other deep-dish pizza place. See who make the cut in Chicago.

Do you agree?



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For those who may need a few more laughs than the pundits can provide, comedy clubs roll out the red carpet for voters while neighborhood taverns post candidate-themed cocktails for the electorate. Chicago Sun-Times has a few of the options available for tonight.

They include election-themed events at iO and Laugh Factory, as well as plenty of events that have nothing to do with the Election Day.

Check it out here.

After campaign 2012: Let's take our country's songs back!

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fleetwood-mac_clinton.jpgOn July 16, 1992, I was covering the Democratic National Convention in New York's Madison Square Garden when Bill Clinton accepted the nomination. When he finished speaking, the usual hysteria erupted, the blue balloons dropped and Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" blared from the sound system.

And repeated. And repeated. And repeated. I think I counted nine times.

All I could think was: Crap, another great song saddled with political baggage.

When comic Robert Klein -- an idol to Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno and other big-name standups -- plays Up Comedy Club at Piper's Alley in Old Town this weekend (Friday through Sunday, upcomedyclub.com), he'll be returning to his comedic roots in a way. For those who don't know, UP is owned by Second City. And Second City, circa 1965-66, is where Klein essentially kicked off what would become a hugely fruitful career that includes a record nine HBO specials (his last one in 2010), a Tony nomination and scores of TV and movie roles. During Johnny Carson's decades-long reign at NBC, the Bach-loving septuagenarian (he's 70) appeared (as guest and guest host) roughly 100 times on "The Tonight Show" alone.

Klein's forte, though, has always been solo (and occasionally musical) comedy: just him, the microphone, a live audience and whatever dazzles, puzzles or peeves him at any given moment. And while he recently told the Sun-Times that retiring would be "destructive," he admitted to feeling his mortality a bit more acutely these days. "I'm especially worried as Jews bury so quickly," he said from his 31st floor apartment in superstorm-pummeled New York City. "The older I get, around my relatives I'm afraid to take a nap lest I be mistaken for dead."

The Polish Film Festival in the Chicago area bills itself as the world's largest annual showcase of Polish cinema outside of Poland.

It will run from today until Nov. 18.

Presented by the Chicago-based nonprofit Society for Arts and sponsored by the Polish Film Institute and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, the festival consists of 21 features, 31 documentaries and shorts screening at five area venues, Sun-Times reports.

Screenings will be shown at Muvico Rosemont 18, 9701 Bryn Mawr, Rosemont; Gallery Theatre in Society for Arts, 1112 N. Milwaukee; Facets, 1517 W. Fullerton; Pickwick Theatre, 5 S. Prospect, Park Ridge, and Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St.

View what films are playing here.

The producers of MTV's "Real World" are holding a casting call Saturday for guys to participate in a dating show called "Love Games" on Oxygen.

"Love Games" is a spin-off of Oxygen's "Bad Girls Club," which might explain why the casting call is looking "for guys in Chicago who date bad girls." Winners have the chance to look for love on national TV. (We all know how well that works out, but hey, everyone deserves his 15 minutes of fame.)

Applicants must be at least 21 years old and should bring a recent picture of themselves (it won't be returned) and a photo ID. Needless to say, you should be single.

The casting call is Saturday, Nov. 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Bar Louie River North, 333-335 N. Dearborn, in Chicago.

Applications also are accepted online. For more info, visit: http://www.bmpcasting.com/casting/lovegames/

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The Boss will be among the stars coming to help his home state, which was battered by Hurricane Sandy.

Several days after Sandy ripped through the East Coast, destroying homes and leaving millions without power in New Jersey and New York, NBCUniversal has announced that Bruce Springstreen, Christina Aguilera, Billy Joel, Sting and Jon Bon Jovi are slated to perform. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams and late night host Jimmy Fallon will also appear, as will Kevin Bacon, Tina Fey, James Gandolfini, Al Roker and Jon Stewart.

Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together will air Friday from 8 to 9 p.m, on NBCUniversal networks including NBC, Bravo and USA featuring a one-hour, Matt Lauer-hosted telethon to benefit victims. Late Thursday, HBO also announced that it would carry the telethon, and other networks might join as well.

Donations will go toward The American Red Cross' Sandy relief efforts.

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Xanadu has the dubious honor of being the first film to win a Golden Raspberry award. But say what you will, it's also become a cult classic for being "a place where dreams come true."

If you're part of the cult, here's your chance to sing along with the movie.

The Music Box Theatre will show a sing-along midnight screening of the 1980 roller disco classic Xanadu, which features Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly and an ELO soundtrack.

Full details and advance tickets are at the Music Box website. Music Box: 3733 North Southport. (773) 871-6604.

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Jazz may have been born in Chicago. But it has since spread far from here.

That's highlighted in some of the acts being featured in the Umbrella Music Festival.

Starting Wednesday, the Umbrella Music Festival will feature jazz performances free of charge. Acts come from all over the place like Lithuania, Austria and France. There will also be plenty of Chicago-based acts.

The event starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday and goes through Nov. 11. The first two nights, the venue will be held at the Chicago Cultural Center, 79 E. Washington, then it will move to other locations in the city.

Visit the festival site for more information.

Whether you were born here or you arrived here, when is it acceptable to call yourself a true Chicagoan? That's the subject Sun-Times' Neil Steinberg tackles in his new book, "You Were Never in Chicago."

Learn how you can earn your stripes here.

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Need a laugh mixed in with some current events? Cedric the Entertainer is your man.

The comedian will appear tonight at the Venue at the Horseshoe Casino, 777 Casino Center, Hammond, Ind.

The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are still available here.

Sun-Times' Allison Horton has more info here.

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Missed last night's Country Music Association awards in Nashville? Find out who won. Here's a hint: married couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert cleaned up, and at one point, Lambert wept on stage when she and her husband won song of the year.

And here's a look at what people wore to the CMA's.

"Breaking Bad" star, brief Second City mainstage player (he created the motivational speaker Matt Foley for Chris Farley) and Naperville native Bob Odenkirk stopped by Energy BBDO ad agency Thursday to take part in a so-called "creative salon." The agency has hosted several. Here are some highlights from Bob's hourlong talk, which was accompanied by rudimentary visuals that illustrated different aspects of his career and followed by a Q&A session:

On improv: "I do improv, but I'm not a huge fan of it."

On creating the original "Super Fans" sketch for SNL: "I did write 'Super Fans.' But believe me, I didn't think we needed to write 30 of them."

On whether the rumors of a possible "Breaking Bad" spin-off featuring his character, the sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman, had much validity: "Yeah, yeah, absolutely. But don't put it on the Internet. I certainly don't count on it; it's showbiz."

Some Odenkirk-penned scripts that never got made: "Mr. Badd," "Kung-Fu Superpimp," "Disco Sucks," "The F---Up."

Bob announced that he and his former "Mr. Show" co-star David Cross are publishing a bunch of scripts they wrote. The book will include storyboards and one of the scripts might be made into a Claymation feature.

He's also developing a new sketch show with the Birthday Boys (www.thebirthdayboys.com) for IFC.

Bob seemed especially proud of his uncredited work on "lost" footage of Abraham Lincoln, seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgqZhjQWJ1A

He'll appear Friday with Michael McCarthy at DePaul University. The public is welcome. (http://mycti.cti.depaul.edu/news/calendar.asp?id=5427)

The Lycée Français de Chicago is hosting its 8th Annual Fall French Market--a weekend festival packed with fun family activities, French cooking demonstrations, and holiday shopping opportunities.

Among the highlights, renowned Chicago-area chefs will serve up free cooking demos with recipes ideal for entertaining. Parents can also drop off children between ages 3 and 10 at the children's pavilion where they can enjoy magic, music and other activities while their parents shop.

An array of nearly 100 vendors participate each year, selling the best of French & local merchandise and cuisine. Visitors can listen to live French music while dining on French foods like freshly made crêpes. And there will be an opportunity to shop for French wares, one-of-a-kind home décor items, art & antiques, local artisans' jewelry, clothing and more.

Proceeds from the Fall French Market supports need-based scholarships and special programs for Lycée students.

The 2012 Fall French Market is scheduled for Friday through Sunday. Get more information here.

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