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Shirelles and Dionne Warwick Sue New Broadway Show

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(Reuters) - The producers of a new Broadway musical about the 1960s girl group The Shirelles have been hit with a lawsuit charging them of pilfering the names and likenesses of the original members.

Singer Dionne Warwick, who is also portrayed in the show "Baby It's You", joined the legal action which was filed in New York Supreme Court a day before Wednesday's opening night.

Three of the four women -- surviving member Beverly Lee, who owns the trademark to "The Shirelles" name and the estates of Doris Coley Jackson and Addie Harris McFadden -- filed their lawsuit on Tuesday.

"Baby It's You!" is the story of Florence Greenberg, a suburban housewife from New Jersey who discovered the all-girl group and created Scepter Records. It has been running in preview at New York's Broadhurst Theater for several weeks.

The Shirelles had hits in the 1960s with records like "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," "Dedicated to the One I Love" and "Soldier Boy." They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

Oren Warshavsky, an attorney for the four, said that like many other recording artists in the 1960s, his clients were not treated well even as they were growing in popularity.

"It's unfortunate that they have to live through it again and watch their stories be told, again without their consent," he said.

The lawsuit accuses Warner Bros. Theater Ventures Inc., Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Broadway Baby LLC, of "cashing in on plaintiffs' stories and successes, while using plaintiffs' names, likenesses and biographical information without their consent and in violation of the law."

Paul McGuire, a Warner Bros. spokesman, declined comment.

Warshavsky said the timing of the suit on the eve of opening night was a coincidence. The plaintiffs had been in discussions with Warner Bros., but they could not resolve their differences and took legal action, he said.

(Reporting by Jennifer Golson; Editing by Howard Goller)

CAAM Presents 'Hattitude! With Tea On The Side'

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Featuring a special showing of Designer ALAKAZIA’s Couture Hat Collection

California African American Museum (CAAM) presents its annual spring celebration, “HATTITUDE! With Tea on the Side.” Actor Jeffrey Anderson Gunter cohosts with actress CCH Pounder on this special program where participants enjoyed a special showing of Parisian Couture Chapeau Designer, ALAKAZIA, “Le Chapeau by ALAKAZIA,” while sipping delicious African teas, courtesy of African Red Tea Rooibos.

NAACP ACT-SO pianist Arif Muhammad performed, along with vocalists from LA Opera’s Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program. A fashion show featuring dancers modeling ALAKAZIA’s line of artistic hats dazzled the audience with the most stylish, fashionable, creative, and elegant hats for men and women. More than 200 men, women and children joined in the celebration to showcase their own stylish hats and participate in the fun hat competition. “HATTITUDE is always one of the most enjoyable events that we feature at CAAM,” said CAAM Executive Director Charmaine Jefferson.

“This year’s presentation of hats by ALAKAZIA was amazing, but we equally enjoyed and appreciated our community guests of all ages, that modeled their hat wear and spring attire.”

Celebrity judges included actor Reginald Vel Johnson, best known for his role as Carl Winslow on the sitcom Family Matters and as LAPD Sgt. Al Powell in the films Die Hard and Die Hard 2 and actress Kendra C. Johnson, best known for her starring role in the independent feature Phat Girlz and, most recently, her recurring role on the hit comedy, The Game. Additional judges included renowned artist Betye Saar, Target representative Lauren Dorsey, Moreno BHLV, Premier Label Water Company’s Troy Marshall, and CAAM Friends Board of Director Renee Bizer.

Obamas Return to Oprah As Talk Show Winds Down

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(Reuters) - President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle will appear together on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in May, as the TV chat show queen nears the end of her 25-year reign.

The White House and publicists for the daily TV show said on Tuesday the Obamas would tape their appearance in Chicago on April 27, and the show will air on May 2.

Publicists said it would be the Obamas' first joint appearance on "Oprah" since 2006.

Winfrey, regarded as the most influential woman on U.S. television, campaigned publicly for Obama in his 2008 run for the White House and helped raise millions of dollars for his campaign.

She has interviewed Obama several times in the past, both before and after his election.

Winfrey announced last year that she would end her popular syndicated TV show, which airs in some 140 countries, in order to focus on her new cable TV channel OWN, which launched in January. The last original episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" will air on May 25.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; editing by Dean Gooodman)

Black Films to be Showcased in the Riverside Film Festival

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In Our Hands

Director: Josefine Borrmann
Documentary, 12 minutes

People with disabilities in Tanzania are treated as though they can contribute nothing to society, but small groups are now working to achieve fair access to government loans and other programs to work and employ others. Salum and Malise represent the able people of Tanzania. Their lives are entwined through their common goal of standing proudly as productive members of society. Leading their own initiatives while struggling to gain respect in a society that labels them as disabled, these individuals represent the current Tanzanian disability movement.

About the Director Josefine Borrmann, Director
As an international filmmaker, Josefine Borrmann uses her experiences of living in several countries to foster a sense of understanding and respect of the cultures she is exploring with her films. Her intentions are to use film as a media to uncover life of hidden subcultures facing societal conflicts. Her works include In Our Hands, She's My Superman, We Come From Jambiani, and her next film will be made in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in Juli 2011.

The Fifth Quarter

Director: Rick Bieber
Feature, 96 minutes

In 2006, 16-year-old Luke Abbate was killed in a car accident. His older brother, a football player at Wake Forest University, decided to honor his brother’s memory by wearing his No. 5 jersey and dedicating the season to him. His teammates also became inspired and played the best football of their lives. An inspirational true story of family, faith, and the gift of life, The Fifth Quarter is much more than a football film. The film has won numerous awards and is opening in theaters on the East Coast just as it opens RIFF’s 2011 season.

About the Director Rick Bieber, Writer/Director/Producer
Rick Bieber spent hundreds of hours talking with the Abbate family in preparation for writing the screenplay, and they were also in attendance throughout the film. For many years, he has produced or executive produced feature films such as Flatliners and Radio Flyer, as well as over 30 television and cable movies, including Mandela.

Beatboxing: The Fifth Element of Hip Hop

Director: Klaus Schneyder
Documentary: 53 minutes

It was in the late 70s that a youth culture evolved in the poorer parts of New York which combined several disciplines under the name of Hip Hop. From the hardship of poverty and the lack of instruments, a pioneer was inspired to imitate drum rhythms with his mouth - his brilliance creating the term 'Human Beatbox'. Beatboxing has become a global phenomenon, which is organized and celebrated in the annual Beatbox Conventions and through Beatbox Competitions, that are being held in an increasing number of countries every year.

About the Director Klaus Schneyder, Writer/Director/Producer
This is Klaus Schneyder’s first film. It grew out of interviews filmed over several years during his research in New York and California toward writing an academic book on the phenomenon of Beatboxing.

Lost & Found

Director: Kiah S. Jones, Jonathan Formica, Alexander Gaeta, Rob McClelland, Malica Chehrzad, Lauren Hulsey
Documentary, 17 minutes

In a small nation with over 130,000 orphaned kids, many living on the streets - one program is turning their lives around. Cynthia and her partner, Victor, take to the streets of Botswana twice a week offering orphans and kids unwanted by their families an opportunity to abandon the harsh and sometimes dangerous life on the streets. They provide these kids with an education and a stable home.

About the Director Kiah S. Jones. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Kiah has produced several documentaries, short films and music videos. She is set to receive her MFA in Film & TV Producing in May 2011 from the Dodge College of Film & Media Arts at Chapman University.

Jonathan Formica. Hailing from Lake Forest, California, Jonathan is currently in pursuit of a BFA in Broadcast Journalism from the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University.

Malica Chehrzad. Originally from Huntington Beach, California, Malica will receive her BFA in Broadcast Journalism and Documentary film making from the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in May 2011. Alexander Gaeta. Born in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Alex is currently seeking a BFA in Film Production from Chapman University.

Rob McClelland. Rob, originally from Tucson, Arizona, is a senior in the BFA Film Production program at Chapman University. His passion for photography has led him to study cinematography in pursuit of a career shooting documentary and narrative films.

Lauren Hulsey. Originally from Rockville, Maryland, Lauren recently graduated with a BFA in Digital Arts from Chapman University.

Punch Me

Director: Robert X. Golphin
Short, 14 minutes

With a romance on the rocks and a father on his sick bed, a young man must accept his true identity before he loses the two people he loves most. 'Sometimes a push is all you need'.

About the Director Robert X. Golphin
Director/Writer/Lead Actor Robert X. Golphin is an American award-nominated actor, award-winning filmmaker/ screenwriter, author, motivational speaker/orator, and journalist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is best known for his portrayal of Dunbar Reed in the 2007 film The Great Debaters. Robert holds a B.A. in Theater and Film (Magna Cum Laude), and a Diploma in Creative Writing from the Philadelphia H.S. for the Creative & Performing Arts.

Actress Angelina Jolie Says People Fleeing Libya Need Support

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(Reuters) - Actress and goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie appealed on Tuesday for international support for people fleeing the conflict in Libya and for increased aid for those inside the country.

Jolie, a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations' refugee agency UNHCR who visited the Libyan-Tunisian border, said recent arrivals from Libya had told her about heavy fighting, harassment and assaults.

More than 400,000 people have fled Libya to Tunisia, Egypt, Niger, Algeria, Chad and Sudan since February when rebels rose up against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. More than half have arrived in Tunisia.

"The international community has done well to reinforce Tunisia's remarkable relief effort," Jolie said in a UNHCR statement. "But with 2,000 people still crossing each day, we cannot let the funding dry up and need to sustain the momentum."

She also appealed for measures that would allow the U.N. and non-governmental organizations to access Libya and distribute urgent assistance, including food and medical supplies.

At the end of February, transit facilities were erected 7 km (4 miles) inside Tunisia to provide temporary shelter for those arriving from Libya and UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized humanitarian air evacuations.

More than 70,000 people have returned home with the help of UNHCR and IOM but more continue to arrive. Some 11,000 third country nationals are still in transit.

UNHCR said Jolie's family Jolie-Pitt foundation had covered the costs for a flight of 177 people and bought an ambulance to help support Tunisian efforts to assist the wounded.

There are some 2,500 people who are originally from war-torn countries and are unable to return home, UNHCR said.

"They're waiting here with little hope, unable to return home and unsure of what's to come. This constant cycle of displacement must finally come to an end," Jolie said.

(editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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