Performing dogs go big after $1 million TV prize

*HOLD FOR STORY BY SUE MANNING* In this Tuesday, April 22, 2014 photo Richard Olate works on a trick with one of his performing dogs Loca in Sorrento, Fla. The Olates spend more than 11 months a year on the road performing and are starring in a series of short dog rescue films that could one day be eligible for Oscar consideration. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A million dollars will change you. Since a father and son took their 10 flipping, twirling dogs from the center ring of a circus to the stage of a reality show, where they won TV competition “America’s Got Talent,” people pack their performances at large venues and they have been tapped to star … Continue reading →

VMAs returning to LA; trying out renovated Forum

In this Jan. 10, 2014, file photo, preparations continue ahead of the reopening of the refurbished Forum in Inglewood, Calif. After a visit to New York last year, the MTV Video Music Awards announced Wednesday, April 23, 2014, that the show is returning to the West Coast on Sunday, Aug. 24, to become the first major awards ceremony broadcast from the storied concert venue. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Live from Inglewood! After visiting New York last year, the MTV Video Music Awards announced Wednesday that the show is returning to the West Coast this summer to become the first major awards ceremony broadcast from the storied Forum in Inglewood, Calif. For decades, the “Fabulous Forum,” as it was known, hosted some of the world’s … Continue reading →

Frank Lloyd Wright tower opens for public tours

Associated Press photo -- The SC Johnson Research Tower designed by Frank Lloyd Wright lit up at night in Racine, Wis.

RACINE, Wis. (AP) — Frank Lloyd Wright fans will get their first look at one of his most unusual buildings, an industrial tower with a tree-like design, when a home products company opens its former research and development center to the public this spring. The 15-story tower at SC Johnson’s headquarters in southeastern Wisconsin is regarded as … Continue reading →

Zoo launches ‘endangered song’ to help save tigers

This handout photo provided the Smithsonian's National Zoo, taken May 23, 2011, shows Sumatran tiger Damai at the zoo in Washington. The Smithsonian's National Zoo wants to highlight the dwindling number of 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild by launching an

WASHINGTON (AP) — Indie rock band Portugal. The Man and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo released an “endangered song” Tuesday for Earth Day to demonstrate the dwindling number of about 400 Sumatran tigers left in the world. The new song, “Sumatran Tiger,” was recorded on 400 polycarbonate vinyl records that will degrade and self-destruct after a certain number … Continue reading →

Royals get Aboriginal gifts in Australian Outback

Britain's Prince William and his wife  Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, look at a ceremonial spear given to him after they arrived at the National Indigenous Training Academy at Yulara, near Uluru, Australia, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

SYDNEY (AP) — Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Kate, received a traditional Aboriginal welcome to the Australian Outback on Tuesday. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the tiny town of Yulara, near the bright red sandstone monolith Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock. Members of a local Aboriginal community performed a traditional song and … Continue reading →

Zombie-filled obstacle course challenges BR ‘survivors’

Photo provided by SkyboundFans of 'The Walking Dead' series can receive a professional make-up job and become a 'walker' for a night when The Walking Dead Escape zombie obstacle course comes to the River Center Thursday, April 24.

Gory zombie kills and pulse-racing excitement aren’t all that make “The Walking Dead” a hit both on television and in comic books. It’s also the storytelling, which forces characters to make life-and-death decisions as they fight “walkers,” the undead who vastly outnumber humans, said David Isaacs, president of Skybound EXP, the company that publishes “The Walking … Continue reading →

Folk rocker Todd Snider adds stories to his stage show

Photo provided   -Todd Snider, left, performs with one-time labelmate and touring partner John Prine.

When Nashville-based Todd Snider plays the Manship Theatre on Saturday, it will be an unusual gig for the folk rocker. The night will start with music by Gina Forsyth, but continue with a reading from Snider’s book, “I Never Met a Story I Didn’t Like: Mostly True Tall Tales.” Then, he’ll take questions from the … Continue reading →

Husband Cyril plays percussion, and the kids pitch in for Gaynielle Neville and lady friends

Advocate photo by KYLE ENCAR --Gaynielle Neville

Gaynielle Neville gathered a tribe of talented local ladies to create her first solo album, “Woman Power.” “I’m excited and nervous at the same time,” said the singer-songwriter and member of New Orleans’ first family of soul, the Nevilles. Neville’s CD release show is Saturday at the Maple Leaf Bar. She’ll … Continue reading →

Outlying areas calendar for April 18-24, 2014

Advocate file photo by APRIL BUFFINGTON -- Molly LeBlanc, left, and Carlay LeBlanc play with a ball using the Bernoulli Blower during a past Science Saturday at Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory's Science Education Center in Livingston. This month's Science Saturday is April 19.

BACH LUNCH: noon-1 p.m., grounds of the Lafayette Science Museum, 433 Jefferson St., Lafayette. With music by Cajun band Bonsoir Catin. Free. Lunches available for purchase. (337) 291-5544. PAWS FOR A “3RD” CAUSE: 6 a.m., Cate Square Park, 200 W. Charles St., Hammond. Register to run the 5K or enjoy … Continue reading →

Fairs & festivals for April 18-24, 2014

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE --Tanya Evanson dances to the music of her band Neyaz on Sunday afternoon at the Scene TV5MONDE Lafayette stage during Festival International de Louisiane. Sunday marked the end of the five day celebration of culture.

WASHINGTON CATFISH FESTIVAL: Washington Festival Grounds, 143 Veterans Memorial Highway, Washington. Live zydeco, Cajun, R&B and blues are highlights of the 15th annual celebration, which also features a catfish cook-off, arts and crafts, Cajun and Creole cuisine, antiques, exhibits and more. $10, adults; $5, children 12 and younger. (337) 826-3627. GREAT SOUTHERN BLUEGRASS EVENT: … Continue reading →

Actress Meryl Streep receives IU honorary degree

Meryl Streep

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Actress Meryl Streep can add an honorary doctoral degree from Indiana University to her collection that includes three Academy Awards. University President Michael McRobbie presented the honorary degree to Streep during a ceremony Wednesday. Streep was visiting the Bloomington campus to give IU’s filmmaker lecture. Streep told the audience that her advice … Continue reading →

Jenny McCarthy announces engagement on ‘The View’

This image released by ABC shows co-host Jenny McCarthy with her fiance Donnie Wahlberg after she announced her engagement on the daytime series

NEW YORK (AP) — Jenny McCarthy had big news to share Wednesday on “The View”: She’s engaged to Donnie Wahlberg. McCarthy raised her hidden left hand from behind the desk, revealing an engagement ring. “It’s a yellow sapphire,” she said. “The View” co-host told how Wahlberg, star of CBS’ “Blue Bloods” and a member of New … Continue reading →

Leonard Nimoy earns hometown honors

Leonard Nimoy in

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston native who lived long and prospered as Spock in the “Star Trek” television show and movies is being honored by his hometown chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Leonard Nimoy is scheduled to receive the Governors’ Award at the Boston/New England Emmy Awards ceremony on June 7. … Continue reading →

Daniel Radcliffe on why New York audiences rock

This image released by Boneau/Bryan-Brown shows Daniel Radcliffe performing in

NEW YORK (AP) — The one thing Daniel Radcliffe always has to adjust to whenever he’s onstage in America is how happy Americans are to see Daniel Radcliffe onstage. The former “Harry Potter” star is consistently greeted by a burst of applause when makes his entrance on Broadway, no matter if it’s a musical or a drama. … Continue reading →

Sean Combs to speak at Howard U. commencement

In this July 26, 2013, file photo, Sean

WASHINGTON (AP) — Entertainer and entrepreneur Sean Combs will deliver Howard University’s commencement speech this year in Washington. The school announced Tuesday that Combs will be among five people who will receive honorary degrees as trailblazers in their fields. Combs was a Howard student in the late 1980s. He will receive an honorary doctorate in the … Continue reading →

Flavor Flav taking plea deal in Vegas battery case

Rapper Flavor Fav, left, laughs with his attorney Kristina Wildveld in Clark County District Court on Monday, April 14, 2014, in Las Vegas. Flavor Flav has pleaded guilty to reduced charges in a Las Vegas domestic violence case in a move that will avoid a trial and possible jail time. He acknowledged Monday in court that he wielded a kitchen knife during an October 2012 argument at home with his longtime girlfriend's 17-year-old son. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jeff Scheid)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Entertainer Flavor Flav is poised to take a plea deal that would avoid trial in a Las Vegas domestic violence case. A prosecutor and defense attorneys say the 55-year-old former rapper and reality TV star, whose real name is William Jonathan Drayton Jr., is scheduled to enter a plea Monday in Clark County … Continue reading →

French Quarter Festival fills the Vieux Carre

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--  Dwain Hitchens, the first Spy Boy of Congo Nation, sings and adds more cowbell while playing with Donald Harrison Jr. during the 2013 French Quarter Festival in New Orleans.

Lasting four days and featuring 1,400 musicians from New Orleans and elsewhere in Louisiana, the French Quarter Festival is set to fill the Vieux Carré with brass bands, traditional jazz groups, Cajun and zydeco bands, blues, soul, Mardi Gras Indians chants, singer-songwriters and special events. The festival drew 560,000 attendees in 2013, its 30th anniversary … Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Blues Festival returns to jam in the capital

Photo by BRIAN BAIAMONTE -- The crowd gathered in North Boulevard Town Square listens to music at last year's Baton Rouge Blues Festival.

Six-time Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Dr. John headlines the 2014 Baton Rouge Blues Festival. Running 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday in North Boulevard Town Square and Repentance Park, the festival features 16 performances on three stages; artists interviews in the Old State Capitol; additional performances in the Old State … Continue reading →

Youth Orchestra holds final concert of season

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Brennan Davis, left, and Brandon Lee perform with the Louisiana Junior String Ensemble during the Louisiana Youth Orchestra's first 2013-2014 season concert  last November. This ensemble, along with the Louisiana Junior Youth Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble and Louisiana Youth Orchestra will give their final concert of the season on Sunday.

Caroline Samuels’ double bass will be the star at center stage. Samuels, a winner of the Louisiana Youth Orchestra’s annual concerto competition, will be the featured performer in the orchestra’s final concert of the 2013-14 season on Sunday. The performance begins at 3 p.m. in the Baton Rouge Magnet High School auditorium and marks the end … Continue reading →

WWII event expands to two days

Photo provided by ROBERT REYNOLDS --  Brandon Deshotel, Living History Corps director at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, takes part in last year's WWII Memorial Weekend.

About 80 re-enactors and more than 3,000 spectators are expected at this weekend’s second William W. Perkins WWII Memorial Weekend in Walker. The one-day event last year honoring those who served in World War II has been expanded to Saturday and Sunday. “The biggest new attraction is a 1944 M36 tank destroyer … Continue reading →

Friends of Magnolia Mound Plantation plan ‘tag sale’

Photo provided by Friends of Magnolia Mound -- Glassware will be among the items sold at the Friends of Magnolia Mound's

The Friends of Magnolia Mound will hold a “tag sale” on the grounds of the plantation 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Magnolia Mound Plantation is located at 2161 Nicholson Drive. Items to be sold include glassware, crystal, dinnerware, hand-made pottery, art, books, framed prints, planters, old tools, Oriental rugs, wicker furniture, cast-iron pots and … Continue reading →

Outlying areas calendar for April 11-17, 2014

Photo provided by White House Historical Association -- Celebrate the 229th anniversary of painter John James Audubon's birth during festivities 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Audubon State Historic Site, La. 965, near St. Francisville.

‘DOUBT, A PARABLE’: 7:30 p.m., Vonnie Borden Theatre, D Vickers Hall, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond. Performance by the Southeastern Theatre Program. $10, adults; $5, Southeastern faculty, staff and non-Southeastern students; free, Southeastern students. (985) 549-2115. A BROADWAY REVUE: 6 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, E.D. … Continue reading →

Bistro Italia a neighborhood gem

Photo by Chris Arnold -- The foccacia bread at Bistro Italia was well-seasoned, topped with mozzarella and served warm.

We felt warmly welcomed stepping into Bistro Italia last weekend. The relatively new restaurant felt like an oasis after enduring the evening traffic on Coursey Boulevard. The friendly greeting, soft lighting, nice music and only one discreetly placed TV with the sound turned off all made us feel relaxed and ready to enjoy a lovely dinner. … Continue reading →

‘Kinect Sports Rivals’ a moving experience

Photo provided by Microsoft -- Microsoft hopes its new 'Kinect Sports Rivals' compels Xbox One owners to use Kinect for more than just navigating menus.

When the Xbox One was unveiled last year, Microsoft boasted the Xbox 360 successor would feature an updated — and mandatory — version of its camera-based Kinect sensor with more accurate movement tracking and voice detecting. Then, when the Xbox One was released last November, there were hardly any games that actually … Continue reading →

Comic book character Archie to be killed off

This photo released by Archie Comics shows

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Not even Archie Andrews is immortal in the world of comics. Archie Comics announced Tuesday that the famous comic book character will heroically sacrifice himself while saving the life of a friend in a July installment of “Life with Archie,” a comic book series that tells the story of grown-up renditions of Archie … Continue reading →

CNN bringing back Anthony Bourdain’s hot series

FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2012 file photo, Anthony Bourdain attends

NEW YORK (AP) — Anthony Bourdain has traveled to all sorts of exotic places over the past couple of years, with none as important as where he’s taken CNN itself. Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” series, a culinary travelogue, swiftly became the network’s top-rated series since debuting last April, a bright spot at a place that was in a … Continue reading →

Giant Marilyn Monroe arrives at temporary new home

A crane lifts the torso of a 26-foot-tall, 34,000-pound statue named

HAMILTON, N.J. (AP) — A larger-than-life sculpture of Marilyn Monroe has arrived safely in New Jersey after a cross-country trip by flatbed. The 26-foot-tall “Forever Marilyn” by sculptor Seward Johnson was shipped in pieces from Palm Springs, Calif., to the Grounds for Sculpture, where it will go on view starting May 4. The 17-ton stainless steel-and-aluminum … Continue reading →