LOS ANGELES — Aretha Franklin is taking off the month of June.
A spokesman for the 71-year-old singer says Franklin will reschedule two shows and resume her touring schedule in July.
Publicist David Brokaw provided no other details.
Franklin announced earlier this month that she would cancel scheduled performances in Chicago and Connecticut this week to undergo medical treatment. She did not specify what type of treatment she was receiving.
Franklin appeared on the season finale of "American Idol" last week via satellite, singing a medley of her hits with the show's female finalists. -- (AP)
VIRGINIA WATER, England — Sergio Garcia apologized to Tiger Woods on Wednesday for saying he would have "fried chicken" at dinner with his rival, a comment that Woods described as hurtful and inappropriate.
"I want to send an unreserved apology. I did not want to offend anyone," Garcia said Wednesday. "My answer was totally stupid and out of place."
Garcia was at a European Tour awards dinner Tuesday night when he was jokingly asked if he would have Woods over for dinner during the U.S. Open. The two players had been verbally sparring since The Players Championship nearly two weeks ago.
"We'll have him round every night," Garcia replied. "We will serve fried chicken."
The remark took the golfers' differences into ugly territory, reminiscent of when Fuzzy Zoeller made a similar comment about Woods after he won the 1997 Masters, becoming the first player of black heritage to win a major.
"The comment that was made wasn't silly. It was wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate," Woods said in a series of tweets. "I'm confident that there is real regret the remark was made. The Players ended nearly two weeks ago and it's long past time to move and talk about golf."
For once, both players agreed.
Garcia held an impromptu news conference at the BMW PGA Championship to elaborate on a statement he sent out Tuesday night through the European Tour.
"I want to also apologize to my Ryder Cup teammates who were there last night for taking the shine away from a wonderful event, and finally and foremost, I want to apologize to Tiger to anyone I could have offended. I felt very sick about it and feel really bad, and just hope to settle things down and move on."
Garcia said he called Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent at Excel Sports, because he doesn't have a phone number for the world's No. 1 player.
The Spaniard said his comment about fried chicken was not intended as a racist remark.
"It was a funny question and I wanted it to be a funny answer in reply," he said. "I started to get a sick feeling straight after the dinner and I felt so bad I thought my heart was going to come out of my body. I felt bad about (it) all day." -- (AP)
Jason Collins would always make excuses for why he wasn't interested in the women his twin brother and sister-in-law would set him up with on dates.
Jarron Collins still never figured out that Jason was gay.
Jarron joked Wednesday on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" that he missed "red flags" about Jason, who recently came out as the first active gay male athlete in one of the major U.S. sports.
The brothers, who played together at Stanford before playing in the NBA, appeared together on the show and discussed how Jason finally let Jarron know after being hesitant for so long.
"He's my best friend and any time you come out to someone, you always have that apprehension that they're going to reject, even though I knew that that wasn't going to be the case," Jason Collins said.
Jarron was supportive but said he botched his response at first, saying things such as "Are you sure?" and "Since when?"
"He's my twin brother, of course I was going to be supportive of him all the time," Jarron said.
Jarron said since Jason's announcement, he's been approached by other men asking if he is Jason. To help clear that up, Kimmel gave him a T-shirt that read: "I'm the straight one." -- (AP)
CAMDEN, N.J. — Kobe Bryant says in a court filing that he never gave his mother permission to sell mementos from his high school days and early professional basketball career.
Bryant is in a court battle over whether hundreds of items can be auctioned off.
Pamela Bryant says the NBA star told her the memorabilia was hers. She arranged earlier this year to auction it off through Berlin, N.J.-based Goldin Auctions and received a $450,000 advance.
Last week, lawyers for the NBA star wrote to the auction house demanding it cease the June sale. Goldin is suing to assert its right to sell.
In a filing Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Camden, Kobe Bryant says his mother acknowledged to him recently that she did not have permission to sell the items. -- (AP)
NEW YORK — There are 36 songs in the new Broadway show “Motown: The Musical.” Actually, that’s just in the first act — 36 songs, not including a reprise of “You’re Nobody ‘til Somebody Loves You.” It’s like a jukebox went completely haywire.
To be sure, the songs are probably the best America has ever produced: “War,” ”What’s Going On?” ”My Girl,” ”You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” ”Dancing in the Streets” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.” But, still, 36? In comparison, “The Book of Mormon” has what now seems like a stingy 16 songs in total.
The 2½-hour show, about Motown Records under founder Berry Gordy, opened Sunday at The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre completely unbalanced: The songs are staggering, the book utterly flimsy.
Both are due to one man: Gordy, who clearly knows what makes an indelible hit song, but also has an inability to write objectively about that skill. As the book writer, Gordy comes across almost divine, a true visionary who literally changed the world and race relations but was eventually abandoned by the artists he made stars when they sought to cash in. There are parts of the show that even a North Korean dictator would find excessively flattering.
Using a total of 59 songs or snippets of songs — not counting a tiny amount of the theme from the film “Mahogany” — Gordy tells the story of how his Motown empire rose and fell and then rose again.
“You built a legacy of love,” he makes Smokey Robinson say, admiringly.
The story begins and ends in 1983 — Motown’s 25th anniversary — and is a celebration of an independent record company as much as one of Gordy. Why 1983? It neatly avoids mention of the sale of Motown in 1988.
The irony is that despite having a war chest of songs, Gordy has co-written (with Michael Lovesmith) four new ones to drive home plot points. They’re pretty good, especially “It’s What’s in the Groove That Counts” and “Can I Close the Door.”
Charles Randolph-Wright proves a director with real skill, able to seamlessly juggle an insane amount of songs, dozens of scenes and harness some quite stunning performances, led by a go-for-it Brandon Victor Dixon as Gordy and Valisia LeKae as Diana Ross, who especially shines during an ad lib moment with the audience.
Other standouts include Charl Brown as Smokey Robinson, Saycon Sengbloh as Martha Reeves and Bryan Terrell Clark as Marvin Gaye. Raymond Luke Jr. — one of two boys taking turns playing the roles of young Gordy, young Stevie Wonder and a preteen Michael Jackson — was astounding and got one preview crowd thoroughly jazzed.
With so any tunes, backed by an 18-piece orchestra, it’s a challenge to find logical places to put them. Many are stuffed into long recording sessions at the Hitsville USA building in Detroit or when the artists tour or make TV appearances.
Often an attempt has been made to juxtapose the song with the action onstage and it’s a technique that works unevenly: It’s clever when “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” is played when there’s backdoor intrigue discussed at Hitsville. It doesn’t work as well when the iconic song “War” is used to underline some bitter legal wrangling.
Gordy even threatens to tarnish some of these songs when he puts them into service to tell his story, as when he uses “My Girl” while trying to bed Ross (“I’m going to knock it out the park, baby,” he privately boasts to Robinson.) “My Girl” is too lovely to be used so callously. (“I’m the luckiest girl in the world,” a smitten Ross says during the seduction. Of course she does)
At other times, Gordy is dishonest to history. In the show, the murder of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. prompts a riot in Detroit, triggering the song “What’s Going On?” The riot was in the summer of 1967, King was assassinated in April 1968 and the song came out in 1971.
Choreographer Patricia Wilcox has all the cast dance in the familiar styles of their respective eras and also has a few big tricks up her sleeve, as the well-executed “Dancing in the Streets” production number in Act 1 and the “Ball of Confusion” performance that opens Act 2. ESosa’s costumes beautifully change as the decades do, with the bright and sharp ’50s turning more earthy and loose — and hairy — as the night progresses.
To be fair, Gordy’s story is a remarkable one and should be told onstage, warts and all. His songs are the soundtrack of America, but letting him tell his own story has cheapened it. He didn’t “knock it out of the park, baby.”