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  • A tourist in Detroit: Motown, coney dogs and art

    DETROIT (AP) — I arrived in a power outage, got a $45 parking ticket and drove past dozens of abandoned homes. But as a tourist on my first trip to Detroit, I also sang in the Motown studio, saw the paintings that were nearly sold to pay the city’s bills, and bumped fists with the…

  • Now that Detroit museum has been saved, go see it

    DETROIT (AP) — In the end, what saved Detroit’s art museum from being sold off painting by painting was a legal pad covered in doodles. The Detroit Institute of Arts has been owned by the city since 1919, when Detroit was “rolling in dough,” as museum director Graham Beal put it. But in 2013, with…

  • The AP picks its Top 10 theater of 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — This year’s best-in-theater list includes a musical with multiple murders, another with a cross-dressing German, one that’s set in a decadent Berlin nightclub, the revival of an America masterpiece and we celebrate someone who broke an important barrier. Our Top 10 list of the best in theater in 2014: 1. “Hedwig…

  • Broadway seeks a new Carole King with open auditions

    NEW YORK (AP) — If you think you can sing “It’s Too Late” and “So Far Away” like Carole King, some Broadway producers would like to hear from you. Nationwide open casting calls were announced Wednesday to find a new King and other cast members for “Beautiful — The Carole King Musical.” There will be…

  • Final goodbye: Roll call of some who died in 2014

    They each turned a moment of violence into a call to action. For James Brady, that moment was when he was shot and wounded by a would-be presidential assassin. For Chung Eun-yong, it was the killings of his two children during a Korean War massacre. Brady took up a personal campaign for increased gun control…

  • The D’oh of Homer: Professors employ TV’s Simpsons

    HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — Bart and Lisa Simpson have been in elementary school for 25 years. But that hasn’t stopped them from showing up on college campuses. Universities across the country are using satirical references from “The Simpsons” to grab students’ attention and convey lessons in literature and all manner of popular culture. “If the…

  • On Kickstarter, everyone wants to be ‘Staff Pick’

    NEW YORK (AP) — Want your project to get selected as a “Staff Pick” on crowdfunding site Kickstarter? Good luck with that. Entrepreneurs and other users have been seeking the secret to getting their projects selected as a “Staff Pick” — a designation that one of Kickstarter’s 98 employees can give a project based on…

  • Fla. parole commission hears ‘prison Houdini’ case

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A man known as the prison Houdini might finally see freedom after more than 35 years — this time without an elaborate escape. Florida’s parole commission voted Wednesday to move Mark DeFriest’s potential release date from 2085 to March 2015. DeFriest was sentenced to four years in prison for stealing tools…

  • Amazon-Hachette feud headlines book news in 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Like a serial for the digital age, the book world’s most dramatic story of 2014 unfolded in installments, often in real time. A dispute about e-book revenues between Amazon.com and Hachette Book Group led to Amazon’s removing buy buttons, cutting discounts and reducing orders for works ranging from J.K. Rowling’s latest…

  • Police hope sketch will help ID embalmed head

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — Police are hoping that a sketch artist’s rendering will help them identify the embalmed head of a woman found in the western Pennsylvania woods last week. Economy Borough police Chief Michael O’Brien told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the drawing isn’t finished, but will be released to media outlets once it…

  • Pope gets cake, tango and chicken for birthday

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis got a cake, cards and a tango demonstration for his 78th birthday Wednesday — and 800 kilograms (1,760 pounds) of chicken meat for the poor. The Vatican said Wednesday the meat, provided by a Spanish producer, would be distributed to soup kitchens. Francis also greeted eight homeless people bearing…

  • Martha Plimpton: ‘I don’t want to be just famous’

    NEW YORK (AP) — To the audience watching the opening act of “A Delicate Balance” on Broadway, a gentle word of warning: Martha Plimpton is listening to you. The actress is backstage at the Golden Theatre with some time to kill before she appears in Act 2 and she likes to hear the way the…

  • Norman Bridwell, Clifford creator, dead at 86

    Norman Bridwell, a soft-spoken illustrator whose impromptu story about a girl and her puppy marked the unlikely birth of the supersized franchise Clifford the Big Red Dog, has died at 86. Bridwell, who lived for decades in a house with a bright red door on Martha’s Vineyard off Cape Cod in Massachusetts, died Friday at…

  • Musical ‘Something Rotten!’ heading to Broadway

    NEW YORK (AP) — William Shakespeare is heading back to Broadway — but this time he’ll be mocked in a musical. Tony-winning producer Kevin McCollum said Tuesday that the sweet and goofy new show “Something Rotten!” will play the St. James Theatre in March. Tony winner Casey Nicholaw will direct and choreograph the musical. The…

  • Black Captain America leading comic book diversity

    WASHINGTON (AP) — For decades, comic books have been in color, but now they truly reflect all the hues of American society. The new Captain America is black. A Superman who is suspiciously similar to President Barack Obama recently headlined a comic book. Thor is a woman, Spider-Man is part-Puerto Rican and Ms. Marvel is…