Taking Names

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Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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Beyonce OK after fall

Home video shot at Tuesday night’s Beyonce concert in Orlando, Fla., captured the music superstar stepping on her trench coat and then tumbling head-first down 12 steps at the city’s Amway Arena, WKMG-TV, Orlando’s CBS affiliate, reported yesterday on its Web site.

The video of the fall was released despite the superstar’s request during the show that fans in the crowd not post the video on YouTube. An Orlando woman at the concert, who did not want to be identified, offered the video — which shows Beyonce falling on her face — to the television station. WKMG posted it on its Web site, as did YouTube, mediatakeout.com and TMZ.com.

Another fan told mediatakeout.com that the singer-actress was bleeding after the fall. The video showed Beyonce getting up and continuing to dance.

The incident comes just weeks after two fans were hospitalized when pyrotechnics went awry during Beyonce’s July 8 concert in St. Louis, Associated Press reported. Her world tour, titled the Beyonce Experience, opened in April in Tokyo and runs through early September. It stops at the District’s Verizon Center Aug. 9.

Online: See Scott Galupo’s “Concert by cell phone: friend, or foe?” at www.washingtontimes.com/article/20070720/ENTERTAINMENT/107200007/1007/entertainment.

Brit behaving badly

Britney Spears‘ recent photo shoot for OK! magazine was a nightmare, says Editor in Chief Sarah Ivens.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Miss Ivens told AP yesterday.

Representatives for Miss Spears had offered an exclusive interview that was intended as a career comeback for the 25-year-old pop singer, Miss Ivens said. During the shoot, Miss Spears wiped grease on a designer dress, treating it like “a napkin,” Miss Ivens said, and sat back and watched as her Yorkshire terrier puppy defecated on a $6,700 designer gown.

“I wasn’t in the room, but I was there to hear the upset shrieks of the stylist,” Miss Ivens said. “Her assistant dealt with it in the end, after being asked to take care of it. They had to be asked to clear it up.”

Miss Spears also took frequent trips to the bathroom — leaving the door open — and complained that the high-end clothing put together for the July 19 shoot wasn’t sexy, short or tight enough, the magazine said. After about three hours, she bolted before the shoot was over, walking away with more than $14,000 of borrowed apparel, Miss Ivens said.

OK! publicist Brian Strong said the magazine didn’t publish the photographs in its latest issue because they “weren’t up to standard.” A representative at Jive Records, Miss Spears‘ record label, didn’t immediately return a phone call and e-mail seeking comment.

Back to school

Brian May is completing his doctorate in astrophysics, more than 30 years after he abandoned his studies to form the rock group Queen, AP reports.

The 60-year-old guitarist and songwriter said he plans to submit his thesis, “Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud,” to supervisors at Imperial College London within the next two weeks. Mr. May was an astrophysics student at Imperial College when Queen, which included the late Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor, was formed in 1970. He dropped his doctorate as the glam rock band — one of Britain’s biggest music groups in the 1970s — became successful with such hits as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You.”

East meets West

Japanese Ambassador Ryozo Kato pantomimed a comparison between Kabuki acting and diplomatic behavior when he showed a poker face that could be taken to mean the same — or the opposite — of what a speaker says. “You get the idea,” he told guests with a grin at his residence Tuesday night.

It was his way of introducing “the most famous Kabuki performers in Japan” prior to their appearance today for two shows at the Warner Theater in traditional costumes and makeup.

Last seen here during a sold-out event three years ago, today’s shows by the Heisei Nakamura-za Kabuki troupe coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Japan-America Society of Washington.

Kabuki goes back 400 years and often is sustained by family members who span many generations. Leading the cast is Nakamura Kanzaburo XVIII, who first appeared onstage at age 3.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse and Ann Geracimos from staff, Web and wire reports

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