- - Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kermit, Black Eyed Peas to help light national tree

The Black Eyed Peas and Kermit the Frog are joining the lineup of performers who will help light the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse.

Carson Daly will host the lighting ceremony Thursday, the Associated Press reports. Performers also will include Big Time Rush, Ellie Goulding, the band OneRepublic, country star Rodney Atkins and singer Marsha Ambrosius.

President Obama and his family will officially light the tree. This will be the 89th year for the holiday tree lighting. The tradition began with President Calvin Coolidge in 1923.

This is the first lighting of a new National Christmas Tree that was planted in March. It is a 26-foot-tall Colorado blue spruce from a New Jersey nursery. Strong winds in February toppled the last tree that had stood on the Ellipse since 1978.

New kiss-proof tomb for Oscar Wilde unveiled

Actor Rupert Everett and Oscar Wilde’s grandson unveiled a makeover of the writer’s grave site on the 111th anniversary of his death.

Mr. Everett, who is writing about the poet’s life, spoke at a podium Wednesday bearing a poster of the pre-renovation tomb covered in notes and lipstick at Paris’ famed Pere Lachaise cemetery.

The tomb had become such a well-loved pilgrimage site - and had been so well-kissed - that it needed renovation. A glass screen now separates visitors from the stone itself.

Mr. Everett hailed Wilde’s “force” and the “amazing trajectory of his life.”

Merlin Holland said his grandfather “would be incredibly touched by all the attention. After all, he was sent out of England in 1897 a bankrupt, a homosexual and a convict … and the French took him to their hearts.”

Winehouse dress auctioned, proceeds to be donated

The dress worn by Amy Winehouse on the cover of her Grammy-winning “Back to Black” album has sold for more than $67,000 at auction, the Associated Press reports.

London’s Kerry Taylor Auctions said the polka-dot chiffon dress, designed in 2006, was purchased by Musea de la Moda - a fashion museum in Santiago, Chile - for $67,120.

It said the dress’s designer, Disaya, agreed to donate proceeds from the sale to a foundation set up in the late singer’s name.

Winehouse’s father, Mitch, attended the auction and called the donation a “wonderful start to the foundation,” which was set up to help vulnerable youth following Winehouse’s death in July.

A British coroner ruled that the singer drank herself to death.

Author Sendak chooses menorahs for exhibit

New York City’s Jewish Museum has invited author Maurice Sendak to rummage through its collection and choose menorahs for a Hanukkah exhibit.

The exhibit opens Friday and features 33 menorahs chosen by Mr. Sendak, the Associated Press reports. The menorahs were created from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Also included are original drawings from Mr. Sendak’s books and audio of his conversations with curators.

Mr. Sendak is the author of children’s books, including “Where the Wild Things Are” and “In the Night Kitchen.”

Mr. Sendak, 83, said he chose severe-looking menorahs because their simplicity evoked the Holocaust. He was born in Brooklyn to Jewish immigrant parents, and much of his extended family died in the Holocaust.

The exhibit, “An Artist Remembers: Hanukkah Lamps Selected by Maurice Sendak,” will be on view through Jan. 29.

New Elvis exhibits to mark 35th anniversary of death

Elvis Presley Enterprises said three new exhibits will open next year at Graceland in Memphis, Tenn., to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the entertainer’s death.

The first exhibit looks at the 1972 documentary “Elvis on Tour,” which chronicles a multicity concert tour. The exhibit, which opens Jan. 5, will include jewelry and clothing worn by Elvis during the shows.

“Elvis.Through His Daughter’s Eyes,” which opens Feb. 1, will highlight Elvis’ relationship with his daughter, Lisa Marie Presley. It includes family photos and home movies that show her growing up at Graceland.

The third exhibit, opening March 1, is called “Icon: The Influence of Elvis Presley.” It features clothing, musical instruments and other items used by performers who were influenced by Elvis.

Elvis Presley died Aug. 16, 1977.

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