Quick Takes

Tonys, union reach a deal

The stagehands’ union and producers of the Tony Awards reached an agreement Friday on how the show’s red carpet area will be staffed, ending a labor dispute that threatened to derail Broadway’s biggest night.

Members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees had vowed to picket near the Beacon Theatre, where the award show will be held Sunday evening. They were angry that producers of the show had nonunion workers setting up the red carpet area. The dispute could have made celebrities uncomfortable crossing a picket line to be photographed on the red carpet.

No details were immediately disclosed about the deal, but the union won its biggest demand — for union workers to staff the area.


—Associated Press

Hudson treated for food illness

Jennifer Hudson was all smiles during her performance at ABC’s “Good Morning America Summer Concert Series” on Friday, but that soon changed.

A representative for the Academy Award-winning singer said that Hudson fell ill and was taken to a New York City hospital.

“She was treated for food poisoning and released,” the spokesman said.

Hudson performed in Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield for “GMA” before she got sick, but a second performance slated for CBS’ “Early Show” had to be canceled.


It’s a nice day for a White divorce


Jack White and Karen Elson’s divorce party might rival their wedding.

The rocker and his model-singer wife announced Friday — on their sixth anniversary — that they’re splitting. But they’re not mourning the demise of their marriage; they’re celebrating it with a party described as a “positive swing bang hum dinger.”

The invitation asks close friends and family to “please help us celebrate this anniversary of the making and breaking of the sacred union of marriage with our best friends and animals.”

They are the parents of two children.


This is the second split of the year for White. Earlier, he announced the White Stripes — composed of White and ex-wife Meg White — were calling it quits.

—Associated Press

Queen honors Colin Firth

British actor Colin Firth won an Oscar for portraying King George VI in “The King’s Speech,” and now the king’s daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, will give him another prize.


Firth, who won acclaim for his portrayal of a troubled monarch working to overcome his stutter to make a radio broadcast at the beginning of World War II, was named a Commander of the British Empire, or CBE, in the Birthday Honors List published Saturday.

Singer and songwriter Bryan Ferry also was selected for the CBE honor, one level below knight-


—Associated Press


Sorry, we need that back now

The Czech Republic is racing to reclaim valuable artworks it loaned to museums across Europe before they can be seized in a battle over a $500-million judgment to a businessman who says the government slandered him.

The government has refused to abide by a 2008 Czech arbitration court ruling that it owed Josef Stava $500 million as compensation for wrongfully claiming in 1992 that his blood plasma company was suspected of illegal activities.

Stava’s lawyers turned to the courts in several European Union countries and the U.S. to seize the country’s assets. Courts in Vienna and Paris recognized the company’s claim in May, and authorities in Austria seized two paintings and a statue from Vienna’s Belvedere Gallery.


The Czechs have quickly withdrawn dozens of paintings from exhibitions in France and other European countries, including a Manet painting from the Musée D’Orsay in Paris, in fear they could also be seized, a spokeswoman for the Czech National Gallery said.

“It could affect our loans policy for many years,” she added.

The Czech Culture Ministry said it would not, for now, allow any artwork worth more than $6,000 to be loaned abroad.

—Associated Press



Lineup change: After taking ill in Melbourne this week, 83-year-old saxophonist Lee Konitz canceled his appearance Sunday at the Playboy Jazz Festival. Trumpeter Terence Blanchard and his band will replace him in the Hollywood Bowl lineup.