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Entertainment Briefs April 19, 2010

| April 19, 2010 9:00 PM

Rapper Jay-Z sues David Ortiz over nightclub name

NEW YORK - Jay-Z and a business partner are suing slugger David Ortiz, claiming the Boston Red Sox star named his Dominican nightclub after the hip hop mogul's chain of 40/40 nightclubs.The lawsuit, filed Thursday in a federal court in Manhattan, accuses Ortiz and his sister of naming their Santo Domingo club Forty-Forty in the hopes of trading in on the rapper's name.

The suit seeks more than $5 million in damages and for Ortiz to forfeit any use of the name.Jay-Z, a Yankees fan who performed at the team's World Series victory parade last year, opened his original 40/40 club in Manhattan with business partner Juan Perez in 2003

He promoted the sports bar and lounge by dropping references to it in rap hits like "Dirt Off Your Shoulder." The pair subsequently opened up 40/40 clubs in Las Vegas and Atlantic City and have licensed the name to operators in Tokyo and Macau."David Ortiz is fully aware of plaintiff's Manhattan 40/40 club, since he had been a patron there on several occasions before he opened his Infringing Forty/Forty club," the lawsuit said

Court filings included photographs of Ortiz at the club.SFX Baseball, the agency that represents Ortiz, did not respond to phone and e-mail messages.

The 40/40 club's lawyers also asked the court to block the slugger from using the Forty Forty name on his club's Web site.Jay-Z's 40/40 club is named after the rare feat among ballplayers of hitting 40 homers and stealing 40 bases in one season.

Ortiz is a power hitter who has stolen 10 bases in 13 seasons, but he has hit more than 40 homers three times.

Domingo applauded for 14 minutes at La Scala

MILAN - A beaming Placido Domingo blew a kiss at the adoring crowd after his heroic portrayal of Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra" Friday night, the Spanish tenor's first performance since cancer surgery 45 days ago.His 131st role was something to sing about.

"It was a great evening," Domingo said backstage, after greeting the many friends who crowded to congratulate him. "It was very emotional. I was happy to be in front of an audience."The applause went on for 14 minutes, mixed with a scattering of boos for conductor Daniel Barenboim - who was warmly embraced by his longtime friend Domingo on stage as the cast continued the curtain calls after much of the audience had left.

The scattered disapproval didn't dim Domingo's triumph. He called the notoriously rough La Scala crowd warm."La Scala is always La Scala. There is a fantastic audience that feels great passion. You heard a generally enthusiastic audience," Domingo said. "There were two or three who had memories of 30 years ago," and showed it with boos.

The 69-year-old Spanish tenor underwent colon cancer surgery just six weeks ago. He acknowledges he put off getting a routine colonoscopy for years - thinking he would do it after the La Scala run - and finally succumbed to severe pain after concerts in Japan in February, which he said he managed to get through.Doctors in New York removed the cancerous tissue on March 2, and Domingo counts himself lucky because they got it early enough.

"My biggest triumph ever is the one over illness," Domingo said earlier this week, acknowledging fear that his career could have been over.Domingo will be singing a rare baritone role for "Simon Boccanegra," but said he remains a tenor."I am a singer who has sung for many years, who has experience, and who represents Simon as I feel him. I don't pretend to be a baritone. I pretend to sing, and to create characters within my vocal capacity," Domingo said.

Among those attending Friday night's concert was Jose Carreras, one of the Three Tenors along with Domingo and the late Luciano Pavarotti.The production, conducted by Barenboim with stage direction by Federico Tiezzi, premiered in October in Berlin Staatsoper, where Barenboim has a permanent podium. It has been resized for the bigger La Scala theater, and Tiezzi said he made the backdrops more spare.

The Berlin debut was a huge success, especially for Domingo."But Verdi at La Scala is Verdi at La Scala, and the joy of returning to Milan is double because of the circumstances," Domingo said.

Domingo will sing six performances of "Simon Boccanegra" at La Scala, before taking it to London's Royal Opera in June and Madrid's Teatro Real in July.And his schedule doesn't stop there. In September, he will sing the role of the poet Pablo Neruda in the world premiere of "Il Postino" in Los Angeles, and has engagements in Vienna in December.

NBC posts $223 million 1Q loss on Winter Olympics LOS ANGELES - The tally is in: NBC lost $223 million on the Winter Olympics in the first quarter.

That's slightly better than the most recent estimate of $250 million in losses. Advertising sales have improved a bit since NBC parent General Electric Co. made that projection in late January.The Olympics did bring about $800 million in extra revenue to GE. But NBC had a lot of production and other expenses, including $820 million just to acquire the rights to carry the Vancouver Games on television and online. That expense was cited as the main culprit for the red ink.

Still, GE executives said the high-profile event had ratings that were 14 percent better than the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, for which NBC paid $613 million.And GE Chief Financial Officer Keith Sherin said the Olympics provided a good platform to advertise its new 10 p.m. lineup and Jay Leno returning to "The Tonight Show" at 11:35 p.m.

Cable TV giant Comcast Corp. is seeking government approval to acquire a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal from GE. The Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department are expected to approve the deal with conditions that are not yet known.

- The Associated Press

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