Names in the news, June 25

Posted June 25, 2012, at 4:57 p.m.

Country singer Billy Ray Cyrus is making his Broadway debut in “Chicago.” The singer of “Achy Breaky Heart” and father of Miley Cyrus is detouring from his Nashville roots in taking on the role of criminal lawyer Billy Flynn for a seven-week engagement beginning Nov. 5. Cyrus starred with his daughter in the hit TV series “Hannah Montana,” and has acted in TV movies on Lifetime and the Hallmark Channel. Cyrus has also hosted country music’s “Nashville Star” and was a competitor on “Dancing With The Stars.” Other celebrities to join the “Chicago” cast have included Sofia Vergara, Melanie Griffith, Brooke Shields, Ashlee Simpson, Usher, Huey Lewis, Michael C. Hall and Jerry Springer. … With BeBe Winans singing “God Bless America,” a final steel beam was lifted Monday atop a new World Trade Center skyscraper — the first expected to open at the site next year since the twin towers were decimated on 9/11. Workers raised their hardhats in tribute as the mammoth beam rose slowly into the Manhattan sky. A U.S. flag attached to the bottom of the beam fluttered above several hundred spectators at the topping-off ceremony. In the southeast corner facing the 9/11 memorial, the 72-story tower that was topped off Monday is to open for business in the fall of 2013 — the first occupied high-rise at the new trade center site since the Sept. 11 attacks. The 1.8-million-square-foot skyscraper, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki, will primarily house commercial offices. … Anne Enright’s novel “The Forgotten Waltz” and Robert Massie’s biography “Catherine the Great” have won the first-ever Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in literature. The American Library Association announced the awards Monday at its annual conference in Anaheim, Calif. The Carnegie awards for fiction and nonfiction are the first adult prizes ever sponsored by the association, which also manages the top honors for children’s literature, the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott medals.

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