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Another ‘Dark’ role for Senator Patrick Leahy

‘‘The Casual Vacancy’’ will be the Harry Potter author’s first offering aimed primarily at adults.
‘‘The Casual Vacancy’’ will be the Harry Potter author’s first offering aimed primarily at adults.

US Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont is renewing his fascination with Batman with a cameo appearance in ‘‘The Dark Knight Rises,’’ which will get its first public showing in his home state. Leahy was invited to be in the movie and says he learned recently he’ll appear in a scene with Christian Bale, who plays Batman, and Morgan Freeman. The movie will be screened July 15 in Williston ahead of its July 20 US premiere. Leahy says Warner Bros. CEO Barry Meyer will join him at the Vermont screening. The Democratic senator has had a lifelong fascination with the Caped Crusader. In 2007, he appeared in ‘‘The Dark Knight.’’

Cover shot for Rowling

Publishers have released the cover of the J.K. Rowling novel set for worldwide release in September. ‘‘The Casual Vacancy’’ will be the Harry Potter author’s first offering aimed primarily at adults. The novel is set in the fictional English town of Pagford and deals with the unexplained death of a village resident. The cover released Tuesday is mostly red with a yellow border, and shows what looks like an ‘‘X’’ marking a box. Little, Brown Book Group says film and stage actor Tom Hollander will record the audio version of the book.

In a giving mood

Just days after tying the knot with his yoga instructor, Hilaria Thomas, in Manhattan on Saturday, Alec Baldwin donated $1 million to the New York Philharmonic. The gift is in honor of outgoing president and executive director Zarin Mehta. The ‘‘30 Rock’’ actor is a Philharmonic board member and hosts its radio show, ‘‘The New York Philharmonic This Week.’’ He said in a statement Monday that Mehta made his dream of becoming part of the world of classical music come true. Mehta’s 12-year tenure ends after the 2011-12 season.

Causing a scene


Haute couture shows are often celebrity circuses. But rarely does the front row presence upstage a show, as reality TV star Kim Kardashian (right) and her boyfriend, musician Kanye West, did during Stephane Rolland’s fall-winter 2012 fashion show in Paris. The couple’s entrance and exit triggered a crowd that spilled out into the street. A woman and a young girl were shoved to the side during the media mayhem.

‘Shore’ star fined

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“Jersey Shore’’ cast member Deena Cortese got a costly reminder Tuesday of a lesson parents tell their children: Make sure you stay on the sidewalk. The pint-size reality star had to pay a $106 fine plus $33 in court costs but avoided a criminal conviction by pleading guilty to a violation of the motor vehicle code. Police arrested her on June 10, saying she was dancing in a roadway and interfering with the flow of traffic. But prosecutors agreed there was not enough evidence to prove that charge and allowed her to plead guilty to the lesser offense of not using a sidewalk.

Fast start for ‘Spider-Man’

The new Spider-Man has launched with the same midnight magic as the old one. ‘‘The Amazing Spider-Man’’ pulled in $7.5 million from its debut screenings Tuesday just after midnight. According to distributor Sony Pictures, that matches the amount that ‘‘Spider-Man 3’’ took in from its first midnight screenings in 2007 on the way to what was then a record $151.1 million opening weekend. Midnight screenings generally have become bigger business since then, hitting a peak as fans shelled out $43.5 million for midnight shows of the ‘‘Harry Potter’’ finale last summer. While ‘‘The Amazing Spider-Man’’ is well back in the pack by comparison, its midnight debut hints at a strong box office showing through the Fourth of July weekend.

Fish tale

“Finished fly fishing!!!! Caught 2-a rainbow trout & a brown trout! And you shoulda seen the 1 that got away!” — Katie Couric, Tuesday evening on Twitter.