NAMES & FACES

Alicia Keys, shown performing earlier this year, gave Children of the Gospel Choir singers a night to remember.
Alicia Keys, shown performing earlier this year, gave Children of the Gospel Choir singers a night to remember. (By Daniel Ochoa De Olza -- Associated Press)
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Saturday, June 14, 2008

A High Note for Local Singers

Before taking the stage at Verizon Center last night, Alicia Keys met with some local fans -- a half-dozen teen girls, all singers in the Washington Performing Arts Society's Children of the Gospel Choir.

At-large D.C. Council member Kwame Brown's office set up the meeting (an echo of last year, when more than 100 area girls got to meet and pose for pics with Beyoncé). The choir singers were invited after two of them testified at a May 10 D.C. Council hearing about how music boosted their self-confidence and academic achievement.

The girls sang a quick song; Keys, in black skinny jeans and cropped leather jacket, clapped and told them they have beautiful voices.

Brown Chief of Staff Irma Esparza says it's all about "being able to instill kids living in D.C. with some hope, letting them know there are opportunities out here and you can do whatever it is you want to do."

Sandra Day O'Connor's Got Game

After the electricity went back on at the National Press Club yesterday, Sandra Day O'Connor spoke to another kind of power.

"I just need people in Congress who are more willing to try to achieve something," the retired Supreme Court justice told The Post's Michael Birnbaum afterward. "It's very difficult there to develop a consensus. I think it's still possible in this world of ours, but it's become less frequent," she said.

Last week, O'Connor announced the upcoming release of "Our Courts," a computer game targeted at middle-schoolers that would engage them with court issues and try to make up for the decline of civics classes in American schools. She hopes students will respond to her calls for greater statesmanship and civic-mindedness.

O'Connor had little to say about the presidential campaign. "I don't follow it too closely," she remarked, "but as far as I can see, it's been civil."

Coasters and Sparks at Six Flags

"American Idol" alum Jordin Sparks, who loves roller coasters, got to indulge that passion Thursday afternoon at Six Flags America, along with the dozen or so friends she brought along.

Sparks, in town to open for Alicia Keys last night, wore theme-park casual (white tank, plaid shorts, hair up, cute sunglasses). Escorted by park staff, Sparks and her entourage paid no admission fees, got to skip lines and stayed almost two hours after closing time.

End Notes

Back Together: Pamela Anderson, 40, and her ex-husband, Motley Crue rocker Tommy Lee, 45. "We've only given it a try 800 times -- 801, here we go," Lee told Rolling Stone magazine on Wednesday. "Pamela and the kids have moved in with me. It's awesome. It's definitely working." The couple divorced in 1998. They have two sons, Brandon, 12, and Dylan,10.

Engaged: Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima, 27, and Minnesota Timberwolves basketball player Marko Jaric, 29. Jaric proposed on Thursday (Lima's birthday). The pair have been dating for nine months, People magazine reports.

(Officially) Single: Reese Witherspoon, 32, and Ryan Phillippe, 33, who were married for seven years before splitting in 2006. The couple have finalized their divorce, People reports. They have two children ( Ava, 8, and Deacon, 4). Now comes open season for engagement rumors about Witherspoon and current flame Jake Gyllenhaal, 27. Phillippe is dating Aussie actress Abbie Cornish, 25.

-- Marissa Newhall, from staff and wire reports


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