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Kelsey Grammer lands in 'La Cage aux Folles'

December 01, 2009

'La Cage' lands Grammer

Kelsey Grammer's unemployment didn't last long.

Two weeks after ABC canceled his latest sitcom, "Hank," Grammer was announced as one of the stars of a Broadway revival of the musical "La Cage aux Folles."

Producer Sonia Friedman said a revival of the 1983 Jerry Herman-Harvey Fierstein musical will open April 18 at the Longacre Theatre in New York. It's based on the current hit London production and will feature that show's British star, Douglas Hodge. The director is Terry Johnson.

"La Cage" concerns the relationship between the club owner, portrayed by Grammer, and its drag star, the role played by Hodge.

Grammer, 54, played Dr. Frasier Crane on the NBC comedy series "Frasier" for 11 seasons.

-- associated press 'Locker' takes Gotham prize

Kathryn Bigelow's gritty Iraq war drama "The Hurt Locker" was named best feature of 2009 at the 19th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards on Monday evening in New York City.

Presented by the Independent Filmmaker Project, the country's oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers, the IFP also awarded best ensemble performance to the stars of "Hurt Locker" -- Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce, David Morse and Evangeline Lilly.

"Food, Inc.," produced and directed by Robert Kenner, earned best documentary honors. The breakthrough director award was given to Robert Siegel, the writer-director of "Big Fan."

Chilean actress Catalina Saavedra was named best breakthrough actor for "The Maid." "You Won't Miss Me," directed, produced and co-written by Ry Russo-Young, won the best film not playing at a theater near you award. Russo-Young also received a cash award of $5,000.

-- Susan King Zaks to direct Newman show

Four-time Tony winner Jerry Zaks is coming to Los Angeles to collaborate with Oscar-winning composer Randy Newman on a new musical production.

Zaks, who has worked in stage and film productions throughout his lengthy career, is confirmed as the director of "Harps and Angels," scheduled to open Nov. 21, 2010, at the Mark Taper Forum. The musical will draw from Newman's vast songbook.

The plot of "Harps and Angels" is being kept under wraps. The company said the story involves "a compelling, honest and humorous commentary on what it is like to be born, grow up, fall in love, and live and die in America."

-- David Ng Cervantes Prize goes to Pacheco

The Mexican writer Jose Emilio Pacheco has won the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's highest literary honor, Spain's Culture Ministry said Monday.

Jose Antonio Pascual Rodriguez, a member of the Cervantes Prize jury and representative of the Spanish Royal Academy, said of Pacheco: "We've defined him as representing the whole of our language. He's an exceptional poet of daily life, with a depth, a freedom of thought, an ability to create his own world, an ironic distance from reality when it's necessary, and a linguistic use . . . that is impeccable."

Pacheco, 70, a Mexico City native, is widely regarded as one of his country's foremost poets and short narrative writers and a leading representative of the generation that came of age in the late 1950s and 1960s.

-- associated press Slatkin cancels two Phil dates

Conductor Leonard Slatkin, who underwent surgery after suffering a heart attack last month, has canceled his appearances with the L.A. Philharmonic this week for "additional precautionary cardiac treatment."

Slatkin was due to lead the orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Thursday and Friday. He'll be replaced by John Adams and Jayce Ogren. The programs will remain the same.

-- David Ng 'New' Nabokov hits Russia

Vladimir Nabokov's final, fragmentary novel went on sale Monday in two versions in Russia, more than 30 years after he asked that it be burned upon his death.

The emigre Russian wrote "The Original of Laura" on index cards in 1975-77, the last years of his life.

One version of the novel shown at the Nabokov museum in St. Petersburg contains reproductions of the English-language index cards. The other, in Russian, puts the words into conventional text form.

Nabokov's son Dmitry, who decided to publish the work, wrote in the preface that his father wouldn't have been against the move.

-- associated press Finally

Museum boss: Cynthia Hudley, a UC Santa Barbara education professor, has been named interim executive director of the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum in Culver City, succeeding Avery Clayton, the son of the library's founder, who died of a heart attack at age 62 last week.

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