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Quick Takes: Theater companies part

February 02, 2011

The Pasadena Playhouse will take over the programming of its 75-seat second stage, the Carrie Hamilton Theatre, after parting ways with the Furious Theatre Company, which had been the upstairs theater's resident company since 2004.

Stephen Eich, the playhouse's executive director, and Furious managing director Nick Cernoch said Tuesday that the split was amicable.

Eich said that he and artistic director Sheldon Epps will make the programming decisions. "We can expect classes, music, comedy, maybe a longer-running show," he said.

Furious, meanwhile, has put the equipment it owned into storage and is looking for a new venue.

—Mike Boehm

Zac Brown tops in ACM nods

Singer, songwriter, producer and bandleader Zac Brown could walk out of the 46th Academy of Country Music Assn. Awards on April 3 with nine statues if he and his band win everything they're nominated for.

That makes him the ACM's most nominated musician this year, although Brown's Southern rock outfit didn't make the cut for the entertainer-of-the-year competition.

The Zac Brown Band, which took the Grammy Award for best new artist last year, received five group nominations from the ACM, including album, single and song of the year, and because of the way the ACM bestows its awards, Brown himself got four additional nominations as producer of the nominated album and single and co-writer of the hit "As She's Walking Away." Nominations were announced Tuesday from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.

Texas-bred singer and songwriter Miranda Lambert collected seven nominations, including her first for entertainer of the year, the ACM's top category, in which she's vying with Taylor Swift, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban and Jason Aldean.

Album-of-the-year contenders are Zac Brown Band's "You Get What You Give," Swift's "Speak Now," Kenny Chesney's "Hemingway's Whiskey," Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now," Jamey Johnson's "The Guitar Song" and Dierks Bentley's "Up on the Ridge."

—Randy Lewis

LaLanne's life is celebrated

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger praised the late fitness guru Jack LaLanne on Tuesday as a saint for inspiring millions of people to stay healthy and avoid sickness.

Schwarzenegger spoke at a music- and joke-filled memorial at Forest Lawn's Hollywood Hills cemetery that celebrated the life of LaLanne, who died at age 96 on Jan. 23 of respiratory failure from pneumonia.

Schwarzenegger, who won the Mr. Universe title for his bodybuilding long before he became a movie star and politician, told the crowd of around 500 mourners that LaLanne, the son of French immigrants, deserved high praise for inspiring people to exercise and avoid sugar and fatty foods.

"Can you imagine how many millions of people he saved from going to the hospital in the first place or dying in the first place?" Schwarzenegger said. "That is why I say that Jack LaLanne is a saint."

When fitness icon Richard Simmons got to the podium, he had the audience reach up to stretch their muscles. Actor and bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno, who played the Hulk on TV, did a couple of jumping jacks on stage. And fitness expert Denise Austin flexed for the crowd.


Fox on morning shift at KKGO

Ryan Fox, a USC graduate who hosts an afternoon radio show in Dallas, was named Tuesday to take over the morning slot on country music station KKGO-FM (105.1). He'll be heard weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., beginning Monday, with Ashley Paige continuing as co-host.

Fox replaces veteran deejay Jay Coffey, who was dumped by KKGO last Dec. 3 after six weeks on the job. Station officials did not explain the decision.

Ginny Harman, who had been working the morning show on an interim basis, will return to her regular DJ duties from 7 p.m. to midnight, the station said.

—Lee Margulies


"Moody" movie: Relativity Media said it has acquired rights to "Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer" and will put it in theaters this summer. The film, which is in production, features a script by Megan McDonald, author of the series of books about a precocious third-grader on which the movie is based.

SAG ratings: The Screen Actors Guild Awards drew a combined audience of about 5 million on TNT and TBS Sunday night, a 6% increase over last year, Turner Broadcasting said.

"Dallas" reunion: Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray, stars of the prime-time soap "Dallas" that ran on CBS from 1978 to 1991, will reunite in the pilot for a sequel that TNT has ordered. It would also be called "Dallas" but would focus on the grown-up Ewing children continuing the family feud.

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