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Quick Takes: Will Ferrell to receive Mark Twain Prize

May 13, 2011

Will Ferrell, who honed his impression of President George W. Bush on "Saturday Night Live" and crossed over to make a career in movies, was named Thursday to receive the nation's top humor prize from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Ferrell will be honored Oct. 23 with the 14th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, an honor that previously has gone to Bill Cosby, Steve Martin and Tina Fey, among others.

Ferrell starred for seven seasons on "Saturday Night Live." In 2007, he created the website FunnyorDie.com with collaborator Adam McKay. He has performed on Broadway and in movies including "Anchorman," "Old School" and "Zoolander."

— Associated Press

'This Week' gets a new producer

Veteran television executive Rick Kaplan, most recently Katie Couric's producer at CBS, is returning to ABC to run "This Week" with Christiane Amanpour.

ABC News President Ben Sherwood said Thursday that Kaplan will also oversee 2012 political coverage.

"This Week" will remain Washington-based, with Kaplan splitting time between New York and Washington. The Sunday public affairs program's most recent executive producer, Ian Cameron, left at the end of last year and a succession of fill-in producers have worked at the show since.

Kaplan said this week he was leaving the "CBS Evening News," where he's been since 2007. Couric has been talking about a job at ABC News, too.

Kaplan has previously worked at ABC. He also had stints at CNN and MSNBC.

— Associated Press

Glendale Pops set to debut

Another ensemble joins Southern California's diverse music landscape when the Glendale Pops Orchestra makes its official bow Friday at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. The inaugural concert will feature a mix of music, including bossa nova and swing, along with guests Kenny Loggins, David Benoit and Monica Mancini.

Conductor Matt Catingub serves as the artistic director of the new group, which features 40 musicians. The conductor previously served as artistic director of the Honolulu Symphony Pops and the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra Pops.

The Glendale Pops is scheduled to perform six concerts in its first season — four at the Alex Theatre and two free concerts at the Americana at Brand.

— David Ng

Moore will have brain surgery

Actress Mary Tyler Moore will undergo brain surgery to remove a benign tumor, a representative for the 74-year-old actress said Thursday.

"Mary Tyler Moore went in for an elective surgery to remove a meningioma, which is a benign tumor of the lining tissue of the brain (not a brain tumor)," her spokeswoman, Alla Plotkin, said in a statement. "At the recommendation of her neurologist, who has been monitoring this for years, and a neurosurgeon, Mary decided to proceed with this fairly routine procedure," Plotkin said.

She did not say when or where the surgery would take place.

Moore is best known for her role as the perky 1960s housewife in "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and the liberated single working woman in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in the 1970s. She was also Oscar-nominated for her performance as an icy mother struggling to connect with her son in the 1980 movie "Ordinary People."

— Reuters

Daltrey plans 'Tommy' tour

The Who frontman Roger Daltrey is taking the British band's 1969 rock opera "Tommy" on a six-week North American tour this fall that includes an Oct. 19 stop at the Nokia Theatre in downtown L.A., concert promoters said Thursday.

Daltrey, 67, will perform the album in its entirety, using visuals to accompany classic songs such as "Pinball Wizard," "See Me, Feel Me" and "The Acid Queen."

His bandmate Pete Townshend, who wrote the music and lyrics to the tale of the "deaf, dumb and blind boy" who becomes a messiah, has given Daltrey his blessing but will not be taking part.

— Reuters

Finally

Singing hologram: The Anime Expo convention in L.A. will feature the first U.S. concert by a computer-generated hologram called Hatsune Miku that has been popular in Japan for the last several years. The digital diva, a creation of Crypton Future Media who sports ankle-length aqua hair, will perform at the Nokia Theatre on July 2 while the Anime gathering is unfolding at the nearby Los Angeles Convention Center July 1-4.

On the road: The off-color Broadway musical "The Book of Mormon," which topped the Tony Award nominations last week, will launch its national tour in Denver in December 2012.

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