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Quick Takes: Artistic director chosen for Actors Theatre of Louisville

November 30, 2011

Completing a directorial swap between California and Kentucky, Actors Theatre of Louisville announced Tuesday that Les Waters, associate artistic director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre since 2003, will be its next artistic director.

Waters, a 59-year-old native of northern England, will start his new gig in March, succeeding Marc Masterson, who had led Actors Theatre for nearly 11 years before being grabbed earlier this year as the new artistic director of South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa.

Waters will take charge of Actors Theatre's nationally prominent annual showcase event, the Humana Festival of New American Plays. He often has worked the edgier side of the theatrical tracks, directing plays by Wallace Shawn, Caryl Churchill and Charles L. Mee. At Berkeley, he had a hand in Sarah Ruhl's emergence as a leading contemporary playwright, directing the 2004 premiere of "Eurydice," her first play to gain national acclaim, and the 2009 premiere of "In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play)," which later that year brought Waters and Ruhl their Broadway debuts.

Before being hired in 2003, Waters spent eight years as head of the master's degree directing program at UC San Diego.

In the company's announcement of Waters' hiring, managing director Jennifer Bielstein cited his work as "a proven mentor and advisor to emerging theater artists," and Waters said he is eager to make a new home in Louisville, while perpetuating Actors Theatre's "incredible legacy of national and local acclaim."

—Mike Boehm

Bieber is most sought, Bing says

Justin Bieber has overtaken Kim Kardashian as the most-searched person in 2011, according to the search engine Bing.

Looks like Kim just can't get a break.

Kardashian was the queen of search last year, but the combination of Bieber's My World 2.0 Tour, hit concert movie "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never," "Saturday Night Live" hosting job, Christmas album, romance with Selena Gomez and the little matter of the now-pulled paternity suit over Mariah Yeater's baby were enough to push him to the top spot.

Meanwhile, Kardashian launched a new reality show, "Kourtney and Kim Take New York," got married and filed for divorce. It was quite a lot, but not enough to stop Bieber fever.

Several notable names dropped out of the top 10 this year, including Sandra Bullock and Jesse James. But President Obama may have fallen the furthest. In 2010, he was the No. 5 most-searched person. In 2011, he was No. 49.

Two people who got huge boosts in 2011 were Gomez, who went from No. 50 to No. 11, and Jennifer Lopez, who wasn't in the top 50 last year and is now fifth.

—Patrick Kevin Day

'Mormon' reaps a lot of money

Nine Tony Awards, critical praise and some filthy humor has made "The Book of Mormon" a solid Broadway investment.

Producers of the show said Tuesday that it has recouped its $11.4 million capitalization after just nine months. The musical is the brainchild of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of "South Park," and Robert Lopez, who co-wrote "Avenue Q."

It was crowned best musical for its offensive yet good-natured look at two missionaries who arrive in Uganda and get way more than they bargained for.

The show is one of the hardest tickets to score and, thanks to premium pricing, took in more than $1.6 million at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre last week.

—Associated Press

New Elvis exhibits to open

Elvis Presley Enterprises says three exhibits will open next year at Graceland in Memphis, Tenn., to mark the 35th anniversary of the entertainer's death.

The first exhibit looks at the 1972 documentary "Elvis on Tour," which chronicles a concert tour. The exhibit, which opens Jan. 5, will include jewelry and clothing worn by Elvis during the shows. "Elvis…Through His Daughter's Eyes," which opens Feb. 1, will highlight Elvis' relationship with his daughter, Lisa Marie Presley. It includes family photos and home movies.

The third exhibit, opening March 1, is called "Icon: The Influence of Elvis Presley." It features clothing, musical instruments and other items used by performers influenced by Elvis.

—Associated Press

Finally

The dress worn by Amy Winehouse on the cover of the late singer's Grammy-winning "Back to Black" album has sold for more than $67,120 at auction. Kerry Taylor Auctions says the polka-dot chiffon dress, designed in 2006, was purchased by Musea de la Moda in Santiago, Chile.

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