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Quick Takes: Neil Diamond, Meryl Streep among Kennedy Center honorees

September 08, 2011

The 34th annual Kennedy Center Honors announced this year's honorees Wednesday and, as always, arts A-listers will share the evening with pop culture icons.

The Dec. 4 ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington will celebrate singer Barbara Cook, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, saxophonist and composer Sonny Rollins, singer and songwriter Neil Diamond and actress Meryl Streep.

"This year, the Kennedy Center celebrates its 40th anniversary by selecting five extraordinary individuals whose collective artistry has contributed significantly to the cultural life of our nation and the world," said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein.

Southern California audiences will have a chance to see Rollins this month at UCLA Live (Sept. 22) and Segerstrom Hall (Sept. 25). Cook will return to the L.A. area in May for a performance at the Valley Performing Arts Center.

—Sherry Stern

Taylor's jewelry to be auctioned

Elizabeth Taylor's world-renowned collection of jewelry will be auctioned off in December at a two-day sale that is expected to realize more than $30 million, Christie's said Wednesday.

The Dec. 13-14 sale will follow a global three-month tour that will also include Taylor's couture, fine art and memorabilia, and will be the first of a series of auctions from the estate of the legendary film star who died in March.

About 269 diamonds, pearls, rubies, rings, necklaces and even a tiara will be sold, with several of the most valuable pieces tied to Taylor's lengthy and complicated relationship with her two-time husband, Richard Burton, including a 33.19-carat white diamond ring that Burton bought for her in 1968. He purchased it at auction for $300,000; Christie's estimates that it will now fetch from $2.5 million to $3.5 million.

—Reuters

Lil Wayne's album leads pack

It wasn't quite "A Milli" but it was awful close: Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" sold 964,000 in its debut week for the second-best first-week sales of the year, Nielsen SoundScan reported.

Only Lady Gaga sold more this year. Her "Born This Way" hit No. 1 with 1.1 million sold thanks in part to a one-day offer from Amazon.com to buy the album for 99 cents.

Lil Wayne just barely missed his own sales record. "Tha Carter III" sold just over 1 million when it was released in 2008.

—Associated Press

Journalist discloses illness

Andrea Mitchell, NBC's chief foreign affairs correspondent and wife of former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, said on her TV program Wednesday that she has breast cancer.

"I had planned to be hiking in Wyoming last week, but instead discovered that I am now among the one in eight women in this country — incredibly, one in eight — who have had breast cancer," she announced at the end of "Andrea Mitchell Reports" on MSNBC.

Mitchell, 64, said the cancer was found during a recent annual screening and had been caught in its early stages. She described her prognosis as "terrific."

—Reuters

Nick Jonas will be in 'Business'

Producers looking for someone to replace Daniel Radcliffe on Broadway have landed their prize — a Jonas.

Nick Jonas, 19, will step into the role of J. Pierrepont Finch next year in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." He begins Jan. 24.

Radcliffe's final performance is set for Jan. 1. Darren Criss of Fox's hit show "Glee" will make his Broadway debut in the role for three weeks, from Jan. 3 to Jan. 22. Then Jonas, the youngest of the three heartthrob siblings, begins.

—Associated Press

Playhouse names artistic director

The Laguna Playhouse has appointed Ann Wareham as its artistic director.

Until mid-2009, when she was laid off amid recession-driven cuts, Wareham had worked for 27 years at L.A.'s Center Theatre Group, where she was an associate producer.

Wareham joined the Laguna staff last fall as associate producer; the artistic director's job had been vacant since August 2010, when Andrew Barnicle resigned after nearly 20 years.

—Mike Boehm

Finally

Concert rebooked: A foot injury to singer Iggy Pop forced Iggy & the Stooges to postpone Wednesday night's show at the Hollywood Palladium until Dec. 1. Tickets for Wednesday's show will be honored, or refunds are available at the point of purchase.

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