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Quick Takes: Key Club will close

March 05, 2013

The center of L.A.'s music gravity shifted eastward long ago, but the iconic rock clubs along the Sunset Strip have generally managed to keep their doors open. That will change this month, as the Key Club will shutter March 15.

The club first opened in the 1960s and operated for years as Gazzarri's, named after owner Bill Gazzarri. L.A. bands including the Doors, Van Halen and Guns N' Roses played its stage.

The club cycled through ownership in the '90s, and after the original structure was damaged in the Northridge quake, it was rebuilt as Billboard Live. It became the Key Club in 1998, and lately has hosted a melange of hip-hop shows, hard rock and grab-bag local sets.

"In the coming months our space will welcome a new project," Operations Manager Ian Shepp said Monday, but he didn't provide details.

—August Brown

Poetry prize winners named

Marianne Boruch, a poet who teaches creative writing at Purdue University, is this year's winner of Claremont Graduate University's Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. She'll be awarded $100,000 for her collection "The Book of Hours," published by Copper Canyon Press.

The prize, one of the largest American awards for poetry, is given to a mid-career poet. Boruch's work includes two collections of poetry: 2008's "Grace, Fallen From" and 2004's "Poems: New and Selected."

She is also the author of two books of essays about poetry — "In the Blue Pharmacy" and "Poetry's Old Air" — and a memoir, "The Glimpse Traveler."

Claremont also announced Monday the winner of its $10,000 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for a first poetry book: Heidy Steidlmayer for "Fowling Piece," published by TriQuarterly.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Claremont on April 18.

—Carolyn Kellogg

'Downton' is down another

"Downton Abbey" is going to look quite different when it returns for a fourth season on PBS.

Siobhan Finneran — better known to fans as O'Brien, Lady Grantham's constantly scheming, severely coiffed maid — has confirmed that she is leaving the popular costume drama. She follows costars Dan Stevens and Jessica Brown Findlay out the door.

Finneran's departure may be felt more acutely by fans, who will no doubt miss O'Brien's snide cutdowns and seemingly insatiable appetite for revenge.

But fear not: Over the weekend, Carnival Films, producers of "Downton Abbey," announced that six new cast members will be joining the series next season.

It also said that Shirley MacLaine, seen last season as Lady Grantham's mother, will be returning in a Christmas installment.

—Meredith Blake

A Gehry for Santa Monica

Frank Gehry is designing a new 22-story tower that developers want to build in downtown Santa Monica, near the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, according to the official website for the project.

The structure will feature space for a hotel and condominiums, plus a restaurant and retail space.

The Ocean Avenue project represents the first architectural initiative by Gehry in Santa Monica in more than two decades. The renowned architect, who turned 84 last week, lives in Santa Monica.

Gehry's design calls for the use of white material molded into the architect's signature style consisting of wavy curves.

No completion date has been announced for the project, nor has an estimated price tag been reported.

—David Ng

'Fortress' musical to get N.Y. run

A musical based on Jonathan Lethem's celebrated 2003 novel "The Fortress of Solitude," about two boys who become endowed with superpowers, is heading toward New York.

The Public Theater said Monday that it will co-produce the show and bring it to its downtown home for the 2014-15 season after it debuts at the Dallas Theater Center in March.

—Associated Press

Finally

Coming back: Fox has renewed "The Following," "New Girl," "The Mindy Project" and "Raising Hope" for next season.

New judge: Heidi Klum is joining NBC's "America's Got Talent" as a judge but will continue to host "Project Runway."

In the works: Steven Spielberg told an interviewer in France that he plans to make a TV miniseries about Napoleon, using a script written in 1961 by the late filmmaker Stanley Kubrick.

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