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Entertainment & Arts

Quick Takes: Tuning in for Kardashians

The Season 2 finale of “Kourtney and Kim Take New York” drew 4.5 million viewers Sunday night, according to Nielsen.

That’s more than double last year’s finale and was in fact the third-most-watched telecast in E!'s history — despite last year’s boycott petition that begged the network to cancel the show, a spinoff of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”

So if you were thinking that Kim’s notorious 72-day marriage and the Kardashian clan’s relentless pursuit of overexposure have faded their allure ... um, think again!

—Scott Collins

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‘X Factor’ cuts judge and host

Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones are out at “The X Factor.”

A Fox spokeswoman said Monday that the judge and host will not return for the show’s second season. No other details were provided.

Despite consistent viewership, “X Factor” has failed to achieve popularity similar to “American Idol,” which Simon Cowell left to import “X Factor” from the U.K. to the U.S. Its second season is set to debut later this year.

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—Associated Press

Met soprano wins Sills Award

Soprano Angela Meade has won the Beverly Sills Artist Award for young singers.

The annual award, which carries a $50,000 prize, was announced Monday. It is given to singers ages 25 to 40.

Meade sings Elvira on Thursday in the opening of the Metropolitan Opera’s revival of Verdi’s “Ernani,” the role she sang for her company debut in 2008.

—Associated Press

‘Jekyll’ casts ‘Idol’ alum

“American Idol” alumnus Constantine Maroulis proved that he had bona fide acting and singing talent when he made his Broadway debut in 2009 in the musical “Rock of Ages.” Now Maroulis has lined up his next Broadway role in a revival of the musical “Jekyll & Hyde,” which will first tour the country starting in the Los Angeles area.

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Maroulis will play the double role of Dr. Jekyll and his evil alter-ego Mr. Hyde in the Frank Wildhorn musical.

The Broadway-bound production is scheduled to begin in September at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.

The preview engagement is set to run Sept. 7 to 30.

“Jekyll,” directed by Jeff Calhoun, will kick off its tour in San Diego on Oct. 2 at the Civic Theatre. Other cities in the planned 25-week run will be announced later. The revival is scheduled to reach Broadway in the spring of 2013.

—David Ng

Gershon gets opera promotion

Grant Gershon will be expanding his duties at Los Angeles Opera when he takes on the position of resident conductor starting July 1, the company announced Monday.

Gershon, who has served as L.A. Opera’s associate conductor and chorus master since 2007, will hold the resident-conductor title through the end of the 2013-14 season.

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The new position means that Gershon will work much more closely with Plácido Domingo and James Conlon in planning for future seasons, according to a company spokesman. Domingo serves as L.A. Opera’s general director while Conlon is music director.

As part of his new post, Gershon will conduct a major production during the 2012-13 season, the title of which hasn’t been announced. Last season, he conducted the world-premiere production of “Il Postino,” starring Domingo.

Gershon continues to serve as music director of the L.A. Master Chorale.

—David Ng

‘Hugo’ pooch collars votes

Blackie, the canine star of Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo,” was granted a late nomination in the Golden Collar Awards following a write-in campaign sparked by the film’s director, Martin Scorsese.

In an op-ed article in The Times Sunday, Scorsese argued that the Doberman was deserving as an antihero. That prompted Dog News Daily, the organizer of the awards, to promise Blackie a spot as a sixth nominee if the pooch garnered 500 write-ins on Facebook, a milestone achieved Monday morning.

Blackie’s nomination pits her squarely against Uggie, the winsome Jack Russell terrier nominated for roles both in “The Artist” and “Water for Elephants.” The other nominees are Cosmo from “Beginners,” Denver from “50/50" and Hummer from “Young Adult.” The winners will be announced Feb. 13.

—Oliver Gettell

Finally

Joining the “Abbey”: Shirley MacLaine will join the cast of PBS’ “Downton Abbey” when it begins filming its third season next month. The Oscar-winning star of “Terms of Endearment” will play Martha Levinson, mother of American-born Lady Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern).

Going solo: Jack White, who has put out music as part of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs and the Dead Weather, is releasing his first solo album, “Blunderbuss,” on April 24. White released a single, “Love Interruption,” from the record Monday.


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