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McAnuff returns to La Jolla

Hamburger relishes Mouse gig, ankles theater job

NEW YORK — Des McAnuff will return to La Jolla Playhouse for the 2001 season as the theater’s one-year interim artistic director.

Last month, Anne Hamburger announced her resignation as the Southern California company’s artistic director. She has accepted a job with the Walt Disney Co.

McAnuff was the playhouse artistic director from 1983-94. McAnuff-directed productions at La Jolla included “Big River,” “The Who’s Tommy,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and “A Walk in the Woods,” all of which went on to Broadway. In 1993, the venue received a Tony Award as America’s outstanding regional theater.

Ted Cranston, president of the board of trustees, made the McAnuff announcement Monday. McAnuff will begin his position immediately on a full-time basis, taking artistic responsibility for the company’s 2001 season. During the six-play season, he will direct one or more productions. Hamburger will remain responsible for the execution of the theater’s 2000 season until her departure in mid-October.

Since leaving La Jolla in 1994, McAnuff has sought a career in film. He directed “Cousin Bette” and “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle,” and last year produced “The Iron Giant” for Warner Bros.

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