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Monster Mash: breaking arts news and headlines

October 2, 2008 | 10:18 am

Kristin Scott Thomas• Kristin Scott Thomas makes her official Broadway debut today when the revival of Anton Chekhov's "The Seagull" opens at the Walter Kerr Theatre. Thomas (at left) is reprising the role of Arkadina that won her a 2007 Olivier award in London. The Ian Rickson-directed revival also stars Peter Sarsgaard as Trigorin, a role played by Chiwetel Ejiofor in the U.K. production.

• China's cultural ministry is reportedly cracking down on the public performance of Western religious music. The recent ban impacts the performance of pieces such as Handel's "Messiah" and Mozart's "Requiem."

• Art collector Halsey Minor has counter-sued Sotheby's in an ongoing dispute regarding the sale of the 19th century Edward Hicks painting "The Peaceable Kingdom."

• The U.S. Senate has approved a bill allowing Internet radio broadcasters to renegotiate a royalty rate that they say is too high.  The bill has already passed the House of Representatives and now awaits President Bush's signature.

• Architect David Adjaye has been chosen to redesign two buildings for the Washington, D.C., public library system. The London-based Adjaye is best known for his designs for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway, as well as a number of celebrity homes.

• The chairman of Louis Vuitton, Bernard Arnault, is planning a $140-million arts foundation in Paris. The foundation will reside in a Frank Gehry-designed building located in the city's Bois de Boulogne, and will eventually house the company's extensive art collection.

Paul Newman• Broadway houses are scheduled to dim their lights Friday in honor of Paul Newman, who passed away last week at the age of 83. The marquees of Broadway theaters will be dimmed at 8 p.m. Friday for one minute. Newman (at right), who trained at the Actors Studio, was last seen on Broadway in a 2002 revival of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town," for which he received a Tony nomination.

• Actors' Equity, the national stage actors union, has a new director for its Western regional offices. Mary Lou Westerfield will oversee an area that includes 14 states from Texas to California. She  has been filling the post in an interim capacity for the last six months.

--€” David Ng

Photo credits: Kristin Scott Thomas, C.J. LaFrance / Getty Images; Paul Newman, Patrick Kovarik / AFP/Getty Images