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Monster Mash: breaking arts news and headlines

October 1, 2008 |  9:57 am

Shrekthemusical • Producers of "Shrek the Musical" have recast two major roles one week before Broadway rehearsals begin. Tony-nominee Daniel Breaker ("Passing Strange") will take over the role of the donkey, which was previously played by Chester Gregory in the show's Seattle run. In the original animated film, the character was voiced by Eddie Murphy.

Also leaving the cast is Kecia Lewis-Evans, who played the role of the dragon in the Seattle engagement, which ended Sept. 21. The role will now be voiced entirely by chorus members. "Shrek the Musical" is slated for an official Broadway opening on Dec. 14. (Pictured left is Brian d'Arcy James, who plays the title role in the musical.)

• The traveling exhibition of terra cotta warriors from China hasn't finished its run at the Bowers Museum in Orange County yet, but the show has already set a record at its next stop -- the High Museum of Atlanta. So far, the High has received 37,000 advance reservations for the exhibition.

• The Julie Taymor-directed stage production of "The Lion King" will make its Las Vegas debut in May 2009. The sit-down production represents the first venture by Disney Theatrical Productions in Las Vegas.

• New York's L&M Arts is planning to expand to Los Angeles. The gallery is scheduled to open a branch on Venice Boulevard in a year's time. The West Coast project will be led by Sarah Watson, formerly of the Gagosian Gallery's Beverly Hills location.

• A previously unknown work by 17th century Flemish painter Pieter Brueghel the Younger has reportedly been discovered in the Netherlands. The small circular painting portrays a farmer and his wife resting against a tree and is worth an estimated $143,000.

• A 2001 recording of Camille Saint-Saëns' Piano Concertos by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra has been voted the most popular classical recording of the last 30 years at the 2008 Gramophone Awards. 

• Deutsche Bank has permanently loaned 600 works of art to Frankfurt, Germany's Staedel Museum. The loan includes works by Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Richter, Joseph Beuys and Sigmar Polke.

• A Swiss television station has aired a performance of Verdi's "La Traviata" from a busy train station in Zurich. Scenes were transmitted live from the station's main hall, coffeehouse, flower shop as well as  train platforms.

-- David Ng

Photo: Andrew Eccles / Associated Press