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Monster Mash: Breaking news and headlines

December 19, 2008 |  9:19 am

Jeremy_strick_outside_moca --The Museum of Contemporary Art's board is said to be moving toward a deal with Eli Broad; director Jeremy Strick, left, reportedly resigns in a "teary scene" at Thursday's meeting.

--Across the country in Washington, the Phillips Collection is expected to announce today it has received $23.5 million for its endowment.

--Michael Govan, who is pushing a MOCA merger with his Los Angeles County Museum of Art, tells Culture Grrl that a financial meltdown "would never happen" at LACMA.

--William H. Macy ("Fargo") and Norbert Leo Butz (last seen in L.A. in 2006's touring production of "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" at the Pantages) to replace mercury-plagued Jeremy Piven in Broadway's "Speed-the-Plow."

-- A Cincinnati Christmas pageant actress who was suspended 25 feet in the air by an overhead rope falls to her death.

--A judge orders former Los Angeles Opera donor Alberto Vilar imprisoned to await sentencing after his conviction on conspiracy fraud charges.

--"Rock of Ages," the '80s-set hair band jukebox musical that got its start in L.A., is moving to Broadway. The off-Broadway production, which features "American Idol's" Constantine Maroulis, is set to open April 7 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. No cast has been announced.

--A British professor finds that one of the most popular Christmas carols has a secret political code linked to the Jacobite rebellion.

--New York offers free Broadway tickets as an apology to Cleveland for "hate tourists" comment in New York Times.

--Things we probably don't need to see (no matter how drunk we are): A nude portrait of Illinois Gov. and Senate seat salesman Rod Blagojevich is set to hang in a Chicago bar.

--Starting today: L.A. Times critics Christopher Knight, Mark Swed, Christopher Hawthorne and Charles McNulty will share their Best (and Worst) of 2008 lists. Watch for their lists here.

--Lisa Fung

Caption: Jeremy Strick, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, in front of the museum sign. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times