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Monster Mash: Smithsonian's buyout plan; 'Enron' sets Broadway date; Madoff gored, figuratively

September 30, 2009 |  9:05 am


--Drastic measures: The Smithsonian Institution is offering its entire staff a buyout or early retirement package, citing budgetary difficulties.

--Heading to New York: "Enron," a new stage production about the corporate financial scandal, is set to open on Broadway in April 2010.

--Painful to look at: Artist Chen Wenling has created a sculpture depicting convicted financier Bernie Madoff being gored in the buttocks by a bull.

--Retiring: Antonio Castillo de la Gala is ending his run as a pianist at the Hotel Bel-Air's Champagne Bar.

--Preventive measure: The Los Angeles City Council approves an ordinance requiring new homes to include a graffiti-resistant finish in order to reduce incidences of tagging.

--Stage heaven: The Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago is named one of the top 15 places to work by the Wall Street Journal’s Top Small Workplaces 2009.

--Protest: Workers at the Venice Biennale strike to protest working conditions and not receiving overtime payment.

--Defying gravity: Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte will spend time aboard the International Space Station, where he will "lead" a performance next week.

--Group effort: Five prominent architects -- including Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel -- are contributing designs for a new arts center in the South of France.

--Fancy feet: The United Nations declares the tango a world cultural treasure.

-- David Ng

Photo: A sculpture by Chinese artist Chen Wenling, titled "What You See Might Not Be Real" on display in Beijing, depicts convicted financier Bernard Madoff. Credit: Ng Han Guan / Associated Press