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Monster Mash: Art critics name top 2009 exhibitions; Tony Kushner's new play; China looking for looted artifacts

December 17, 2009 |  9:06 am

 Lacma-- Best in show: The International Assn. of Art Critics names its best exhibitions for 2009. (Art Info)

-- Sidelined: Tony Kushner's latest play no longer appears on the fast track for a Broadway engagement this spring. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

-- They mean business: Officials from China are visiting U.S. museums in search of artifacts that may have been looted from the Old Summer Palace in Beijing by occupying troops in 1860. (The New York Times)

-- Blockbuster potential: Producers announce the full cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Love Never Dies," the sequel to "The Phantom of the Opera," which opens in London in March. (Playbill)

-- Second life: "Nevermore," a biographical play about Edgar Allan Poe starring Jeffrey Combs that ran for several months at L.A.'s Steve Allen Theater, will have its East Coast premiere in Baltimore in January. (The Steve Allen Theater)

-- Censorship?: Artists react to the BBC's decision to pull a broadcast of a dance production featuring pregnant nuns and wild sex. (The Guardian)

-- Customs mess: An exhibition at London's Royal Academy of works from the collection of the prince of Lichtenstein has been canceled over a customs dispute. (Reuters)

-- New appointment: The Denver Art Museum names Cathey McClain Finlon as its new president. (The Denver Post)

-- An honor to be nominated: The actors of "Nine," the film adaptation of the Broadway musical," receive a Screen Actors Guild nomination for cast in a motion picture. (Los Angeles Times)

-- Also in the L.A. Times: Cirque du Soleil eyes a 2011 opening for its long-planned production at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood; critics Mark Swed and Charles McNulty name their top 2009 classical music and theatrical productions, respectively.

-- David Ng

Photo: A view of "The Art of Two Germanys / Cold War Cultures" at LACMA, which was named as one of the top exhibitions of 2009 by the International Assn. of Art Critics. Credit: LACMA