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Monster Mash: David Sefton leaves UCLA Live; Seattle Art Museum cuts back; ballet star part of failed coup

May 28, 2010 |  7:45 am

Fonteyn --Calling it quits: David Sefton has resigned after nearly a decade as executive and artistic director of the UCLA Live performing arts series, saying he was responding to "a major rethinking and restructuring" by his bosses, brought on by the poor economy. (Los Angeles Times)

--Budget woes: The Seattle Art Museum has announced it will close its three principal buildings for two weeks next year, furlough employees during that period and reduce its staff by 15 positions. Several top administrators will take one-year pay cuts. (Seattle Times)

--Coup conspirator: British ballet star Margot Fonteyn was involved in a failed plot with Fidel Castro to overthrow the government of Panama, according to recently declassified papers. (Telegraph)

--Prized painting: One of Gustav Klimt's last portraits --"Frauenbildnis (Portrait of Ria Munk III) -- is expected to bring as much as $26 million when it goes up for auction in London after being returned to its owners by an Austrian museum. (Bloomberg)

--Open-door policy: The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York is closing out this year's Whitney Biennial by welcoming visitors 24 hours a day for three days ending at 11:59 p.m. Friday. The all-nighter is the idea of L.A.-based conceptual artist Michael Asher. (Los Angeles Times)

--Market watch: A Frida Kahlo portrait of a pre-Hispanic warrior that had not been seen in public for 72 years fetched $1.1 million at a Christie's sale of Latin American art. (Reuters)

--Dance card: The New York City Ballet's 2010-11 season will include 13 works by George Balanchine and five by Jerome Robbins, a new piece by Susan Stroman and the previously announced new production of "The Seven Deadly Sins" by Lynne Taylor-Corbett with Patti LuPone. (New York Times)

--Saying farewell: Darci Kistler, known as "Balanchine's last ballerina," will retire from the stage in June. (Wall Street Journal)

--Blood sport: Tourists will soon be able to visit the underground of Rome's Colosseum, where gladiators, lions and tigers once awaited their turn in the arena. (Associated Press)

--Backstage battle: The American Guild of Musical Artists and Actors' Equity Assn. are fighting over who has jurisdiction over singers and dancers in many Broadway musicals. (Wall Street Journal)

Also in the Los Angeles Times: Theater critic Charles McNulty prepares to plunge into Los Angeles Opera's "Ring" cycle; San Francisco Opera will launch a citywide cultural festival tied to the summer 2011 production of its own "Ring;" Santa Monica College offers a public policy forum -- with a Broadway melody.

-- Karen Wada

Photo: Margot Fonteyn and Michael Soames in the Sadler's Wells Ballet production of "Cinderella" for a 1957 NBC broadcast. Credit: NBC

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