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Monster Mash: Rome gets its first contemporary art museum; Corcoran Gallery chief steps down

May 27, 2010 |  7:59 am

-- Fresh image: The MAXXI contemporary art museum -- designed by Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid -- will open in Rome this weekend as part of Italy's attempt to show it is more than a land of past glories. (Deutsche Welle)

 -- Change at the top: Paul Greenhalgh is stepping down after four years as the director of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington. (Washington Post)

-- Hitting the road: Alice Ripley, who earned a Tony for playing a mentally ill housewife in the Pulitzer-winning "Next to Normal" on Broadway, will star in the musical's national touring production, which will open at the Ahmanson Theatre in November. (Los Angeles Times)

-- New addition: The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, on Thursday is unveiling Italian architect Renzo Piano's design for a pavilion to join its landmark 1972 Louis Kahn building. (Dallas Morning News)

-- London opening: "Paradise Found," the musical co-directed by Harold Prince and Susan Stroman, has begun its world-premiere run at Menier Chocolate Factory in London, the theater hot spot where the current Broadway revivals of "A Little Night Music" and "La Cage aux Folles" got their start. (Playbill)

-- New role? Samuel L. Jackson reportedly is in New York for a reading of "The Mountaintop," Katori Hall's Olivier-winning play about Martin Luther King Jr., which is scheduled to open on Broadway in the fall. (New York Post

-- Double duty: Leonard Slatkin, music director of the Detroit Symphony, also will become music director of the Orchestre National de Lyon in France, beginning with the 2011-12 season.
(Detroit Free Press)

--Back onstage: Former Czech president Vaclav Havel has published his first new play in nearly 20 years. "Leaving"--which he began writing in the 1980s before he went from playwright to dissident to president--is receiving its U.S. premiere in Philadelphia. (NPR

-- And on Fashion editor Booth Moore talks with the Ephron sisters about their play “Love, Loss and What I Wore” at the Geffen Playhouse. Plus full coverage of the "American Idol" season finale and winner Lee DeWyze on our sister blog Idol Tracker.

-- Karen Wada

Photo: Gino De Dominicis' skeletal sculpture at the MAXXI, Rome's new contemporary art museum. Credit: Stefano Rellandini / Reuters