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Monster Mash: breaking arts news and headlines

September 26, 2008 | 10:47 am

'The House of Blue Leaves' • Stage director Nicholas Martin, who helmed the current revival of John Guare's "The House of Blue Leaves" at the Mark Taper Forum, has suffered a stroke. Martin, the artistic director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival, was most recently in rehearsals for the Lincoln Center Theater production of "Saturn Returns." (At left, John Pankow and Jane Kaczmarek in the Taper's production of "The House of Blue Leaves.")

• German conductor and pianist Christoph Eschenbach has been named music director of the National Symphony Orchestra, following a multi-year search. The 68-year-old Eschenbach will officially start his tenure at the Washington, D.C., orchestra in the 2010-11 season, after Ivan Fischer's two-year stint as principal conductor.

• Kathy Fuld, the wife of Lehman Bros. CEO Richard Fuld, is reportedly selling  $20 million worth of rare Abstract Expressionist drawings at a November auction at Christie's. The sale will include three drawings by Willem de Kooning, five by Barnett Newman, four by Arshile Gorky and four by Agnes Martin.

•  Two major architecture critics have given negative reviews of the much-anticipated new building for New York's Museum of Arts and Design. The L.A. Times' own Christopher Hawthorne said the Brad Cloepfil-designed structure appears "clinical and rigid, even schoolmarmish." Meanwhile, the New York Times' Nicolai Ouroussoff called the building "[p]oorly detailed and lacking in confidence."

• An actor injured on the set of Broadway's "The Little Mermaid" is suing Disney and three other parties for unspecified damages. Adrian Bailey was severely injured prior to the May 10 matinee of the musical after he fell through a trap door. The actor reportedly suffered fractured wrists, a broken back, a shattered pelvis, a fractured sternum, several fractured ribs, a fractured foot and more.

• The Picasso painting that billionaire Stephen Wynn damaged with his elbow in 2006 will go on public display for the first time since the mishap. Picasso's "Le Reve,'' or "The Dream,'' is owned by the Las Vegas casino mogul and will be a part of a Picasso exhibit opening Oct. 15 at Acquavella Galleries in New York. Wynn told reporters that the painting, worth an estimated $139 million, will not be for sale.

• More Picasso news: the Spanish painter's "Arlequin" will go on sale in November at Sotheby's and is Stephen Harper expected to earn more than $30 million.  The painting was last seen in public 45 years ago.

• Washington, D.C.'s, Corcoran Gallery plans to auction 10 American paintings from its permanent collection in an effort to raise funds for future operations, among other things. The sale will include works by Gilbert Stuart and Thomas Cole.

• Canada's arts funding crisis keeps getting more dramatic. Last month, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government announced plans to eliminate almost $45 million in cultural programs. On Wednesday, prominent Canadian arts groups protested in Toronto. Now, Harper has publicly called the arts community "a bunch of people at a rich gala," and his wife has pulled out of a soiree at Ottawa's National Arts Centre.

— David Ng

"House of Blue Leaves" photo by Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times

Stephen Harper photo by Geoff Robins / Getty Images