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Monster Mash: Breaking arts news and headlines

October 8, 2008 | 11:00 am

'Spider-Man 2' • Julie Taymor's upcoming stage adaptation of "Spider-Man" is on track to become the most expensive Broadway show in history. The musical's budget is reportedly hovering around the $40 million mark. The musical will feature a rock score by Bono and the Edge, and is being produced by Sony, Marvel Comics and David Garfinkle. No official opening date has been announced, but one source insists the show will definitely open on Broadway next year. (Pictured left: a scene from Columbia Pictures' "Spider-Man 2.")

• Shares of Sotheby's have dropped nearly 27% so far this month on the New York Stock Exchange as the auction house reported disappointing Asia sales. Sotheby's recently announced that its Hong Kong auction saw two-thirds of the lots go unsold. Hong Kong is widely regarded as the world's third largest art market, after New York and London.

• A sketch by the Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens will join the collections of London's Tate Britain after $10 million was raised for it in a six-month campaign. The oil-on-wood sketch, titled "The Apotheosis of James I," depicts the English monarch ascending to heaven and is believed to have been a preparatory sketch for designs Rubens later painted on ceiling canvasses.

• New York theater companies are bracing themselves for a difficult economic period as fundraising and ticket sales appear imperiled by the current Wall Street crisis. Theater executives are saying that a number of upcoming shows have lost an investor or two, but it is unclear whether this will prove fatal.

• JoAnn Falletta, the music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, has been named by President Bush to the National Council on the Arts. The council advises the National Endowment for the Arts on programs and policies, and helps oversee grant applications, funding program guidelines and national initiatives.

• The Roy Lichtenstein Foundation has announced it has acquired the entire photographic archive of renowned photographer Harry Shunk. The  archive collection contains more than 100,000 items, including  upwards of 60,000 of his printed photographs. There are also many thousands of negatives, some of which may never have been printed.

• SFMOMA said its three-month Frida Kahlo exhibition, which closed on Sept. 28, was its most popular ever, with attendance totaling 412,244, or an average of 4,530 visitors per day. SFMOMA's previous record holder was the 2003 Marc Chagall exhibition, which brought a total of 363,641 to the museum.

— David Ng

Photo credit: Columbia Pictures