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Monster Mash: Breaking news and headlines

November 7, 2008 | 10:23 am

Benhur_2 -- Get out the chariots: A stage version of "Ben-Hur," 15 years in the making, is planned in London next fall.

-- The Fort Worth Opera will stage the world premiere of "Before Night Falls," based on the autobiography of Cuban dissident poet Reinaldo Arenas, whose memoir was made into a 2000 film starring Javier Bardem.

-- Southern California arts organizations are feeling the effects of the economic downturn.

-- Universal Pictures acquires the rights to make a film version of the Tony Award-winning musical "In the Heights."

-- Eduardo Diaz, executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, is named director of the Smithsonian Latino Center.

-- Wallace Shawn's first new play in 10 years is part of the upcoming season at London's Royal Court Theatre.

-- "Livre, pipe et verres," a 1915 painting by Juan Gris sold for a record $20.8 million at auction on a night that otherwise saw works selling at far below estimates or failing to sell.

-- Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons to star in TV biography about Georgia O'Keeffe.

-- Keri Russell will take on the role of Eve in a starry Actors Fund benefit reading in New York of "All About Eve" that also will include Annette Bening, Cynthia Nixon, John Slattery, Angela Lansbury and  Peter Gallagher.

-- "Thriller -- Live," a musical featuring the songs of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, will play on London's West End next year.

-- For his Metropolitan Opera debut, "Damnation de Faust" director Robert LePage used some techno-images reminiscent of his Cirque du Soleil Vegas show, Ka.

-- U.S. collector and playwright John Wolfson has pledged to bequeath his priceless Shakespeare collection of more than 450 works, including a First Folio of 18 Shakespeare plays, to the Globe Theatre.

-- A musical about cartoon character Betty Boop, featuring music by Grammy winner David Foster, is in the works.

--Lisa Fung

Los Angeles Times file photo