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Monster Mash: Breaking news and headlines

January 19, 2009 |  8:09 am

Pasadena_playhouse--Pasadena Playhouse and newcomer Ebony Repertory Theatre collaborate on a production of "Crowns."

--Spike Lee debuts his film documentary of the Broadway musical "Passing Strange" at Sundance.

--Reprise dumps "Chess" in favor of "The Fantasticks."

--Placido Domingo helps to reopen New Orleans' Mahalia Theatre.

--"Speed-the-Plow producers file grievance against actor Jeremy Piven; "Entourage" actor's reps call claim "absurd and outrageous." Now will he have a hard time finding work?

--Video artist Bill Viola creating two permanent installations for St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

--Artistic directors from Geffen Playhouse, Center Theatre Group and Pasadena Playhouse defend the need for theater critics.

--Vladimir Putin's first painting sells for $1.14 million at a charity auction in his native St. Petersburg.

Barack_obamas_halfbrother_mark_ndes--Barack Obama's half-brother performs in China to raise money for orphans.

--Vietnamese Americans protest art exhibit in Santa Ana.

--Philadelphia Orchestra deals with leadership gap as the organization faces gloomy financial future.

--Yo-Yo Ma plans to play a cello specially designed to withstand the cold during inauguration performance.

--Los Angeles County Museum of Art cautiously makes plans amid tough economic climate.

-- Lisa Fung

Top photo: Pasadena Playhouse. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times. Bottom photo: Barack Obama's half-brother, Mark Ndesandjo, performs to raise money for Chinese orphans. Credit: Kin Cheung / Associated Press