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Monster Mash: Breaking news and headlines

February 27, 2009 | 10:04 am

Zhang_2 Hot painter: The China-based Hurun Report says that based on auction prices, Zhang Xiaogang is China's most valuable living artist.

Sinking Sondheim: Atlanta's Alliance Theatre cancels its planned run of the James Lapine-conceived Stephen Sondheim revue, "iSondheim," after producers fail to raise half the $4.5-million budget.

Sushi stalemate: The Actors' Equity and Broadway League panel considering Jeremy Piven's departure from Broadway's "Speed-the-Plow" fails to reach an agreement.

Koshalek redux: Richard Koshalek, former president of Pasadena's Art Center College of Design, will become director of the Smithsonian Institution's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Hammer hires: The Hammer Museum in Westwood is getting two new top curators, Douglas Fogle (from the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh) and Anne Ellegood (from the Hirshhorn).

White House whoop-de-dos: With successive appearances by Sweet Honey in the Rock and Stevie Wonder, the East Room of the White House is shaping up as the place to be on Wednesdays.

Classical Marsalis: The North Carolina Symphony has released its first recording, but jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis gets top billing on the CD.

Funny White Way: Robin Williams plans to bring his one-man show to Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre for five performances beginning in late April.

Gavel woes: After setting a record with the first three quarters of 2008, Sotheby's saw sales fall 51.9% from a year earlier in the last quarter.

-- Craig Fisher

Photo: Zhang Xiaogang's "Big Family" (1996)