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Monster Mash: Conductor Edward Downes commits suicide; support for Paul Williams tract; big bucks for Peter Gelb

July 14, 2009 |  8:19 am

Sir Edward Downes and wife Joan --Couple dies: Noted British conductor Sir Edward Thomas Downes and his wife Joan, a choreographer, end their lives at a Zurich suicide clinic.

--On a mission: Rancho Palos Verdes resident seeks to create a historic-preservation ordinance to protect tract homes designed by architect Paul Williams.

--Sour grapes?: "Local" U.S. firms are angered by choice of British firm Foster + Partners for renovation of United Nations Plaza in San Francisco, made possible by U.S. government stimulus funds.

--Money man: Peter Gelb earns $1.5 million in his second year as general manager of New York's Metropolitan Opera, a raise of 36%.

--Success story: Broadway revival of "Blithe Spirit," starring Angela Lansbury, recoups investment.

--New chief: Marilu Knode named executive director of Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis.

--Casting call: LaJolla Playhouse reportedly casts Laura Osnes ("Grease"), Mare Winningham and Stark Sands ("Journey's End") in "Bonnie & Clyde" musical.

--Court filing: Freelancer who took photograph used by Shepard Fairey for Obama "Hope" poster tells a judge that the Associated Press wrongfully copyrighted the image it seeks to protect.

--Is she or isn't she?: N.Y. Post says Larry King's wife, Shawn, is a finalist for the role of Arachne in the upcoming "Spider-Man" musical.

--New collaboration: London Symphony Orchestra named resident orchestra of Aix-en-Provence Festival.

--Offering advice: National Endowment for the Arts to convene summit this month on careers in the arts for people with disabilities.

--Support for rights: Broadway's "Hair" to go dark on Oct. 11 so cast and crew can participate in the National Equality March in Washington. Star Gavin Creel shares his diary of cast's trip to L.A. for  "The Tonight Show." Watch for his final update today.

--Lisa Fung

Sir Edward Thomas Downes and wife Joan. Credit: Press Association via Times of London