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Monster Mash: Picasso, Matisse taken in Paris art heist; Jerry Brown backs appeal in Norton Simon case

May 20, 2010 |  7:58 am

Musemheist-2 -- Overnight job: A thief broke into the Paris Museum of Modern Art and stole five paintings possibly worth hundreds of millions of dollars -- including major works by Picasso and Matisse. (Associated Press)

-- Legal action: California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up an appeal by a woman who wants the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena to relinquish two paintings the Nazis seized from her father-in-law. (Los Angeles Times)

-- Offstage drama: Italian government reforms aimed at state-supported opera houses and orchestras have sparked strikes and cancellations of performances across the nation as well as a debate about the quality and future of opera in Italy.  (Independent)

-- Change of plans: Playwright Deb Margolin has withdrawn "Imagining Madoff" from the 2010-11 lineup of Theater J, a Jewish theater in Washington, after author and humanitarian Elie Wiesel objected to a character in the play that was based on him. (Playbill)

-- Hope fades: A judge in New York says it's unlikely that former art dealer Lawrence B. Salander, who has pleaded guilty in a $120-million fraud case, can repay his victims. (Bloomberg)

-- Leading lady: Tony-winning playwright David Henry Hwang will join a memorial tribute in New York for Jadin Wong, whom he describes as "a brassy, brilliant ex-actress-turned-agent for 'Oriental' talent ... the quintessential Broadway dame." Wong died in March at 96. (Playbill)

Also in the Los Angeles Times: Chris Pine will star in "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" at the Mark Taper Forum; the JapanOC festival will feature Japanese and Japanese American arts and artists; the evolution of Las Vegas and the evolution of urban dance collide in "The Jabbawockeez Present: MUS.I.C." (muse I see) at the Hollywood Theatre in the MGM Grand hotel.

-- Karen Wada

Photo: Police transfer an empty frame through a window at the Paris Museum of Modern Art on May 20, 2010, after an overnight heist. Credit: Benoit Tessier / Reuters