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Monster Mash: 'Chad Deity' wins top Obie Award; 'Spider-Man' musical shows respectable grosses; NEA grants $88 million

May 17, 2011 |  7:46 am

Diaz Honored: "The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity," a pro-wrestling-themed comedy by Kristoffer Diaz, was the big winner at the 2011 Obie Awards, which honors off-Broadway productions. (Village Voice)

Back in business: Broadway's "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" played to 95% capacity and brought in $809,000 during its first weekend back in preview performances. (USA Today)

Arts funding: The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded $88 million through 1,145 grants to not-for-profit national, regional, state, and local organizations. (NEA)

Sneak peak: An early look at the upcoming NBC sitcom "Smash," about a songwriting duo trying to get a musical produced on Broadway. (Los Angeles Times)

Immortalized: The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery is installing a painting of Bill and Melinda Gates that the museum commissioned for its collection. (Associated Press, via Washington Post)

Abandoning ship?: The financially troubled Philadelphia Orchestra may lose one of its star cellists. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

New hire: L.A.'s Center Theatre Group has named Edward L. Rada as managing director. (Los Angeles Times)

Sold: The art collection of disgraced former healthcare executive Richard Scrushy has brought in more than $672,000 at auction. (Associated Press, via Washington Post)

Caveat emptor: Many foreign touring orchestras have names that misrepresent the truth about their composition and makeup. (New York Times)

Cultural heritage: A Hong Kong performing arts school will offer a Cantonese opera degree in an effort to preserve the rarefied art form. (Associated Press, via CBS News)

And in the L.A. Times: Christian Marclay's installation "The Clock" has its L.A. debut at LACMA; theater critic Charles McNulty reviews "Moscow, Cherry Town" at Long Beach Opera.

-- David Ng

Photo: Playwright Kristoffer Diaz. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times