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Seven Fourth of July concerts and cultural events around L.A.

The July 4 holiday is a time for barbecue, fireworks and poolside relaxation. But this year's long holiday weekend also provides ample time for families to take in a cultural event or two.

Here's a selection of seven area events and venues that includes choices for that other Independence Day staple -- the outdoor concert. All the options are intended to be family friendly, and themes range from the...

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'Spring Awakening' production by Deaf West heading to New York

The recent revival of "Spring Awakening" mounted by Deaf West Theatre in Los Angeles will be heading to New York. A spokeswoman for the company confirmed reports Wednesday that the staging, which features actors performing in a mix of English and American Sign Language, is expected to make the leap to New York in the fall.

"Spring Awakening," directed by Michael Arden, was first seen at Inner-City...

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Virgin Mary portrait using elephant dung sells for $4.5 million

The portrait of the Virgin Mary made partly from elephant dung that famously riled then-New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani when it was exhibited in 1999 sold Tuesday at a Christie's auction in London for about $4.5 million. 

Giuliani reportedly called the artwork "sick stuff" and "anti-Catholic" when he saw the portrait at the exhibition "Sensation," featuring provocative art, that ran at the Brooklyn...

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Music Center's head of programming is leaving for a post at USC

Renae Williams Niles will step down as the Music Center’s vice president for programming at the end of July, the third department head at the financially pressed downtown performing arts center to exit in a little more than six months.

Williams Niles said Tuesday that she is leaving to become director of fundraising for USC’s fledgling Glorya Kaufman School of Dance.

Together with the December resignation...

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L.A. theater openings, July 5-12: 'Adam & Eve and Steve' and more

This week: "Disney's Tarzan" swings into Fullerton, Sandra Tsing Loh has a thing or three to say, and the original power couple meets the ulitimate third wheel in "Adam & Eve and Steve."

The Marriage Proposal The Theatre Factory Studio stages Chekhov's farce. Hudson Guild Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Sun., next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends July 12. $20. www.theatrefactorystudio.com.

Tiny Dangerous...

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Asian theater leader Tim Dang to step down at East West Players

Tim Dang will step down a year from now as producing artistic director of East West Players, the downtown Los Angeles theater company he’s led since 1993.

He will leave after overseeing East West Players’ coming 50th anniversary season, ending next June with a production of the musical “La Cage aux Folles” that Dang will direct.

“I thought that … would be the appropriate time to pass the torch. ......

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