Monster Mash: Breaking arts news and headlines

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• Will Ferrell is taking his George W. Bush impressions to Broadway. The actor and ‘Saturday Night Live’ alumnus will perform his show, ‘You’re Welcome, America. A Final Night with George W. Bush,’ at the Cort Theatre, with previews beginning Jan. 20 and an opening scheduled for Feb. 1.

• The Harvard Art Museum has received a significant gift that includes artwork by Pablo Picasso, Donald Judd and Roy Lichtenstein worth nearly $200 million and a cash donation of $45 million. The gift comes from Emily Rauh Pulitzer, widow of newspaper titan Joseph Pulitzer Jr.

• And you thought Dolly Parton’s ‘9 to 5' was accident prone. The Broadway version of ‘Billy Elliot,’ which is in previews at the Imperial Theatre, has reportedly suffered a series of set breakdowns leading to audience booing at one performance.

• The U.S. State Department has announced the launch of the Iraq Cultural Heritage Project, which is designed to support improvements to the Iraqi National Museum and the creation of a cultural institution in the ancient city of Erbil.


• The failure of Washington Mutual could have a major impact on the Seattle arts community. The bank, which collapsed in September, gave $48.6 million to charity nationwide last year. Recently, the Seattle Art Museum received $2.2 million for a capital campaign from WaMu.

• ‘Once,’ the 2007 woolly headed hipster romance that won an Oscar for best original song, will become a Broadway musical. Three producers have acquired the live theater rights to the indie film with the intention of opening the show during the 2010-2011 season.

• The mayor of an Oklahoma town has vetoed public funding for a religious statue. Dan O’Neil, the mayor of Edmond, Okla., has decided not to use $3,900 in city funds to pay for a bronze statue of Jesus Christ.

-- David Ng