Monster Mash: MOCA’s Jeffrey Deitch on new Vanity Fair power list; art spared in fire at Phillips Collection in Washington

This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

Museum fire: All artworks at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., are said to be undamaged after smoke from a fire spread throughout the building Thursday.

Joining the elite: Jeffrey Deitch, MOCA’s new director, ranks No. 10 on Vanity Fair’s annual list of rising figures who make up ‘The Next Establishment’ in the world of business and culture. Further down the list are two LACMA board members, Casey Wasserman (No. 36) and Dasha Zhukova (No. 39).

Museum makeover: The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History will close one of its oldest exhibition halls, the Origins of Western Culture, for an extensive three-year renovation.

Welcome to L.A.: Delegates fromthe nation’s nonprofit theaters will gather here next June as their umbrella organization, Theatre Communications Group, holds its annual convention in Los Angeles; concurrently, ‘RADAR L.A.,’ a West Coast version of an annual New York City festival of adventurous and non-traditional performance styles, will have its debut.


Prima ballerina: Natalie Portman is winning praise at the Venice Film Festival for her turn as a troubled ballerina in ‘Black Swan.’

Nagano extends contract: The Montreal Symphony announced that Kent Nagano’s contract as its music director has been extended three years, to 2014.

‘Viva Forever,’ Spice Girls! A Spice Girls musical called ‘Viva Forever’ is in the works, and Jennifer Saunders, who wrote and starred in the BBC comedy series, ‘Absolutely Fabulous,’ has been signed on to write its book.

Burgeoning in Berkeley: Cal Performances, the arts series based at UC Berkeley, is earning kudos, a contrast with its sister UCLA Live series as it contracts amid budget woes.

Actor’s Broadway debut: Film star Brendan Fraser, who previously starred in a West End production of Tennessee Williams’ ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,’ will make his Broadway debut in a new British comedy, ‘Elling.’

Never mind: The co-owner of a missing Corot painting will drop her lawsuit against a man said to have been part of a strange episode last month in Manhattan in which the work was lost. It has the same title as a Corot once owned by the Hammer Museum.

Gangster art: A British auction house is offering five paintings by Reginald ‘Reggie’ Kray, one of the infamous twin brothers who cut their criminal swath during the ‘Swinging London’ days of the 1960s, created while serving a life sentence for murder.

And in the L.A. Times: If the ‘Law & Order’ TV franchise’s past in New York City is prelude, its new incarnation, ‘Law & Order: Los Angeles’ could mean paydays for L.A.'s stage actors; L.A.'s Cornerstone Theatre wins an NEA grant to develop a new musical.

-- Mike Boehm

Photo illustration: Jeffrey Deitch. Credit: Wes Bausmith / Los Angeles Times