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Money pledged to Pasadena Playhouse

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Playhouse gets pledges

The Pasadena Playhouse said Wednesday that it has received a number of monetary pledges since announcing last week that it would cease productions on its main stage Sunday. But it remains unclear how substantial those offers are and if they are enough to save the imperiled institution.

Sheldon Epps, the theater’s artistic director, said the amount of money pledged could not immediately be quantified. “We are grateful for them,” he said. “The response has been very moving.”

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On Friday, the theater’s executive director, Stephen Eich, said the playhouse is essentially out of cash and faces more than $500,000 in immediate bills.

-- David Ng German studio’s ‘Basterds’ pride

Officials at the Babels- berg film studio in Germany were bursting with pride Wednesday after American director Quentin Tarantino’s anti-Nazi “Inglourious Basterds,” filmed there last year, got eight Oscar nominations.

Carl Woebcken, chief executive officer of the world’s oldest large-scale studio complex, said the haul should give the 98-year-old film site an important shot in the arm as an international production center and help erase memories of some difficult decades.

“We’re all ecstatic,” Woebcken told a group of foreign journalists after a tour of the historic studio just south of Berlin. “That a film made in Babelsberg got so many Oscar nominations is something noticed around the world.”

Babelsberg, one of the world’s most important studios in the 1920s and a rival to Hollywood, was created in 1912. Its reputation was tarnished by the Nazis and later Communist East Germany who used it to make propaganda films.

-- reuters Country trio takes top spot

Driven by the success of the love song “Need You Now,” a late-night tale of boozy desperation, country trio Lady Antebellum soared to the top of this week’s pop chart.

The band’s sophomore effort, for which the single is the title cut, sold 481,000 copies, Nielsen SoundScan reported Wednesday, to give the act its first-ever No. 1 album on the U.S. pop chart.

The Capitol Nashville act had a showcase performance on Sunday night’s Grammy Awards, and the CBS telecast should help the band going into its second week of sales. SoundScan tracks retailers through Sunday evening, meaning any Grammy bump wouldn’t be reflected on the charts until next Wednesday.

While Susan Boyle continues to sell well with her “I Dreamed a Dream,” at No. 4 this week, she has some company on the charts when it comes to reinterpreting pop standards. Barry Manilow’s Arista release “The Greatest Love Songs of All Time” entered at No. 5. The just-in-time-for-Valentine’s Day set sold 57,000 copies in its first week.

-- Todd Martens Sculpture price: $103.4 million

A bronze sculpture by Alberto Giacometti sold for $103.4 million in London on Wednesday, a record price for the artist, as wealthy collectors fought to invest in rare trophy-quality works by 20th century artists.

Sotheby’s had expected the piece to fetch between $19 million and $28 million. Instead, it sold at close to the world record for a work at auction, set in 2004 when Sotheby’s sold Pablo Picasso’s “Garcon a la Pipe” for $104.2 million. Sotheby’s, using a different conversion rate, said the sculpture raised $104.3 million, therefore surpassing the previous mark.

“It was a crazy price,” Alex Lachmann, a Cologne-based art dealer, said after he watched the sculpture sell. “You only need two people to push things high.”

The life-size statue of an emaciated pedestrian, “L'Homme Qui Marche I” (Walking Man), was originally conceived in 1960 and cast in an edition of six.

This particular version, made in 1961, was the first example cast in the artist’s lifetime offered at auction, Sotheby’s said. It had been part of the collection of Germany-based Dresdner Bank AG, which was bought by Commerzbank AG in January 2009.

Gustav Klimt’s 1913 painting “Church in Cassone -- Landscape with Cypresses” sold for $42.8 million, and Cézanne’s “Pichet et Fruits sur une Table,” dating from 1893 to 1894, went for $18.8 million.

-- bloomberg news A Super spot for the Arcade Fire

If a Super Bowl halftime show featuring The Who doesn’t strike your fancy, there will be plenty of music targeted to a non-boomer audience throughout Sunday’s game. For instance, indie rockers the Arcade Fire, a band long considered averse to licensing, have granted the NFL permission to broadcast “No Cars Go” during the game, which will air this year on CBS.

All proceeds from the licensing will go to benefit Stand With Haiti relief efforts.

Arcade Fire has generally avoided licensing to commercials, although the band’s work has been used to promote films.

-- Todd Martens


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