Quick Takes: ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ musical due at Pasadena Playhouse

A musical stage version of the hit 1993 movie “Sleepless in Seattle” will have its world premiere in 2012 at the Pasadena Playhouse.

The project, which has Broadway aspirations, features a book by Jeff Arch, who wrote the original story and co-wrote the screenplay for the Nora Ephron romantic comedy. The songs are by Michelle Citrin, Michael Garin and Josh Nelson.

Sheldon Epps, the artistic director of the Pasadena Playhouse, said he chose “Sleepless” as part of the upcoming season based on reading the script and listening to the music. “It’s very, very faithful to the film script,” he said.

“Sleepless” is set to run June 12 to July 15, 2012. No casting was announced.


—David Ng

Benton flood painting sold

A poignant 1951 painting by American artist Thomas Hart Benton depicting a devastating flood in Kansas and Missouri sold for nearly $1.9 million Thursday.

The price for “Flood Disaster” exceeded its pre-sale estimate of $1.2 million. Sotheby’s did not disclose the names of either the seller or the buyer.

The painting was created to highlight the extent of the damage caused when the Kansas and Missouri rivers swelled to 70 times their normal size on July 13, 1951, killing 17 people and displacing more than 518,000 residents.

In a further effort to shed light on the flood victims’ suffering, the Missouri artist made a lithograph of the painting and sent a copy to each member of Congress urging them to expand a flood relief appropriations bill. It did not pass, and many of Benton’s lithographs wound up in the trash.

—Associated Press

‘Dynamite’ on Adult Swim slate


Adult Swim, the nighttime programming block on the Cartoon Network, said Thursday it would be returning “Robot Chicken,” “Metalocalpyse,” “Squidbillies” and seven other series next season.

New offerings include “NTSF:SD:SUV,” which takes the ever-present crime procedural and turns it on its head, and “Black Dynamite,” an animated series based on the cult favorite blaxploitation flick from 2009. The latter comes from “Boondocks’” Carl Jones, with voices of the original film’s stars (Michael Jai White, Tommy Davidson, Kyn Whitley and Byron Minns).

—T.L. Stanley

Taylor Swift offers tour peek


After opening the final dress rehearsal for her upcoming North American “Speak Now” tour to the public to raise money for victims of the recent tornados across the south, Taylor Swift will stream two performances from the show on Saturday in Nashville as a way to expand the fundraiser and give fans a preview of the new tour.

Swift tweeted the news to her 6 million-plus Twitter followers on Thursday, noting that the stream will happen over her website at 7 p.m. Pacific time during the show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

The stream will include information on how viewers may donate to help those affected by the tornados. She has pledged 100% of ticket sales from the concert will go to the “Speak Now … Help Now” fund she has established through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

Her tour opens May 27 in Omaha, Neb., and reaches Southern California for four sold-out shows at Staples Center in Los Angeles Aug. 23, 24, 27 and 28.


—Randy Lewis

April launch set for 3-D ‘Titanic’

James Cameron’s 3-D overhaul of his recently dethroned box-office record-holder “Titanic” now has a release date — one that will resonate nicely with fans of sunken luxury liners.

The film will be back in theaters on April 6 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s maiden (and only) voyage that left England on April 10, 1912.


Cameron’s 1997 big-boat romance was the highest-grossing film until he topped himself in 2010 with “Avatar.”

“Titanic” will have to gross another $1 billion worldwide to reclaim the crown from “Avatar,” but to sweeten the experience for fans, Cameron and his team have completely reworked the film using the same 3-D technology they used on “Avatar.”

The 3-D “Titanic” will come two months after release of the 3-D overhaul of the first of the “Star Wars” films, “The Phantom Menace,” on Feb. 10.

—Patrick Kevin Day


S.F. Art Institute hires Desmarais

Charles Desmarais, the Laguna Art Museum director from 1988 to 1994 until his sudden firing by a museum board that gave no public reason for its action, will be the next president of the San Francisco Art Institute, a 140-year-old university-level school that trains artists, art historians and museum professionals.

Since 2005, Desmarais has been deputy director for art at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City.

—Mike Boehm