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MORNING REPORT

October 05, 1994|SHAUNA SNOW | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

THE ARTS

'Lost' Masterpieces Found: After years of government-enforced silence, Russia's State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg has acknowledged that it has been holding a major trove of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings that have not been seen since the end of World War II, the New York Times reported Tuesday. The paintings, which were taken from German private collections by Soviet military authorities at the war's close and were widely believed to have been lost, include more than 70 works by such renowned artists as Degas, Cezanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh. The paintings, which for decades remained a strictly guarded state secret, will be exhibited at the Hermitage in March, with a comprehensive catalogue published at the same time in English by Harry N. Abrams. Although the Hermitage has not yet identified many of the paintings, the show is said to include a Degas masterpiece, "Place de la Concorde," which is constantly reproduced in books with the annotation "Missing. Believed destroyed," and Van Gogh's "The White House at Night," which the artist finished six weeks before his death in 1890. The Hermitage's director, Mikhail Pyotrovsky, told the New York Times that the museum had not yet addressed the question of returning the paintings to Germany and said that the issue was "a legal question to be debated in court."

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Major Endowment: Dance historian and former Balanchine dancer Nancy Reynolds has established a $1.75-million endowment for the New York-based George Balanchine Foundation, with a stipulation that the funds be used to research and document the famed choreographer's achievements through methods including multimedia CD-ROM presentations. Reynolds, who was named the foundation's director of research, will also lead an effort to retrieve Balanchine's lost ballets, possibly for public performance, and has specified that additional funds be used to compile a video archive of noted Balanchine dancers talking about their great roles, thus passing on their firsthand knowledge of the choreographer's ideas. Balanchine died in 1983 at age 79.

POP/ROCK

Stones Tour Breaks Record: The Rolling Stones' current "Voodoo Lounge" North American tour on Tuesday became the highest-grossing concert tour ever, surpassing the $103.5-million record set earlier this year by fellow rockers Pink Floyd. That gives the Stones two of the three highest-grossing tours ever--the band's 1989 "Steel Wheels" tour grossed $98 million. There was no word Tuesday on what the dollar figure meant in terms of the number of seats sold. The highest priced seats on the current 60-date, 43-city Stones tour cost $50, while they went for a top price of $30 in '89. Pink Floyd's tickets sold for up to $75. The "Voodoo Lounge" show will stop at the Rose Bowl Oct. 19 and 21 and conclude Dec. 18 in Vancouver, Canada.

TELEVISION

Showtime Expands Output: Cable's Showtime network on Tuesday announced a $150-million movie production budget that would triple its output to include more than 40 movies in 1995. The network, which had previously premiered 12 to 15 original films annually, said it would offer a weekly movie showcase as well as several themed film series including "Thrillers," "Sci-Fi," "Sequels/Remakes," "Kids" and the previously announced "Comedy From National Lampoon." Among the new projects announced Tuesday were two features from best-selling author Kurt Vonnegut, an action drama starring Lou Diamond Phillips, the directorial debut of actor Jon Voight and a new series of six one-hour programs tracing the evolution of sex and censorship in motion pictures.

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Burns Turns to Jefferson: One week after his 18 1/2-hour "Baseball" documentary completed its run on PBS, Ken Burns' spokesperson has disclosed the director's next project. Burns will examine the life and career of the third U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson, in a 90-minute or two-hour program scheduled to air on PBS in 1996. Burns, 41, will also be executive producer of director Steven Ives' documentary miniseries, tentatively titled "The West," which also is set to air on PBS in 1996.

MOVIES

Diversity Slate: A coalition of 11 Latinos, one African American and one Asian American are running as a slate in the Screen Actors Guild's Nov. 4 board of directors election. Twenty-three seats are open. The candidates, part of the Performers for Performers Committee, are advocating increased minority representation in the entertainment industry.

QUICK TAKES

Court TV will turn its highly rated weekly syndicated show "Inside America's Courts" into a daily syndicated program to be offered to local stations starting next fall. . . . Cable's Comedy Central teams with Los Angeles' Laugh Factory and 19 other comedy clubs in the United States and Canada tonight for a national fund-raising night, "Laugh for a Cause." Proceeds will go to the American Red Cross' Rwanda relief program.

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