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President Barack Obama to grant Fox News an interview

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Also: David Mamet's 'Oleanna' will close Jan. 3.

November 18, 2009

Fox will interview Obama

President Obama will give an interview to Fox News Channel's Major Garrett, perhaps signaling a thaw in relations between the network and administration.

The White House confirmed Tuesday that Garrett would be included among a round of network interviews that the president is giving today in Beijing. Fox and the administration have been in a public fight since former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn said the network acted like the research or communications arm of the Republican Party. The president pointedly avoided Fox when he gave a round of interviews to Sunday shows about his healthcare plan.

Garrett, Fox's senior White House correspondent and a CNN reporter before moving to Fox, will have 10 minutes with the president.

-- associated press 'Oleanna' will close Jan. 3

Class soon will be dismissed for David Mamet's "Oleanna."

The Broadway premiere of his 1992 play, starring Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles, has posted a closing notice. Producers of the intense, two-person drama about sexual politics in a university town said the play would close Jan. 3 at the John Golden Theatre.

Directed by Doug Hughes, the production of "Oleanna" first opened at the Mark Taper Forum in L.A. in June featuring the same cast. It opened on Broadway in October, receiving mixed to positive reviews.

In a statement, producer Jeffrey Finn said: "We've had great audiences since September, and as our sales are concentrated through the holidays, January feels like the right time to end."

-- David Ng Opera inspired by a freeway

Los Angeles Opera said Tuesday that it would present two workshop performances of a new commission called "The 110 Project," an opera that tells the stories of the communities along L.A.'s 110 Freeway, which runs from the Pasadena area, past downtown and south to San Pedro.

Commissioned by the company's Education and Community Programs department, the new work features music by Laura Karpman and a libretto by author MG Lord and Shannon Halwes. According to L.A. Opera, "The 110 Project" tells the story of four central characters as it travels through 70 years of L.A. history starting with the birth of the space program in Pasadena's Arroyo Seco in 1939 to downtown Los Angeles at midcentury and concluding at the port of San Pedro in the present day.

The music is said to be inspired by freeway sounds as well as cultural and historic source material. In addition, the singers will make up "a freeway chorus that scats and honks its commentary," said L.A. Opera.

-- David Ng Decision on Polanski nears

Swiss justice officials said they would decide within the next few weeks whether to allow Roman Polanski to go free on bail.

Polanski is behind bars in a Zurich prison, awaiting possible extradition to Los Angeles to face sentencing after he pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl more than 30 years ago. Polanski fled the country just before sentencing from a judge that the director felt was treating him unfairly. Polanski has said he would fight extradition.

"A decision on the matter will probably be issued in the next two to three weeks," Mascia Gregori Al-Barafi told the AFP news agency.

Swiss officials have said Polanski would face up to two years in prison if he returned to Los Angeles.

-- Shelby Grad Books explain Sistine frescoes

A series of four books presented Tuesday at the Vatican seeks to explain how Michelangelo and other artists translated the Bible into images to produce in the Sistine Chapel some of the world's most renowned frescoes.

The first volume focuses on Michelangelo's ceiling and its scenes from the book of Genesis and the creation of the world. Vatican Museums director Antonio Paolucci said the volume offers a "basic code" to understand the symbols and scenes that adorn the room where popes are elected.

"Everybody knows the Sistine Chapel, but how many can recognize the scenes?" Paolucci said Tuesday at a book launch just steps away from the Sistine Chapel. He said the book succeeded in clarifying "the infinite forest of symbols that are all linked to each other" in the ceiling that the Renaissance master painted between 1508-12.

-- associated press Finally

MTV has acquired the rights to air "Michael Jackson's This Is It" documentary in 2011.

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