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Quick Takes

April 13, 2012

Geffen sets new season

New and recent plays by Lynn Nottage and Donald Margulies will be among the highlights of the Geffen Playhouse's 2012-13 season, the first complete one since the death late last year of Gil Cates, the company's founder and producing director.

Nottage's "By the Way, Meet Vera Stark," a period comedy about an African American woman trying to make it in Hollywood as an actress, will kick off the season at the Westwood theater in September.

Cates commissioned Margulies to write a Christmas play with the intention that it will be presented each year during the holiday season. "Coney Island Christmas," adapted from a short story by Grace Paley, tells of a young girl cast as Jesus in a school play.

Other productions will include Joanna Murray-Smith's "The Gift," an adaptation of August Strindberg's "Miss Julie" by Neil LaBute, a revival of David Mamet's "American Buffalo," and "The Judy Show," a comedic memoir by Judy Gold and Kate Moira Ryan.

—David Ng

Stolen Cezanne is recovered

Police from Serbia and Switzerland have recovered a Paul Cezanne masterpiece that was stolen from a Swiss museum in 2008. The police captured four men as they were trying to sell it, officials said Thursday.

A Swiss expert authenticated "The Boy in the Red Vest" by the French Impressionist, stolen from E.G. Buhrle Collection in Zurich along with masterpieces by Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh and Edgar Degas. It was valued at $110 million when stolen.

—Associated Press

A Rowling book for grown-ups

J.K. Rowling's first book for adults is called "The Casual Vacancy" and will be published worldwide Sept. 27, publisher Little, Brown said.

The company described it as a "darkly comic" story about conflict in a small town. It is not quite 500 pages long.

Unlike Rowling's Harry Potter books, the novel will be released simultaneously as a print book and as an e-book.

—Carolyn Kellogg

Allen's 'Rome'

to open L.A. fest

After whisking audiences to France last year with "Midnight in Paris," Woody Allen is bringing another Europe-set comedy to the big screen with this year's "To Rome With Love." Film Independent announced Thursday that the movie will open the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 14.

Written and directed by Allen, "To Rome With Love" marks the filmmaker's first on-screen role since 2006's "Scoop." Also starring are Ellen Page, Jesse Eisenberg, Alec Baldwin, Penélope Cruz and Greta Gerwig.

"To Rome With Love" opens in Italy on April 20, and Sony Pictures Classics will distribute the film in the U.S. for a limited release on June 22.

The Los Angeles Film Festival, sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, runs June 14 through 24 and will screen more than 200 feature films, shorts and music videos. Passes are on sale to past festival attendees and Film Independent members and will be available to the public April 22.

—Emily Rome

'Revolution' will end; soap stays

ABC has decided to pull the plug on its daytime self-help show "The Revolution." It will leave the air in early July.

The network also announced that its one remaining daytime soap opera, the 49-year-old "General Hospital," will keep going — a relief to fans considering there had been speculation about what would happen to the struggling sudser with Katie Couric's new talk show in line to take over its 3 p.m. slot come fall.

—Yvonne Villarreal

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