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Quick Takes

December 07, 2012

Major purchase at Getty

Timothy Potts has made his first major purchase as the new Getty Museum director: He bought Lieven van Lathem's illuminated manuscript Roman de Gillion de Trazegnies for $6.2 million at Sotheby's Wednesday night in London.

The manuscript includes eight half-page miniatures. There are only three other manuscripts containing this story of a nobleman's adventures in Egypt.

In a statement, Potts called it a "richly illustrated manuscript by the greatest illuminator of the Flemish High Renaissance."

—Jori Finkel

Local theater head moving on

Dámaso Rodriguez — a familiar presence in the Southern California theater scene for his work at the Pasadena Playhouse and the Furious Theatre Company — has been named artistic director of the Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, Ore.

Rodriguez will step down as co-artistic director of the Furious and will move to Portland for the new job, which begins in January.

Earlier this year, Rodriguez directed a revival of "The Heiress" at the Pasadena Playhouse. He worked as the company's associate artistic director from 2007 to 2010, when the playhouse temporarily shut down because of financial difficulties.

—David Ng

Art Basel opens in Miami Beach

Tens of thousands of people were expected to attend the 11th annual Art Basel Miami Beach that opened Thursday, one of the world's most prestigious contemporary art fairs.

A rum-running skeleton, red Lego pieces stacked into a starry flare and man-sized vampire fangs are among Picassos and thousands of other paintings, photographs and sculptures on display through Sunday.

In conjunction with Art Basel, about two dozen other fairs also opened across Miami on Thursday with gimmicks that organizers hope will attract collectors, critics, charitable donors and partygoers. A Bugatti has become a drivable painting, a menacing dog looms over a South Beach hotel and a scattering of Steinway pianos have been transformed by teams of artists for pop-up concerts.

—Associated Press

'Honeymooners' to hit the stage

"The Honeymooners" lasted only one season as a weekly television series, but its legacy in the world of comedy has been far more enduring, thanks to reruns and DVD. Next year, a new stage musical adapted from the classic Jackie Gleason sitcom will premiere at the Old Globe in San Diego.

The production, set to open Sept. 22, will star Michael McGrath in the role of Ralph Kramden, originated on TV by Gleason. McGrath won a Tony Award this year for his supporting performance in the musical "Nice Work If You Can Get It." No additional casting has been announced.

The plot of the musical follows pals Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton (the role originated on TV by Art Carney) as they enter a jingle contest and win. Their success takes them from working-class Brooklyn to the skyscrapers of Manhattan.

"The Honeymooners" is scheduled to begin preview performances Sept. 8 and to run through Oct. 27.

—David Ng

A twist on TV nominations

The broadcast networks were shut out of nominations for drama series in the Writers Guild of America's television awards.

Instead, nominations went Thursday to the writers of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" and "Game of Thrones," AMC's "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men," and Showtime's "Heartland."

The networks fared better in the best comedy category, with nominations for NBC's "30 Rock" and "Parks and Recreation" and ABC's "Modern Family," along with HBO's "Girls" and FX's "Louie."

The winners will be announced Feb. 17. (The full list of nominations is online at latimes.com/showtracker.)

—From a Times staff writer

Nefertiti at center of show

A famed bust of Egypt's Queen Nefertiti is getting new company to mark the centenary of its discovery: an exhibition of works giving a taste of the site where it was found.

The show, "In the Light of Amarna — 100 Years of the Nefertiti Discovery," opened at Berlin's Neues Museum on Thursday — a century to the day after a German excavator unearthed the 3,300-year-old limestone bust of the wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten in southern Egypt.

Nefertiti is the centerpiece of the show of some 600 objects. They range from a bust of Akhenaton himself, through fragments from the workshop where Nefertiti was found, to remains of ancient Egyptian homes.

—Associated Press

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