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Quick Takes: 'Glengarry' recoups

December 20, 2012

The Broadway season has not been kind to David Mamet. The playwright has seen his new drama "The Anarchist" close after less than a month, and a highly touted revival of "Glengarry Glen Ross," starring Al Pacino, has earned unenthusiastic reviews.

Finally, there was some good news for Mamet on Wednesday. The producers of "Glengarry" announced that the revival has recouped its reported initial investment of $3.3 million.

It is the first Broadway production of the 2011-12 season to do so, they said.

The news should not come as much of a surprise to people who have paid to see "Glengarry." The top ticket price is $350, the highest for any play on Broadway. The average cost of a ticket is $145, more than any other show except "The Book of Mormon."

—David Ng

Affleck seeks help for Congo

He's best known as an actor and a filmmaker, but Ben Affleck has a special interest in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and on Wednesday the "Argo" director testified before the House Armed Services Committee about what Affleck termed "the deadliest conflict since World War II."

Affleck, the founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative, an advocacy and grant-making organization committed to peaceful solutions in the war-torn African nation, appeared on a panel with academic experts and government officials to address what the United States might do to help the country of some 68 million people.

Affleck specifically asked that the Unites States use its leverage within the United Nations and with nations bordering the DRC to help stem the violence, poverty and disease that have killed more than 5 million people since 1998.

—John Horn

Pop stars inspire stage musical

Some key figures who helped manage Michael Jackson's career are teaming up to create a stage musical about the behind-the-scenes-making of a superstar that producers call a cross between "GoodFellas" and "Dreamgirls."

Producers Mark Lamica, Quincy Krashna, Jerry Greenberg, Raymond Del Barrio and Larry Hart will join forces to present "The Man," a fictional show inspired by the rises of Jackson, Elvis Presley and Whitney Houston. The story will be told through the eyes of a manager.

"The Man," with a book by Lamica and Grammy Award-winning composer Hart, is expected to open in Las Vegas in the fall of 2013.

—associated press

KCET awarded for budget report

Independent L.A. public-television station KCET is one of 14 winners of the prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for excellence in public service reporting.

KCET was lauded for an installment of "SoCal Connected" that looked at the effect of state budget cuts on the Los Angeles Dependency Court.

Other winners announced Wednesday by the Columbia Journalism School included two programs on PBS' "Frontline" series, "The Interrupters" and "Opium Brides," and Clarissa Ward's reporting on the Syrian uprisings for "CBS News With Scott Pelley." NPR also won for its Syrian coverage, with correspondents Deb Amos and Kelly McEvers receiving special recognition.

—Lee Margulies

Wong Kar-wai gets Berlin berth

Chinese director Wong Kar-wai's martial arts epic "The Grandmaster" will have its international premiere at next year's Berlin Film Festival.

Organizers say the film, starring Tony Leung, Ziyi Zhang and Chang Chen in a 1930s-set drama about the life of martial arts expert Yip Man, will open the festival, which runs Feb. 7-17.

Shanghai-born Wong also will lead the jury at the 63rd edition of the festival.

—Associated Press

Finally

Renewed: MTV has ordered a second season of the dating show "Catfish: The TV Series."

Honored: The production designers of the 23 James Bond films — Ken Adam, Peter Lamont, Allan Cameron and Dennis Gassner — will receive the Art Directors Guild's Cinematic Imagery Award on Feb. 2. The award honors people "whose body of work in the film industry has richly enhanced the visual aspects of the movie-going experience."

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