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Quick Takes: Scarlett Johansson cast in 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'

September 21, 2012

Scarlett Johansson and Benjamin Walker are officially set to get all hot and bothered in the upcoming Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." The actors will play Maggie and Brick in a new production that is expected to open Jan. 17 at New York's Richard Rodgers Theatre.

The revival, which begins previews in December, marks Johansson's return to the stage following her Tony-winning performance in the 2010 Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge."

The Pulitzer Prize-winning play has been revived several times on Broadway, including a 2008 production starring Terrence Howard and Anika Noni Rose; a 2003 production with Jason Patric and Ashley Judd; and a 1990 production starring Kathleen Turner. The 1958 film version starred Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor.

—David Ng

Polanski to adapt 'Venus in Fur'

Roman Polanski is headed back to the Broadway well.

The controversial Polish-born director, who last adapted the stage hit "God of Carnage" for the screen, will tackle "Venus in Fur," David Ives' Tony Award-winning comedy-drama that opened on Broadway last year.

Polanski, who lives in Paris, will shoot the movie in French, with his wife, Emmanuelle Seigner ("The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," "Frantic"), taking on the role that Nina Arianda made popular. Polanski and Ives are writing the screenplay.

A spokesman for Lionsgate said Polanski aims to make "Venus" his next film, with shooting scheduled to begin in November.

—Steven Zeitchik

Alumna gives big to Michigan

An art and design graduate of the University of Michigan and her husband are making a $32.5-million donation to her former program, the school announced Thursday.

Penny and E. Roe Stamps of Miami are giving the art-and-design school $32.5 million, and the university is making a matching gift of $7.5 million, the university said.

Penny Stamps graduated from the design school in 1966. Now retired, she founded and for years served as principal designer for Boston-based Penny W. Stamps Interiors.

—Associated Press

Curators named for next biennial

Just a couple weeks after the closing of its 2012 "Made in L.A." biennial, the Hammer Museum has chosen curators for its 2014 event.

The museum has tapped two independent writer-curators who live in L.A.: Karin Higa and Michael Ned Holte.

Higa made her name here as a curator at the Japanese American National Museum from 1992 to 2006, serving as senior curator for a good part of that time.

Holte is best known as an art critic who writes for magazines such as Artforum and teaches at the California Institute of the Arts.

—Jori Finkel

Smithsonian takes out ads

The most-visited museums in the U.S. are about to launch their first-ever national advertising campaign to connect more people with the Smithsonian Institution online, in schools or in the museums themselves.

The 166-year-old museum complex unveiled its ad strategy Thursday with a new tagline declaring the Smithsonian and its research are "Seriously Amazing" for learning. The goal is to reintroduce the museums as more than once-in-a-lifetime destinations.

By October, ads will appear on websites and on buses and billboards in L.A., New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington.

The campaign cost $1.4 million, paid for by a mix of private and federal funds.

—Associated Press

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