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  • Surprise Civic Center doubles up on art Sept. 8

    It’s an evening of art at Surprise Civic Center on Sept. 8.Experience a showcase of fine art photography at Surprise City Hall, followed by an art exhibition at Arts HQ.The city of Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission is hosting an event featuring the photography work of artist Archie Tucker in the Mayor’s Atrium of Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, from 4 to 5 p.m.Then from 5 to 7 p.m., Arts HQ presents the opening reception for its exhibit, Exhibicion de Arte, at its gallery at 16126 N Civic Center Plaza.Both events are free.For information on the showcase, call 623-214-7537. For information on the Arts HQ exhibit, call 623-584-2626.

  • Comic performer Gene Wilder kept his serious side off camera

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Revered as a comedic and storytelling genius by Hollywood's top entertainers, Gene Wilder was a humble man who downplayed his comic gifts, was a serious director and remained deferential to his longtime collaborator, Mel Brooks."I am him in fantasy," Wilder once said of playing the lead in Brooks' films.After Wilder's death was announced Monday, Brooks called his colleague "one of the truly great talents of our time.""He blessed every film we did together with his special magic and he blessed my life with his friendship," Brooks said in a statement. "He will be so missed."Wilder died Sunday night of complications from Alzheimer's disease at age 83. His nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman, said Wilder was diagnosed with the disease three years ago, but kept the condition private so as not to disappoint fans.Though Wilder started his acting career on the stage, millions knew him from his work in the movies, especially the ones he made with Brooks, such as "The Producers," ''Blazing Saddles" and "Young Frankenstein." The last film — with Wilder playing a California-born descendant of the mad scientist, insisting that his name is pronounced "Frahn-ken-SHTEEN" — was co-written by Brooks and Wilder and earned the pair an Oscar nod for adapted screenplay.

  • Lost heritage: Quake deals blow to Italy's art treasures

    ROME (AP) — Within hours of last week's devastating earthquake in central Italy, members of the national police squad of art experts were already exploring the mounds of rubble in several medieval hill towns.They have photographed hundreds of centuries-old churches with missing roofs, torn-away frescoes or gaping holes where stained glass once filtered sunlight. The quake and several powerful aftershocks dealt the latest blow to Italy's long-deteriorating abundance of art and architecture.Even without nature's fury, monumental fountains, churches and ancient Roman ruins were already vulnerable to car exhaust fumes, vandalism and other human-inflicted damage.Italy's most urgent priorities are to ensure shelter for those needing a safe roof after Wednesday's temblor and to keep digging for any more victims' bodies. But the stricken region's cultural heritage of medieval paintings, sculptures, bell towers and other monuments is vitally entwined with inhabitants' daily lives and intrinsic to Italy's international reputation as a treasure trove of art.No artworks with the cachet of a Leonardo, Michelangelo or Giotto are among those lost in the quake. But art historians stress that local art of whatever pedigree helps to explain the cultural and artistic contexts that inspired the great masters. And just as importantly, local pride over this artistic heritage in churches or piazzas binds these centuries-old towns to their past."The icons of these towns are dear to the hearts of the locals," said Cristiana Collu, who trained as a medieval art historian and was recently named director of the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome. "Life is precious, but it's also precious because of these memories" of the artistic past, Collu said in an interview with The Associated Press.

'Miss Saigon' to appear on movie screens before Broadway

NEW YORK (AP) — American audiences will get the rare chance to catch a sneak peek of the new "Miss Saigon" before it opens on Broadway next spring. They just have to go to a movie theater.

  • icon Posted: August 23

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Lost heritage: Quake deals blow to Italy's art treasures

ROME (AP) — Within hours of last week's devastating earthquake in central Italy, members of the national police squad of art experts were already exploring the mounds of rubble in several medieval hill towns.

  • icon Posted: August 30

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