Fights Back Against Sales Taxes In Three States

“Seattle-based Amazon notified associates” – independent Web sites which link readers to the e-tailer in exchange for a commission on any resulting sales – “in Rhode Island and Hawaii that the company was no longer working with them as of Monday and Tuesday, respectively, because the states have passed laws to collect sales taxes on these transactions.” This move follows similar action by Amazon against associates in North Carolina.

Things Aren’t Really That Bad At The Belgrade Philharmonic

That newspaper ad last month offering the musicians’ services “at weddings, funerals, baptisms, birthdays, divorces and saints’ days”? The orchestra’s music director says, “This was our way of drawing the attention of a broader public to the problems of the Philharmonic, to somehow present our financial problems in an absurd, Monty Python way.” And it worked: “Within 36 hours a Facebook support group had sprung up with several thousand members … [and] the advertisement attracted a surge of support from new, younger music fans.”

John Malkovich As A Latter-Day Jack The Ripper

In The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer, a chamber music-theater piece opening this week in Vienna, Malkovich plays Jack Unterweger, an Austrian poet/journalist/murderer who was released from prison in 1990 following a campaign by “Viennese cafe intellectuals” – and went on to kill 11 prostitutes by strangling them with their bra straps. “[A]s a journalist for the state broadcaster, he was reporting on the very crime wave for which he was responsible.”

Skylight Opera’s Fired A.D. To Direct Four Shows There

“William Theisen, recently ousted as artistic director of the Skylight Opera Theatre, has agreed to return to direct ‘The Barber of Seville,’ ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ and ‘Forever Plaid'” as well as one other show there next season. “Theisen said his decision to direct for the company in no way endorses his firing, carried out by the executive committee of the board of directors and managing director Eric Dillner.”

From Austria, Sound And Fury Over Goodman Cancellation

By cutting “Joan D’Arc” from its fall lineup, saying the show wasn’t ready for Chicago, the Goodman Theatre has enraged its producing partner, Austria’s Linz09 festival. “We are appalled by the Goodman Theatre’s actions and wording as it represents an insult to the artistic integrity of the project and the work of all involved artists,” wrote the festival’s Airan Berg, who called the Goodman’s decision “censorship.”

Fired Over Wolverine Review, Columnist Sues For $5 Million

“Gossip columnist Roger Friedman wants more than $5 million in lost wages and damages from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. for firing him after he reviewed the company’s ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ based on a pirated copy of the movie. In a suit filed in New York State Supreme Court on Monday, Friedman says he was fired from his $250,000-a-year job (no, that’s not a typo) as a columnist and contributor to Fox News illegally.”

MOCA Curator To Direct Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum

“Ann Goldstein, a 25-year veteran of Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art and its senior curator since 2001, has been appointed general artistic director of the Stedelijk Museum, a leading modern and contemporary art institution in Amsterdam. … Goldstein said that the Los Angeles museum’s financial troubles played no part in her decision to move to Amsterdam.”

When Film Producers Want Your School For A Set

“Los Angeles Unified schools made $1.756 million last year from filming, led by the 48 days at Birmingham High in Van Nuys, 47 days at University High in West Los Angeles and 34 days at Le Conte Middle School in Hollywood, according to FilmLA, the nonprofit that coordinates on-location permits for the city and much of Los Angeles County. … But El Segundo High holds a special place in the hearts of filmmakers,” whose frequent presence in the area is angering the neighbors.

Illinois A.G. Reaches Deal With Ticketmaster Subsidiary

“Ticketmaster unit TicketsNow has agreed to curb deceptive tactics and pay $50,000 for consumer-fraud enforcement and education in an agreement with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan after her investigation into the unit’s marketing practices. … As part of the deal with Ms. Madigan’s office, TicketsNow will stop operating Web sites that have misleading domain names or other deceptive tactics.”