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Theatre Center Lists Opening Roster Of Plays


The Los Angeles Theatre Center, the most ambitious new theater project in the city, has completed its opening roster of plays and directors.

Sept. 19, the English language translation of Chekhov's "The Three Sisters" opens at Theatre One. Michael Frayne ("Noises Off") is translator. Stein Winge, the artistic director of the experimental wing of the National Theatre of Norway, directs.

Sept. 26, Sam Shepard's "Fool For Love" has its Los Angeles premiere at Theatre Two. It's a co-production by the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, where it premiered, the Circle Repertory Theatre in New York and the LATC. The production will utilize Shepard's original staging, though whether he'll be here to direct is not yet known. "The play is coming full circle," according to Artistic Director William Bushnell. "It had its first reading at the Los Angeles Actors Theatre with Jessica Lange, Joe Spano and Frank McCarthy."

Sept., 19, William Mastrosimone's English-language premiere of "Nanawatai!" opens Theatre Three (it premiered in 1984 in Bergen, Norway). Lamont Johnson directs.

Also on Sept. 19, Greg Mehrten's "It's a Man's World," a joint production of the Mabou Mines and LATC, opens Theatre Four. David Schweitzer directs.

The center has entered a new negotiating phase with the city to ensure a firmer fiscal structure. Details are not available. According to Bushnell, "It's too delicate to talk about right now."

The theater's construction is expected to be completed July 22. The whole thing will have its grand opening Sept. 20. The entire Los Angeles arts community is looking closely at the center to see if it's really an idea whose time has come.

Robert Fosse will direct "Sweet Charity," which opens July 16 for the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Rumor has it that Gwen Verdon will also offer some notes to Debbie Allen, who stars, on the way it was in the beginning.

There'll be no summer hiatus either for playwright-author Donald Freed. His re-working of an older play on Shakespeare, once called "Will" and now entitled "Shakespeare, 1614--Alive!" opens in August at the Grove Shakespeare Festival, starring collaborator Geoffrey Forward (whom Freed describes as "a masculine Ian MacLellan"). "The White Crow" begins previews week with Uta Hagen and Herbert Berghof at their Manhattan studio. Daniel Selznick directs.

Robert Altman's film version of "Secret Honor," which Freed co-authored with Arnold M. Stone, has won the critics prize at the Berlin Film Festival. "The Quartered Man," which deals with the CIA's role in Nicaragua, has been optioned for the Los Angeles Theatre Center. Harold Pinter will direct "Circe and Bravo" in London's West End this fall.

The League of Producers and Theatres of Greater Los Angeles is hosting a panel discussion and lunch with some of Los Angeles leading theater critics and producers Tuesday at noon. Critics include Bill Edwards (Daily Variety), Lee Melville (Drama-Logue), Jay Reiner (Daily News), Dan Sullivan (Los Angeles Times) and Jack Viertel (Los Angeles Herald Examiner). Peg Yorkin will moderate. The public is invited. For further information and reservations, call (213) 461-0131.

The Ira Aldridge Awards, an acting competition sponsored by Ted Lange, takes place at the Ambassador Hotel's Cocoanut Grove Friday evening. Lange and a panel of celebrity judges and guests include Ricardo Montalban, Robert Guillaume, Glynn Turman, Garrett Morris, Susan Strasberg, Marla Gibbs and Marguerite Ray, among others. The two winning actors will each receive $1000. For information and reservations, call the Inner City Cultural Center at (213) 387-1161.

"As It Is in Texas," a solo revue written and performed by poet-performance artist Jo Harvey Allen, plays Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Gallery Theatre in Barnsdall Park. For information and reservations: (213) 485-4581.

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