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Curtain Going Up On A New Season


This is the time of year where, with summer heaving its last gasp, the theater takes a pause too while looking ahead to a new season.

The upcoming rosters of plays for the Mark Taper Forum and the South Coast Repertory have already been announced. The Old Globe's '87 season begins Nov. 29 when A. R. Gurney's "Another Antigone," set in an academic environment, opens at the Cassius Carter. Lyle Kessler's play about brothers, "Orphans," follows Jan. 24 and the Craig Lucas-Norman Rene compendium of Stephen Sondheim songs, "Marry Me a Little," opens March 21.

The main stage season gets under way Dec. 4 with Alan Ayckbourn's "Intimate Exchanges," followed by Stephen Metcalfe's play about celebrity in America, "The Incredibly Famous Willy Rivers," on Jan. 24. Either an American musical or Peter Parnell's "Romance Language" will round out the season March 26.

Subscribers will also enjoy a bonus--priority seating for Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess," which Globe Artistic Director Jack O'Brien will stage at the Civic Theatre. The San Diego Opera is presenting the event, and Globe subscriber night is March 8. The same offer holds true for the Guthrie Theatre of Minneapolis' production of Shaw's "Candida," which will be performed at the East County Performing Arts Center in El Cajon. Globe night is April 25.

The Old Globe's production of "Richard II," starring Brian Bedford (closing today), has been videotaped for the Theatre on Film and Tape archive of the Billy Rose Theatrical Collection at the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center. As Fats Waller used to say, "This place is jumpin'."

Information: (619) 239-2255.

The newly formed California Music Theatre begins its season Feb. 19 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium with Frank Loesser's "The Most Happy Fella," starring John Raitt. "Call Me Madam," with Jo Ann Worley, follows May 7. "The Desert Song" opens Oct. 8, 1987, and the season closes out with "She Loves Me," which begins Dec. 10, 1987. Gary Davis is artistic director and Lars Hansen managing director. They worked together at the Long Beach Civic Light Opera until a few seasons ago. Information: (818) 356-SHOW.

Room for Theatre in Studio City opens George S. Kaufman's "The Butter and Egg Man" Oct. 23. George Bernard Shaw's "Don Juan in Hell" follows Jan. 15. S. N. Behrman's "Rain From Heaven" opens March 19. For a May 21 opening, Norman Cohen adapts Philip Barry's "In a Garden" and Aminadav Aloni supplies original music for the romantic comedy that looks into the saying "Every man's wife is another man's mistress." Just when we thought the valley was cooling down.

Information: (818) 509-0459.

Regular openings for the week include, today, the La Jolla PLayhouse production of "Ajax;" Tuesday, "Mama, I Want To Sing" at the Wiltern and "Icons Personified" at the Deja Vu; Friday, Mark Medoff's "The Wager" at the Estelle Harman, and a new work called "Missions" at Theatre Exchange. On Saturday, "The Theory of Relativity" plays one performance at the Powerhouse in Santa Monica, and James A. Lee and Sally Champlin's "Don't Say Anything" opens at the Beverly Hills Early Evening Theater. Also on Saturday, Jerry Fey's "Indecent Acts" opens at the McCadden Place Theatre. Maybe they should go on a double bill.

The Performing Arts Theatre of the Handicapped, which operates free workshops for disabled actors and actresses in Los Angeles and San Diego, is updating its casting directory, which is distributed throughout the entertainment industry. The listing is free. Any disabled actor or actress who wants to be included should send an 8x10 glossy head-and-shoulders photo with name, home phone, union affiliation, agent's name and other resume information (including nature of disability) to P.A.T.H. Directory, P.O. Box 3106, Carlsbad, Calif. 92008. Application deadline closes at the end of the year.

Hispanic theater companies throughout the country are getting a leg up from the Ford Foundation. The latest announcement concerning California mentions grants to El Teatro Campesino ($50,000 for a new operational plan and administrative reorganization); El Teatro de la Esperanza in Santa Barbara ($115,000 to help the theater expand to an urban-based resident theater with a touring company), and the Old Globe in San Diego ($75,013 to produce works by Latino playwrights and to train Hispanic performers). That place is really jumpin', but what's the $13 for?

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