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L.a. Arts Festival

September 05, 1987

All the hoopla about the L.A. Arts Festival will not ease the pain from when Robert Fitzpatrick and the 1984 sponsors of the L.A. Olympic Arts Festival canceled out Robert Wilson's "the CIVIL warS."

My memory says that at the time of the cancellation, both (Times Music Critic) Martin Bernheimer and (Times Theater Critic) Dan Sullivan regretted, and expressed disappointment, that a true American original for the Olympic Arts Festival had been lost.

Fitzpatrick also stated at the time of the cancellation that if and when an L.A. Arts Festival would be revived, he would consider Wilson's "the CIVIL warS." Instead the arts festival has underwritten the Indian play "Mahabharata" at a cost greater than Wilson's epoch opera. Brook's "Mahabharata" translation alone is costing $400,000.

What a pity that Los Angeles has lost another opportunity to produce Wilson's work.

ALBERT SCHOENFIELD

Rancho Palos Verdes

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