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STAGE BEAT

Fringe Festival : 'Across The Way' Sublime, Beguiling

September 11, 1987|RAY LOYND

The great mimes have been white. Hayward Coleman is the first black to join the mime Pantheon. The French call him "Le Nijinski du Mime." His technique is mime Yoga which has been aptly described as "meditation in motion." But don't start nodding off. You don't have to be a Tibetan Buddhist to be enthralled by Coleman's altered states.

His show is called "Across the Way" (and shares a double bill with a strong solo performance by actress Eve Sigall entitled "Apartment"). The production performs only the next three late Saturday nights at 2nd Stage, and it's a must.

Coleman is a mime who talks a little (jocularly setting up routines). His manner is winsome, sublime, beguiling. He's a sly comic and gymnast/acrobat, seemingly weightless and jointless.

Unlike Marcel Marceau, with whom he studied, Coleman weds Eastern influences (such as Bhagavad Gita) to his practice of mind control. He becomes whatever he sees: warrior, swimmer, astronaut, liberated woman, macho man.

The other show, "Apartment," is a brash, chameleon-like, psychological self-portrait, conceived and jauntily performed by Eve Sigall, and written by Marc Mantell. Sigall's sleepless night utilizes telling costume changes and props from a ratty apartment set (check out the fridge). Altered states is once again the subject, albeit of a personal terrain. The material is nominally a tour de force, looping past and future as in a strident dream.

Performances are at 6500 Santa Monica Blvd., Saturday, 10:30 p.m., through Sept. 26. Tickets: $7; (213) 466-1767.

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