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THEATER SEASON HAS LOT TO OFFER : World Premieres, Oldies Compete on the Fall Menu

September 25, 1987|CATHY DE MAYO and MARK CHALON SMITH

Who says there are no seasons in Southern California? Nature may not cooperate by turning the leaves rust and gold, but there are other reliable signposts to announce the arrival of fall. Look no further than the start of the new theater season.

This year, Orange County theaters and colleges will be offering the traditional mix of dramas, comedies and musicals, supplementing the familiar with a number of world, American and West Coast premieres.

South Coast Repertory audiences will get the first look anywhere at "Prelude to a Kiss," the latest work by Craig Lucas, whose "Three Postcards" premiered at the Costa Mesa theater last year. Also at SCR, "V & V Only" by Jim Leonard Jr. will make its world premiere, "Golden Girls" by Louise Page will make its American premiere and "Haut Gout" by Allan Havis will make its West Coast premiere. Stop-Gap will stage the world premiere of a new drama confronting the AIDS crisis, "Listen to the Dreaming," in Laguna Beach, and new student scripts will make their debuts at Cal State Fullerton and two community colleges.

Other promising productions include two recent comedies dealing with the experience of being female in America, "Mrs. California" by Doris Baizley (opening at the Gem Theatre in Garden Grove in February and at Cal State Fullerton in March) and "Isn't It Romantic" by Wendy Wasserstein (at the Newport Theatre Arts Center in November).

The musical that seems to have at least nine lives of its own, "Cats," will arrive in Orange County this season, at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. And wedged among the expected Gilbert and Sullivan, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Lerner and Loewe revivals are two musical revues: "Hot Tkts!," a look at contemporary Broadway that will premiere at UC Irvine, and "No Mother but Jazz," a tribute to Cole Porter, at Newport Theatre Arts Center.

Here is an overview of what will play Orange County stages this season:

PROFESSIONAL

Grove Theatre Company: "Sherlock's Last Case," Oct. 2-31; "A Child's Christmas in Wales," Nov. 20-Dec. 19; "Vikings," Jan. 15-Feb. 13; "Mrs. California," Feb. 26-March 26; "The Night of the Iguana," April 8-May 7; "Pump Boys and Dinettes" (subject to availability), May 20-June 25. (Gem Theatre, 12852 Main St., Garden Grove, (714( 636-7213.)

Orange County Performing Arts Center: "My One and Only," Oct. 21-25; "South Pacific," Jan. 5-10; "Me and My Girl," May 3-8; "Can Can," July 26-31; "Cats," dates to be announced. (600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, (714) 556-ARTS)

South Coast Repertory: On the Mainstage, "Misalliance," Sept. 11-Oct. 15; "Glengarry Glen Ross," Oct. 30-Dec. 3; "Prelude to a Kiss" (world premiere), Jan. 15-Feb. 18; "Aunt Dan and Lemon," March 4-April 7; "The School for Scandal," April 22-May 29; "Golden Girls" (American premiere), June 10-July 14. On the Second Stage, "Haut Gout" (West Coast premiere), Sept. 25-Oct. 25; "Benefactors," Nov. 13-Dec. 13; "V & V Only" (world premiere), March 18-April 17, and two new plays to be announced, Jan. 19-Feb. 28 and May 6-June 5. "A Christmas Carol," offered separately from season subscriptions, will play the Mainstage Dec. 10-27. (655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, (714) 957-4033.)

COLLEGE

Cal State Fullerton: "Bus Stop," Oct. 2-11; "On the Town," Oct. 30-Nov. 8; a new work by a CSUF theater student, "Never on a Holiday," Dec. 4-13; "The Rivals," March 4-13; "Mrs. California," March 17-20; "Look Homeward, Angel," April 22-May 1; "Cloud 9," May 13-22. (800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 773-3371.)

Chapman College: "Once in a Lifetime," Nov. 4-15. (333 N. Glassell St., Orange, (714) 997-6856.)

Cypress College: "West Side Story," Oct. 9-18; and two new plays, "Amelia," Oct. 30-Nov. 7, and "Tainted Love," Dec. 4-12. (9200 Valley View St., Cypress, (714) 821-6320.)

Fullerton College: "Amadeus," Oct. 8-11; "Quilters," Nov. 5-15; "Terra Nova," Dec. 3-13; "Company," March 10-20; a new murder mystery to be announced, May 5-15. (321 E. Chapman, Fullerton, (714) 871-8101.)

Golden West College: "Ladyhouse Blues," Sept. 25-Oct. 4; "The Little Foxes," Nov. 13-22; "Jesus Christ Superstar," March 18-27; "Arsenic and Old Lace," May 6-15. (15744 Golden West St., Huntington Beach, (714) 895-8378.)

Orange Coast College: In the Studio Theatre, "An Evening of Lanford Wilson One-Act Plays," through Sept. 27; "Equus," Oct. 16-25; "24 Hours P.M.," Nov. 19-22; "The Lutz Radio Theatre Christmas Show of 1947," Dec. 3-13; "Seascape with Shark and Dancer," Jan. 22-24; two one-act plays by Pinter and Ionesco, Jan. 29-Feb. 7; "Tom Jones," April 22-May 1; Student One-Act Festival, May 6-8. In the Drama Lab, "House of Blue Leaves," Oct. 1-11; "Merchant of Venice," Nov. 5-15; "The Odd Couple," Feb. 25-March 6; "Death of a Salesman," May 12-22. (2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, (714) 432-5880.)

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