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Los Angels Festival : THEY CAME, SAW AND ENJOYED

September 26, 1987|BARBARA MILLER

The Los Angeles Festival ends Sunday after nearly a month of performances by more than 30 dance, theater and music groups from countries around the world. Which events made the greatest impression? Calendar put that question to several festivalgoers.

" 'La Boheme' was one of the greatest operas I've ever seen. Beautifully done. Placido Domingo and Angelique Burzynski were magnificent. They stole the show. The translation provided (supertitles) also made the opera more interesting, much more agreeable because so many people go and don't understand what's going on. It was money well spent."

--Dr. Armand Hammer, chairman and chief executive officer of Occidental Petroleum.

"I found Monnier-Duroure and Muteki-sha (dance companies) very exciting, very effecting. It (the Festival) is a marvelous opportunity to get a glimpse of what is going on and being seen around the world. I like seeing what is on the minds of emerging artists and mature artists. "

--Barbara Bain, actress.

"La La La Human Steps frightened me at first. I realized after the first 10 minutes that I was seeing something new. One of the lead dancers (Louise Lecavalier) has an amazing presence. The whole performance was relentless. It forced you into what they were doing. I also think 'Sarcophagus' is the most important play I've seen in a long time. It's about living and not living. It was just nerve shattering."

--Bud Cort, actor.

"I saw everything connected with dance. I had seen Michael Clark a few years ago at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and, compared to that, he was much more tame here. I saw more technique and choreography in the piece performed for Festival. Also enjoyed the Armitage Ballet. David Salle's sets just spilled off into the dances and costumes. Everything was just beautiful."

--Joan Agaganian Quinn, member of the California Arts Council.

"I've sent every living human being I know to see one of the most theatrical experiences I've experienced in my life, Le Cirque du Soleil. There are no words to tell you how my family felt. I was able to meet some of the members afterward and was so thrilled, I was tongue-tied. My daughter and I are still trying to rank our favorites."

--Henry Winkler, actor/director.

"I was spellbound by 'Sarcophagus.' What horrified me about it was what would could happen if you lived next to a nuclear plant and what did happen to these poor people. The man (Gregory Wagrowski) who played the lead character was an absolute powerhouse. It was a bit long, but still brilliant. It's something everyone should see."

--Ann Miller, dancer/actress.

"I saw Le Cirque, after which I asked all of my friends to see it. Some of them foolishly didn't go. It was marvelous. Not since the first time I've been to a circus have I experienced this magic. It's so refreshing to see such vibrant, young, beautiful, talented people doing their work so brilliantly."

--Earl Holliman, actor.

"I was very impressed with 'Miss Julie.' The clear cinematic hand of (Ingmar) Bergman was evident, so much so that I came away feeling that it'd be something Strindberg would be comfortable with. It's a statement of the '80s."

--Pippa Scott, actress/producer; president of Linden Productions.

"'The Mahabharata' and the Wooster Group were everything I expected and more. 'Mahabharata' has an incredible group of actors giving their life to what they're doing. They're vocally and physically performing minor miracles. I wanted my children (11 and 15 years old) to experience the diversity of the theater. It was a spiritual event."

--Charles Haid, actor/producer.

"Out of the 10 events I've attended, I really liked the Lyons Opera Ballet's 'Cendrillon.' I'm a great dance aficionado, and this performance was so different. It was really magical, extraordinary. Their masks gave it an unusual, surreal quality. My major regret with the Festival was not being able to see everything."

--Joy Picus, Los Angeles city councilwoman.

"I am a collector of circuses, having started my career playing a lion in a circus in Florida. Every country I go to where there is a circus nearby, I go see it. Le Cirque du Soleil is simply the most beautiful, delicate, artistic, talented, imaginative, enjoyable circus I have ever, ever seen. It is a joy to behold."

--Larry Hagman, actor.

"As a dancer, I've never seen the human body used the way La La La Human Steps' members used it. It's almost like an '80s or '90s version of what dance is becoming. What's really brilliant about it for me was the use of the woman's body in this incredibly strong, assertive manner. And the impact of (the Earth Players and Market Theatre Company's) 'Bopha!' continues to stay with me. All of the senses were felt."

--Lesley Ann Warren, actress.

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