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Search for New Ahmanson Director Narrows to Six

February 11, 1988|SYLVIE DRAKE | Times Theater Writer

Three months after a search committee was formed to find a new artistic director for the Ahmanson Theatre, the field has reportedly narrowed to six.

Among those in the running to replace co-directors Robert Fryer and Martin Manulis (both leaving in June) are Broadway producer Nelle Nugent (now based in Los Angeles at Phoenix Entertainment), San Diego Old Globe artistic director Jack O'Brien, Mark Taper Forum artistic director Gordon Davidson and Broadway producers Stuart Ostrow and James B. Freydberg. Board president Lawrence J. Ramer, who heads the search committee, declined to comment.

Nugent and Davidson, however, both confirmed they had been interviewed by the board's search committee last week. O'Brien, Freyberg and Ostrow could not be reached for comment.

"The Phantom of the Opera" may be booked into the Ahmanson (presumably a new company that would play simultaneously with the one on Broadway), according to sources. Fueling the conjecture were recent unpublicized visits to the theater by "Phantom" producer Cameron Mackintosh (who was there Monday) and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, who are also reportedly looking at the Wiltern and the Pantages.

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