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Celebrant Had Good Time at Festival

September 24, 1988

Did your reviewer get the address wrong? Or the date? Three thousand of us were at the Orange County Performing Arts Center having a great party (on Aug. 27 during the International Music and Dance Festival, reviewed by Cathy Curtis in Calendar on Aug. 30, "Heavy-Footed International Show at Arts Center Is Light on Content").

There we were, celebrating the centennial of a relatively happy, peaceful county where people can walk the streets and smile at each other. That alone is something to celebrate.

Well, we were all having such a good time we didn't realize we were supposed to be embarrassed at the goings on. We went along with narrator Carl Princi as he coped with inevitable little lapses one should expect with the format of a festival.

We put a gentle tongue in cheek at Argentina's last-minute replacement. It served to remind us that Costa Mesa is not Las Vegas, thank goodness. We may have grumped a bit at the inappropriate and negative note sounded by the mention of the Armenian massacre, but then, who can stay grumpy with folks who smile while dancing on the wrong sides of their feet?

In our ignorance, we thrilled to the glorious voices of Henriette Davis and Alexander Henderson. We wallowed in a rare moment of non-political, patriotic pride as we heard our beloved "God Bless America" sung as we always knew it could be sung. The teachers in the audience would have gladly kidnaped the soloists, chorale and musicians and spirited them away to inspire listless students to wake up and feel their country. Perhaps it was theatrical junk food to your reviewer, but we savored every crumb.

JANICE WEST SEAMAN

Glendale

Seaman is president of Weiner/Seaman Productions and an advis e r to the Orange County Chinese Cultural Club and to the Southern California Chinese Folk Dancers.

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