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A Guide to the Best of Southern California : OUT & ABOUT : Want to Raise Your Eire?

March 08, 1992|KATHLEEN KELLEHER

If you love poetry but can't stomach the jittery-voiced readings of the amateur poets at most local cafes, Cafe Beckett's "Rants and Rhymes and Lies" might satisfy you.

Each Sunday at 8 p.m., seven actors recite as a group the work of one of the world's great poets. One person then chooses a poem that sets the tone for the evening, drawing on a memorized repertoire of prose and interpreting it via body language and gestures. The other actors follow suit with poems that fit the theme.

"The idea here is to give poetry back to the actors for the sake of poetry and for the enrichment of actors," says Brian Mallon, co-founder of the poetry group. "There's a wide range poems used, from Anne Sexton, Dylan Thomas, (William) Blake, (John) Donne down to Joni Mitchell. There is humor too."

Cafe Beckett, part of the Celtic Arts Center, is a cozy, book-lined coffeehouse that serves pastries, Irish soda bread and coffee drinks every day. Admission to the Sunday poetry performance is $5.

Cafe Beckett, 5649 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; (213) 462-6844.

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