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'Summer Nights at the Ford' Announced : Entertainment: The new series will bring together 34 performances from 14 local organizations.


In a press conference Thursday, Los Angeles County Supervisor Ed Edelman announced a new umbrella series at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre for this summer. "Summer Nights at the Ford" will bring together 34 performances from 14 local music, dance and theater organizations, from May 31 to Sept. 12.

The series is coordinated by the Los Angeles County Music and Performing Arts Commission. "We received as astonishing variety of proposals," said executive director Laura Zucker. "Some groups are very well known, others are not. One of the aims of 'Summer Nights' is to make audiences aware of groups which do not have the budget for a major marketing effort, but whose work deserves greater visibility."

Zucker also said that applicants were asked to submit programming that would take advantage of the unique qualities of the 1,200-seat amphitheater.

Chamber music, taking advantage of the distinctive shell available at the Ford, will be in plentiful supply on Mondays. IMA Concerts opens the series May 31, followed by the Debussy Trio June 21. The Los Angeles Philharmonic's "Chamber Music Under the Stars" returns for four programs, July 19-Aug. 9, each featuring a work by Schubert, and the Contemporary Art, Music and Performance Alliance presents an evening of premieres Aug. 23.

The Jazz Tap Ensemble presents a family matinee program June 5, plus an evening concert with the Steps Ahead Tap Trio. The International Assn. of Jazz Appreciation offers a "Juneteenth Celebration" featuring pianist Bobby Lyle, and the Detroit-based Straight Ahead quintet in its West Coast debut, June 16.

Euterpe Opera Theatre offers Mozart's Singspiel "Zaide," directed by Ken Danziger and conducted by David Anglin, June 12, 18 and 19. Long Beach Opera returns to the Ford Aug. 14, 19, 21 with the "Carmen" postponed from its home season last November. Alice Baker takes the title role and James Schwisow is Don Jose in a production conducted by Steven Sloane, directed by Brian Kulick and designed by Mark Wendland.

Collage Dance Theatre delivers site-specific choreography in the premiere of "Eye to Eye" July 30, and Dance Kaleidoscope--at Cal State L.A. for six concerts July 16-25--returns to its original home July 31 with a world dance program. Los Angeles Chamber Ballet dances a mixed bill Aug. 4 and 5.

Danza Floricanto/USA, with Mariachi Mexicapan and Armonia Azul, offers the premiere of a Latin-jazz piece and new stagings of traditional Mexican dances Aug. 22. The Huayucaltia instrumental ensemble anchors an evening of Latino music and crafts Aug. 28.

Stages Theatre Center closes the series with the California premiere of David Hirson's "La Bete," Aug. 31-Sept. 12. Paul Verdier directs this mock-Moliere comedy, in English verse, with Tony Abatemarco as Valere.

Single ticket prices for "Summer Nights" events range from $15-$60. For ticket information, call Theatix at (213) 466-1767.

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