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'Phantom,' 'Tommy' Revivals Coming to Arts Center : Theater: Its musical series includes the classics 'Annie Get Your Gun' and 'Guys and Dolls,' plus a tribute to Radio City Music Hall.

August 24, 1993|JAN HERMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

COSTA MESA — The Orange County Performing Arts Center has scheduled four touring revivals and a tribute to Radio City Musical Hall for its 1993-94 Broadway Series, highlighted by a six-week engagement of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera" next summer.

Announced Monday, the subscription series will begin in December with "Guys and Dolls," the 1950 musical classic renowned for Damon Runyon's raffish characters and Frank Loesser's score, in a road version of the reprise that won the 1992 Tony Award for Broadway's best musical revival.

It will be followed in February by "Annie Get Your Gun," the 1946 musical featuring an arsenal of Irving Berlin tunes, in a revival that began a 60-city tour 13 months ago and stars Cathy Rigby of Olympics and "Peter Pan" fame.

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The series will continue in May with the arrival of "The Who's Tommy," Pete Townshend's adaptation of his 1969 rock opera, which became a smash hit on Broadway last spring after being developed at the La Jolla Playhouse (where it had its premiere in 1992).

The lone non-revival--but perhaps the show most laden with nostalgia--will be "The Great Radio City Spectacular," a 60th anniversary celebration of Radio City Music Hall starring the Rockettes and featuring Susan Anton as well as footage of the fabled New York theater's opening night in 1932.

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Capping the season in July will be "The Phantom of the Opera," Lloyd Webber's most-spectacular hit. It premiered in London in 1986, opened on Broadway in 1988 and began a four-year run in Los Angeles in 1989 at the Ahmanson Theatre, where it closes Sunday.

The center's "Phantom" will not be the Ahmanson production, which is to be remounted in San Francisco in December, but a road version that opened in Seattle last December and is now on tour. Its projected six-week engagement will set a center precedent as the longest-running event ever booked there.

The current Broadway Series has 17,618 subscribers, according to a center spokesman, with two offerings still to come ("Crazy for You," which opens today and runs until Sept. 5, and "The Will Rogers Follies," which will run Nov. 2 through 7.)

Dates for the 1993-94 Broadway Series:

* Dec. 21-Jan. 2: "Guys and Dolls."

* Feb. 8-13: "Annie Get Your Gun."

* May 10-15: "The Who's Tommy."

* June 14-19: "The Great Radio City Music Hall Spectacular."

* July 22-Sept. 4, 1994: "The Phantom of the Opera."

Subscriptions, ranging from $108 to $237, go on sale Oct. 10. (714) 556-2787 or (714) 740-2000 (Ticketmaster).

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