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THEATER BEAT

Blissed-Out Fantasies of 'Little Pictures'

February 09, 1996|SCOTT COLLINS

Prior to curtain, the viewer of "Little Pictures: 2" at Los Angeles Theatre Center might worry that Hollywood's fondness for sequels has spread to the stage.

Yet it turns out that director Chris Beach's latest effort is not so much a sequel as a wholesale remounting of last year's "Little Pictures," the adaptation of Andrew Ramer fables that also ran at the theater center. There are some new cast members and new backdrops, but the vast majority of material has remained intact, as has Beach's highly theatrical approach.

Ramer's blissed-out fantasies aim for "the inner place" limned by myths and fairy tales. Thus there are elliptical yet strangely moving parables about a girl who grows cookies in the palm of her hand, a poet whose muse comes in the form of two little blue men and a boy whose lower body takes the shape of a bed. The viewer's reaction is--or at least should be--more emotional than intellectual.

Beach tells the stories with puppets, masks, numerous props, dramatic light and airy, new age-ish music. If somewhat less stunning the second time around, the effects are no less appealing, as are the nine cast members: Melina Bielefelt, Rajat Bose, Marcella Chan, Elif Girgin, Christine Lee, Nancy Handler, Christopher Paul Hart, Daniel Lynch Millner and Michael Saul.

* "Little Pictures: 2," Los Angeles Theatre Center, Theatre 2, 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles. Saturdays, 8 p.m., Sundays, 3 and 7 p.m. Ends Feb. 24. $15. (213) 485-1681. Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes.

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