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Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press.

September 14, 1996|SHAUNA SNOW


Onward to Ojai: Ernest Fleischmann, 72, who "retires" as executive vice president and managing director of the L.A. Philharmonic next July, has signed on to be artistic director of the Ojai Music Festival for the 1998 and 1999 seasons, replacing Ara Guzelimian. "Ojai is something so unique among festivals," Fleischmann said, noting that the Philharmonic has often performed there, working with esteemed conductors including Pierre Boulez and Michael Tilson Thomas. "It's a little town . . . that can attract 2,000 people to a park for a weekend to listen to wonderful music that wouldn't attract [much of a crowd] anywhere else."But while he will no longer be managing director, don't expect Fleischmann to bow out of his L.A. Philharmonic duties altogether: He's already committed to be a half-time consultant for at least two years and says of the Philharmonic: "We shall never be totally out of touch, I think." In addition, Fleischmann said he will do talent scouting and other consulting jobs and is negotiating to lead two more music festivals--one in Europe and one in the Middle East--but declined to name them until the deals are sealed.


Stepping Out?: Ellen Morgan, the lead character in ABC's comedy "Ellen" starring Ellen DeGeneres, may be gearing up to reveal herself as a lesbian. Sources said discussions have been underway for the character to come out of the closet this season. However, no definite decision on if or how the revelation will take place has been made. ABC declined comment, while the Walt Disney Co., which produces the series, said: "We don't comment on rumor and speculation." But TV Guide reports that there are subtle hints in coming episodes that the show may be moving toward dealing with the character's sexuality. Although Ellen Morgan has dated men on the show, DeGeneres has said that she and her producers want to de-emphasize that aspect of the character.


Barron's Latest Title: Stephanie Barron--senior curator of 20th century art at the L.A. County Museum of Art, head of the museum's 20th century department and once considered a prime candidate for the museum's directorship--has been named to the new position of vice president of education and public programs by museum director Graham W.J. Beal. Barron will continue her curatorial duties, including organizing the upcoming "Exiles and Emigres: The Flight of European Artists From Hitler" slated to open next February, but she will now also help develop all exhibitions and programs, work to bring new audiences into the museum and create new relationships with the scholarly community.


Promoting Harmony: The first of three "No Color Lines" town hall meetings organized by radio station KKBT-FM (92.3 The Beat) to promote unity among different ethnic groups takes place Sunday at the Korean Youth & Community Center (680 S. Wilton Place). The forum, which will be broadcast live on the station from 8 to 11 a.m., will focus on "Blacks and Asians: Erasing the Color Lines." Future "No Color Lines" sessions--which aim to encourage "constructive dialogue" between community leaders, entertainers, audience members and live callers--are planned for Oct. 13 ("Blacks and Jews: Building Unity") and Nov. 17 ("African Americans and Latinos: Black Brown Unity").

Elsewhere on the Dial: Classical music radio personality Rich Capparela, last heard in Los Angeles on KKGO-FM (105.1) in 1991, returns to the station on Monday as host of the 7-11 a.m. weekday shift. . . . KIIS-FM (102.7) this weekend begins broadcasting the syndicated program "Fox Kids Countdown" on Sundays from 7 to 9 a.m. . . . Spanish-language stations KLVE-FM (107.5) and KTNQ-AM (1020) will aim to break the continually challenged record for the largest "Macarena" dance on Sunday at the stations' "Viva Mexico Festival." The free Mexican Independence Day celebration, headlined by singer Enrique Iglesias, runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Whittier Narrows Recreational Area in South El Monte.


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