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FALL PREVIEW

Critic's Picks : Theater

September 04, 1997|LAURIE WINER

If you're looking for dependable theater this fall, and you'd like to travel but can't manage it--here are three best bets. One will take you to London, the other to Vienna, and yet another will pose a question about a mythical land of gold and magic. Not Southern California, but how are things in Glocca Morra?

"Skylight," Sept. 18: The Mark Taper Forum presents the West Coast premiere of this highly praised David Hare play, in which a wealthy restaurateur (Brian Cox) ventures into his ex-girlfriend's (Laila Robins) cold water flat in northwest London to try to win her back. Hare makes stimulating theater out of their emotional tug-of-war and a battle between realism and idealism.

"Finian's Rainbow," Sept. 24. Seven performances only, as part of the Reprise Series at UCLA Freud Playhouse. Burton Lane's best score (with Yip Harburg lyrics) includes "Old Devil Moon" and "When I'm Not Near the Girl I Love" in this strange and charming fantasy about a man who steals some gold and magic powers and helps make a little utopia in a small Southern town. Starring the reigning diva of the cabaret world, Andrea Marcovicci, who sings "Look to the Rainbow" and "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?," which should make everything right with the world. Also starring Rex Smith.

"Old Wicked Songs," Oct. 8. The Geffen Playhouse presents the West Coast premiere of a play that garnered raves last year in New York. Jon Marans explores the power of art through the relationship of an elderly Viennese music teacher and his pupil, a troubled young pianist from California. The New York Times called it "deeply satisfying" and "lighted with warmth and humor."

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