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Last Chance

June 20, 2002|Lewis Segal

Theater

King Lear--Experimental productions can shake us loose from our connoisseurship, demanding that we experience a classic as an unpredictable and even dangerous creation, and this is exactly the value of director Travis Preston's audacious and intermittently revelatory modern-dress "King Lear" for the newly formed professional Center for New Theater at CalArts. "King Lear" is never easy, but with its all-female cast, large-scale video projections and insistence that the audience follow the action from room to room, this version delivers one artful surprise after another. Stylistic inconsistencies take their toll, however, and Preston's interest in some major characters, but not others, wrecks the staging's final hour. Throughout this crucial arc of the play, Preston delivers not experimental or concept-driven Shakespeare or minimalist Shakespeare, but a bewildering botch, complete with unfortunate cuts, large and small, in the adaptation by Royston Coppenger. So brush up on your Shakespeare if you plan to go; Preston's finale needs all the narrative clarity his audience can bring to it. Lewis Segal

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Ends Sunday at the Brewery Arts Complex, 650 S. Avenue 21, downtown L.A., (877) 407-7499.

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Also closing this Sunday:

Jump Kiss: An Indian Legend--Diane Glancy's drama revolving around a mixed-blood Native American woman in mid-20th century Kansas City ends Sunday at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, 4700 Western Heritage Way, L.A., (323) 655-8587.

Ghetto Cabaret--Joshua Sobol's stirring drama about a Lithuanian theater troupe ends Sunday at A! Theatre, 1528 Gordon St., Hollywood, (310) 967-1352, (323) 466-0179.

King of the Moon--Tom Dudzick's comic sequel to "Over the Tavern" ends Sunday at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada, (562) 944-9801, (714) 994-6310.

Baby With the Bathwater--Christopher Durang's satire about not-so-stable first-time parents ends Sunday at the Knightsbridge Theatre, 35 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, (626) 440-0821.

The Importance of Being Earnest--Oscar Wilde's farce of desire and strained morals ends Sunday at the McCadden Place Theatre, 1157 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood, (310) 843-4700.

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