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UCLA Live flaunts international flair

Globe Theatre, Piccolo Teatro are part of the 2005-'06 season.

June 09, 2005|Chris Pasles | Times Staff Writer

Appearances by Shakespeare's Globe Theatre from London, the Piccolo Teatro di Milano from Italy, "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" author Alexander McCall Smith, French actress Isabelle Huppert, and a group of friends and performers paying tribute to the late monologuist Spalding Gray will highlight the 2005-'06 UCLA Live season.

The season, announced Wednesday, will consist of 72 events or about 120 performances, compared with 66 events comprising 138 performances in 2004-'05. The budget, said series Director David Sefton, is roughly the same, about $6 million.

"What's changed is where it comes from," Sefton said. "We lost $200,000 of our state money. When you compare that to $6 million, it doesn't sound like a great deal. But it hits what you can subsidize -- the theater and dance events that don't make enough money at the box office to pay for themselves.

"Fortunately, our board and our Royce Center Circle supporters stepped in and made up the difference."

The season will also include classical, jazz, world, new and popular music performances, dance events and family-oriented programs, among them an organ and silent film presentation.

Sefton said the Shakespeare company, seen two years ago at UCLA in "Twelfth Night," will give 21 performances of "Measure for Measure." Piccolo Teatro di Milano, last seen locally during the Olympic Arts Festival in 1984, will present five performances of the commedia dell'arte classic "Arlecchino, Servant of Two Masters."

The theater lineup will also feature Huppert in a new interpretation in French of the late Sarah Kane's "4.48 Psychosis." "That's quite a coup," Sefton said. "She's only doing it at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and here. And we're first."

The tribute to Gray, who would have turned 65 next June, will be part of the spoken word series and take place June 14 through 18.

The classical music series will include the London Philharmonic led by Kurt Masur; mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade and bass Samuel Ramey in a joint recital; a Terry Riley 70th birthday celebration; and the return of the Bach Collegium Japan, members of which sang successive performances of Bach's "St. Matthew" and "St. John" passions two years ago. Its program this time will be entirely instrumental.

Among the offerings in the dance series will be Japan's Pappa Tarahumara making its West Coast debut; Montreal's Compagnie Marie Chouinard in its Los Angeles debut; Julio Bocca and his Ballet Argentino; and Ballet Biarritz from France's Basque region.

The other music offerings will include Ahmad Jamal, Taj Mahal, the Kronos Quartet, Ute Lemper and the second incarnation of a Christmas show hosted by director John Waters.

"Each season, we've been able to balance interesting and new artists with spotlighting the greats," Sefton said. "And each year, ticket sales have gone up and the level of support in town from Royce members has grown. That's extremely comforting, and it's bucking a national trend."

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