Stages Will Revive ‘Pablo,’ ‘Slowmotion’; A Look at the Lukewarm LACLO ’88 Season

Times Theater Writer

Time to warm up.

“Pablo” and “Slowmotion” (“Camaralenta”), two of three stunning plays by Argentine psychiatrist-actor-playwright Eduardo Pavlovsky that were a major hit at the trilingual Stages last year, are being revived in repertory beginning Wednesday.

The revival is a dry run for the “Pavlovsky Marathon” (as the presentation has been renamed), which will be part of the first New York International Festival of the Arts June 15-27 at the Harold Clurman Theatre.

“All of the actors involved in the shows before will be repeating their roles,” said Stages artistic director Paul Verdier, who is directing both “Slowmotion” (a painfully detailed look at the disintegration of a former boxing champ) and a new English version of “Pablo.” The latter is a Pinteresque piece on psycho-political repression that Verdier, with Pavlovsky’s blessing, has translated into English and adapted from a three- to a two-character play.


Tony Abatemarco, Hal Bokar and Grace Zabriskie will re-create their roles in “Slowmotion”; Bokar and Tony Maggio tackle “Pablo.”

The third play, “Potestad” (“Paternity,” in all its meanings), will be performed only in New York and only in Spanish (as it was here) by Pavlovsky himself. A virtual tour de force, it is a cry of anguish from a father whose adopted child has been taken away by the state. It can also be seen as a parable for any nation that robs its subjects of their civil rights. The piece was originally staged by Argentine director Norman Brisky.

This New York “Marathon,” presented in association with the Harold Clurman Theatre (run by Jack Garfein), will take about $70,000 to get on its feet.

Of this amount, Verdier said, $20,000 comes from the festival, $15,000 from the arts-friendly W. Alton Jones Foundation and $9,000 from the February Ionesco fund-raiser held by Stages at the Doolittle Theatre. Another $26,000 remains to be raised.


“It’s not a problem,” Verdier said. “We can raise it, even if we need to borrow the money. I know we can make it back in ticket sales.” (The Mark Taper Forum, the only other company from Los Angeles invited to participate in the festival, announced Wednesday that it will take “Green Card” to the Joyce Theatre, courtesy of AT&T.; Artistic director Gordon Davidson underlined that without such support “Green Card” could not have traveled east.)

Finally, as what he calls an “Off Festival” event, Verdier will offer another of his well-received productions at the Harold Clurman. It is Marguerite Duras’ “L’Amante Anglaise,” featuring, as it did in Los Angeles, Bokar, Zabriskie and Verdier himself as the inquisitor.

LACKLUSTER LACLO: “Black and Blue,” “Can-Can” and “West Side Story” (in order of potential, not chronology) are the three shows that will make up the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera’s 1988 “summer” season (it begins in August but ends in January) and, try as we may, it’s hard to get much excitement going.

“Black and Blue” (playing Aug. 10 to Sept. 18) is billed as the American premiere of a black jazz and blues revue put together by Claudio Segovia and Hector Orrezzoli--the guys who brought you “Tango Argentino” and “Flamenco Puro.” Aside from beating a well-worn path to the music of Fats Waller and Duke Ellington (“Sophisticated Ladies,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ”), it promises “a series of lively music and dance vignettes exquisitely costumed and elegantly set.” Whaaaat? No people?

A little research dug up the following facts: The cast is American (even though the show has only played Paris) and will include Linda Hopkins, Ruth Brown and Carrie Smith. Among the onstage musicians are Roland Hanna, Jerome Richardson and Jake Porter. Choreographers are Cholly Atkins, Fayard Nicholas, Henry LeTang.

Los Angeles hasn’t seen a major professional revival of the Stephen Sondheim-Leonard Bernstein “West Side Story” in more than 20 years (La Mirada Civic Theatre staged it in 1981 and Santa Ana’s Harlequin Dinner Theater in 1983), but it’s hard to get a bead on how thrilling this revival might turn out to be. All we know so far about the Marvin Krauss/Irving Seiders production coming to the Pantages (as will all these offerings) Sept. 20 to Nov. 6. is that Dean Butler is in it and Alan Johnson directs.

A little more expectation is packed into Cole Porter’s “Can-Can” (Dec. 5 to Jan. 22), which will at least benefit from the snappy pizazz of the unstoppable Chita Rivera and the synchromeshed wonders of the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes.

As an added incentive, the previously announced Georgian State Dance Company of the Soviet Union is being offered at a 10% discount to season subscribers who sign up by June 6. It costs between $47.75 and $101 per person to subscribe to the LACLO season. The discount for the Georgian dancers (who’ll be at the Pantages July 5-17) is from $2 to $4.25 on tickets ranging from $20 to $42.50. Did they say incentive or insult?


Caveat emptor.

CODA: The Beverly Hills Bar Assn. is holding an “Actors Symposium” at Beverly Hills High School Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., designed to instruct actors on all aspects of their profession. Cost is $40 for actors, $50 for others. Registration at the door begins at 8:15 a.m.