A Techno-Tribal Beat


Two events loom on the horizon that, though somewhat different, bear keeping in mind.

The first is Pop ‘N’ Fresh, the benefit for L.A. Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) on April 18 at the Shrine Auditorium.

It’s being described by organizer/artist Richard Duardo as “a tribal-techno convergence, a fusion of the avant-garde art scene, the underground rave warehouse scene, and the disenfranchised cyber-computer nerds who’ve been toiling away in their garages.”

In other words, the huddled masses yearning to dance all night meet a lot of new-fangled electronics.


Duardo says he got the idea for the fund-raiser, at which 5,000 guests are expected, while “brainstorming at a Ralphs supermarket at 3 a.m.” with club promoter Tef.

Among the elements of the rave, which were born on the frozen food aisle, are an opening ceremony of marching trombonists, a 100,000-watt THX sound-system, 16 suspended LED screens displaying stream-of-consciousness messages from “enlightened literati,” a 16-cubic-foot video wall, appearances by former porn-queen-turned-legit-actress Traci Lords and possibly Pee-wee Herman. Oh yes, and a laser powerful enough, says Duardo, “to cut someone in half, though we’re not planning on doing that.”

Tickets are available at the door for $25, through TicketMaster or at LACE for $17.

On the other end of the social spectrum, there has been a change in events for Mikhail Gorbachev’s visit to Los Angeles in May. A dinner at the Century Plaza had been planned, but was called off because of scheduling problems.

During his first visit to Los Angeles, the former Soviet leader will receive the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award at the Reagan library in Simi Valley on May 4 at a luncheon to benefit the library. Tickets are $5,000 and if you’re invited, they’ll be calling you.

Smart Women on Stage

Here’s what’s happening on the Tokyo stage: Last month a new musical opened at the Sunshine Theater based on the best-selling American self-help book, “Smart Women, Foolish Choices,” co-authored by Los Angeles clinical psychologists Melvyn Kinder and Connell Cowan. The story revolves around two women psychologists and the women who come to see them to discuss their love relationships.

It may come as a surprise to many, but Kinder, who recently returned from the play’s successful opening, reports that the Japanese are extremely interested in the burgeoning women’s movement. What we can’t understand is why a musical based on that book didn’t open in L.A. first. We’re sure it would sell out.