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Faces to Watch in ’95 : We’re Counting on Them : THEATER

Some of them you know. Some you don’t. But the following artists, entertainers and executives have one thing in common: We’re counting on each to mae a significant impact or difference in their respective fields this year. Sure, there will be thers who make a splash, but after we talked with dozens of people who work in entertainment and the arts, these were the names mentioned most often. You might say that Jim Carrey was a face to watch in ’94, and you would be right. But, based on “Ace Ventura,” “The Mask,” and “Dumb and Dumber,” Carrey’s ’95 should bear watching. Another pair of familiar faces--Jay Leno and David Letterman--appear on our list. Why? Haven’t we looked at these guys enough? Well, truth be told, how do you know what’s going to happen to them this year? Fame can be sooooo fleeting.

Joe Mantello

Remember Louis Ironson, the obsessive moralizer who walks out on his sick lover in “Angels in America”? His role was played by the intense Joe Mantello, 31, who returns to the Taper in March, this time as a director.

The play: “Three Hotels,” about an American businessman who sells baby formula in developing countries, was written by Mantello’s live-in, onetime Angeleno Jon Robin Baitz. Mantello also has directed a hit in New York: His production of Terrence McNally’s “Love! Valour! Compassion!” is moving from the Manhattan Theatre Club to Broadway’s Walter Kerr Theater, where “Angels” had its run.

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Mantello may be the hot director of the moment, but not everything he touches turns to gold. “What’s Wrong With This,” the Donald Margulies play he directed on Broadway this fall, ran for just 13 performances.


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