New Regime's Plans: Vladimir Vasiliev, the Bolshoi Theater's first new artistic director in three decades, drew mixed reviews from dancers Friday when he outlined his prescription to restore the beleaguered Moscow company's glory. "Together we can move mountains," said Vasiliev, 55, a former lead dancer. He succeeds Yuri Grigorovich, the Bolshoi ballet's longtime driving force, who resigned earlier this month in a feud with government officials. Vasiliev told dancers that he would add more ballets--not cut jobs--to provide work for everyone in the overstaffed, 250-member company. To restore the Bolshoi "magic," he said he would also invite guest artists and experiment with new styles. And Vasiliev threw an olive branch to Grigorovich, his former mentor, saying the ballet master was among the top talents he hoped would stage individual productions. Although one dancer in the overflow crowd said Vasiliev's plans marked "a great day for the Bolshoi," others said they were anxious about how he would carry them out.
American Debut: The Bagong Dance Theatre from Yogyakarta, Indonesia, will have its first American tour this May, including two local performances, May 11 and 12, at Glendale's Alex Theatre. The company, which fuses traditional Javanese classical dance with Western and modern elements, will be accompanied by live music performed by the nine-member Bagong gamelan orchestra, who sing and play more than 35 handcrafted instruments, including drums, gongs, cymbals, flutes, string instruments and lutes. In 1990, Yogyakarta's royal court dancers, a different troupe, performed here as part of the Los Angeles Festival.
How to Succeed on Broadway: Des McAnuff's staging of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and its star Matthew Broderick, seen last fall at the La Jolla Playhouse, drew encouraging but mixed reviews from Broadway critics Friday. "Very nearly a nonstop delight," declared Vincent Canby of the New York Times. Linda Winer-Bernheimer of Newsday wrote that "we find ourselves admiring the smart and slick and good-looking effort--and wondering why we don't much care." The New York Post found the show "as gloriously tuneful and as extravagantly witty as ever," although the production "looks unprepossessing." And the New York Daily News said: "The score has such electricity that 'How to Succeed' is extremely enjoyable even if the production occasionally short-circuits."
Coming to L.A.: Comedy Central's "Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher" visits Los Angeles next week, where it will tape six shows at CBS Television City. Four shows will air live on the East Coast and tape-delayed in the West, with lineups including rapper Ice-T and actors Dean Cain and Swoosie Kurtz on Tuesday; actress-rapper Queen Latifah, joined by actors Tim Daly and Tim Allen on Wednesday; Ed McMahon, UCLA professor Susan Estrich, Simpson trial witness Brian (Kato) Kaelin and actor-comedian Gary Shandling on Thursday, and "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno, actress Gabrielle Carteris and former Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates on Friday. Two additional shows will be taped for future broadcast, including a one-on-one program with actress Roseanne that will be taped Thursday to air April 4. Starting Monday, "Politically Incorrect" switches to a new time period, 11 p.m.
Nightwatchers for Kato: Although the appearance of Brian (Kato) Kaelin as a witness in the O.J. Simpson double-murder case didn't significantly affect the trial's daytime ratings, it produced the biggest audiences so far for KNBC-TV Channel 4's nightly wrap-up show at 7:30 p.m. The station said Friday that the program got its highest ratings yet this week, led by Wednesday's show, when about 548,000 homes watched the summary of Kaelin's first full day on the stand. However, the show still lagged behind "Wheel of Fortune" on KABC-TV Channel 7.
A Party for Regular Folk: A " 'Pulp Fiction' Dance Contest," held during the commercial breaks of ABC's Academy Awards telecast Monday night, will highlight the Second Annual Oscar Night Bash at Beverly Hills' Ed Debevic's restaurant. The Oscar viewing party, which is open to the public and benefits the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank, begins at 5 p.m. Admission is $19.95 and includes an all-you-can-eat buffet, live entertainment, movie trivia contests and a cash bar. Reservations are encouraged.
"The Best of Broadway," a 20-track CD from Rhino Records featuring original cast recordings by Broadway stars including Michael Crawford, Patti LuPone, Betty Buckley, Mary Martin, Stephanie Mills, Andrea McArdle and Tommy Tune will hit stores Tuesday. . . . Shirley MacLaine and Milton Berle will receive 1995 Gypsy Awards from the Professional Dancers Society on Sunday at the Century Plaza Hotel. . . . ABC Entertainment President Ted Harbert received the Television Showmanship Award, and "Forrest Gump" director Robert Zemeckis won the Motion Picture Showmanship Award on Friday during the 32nd Annual Publicists Guild of America Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. . . . Disney's hit movie "Aladdin" will have its world television premiere May 14 on--where else?--cable's Disney Channel.