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Bening Toplines Eclectic UCLA Roster

Annette_bening As usual, UCLA Live has announced an enticing array of wide-ranging theatrical events for the upcoming season of its Eighth International Theatre Festival. The 2009-10 roster is highlighted by a production of Euripdes' classic Greek tragedy, Medea, toplining theater and film luminary Annette Bening (pictured). It's billed as a new interpretation by Croatia's Lenka Udovicki, incorporating a 12-woman chorus and onstage musicians. It plays at UCLA's Macgowan Hall, September 23 through October 18.

Another highlight will be Italian director Romeo Castelluci's Purgatorio, a free interpretation of Dante's works, featuring Casteluci's company, Societas Raffaello Sanzio. Using a non-narrative, visal language, the reportedly disturbing piece conjures a world where sin and forgiveness are embodied in a father and son's appalling ritual. The play is part of Castelluci's ambitious and critically lauded Divine Comedy trilogy. This offering will be performed at UCLA's Freud Playhouse, October 28-31.

Among other presentations will be Once and For All We're Gonna Tell You Who We Are So Shut Up and Listen, from Belgium's Ontoerend Goed company. For mature audiences, it features 13 teenage actors portraying ill-behaved students, running November 3-7 at the Freud Playhouse. Druid Ireland stages its Endinburgh Fringe Festival winner The Walworth Farce Nov. 11-15 at Macgowan Hall. The company also presents The New Electric Ballroom, written and directed by Edna Walsh (Magowan Hall, December 2-6). Polish writer-director Grzegorz Jarzyna and his company TR Warszawa brings us T.E.O.R.E.M.A.T., about an unexpected visitor wreaking havoc at the home of a wealthy industrialist (Freud Playhouse, November 18-29). Another Polish piece, Teatr Zar'sTriptych is called less a play than  a haunting experience (Royce Hall, December 1-3.).

Also revealed are impressive selections in individual series on dance, popular music, jazz, world music,  classical and new music, and spoken word presentations. A full schedule of the UCLA Live season is available online.

--Les Spindle

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