‘Monsters’ brings Royce back to UCLA

UCLA’s Royce Hall, closed since the Northridge earthquake of 1994, will reopen April 15, 1998, with the world premiere of a collaboration between theater designer Robert Wilson and composer Philip Glass. “Monsters of Grace,” which will run for 14 performances, is their first major work together since the groundbreaking “Einstein on the Beach” opened in 1976.

The UCLA Center for the Performing Arts unveiled its 1997-98 season Tuesday, highlighted by 16 area premieres and more than 75 artists appearing at the Veterans Wadsworth Theater, Wiltern Theatre, Japan America Theatre and venues on the UCLA campus. The bill for the Royce Hall project will hit $68.3 million by the time it opens for the Glass-Wilson work.

Royce Hall, an 1,800-seat auditorium that opened in 1929, will be completely refurbished and will feature new lighting and sound systems when it reopens with “Monsters of Grace.” Other Royce performers will be the Chieftains on May 1, a “Mexican Baroque” program from the vocal group Chanticleer on May 2, Pulitzer Prize-winner Wynton Marsalis performing classical repertoire May 3, the MET Orchestra with James Levine conducting on May 17, classical violinist Leila Josefowicz on May 21, a May 30 jazz concert with Joe Lovano and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and fiddler Mark O’Connor on May 31.

The UCLA schedule is divided into 16 series defined by the discipline and two series of varied events (Royce Center Circle and A.W.O.L.). Highlights include “Umbatha: The Zulu Macbeth” at the Wiltern on Oct. 4, Richard Foreman’s play “Pearls for Pigs” at Freud Playhouse Nov. 5, a tribute to Thelonious Monk at the Wadsworth Oct. 10, and Toshiko Ayikoshi Jazz Orchestra performing a new work commissioned by UCLA’s Henry Mancini Endowment on Oct. 24 at the Wadsworth.

The center’s A.W.O.L. series is highlighted by a number of area debuts, among them, “Les Enfants Terribles: Children of the Game,” a dance opera by Glass and Susan Marshall at the Wiltern Oct. 25, dancers Eiko & Koma with the Kronos Quartet at the Japan America, and performance artist-playwright Danny Hoch at Schoenberg Nov. 20.

Among popular favorites returning to Wadsworth are “Tap Dogs” (Sept. 2-21), classical-folk fusionists Fleck-Marshall-Meyer (Oct. 12), the Portuguese band Madredeus (Oct. 18) and Cape Verdean singer Cesaria Evora (Nov. 8).

A cabaret series at Schoenberg Hall will bring in Kitty Carlisle Hart (Oct. 17), Nancy Dussault (Feb. 7) and Lucie Arnaz (April 25).

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