L.A. speed-reads ‘Boheme’

City's opera crowd complimented by Luhrmann

War helped bring the timeless love story of “La Boheme” to Los Angeles, Baz Luhrmann revealed at Ahmanson Theater’s opening night gala Sunday.

Updated Puccini opera dazzled Broadway, but with a huge cast and musicians, no tour was planned. However when the war in Iraq took its toll on theater attendance, Luhrmann’s desire for backers to do better than break even prompted the director-producer to devote “one more chunk of my time” to bring it to L.A.

“It is a good choice. L.A. audiences are very fast; they read the subtitles very quickly,” the director-producer added.

Opera enthusiasts seen sipping champagne and nibbling on French fries and coq au vin after the show at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion included Rebecca DeMornay, Robert Guillaume, David Hyde Pierce, Dennis Franz and Henry Winkler.

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