El Portal Center for the Arts has announced its inaugural season at its new home in the San Fernando Valley, a renovated famous movie palace which embraces three stages, an art gallery and cabaret. Construction on the center will be completed in the fall of 1999, with a grand opening gala planned for Nov. 20, followed by a series of celebrity benefit concerts.
Artistic director Jeremiah Morris and executive director Geoffrey Shlaes have selected four plays for the 400-seat Equity mainstage Theatre: Over the River and Through the Woods, a comedy by Joe DiPietro (Jan. 14-Feb. 6); Rollin' on the T.O.B.A., a musical by Ronald Stevens & Jaye Stewart (March 17-April 9); The Play's the Thing, by Ferenc Molnar, adapted by P.G. Wodehouse (May 12-June 4); Popcorn, the American premiere of a comedy by Ben Elton (Sept. 8-Oct. 1).
Rollin' on the T.O.B.A. ran for a short time at the Kit Kat Club in Times Square, closing after failing to qualify for Tony Award consideration.
The four shows in the 99-seat Circle Theatre include The Puppetmaster of Lodz, Murder by Moonlight, The Three Sisters and La Ronde 2000.
El Portal Center for the Arts is located at 5269 Lankershim Blvd. in N. Hollywood. Actors Alley is the resident company. Call (818) 508-4200 for information. -- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent