Theater: Two Tales of One City

Well heeled or down at heel, Los Angeles stages teem with politics

As producer Diane White of the Los Angeles Theater Center gets into her car, watched by two bulky parking-lot security guards, a rat scurries across the back alley toward the courthouse-like former bank building that houses the L.A.T.C. A block away, streetlights glint on the grimy marquee of a shuttered porno cinema. A few evenings before, L.A.T.C. artistic director Bill Bushnell was accosted by a gang of toughs as he left for an opening-night party, but he got away without incident. Although patrons rarely encounter trouble, it is little wonder that even Bushnell refers to the theater's environs as "Skid Row."

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