The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on September 9, 1983 · 41
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · 41

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Friday, September 9, 1983
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CALENDAR Gob Atujdes Slimes San Diego County Friday, September 9, 1983 Part VI Loi Angelei Tlmei FILM CLIPS ANTI-TERRORIST 'OPTION' A HIT WITH THE PRESIDENT By MICHAEL LONDON Vv r f x ) 4l . A IV f; ood buzz" is a Hollywood term SZZ Fr ART 'g; -denoting excitement about an upcoming film. Lloyd noted that MGMUA had already been approached with the film, but that Haig's efforts "clearly made a great difference.") "The Firial Option" is based on the celebratedil980 siege and recovery of the Iranian Embassy in London by Britain's top-secret Special Air Services (SAS). Lloyd decided to replace th'e real-life Iranian terrorists with an anti-nuclear group that is unwittingly being manipulated by Soviet agents. The group's leader is played by Australian actress Judy Davis ("My Brilliant Career"). In a telephone interview, Haig praised "The Final Option" at length, calling it a "terribly exciting drama" as well as a "realistic portrayal of the world in which we live." His comments were echoed by local officials who attended recent MGMUA screenings set up to stimulate interest in the film. The participants included representatives of the Los Angeles Police Department and its SWAT units, the West Covina Police Please see FILM CLIPS, Page 9 political conservatives from the President on down. Reagan requested a print of the film soon after its completion last November. According to the film's veteran British producer, Euan Lloyd, Reagan screened "The Last Option" (then known by its European title, "Who Dares Wins") at Camp David for friends and cabinet members and responded with a "rave review." (According to a story circulating among some MGMUA executives, Reagan subsequently called 20th Century -Fox owner Marvin Davis to recommend the film for distribution. Davis denied the story through a spokesman. ) The film was subsequently viewed by many high-ranking government officials and military personnel, including There's no precise equivalent in the lingo of Washington, D.djjut good buzz is the best phrase to capture the mood in the nation's capital toward "The Final Option," an anti-terrorist action film produced in Britain and acquired for distribution by MGMUA. The $9-million film, slated to open next Friday, has been vilified by some European critics for glorifying a British paramilitary operation against anti-nuclear terrorists. But the movie is already a hit in the Reagan Administration, and previews of the film have sparked endorsements among a broad array of Boost from Alexander Haig, left, helped film by Evan Lloyd, right. former Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr., who arranged two private screenings in the Motion Picture Assn. of America theater in Washington. Fortuitously for Lloyd, Haig was in the process of joining MGMUA as a member of the studio's board of directors. Haig expressed admiration for "The Final Option" to key MGMUA executives, and-presto! Lloyd had a distribution deal. (In an interview this week, MARSHA TRAEGER Ian Leech on Burbank sound stage, above, watching skaters in elaborate Jett-0 fantasy commercial. The Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park gives viewers the opportunity to observe artists at work with a most unusual camera and to share the instant results. Six artists working in the studio exhibit through Sept. 22 will be experimenting with a large-format Polaroid camera. It's not the familiar camera that swings on a wrist it has a 60-inch bellows, weighs 200 pounds and develops 20-by-24-inch prints in less than a minute. The camera was developed by Polaroid to aid researchers in reproducing deteriorating artworks such as The Last Supper. Photographs shot in the studio will contribute to the traveling exhibit of 80 large-format photographs now on display in the museum. Today and Saturday, artist Suda House will explore photographing selected objects in waterplacing whatever comes to mind in a large plexiglass aquarium in the studio between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. The exhibit of large-format photographs will be on display through Oct. 16. The museum, in the new Casa de Balboa building, is Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and until 9 p.m. Thursday. The Costa Rican art exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Art did not close last weekend as reported here last Friday. "Between ContinentsBetween Seas: Precolumbian Art of Costa Rica," will run through Sept. 25. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. THEATER For the adventurous, there is an after-theater comedy at The Bowery Theatre tonight and Saturday at 11 p.m. The one-act Western comedy resembles a real-life cartoon, said director Mark Hardiman, replete with fisticuffs, outlaws, heroes and lots of laughs. Written by San Diegan Chris Patrick, the play takes place just north of the border in the Old West. This is the last weekend to catch the highly acclaimed "When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?" at the Bowery. Performances at 8 p.m. tonight, Saturday and Sunday at 480 Elm St. POP Vocalist Al Jarreau will perform at the San Diego Open Air Theatre at 8 p.m. tonight. The jazzpop stylist, who turned to music full-time in 1968 after earning a graduate degree in psychology and completing a brief career as a rehabilitation counselor, began recording with Warner Bros, in 1975 and began worldwide touring in 1977. He won music awards in the United States in both pop and jazz categories last year. The Charlie Daniels Band and countrypop singer Juice Newton will perform Sunday at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium after the Padres-Cincinnati Reds baseball game. The game is scheduled to begin at 1:05 p.m. The Iron Mountain String Band will perform southern mountain music in concert Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at the Old Time Cafe, 1464 N. Highway 101, Leucadia. FILM The 19th annual San Diego Underwater Film Festival will be held this weekend at the San Diego Civic Theatre. David Doubilet, a renowned underwater photographer and staff photographer for National Geographic, will host the two-day festival that begins today. Film topics include diving in wrecks, hand-feeding sharks and visiting moray eels and finback whales. Slides depict the Sea of Cortez and diving in the Hawaiian Islands. The festival will be at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday at the San Diego Civic Theatre. Extra Snorkelers and swimmers can join a group swim sponsored by the Natural History Museum to explore the La Jolla Underwater Park. Groups of five will be led beneath the waves by natural science experts tomorrow. Call the museum's education department at 232-3821 for details. What's Doing in San Diego, listing events for the weekend and the coming week, begins on Page 6. -NANCY REED LEECH HAS KNACK FOR COMMERCIALS By PATRICK GOLDSTEIN When Ian Leech shoots a TV commercial, he gets your attention. Von's shoppers float down the store aisle silhouetted like Las Vegas show girls. An elegant couple top off a sumptuous meal by swapping new chocolate mints. A dancer in top hat and tails glides down a stairway adorned with Ritz crackers. The product may be mundane, but the pitch is always bursting with energy, a seductive 30-second blast of shimmering lights, tantalizing imagery and ceaseless motion. "The whole idea is to get the return business," Leech explained, standing under a bank of spotlights on a sound stage in Burbank where he was shooting an elaborate new Jell-0 fantasy. "You may only see a movie once, but you want people to enjoy a commercial many times over. "In the old days you had to show every step of the process someone picking up a spoon, taking a bite, giving a smile. It was all very literal. Now you skip a lot of the steps because viewers are much more sophisticated about visuals. Commercials are just much more exciting these days. Now there's so much going on that kids don't see them as an interruption. They want to stick around and watch them." Leech certainly gives TV viewers something to watch. Born in England, but reared in Toronto, the sandy-haired director is one of the top young talents in a field that has quietly become the breeding ground for a celebrated new generation of film makers. If you've been to the movies recently, you've probably seen at least one film by a former TV commercial wizard. Adrian Lyne ("Flashdance"), Ridley Scott ("Alien" and "Blade Runner"), Tony Scott ("The Hunger"), Alan Parker ("Fame") and Michael Cimino ("The Deer Hunter") are just some of the film makers who have made the transition from soft drink and beer ads to Hollywood features. It's easy to see why commercials have become a starting place for film directors. Fueled by intense marketplace competition and freed from the constraints of traditional narrative, they have revived the razor-sharp visual imagination of the silent-film era. Commercials certainly have come a long way since Please see COMMERCIALS, Page 16 -) S.D. MUSIC REVIEW '60S PULSE AGAIN WITH KNIGHT, PIPS By THOMAS K. ARNOLD SAN DIEGO You could have sworn it was 1963 again, and you were witnessing one of those frenzied soul extravaganzas at classic inner-city establishments like the Apollo Theater in New York City. Blistering rhythm-and-blues dance tunes, sandwiched between bittersweet ballads. Soaring, emotion-packed vocals and sweet harmonies, layered against a backdrop of mad, sweltering horns and a driving drum beat. And a crowd that was chanting and swaying, sweating and dancing. At its best, this also describes the first appearance here in almost a decade of Gladys Knight and the Pips, just beginning their second comeback in more than 20 years of professional shoWBusiness. For the better part of their 90-minute set Tuesday night at Golden Hall, Knight and the Pips brother Merald (Bubba) Knight and cousins William Guest and Edward Patten successfully revived the early and middle 1960s glory years of Motown, Stax and the whole Detroit soul sound for an adoring crowd of about 2,500. Aided by a capable 16-piece orchestra, they alternately cruised and soothed their way through three generations of songs: early hits like "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and "Friendship Train," tunes from their first comeback in the early 1970s like "Neither One of Us" and "Midnight Train to Georgia" and surprisingly strong material off their newest album, "Visions," which has just been released by Columbia Records. Knight herself sounded in as fine a voice as ever, more plaintive and less gospel than her contemporary Aretha Franklin, while the Pips, as usual, mixed superb vocal harmonies with madcap dancing and a fair amount of humor. But a few incongruities detracted somewhat from the magic that pervaded their concerts of previous years and suggested that, like most things, the Motown giants of yesteryear just ain't what they used to be. For one thing, there was the fact that the Pips, noted Please see PIPS, Page 3 - , i nn-Ti-r ": -- tCJi,Mu,.;. ; BOB GRIESER Lot Angeles Times , p -J Vji''' engineer with top rock music groups. Here he mans sound control board during recording session at theater with pop group The Diamonds. Gary Stauffer, left, became the owner of the Lyric Dinner Theater on El Cajon Boulevard after having been a recording and sound A LOOK AT SAN DIEGO DINNER THEATERS By HILLIARD HARPER SAN DIEGO Bargain Broadway, the Neil Simon hour, one-stop entertainment, theater for the suburbs. By any other name, dinner theater is still a commercial proposition, designed to pump out sturdy, consistent, non-demanding middle-class entertainment Drinks, buffet and a comedy comprise the basic mix for a dinner theater. Yet the three professional dinner theaters operating in San Diego County prove that room exists for at least some variation on this usual theme. Although the late impresario Don Wortman began several dinner theaters in downtown San Diego in the early and mid-1970s, all three of the dinner theaters now operating here are in the suburbs the Lyric Dinner Theatre in La Mesa, the Lawrence Welk Village Theatre just outside Escondido and the Fiesta Dinner Theatre in Spring Valley. Gary Stauffer founded the Lyric three years ago after an early career recording and engineering sound with touring rock entertainers such as Bob Dylan, Elton John, Dionne Warwick, the Eagles and the Beach Boys. When he tired of touring, Stauffer bought a building on El Cajon Boulevard once known as the Cinnamon Cinder, a rock concert hall. He installed a recording studio in the back and, in October, 1980 opened the Lyric Dinner Theatre. Combining his penchant for music with his new-found interest in the theater, Stauffer programmed musicals. Last year Stauffer dropped the musicals, which are more expensive than straight book dramas, for comedies as star vehicles. By importing such recognizable, once-famous names as Cesar Romero, Cyd Charisse, Gale Gordon and Bob Denver, Stauffer attracted a new audience of celebrity watchers. But finding the right type of show for his audience has been a continuing battle for Stauffer. The star vehicles Please see THEATERS, Page 4 INSIDE CALENDAR ART: The Galleries. Pages 7-9. FILM: "Deadly Force" reviewed by Kevin Thomas on Page 5. POP: George Benson concert reviewed on Page 12. TV: Today's programs. Pages 17 and 19. Howard Rosenberg's column. Page 17.

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