David Sefton has been doing a great job as artistic director of UCLA Live
, the university's public performance series, since taking over nearly 10 years ago. Perhaps the most exciting events he's brought to Los Angeles during his tenure have been part of the series' International Theater Festival now in its eighth year. The 2009 installment was particularly good with one outstanding performance after another. Plays from Enda Walsh
and Poland's TR Warszawa
ranked among the year's best.
But perhaps the most exciting evening for me at UCLA this year came during a visit from Romeo Castellucci's Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio. Purgatorio,
the single installment of the company's triptych based on Dante's Inferno,
was visually beautiful and equally provoking on several levels. Watching audience members walk out of a performance in fury isn't something I see everyday and Purgatorio
's go-for-broke content pushed a lot of buttons.