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WHAT'S HAPPENING\THEATER.

Byline: Larry Lipson

Sly Sam: Like so many of Samuel Beckett's plays, "Endgame" takes a bleak, bemused look at life's futility, cataloging the petty treasons, casual abandonments and emotional barrenness that makes each day so gosh-darned fun.

It's hysterical stuff, no lie - especially when it's performed with as much insight as the Matrix Theatre Company production that just received two Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards. Having played too short a run last year, the show just reopened. It features such recognizable TV actors as Charles Hallahan (formerly on "Grace Under Fire"), whose performance earned a drama critics award, and Cotter Smith ("Equal Justice"). It is directed by Andrew J. Robinson, one of the city's hottest theater directors, having just received drama critics awards for his work on both "Endgame" and "The Homecoming," also at the Matrix.

The show's plot? Difficult to describe. Let's just say it features a blind, paralytic man who is dependent on his much-abused lackey, and a set of neglected parents living in a dumpster. (It'll all make sense when you see it.)

The production is double-cast, with actors rotating through the roles, so it's a different show every night. The Matrix is at 7657 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 and 7 p.m. Sundays, through April 21. Tickets are $20, available by calling (213) 852-1445. 3- Daryl H. Miller

DINING

Peace for parents: While their children are busy enjoying their own meals, movies and simulated rides in the adjacent museum, diners who are parents may enjoy their full-service dinner tonight and every Friday at the DC3 restaurant, 2800 Donald Douglas Loop North, Santa Monica.

The restaurant, situated in the Santa Monica Airport next to the Museum of Flying, just added Fridays to the "Family Night Out" program's original Tuesday-through-Thursday schedule.

To take advantage of this program, parents should call by 2 p.m. for same-day seating, between 6 and 7 p.m.

While they eat an uninterrupted meal in the DC3 dining room, their children also eat a special kid's meal and enjoy supervised playtime under the constant supervision of a child-care instructor.

For details and reservations, call (310) 399-2323.

CAPTION(S):

PHOTO

Photo (1) Dinosaur Jr. bassist Mike Johnson plays a free solo show tonight. (2) George Biddle's 1937 painting, "Indian Dance, No. 2," is part of "American Paintings in Southern California Collections From Gilbert Stuart to Georgia O'Keeffe" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. (3) Pregnant police chief Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand), with husband Norm (John Carroll Lynch), has her hands full in "Fargo," where a snowy, northern town is beset by kidnapping and murder. (4) Rotating in the Matrix Theatre's double-cast "Endgame," are Gregory Itzin, left, Charles Hallahan, Robin Gammell and Cotter Smith.
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Title Annotation:Review; L.A. LIFE
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Mar 22, 1996
Words:463
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