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the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater

HERE’S A TALL TALE about a tall tale: Walt Disney’s body—allegedly suspended in cryogenic slumber—is stashed somewhere on the campus of the California Institute of the Arts. Apocryphal? Almost certainly. But the rumor’s tenacity among generations of students at the Valencia, California, art school he helped found in 1961 indicates how large the Disney legend still looms. The latest chapter in the history of the partnership begins in mid-November with the opening of the school’s new performance and gallery outpost, the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, or REDCAT, in downtown Los Angeles.

REDCAT occupies the southwest corner of Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, the new home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, at Second and Hope Streets. Gehry’s facade of colossal stainless-steel chevrons fronts the hall and links to a swoop of steel ribbon crowning REDCAT’s separate entrance. When both

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