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Beginning May 9, California's La Jolla Playhouse will be offering an expanded season: six plays, ranging from Shakespeare to the premi`ere of a Lee Blessing drama commissioned by the Playhouse. The opener is Steinbeck's novel ``The Grapes of Wrath,'' adapted by Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Frank Galati.

``Nebraska,'' a contemporary tragedy by Keith Reddin receiving its premi`ere, is about men and women in the Strategic Air Command. ``Down the Road'' is the second play in two years commissioned by the Playhouse from Mr. Blessing. To be directed by the Playhouse's artistic director, Des McAnuff, the play concerns a serial killer.

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In explaining his reason for staging ``Macbeth,'' Mr. McAnuff has referred to it as a ``bottomless play - one that haunted me a full year after I had directed it the first time.''

There will also be a new musical and a classic comedy, both to be announced. The season ends Nov. 26

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