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Opera-on-wheels 'Hopscotch' drives home the complicated pull of downtown L.A.

Opera-on-wheels 'Hopscotch' drives home the complicated pull of downtown L.A.

Does Los Angeles need a true center, a downtown in the traditional sense? How about a reasonable facsimile of one, something just plausible enough to fool the visitors from out of town? Would that do the trick?

These questions, typically bouncing from sincerity to exasperation and back again, have preoccupied writers, planners, architects and civic boosters for nearly a century. They also play a pivotal role in shaping the wildly inventive, logistically miraculous "Hopscotch," a mobile opera that will wrap up an extended run this weekend.

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