May 032017
 
One-Of-A-Kind Cast Party At Ahmanson Theatre

Cast of Fiasco Theater’s “Into the Woods” at the Ahmanson Theatre

AHMANSON THEATRE TO THROW CAST PARTY SATURDAY, MAY 13

FOR ALL “INTO THE WOODS” ACTORS FROM ANY PRODUCTION

What Character Did You Play In “Into the Woods”?
The Baker? Cinderella? The Wolf? A Prince? The Witch? Little Red Ridinghood?

On Saturday, May 13, 2017, following the 2 p.m. matinee performance of Fiasco Theater’s “Into the Woods” at the Ahmanson Theatre, Center Theatre Group will throw a cast party for all the Bakers and Witches, Cinderellas and Princes, Milky Whites, et al., who have ever appeared in a production of “Into the Woods.”

With a pianist to play songs from “Into the Woods,” those familiar with the show may sing along with their character counterparts and share backstage stories.

Actors are encouraged to send in photos of themselves in character; photos will be screened during the party and shared on Center Theatre Group’s social media sites.

A special ticket price is being offered for the May 13 matinee performance; “Into the Woods” actors will be able to purchase one ticket and get one free using a special promo code: ITTAKESTWO.

Be it a school production, community theatre, Broadway or film all those who have been ‘into the woods’ are invited to participate. The call is out to talented Southern California actors who have appeared in a production of “Into the Woods,” including Teri Bibb, Karen Culliver, Zachary Ford, Helen Geller, Gordon Goodman, Michael G. Hawkins, Bonnie Hellman, Pamela Hamill, Kim Huber, Tracy Katz, Damon Kirsche, Carol Kline, Heather Lee, Vicki Lewis, Bets Malone, Mary Gordon Murray, John Rubinstein, Brent Schindele, Leslie Stevens, Robert Yacko, and from 3-D Theatrical’s production, Viva Carr, Jeanette Dawson, Tim Martin Gleason, Jordan Lamoureux, Bets Malone, Julie Morgentaler, Tracy Rowe Mutz, Christanna Rowader, Cameron Sczempka and Jeff Skowron.

Center Theatre Group also extends a warm invitation to Meryl Streep, James Corden, Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp, Anthony Geary, Joanna Gleason, Bernadette Peters, Chris Pine, Vanessa Williams, Judi Dench, Charlotte Rae, Cleo Laine, Douglas Sills, Anna Kendrick, Christine Baranski, Tracey Ullman, Sally Struthers and all the denizens of Sondheim’s modern classic “Into the Woods.”

The acclaimed Fiasco Theater production of “Into the Woods” plays through May 14, 2017, at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre. The celebrated new production of the Tony Award-winning musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, is directed by Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld.

This wildly inventive ensemble piece features versatile actor/musicians who sing, act and play instruments, including Anthony Chatmon II as Lucinda/Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince, Eleasha Gamble as Baker’s Wife, Evan Harrington as Baker, Lisa Helmi Johanson as Little Red Ridinghood/Rapunzel, Bonne Kramer as Cinderella’s Stepmother/Jack’s Mother, Patrick Mulryan as Jack/Steward, Darick Pead as Milky White/Florinda/Rapunzel’s Prince, Evan Rees, Music Director/Pianist, Fred Rose as Mysterious Man, Vanessa Reseland as Witch and Laurie Veldheer as Cinderella/Granny, with Joshua Archer, Sean Peter Forte, Javier Ignacio, Kate Moore and Alanna Saunders.

“Into the Woods” includes memorable songs like “Children Will Listen” and “No One Is Alone.” Mind the wolf, heed the witch and honor the giant in the sky in this extraordinary musical about the power of wishes and what really happens after they come true. The award-winning musical has been mounted with boundless imagination in a witty and wild theatrical reinvention of a beloved modern classic.

Scenic design for “Into the Woods” is by Derek McLane, costume design by Whitney Locher, lighting design by Christopher Akerlind, sound design by Darron L West and Charles Coes, orchestrations by Frank Galgano and Matt Castle, music supervision by Matt Castle and choreography is by Lisa Shriver.

The acclaimed Fiasco Theater production of “Into the Woods” is presented by the Dodgers (the Tony Award–winning producers of the original “Into the Woods” with Bernadette Peters, and of its revival with Vanessa Williams, “Jersey Boys,” “Matilda”), along with NETworks Presentations (the Lincoln Center Theater production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “South Pacific,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “War Horse”).

Unanimously revered and extended twice at Roundabout Theatre Company, “Into the Woods” became New York’s surprise hit of the 2015 season, followed by a celebrated engagement at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London.

The popular film adaptation of “Into the Woods” by Walt Disney Pictures premiered in 2014 with Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, James Corden and Anna Kendrick, and was critically and commercially successful. Already in the top five of the most successful movie musical adaptations ever, it was nominated for three Academy Awards and three Golden Globes.

Bank of America is the season sponsor for the Ahmanson Theatre and Delta Airlines is the official airline sponsor.

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, programming seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting May 13 Cast Party for “Into the Woods” at Ahmanson Theatre and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Tickets for “Into the Woods” are available by calling (213) 972-4400, online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org or by visiting the Center Theatre Group box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre. Tickets range from $25 – $125 (ticket prices are subject to change).

The Ahmanson Theatre is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles.

 

 

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Apr 272017
 
Free Concert Broadway At Grand Park

Mark Ballas, who will appear in the Los Angeles engagement of the national tour of “Jersey Boys,” which plays May 16 through June 24, 2017, at Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400. Photo by SMOG design.

 

CENTER THEATRE GROUP PRESENTS “BROADWAY AT GRAND PARK” FRIDAY APRIL 28

Free Concert from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Grand Park Across From The Music Center

“Into the Woods and “Jersey Boys” Casts Perform Hits From Their Smash Broadway Shows

“Jersey Boys” to Perform “Sherry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh, What A Night”

On Friday, April 28, Center Theatre Group will launch the newly created free concert event “Broadway at Grand Park” from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. with cast members from the Ahmanson Theatre’s “Into the Woods” and “Jersey Boys” performing some of the biggest hits from these popular shows. The concert is free and open to the public.

Mark Ballas as Franki Valli will lead the Jersey Boys for the Grand Park concert with Matthew Dailey, Keith Hines and Cory Jeacoma as Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi and Bob Gaudio, respectively. The Jersey Boys will perform the hits “Sherry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh, What A Night,” “Who Loves You” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” Cast members from “Into the Woods” will perform a selection of favorites from the hit Sondheim musical.

Ballas will reprise his acclaimed Broadway performance as Frankie Valli in the Ahmanson engagement of “Jersey Boys.” Ballas, known for his Emmy nominated work on “Dancing with the Stars,” made his Broadway debut in the role last fall. “Jersey Boys,” plays at the Ahmanson May 16 through June 24, 2017.

Free Concert Broadway At Grand Park

The cast of the Fiasco Theater production of “Into the Woods,” which plays April 4 through May 14, 2017, at Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The acclaimed Fiasco Theater Company’s “Into the Woods” is currently playing at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre through May 14. The Tony Award-winning musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, is directed by Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld.

“Into the Woods” includes memorable songs like “Children Will Listen” and “No One Is Alone.” Mind the wolf, heed the witch and honor the giant in the sky in this extraordinary musical about the power of wishes and what really happens after they come true. The award-winning musical has been mounted with boundless imagination: a witty and wild theatrical reinvention of a beloved modern classic.

Music and lyrics for “Into the Woods” are by Stephen Sondheim, the book is by James Lapine and the co-directors are Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld.

The Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning hit musical “Jersey Boys” is the behind-the-music story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard—and the radio just couldn’t get enough of it. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story—a story that has made them an international sensation all over again.

The book for “Jersey Boys” is by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, the music is by Bob Gaudio, the lyrics are y Bob Crewe, the choreography is by Sergio Trujillo and the director is Des McAnuff.

Bank of America is the season sponsor for the Ahmanson Theatre and Delta Airlines is the official airline sponsor.

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, programming seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Grand Park Mainstage is located at 200 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012. The event will also feature a pop-up box office open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Grand Park so attendees may purchase tickets for “Into the Woods” and “Jersey Boys.”

Tickets for “Into the Woods” and “Jersey Boys” are available by calling (213) 972-4400, online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org or by visiting the Center Theatre Group box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre. Tickets will also be available for purchase from 11:30 to 2 p.m. in Grand Park on Friday, April 28 only. Tickets range from $25 – $125 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Ahmanson Theatre is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, 90012

 

 

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Feb 112017
 

Sing To Win Complimentary Tickets For “Fun Home”

CENTER THEATRE GROUP TO HOST SING OUT “RING OF KEYS” CONTEST

INDIVIDUALS AND NON-PROFESSIONAL CHOIRS ELIGIBLE

WINNERS WILL RECEIVE TICKETS TO “FUN HOME”

 

In anticipation of “Fun Home” coming to the Ahmanson Theatre, Center Theatre Group will host a Sing Out “Ring of Keys” Contest. Individuals and non-professional choirs are invited to submit video of themselves singing the song “Ring of Keys” from the musical “Fun Home.” Center Theatre Group will present “Fun Home” at the Ahmanson Theatre February 21 through April 1, 2017. Opening night is February 22.

Contest applicants are asked to create a video that is between two and five minutes long which can include an introduction of themselves or their group. Center Theatre Group will provide sheet music in the form of a four-part acapella arrangement of “Ring of Keys” upon request. All submissions must be received no later than Friday, February 24.

All video submissions will be posted to Center Theatre Group’s YouTube channel on Monday, February 27. Judging will occur between February 27 and March 3. The video that receives the most likes will be named the contest winner. The singer or singers in the winning video will receive complimentary tickets to see “Fun Home.”

For more information about the Sing Out “Ring of Keys” Contest, please visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org/SingOutRingofKeys.

 

 

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Dec 032016
 
“Amélie, A New Musical”

L-R Adam Chanler-Berat, Sam Pinkleton and Phillipa Soo at a workshop for “Amélie, A New Musical,” which will be produced at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre December 4, 2016, through January 15, 2017. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400. Photo by Joan Marcus. ©2016 Joan Marcus

CENTER THEATRE GROUP AND THE THEATRE AT ACE HOTEL PRESENT

A SPECIAL “AMÉLIE” FILM SCREENING SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3 AT 7:30PM

“Amélie, A New Musical” Coming to the Ahmanson Theatre on December 4th

In anticipation of “Amélie, A New Musical” coming to the Ahmanson Theatre, Center Theatre Group and The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles will present a special screening of the five-time Oscar-nominated film “Amélie” on Saturday, December 3 at 7:30 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

Center Theatre Group’s production of “Amélie, A New Musical” at the Ahmanson Theatre begins previews December 4, 2016, opens December 16 and continues through January 15, 2017. Based on the motion picture written by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant, “Amélie, A New Musical” will have its Broadway premiere at the Walter Kerr Theatre, beginning performances on March 9, 2017 and opening April 3, 2017.

Amélie captured our hearts in the 2001 French film. Now Amélie (played by Tony Award nominee Phillipa Soo) comes to the stage in an inventive and captivating new musical directed by Tony Award winner Pam MacKinnon (“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” “Clybourne Park”), with a book by three-time Tony Award nominee Craig Lucas (“An American in Paris”), music by Daniel Messé (of the band Hem), lyrics by Nathan Tysen (“Tuck Everlasting”) and Daniel Messé, musical staging and choreography by Sam Pinkleton, musical direction by Kimberly Grigsby, vocal arrangements by Kimberly Grigsby and Daniel Messé, and orchestrations by Tony Award winner Bruce Coughlin.

In addition to Phillipa Soo in the title role, the cast will feature, in alphabetical order, Emily Afton, David Andino, Randy Blair, Heath Calvert, Adam Chanler-Berat, Alison Cimmet, Savvy Crawford, Manoel Felciano, Harriett D. Foy, Alyse Alan Louis, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Lily Sanfelippo, Tony Sheldon, Jacob Keith Watson and Paul Whitty.

The musical follows the mesmerizing journey of the inquisitive and charmingly shy Amélie who turns the streets of Montmartre into a world of her own imagining, while secretly orchestrating moments of joy for those around her. After discovering a mysterious photo album and meeting a handsome stranger, Amélie realizes that helping others is easier than participating in a romantic story of her own.

 

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Nov 142016
 
Mark Taper Forum “Zoot Suit” Buy One Ticket Get One Free

Luis Valdez (center right) with the cast of the 1978 production of “Zoot Suit” at the Mark Taper Forum. Written and directed by Valdez and presented in association with El Teatro Campesino, “Zoot Suit” will play January 31 through March 12, 2017, as part of Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum’s 2017-2018 Season at the Los Angeles Music Center. Tickets for the Mark Taper Forum’s 50th anniversary season are currently available by season ticket membership only. For information and to charge season tickets by phone, call the Exclusive Season Ticket Hotline at (213) 972-4444. To purchase season memberships online, visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org / Taper. Photo by Jay Thompson.

 

“ZOOT SUIT” TICKETS GO ON SALE NOVEMBER 18th

CENTER THEATRE GROUP HOSTS ON-SALE CELEBRATION

FEATURING LIVE MUSIC, DANCING, FOOD TRUCKS AND MORE

Mark Taper Forum “Zoot Suit” Buy One Ticket Get One Free

 

Tickets for Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum’s production of “Zoot Suit” go on sale Friday, November 18, 2016, with a celebratory on-sale event from noon to 3 p.m. in front of the Ahmanson Theatre on the Music Center Plaza in downtown Los Angeles.

Plaza events will include zoot suit-wearing dancers and models provided by El Pachuco Zoot Suits, Inc. clothing company and Barrio Dandy; and live music from the Ragsdale Quartet featuring Alexis de la Rocha. Patina’s Tina Tacos will be open for the event and food trucks will also be accessible near the plaza. Events will be live broadcast on KTNQ 1020 AM and KRCD Recuerdo 103.9 FM/98.3 FM.

The event will also feature a buy one ticket get one free offer for “Zoot Suit,” in person only on November 18 from 12 – 8 p.m., with a limit of two free tickets per person. Tickets will also go on sale that day for “Archduke,” “Head of Passes,” “Water by the Spoonful,” and “Remote L.A.”

Presented in association with El Teatro Campesino, “Zoot Suit,” one of the Taper’s most iconic original works, will kick off Center Theatre Group’s 50th anniversary season at the Mark Taper Forum. Written and directed by Luis Valdez, “Zoot Suit” begins previews January 31, opens February 12 and continues through March 12, 2017.

“Zoot Suit” was originally commissioned and developed by Center Theatre Group, playing for nearly a year in Los Angeles first at the Taper from August 6 to October 1, 1978, then at the Aquarius in Hollywood from October 10, 1978, through July 1, 1979. It went on to become Broadway’s first Chicano play and was made into a major motion picture that became a cultural phenomenon.

Nearly 40 years after its world premiere, original creator Valdez will once again fill the Taper’s stage with a company of 25 actors, singers and dancers weaving fact and fiction together as they portray the events surrounding the infamous 1942 Sleepy Lagoon murder in Los Angeles. Filled with heart, sly wit and the infectious songs of Lalo Guerrero, “Zoot Suit” remains an urgent portrayal of the clash between generations in a Chicano family, the rifts between cultures in America and how racism and injustice can haunt a city and a society.

As of November 18, tickets for “Zoot Suit” will be available by calling (213) 628-2772 or online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org (the buy one get one free offer is for inperson sales on November 18 only). Tickets range from $25 – $95 (ticket prices are subject to change).

The Mark Taper Forum is located at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.

 

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Nov 042016
 

AHMANSON THEATRE NOW OFFERS STUDENT SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR $75

CENTER THEATRE GROUP INTRODUCES THE BACKSTAGE CLUB AN AHMANSON THEATRE STUDENT SUBSCRIPTION FOR $75

 

Center Theatre Group is launching the Backstage Club, a new subscription program that allows students ages 12-18 to purchase a three-show season ticket package to the Ahmanson Theatre for just $75.

The Backstage Club will include the following productions from the 2016/17 Ahmanson season: “Amélie, A New Musical,” “Into the Woods” and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” For an additional $25, “Fun Home” will also be available as an optional add-on. The Backstage Club subscription will include Orchestra and Mezzanine seating, no handling fees and subscriber benefits including free ticket exchanges and priority seating. Up to two adults will be able to join each student at the same price of $25 per performance.

The Backstage Club subscribers will be given total flexibility to pick whichever performance dates work best for them. There will also be the option to attend designated Student Meet-Ups on select dates and enjoy a pre-show, behind-the-scenes experience featuring artist Q&As as well as raffles, snacks and merchandise.

“Center Theatre Group is thrilled to launch this brand new student subscription program for our 50th anniversary season,” said Deborah Warren, Center Theatre Group’s Director of Marketing. “We hope that the Backstage Club will give young people the opportunity to experience some of the incredible productions we have coming up at the Ahmanson Theatre at a low price and help to build a life-long relationship with the arts.”

The deadline to join the Backstage Club is December 1, 2016.

The Backstage Club Student Meet-Ups are scheduled as following: Thursday, December 8, 2016 for “Amélie, A New Musical,” Thursday, April 6, 2017 for “Into the Woods,” and Thursday, August 10, 2017 for “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” The meet-up for the optional add-on “Fun Home” is Thursday, February 23, 2017.

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, programming seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

For further information about Center Theatre Group and the Backstage Club please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org/BackstageClub or call (213) 972-4444.

The Ahmanson Theatre is located at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.

 

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Brilliant move CTG

★★★★★
5 5 1
Youth needs to be introduce to the arts early and en masse. Thank you CTG for making culture more affordable for L.A. students.
Oct 082016
 

Music Center and CTG Honor Gordon Davidson

THE MUSIC CENTER AND CENTER THEATRE GROUP’S KIRK DOUGLAS THEATRE

WILL DIM THEIR LIGHTS IN HONOR OF GORDON DAVIDSON

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2016

 

On Saturday, October 8 at 8 p.m., the four Music Center theatres – Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson Theatre, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and Walt Disney Concert Hall – along with the Kirk Douglas Theatre, will dim their lights in honor of Gordon Davidson, Founding Artistic Director of Center Theatre Group. Gordon Davidson passed away Sunday, October 2, 2016.

“In keeping with the long-standing Broadway tradition, Center Theatre Group and The Music Center will dim our lights to honor the life and legacy of Gordon Davidson,” said Center Theatre Group Artistic Director, Michael Ritchie. “It is a small recognition of Gordon’s giant contribution to the city and the art form that he loved.”

“Gordon Davidson’s passion for the performing arts made an immeasurable impact on the Los Angeles arts scene and directly contributed to The Music Center’s success,” said Rachel Moore, president and CEO, The Music Center. “We will be forever grateful to him for his talent, dedication and pioneering spirit.”

From 1967 to 2005 Gordon Davidson was the Artistic Director of the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum at The Music Center. Davidson was also the Producing Director of the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre for 15 years, and the Artistic Director of the inaugural season (2004-2005) at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. In addition to redefining theatre in Southern California, he was one of the founders of the regional theatre movement and had a permanent impact on theatre throughout the country and the world.

 

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Oct 032016
 
Gordon Davidson

Gordon Davidson with Tony Kushner and producers of “Angels in America” celebrating one of the highlights of his career, winning Tony Award.

Center Theatre Group mourns the loss of its Founding Artistic Director, Gordon Davidson, who passed away Sunday, October 2, 2016. Plans for a memorial event will be announced in the coming days.

“Gordon Davidson was one of the most renowned and respected artistic directors in regional theatre, in large part because he was one of the original founders of the entire concept,” said Center Theatre Group Artistic Director, Michael Ritchie.

“He led Center Theatre Group for 38 years and produced one of the broadest arrays of plays, particularly new plays, of any theatre in the country.

Without his prolific vision for Center Theatre Group 50 years ago, the theatrical landscape in Los Angeles, and the country, would be very different. He remains one of theatre’s great leaders and I was proud to call him a mentor, friend and colleague.”

From 1967 to 2005 Gordon Davidson was the Artistic Director of Center Theatre Group / Mark Taper Forum at the Music Center of Los Angeles.

In addition to his role at the Taper, Davidson was the Producing Director of the Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre for 15 years, and the Artistic Director of the inaugural season (2004-2005) at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. In addition to redefining theatre in Southern California, he was one of the founders of the regional theatre movement and had a permanent impact on theatre throughout the country and the world.

Gordon guided hundreds of productions to the Taper stage while overseeing numerous special projects sponsored by the Taper. This work and his direction of many of the Taper plays were acclaimed both in Los Angeles and New York, garnering the Taper a Tony Award for theatrical excellence in 1977.

Under Gordon, the Taper was distinguished by having two of its plays “The Kentucky Cycle” and “Angels in America” (Part One – “Millennium Approaches”) receive in consecutive years the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, the first time for plays produced outside of New York. “Angels in America,” when subsequently produced on Broadway, also received in consecutive years two Tony Awards for Best Play, for Part One and Part Two – “Perestroika,” respectively.

In fact, in 1994 when “Perestroika” won the Tony Gordon Davidson Award, three of the four plays nominated for Best Play were Taper plays (with “The Kentucky Cycle” and “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992” joining “Perestroika”). Davidson’s direction of “Children of a Lesser God” (which received two Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, including Distinguished Production) brought him a Tony Award nomination (one of four nominations for the play) and a New York Drama Desk Award nomination (one of five). “Children of a Lesser God” won three 1980 Tony Awards for Best Play, Best Actor and Best Actress.

In 1977, Davidson won a Tony Award for his direction of “The Shadow Box,” which also won the Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award for Best Play for its author, Michael Cristofer.

In that same season, Davidson 2 was the recipient of an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Director for “The Shadow Box” at the Morosco Theatre and “Savages” at the Hudson Guild Theatre, and an Obie for his direction of “Savages.” Earlier he had received two Margo Jones Awards for his work in encouraging new plays and playwrights.

Davidson also staged The Phoenix Theatre productions of “Murderous Angels” and “The Trial of the Catonsville Nine,” winning an Obie Award and a Tony Award nomination for the latter play, and he was honored with a New York Drama Desk Award for “In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer,” staged at Lincoln Center.“The Shadow Box,” “Savages,” “Murderous Angels,” “Oppenheimer” and “Catonsville” premiered at the Taper under Davidson’s direction, whose other credits there include “The Devils,” “Who’s Happy Now?,” “Rosebloom,” “Henry IV, Part I,” “Mass,” “Hamlet,” “Too Much Johnson,” “And Where She Stops Nobody Knows,” “Getting Out,” “Black Angels,” “Terra Nova,” “Children of a Lesser God,” “The Lady and the Clarinet,” “Chekhov in Yalta,” “Tales From Hollywood,” “The Hands of Its Enemy,” “Traveler in the Dark,” “The Real Thing,” “Ghetto,” “Dutch Landscape,” “Unfinished Stories,” “Nine Armenians,”
“QED” and “Stuff Happens.”

For the Ahmanson Theatre, he directed a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music” at the Doolittle Theatre, and after supervising the remodeling of the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center, he staged the 30th anniversary production of “Candide” in November 1995 as the first production in the new Ahmanson.He directed the first play presented in the new Kirk Douglas Theatre – the world premiere of “A Perfect Wedding.”

The Taper was the co-producer of the theatre portion of the Olympic Arts Festival in Los Angeles in the summer of 1984. Davidson directed the West Coast premiere of Arthur Miller’s “The American Clock” for the Taper’s 1984 Repertory Festival, which was a participant in the Olympic Arts Festival.

For television, he directed “It’s the Willingness” by Marsha Norman for the PBS Visions series. He also directed the feature film version of “Catonsville” and the television version of “Who’s Happy Now?” for the NET Theatre in America series.

In 1976 he directed “Otello” for the Israel Philharmonic, Zubin Mehta conducting. In Gordon Davidson – 3 1985, Davidson directed the world premiere of Thea Musgrave’s “Harriet, The Woman Called Moses” for the Virginia Opera Association. His staging of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass” opened the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and he directed “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream” for the LA Opera. In Los Angeles, Davidson was honored by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle with a Special Award for his outstanding contributions to American playwrights and three Distinguished Direction Awards.

He also received a LADCC Award for the Taper’s New Theatre For Now In the Works festival. He was given The Governor’s Award for the Arts in 1990 honoring his contributions to the performing arts in California, and in 1997 the Founders League of the Music Center of Los Angeles County honored him for 30 years of artistic leadership. He was also awarded the 1993 Casting Society of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Honorary Gold Card membership into IATSE, Local 33, and the “Mr. Abbott” Award for Lifetime Achievement, among many other awards.

In January 2000 Davidson was inducted in to the Theater Hall of Fame on Broadway. Davidson was appointed to the National Council on the Arts by President Clinton and was a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He served as president of Theatre Communications Group and the League of Resident Theatres, and was a board member of several arts organizations including the Non-Traditional Casting Project.

He received honorary doctorates from Brooklyn College, California Institute of the Arts and Claremont University Center. He regularly served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, as an artistic advisor for the Fund for New American Plays, and he was a member of the advisory boards for the Cornell Center for the Performing Arts and the Jewish Theatre Association.

Gordon was born on May 7, 1933, and is survived by his wife, Judi; their children, Adam and Rachel; and five granddaughters.

Music Center and CTG Dim Their Lights For Gordon Davidson

 

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Feb 032015
 

ANGELA LANSBURY MAKES NOËL COWARD’S “BLITHE SPIRIT” THE BEST-SELLING PLAY REVIVAL IN DECADES AT LOS ANGELES’ CENTER THEATRE GROUP / AHMANSON THEATRE

Angela Lansbury In Blithe Spirit2

Angela Lansbury (clockwise from her) Janie Dee, Simon Jones (obscured) Serena Evans (obscured) and Charles Edwards in the 2014 West End revival of Noël Coward’s “Blithe Spirit.”
Photo by Johan Persson.

Following sold-out engagements on Broadway and in London’s West End, television legend, Oscar recipient and five-time Tony Award-winner Angela Lansbury enjoyed continued success with Noël Coward’s smash-hit comedic play “Blithe Spirit” in its Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre engagement.

Lansbury returned to the Los Angeles stage for the first time in over 30 years, and L.A. audiences had clearly been waiting, making “Blithe Spirit” the best-selling play revival at the Ahmanson Theatre in more than 25 years – a title previously held by “The Trip to Bountiful,” which immediately preceded “Blithe Spirit” in the 2014-2015 season at the Ahmanson.

In addition, “Blithe Spirit” was the third best-selling drama at the Ahmanson in the last 25 years, just behind the plays “God of Carnage” and “War Horse.”

The North American tour of “Blithe Spirit” launched at the Ahmanson on December 9, 2014, and ran through January 18, 2015. Following the L.A. engagement, the tour continued to SHN’s Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco, January 20 through February 1, 2015, and will then move to Mirvish Productions’ Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto, February 11 through March 15, and will conclude in Washington, D.C., March 17 through March 29, at the National Theatre where Lansbury made her first pre-Broadway stage debut nearly 58 years ago to the day.


Jan 242015
 

“DAME EDNA’S GLORIOUS GOODBYE – THE FAREWELL TOUR”
OPENS NEXT WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28, AT 8 P.M. AT THE CTG /AHMANSON THEATRE

Dame Edna

Dame Edna in the Australia / New Zealand tour of “Eat Pray Laugh! Barry Humphries’ Farewell Tour,” adapted for the U.S. as “Dame Edna’s Glorious Goodbye – The Farewell Tour.” Directed by Simon Phillips, “Dame Edna’s Glorious Goodbye” plays January 24 – March 15, 2015, at the CTG/Ahmanson Theatre. Photo by Matt Jelonek

“I’m back at my home away from home on Grand Avenue.
And I’m at the height of my powers.
Let me heal you with laughter.”
– Dame Edna Everage

“Dame Edna may leave the stage, but she will never leave my heart. I love her. I honor her.
I cherish the high times she has made for me and millions of others.”
– John Lahr, The New Yorker

Dame EdnaThe Center Theatre Group engagement of “Dame Edna’s Glorious Goodbye – The Farewell Tour” opens on Wednesday, January 28 at the Ahmanson Theatre. The production continues through March 15, 2015.

The title role of Dame Edna Everage is played by Barry Humphries with an ensemble that includes Ralph Coppola, Brooke Pascoe, Eve Prideaux and Armando Yearwood, Jr. The production is directed by Simon Phillips with Jonathan Tessero serving as musical director and onstage accompanist and Andrew Ross serving as the musical supervisor.

Tickets for “Dame Edna” are available by calling (213) 972-4400, visiting www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, or in person at the Center Theatre Group box office at the Ahmanson Theatre. Tickets range from $25 – $115 (ticket prices are subject to change).
The Ahmanson Theatre is located at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.


Jan 162015
 

“Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” in March & April at Ahmanson Theatre

"Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella" at Ahmanson Theatre

Paige Faure and Andy Jones in the national tour of “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, new book by Douglas Carter Beane and original book by Oscar Hammerstein II. Directed by Mark Brokaw and choreographed by Josh Rhodes, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” will be presented March 17 through April 26, 2015, at the Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre. Photo by Carol Rosegg

“Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella”
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
A New Book by Douglas Carter Beane
Original Book by Oscar Hammerstein II
Music Adaptation, Supervision and Arrangements by David Chase
Orchestrations by Danny Troob
Choreography by Josh Rhodes
Directed by Mark Brokaw.

DESCRIPTION:
With its fresh new take on the beloved tale of a young woman who is transformed from a chambermaid into a princess, this hilarious and romantic “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” combines the story’s classic elements – glass slippers, pumpkin, and a beautiful ball along with some surprising twists. More than just a pretty face with the right shoe size, this Cinderella is a contemporary figure living in a fairytale setting. She is a spirited young woman with savvy and soul who doesn’t let her rags or her gowns trip her up in her quest for kindness, compassion and forgiveness.

DATES and TIMES:
Preview March 17. Opens March 18th. Runs through April 26, 2015
Preview: (March 17) Tuesday at 8 p.m.
Opens Wednesday, March 18 at 8 p.m.
Regular Performances (March 19 – April 26, 2015):
Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m. No Monday performances.
Exceptions: No public performance on Wednesday, March 25.
Added 2 p.m. performance on Thursday, April 23.
No 6:30 p.m. performance on Sunday, April 26.


Oct 092014
 
“Dame Edna’s Glorious Goodbye – The Farewell Tour” Is Coming To Ahmanson Theatre

Dame Edna in “Dame Edna’s Glorious Goodbye – The Farewell Tour.” Directed by Simon Phillips, “Dame Edna” plays January 24 – March 15, 2015, at the CTG / Ahmanson Theatre. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400.

EVENT:
“Dame Edna’s Glorious Goodbye – The Farewell Tour”
(Previously announced as “Dame Edna and Barry Humphries: The Final Farewell Tour”)
Directed by Simon Phillips.

DESCRIPTION:
In a side-splitting, historic finale, Dame Edna Everage (Barry Humphries) is capping a spectacular career spanning 50 years of bravura showmanship in this farewell celebratory show. Surrounded by spectacular sets and gorgeous, talented dancers, Dame Edna keeps her audience enthralled and ‘in stitches’ with her sparkling wit, mischievous wisdom and razor-sharp banter. With her take-no-prisoners comedy and hijinks, Dame Edna is not going out with a whimper: No one is safe from the Dame’s wicked tongue.

DATES/TIMES:
Previews Begin January 24. Opens January 28. Through March 15, 2015

Sep 212014
 

DIRECTED BYMICHAEL BLAKEMORE
THE PLAY LAUNCHES NORTH AMERICAN TOUR AT CTG / AHMANSON THEATRE, DEC. 9, 2014 AND RUNS THRU JAN. 18, 2015
ANGELA LANSBURY REPRISES HER TONY AWARD®-WINNING PERFORMANCE FOLLOWING HIT WEST END ENGAGEMENT
WITH CHARLES EDWARDS, SUSAN LOUISE O’CONNOR, CHARLOTTE PARRY, JEMIMA ROOPER AND SANDRA SHIPLEY
AHMANSON THEATRE TICKETS GO ON SALE SEPTEMBER 24

Blithe Spirit comes to the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles

Following the internationally acclaimed production with sold-out engagements on Broadway and in London’s West End, television legend, Oscar recipient and five-time Tony Award®-winner Angela Lansbury returns to the stage in Noël Coward’s smash-hit comedic play “Blithe Spirit” in an exciting North American tour to be launched at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

Performances for “Blithe Spirit” at the Ahmanson begin Tuesday, December 9, 2014, and run through Sunday, January 18, 2015. The opening is set for Sunday, December 14.
Following the L.A. engagement, the tour will continue to SHN’s Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco, January 20 through February 1, 2015; Mirvish Productions’ Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto, February 10 through March 15, and concludes in Washington, D.C., March 17 through March 29, at the National Theatre where Lansbury made her first pre-Broadway stage debut nearly 58 years ago to the day.

Angela Lansbury In Blithe Spirit

Angela Lansbury in the 2014 West End revival of Noël Coward’s “Blithe Spirit.” Noël Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” is the second production in the Center Theatre Group /Ahmanson Theatre’s 2014-2015 season and will play December 9, 2014, through January 18, 2015. The opening is scheduled for December 14.
Photo by Johan Persson.

Returning to the role of Madame Arcati, for which she won her fifth Tony Award® in Noël Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre for which she won her fifth Tony Award® in 2009 for Best Featured Actress in a Play, Angela Lansbury (the popular TV show “Murder, She Wrote,” the memorable stage productions of “Sweeney Todd” and “Mame,” the classic film “Gaslight”) will be joined by an all-star cast including Charles Edwards (PBS’ “Downton Abbey,” “The 39 Steps,” “Blithe Spirit” – 2014 West End revival), Jemima Rooper (the film “The Black Dahlia,” “One Man, Two Guvnors,” “Blithe Spirit” – 2014 West End revival) and Charlotte Parry (“Coram Boy,” “The Importance of Being Earnest”). The cast also includes Susan Louise O’Connor (“What to Do When You Hate All Your Friends,” “Blithe Spirit” – 2009 Broadway revival) and Sandra Shipley (“Anything Goes,” “Blithe Spirit” – 2009 Broadway revival). Additional casting will be announced in the coming days.
The play is directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Michael Blakemore (“Kiss Me, Kate,” “Copenhagen”).

“It’s going to be exciting to play Los Angeles for the first time in over 30 years,” said Lansbury. “I’m delighted to be returning to the Ahmanson Theatre in the role of Madame Arcati in Noël Coward’s wonderfully funny play ‘Blithe Spirit.’ It is one of the great comedic roles and playing her for a new audience every night is a joy. I can’t think of a better place to start off this tour than with my family and friends here in my own backyard.”

The creative team includes scenic and costume designs by Helen Hayes Award-winner Simon Higlett, Ms. Lansbury’s costume designs by two-time Tony Award®-winner Martin Pakledinaz and sound design by Olivier Award-winners Ben and Max Ringham.
“Blithe Spirit” replaces the previously postponed production of “Heartbeat of Home” in the Ahmanson Theatre’s 2014-2015 season.

Angela Lansbury In Blithe Spirit2

Angela Lansbury (clockwise from her) Janie Dee, Simon Jones (obscured) Serena Evans (obscured) and Charles Edwards in the 2014 West End revival of Noël Coward’s “Blithe Spirit.” Noël Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” is the second production in the Center Theatre Group /Ahmanson Theatre’s 2014-2015 season and will play December 9, 2014, through January 18, 2015.
Photo by Johan Persson.

Tickets for “Blithe Spirit” go on sale September 24 and are available by calling (213) 972-4400, visiting www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, or in person at the Center Theatre Group box office at the Ahmanson Theatre.

“Blithe Spirit,” one of Noël Coward’s most popular comedies, was first seen on Broadway in 1941, the same year it was produced in London where it set British box office records and was the longest running comedy (1,997 performances) until it was eventually surpassed by “Boeing-Boeing” in the 1970s. The original Broadway production played nearly two years and co-starred Leonora Corbett, Mildred Natwick, Clifton Webb and Peggy Wood. In 1987, it was revived on Broadway in an all-star production with Richard Chamberlain, Blythe Danner, Judith Ivey, and Geraldine Page, in her final Broadway appearance.

The latest revival on Broadway in 2009 was directed by Michael Blakemore and co-starred Angela Lansbury, Jayne Atkinson, Christine Ebersole, Rupert Everett, Simon Jones and Susan Louise O’Connor. Following its critical acclaim and box office success on Broadway, Lansbury returned to the London stage after 40 years to reprise her Tony Award®-winning role. Also under the direction of Michael Blakemore and starring Lansbury, the London revival opened at the Gielgud Theatre on March 18, 2014, and co-starred Janie Dee, Serena Evans, Charles Edwards, Patsy Ferran, Simon Jones and Jemima Rooper.

Coward, in his autobiography, claimed he wrote the play in five days during a holiday. Only two lines of dialogue were removed before its first production in London.
Researching for his new novel, Charles Condomine invites the implausible medium Madame Arcati to his house for a séance. While consumed in a trance, Madame Arcati unwittingly summons the ghost of Charles’ dead wife Elvira. Appearing only to Charles, Elvira soon makes a play to reclaim her husband, much to the chagrin of Charles’ new wife Ruth. One husband, two feuding wives and a whisper of mischief in the air – who will win in Coward’s unworldly comedy?

The North American tour of “Blithe Spirit” is produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Steve Traxler, Lee Dean, John Frost, Charles Diamond and Will Trice in association with JAM Theatricals.
For more information about the “Blithe Spirit” tour, please visit www.BlitheSpiritThePlay.com.

ANGELA LANSBURY (Madame Arcati) has enjoyed a career spanning over 70 years in film, stage and television. Winner of five Tony Awards®, she made her Broadway debut in 1957 playing Bert Lahr’s wife in “Hotel Paradiso” which opened its pre-Broadway tryout on March 16, 1957, at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C. where she will return 58 years later during the final two weeks of the North American tour of Noël Coward’s “Blithe Spirit.” In 1960, she returned to Broadway as Joan Plowright’s mother in Shelagh Delaney’s “A Taste of Honey.” She starred in her first musical, “Anyone Can Whistle” in 1964, and in 1966 she triumphed as “Mame,” winning her first Tony. She won Tonys for “Dear World” (1968), “Gypsy” (1974) and “Sweeney Todd” (1979). After a 23-year hiatus, she returned to Broadway in 2007 starring in Terrence McNally’s “Deuce.” In 2009 she won her fifth Tony Award as Madame Arcati in Noël Coward’s “Blithe Spirit,” which was followed in 2010 by her performance as Madame Armfeldt in Stephen Sondheim’s classic “A Little Night Music” and Gore Vidal’s classic “The Best Man” (2012). In 2013, she appeared in the highly acclaimed Australian tour of Alfred Uhry’s play “Driving Miss Daisy,” also starring James Earl Jones and Boyd Gaines. It was so successful that it was filmed as a live theatre performance and was released in movie theatres worldwide earlier this year.
Most recently, in March 2014, she reprised the role of Madame Arcati at the Gielgud Theatre, which opened to rave reviews and great acclaim. It marked her return to the London stage for the first time in nearly 40 years. Previous London appearances were in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Edward Albee’s “All Over” at the Aldwich, “Gypsy” by Arthur Laurents, Jules Styne and Stephen Sondheim at the Piccadilly, and “Hamlet” co-starring Albert Finney at the National.
She has appeared in over 60 motion pictures beginning with “Gaslight” at the age of 17 for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. Her other films include such classics as “National Velvet,” “The Harvey Girls,” Frank Capra’s “State of the Union,” “The Portrait of Dorian Gray” (her second film and second Academy Award nomination), Cecil B. DeMille’s “Samson and Delilah,” “The Court Jester,” “The Long Hot Summer,” “The Manchurian Candidate” (Academy Award nomination), “The World of Henry Orient” and “Death on the Nile.” In 1991 she was the voice of Mrs. Potts in the Disney animated feature “Beauty and the Beast,” and in 1997 she was the voice of the Grand Duchess Marie in the animated film “Anastasia.” In 2005, she was in Emma Thompson’s “Nanny McPhee” and in 2011 she co-starred with Jim Carrey in “Mr. Poppers Penguins.”
From 1984-1996 she made television history starring as Jessica Fletcher on “Murder, She Wrote,” the longest-running detective drama series in TV history, winning four of her six Golden Globe Awards. She has also starred in numerous other films for television and appeared as a guest star on series such as “Law & Order.”
She is a recipient of the National Medal of the Arts, the Kennedy Center Honors. In addition to her five Tonys, she is the winner of six Golden Globe Awards and was nominated for 18 Emmys and three Oscars. In 2013 she was awarded an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement in Motion Pictures. She is a member of the theatre and television halls of fame and recipient of the Silver Mask for Lifetime Achievement from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, as well as the BAFTA/LA Britannia Award for Lifetime Achievement in Television and Film. Earlier named a Commander of the British Empire, she was named a Dame of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on this New Year’s Honours List and was invested at Windsor Castle on April 15, 2014.
She was married to motion picture executive Peter Shaw for 53 years. He died in 2003. She has three children and three grandchildren.

CHARLES EDWARDS (Charles Condomine) plays Lady Edith’s publisher lover Michael Gregson in “Downton Abbey.”
He played Charles in Michael Blakemore’s hugely successful London production of “Blithe Spirit” in 2014. Also in London’s West End he played Bertie in the original stage play “The King’s Speech” by the Oscar-winning playwright David Seidler, and Benedick in “Much Ado About Nothing” at Shakespeare’s Globe; he was nominated as Best Actor at the London Evening Standard Awards for these performances. He led the Tony-winning Broadway production of “The 39 Steps,” having originated the role of Richard Hannay in London, where it won the Olivier Award for Best Comedy. He played Oberon opposite Dame Judi Dench as Titania in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Rose Theatre, and in Coward’s “Hay Fever” at the Haymarket Theatre he played Sandy Tyrrell with Dame Judi as Judith Bliss. At the National Theatre he won the 2014 Clarence Derwent Award for his performance as Marsden in Eugene O’Neill’s “Strange Interlude” opposite Anne-Marie Duff. Also at the NT he has played Andrew Aguecheek in Sir Peter Hall’s production of “Twelfth Night,” Michael Quince in “Pravda” opposite Ralph Fiennes, directed by Sir Nicholas Hytner, and Jack Weatherill in James Graham’s 1970s political epic, “This House,” for which he was again nominated as Best Actor by the Evening Standard.
For television Charles has just completed filming “Arthur and George,” a new series for ITV about Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle. He played Monty Python’s Michael Palin in the BAFTA-nominated “Holy Flying Circus” for the BBC, and he also
plays hapless doctor Iain McKenzie in the ongoing Sky comedy series “Trying Again,” both of these projects come from the writers of the multi-award-winning HBO series “Veep,” Simon Blackwell and Tony Roche. In 2014 he worked with Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe on the series “A Young Doctor’s Notebook,” and with Matthew McFadyen on the BBC’s “Ripper Street.”
Recently in the cinema he appeared in Stephen Frears’ “Philomena” with Steve Coogan. Other film work includes Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins,” “Mansfield Park,” “An Ideal Husband” and Charles Sturridge’s “Longitude.”
He trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

JEMIMA ROOPER (Elvira). Most recently Jemima has been seen on the West End stage in “Breeders” and the sell out West End production of “Blithe Spirit” opposite Angela Lansbury. Other theatre credits include “One Man, Two Guvnors” (National Theatre, Tour, West End, Broadway), “Me and My Girl” (Sheffield Crucible), “All My Sons” (West End), “The Power of Yes” (NT), “The Great Game: Afghanistan” (Tricycle), “Her Naked Skin” (NT), “A Respectable Wedding” (Young Vic), “Us and Them” (Hampstead Theatre) and “Where Do We Live” (Royal Court). Film includes “What If,” “One Chance,” “The Black Dahlia,” “Kinky Boots,” “A Sound of Thunder,” “Snapshots,” “Owd Bob,” “Willy’s War” and “The Higher Mortals.” Television includes “Lucky 7,” “Atlantis” (Series 1 and 2), “Frankenstein’s Wedding,” “A Bouquet of Barbed Wire,” “Poirot: The Third Girl,” “Lost in Austen,” “Hex,” “As If” and “The Railway Children.” Jemima was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for What’s On Stage Awards 2011 (“One Man, Two Guvnors”) 2010 (“All My Sons”) and for Best Performance in Musical for Theatre Awards UK 2011 (“Me And My Girl”).

CHARLOTTE PARRY (Ruth) recently played Gemma in Adam Bock’s “The Colby Sisters” in the West End, and Catherine Winslow in the very well received Broadway run of “The Winslow Boy.” Charlotte was a member of the inaugural year of Sam Mendes’ Bridge Project, performing “The Cherry Orchard” and “The Winter’s Tale” at BAM, in the West End and internationally. She played Cecily in the sellout Broadway run of “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Broadway: “The Winslow Boy,” “Coram Boy,” “The Real Thing” and “The Importance Of Being Earnest.” Off Broadway: “Equivocation” (MTC), “Look Back In Anger” and “Howard Katz” (Roundabout), “The Master Builder” (Irish Rep), “Rainbow Kiss” (The Play Company), “The Lover” (Directorfest). For Sir Peter Hall Company at BAM, Center Theatre Group and London: “As You Like It” and “The Importance Of Being Earnest.”
Regional: Eliza Doolittle in “Pygmalion” (Old Globe), world premiere of John Patrick Shanley’s “Pirate” at New York Stage and Film, world premiere of Edward Albee’s “Me, Myself and I,” and “The Birthday Party” (McCarter Theatre), “The Turn Of The Screw” (Westport Country Playhouse), “Cymbeline” and “Private Lives” (NJ Shakespeare). In the UK – West End: “The Colby Sisters,” “The Real Thing,” “The Cherry Orchard” and “The Winter’s Tale.” Regional and National Tours: “Charley’s Aunt,” “Amadeus,” “The Blue Room,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Titus Andronicus,” “As You Like It,” “Northanger Abbey,” “Les Liaisons Dangereuses,” “The Seagull,” “Three Sisters,” “Godspell,” “Follies” and “Whistle Down The Wind.” TV: “The Safe House” (ITV) and “Extreme Ghost Stories” (ITV). Film: “The Park Bench.” Charlotte has narrated over 50 audiobooks in America and the UK.

SUSAN LOUISE O’CONNOR (Edith). “Blithe Spirit” on Broadway (Theatre World Award, Dorothy Loudon Fellowship, Outer Critics Circle nomination). Other theatre credits include productions with Rattlestick Theatre, Urban Stages, Huntington Theatre, Premiere Stages, Cincinnati Playhouse, St. Louis Rep., Abingdon Theater, La MaMa, Collaboration Town, Daryl Roth Prod., Resonance Ensemble and Barrington Stage. Film, TV and web credits include “Orange is the New Black,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Law & Order: CI,” “Doomsdays,” “Flying Scissors,” “Coming Up Roses,” “Acts of Worship,” “Yellow Fever,” “The Poets,” “Project Beth” and “Wallflowers” (Seasons 1 and 2). She stars in, co-wrote and co-produced the web series “Lucy Knows Love.” www.susanlouiseoconnor.com

SANDRA SHIPLEY (Mrs. Bradman). Broadway: “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “Blithe Spirit,” “Equus,” “Pygmalion,” “Retreat From Moscow,” “Vincent in Brixton” and “Indiscretions.” Off-Broadway/Tour: “Anything Goes” (Tour), “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (Encores), “Suddenly Last Summer” and “Deep Blue Sea” (Roundabout), “Kindertransport” (MTC), “Stuff Happens” and “Venus” (Public). Regional: ART, Humana, Hartford, Huntington, La Jolla, Long Wharf, Old Globe, Williamstown, Guthrie. UK: RSC, Royal Court, West End. Film/TV: “Monument Ave,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Third Watch” and “Lipstick Jungle.” Elliot Norton Award Medal for Theatre Excellence.

MICHAEL BLAKEMORE (Director) became the first director to win a Tony Award® both for a musical (“Kiss Me, Kate”) and a play (“Copenhagen”) in the same year, 2000. For “Kiss Me, Kate” he also won the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Awards. Michael was Associate Director at National Theatre where productions included “The National Health,” “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” “The Front Page,” “Macbeth,” “The Cherry Orchard,” “Plunder,” “After the Fall” and “Copenhagen.” Elsewhere: “Privates on Parade” (RSC); “Don’s Party,” “Widower’s Houses” (Royal Court); “Make and Break” at Lyric Hammersmith Theatre (where he was Resident Director) and Haymarket; “Mr. Peter’s Connections” by Arthur Miller (Almeida). Other West End successes are “A Day in the Death of Joe Egg,” “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui,” “Forget-Me-Not,” “Design for Living,” “Knuckle,” “Separate Tables,” “All My Sons.” “Noises Off,” “Benefactors” “Lettice and Lovage,” “Uncle Vanya” and “The Sisters Rosenweig.” On Broadway, productions include three musicals, the Tony Award®-winning “City of Angels”; “The Life,” voted best musical of 1997 by the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League; “Kiss Me, Kate,” which received 12 Tony nominations. He also directed “Death Defying Acts,” three one-act plays by David Mamet, Elaine May and Woody Allen. He has written and directed two films, “A Personal History of the Australian Surf” (Standard Film Award 1982) and “Country Life.” His books include a novel, “Next Season” (1968), still in paperback, and two memoirs, “Arguments with England” (2004) and recently “Stage Blood” (Faber & Faber). Michael has directed “Democracy” (New York and London); “Embers” and “Three Sisters” (London); “Deuce, Is He Dead?” and “Blithe Spirit” (Broadway and West End).

NOЁL COWARD (Playwright) has achieved enduring success as a playwright, composer, director, actor, and singer. Many of his plays are firm favorites in the theatre repertoire and include “Private Lives,” “Hay Fever,” “Design for Living,” “Present Laughter” and “Blithe Spirit,” which remains one of his most popular comedies. His screenwriting credits include “In Which We Serve” (which he also co-directed) and “Brief Encounter.”

Aug 092014
 
The Trip To Bountiful

EVENT: Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Williams and Blair Underwood in
“The Trip to Bountiful” by Horton Foote
Directed by Michael Wilson.

DESCRIPTION: “The Trip to Bountiful” tells the story of Mother Watts’ (played by Cicely Tyson). She is an elderly woman forced to live with her overprotective son (Blair Underwood) and domineering daughter-in-law (Vanessa Williams). Her dream is to return for one last time to her small hometown in Bountiful, Texas. Her journey becomes a heartbreaking but ultimately life-affirming and inspiring tale that examines the fragility of memory and celebrates the enduring power of hope, faith and family.

DATES/TIMES: Previews Begin September 17. Opens September 26. Continues through November 2, 2014
Previews: (September 17 – 25).
Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m.
Opens September 26 at 8 p.m.
Regular Performances (September 27 – November 2):
Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m. No Monday performances.
Exceptions: Added 6:30 p.m. performances on Sunday, October 5 and 19; Added 2 p.m. performance on Thursday, October 30; No 1 p.m. performance on Sunday, October 5 and 19. No 8 p.m. performance on Tuesday, October 28.

The Trip To Bountiful Stars

The Trip to Bountiful Starring Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Williams and Blair Underwood

TICKET INFO: Ticket Prices: $25-115 (Ticket prices are subject to change.)
Tickets are available by calling Center Theatre Group Audience Services at (213) 972-4400, in person at the Center Theatre Group box office or online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org. Hot Tix: $25 each may be purchased in advance by phone or, subject to availability, on the day of performance at the box office (no checks). Groups: (213) 972-7231. Deaf community: Information & charge, TDD (213) 680-4017.

LOCATION: Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre
At the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.

May 052014
 

Ahmanson Theatre The Last ConfessionRICHARD O’CALLAGHAN JOINS THE CAST OF “THE LAST CONFESSION” Replaces the Previously Announced Brian Bedford in the Role of Pope John Paul I U.S. Premiere Opens June 11 at the CTG/ Ahmanson Theatre
Eminent British actor Richard O’Callaghan will replace Brian Bedford as Pope John Paul I in “The Last Confession,” a gripping new play of intrigue and mystery which begins previews on June 7 and opens in its United States premiere at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre on June 11, 20 14. Bedford ,who was previously announced for the role
has withdrawn from the production due to illness. Richard O Callaghan created the part of Pope John Paul I in Roger Crane’s “The Last Confession” at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket , receiving excellent reviews . He will appear once again with David Suchet (best known as Hercule Poirot in the eponymously named, award – winning TV series) on this international tour directed by Jonathan Church and featuring a cast of actors frm Canada, USA, Australia and the U .K. O’Callaghan’s performance was widely a claimed: “Richa rd O’ Callaghan is excellent,” said Georgia Brown, Mail On Sunday ;

“Richard O’Callaghan is impressive as the kind and unworldly John Paul,” according to Fiona Mountford, London Evening Standard;and “Richard O’Callaghan as Pope John Paul shows the Pope as a powerful man intent on reform. His is an exceptional performance,”said Paul Callan,Daily Express .O’Callaghan has starred in numerous London productions including  “Amadeus ”at Her Majesty’s Theatre , Haymarket ;“Butley ” at the Criterion Theatre ;“Three Months Gone ” at the Royal Court Theatre ;“Twelfth Night ” at the Regents Park Theatre and “Titus Andronicus”at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Producer Paul Elliott said,“It is a great shame tha t Brian Bedford cannot be with this unique adventure and we wish him a good and swift recovery. We are fortunat e and excited to have Richard O’Callaghan reprising his London performance .”Set within the corridors of power in the Vatican, “The Last Confes si on” explores the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of Pope John Paul I in 1978.

He died only 33 days after being elected and before he could set his liberal reforms into place. Suspicions are aroused when it is revealed that the new Pope had warne d three of his most influential but hostile Cardinals that they would be replaced on the evening before his death. The Vatican refuses to conduct an official investigation into the death but the politically savvy Cardinal Giovanni Benelli  (played by Suchet ), who had engineered the election of Pope John Paul I, is determined to find the truth.

Richard O’Callaghan replaces Brian Bedford in “The Last Confession”– 22 Charles Spencer of the Daily Telegraph said about “The Last Confession,”“What a pleasure to encounter such an ambitious new play – a conspiracy thriller and murder mystery that manages the rare feat of being as intelligent as it’s entertaining …What a superb actor Suchet is, at once subtle and charismatic, and with a rare gift for discovering the humanity of the characters he plays.” “The Last Confession” is produced by Paul Elliott, Duncan C. Weldon and Liza McLean.It premiered at the Chich ester Festival Theatre in April 2007 and then transferred to London’s Wes t End in June of the same year.

Presented as part of the Mark Taper Forum subscription season, this Chich ester Festival Theatre production is also a bonus option to Ahmanson season ticket holders. Following the Los Angeles run, the tour will continue to Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney; Australia. Tickets for “The Last Confession” are currently available on subscription only.

For tickets and information, please call (213) 972 – 4444 or visit CenterTheatreGroup.org

Apr 172014
 
Ahmanson Theatre THE GERSHWINS PORGY AND BESS

(L-R): Denisha Ballew, Alicia Hall Moran and Kingsley Leggs in “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin.

TONY AWARD-WINNER “THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS” OPENS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23 AT 8 PM AT THE CENTER THEATRE GROUP/AHMANSON THEATRE
“The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” Opens Wednesday, April 23 at 8 p.m. at the Ahmanson
The Tony Award-winning musical “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” makes its triumphant debut at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre, opening Wednesday, April 23 at 8 p.m. at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre.  Performances continue through June 1, 2014. (Preview April 22.)
“The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward and Ira Gershwin, features one of Broadway’s most accomplished creative teams, led by Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus (“Pippin,” “Hair”), Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (“Topdog/Underdog”), and two-time Obie Award-winning composer Diedre L. Murray (“Running Man”). The cast, which includes Nathaniel Stampley and Alicia Hall Moran as Porgy and Bess (respectively), also features Alvin Crawford as Crown, Kingsley Leggs as Sporting Life, Sumayya Ali as Clara, Denisha Ballew as Serena, Danielle Lee Greaves as Mariah and David Hughey as Jake. In addition, the cast includes Dan Barnhill, Vanjah Boikai, Adrianna M. Cleveland, Roosevelt André Credit, Cicily Dainels, Dwelvan David, Nkrumah Gatling, Tamar Greene, Nicole Adell Johnson, James Earl Jones II, Quentin Oliver Lee, Cheryse McLeod Lewis, Sarita Rachelle Lilly, Kent Overshown, Chauncey Packer, Lindsay Roberts, Fred Rose and Soara-Joye Ross.

Jan 222014
 

CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER’S CELEBRATED ONE-MAN SHOW
 “A WORD OR TWO” OPENS TOMORROW WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 22
AT THE CENTER THEATRE GROUP/AHMANSON THEATRE

AHMANSON THEATRE ONE MAN SHOW A WORD OR TWO

AHMANSON THEATRE ONE MAN SHOW A WORD OR TWO / Anything L.A.

 Presented in Association with the Stratford Festival of Canada Jan. 19–Feb. 9 Only

Academy Award, Tony Award and Emmy Award winner Christopher Plummer takes the stage for 16 performances only in a Center Theatre Group special event, “A Word or Two,” which opens at the CTG/Ahmanson Theatre on Wednesday, January 22, 2014.   Written and arranged by Plummer and directed by Tony Award winner Des McAnuff, “A Word or Two” is presented in association with the Stratford Festival of Canada and continues through February 9, 2014.

Plummer, who confesses to being “hooked on the intoxication of words,” spent much of his time growing up in Montreal reading Ben Jonson, George Bernard Shaw, Shakespeare, Rudyard Kipling, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, Lord Byron, Dylan Thomas, W.H. Auden and Stephen Leacock, and others.  His personal take on these literary giants forms a journey from childhood to old age.
Charles Isherwood of The New York Times called the piece “… a passionate love letter to language…”   “It’s a warm and highly literate tribute to the writers whose work has inspired, sustained and delighted …,” said Isherwood.  “Mr. Plummer recites poetry with the ease of a man who has been hearing it singing in his head virtually every day of his life.  His velvety baritone has lost little, if any, of its beauty or authority.”

Richard Ouzonian of the Toronto Star said, “You don’t review a show like Christopher Plummer’s ‘A Word or Two’ . . . You simply bow gratefully, say ‘Thank you, Mr. Plummer,’ and urge everyone reading this to buy tickets as rapidly as possible.”

Christopher Plummer has enjoyed 60 years as one of theatre’s most respected actors and is a veteran of over 100 motion pictures. He began his professional career on stage and radio in both French and English in Montreal. While there, he also had the good fortune to work with the great Russian theatre guru Fyodor Komisarjevsky.

After Eva Le Gallienne gave him his New York debut (1954), he went on to star in many celebrated productions on Broadway and London’s West End.  He has won two Tony Awards –  for the musical “Cyrano” and for “Barrymore” (which played to acclaim at the Ahmanson Theatre in 1998) – plus seven nominations, his latest for his King Lear (2004) and for his Clarence Darrow in “Inherit the Wind” (2007).

He is a former leading member of The Royal National Theatre under Sir Laurence Olivier and the Royal Shakespeare Company under Sir Peter Hall where he won London’s Evening Standard Award for Best Actor in “Becket” (1961). In 1968, sanctioned by Elizabeth II, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada (an honorary knighthood). He has also led Canada’s Stratford Festival in its formative years under Sir Tyrone Guthrie and his mentor Michael Langham, and again recently under Des McAnuff’s regime. He is widely recognized as one of the finest classical actors of his time.

Since Sidney Lumet introduced him to the screen in “Stage Struck” (1958), his range of notable films include “The Man Who Would be King,” “Battle of Britain,” “Waterloo,” “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country,” “Twelve Monkeys” and the 1965 Oscar-winning “The Sound of Music.” More recently, his films have included the Oscar-nominated “The Insider,” (in the role of Mike Wallace which won him the National Critics Award), the Oscar-winning “A Beautiful Mind,” “Must Love Dogs,” “The Man in the Chair,” “Syriana,” “The Inside Man,” the title role in “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” directed by Terry Gilliam, and the highly praised animated films “Up,” “9” and “My Dog Tulip.” In 2010 he played the great novelist Tolstoy in “The Last Station,” directed by Michael Hoffman, where he received an Academy Award nomination. He followed that up in 2011with another nomination and won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in “Beginners,” written and directed by Mike Mills. He also appeared in David Fincher’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” that same year. In 2013 he completed “Elsa and Fred,” directed by Michael Radford in which he stars opposite Shirley MacLaine, and “Imagine” opposite Al Pacino and Annette Bening from writer/director Dan Fogelman.

His almost 100 TV appearances include the BBC’s  Emmy-winning “Hamlet at Elsinore” playing the title role, the Emmy-winning productions “The Thornbirds,” “Nuremberg,” “Little Moon of Alban,” “The Money Changers,” and many others, including most recently “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight,” produced by HBO. He has won two Emmys and received six Emmy nominations.
Plummer has also written for the stage, television and the concert hall.  His recent memoir, “In Spite of Myself” (Alfred A. Knopf), is being lauded by critics and public alike.

Director Des McAnuff is a two-time Tony Award-winning director and the immediate past Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival. He is also Artistic Director Emeritus of La Jolla Playhouse where, during his tenure, he directed more than 30 productions of classics, new plays and musicals including Rex Pickett’s “Sideways,” “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” “The Wiz,” “Dr. Zhivago,” “Palm Beach,” Aaron Sorkin’s “The Farnsworth Invention,” “Tartuffe” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Under his leadership, the Playhouse received more than 300 theatre awards, including the 1993 Tony Award as America’s Outstanding Regional Theatre.

This past year he was awarded Canada’s esteemed Governor General’s National Arts Center Award and the Order of Canada. In June 2011 he was honored with a doctorate from Ryerson University and in 2005 he received the prestigious Julia Hansen Award for lifetime achievement in directing.

On Broadway, he has directed “Jesus Christ Superstar” (2012), “Guys and Dolls” (2009),  Aaron Sorkin’s “The Farnsworth Invention” (2007), “Jersey Boys” (2006, four Tony Awards including Best Musical),  Billy Crystal’s “700 Sundays” (2004, Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event),  “Dracula the Musical” (2004), “How to Succeed…” (1995), “The Who’s Tommy” (1993 Tony Award for Best Director; 1997 London Olivier Award for Best Director/Best Musical), “A Walk in the Woods” (1988), “Big River” (1985, seven Tony Awards including Best Director, Best Musical).

At Stratford McAnuff has directed “A Word or Two,” “The Tempest” and “Caesar and Cleopatra” (all starring Christopher Plummer), “Tommy,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Twelfth Night,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” His work also includes opera, including productions of “Faust” at the Met & ENO, “Wozzeck” at San Diego Opera. McAnuff’s film credits include “Cousin Bette” and “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle” (director), “Iron Giant” (producer) and “Quills” (executive producer). His latest projects are “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” “Sideways” at the La Jolla Playhouse, “Dr. Zhivago” and the Broadway revival of “700 Sundays.”

Tickets for “A Word or Two” are available by calling (213) 972-4400, visiting www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, or in person at the Center Theatre Group box office at the Ahmanson Theatre. Tickets range from $20 – $90 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Ahmanson Theatre is located at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.

Oct 152013
 

COMPLETE CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR  “THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS”

Playing At The Ahmanson Theatre April 22 – June 1, 2014

Ahmanson Theatre THE GERSHWINS PORGY AND BESS

Ahmanson Theatre THE GERSHWINS PORGY AND BESS / Anything L.A.

Casting has been announced for the national tour of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival, which will open at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre on April 23 and play through June 1, 2014. (Preview on April 22.) The tour, accompanied by a 23-piece orchestra, is set to launch at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Theatre this November.
Joining previously announced Nathaniel Stampley as Porgy and Alicia Hall Moran as Bess will be Alvin Crawford as Crown, Kingsley Leggs as Sporting Life, Sumayya Ali as Clara, Denisha Ballew as Serena, Danielle Lee Greaves as Mariah and David Hughey as Jake.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 262013
 

DANNY DEVITO TO REUNITE WITH JUDD HIRSCH
IN NEIL SIMON’S CLASSIC COMEDY “THE SUNSHINE BOYS”
 “Taxi” Stars Reunite for the First Time to Perform as Two Reuniting Vaudevillians

DANNY DEVITO TO REUNITE WITH JUDD HIRSCH

DANNY DEVITO TO REUNITE WITH JUDD HIRSCH / Ahmanson Theatre / Anything L.A.

Two stars of the landmark television series “Taxi,” Judd Hirsch and Danny DeVito, will reunite on the stage of the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles in Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys,” directed by Thea Sharrock.
The previously announced DeVito is joined by Hirsch in Simon’s classic comedy which opens the Ahmanson’s 2013-2014 subscription season and runs September 24 through November 3, 2013.  The opening night is set for October 2.  Additional casting will be announced in the coming weeks.

Danny DeVito starred with the late Richard Griffiths in the critically acclaimed production of “The Sunshine Boys” which played to packed houses in London’s West End last summer.  According to DeVito, “Sharing the stage with Richard was one of the happiest times I’ve ever spent.  He was a great actor and became a good friend.  Richard Griffiths was and is a national treasure. Look at his body of work, it’ll blow your mind.”

In Neil Simon’s play Willie Clark (DeVito) and Al Lewis (Hirsch) are former vaudevillian stars who, after a partnership of over 40 years, are no longer speaking to each other.  When a lucrative television offer for one last show lures them into a grudging reunion, sparks fly in this classic comedy of showbiz and friendship.

Judd Hirsch made his Broadway debut in “Barefoot in the Park” and performed in Lanford Wilson’s “The Hot l Baltimore” and “Talley’s Folly” (off-Broadway, at the Mark Taper Forum, and then on Broadway, winning an Obie Award and a Tony Award nomination). He won Tony Awards for two of Herb Gardner’s plays, “I’m Not Rappoport” and “Conversations with My Father,” and most recently starred in “Freud’s Last Session” at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica.  Hirsch won two Emmys for the role of Alex Reiger in “Taxi.”  Other TV credits include “Dear John” (Golden Globe), “Numb3rs,” “Damages” and “Maron.”  Film credits include “Ordinary People” (Oscar nomination), “A Beautiful Mind” and “This Must Be the Place.”

On hearing Hirsch accepted the role of Al, DeVito said, “I’m so excited to be working with Judd again.  We did a play together 43 years ago and then, of course, did 114 episodes of ‘Taxi.’  I’m so excited — did I say that already?   This is gonna be a total blast.”

After taking the role Judd Hirsch commented, “Here we go again … just like Al and Willie … I just can’t wait.”
“The Sunshine Boys”  “… celebrates the clown’s classic gift for turning anger into art,” said Ben Brantley of The New York Times. “Willie Clark … has a carved-in-stone list of things that are funny. Words that have “k” sounds, for instance, like pickle and cake and cucumber. Might I add to that list the image of a tufted Danny DeVito in striped pajamas and a sports jacket? … That’s comedy, folks. And it’s one of the reasons that Thea Sharrock’s production of ‘The Sunshine Boys’ works so incredibly well.”

“Thea Sharrock directs a pitch-perfect production,” said Charles Spencer of The Telegraph, “that beautifully captures fleeting moments of tenderness in the comedy without ever turning mushy… a golden evening. …” Sharrock won the 2011 Olivier Award for Best Revival for “After the Dance” at London’s National Theatre where she has also directed “13,” “Happy Now?” and “The Emperor Jones.” She directed “Heroes” at the Geffen Playhouse, starring George Segal, Richard Benjamin and Len Cariou, and “Equus” with Richard Griffiths and Daniel Radcliffe on Broadway. Her other theatre credits include “The Misanthrope” with Keira Knightly at the Comedy Theatre, the musical of “The Bodyguard,” and last year she directed “Henry V” for BBC TV.

Danny DeVito won both a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award for his portrayal of Louie De Palma in the hit comedy “Taxi.”  He co-starred in two Academy Award-winning films, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” in a role he also played on stage, and “Terms of Endearment.” His other film credits include “The Ratings Game,” “Throw Momma From the Train,” “The War of the Roses,” “Hoffa,” “Death to Smoochy” and “Matilda.”  He also voiced the Lorax in the animated feature “The Lorax.” He is currently starring in the eighth season of FX’s acclaimed comedy “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” and recently wrapped production on his first horror feature, “St. Sebastian’s,” which he directed and produced.

Center Theatre Group has presented 15 plays by Neil Simon including his Tony Award-winning “The Odd Couple” and “Biloxi Blues,” as well as the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning “Lost in Yonkers.” Simon is the only living playwright to have a Broadway theatre named after him. He also received a Special Tony for his contributions to theatre, has been inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame, and is a Kennedy Center honoree.

“The Sunshine Boys” was first produced on Broadway in 1972 and was later adapted for film and television. Sam Levene and Jack Albertson played Lewis and Clark in the stage premiere directed by Alan Arkin. Neil Simon’s 1975 Academy Award-winning film adaptation starred George Burns as Lewis and Walter Matthau as Clark and was directed by Herbert Ross.
“The Sunshine Boys” is produced by Richard Willis, Sonia Friedman Productions and Tulchin Bartner Productions.

Tickets for “The Sunshine Boys” are currently available as part of the 2013 – 2014 Ahmanson Theatre subscription.   For information and to charge season tickets by phone, call the Exclusive Season Ticket Hotline at (213) 972-4444.  To purchase subscriptions online, visit CenterTheatreGroup.org/Ahmanson.

For information regarding audio description and Project D.A.T.E. (sign language interpreted, open caption and audio description performances) call TDD (213) 680-4017 or voice (213) 972-4444.
The Ahmanson Theatre is located at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.

Apr 182013
 

CAST SET FOR “THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS”
AT THE CTG/AHMANSON THEATRE
Special Engagement Begins Previews May 21, 2013

AHMANSON THEATRE CAST SET FOR THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS

AHMANSON THEATRE CAST SET FOR THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS / Anything L.A.

Casting has been announced for “The Scottsboro Boys,” which begins previews May 21 at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre at the Los Angeles Music Center.  Opening night is May 29 and performances run through June 30, 2013.
Five-time Tony Award-winner Susan Stroman reprises her direction and choreography for this exclusive engagement of “The Scottsboro Boys,” which has music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb and book by David Thompson.
The cast features Gilbert L. Bailey II, David Bazemore, Ayanna Berkshire, Shavey Brown, Christopher James Culberson, Joshua Henry, Trent Armand Kendall, Max Kumangai, Hal Linden, JC Montgomery, Justin Prescott, Clinton Roane, Cedric Sanders, Deandre Sevon, Christian Dante White and C. Kelly Wright.

“The Scottsboro Boys” has set design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by Ken Billington and sound design by Jon Weston. The production stage manager is Evangeline Rose Whitlock.
“The Scottsboro Boys,” which Michael Kuchwara of the Associated Press called “. . . a staggeringly inventive piece of musical theatre . . .,” explores a shocking and pivotal chapter in American history with arresting originality, innovative staging and piercing new songs. The show is based on the infamous “Scottsboro” case in the 1930s, and tells the story of the nine unjustly accused African American men whose lives would eventually spark the Civil Rights Movement.
“The Scottsboro Boys” received 12 Tony Award nominations in 2011, including Best Musical. David Rooney of Variety said that the musical has “. . . riveting material and toe-tapping songs shot through with wry humor.” Scott Brown of New York Magazine said, “The Scottsboro Boys” is “. . . brilliant and utterly successful, conjuring your applause in waves after each bravura number.”   Charles Isherwood of The New York Times called it “. . . adventurous
. . . directed with dazzling verve by Susan Stroman.” The musical is “. . . a cause for rejoicing . . . the score is gorgeously and memorably melodic . . .,” said Thom Geier of Entertainment Weekly.

“The Scottsboro Boys” had its world premiere at the Vineyard Theatre in New York in February 2010.  It was presented on Broadway in October through December 2010.
John Kander and Fred Ebb have collaborated for the theatre on “Flora, the Red Menace,” “Cabaret” (Tony Award for Best Composer and Lyricist), “Chicago,” “Woman of the Year” (Tony Award for Best Original Score), “Kiss of the Spider Woman” (Tony Award for Best Original Score), “Curtains” (which had its world premiere at the Ahmanson Theatre in 2006), and many more.  Their films include “Funny Lady,” “Cabaret,” “New York, New York” (the title song became the official anthem of New York City in 1985), “Chicago,” “Kramer vs. Kramer,” “Places in the Heart” and more. Ebb died in 2004 and “The Scottboro Boys” was their last collaboration.

David Thompson received Tony Award and Drama Desk Award nominations, and Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Awards for Best Musical for the book of “The Scottsboro Boys.” His other work includes “Steel Pier” (Tony nomination) and “Thou Shall Not,” plus an adaptation of the script for the current revival of “Chicago” now on Broadway.  His upcoming Broadway credits include “The Prince of Broadway.” Off-Broadway credits include “And the World Goes ‘Round” (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards) and the revival of “Flora, the Red Menace” (Drama Desk nomination).
Tickets for “The Scottsboro Boys” are available at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, the CTG box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre, or by calling (213) 972-4400.