Mar 122017
 
“Heisenberg” Joins Mark Taper’s 2017 Lineup

Denis Arndt and Mary-Louise Parker in the Manhattan Theatre Club production of “Heisenberg.” Written by Simon Stephens and directed by Mark Brokaw, “Heisenberg” plays June 28 through August 6, 2017, as part of Center Theatre Group’s 50th anniversary season at the Mark Taper Forum. Tickets 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 Joan Marcus. ©2016 Joan Marcus

 

CENTER THEATRE GROUP BRINGS HIGHLY ACCLAIMED

MANHATTAN THEATRE CLUB PRODUCTION OF “HEISENBERG” TO LOS ANGELES

COMPLETING 50TH SEASON AT THE MARK TAPER FORUM

Denis Arndt and Mary-Louise Parker

Reprise the Roles They Played on Broadway

at the Taper June 28th Through August 6th 2017

 

Manhattan Theatre Club’s acclaimed production of “Heisenberg” by Tony Award and two-time Olivier Award winner Simon Stephens has been announced as part of Center Theatre Group’s 50th Anniversary Season. This insightful and entertaining new play comes to the Taper June 28th through August 6th 2017. Opening is set for July 6th.

Directed by Drama Desk Award winner Mark Brokaw and featuring Denis Arndt and Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Mary-Louise Parker, the creative team for “Heisenberg” includes Mark Wendland (scenic design), Michael Krass (costume design), Austin R. Smith (lighting design) and David Van Tieghem (sound design).

Amidst the bustle of a crowded London train station, Georgie (Parker) spots Alex (Arndt), a much older man, and plants a kiss on his neck. This electric encounter thrusts these two strangers into a fascinating and life-changing game as “Heisenberg” brings to blazing, theatrical life the uncertain and often comical sparring match that is human connection.

 

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Mar 102017
 
The Cast Of “Into the Woods” At Ahmanson Theatre

Laurie Veldheer as Cinderella, Anthony Chatmon II as Cinderella’s Prince and 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. ©2016 Joan Marcus

 

COMPLETE CAST ANNOUNCED FOR ACCLAIMED FIASCO THEATER PRODUCTION OF

“INTO THE WOODS”

AT CENTER THEATRE GROUP / AHMANSON THEATRE
APRIL 4 – MAY 14, 2017

“Truly enchanting …These are the woods that you want to get lost in, a place you’ll find buried treasures that you didn’t even know existed.” –Ben Brantley, The New York Times

 

The complete cast has been announced for the acclaimed Fiasco Theater production of “Into the Woods” opening April 5th 2017, at the Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre and playing through May 14th 2017, with one preview performance on April 4. This 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, Stephanie Umoh as Witch and Laurie Veldheer as Cinderella/Granny, with Joshua Archer, Sean Peter Forte, Javier Ignacio, Kate Moore and Alanna Saunders.

“The key element in every Fiasco show is the sense of ensemble that the audience sees on stage. What you’re seeing is not a group of individuals, but an actual group — like seeing a band or a choir. We’re really listening, breathing and thinking together,” said Steinfeld, who is also co-artistic director of Fiasco Theater.

 

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Mar 052017
 
“GOOD GRIEF” PLAYING AT KIRK DOUGLAS THEATRE

L-R: Ngozi Anyanwu and Omozé Idehenre in the world premiere of “Good Grief.” Written by Anyanwu and directed by Patricia McGregor, “Good Grief” plays at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre through March 26, 2017.
Photo by Craig Schwartz. All Uses © 2017 Craig Schwartz

 

THE WORLD PREMIERE OF “GOOD GRIEF” OPENED

AT CENTER THEATRE GROUP’S KIRK DOUGLAS THEATRE

Ngozi Anyanwu’s Debut Production Will Play Through March 26

 

The world premiere of Ngozi Anyanwu’s new play “Good Grief” opened at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre on Sunday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m. Directed by Patricia McGregor, Anyanwu also performs in “Good Grief,” which runs through March 26, 2017. This is the first of Anyanwu’s plays to receive a full professional production.

The cast features, in alphabetical order, Dayo Ade, Wade Allain-Marcus, Ngozi Anyanwu, Marcus Henderson, Omozé Idehenre, Carla Renata and Mark Jude Sullivan. Scenic design is by Stephanie Kerley Schwartz, costume design is by Karen Perry, lighting design is by Pablo Santiago, sound design is by Adam Phalen and Kathryn Bostic is composer. Casting is by Meg Fister, Joy Meads is the dramaturg and Anne L. Hitt is the production stage manager.

“Good Grief” follows Nkechi (played by Anyanwu), a good Nigerian-American girl frozen in her own coming-of-age story. When tragedy strikes on an unplanned break from college, she retreats into her childhood home and reexamines the many steps she’s taken on the way to adulthood, from first crush, to missed connections, to the struggles of being a first-generation girl blending in to her suburban Pennsylvania reality.

The recipient of the 2016 Humanitas/Center Theatre Group Playwriting Prize, Anyanwu is an actress, writer, producer and director. She is a graduate of the University of California San Diego’s MFA acting program and also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre from Point Park University. She has performed at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, Barrington Stage, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and the Mark Taper Forum. Anyanwu is the founder and one of the original members of the 1st Generation Nigerian Project where she served as Artistic Director and wrote and performed along with several other Nigerian American female artists under the direction of John Gould Rubin (Bank Street Theatre, Women Center Stage Festival). She now serves as Co-Artistic Director of NOW AFRICA Playwrights Festival. She has directed “She Gon Learn,” by Lisa Strum for the Emerging Arts Festival and for the United Solo Festival. She has also served as assistant director at Intar (Unit 52) and under Eve Best with Old Vic New Voices.

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.

Tickets for “Good Grief” are available by calling (213) 628-2772, online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, at the Center Theatre Group box office at the Ahmanson Theatre or at the Kirk Douglas Theatre box office two hours prior to performance. Tickets range from $25 – $70 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Kirk Douglas Theatre is located at 9820 Washington Blvd. in Culver City, CA 90232. Ample free parking and restaurants are adjacent.

 

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Mar 012017
 
Something Rotten

The cast of the touring production of “Something Rotten!” “Something Rotten!” is part of Center Theatre Group’s 2017-2018 season at the Ahmanson Theatre and will be presented November 21 through December 31, 2017. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

CENTER THEATRE GROUP’s 51st SEASON AT THE AHMANSON THEATRE INCLUDES A WORLD PREMIERE, AN AMERICAN PREMIERE, AND WORKS BY EMMY, GRAMMY, OSCAR AND TONY WINNERS

The 2017-2018 Season at the Ahmanson Theatre Features “The Red Shoes,” “Bright Star,” “Something Rotten!,” “Soft Power,” “The Humans” and Another Production To Be Announced Later

Begins September 15, 2017, and Runs Through July 29, 2018

 

Center Theatre Group enters its second half century at the Ahmanson Theatre with the 2017-2018 season announced today by Artistic Director Michael Ritchie. The new season features two Tony-nominated musicals, a Tony-winning play, the world premiere of a Center Theatre Group commission and the American premiere of an exciting new work. An additional production for the subscription season will be announced at a later date.

“For more than 50 years, Center Theatre Group has been working with the world’s greatest artists to present unforgettable experiences for our audiences,” said Ritchie. “As we enter our next 50 years, I am pleased to be able to offer a wide-ranging season for our vibrant and diverse city.

“We welcome the return of the newly knighted Sir Matthew Bourne with the American premiere of another masterpiece, ‘The Red Shoes,’ as well as the return of director / choreographer Casey Nicholaw with a hilarious new musical, ‘Something Rotten!’

“We have Stephen Karam’s new play ‘The Humans’ which swept the 2016 Tony Awards and an incredibly romantic new musical, ‘Bright Star,’ from legendary entertainer Steve Martin and Grammy winner Edie Brickell.

“Finally, when we looked to celebrate Center Theatre Group’s first 50 years, I turned to Los Angeles-born David Henry Hwang to create a new work to mark the occasion. ‘Soft Power’ was previously announced as part of the Taper 2017-18 season but now will be presented at the Ahmanson. David is joined by fellow Tony Award-winner Jeanine Tesori to create an excitingly unique new work for our 51st season.”

Matthew Bourne’s Production of “The Red Shoes”
American Premiere

The Red Shoes

Ashley Shaw in Matthew Bourne’s production of “The Red Shoes.” “The Red Shoes” is part of Center Theatre Group’s 2017-2018 Season at the Ahmanson Theatre and will be presented September 15 through October 1, 2017. Photo by Johan Persson.

Acclaimed choreographer Matthew Bourne returns to the Ahmanson Theatre with his production of “The Red Shoes.” Presented by Center Theatre Group and Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, the American premiere of “The Red Shoes” runs September 15 through October 1, 2017, with the opening set for September 20. This production is presented as a bonus option for Center Theatre Group subscribers and will be offered as the first engagement in the Dance at The Music Center 17/18 season.

A beloved fairy tale and Academy Award-winning movie, “The Red Shoes” has seduced audiences and inspired generations of dancers with its tale of obsession, possession and one girl’s dream to be the greatest dancer in the world. Victoria Page lives to dance but her ambitions become a battleground between the two men who inspire her passion.

Bourne’s magical new adaptation of the legendary Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger film reunites him with his regular collaborators and New Adventures Associate Artists who created “Sleeping Beauty,” Lez Brotherston (set and costumes), Paule Constable (lighting) and Paul Groothuis (sound).

“The Red Shoes” is set to a new score arranged by New Adventures Associate Artist Terry Davies using the mesmerizing music of golden-age Hollywood composer Bernard Herrmann (most famous for his collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles and Martin Scorsese). Herrmann’s work ranges from the witty and playfully robust to the achingly romantic and bittersweet.

Bourne has enjoyed a special relationship with Los Angeles audiences, and Center Theatre Group, in particular. In addition to “Swan Lake,” which had its American premiere at the Ahmanson in 1997, a total of eight other Bourne productions have been presented: “Sleeping Beauty,” “Cinderella,” “The Car Man,” “Play Without Words,” “Nutcracker!,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “My Fair Lady” and “Mary Poppins.”

“Matthew has been a beloved member of the Center Theatre Group family for many years,” said Michael Ritchie. “It is always a pleasure to welcome him back home.”

“We are thrilled to open the 2017-2018 season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center with Matthew Bourne’s ‘The Red Shoes,’” said Rachel Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center. “Matthew has been an extraordinary force in the dance world. His new interpretation of one of the greatest films about ballet, one that highlights the poignant theme of love vs. art, still resonates with audiences today.”

“It’s a feast for the eye, with every scene animated by sharp detail and witty characterization,” said Luke Jennings of The Observer in his review of the London engagement. “Bourne choreographs with the lightest of touches, threading in references to Hollywood movies and Diaghilev-era ballets as he goes. ‘The Red Shoes,’ I’m certain, will be dancing for years to come.”

“Bourne’s production provides something that Powell and Pressburger by definition couldn’t: the immediacy of flesh-and-blood dancers, right before your eyes,” said Mark Monahan of The Daily Telegraph. “It’s a complex story, one that ricochets between London and France, art and real life. And, brilliantly aided and abetted by his long-standing designer Lez Brotherston, Bourne lets it unfold clearly and urgently, with no prior knowledge of the film necessary.”

Matthew Bourne is a five-time Olivier Award winner, and the only British director to have won the Tony Award for both Best Choreographer and Best Director of a Musical. He has been recognized by over 40 international awards and was awarded the OBE for Services to Dance in 2001.

Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center is one of the leading presenters of dance on the West Coast. The celebrated series offers significant works by prestigious ballet and contemporary dance artists from around the world. Entering its second decade, Dance at The Music Center continues to be a powerful commissioning force through the support of new works and artists-in-residence projects by today’s most influential companies and choreographers. Performances take place throughout The Music Center, including the historic Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the distinctive Ahmanson Theatre and the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall, providing the ideal setting for inspiring dance experiences.

“Bright Star”

Bright Star

Carmen Cusack (center) and the cast of the original Broadway production of “Bright Star.” “Bright Star” is part of Center Theatre Group’s 2017-2018 Season at the Ahmanson Theatre and will be presented October 11 through November 19, 2017. Photo by Nick Stokes.

The Tony-nominated “Bright Star” with music, lyrics and story by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell will be presented by Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre October 11 through November 19, 2017, with the opening set for October 20.

The powerfully moving new musical by Grammy, Emmy and Oscar winner Martin and Grammy winner Brickell, “Bright Star” is directed by Tony winner Walter Bobbie and choreographed by Josh Rhodes. “Bright Star” won the 2016 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and Best Score and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music. It also received five 2016 Tony Award nominations including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, Best Lead Actress in a Musical and Best Orchestrations.

Inspired by a real event, “Bright Star” tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s. When literary editor Alice Murphy meets a young soldier just home from World War II, he awakens her longing for the child she once lost. Haunted by their unique connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past — and what she finds has the power to transform both of their lives. Propelled by an ensemble of onstage musicians and dancers, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion, beautiful melodies and powerfully moving performances. An uplifting theatrical experience that holds the audience tight in its grasp, “Bright Star” is as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful.

The Grammy-nominated original cast recording of “Bright Star” charted on five different Billboard lists in its first week of wide release. The cast album from Ghostlight Records placed at number 1 on the Top Current Blue Grass Albums chart, number 2 on the Top Broadway chart, number 5 on the Americana/Folk Albums chart, as well as hitting the Top 100 on the Billboard Top Albums chart and Top 200 on the Overall Digital Albums chart.

Steve Martin is one of the most well-known and pervasive talents in entertainment. His work has earned him an Academy Award, five Grammy Awards (two for comedy, three for music), an Emmy, the Mark Twain Award and the Kennedy Center Honor. Martin’s films are widely popular successes, such as “The Jerk,” “Planes, Trains & Automobiles,” “Roxanne,” “Parenthood,” “L.A. Story” (Martin also wrote the screenplay), “Father of the Bride” and “Bowfinger.” As an author, Martin’s work includes the plays “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” and “The Underpants”; the best-selling novella “Shopgirl” and his memoir “Born Standing Up.” Also an accomplished banjoist, Martin released his third full-length album, “Love Has Come For You,” in 2013 with songwriter Edie Brickell. The album won a Grammy for “Best American Roots Song” and inspired the musical “Bright Star.”

Edie Brickell released the debut multi-platinum album “Shooting Rubber Bands At The Stars” with New Bohemians in 1988. Her recent works include a 13-track collaboration with Steve Martin titled “Love Has Come For You.” The duo’s second album “So Familiar” features 12 new songs that bring the duo’s musical collaboration into fresh creative territory.

Walter Bobbie directed the New York productions of “Venus in Fur,” “The Landing,” “Golden Age,” “School for Lies,” “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas,” “Chicago,” “The Submission, Cabin Pressure,” “The Savannah Disputation,” “New Jerusalem,” “High Fidelity,” “The Other Woman,” “The Marriage of Bette and Boo,” “Sweet Charity,” “Twentieth Century,” “Footloose,” “Durang Durang,” “For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls” and “A Grand Night for Singing.” He was Artistic Director of City Center Encores! where he also directed “Fiorello!,” “Chicago,” “Tenderloin,” “Golden Boy,” “No, No, Nanette” and “Zorba!,” as well as the Carnegie Hall concerts of “South Pacific” and “Carousel.” Bobbie served for 12 years on the Board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. He is a recipient of the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Tony Awards.

“Something Rotten!”

Something Rotten

L-R: Josh Grisetti and Rob McClure with the cast of the touring production of “Something Rotten!” “Something Rotten!” is part of Center Theatre Group’s 2017-2018 season at the Ahmanson Theatre and will be presented November 21 through December 31, 2017. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

The completely original and uproarious ode to the Broadway musical, “Something Rotten!” comes to Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre November 21 through December 31, 2017. Opening night is the first performance, November 21.

“Something Rotten!” is directed and choreographed by Tony winner Casey Nicholaw (“The Book of Mormon,” “The Drowsy Chaperone”), with music and lyrics by Grammy winner and Tony nominee Wayne Kirkpatrick and Golden Globe and Tony nominee Karey Kirkpatrick and a book by Tony nominees Karey Kirkpatrick and best-selling author John O’Farrell. Three Broadway principals will be reprising their roles with Rob McClure as Nick Bottom, Adam Pascal as Shakespeare and Josh Grisetti as Nigel Bottom.

With 10 Tony nominations including Best Musical, this hilarious new musical comedy tells the story of brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom, two playwrights stuck in the shadow of that Renaissance rockstar Will Shakespeare. When a soothsayer foretells the next big thing in theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, the Bottom brothers set out to write the world’s very first musical.

Elisabeth Vincentelli of the New York Post called “Something Rotten!” “a deliriously entertaining new musical comedy that is devilishly clever under its goofy exterior. … Set in 1595 England, the show is a love letter to both Shakespeare and musicals. Never mind that tuners hadn’t been invented yet.” Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times said it “just may be the funniest musical comedy to come around since ‘The Book of Mormon.’”

Karey Kirkpatrick began as a screen and songwriter for Disney Animation, where he penned “The Rescuers Down Under” and “James and the Giant Peach.” Screenwriting credits include “Chicken Run” (Golden Globe nominee for Outstanding Comedy), “Charlotte’s Web,” “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” “The Spiderwick Chronicles,” “Flakes” and “Over the Hedge,” which he also co-directed.

Wayne Kirkpatrick is the Grammy-winning songwriter of “Change the World” by Eric Clapton (Song of the Year). His songs have been recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Joe Cocker, Wynonna, Gabe Dixon, Nickel Creek, Trisha Yearwood, Babyface, Peter Frampton, Amy Grant, Garth Brooks, Little Big Town and Michael W. Smith, among others.

John O’Farrell is a bestselling author whose books have been translated into 25 languages and adapted for BBC radio and television. Film and television credits include “Spitting Image,” “Have I Got News for You,” “Chicken Run,” “Murder Most Horrid” and “Smith and Jones.” O’Farrell won the British Comedy Award and founded U.K.’s first daily satirical news website, NewsBiscuit.

Casey Nicholaw’s Broadway credits include directing and choreographing “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Elf” and Disney’s “Aladdin.” Casey was co-director and choreographer of “The Book of Mormon” and choreographer of Monty Python’s “Spamalot” directed by Mike Nichols (2005 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations, Best Choreography).

“Soft Power”
World Premiere

The world premiere of “Soft Power,” a hilariously provocative new work created by two Tony Award-winning artists, David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori, will debut at the Ahmanson Theatre. Directed by Leigh Silverman with choreography by Sonya Tayeh, this time and genre-bending piece runs from May 3 through June 10, 2018, with set for May 16.

What begins as a contemporary play jumps 100 years into the future and explodes into a Chinese musical about present-day America, in this seductive new work with book and lyrics by Hwang and music by Tesori. A beloved East-meets-West musical, China’s 21st-century rise and a Presidential candidate’s fundraiser collide to make mayhem—and some beautiful music. This show is inspired by the West’s often ridiculously inauthentic portrayals of Asia, and China’s quest for world cultural influence, also known as “Soft Power.”

Hwang was commissioned by Center Theatre Group to create this work for the 50th Season at the Mark Taper Forum. Tesori is now joining the creative team as “Soft Power” moves into the 2017-2018 season at the Ahmanson.

Hwang returns to Center Theatre Group where he premiered Pulitzer Prize finalist “Yellow Face” and his Tony-nominated revival of “Flower Drum Song.” Hwang’s other work includes the plays “M. Butterfly,” “Chinglish,” “Kung Fu,” “Golden Child,” “The Dance and the Railroad” and “FOB,” and the Broadway musicals “Aida” (co-author, Ahmanson 2001-2002 season) and Disney’s “Tarzan.” He is also America’s most-produced living opera librettist, and a writer/producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series “The Affair.” Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hwang is a Tony Award winner (“M. Butterfly”) and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Recent honors include the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award, the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright “Mimi” Award, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award and the 2015 IPSA Distinguished Artist Award. He is Chair of the American Theatre Wing and sits on the boards of Young Playwrights Inc. and the Lark Play Development Center. Hwang was recently the Residency One Playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre, and currently serves as head of playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts. In 1998, East West Players named its new mainstage The David Henry Hwang Theatre.

Tesori’s Broadway credits include “Fun Home” (2015 Tony Award winner which plays at the Ahmanson February 21 through April 1, 2017), “Violet,” “Caroline, or Change,” “Shrek The Musical,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Twelfth Night” (Lincoln Center Theater) and John Guare’s “A Free Man of Color.” Tesori also collaborated with Tony Kushner on “Mother Courage” starring Meryl Streep at the Delacorte. Her opera credits include “A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck” (libretto, Tony Kushner; Glimmerglass) and “The Lion, the Unicorn and Me” (libretto, J. D. McClatchy; Washington National Opera). Her songs are featured in the Netflix revival of “Gilmore Girls.” She is the artistic director/co-founder of A Broader Way, an arts empowerment program for girls from underserved communities; the founding artistic director of Encores! Off-Center; and a lecturer in music at Yale University and Columbia University. Tesori is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

“The Humans”

The Humans

L-R: Reed Birney, Sarah Steele, Jayne Houdyshell and Arian Moayed in the New York production of “The Humans.” “The Humans” is part of Center Theatre Group’s 2017-2018 season at the Ahmanson Theatre and will be presented June 19 through July 29, 2018. Photo by Brigitte Lacombe.

The Tony Award-winning Best Play of the Year, “The Humans,” written by Stephen Karam and directed by Joe Mantello will be presented by Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre June 19 through July 29, 2018, with the opening set for June 20.

The angst, anguish and amity of the American middle class are first coaxed – then shoved – into the light in this uproarious, hopeful and heart-breaking play that takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving. Breaking with tradition, Erik Blake has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate and give thanks at his daughter’s apartment in lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside the ramshackle pre-war duplex and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the Blake clan’s deepest fears and greatest follies are laid bare. Our modern age of anxiety is keenly observed, with humor and compassion, in this new American classic.

After transferring from Off-Broadway’s Laura Pels Theatre, the Broadway production of “The Humans” swept the 2016 awards season, including winning the Tony Award for Best Play. “The Humans” was also named the Best Play of the Year by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, the Outer Critics Circle and the Drama League. The Obie Awards honored Stephen Karam with a 2016 Award for Playwriting and he was a Pulitzer Finalist for “The Humans.” Garnering the most ecstatic reviews of any play in recent memory, “The Humans” was heralded as “The Best Play of the Year” by The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Record, Time Out New York, The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, The Wrap and more.

Charles Isherwood of The New York Times called “The Humans,” “blisteringly funny, bruisingly sad and altogether wonderful.” Jesse Green of New York Magazine said, “The best play of the year. The most, well, human play I’ve ever seen. This is why we go to the theatre.”

Stephen Karam is the author of “The Humans” (Tony Award, Obie Award for Playwriting, New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk Award, Drama League Award and 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist), “Sons of the Prophet” (New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Lucille Lortel Award, Hull-Warriner Award and 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist) and “Speech & Debate.” Stephen has written a screenplay adaptation of Chekhov’s “The Seagull” and an adaptation of Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard” that opened on Broadway last fall at the Roundabout Theatre Company. Stephen is a graduate of Brown University and grew up in Scranton, PA.

Joe Mantello received a 2016 Tony Award nomination for “The Humans.” Other directing credits include “Blackbird,” “An Act of God” (on Broadway and at the Ahmanson), “Airline Highway,” “The Last Ship,” “Casa Valentina,” “I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers,” “The Other Place,” “Dogfight,” “Other Desert Cities,” “Pal Joey,” “9 to 5” (on Broadway and at the Ahmanson), “November,” “Three Days of Rain,” “The Odd Couple,” “Glengarry Glen Ross” (Tony nomination), “Laugh Whore,” “Assassins” (Tony), “Wicked,” “Take Me Out” (Tony), “Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune,” “Design for Living,” “The Vagina Monologues” and “Love! Valour! Compassion!” (Tony nomination). Acting credits include the Broadway productions of “The Normal Heart” (Tony nomination) and “Angels in America” (at the Mark Taper Forum and on Broadway, Tony nomination); and for HBO, “The Normal Heart” (Emmy Award nomination). He is a member of Naked Angels, a Roundabout Theatre Company Associate Artist and has received Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Helen Hayes, Clarence Derwent, Obie and Joe A. Callaway Awards.

Available on Membership Only
Tickets for the Ahmanson Theatre’s 51st 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/Ahmanson.

Center Theatre Group offers a number of services to accommodate persons requiring mobility, vision and hearing access. For more information, please visit www.centertheatregroup.org/access.

Center Theatre Group
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.

Bank of America is the season sponsor for Center Theatre Group’s 2017-2018 season the Ahmanson Theatre.

 

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Feb 082017
 
“Zoot Suit” Opens February 12th At Mark Taper Forum

L-R (foreground): Andres Ortiz and Oscar Camacho (in background Roco Lpez, Raul Cardona, Daniel Valdez and Tiffany Dupont) in the revival of “Zoot Suit.” Written and directed by Luis Valdez and presented in association with El Teatro Campesino, “Zoot Suit” opens February 12, 2017, as part of Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum’s 50th anniversary season. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 628-2772.
Photo by Craig Schwartz. All Uses © 2017 Craig Schwartz

“ZOOT SUIT” OPENS SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2017

AT CENTER THEATRE GROUP/MARK TAPER FORUM

“I have tried my best to defend what is most precious in our American society – a society now at war against the forces of racial intolerance and totalitarian injustice,” (George Shearer, defense attorney for the 38th St. Gang in “Zoot Suit”)

Currently in previews, Center Theatre Group’s “Zoot Suit” opens February 12 at the Mark Taper Forum. This legendary play with music will continue through March 19, 2017, (extending one week from the originally announced closing date). Written and directed by Luis Valdez, “Zoot Suit” is presented in association with El Teatro Campesino.

The cast includes (in alphabetical order), Brian Abraham, Mariela Arteaga, Demian Bichir, Melinna Bobadilla, Oscar Camacho, Stephani Candelaria, Raul Cardona, Fiona Cheung, Tiffany Dupont, Caleb Foote, Holly Hyman, Kimberlee Kidd, Rocío López, Jeanine Mason, Tom G. McMahon, Andres Ortiz, Michael Naydoe Pinedo, Matias Ponce, Rose Portillo, Gilbert Saldivar, Richard Steinmetz, Evan Strand, Bradford Tatum, Raphael Thomas and Daniel Valdez.

Choreography for “Zoot Suit” is by Maria Torres, the production includes songs composed by Lalo Guerrero, the music director is Daniel Valdez, casting is by Rosalinda Morales, Pauline O’con, CSA, and Candido Cornejo, Jr., CSA. Scenic design is by Christopher Acebo, costume design is by Ann Closs-Farley, lighting design is by Pablo Santiago, sound design is by Philip G. Allen and projection design is by David Murakami. The associate director is Kinan Valdez and the production stage manager is David S. Franklin.

 

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Jan 272017
 

12 Regional Finalists In A. Wilson Monologue Competition

CENTER THEATRE GROUP SELECTS 12 STUDENTS FOR

AUGUST WILSON MONOLOGUE COMPETITION REGIONAL FINALS

TO BE HELD AT THE MARK TAPER FORUM ON FEB. 27

Top Two Students Will Participate in National Finals on Broadway on May 1, 2017

 

Center Theatre Group has selected 12 local high school students to participate in the regional finals for the 2017 August Wilson Monologue Competition (AWMC) to be held at the Mark Taper Forum on Monday, February 27.

This is the sixth consecutive year Center Theatre Group is hosting the Southern California component of the national monologue competition. The program is designed to inspire and educate Los Angeles youth using monologues from August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle,” a 10-play dramatization of the African American experience in the 20th century.

Those selected to participate in the regional finals are Joey Aquino (Los Angeles), Luke Baxter (Moreno Valley), Kelly Bouslaiby (Fontana), Hollis Dohr (Sherman Oaks), Asa Ferguson (Los Angeles), Hannah Franklin (Long Beach), Elija Hall (Los Angeles), Habin Lee (Los Angeles), Arjang Mahdavi (Granada Hills), Ehvinny Mora (Rowland Heights), Alexander Villaseñor (Los Angeles) and Aryana Williams (Carson). The students represent seven local high schools within Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties.

Aquino and Williams both participated in the 2016 competition where Williams took third place.

The students selected will receive training and rehearsal sessions provided by Center Theatre Group throughout January and February. The sessions will allow the students to refine their performances while gaining valuable acting techniques.

 

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Jan 262017
 
PABLO SANTIAGO IS 2017 RICHARD E. SHERWOOD AWARD WINNER

Pablo Santiago accepts the Richard E. Sherwood Award during the 27th Annual LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards held at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre in January 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging

PABLO SANTIAGO SELECTED AS 2017 RICHARD E. SHERWOOD AWARD WINNER

Center Theatre Group’s $10,000 Award for Emerging L.A. Theatre Artists

Center Theatre Group recognizes and celebrates the recipient of the 2017 Richard E. Sherwood Award, Pablo Santiago, for his exceptional contribution to the Los Angeles theatre landscape and his work as innovative and adventurous artist.

Created in memory of Richard E. Sherwood, the $10,000 award aims to cultivate emerging theatre artists working in Los Angeles who push formal and aesthetic boundaries and demonstrate dedication to improving their respective artistic fields. The winner of the $10,000 award was announced at the 2016 Ovation Awards on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, at the Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center. The two additional finalists, Jenny Foldenauer and Keith Skretch, each received a $2,000 honorarium.

Pablo Santiago is a lighting designer originally from Chiapas, Mexico who designs for theatre, opera, dance and gallery work. Santiago found a home in Los Angeles where he worked in the film industry for 15 years before obtaining an MFA in lighting design from UCLA and transitioned into live stage design. Santiago integrates color theory into his designs and surprises collaborators with innovative plots. Santiago is particularly interested in projects that highlight social justice issues and experiment with time onstage. His design in “Premeditation” was nominated for an Ovation Award in 2014, and he won a Stage Raw Award for “Brother’s Size” in 2015. Upcoming projects include the opera “Breaking the Waves” at the Perelman Theater for OperaPhila and Skirball Center in NYC, and “Zoot Suit” at the Mark Taper Forum.

Originally created in 1996, the Sherwood Award has met a vital need in the theatre landscape to support emerging artists.

 

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Jan 132017
 
“Fun Home” At The Ahmanson Theatre

L-R: Alessandra Baldacchino as ‘Small Alison’, Pierson Salvador as ‘Christian’ and Lennon Nate Hammond as ‘John’ in the national tour of “Fun Home.” “Fun Home” is part of the Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre’s 2016-2017 Season and will be presented February 21 through April 1, 2017.
Photo by Joan Marcus. ©2016 Joan Marcus

“Fun Home”

Music by Jeanine Tesori; Book and Lyrics by Lisa Kron;
Based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel
Choreography by Danny Mefford; Directed by Sam Gold

Based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir, “Fun Home” introduces Alison at three different ages in her life, as she explores and unravels the mysteries of her childhood. A refreshingly honest musical, Alison eventually sees her parents through the eyes of a grown-up. Winner of five 2015 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Book, Score and Director of a Musical, “‘Fun Home’ is extraordinary, a rare beauty that pumps fresh air into Broadway” (The New York Times).

DATES / TIMES:
Previews February 21 at 8 p.m. Opens February 22 at 8 p.m.
Through April 1, 2017.
Regular Performances (February 23 – April 1):
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: Added 8 p.m. performance on Monday, March 27 and 2 p.m. performance on Thursday, March 30.

 

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Dec 232016
 
Fountain Theatre production of “Citizen: An American Lyric.”

L-R: Leith Burke, Bernard K. Addison, Lisa Pescia, Tina Lifford, Tony Maggio and Simone Missick in the Fountain Theatre production of “Citizen: An American Lyric.” Written by Claudia Rankine, adapted for stage by Stephen Sachs and directed by Shirley Jo Finney, “Citizen” is part of Center Theatre Group’s Block Party and will play April 28 to May 7 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Photo by Ed Krieger.

CENTER THEATRE GROUP SELECTS THREE LOCAL PRODUCTIONS FOR

INAUGURAL BLOCK PARTY AT THE KIRK DOUGLAS THEATRE

Center Theatre Group Will Remount Productions from Coeurage Theatre Company,

Echo Theater Company and Fountain Theatre for Block Party Celebration April 14th –May 21st 2017

 

Center Theatre Group has selected three local productions for the inaugural Block Party: Celebrating Los Angeles Theatre at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Block Party will remount Coeurage Theatre Company’s production of “Failure: A Love Story” by Philip Dawkins, Echo Theater Company’s production of “Dry Land” by Ruby Rae Spiegel and Fountain Theatre’s production of “Citizen: An American Lyric” by Claudia Rankine and adapted for the stage by Stephen Sachs. Each production will have a two-week run presented April 14th through May 21st 2017.

The selected shows will receive the full support of Center Theatre Group and its staff in order to fund, stage and market each production. Full casting for “Failure: A Love Story,” “Dry Land” and “Citizen: An American Lyric” will be announced at a later date.

Coeurage Theatre production of “Failure: A Love Story.”

The original cast in the Coeurage Theatre production of “Failure: A Love Story.” Written by Philip Dawkins and directed by Michael Matthews, “Failure” is part of Center Theatre Group’s Block Party and will play April 14-23 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Photo by Matthew Denman.

“Failure: A Love Story” from Coeurage Theatre Company will take the first slot and will begin previews April 14, open April 16 and close April 23. Written by Philip Dawkins and directed by Michael Matthews, the show chronicles the lives, loves and deaths of the three Fail sisters and the one man who fell in love with each of them. Set against the backdrop of 1920s Chicago, this touching, whimsical tale explores the impermanence of life and the permanence of love.

“We’re completely thrilled to be a part of this program,” said Coeurage Artistic Director Jeremy Lelliott of being selected. “Center Theatre Group is a standard-bearer in the L.A. arts scene, and to benefit from their support and input on our growth and this upcoming production marks an exciting new chapter for Coeurage and the 99-seat community as a whole.”

Echo Theater production of “Dry Land.”

L-R: Connor Kelly-Eiding and Teagan Rose in the Echo Theater production of “Dry Land.” Written by Ruby Rae Spiegel and directed by Alana Dietze, “Dry Land” is part of Center Theatre Group’s Block Party and will play May 12-21 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Photo by Darrett Sanders.

Fountain Theatre’s “Citizen: An American Lyric,” a meditation on race that fuses poetry, prose, movement, music and the video image, will begin previews on April 28, open April 30 and close May 7. Adapted by playwright and Fountain Theatre Co-Artistic Director Stephen Sachs and directed by Shirley Jo Finney, it is a provocative stage adaptation of Claudia Rankine’s internationally acclaimed book of poetry about everyday acts of racism in America. Of Rankine’s “Citizen,” The New Yorker wrote that it was “brilliant… [and] explores the kinds of injustice that thrive when the illusion of justice is perfected.” The New York Times wrote that “Rankine brilliantly pushes poetry’s forms to disarm readers and circumvent our carefully constructed defense mechanisms against the hint of possibly being racist ourselves.”

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Center Theatre Group on its first-ever Block Party at the Kirk Douglas Theatre,” said Sachs. “It’s particularly meaningful to us that ‘Citizen’ was chosen because racism and white dominance in America is as timely now, since the election, as it ever was. The project also reflects the diversity of our work at the Fountain Theatre.”

Written by Ruby Rae Spiegel and directed by Alana Dietze, Echo Theater Company’s “Dry Land” will take the final slot of Block Party and will begin previews May 12, open on May 14 and close on May 21. It is a haunting play about female friendship and an abortion that takes place in the locker room of a central Florida high school. Written when Spiegel was just 21 years old and still an undergraduate at Yale, the play is a deeply truthful portrait of the fears, hopes and bonds of teenage girls — as gut-wrenching as it is funny. In his New York Times “critic’s pick” review, Ben Brantley called “Dry Land” “tender, caustic, funny and harrowing, often all at the same time.”

“The Echo is delighted and honored to be selected for Block Party,” said Echo Theater Artistic Director Chris Fields. “The fulfillment of being recognized and the deep gratification of being part of a special affirmation of our entire Los Angeles theatre community is just wonderful.”

“As we celebrate Center Theatre Group’s 50 years of creating theatre in Los Angeles, we want to turn the spotlight on some of the remarkable work being done on other stages,” said Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie in discussing Block Party. “Coeurage Theatre, Echo Theater and Fountain Theatre, as well as others throughout L.A., regularly produce excellent, boundary-pushing work and we’re so glad they are sharing some of that work with us.”

 

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Dec 032016
 
A Screening Of “Amélie” at Ace Hotel

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 December 4

 

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 202016
 
Gordon Davidson

Gordon Davidson. Photo by Craig Schwartz

CENTER THEATRE GROUP TO HOLD MEMORIAL IN HONOR OF GORDON DAVIDSON
MONDAY, JANUARY 9th 2017, AT 7:30 P.M. AT THE AHMANSON THEATRE

Center Theatre Group will hold a memorial in honor of its Founding Artistic Director, Gordon Davidson, on Monday, January 9th 2017, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Ahmanson Theatre. The theatre will open at 7 p.m. The memorial will not be a ticketed event and will be open to the public. (Free admission) Additional details will be released at a later date.

“Gordon Davidson was one of the most renowned and respected artistic directors in regional theatre, in 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 am proud to call him a mentor, friend and colleague.”

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.

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 plays staged at the Taper, were acclaimed both in Los Angeles and New York, garnering the Taper a Tony Award for theatrical excellence in 1977.

Gordon was born on May 7, 1933, and passed away Sunday, October 2, 2016. He is survived by his wife, Judi; their children, Adam and Rachel; and five granddaughters.

 

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Nov 192016
 
Demián Bichir

Demián Bichir has been cast in the iconic role of El Pachuco in “Zoot Suit.” Photo courtesy of CTG

Demian Bichir To Play El Pachuto In Center Theatre Group’s production of “Zoot Suit” at Mark Taper Forum

International stage and screen star Demián Bichir (Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight,” FX’s “The Bridge,” Showtime’s “Weeds” and Soderbergh’s “Che”) is set to play the indelible role of El Pachuco in Center Theatre Group’s production of “Zoot Suit” at the Mark Taper Forum, with previews beginning January 31, opening set for February 12 and performances continuing through March 12, 2017. Written and directed by Luis Valdez, “Zoot Suit” is presented in association with El Teatro Campesino.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be able to portray such an iconic character of modern American theatre. I grew up dreaming of playing El Pachuco when I was a young member of the National Theatre Company in Mexico City. Having the opportunity to work with legendary director Luis Valdez represents my biggest challenge in the theatre to date. These times couldn’t be more perfect to present this play to a whole new generation of theatre lovers,” said Bichir.

“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 from October 10, 1978, through July 1, 1979, at the Aquarius in Hollywood. It went on to become Broadway’s first Chicano play, was made into a major motion picture and became a cultural phenomenon.

Written and directed by Luis 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 50th Anniversary Season.

For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 628-2772.

 

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