Apr 222017
 
Mark Ballas To Star In Jersey Boys

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.

MARK BALLAS REPRISES HIS ACCLAIMED BROADWAY PERFORMANCE AS FRANKIE VALLI IN LOS ANGELES CAST OF

“JERSEY BOYS”

Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-Winning Best Musical

Directed by Des McAnuff

Casting has been announced for the Los Angeles engagement of the Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning hit musical “Jersey Boys,” the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, previewing May 16 and 17, opening May 18 and continuing through June 24, 2017, at Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre.

Mark Ballas will reprise his hit Broadway performance as Frankie Valli for the Los Angeles engagement of the tour. Ballas, known for his Emmy nominated work on “Dancing with the Stars,” made his Broadway debut in the role last fall (October 18, 2016 – January 15, 2017). Critically acclaimed ‘Frankie veterans’ Aaron De Jesus and Miguel Jarquin-Moreland will play Frankie Valli at certain performances during the week. The cast of “Jersey Boys” will also feature Matthew Dailey (Tommy DeVito), Keith Hines (Nick Massi) and Cory Jeacoma (Bob Gaudio) as The Four Seasons, with Barry Anderson and Thomas Fiscella.

The ensemble of “Jersey Boys” includes Mark Edwards, Corey Greenan, Bryan Hindle, David LaMarr, Austin Owen, Kristen Paulicelli, Leslie Rochette, Andrew Russell, Jenna Nicole Schoen, Dru Serkes, Jonny Wexler and Jesse Wildman.

“Jersey Boys” is the winner of the 2006 Best Musical Tony Award, the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, the 2009 Olivier Award for Best New Musical and the 2010 Helpmann Award for Best Musical (Australia). “Jersey Boys” has been seen by over 24 million people worldwide (as of January, 2017).

Directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Des McAnuff, “Jersey Boys” is written by Academy Award-winner Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe and choreography by Sergio Trujillo.

“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 show features all their hits including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh What A Night,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Working My Way Back To You.”

“Jersey Boys” opened at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway to critical acclaim on November 6, 2005, running 11 record-breaking years and becoming the 12th longest running show in Broadway history. The boys said goodbye to Broadway on January 15, 2017. The “Jersey Boys” U.S. National Tour opened to rave reviews in San Francisco on December 1, 2006. Tours of the United Kingdom and Australia will begin the end of 2017 and 2018 respectively.

The “Jersey Boys” design and production team comprises Klara Zieglerova (scenic design), Jess Goldstein (costume design), Howell Binkley (winner of the 2006 Tony Award for his lighting design of “Jersey Boys”), Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Clark (projections design), Charles LaPointe (wig and hair design), Steve Orich (orchestrations) and Ron Melrose (music supervision, vocal/dance arrangements and incidental music).

“Jersey Boys” is produced by Dodger Theatricals, Joseph J. Grano, Tamara and Kevin Kinsella, Pelican Group, with Latitude Link and Rick Steiner.

The original Broadway cast recording of “Jersey Boys,” produced by Bob Gaudio, was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. The cast recording is available on Rhino Records. “Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons” (Broadway Books) is the official handbook to the smash Broadway hit. “Seasons Greetings: A Jersey Boys Christmas,” a holiday CD featuring international cast members of “Jersey Boys,” produced by Bob Gaudio, is available on Rhino Records.

Tickets for “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 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.

CAST BIOGRAPHIES

The Four Seasons
Mark Ballas (Frankie Valli) has captivated audiences on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” for 18 seasons. He’s a two-time champion, nine-time finalist and 2011 Emmy nominee for his work on the show. Stage Credits: Buddy – “The Buddy Holly Story,” “Copacabana,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” He choreographed Pepsi’s Super Bowl commercial starring Sofía Vergara and the Oscar commercial for Shonda Rhimes’ “The Catch.”
He is half of the duo Alexander Jean with wife BC Jean. Their debut single/EP reached #1 on iTunes’ singer/songwriter chart. Mark is an accomplished flamenco and electric guitar player.
Training: The Italia Conti Performing Arts School, London. www.alexanderjean.net

Aaron De Jesus (Frankie Valli at certain performances). Credits: “Jersey Boys” (Joey), Disney’s “The Lion King” (Timon), “Wicked” (Averic, Boq u/s), “Monty Python’s Spamalot” (Patsy), “Peter Pan” (Peter), “Little Shop of Horrors” (Seymour), “Big River” (Tom Sawyer), “Guys and Dolls” (Nicely), “Cats” (Gus), “Oliver!” (The Artful Dodger), “A Funny Thing . . . Forum” (Pseudolus), “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (Joseph), “El muerto disimulado” (Clarindo), “The Crucible” (Ezekiel Cheever). aarondejesusonline.com. Instagram: @aaron.dejesus

Miguel Jarquin-Moreland (Frankie Valli at certain performances). Theatre: “Jersey Boys” (First National Tour); “Grease” (North Shore); “Buddy Holly” (Walnut St.); “Kingdom” (Old Globe); “Rent” (National Tour). Film/TV: “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close,” “The Great Fight,” “One Life to Live,” “At the Top of the Pyramid.” Training: B.M. in Musical Theatre from Catholic University; The Barrow Group; Margie Haber Studio.

Matthew Dailey (Tommy DeVito). Originally from Denver, Colorado, Matthew has performed professionally from the age of nine. Most recently, Matthew traveled Spain, Italy and France in “Saturday Night Fever – The Musical.” Favorite performances include “Cats (Rum Tum Tugger), “7 Brides…Brothers” (Daniel/Frank), “A Chorus Line” (Mike), “1940’s Radio Hour” (BJ Gibson), “Cinderella” (Prince), and “Viva Vegas” (Elvis). @mdailey88

Keith Hines (Nick Massi). Recent off-Broadway: “Cougar the Musical” (Buck), “Sex Tips for Straight Women From a Gay Man” (Stefan). Credits include: “Les Miz” (Enjolras, WVPT), “Camelot” (Lancelot, Pittsburgh Public Theatre), “1776” (Thomas Jefferson, Pittsburgh Public Theatre), “Urban Cowboy” (Bud, WVPT), “The Crucible” (John Proctor), “Picnic” (Hal). Master’s Degree in music, Oklahoma City University (voice: Florence Birdwell), The Studio/NY (Jayd McCarty’s acting conservatory). www.keith-hines.com

Cory Jeacoma (Bob Gaudio). Regional: “Legally Blonde” (Warner, Fulton Theatre), “Mamma Mia!” (Sky, MSMT). Lincoln Center’s Sinatra Centennial Concert. Education: BFA in Musical Theatre from Pace University 2016. Twitter/Instagram @cocojeacoco

Catch a sneak peek of Jersey Boys! Log on to www.JerseyBoysTour.com/watch.

 

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Apr 192017
 

CTG COLLEGE & CAREER FAIR

CENTER THEATRE GROUP PRESENTS

“COLLEGE & CAREER FAIR FOR THE ARTS”

SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 2017, AT THE MUSIC CENTER ANNEX

Free Workshops, College Counseling and More Offered to High School Students

Center Theatre Group invites current high school students, parents and teachers to attend the second annual “College & Career Fair for the Arts” on Saturday, April 22, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at The Music Center Annex located at 601 W. Temple St. in Downtown L.A. Center Theatre Group will also be hosting the previously announced “Going Pro Career Fair” for college and university students on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at East Los Angeles College. Both events will give students the opportunity to explore education and career opportunities in the arts.

Center Theatre Group’s “College & Career Fair for the Arts” is intended to help students navigate the transition from high school to college, and learn more about careers in the arts. More than 30 colleges, universities and organizations will be in attendance including the University of Southern California (USC), the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Fashion Careers International and more. The fair will include free workshops, a food truck with free lunch (12 to 2 p.m.) and opportunities for one-on-one college counseling and personal statement help.

The free workshops will give students the opportunity to learn about the college application process and what admissions staff are looking for; the FAFSA (Federal Application for Student Aid), student loans, scholarships and financial aid; and hear from professional theatre artists across the field, from designers to actors. Workshops are open to students only.

To RSVP to Center Theatre Group’s “College & Career Fair for the Arts,” students should email StudentBody@CTGLA.org with the following information: the student’s full name, grade and school; which discussions they would like to attend; and if they are interested in participating in a 20-minute session with a college counselor or personal statement expert. Those who RSVP in advance will receive a free gift upon entry. For more information about Center Theatre Group’s “College & Career Fair for the Arts,” the “Going Pro Career Fair” and other upcoming student events, please visit https://www.centertheatregroup.org/programs/students-and-educators/teen-and-college-initiatives/upcoming-student-events/.

 

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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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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
 
August Wilson

August Wilson in whose honor the August Wilson In-School Residency Program is being held

CENTER THEATRE GROUP SELECTS FOUR LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS TO PARTICIPATE IN 2017 AUGUST WILSON IN-SCHOOL RESIDENCY PROGRAM

Residency is Part of Center Theatre Group’s Annual August Wilson Program

 

Center Theatre Group has selected four local high school teachers from three different high schools in Los Angeles to participate in the 2017 August Wilson In-School Residency Program. The in-school residency is a semester-long program that provides students with an in-depth study of the work of prolific African American playwright August Wilson and provides opportunities for them to discover their own creative voices.

The participating teachers are Damiek Barrow from Washington Preparatory High School in Los Angeles, Melanie Dubose and Juan Perez from East Los Angeles Performing Arts Magnet in Los Angeles and Craig Robinson from Animo Leadership Charter High School in Inglewood.

The four selected teachers will each partner with a Center Theatre Group Teaching Artist as they deliver curriculum related to one of August Wilson’s plays during 15 in-class sessions spanning four months. In addition to the in-class sessions, the four teachers will participate in two full-day team building meetings to plan and evaluate the curriculum, practice new skills related to the art form and exchange ideas.

Center Theatre Group’s in-school residency is part of the larger August Wilson
Program, which also includes the August Wilson Monologue Competition (AWMC). AWMC is an annual monologue competition hosted in cities throughout the country, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Dallas and Greensboro, North Carolina and is designed to provide intensive learning opportunities for high school students to study and practice the craft of acting, specifically through monologue performances. Furthermore, the classrooms selected for the in-school residency will attend the August Wilson Monologue Competition Los Angeles Regional Finals at the Mark Taper Forum as part of their residency experience, witnessing the power of theatre as their peers bring August Wilson’s characters to life.

“These programs are part of our tradition of nurturing new voices in the American theatre,” said Director of Social Strategy, Innovation and Impact Leslie K. Johnson. “They enable students from all walks of life to discover August Wilson’s profound and deeply relevant works of art, explore their own creative voices, and learn more about our shared history and themselves.”

This is Center Theatre Group’s sixth year serving as facilitator of the August Wilson In-School Residency program, as well as the Southern California home to the AWMC.
CTG honors its long-standing relationship with August Wilson through its August Wilson Program, as well as through its continued production of Wilson’s work. CTG has presented nine of Wilson’s plays, including two world premiere productions of his work. In September/October 2016, Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” had a successful run at the Mark Taper Forum.

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.

 

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Oct 022016
 
MARK TAPER FORUM “THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE” CAST

L-R: Marie Mullen, Aisling O’Sullivan and Marty Rea in the Druid production of “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” by Martin McDonagh. Directed by Garry Hynes, the production will run November 9 through December 18, 2016, at the Mark Taper Forum. Photo by Stephen Cummiskey.

CAST ANNOUNCED FOR THE DRUID PRODUCTION OF
“THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE” AT CENTER THEATRE GROUP / MARK TAPER FORUM
NOVEMBER 9 THROUGH DECEMBER 18, 2016

Tony-Winning Director Garry Hynes Returns to Martin McDonagh’s Classic Play with Original Cast Member Marie Mullen

Center Theatre Group has announced the casting for the Druid production of “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” by Martin McDonagh. Directed by Druid artistic director Garry Hynes, “Beauty Queen” begins previews November 9, opens November 16 and continues through December 18, 2016, at Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum.

The cast includes, in alphabetical order, Aaron Monaghan, Marie Mullen, Aisling O’Sullivan and Marty Rea. Mullen, who played the daughter Maureen in the original 1996 production and earned a Tony Award for her performance, will now play the role of Maureen’s mother Mag; O’Sullivan will play Maureen; Rea will play Pato; and Monaghan will play Ray.

The design team includes Francis O’Connor for sets and costumes, James F. Ingalls for lighting, Greg Clarke for sound. Paddy Cunneen is the composer and Bryan Burroughs is fight director.

“Beauty Queen,” which is set in the mountains of Connemara, County Galway, is the tale of Maureen Folan, a plain and lonely woman in her early 40s, and Mag, her manipulative, aging mother, whose interference in Maureen’s first and potentially last romantic relationship sets in motion a chain of events that are as tragically funny as they are horrific.

Peter Marks of The Washington Post said of McDonagh, “Please avail yourself, and brace yourself, for the virtuosic turbulence of one of modern theater’s most giddily diabolical minds.”

“McDonagh’s writing is a tightrope act of unnerving skill and maturity,” said John Peter of London’s Sunday Times. Benedict Nightingale, writing for The New York Times, said, “[Martin McDonagh is] the most wickedly funny, brilliantly abrasive young dramatist on either side of the Irish Sea.”

Hynes won a Tony Award for her direction of “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” on Broadway in 1998. She also directed McDonagh’s “The Cripple of Inishmaan” at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre in 2011, as well as Arthur Miller’s “The Price” at the Taper in 2015. Center Theatre Group presented McDonagh’s “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” at the Taper in 2010.

McDonagh is an award-winning writer and director. His work with Druid includes “The Beauty Queen of Leenane,” “A Skull in Connemara,” “The Lonesome West” (Druid/Royal Court/Broadway) and “The Cripple of Inishmaan” (Druid/Atlantic Theater Company/U.S. Tour).
Other theatre includes “The Cripple of Inishmaan” (National Theatre, London/West End/Broadway), “The Pillowman” (National Theatre, London/Broadway), “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” (RSC/Garrick/Broadway), “A Behanding in Spokane” (Broadway) and “Hangmen” (Royal Court). His film work (as a writer/director) includes “Six Shooter” (a short), “In Bruges” and “Seven Psychopaths.” His awards include the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy (“The Lieutenant of Inishmore”), Olivier Award for Best New Play (“The Pillowman”), Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film (“Six Shooter”), BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay (“In Bruges”).

The production is currently touring Ireland starting in Galway, where the Druid Theatre Company was founded in 1975. The Taper run will be the first U.S. engagement in the tour. Subsequent tour dates will be announced at a later date.

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 “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” are available by calling (213) 628-2772 or online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org. Tickets range from $25 – $85 (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.