Today was a day for a number of season announcements. I thought I would share my thoughts on them with you.
The Hollywood Bowl
I’m not going to go through the entire list of the Bowl season. But I am going to mention the shows of possible interest to me:
- 👍 Sondheim on Sondheim. Sunday Sunset Concerts. Sunday, July 23. Los Angeles Philharmonic. Gustavo Dudamel, conductor YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), special guest. All-star cast to be announced.
- 👍 Mamma Mia! Weekend Spectaculars. Friday, July 28 – Sunday, July 30. Kathleen Marshall, director and choreographer. All-star cast to be announced.
- 👍 The Brian Setzer Orchestra. Jazz at the Bowl 1. Wednesday, August 2. The Brian Setzer Orchestra. Additional artist to be announced.
- 👍 Gershwin Under the Stars. Classical Thursdays 2. Thursday, August 17 (our wedding anniversary). Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bramwell Tovey, conductor. Aaron Diehl, piano. Program: Gershwin Strike Up the Band; Gershwin “I Got Rhythm” Variations; Intermission; Ellington Night Creature; Gershwin An American in Paris
Segerstrom Center, Costa Mesa
This theatre is a bit far for us to travel to and subscribe, but for those in Orange County, it looks like a great season:
- “Something Rotten!” Nov. 7-19, 2017. Set in the late 1500s, two brother playwrights are trying to write a hit play but their rival, the rock star writer Shakespeare, keeps getting all the attention. Thus, the concept of a musical was born.
🎩 This hasn’t been in LA yet; given the Pantages has announced their season, I expect this at the Ahmanson.
- Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I,” Feb. 27-March 11, 2018: The Tony Award-winning musical presents some of Broadway’s greatest numbers, including “Getting to Know You,” “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” and “Something Wonderful.”
🎩 This played the Pantages in December 2016
- “Love Never Dies,” April 24 – May 5, 2018: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to the iconic “The Phantom of the Opera” tells the story of the Phantom and his new life in New York City.
🎩 This is in the Pantages’ 2017-2018 Season, playing April 3-22, 2018
- “Hamilton,” May 8 – 27, 2018: Based on Ron Chernow’s biography of founding father Alexander Hamilton, the musical provides insight into the life of the West Indies immigrant who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War. The hip-hop, jazz, and R&B score gives the musical a modern twist.
🎩 This plays the Pantages from August 11 – December 30, 2017
- “School of Rock,” July 24 – Aug. 5, 2018: Featuring 14 songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the rock-and-roll musical tells the story of a wannabe rock star who poses as a substitute teacher and creates a band of his own with the music prodigies in his class.
🎩 This is in the Pantages 2017-2018 Season, playing May 3 – 27, 2018
- “On Your Feet,” Aug. 21 – Sept. 2, 2018: From Cuba to America, Gloria and Emilio Estefan broke through barriers in the pop music world with hits songs like “Rhythm is Gonna Get You,” “Conga” and “Don’t Wanna Lose You Now.” The musical tells the story of the groundbreaking couple’s musical sensation journey.
🎩 This is in the Pantages 2017-2018 Season, playing July 6 – 29, 2018
Curtain Call Series
- “Motown,” Dec. 19 – 24, 2017: The true American story about Motown founder Berry Gordy and his journey in the music world as he launched the careers of music sensations Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and more. The pop musical features hits like “My Girl,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Dancing in the Street.”
🎩 This played the Pantages January 31 – February 12, 2017
- “Kinky Boots,” Feb. 6 – 11, 2018: The multi-Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of Charlie Price, the owner of a small shoe factory, who meets Lola, an extraordinary performer who introduces him to new, creative ideas in the world of fashion and shoes.
🎩 This played the Pantages April 13 – 24, 2016
- “The Color Purple,” June 19 – 24, 2018: The Tony Award-winning musical presents a soul, jazz, ragtime and blues score to the story of a young woman’s journey in love and triumph in the American South.
🎩 This is in the Pantages 2017-2018 Season, playing May 29 – June 17, 2018
- “Jersey Boys,” Jan. 19-21, 2018: The Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning musical about rock and roll hall of famers The Four Seasons and their rise in pop music history. The show presents hits like “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh What a Night” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.”
🎩 This plays the Ahmanson May 16 – June 24, 2017
- “The Book of Mormon,” March 20-25, 2018: South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy tells the story about two mismatched missionaries sent across the seas to share their scriptures with a Ugandan village.
🎩 This plays the Pantages May 30 – July 9, 2017
All in all, a very good season. More information is on the Segerstrom website.
Palo Alto/Mountain View TheatreWorks
For those up in the Bay Area, I just received the TheatreWorks Season Announcement:
- The Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga. Jul 12–Aug 6, 2017, Lucie Stern Theatre, Palo Alto. Book, Music, & Lyrics by Min Kahng. Based on Manga Yonin Shosei by Henry Yoshitaka Kiyama. Translated as The Four Immigrants by Frederik L. Schodt. Directed by Leslie Martinson. WORLD PREMIERE. From a tumultuous earthquake to an exhilarating world’s fair, this broadly comic new musical chronicles the adventures of four endearing Japanese immigrants in a world of possibility and prejudice: turn-of-the-twentieth-century San Francisco. Driven by an infectious vaudeville and ragtime score, the quartet pursues their American Dream despite limited options in the land of opportunity. Don’t miss this runaway hit of our 2016 New Works Festival.
🎩 This sounds potentially interesting — if I was up there, I’d go see it.
- Constellations. Aug 23–Sept 17, 2017, Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. By Nick Payne. Directed by Robert Kelley. London Evening Standard Award Best Play 2012. REGIONAL PREMIERE. A time-bending romantic drama spun out of string theory, this unconventional Broadway and West End sensation explores the infinite possibilities of “boy meets girl” with intelligence, heart, and humor. A charming beekeeper and a Cambridge cosmologist are nerds in love, for better and for worse, their relationship an ever-changing mystery of “what ifs.” Who knew that honey and higher physics could be so touching—or so sexy?
🎩 C’mon, string theory in a play. Sounds good.
- The Prince of Egypt. Oct 6–Nov 5, 2017, Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. Book by Philip LaZebnik. Directed by Scott Schwartz. WORLD PREMIERE in collaboration with Fredericia Teater, Denmark. A soaring celebration of the human spirit, The Prince of Egypt features a dazzling, multi-ethnic cast in one of the greatest stories ever told: the saga of Moses and Ramses, his Pharaoh brother, and the indomitable people who changed them both forever. Inspired by the beloved DreamWorks Animation film and featuring a score that includes the Academy Award-winning “When You Believe” by the composer and lyricist of Wicked, this breathtaking journey of faith and family is the must-see event of the season.
🎩 A new Stephen Schwartz musical — could be good, although I’d be curious how he expanded the score.
- Around the World in 80 Days. Nov 29–Dec 23, 2017, Lucie Stern Theatre, Palo Alto. Adapted by Mark Brown. From the novel by Jules Verne. Directed by Robert Kelley. Stampeding elephants! Raging typhoons! Runaway trains! Join fearless adventurer Phileas Fogg and his faithful valet in the original “Great Race,” circling the globe in an 1870s alive with danger, romance, and comic surprises at every turn. In the hilariously theatrical style of The 39 Steps, five actors portray dozens of characters in a thrilling race against time and treachery. Grab your family, and your passport, for an ingenious, imaginative expedition around the world!
🎩 This is an oldie, but should be good.
- Our Great Tchaikovsky. Jan 10–Feb 4, 2018, Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. Music by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Written and Performed by Hershey Felder. Directed by Trevor Hay. REGIONAL PREMIERE. Brilliant composer Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky springs to life through the hands and insight of piano virtuoso Hershey Felder, whose time-bending tale of culture and repression explores the mystery surrounding some of the greatest music ever written. From the unforgettable ballets Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker, to the outrageous 1812 Overture and the brilliant symphonic works, this powerful musical tribute travels to Czarist times to ponder the inevitable enigma of genius. From the creator and performer of Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin and Beethoven.
🎩 Others might like this; I haven’t gotten into all the Hershey Felder shows.
- Skeleton Crew. Mar 7–Apr 1, 2018, Lucie Stern Theatre, Palo Alto. By Dominique Morisseau. Directed by Giovanna Sardelli. A Coproduction with Marin Theatre Company. CALIFORNIA PREMIERE. A makeshift family of autoworkers navigates the recession in this funny, tough, and tender American drama. Will their Detroit plant survive? Ambitious dreams and corporate deception interweave, pushing friendships to the limit. When the line between blue collar and white begins to blur, how far over the lines is each of them willing to step?
🎩 Sounds somewhat interesting.
- The Bridges of Madison County. Apr 4–29, 2018, Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. Book by Marsha Norman. Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. Based on the novel by Robert James Waller. Directed by Robert Kelley. 2014 Tony Award Best Score. REGIONAL PREMIERE. This sweeping musical romance about the roads we travel and the bridges we dare to cross recalls the unexpected affair of a devoted Italian-born housewife and a roving National Geographic photographer—four sensual, heart-stirring days that would never be forgotten. Set amidst the cornfields of Iowa in 1965, it is an intimate remembrance of love both lost and found, brilliantly adapted by a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Tony Award-winning composer from one of America’s favorite novels.
🎩 I saw the tour of this when it was at the Ahmanson, and I was very surprised at how much I liked it. TheatreWorks should do a good job with it.
- FINKS. Jun 6–Jul 1, 2018, Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. By Joe Gilford. Directed by Giovanna Sardelli. Drama Desk Award Best Play Nominee. CALIFORNIA PREMIERE. With the 1950s Red Scare in full swing, the House Un-American Activities Committee attacks “subversion” in the arts. When a romance blossoms between a rising comic and a firebrand actress, they face being blacklisted along with their friends and fellow artists. Will they lose their careers or betray each other and be branded forever as “finks”? Based on the true story of comedian/actor Jack Gilford, this stunning comic drama is written by his son.
🎩 The story of Jack Gilford — should be interesting.
The season sounds interesting enough that if I was in the area, I might subscribe. Subscription information is on the TheatreWorks website.