🎭 Prognostications for the 2023 Pantages/Ahmanson Seasons

It’s that time of year again. I’ve received email from Broadway in Hollywood (FB) (Pantages) that it is time to advance renew our subscriptions and that their season announcement was coming soon; I expect to hear something similar from the Ahmanson Theatre (FB). So I though I would go through the list of shows I know to be setting up tours, and predict what the seasons will look like. Let’s see how close I am once the announcements come out. My basis for show information is the Tours to You site, and the Playbill article on current and upcoming tours.

Ahmanson Theatre

The Ahmanson Theatre, in Downtown LA,  is a large venue that in the past has programmed both National tours, shows it has locally produced or produced pre-tours, or select touring productions from elsewhere, such as the West End. It has smaller capacity than the Pantages/Dolby, can accommodate mid-size runs but not long sit downs. There has been a recent strong push for diversity and local productions at CTG, and there is new artistic leadership, so I expect to see more diverse playwrights and local productions as opposed to only the tours we’ve seen of late.

My prediction:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird (Tour). This was postponed from 2021.
  • 1776 (Musical). This was postponed from 2021.
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. This could be a local mounting as a tour hasn’t been announced, but there has been a sister production at the Curran in SF. This isn’t a formal tour, so it would require a local mounting of the show — which means it would require the Ahmanson, as Broadway in Hollywood doesn’t locally mount stuff.
  • Jagged Little Pill. This just seems a bit more like an Ahmanson show.
  • Diversity author slot.
  • Pre-Broadway or West-End Musical

Broadway In Hollywood

Broadway in Hollywood, booking at the Pantages and the Dolby, has to fill large venues. They book only tours and such; no locally produced or unknown quantitites here. They also bring in a small number of retreads — shows that have done well before that might be worth another sit-down.

My prediction:

  • Mean Girls. This was postponed from 2020.
  • Six.
  • Beetlejuice.
  • Tina – The Musical.
  • Ain’t Too Proud. This started out at the Ahmanson and went to Broadway. It is likely not to repeat at the Ahmanson — they want to reach a different subscriber base.
  • Wicked. On tour, currently at the Segerstrom. A likely retread that performs well and can do an extended sit-down at the Pantages.
  • Girl from the North Country (although this could end up at the Ahmanson)
  • Aladdin The Musical. This is a “newly imagined” version, and could be a draw.
  • Maybes:
    • The new equity tours of either Annie or Hairspray. Both are older, both done regionally, but both might be crowd draws.
    • The Cher Show. The tour was postponed, but it might come back.
    • The Spongebob Musical. One can always hope.
    • MJ The Musical. This was just announced (3/21) as going on tour in 2023. It is the type of show that would be at the Pantages, but I think the announcement is too late for the 2023 season. But one never knows; it might make it in.

Emojiland: The Musical is also going on tour. However, it doesn’t seem like either Pantages or Ahmanson fare, being an off-Broadway production to start with. My guess, if it comes to the LA Area, is that it might end up at Broadway in Thousand Oaks or the Pasadena Playhouse.

So those are my predictions. Your thoughts? I could also see, if the new Music Man announces a tour this early, that it could end up at the Pantages.

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