In the last two weeks, announcements have come out regarding the upcoming seasons at two theatres I frequent. I thought I would share them with you:
** The Colony Theatre, Burbank **
- The Fabulous Lipitones by John Markus and Mark St. Germain. Germain is a favorite playwright at the Colony; I’ve seen a number of his shows there. This one sounds interesting: A barbershop quartet who’s been belting out close harmonies for twenty years suddenly loses its lead singer. The three surviving members must cease their bickering and race to find a replacement. They hear a tenor with a gorgeous voice, but when he shows up he’s a dark-skinned Indian in a turban who is also an illegal immigrant… and one of the quartet is Archie Bunker. West Coast Premiere. July 25 – August 23, 2015.
- Mrs. A. Lincoln by John Dayton. Toward the end of her life, Mary Todd Lincoln (Patty Duke) shares her stories and memories with (unseen) reporters. World Premiere. September 19 – October 18, 2015.
- Humble Boy by Charlotte Jones. 35-year-old Felix Humble is a bumbling Cambridge astrophysicist who cannot stumble across a garden hose without using it to illustrate the finer points of string theory before twisting it into a noose. He returns home to his bee keeping father’s funeral, only to discover his difficult and domineering mother in the arms of another man. West Coast Premiere. November 7 – December 13, 2015.
- The Best of Enemies by Mark St. Germain. Ann, an African-American civil rights activist, and C.P., the Exalted Cyclops of the KKK are forced to work together by the federal government to achieve integration in their small North Carolina town fifteen years after Brown v. Board of Education. West Coast Premiere. February 13 – March 13, 2016.
- Another Roll of the Dice. Book by Mark Saltzman, Music by Frank Loesser. Based on the stories by Damon Runyon. A new musical, seemingly in the world of Guys and Dolls. World Premiere. April 16 – May 15, 2016.
All in all, a pretty exciting season. I’m looking forward to it.
** The Pantages Theatre, Hollywood **
On Monday, the Pantages Theatre also announced its upcoming 2015-2016 season. I don’t subscribe to the Pantages (FB), but go when there are particular shows of interest. There wasn’t much in the 2014-2015 season. This one is better:
- Annie. This is the new US National Tour of the show. There was some controversy about this production — note that this is not the slightly revised version that was recently on Broadway, but a remounting of the original version with a non-Equity tour cast directed by Charnin. Although I enjoy the show I’ve seen it a number of times, and unless there’s something new and novel, there are better choices for my ticket dollar. October 13 – November 1, 2015.
- If/Then. This is the new Idena Menzel musical that just closed on Broadway. I doubt we’ll get Idina, but I go to a show for the story, not the performer. The music is good and the story is an interesting one about the paths one choses in life (it is not, as its title might imply, a musical about a programmer who falls in love). This is one that I want to see. Written by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt. December 8, 2015 – January 3, 2016.
- Bullets Over Broadway. This is the musicalization of the Woody Allen film, written by Allen. The score consists of jazz and popular standards of the years between World War I and about 1930 by various songwriters. I’ve heard the music, and I really like it. It didn’t do well on Broadway, possibly because of the association with Allen. January 5 – January 24, 2016.
- Dirty Dancing — The Classic Story on Stage. This is the North American Tour of this never-on-Broadway show. It appears to use movie songs and movie choreography. It may be classic, but I have no desire to see it. Footloose: The Musical would have been better. February 2 – February 21, 2016.
- The Illusionists – Witness the Impossible. This is billed as “a mind-blowing spectacular that showcases seven of the most incredible illusionists on earth”. It had a short Broadway run. Doesn’t really excite me. Now, if they were to bring back Stephen Schwartz’ The Magic Show, that would be something different. But then again, who is today’s equivalent of Doug Henning? . February 23 – March 13, 2016.
- 42nd Street. The old chestnut. Saw a great production of this at Cabrillo; no need to see again. This is obviously (because the Pantages only books Tours and Special Events) a non-equity tour. Leave it for the tourists. May 31 – June 19, 2016.
- Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. This was a big Tony winner. I’ve heard the music on this one and I really like it. It also got great reviews and a thumbs up from Carole King. I’ll see this. June 22 – July 17, 2016.
- Cabaret. The Pantages is the wrong venue if they are trying the new revival; most likely, this is a non-equity tour [Correction: This is the new Roundabout Theatre version. Given that version was designed for a much smaller and intimate venue, it is just going to have difficulty connecting in the cavernous Pantages.] What’s the point. Want to see Cabaret? Go to Crown City and see the endless run there. July 19-Aug. 7, 2016.
Note: The Center Theatre Group has not announced its season, but the rumors look promising. I’ve already heard that Little Dancer (Ahrens, Flaherty) is coming to LA. Other rumored shows might be A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Bridges of Madison County, or Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
** Other Upcoming Shows of Interest **
Ellen Dostal’s Musicals in LA highlighted one additional upcoming musical of interest:
The critically acclaimed Off-Broadway musical Inside Out will celebrate its 20-year anniversary at the Grove Theatre Center (FB) in Burbank, Feb. 12 – March 22 (opening night Feb. 14). Bruce Kimmel will direct the musical written by Doug Haverty (book & lyrics) and Adryan Russ (lyrics & music). A women’s therapy group, headed by group leader, Grace (Cynthia Ferrer), is transformed forever when former singing star Dena (Leslie Stevens) joins the group and winds up being a catalyst for change in the lives of Sage (Adrienne Visnic), a flower child; Liz (Sandy Bainum), a powerful businesswoman who has problems balancing work and home; Chlo (Stephanie Fredricks), a gay bank employee and single mom; and Molly (Dana Mellor), a mother of two young children who is dealing with weight and work issues. A portion of proceeds from the production will go to the 1983-founded Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation; an “army of women” dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer and how to stop it before it starts. www.dslrf.org. Tickets: (323) 960-1055 or www.plays411.com/insideout. This was partially funded by an Indiegogo campaign.
This one I may look into, especially as Chavez Ravine at the Kirk Douglas seems to be sold out on Goldstar and Hottix, and I’m looking for something for Saturday, February 21. Additionally, this page makes it appear as if discount tickets will be available from the usual sources.