Wednesday, January 10, 2018

MUSICAL NEWS: Get Your Year Started Right with these Marvelous Musicals!

2018 is going to be a great year for musicals in Southern California so mark your calendars now and Ill see you at the theater!

Isabelle McCalla and Adam Jacobs in Aladdin. Photo by Deen van Meer

Aladdin – Hollywood Pantages
Jan 10 – March 31, 2018
The Hollywood Pantages Theatre begins 2018 with Disney’s Aladdin, a big, bright musical for the whole family starring original Broadway cast members Adam Jacobs as Aladdin and Michael James Scott as the Genie. Get ready to take a magical carpet ride into an exotic world of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance in this new production featuring a full score, including the five cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning soundtrack and more, written especially for the stage.

Cabaret – La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
Jan 19 – Feb 11, 2018
La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts opens its 40th anniversary season with Kander & Ebb’s Cabaret, directed by Larry Carpenter. Starring Jeff Skowron as The Emcee, Zarah Mahler as Sally Bowles, and Christian Pedersen as Clifford Bradshaw, and featuring musical direction by David O and choreography by Dana Solimando, its story is more relevant today than ever before. The seedy glamour of the Kit Kat Club with its bawdy Emcee provide an unsettling but fitting backdrop to the tale of the hard-living entertainer Sally Bowles in the decadent nightlife of Germany in the early thirties.

Candide – LA Opera

Jan 27 – Feb 18, 2018
Kelsey Grammer and Christine Ebersole star in Leonard Bernstein’s funny, satirical whirlwind tour of human folly and foolishness. Brimming with youthful innocence, Candide is certain he lives in the best of all possible worlds. But an unrelenting series of ridiculously unfortunate events makes him question everything he has been taught. Kelsey Grammer takes on the delightful double role of satirical author Voltaire and optimistic philosopher Pangloss, with two-time Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole in the riotous role of the Old Lady. Bernstein’s brilliant score features some of musical theater’s greatest hits, from its exuberant overture, to the show-stopping “Glitter and Be Gay.” More info:

The Hypocrites’ Pirates Of Penzance at Arizona Repertory Theatre
courtesy of The Hypocrites

Pirates of Penzance – Pasadena Playhouse
Jan 23 – Feb 18, 2018
Pasadena Playhouse turns its theater into a wacky beach party for Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, as reimagined by the Chicago theatre hooligans, The Hypocrites. For the first time in its history, the Playhouse will be completely transformed into a new configuration. All of the orchestra seats will be removed, and in their place there will be a deck, making the entire orchestra level of the theatre a playing area with actors and audience sharing the space promenade style. Expect flying beach balls, rubber duckies, ukuleles, banjos, plastic swimming pools, and even a tiki bar, for a night you won’t forget as Frederic, an orphan mistakenly apprenticed to an ineffectual but raucous band of pirates, disavows the pirates’ way of life and falls for the beautiful Mabel. Adapted and directed by Sean Graney, co-adapted by Kevin O’Donnell, and featuring music direction by Andra Velis Simon.

Million Dollar Quartet – 3-D Theatricals
Feb 9 –18 (Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center)
Feb 23 – March 4 (Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts)
David Lober directs the 3DT production which goes back to when Sam Phillips, the “Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll” who launched the careers of Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley, brought the four superstars together at the Sun Records studio for the first and only time, in what became known as one of the greatest jam sessions in rock ‘n’ roll history. Starring Cole as Elvis Presley, John Countryman as Jerry Lee Lewis, David Elkins as Johnny Cash, and Michael Monroe Goodman as Carl Perkins, this one is sure to get the house rockin’.

Allegiance – East West Players
Feb 21 – April 1, 2018
George Takei will be joined by Broadway cast members Elena Wang (Kei Kimura), Greg Watanabe (Mike Masaoka), Scott Watanabe (Tatsuo Kimura), and Janelle Dote (Hanako) for the LA premiere of Allegiance, produced by East West Players and Japanese American Cultural & Community Center. The production is directed by Snehal Desai with musical direction by Marc Macalintal and choreography by Rumi Oyama and performances will take place at JACCC’s Aratani Theatre. With gorgeous music and lyrics by Jay Kuo and a book by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo, and Lorenzo Thione, Allegiance tells the story of the Kimura family, whose lives are upended when they and 120,000 other Japanese Americans are forced to leave their homes following the events of Pearl Harbor. This is definitely a don’t-miss production.

Dessa Rose – Chromolume Theatre
Feb 2 – 25, 2018
Chromolume Theatre’s first production of 2018 will be Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flhery’s Dessa Rose. James Esposito directs and the show will feature musical direction by Daniel Yokomizo and choreography by Michael Marchak. Dessa Rose is the story of a young black runaway slave (Shauntee Tabb) and a white abandoned mother (Abby Carlson) and their journey to acceptance in the antebellum South as they tell their story to their grandchildren.

Daddy Long Legs – International City Theatre
Feb 21 – March 11, 2018
This two-hander by Paul Gordon and John Caird transforms Jean Webster’s novel into a charming and poignant musical that tells the story of Jerusha Abbott, an 18 year old young woman who has grown up at the John Grier Home for orphans. When a trustee of the home reads one of her essays and sees promise in her writing, he offers to send her to college to continue her education. His only requirements are that she must write him monthly letters, even though he will not write her back, and that she will never know his identity. Jerusha’s heartwarming journey to independence, education and romance is a journey every woman can understand. If you’re looking for the secret of happiness, you just may find it in this lovely musical.

Violet – Chance Theater
Feb 2 – March 4, 2018
Set in the Deep South during the early days of the civil rights movement, this powerful musical by Jeanine Tesori tells the touching story of a young woman accidentally scarred on the face as a child. Hoping that a TV evangelist can cure her, Violet sets out on a long bus ride from her sleepy North Carolina town through Memphis to Oklahoma. Along the way, she meets two young soldiers who teach her about love, courage and the true meaning of beauty. Use online code “POKER” for 20% off tickets. Discount expires February 1st. Good for any performance before February 19, except opening.

High Society – Musical Theatre Guild
Feb 11, 2018
Up next for Musical Theatre Guild is High Society, the 1956 musical film adaption of Philip Barry’s sparkling stage play The Philadelphia Story, which starred Grace Kelly, Bring Crosby and Frank Sinatra. The plot centers on pretentious socialite, Tracy Samantha Lord, who is planning to wed an equally pretentious executive when her ex-husband arrives to disrupt all her plans.

Earhart: More Than A F-ing Mystery (A Musical Flight)
Feb 18 & 20, 2018
An original musical comedy by Manny Hagopian, this 50 minute show is the little known story of Amelia Earhart. For 50 years, Earhart has been known as only an unexplained mystery, but she was, and is, much more than that - especially today. Earhart delivers the story of a proud, kickass girl, who set out to change the world and to prove once and for all that she is more than an f-ing mystery.  

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