ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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February 2020

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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THEATRE!

Revenge Song

Revenge Song A Vampire Cowboys Creation at Geffen Feb 4-Mar 8th

Revenge Song

  • By Allison Starcher
  • Photo Courtesy of Geffen Playhouse

Revenge Song’s 17th century heroine’s journey from swashbuckling swordswoman to opera singer on the lam couldn’t be timelier. Shakespeare may have dabbled with themes of cross-dressing and gender fluidity but Vampire Cowboys writer Qui Nguyen has fashioned a fully expressed queer female superhero from the true-life escapades of Julie d’Aubigny. Darkly comedic, this musical melds this New York-based theatre company’s comic book aesthetic with athletic choreography to create a uniquely raucous live theatre experience.

In this age of instant fame and 24-hour news cycles it’s a rare treat to be introduced to a historical figure with such a spectacular life story. Commissioned as part of the Geffen Playhouse’s New Play Development Program, Revenge Song traces Julie’s stranger-than-fiction character arc as she battles external forces and internal demons in pursuit of love and self-acceptance. When a play’s description cautions, “This production contains strong sexual content, explicit language, stage violence, strobe lighting effects, theatrical haze, and is not recommended to those under the age of 14,” you can bet you are in for an all-out extravaganza. Robert Ross Parker directs this racially diverse and battle-trained cast to deliver thought provoking performances with a punk-rock attitude.

For more details, click here.

The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon at Ahmanson Theatre Feb 18-Mar 29th

The Book of Mormon

  • By Ken Werther
  • Photo Courtesy of Center Theatre Group

As I write this, The Book of Mormon is playing its 3,700th performance on Broadway. With book, music, and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone, the show opened on March 24, 2011 and later that year was nominated for a whopping 13 Tony Awards, winning nine! Parker and Stone are best known for creating South Park and Lopez co-wrote the music for Avenue Q (oh, and along with his wife Kristin, a little song called Let It Go from the movie Frozen). The Book of Mormon has grossed over $500 million, making it one of the most successful musicals of all time. For the few of you that may not know, the show is a satirical examination of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ beliefs and practices that ultimately endorses the positive power of love and service.

The original cast recording won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album and became the highest-charting Broadway cast album in over four decades, reaching number three on the Billboard chart. During its first week of release, it became the fastest-selling Broadway cast album in iTunes history. The Book of Mormon has now had productions on London’s West End and in Stockholm, Australia, Oslo, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Zurich. This month, it returns (again!) to Los Angeles. If you are still among the uninitiated, get yourself to the Ahmanson. And prepare to laugh. A lot!

For tickets and more details, click here.

THE FATHER

The Father (starring Alfred Molina) at Pasadena Playhouse Feb 5-Mar 1st

THE FATHER

  • By Deborah Behrens

Three-time Tony Award nominee Alfred Molina (Art, Fiddler on the Roof, Red) makes his Pasadena Playhouse debut as retired Parisian engineer André who resents divorcée daughter Anne for relocating to London with new lover Pierre. Or is he a charming tap dancer who lives with Anne and her longtime husband Pierre? In French playwright Florian Zeller’s tragic farce The Father, translated by Christopher Hampton (Les Liaisons Dangereuses) and directed by Playhouse alumna Jessica Kubzansky (Hold These Truths, Pygmalion, Mauritius), anything could be true depending upon André’s deteriorating state of mind. Like King Lear raging against the storm, his daughters and impending madness/despair, the former clown believes he alone controls his fate and the revolving door of strangers invading his apartment. If only he can find his watch.

The Father won the 2014 Molière Award for Best Play. It earned both a 2015 Olivier Award and 2016 Tony Award nomination for Best New Play and Best Play respectively. Each actor who played André in these previous productions garnered a Best Actor Award. The film version starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman recently debuted at Sundance Film Festival 2020. Cast members include Sue Cremin as Anne, Michael Manuel as Pierre, Pia Shah as Laura, Hugo Armstrong as Man and Lisa Renee Pitts as Woman.

Plays February 5 to March 1. For more information, click here.

MARGARITAVILLE

Escape to Margaritaville at Dolby Theatre Feb 18-Mar 8 (Starring Sarah Hinrichsen and Chris Clark) (Photo Matthew Murphy)

MARGARITAVILLE

  • By ARLENE WINNICK
  • Photo By MATTHEW MURPHY

Hey Jimmy Buffett fans, it’s time to get away from it all, put on a flowered shirt and flip flops, grab a parrot, pour a pina colada and ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE, a romantic musical comedy, part of the Broadway in Hollywood series at the Dolby Theater. The show will also play at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

The action takes place a rundown hotel on a small island the Caribbean where two women arrive for a bachelorette fling. In the hotel, they meet Tully, a singer in the bar and Brick, the loveable bartender plus a host of other characters. The totally mismatched foursome enjoy lots of drinking, dancing, carousing, chaos and mayhem… and did I mention an erupting volcano! But all is not paradise in paradise. They all go off in different directions, but there’s always a happy ending in paradise and eventually they are reunited

ESCSAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE features both original music and Jimmy Buffett’s greatest hits including Cheeseburger in Paradise, It’s Five o’clock Somewhere, Grapefruit Juicy Fruit, Come Monday, Son of a son of a Sailor… and the classic Margaritaville. I guarantee the audience will be singing and dancing along with the cast. Don’t let them start the party without you.

For tickets and details, click here.

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