The Royale’s David St. Louis
By KEN WERTHER
Photos By CRAIG SCHWARTZ/CTG
“What do you do when the fight chooses you?,” asks the Center Theatre Group website. Following the smash hit world premiere The Nether, a play that takes place in the near future, where people can explore and participate in virtual reality worlds, The Royale, another world premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, takes place in the past.
Jay “The Sport” Jackson (loosely based on Jack Johnson, the first African American sports icon) wants a shot at the world title in a time when black and white boxers did not face off. He comes out swinging and slinging words in a spectacular barrage of rhythm and heat, language adrenaline, and cocksure swagger.
The Royale is muscular and kinetic – riveting storytelling punctuated by syncopated dialogue and emotion. The playwright, Marco Ramirez, trained at both NYU and The Juilliard School, and he was a member of the 2010-2011 CTG Writers’ Workshop. His works have been produced all over the country (including L.A.’s own Black Dahlia Theatre). Ramirez has been nominated for, and won, several prestigious awards.
The Royale runs for five weeks only through June 2 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, located at 9820 W Washington Blvd in Culver City.
Flashdance’s Emily Padgett as Alex Owens
By KEN WERTHER
Photos By KYLE FROMAN/SEGERSTROM
“It’s time to find some leg warmers, cut up a sweatshirt, and dump a bucket of water on yourself because Flashdance the Musical has arrived. This show has all the sexy moves and catchy tunes that helped the 1983 film dance its way into pop culture history.” That’s what The Advocate said when the show opened in New Orleans on April 5. It arrives at Segerstrom Center for the Arts on May 7 for two weeks only.
Flashdance tells the story of Alex Owens, a working class girl from Pittsburgh with a dream of becoming a professional dancer. She works by day as a steel mill welder, and when Alex catches the eye of her boss, their romance teaches her the meaning of love and drives her ambition to pursue her dream.
The original film was a worldwide smash that became a pop culture phenomenon, grossing over $150 million and featuring a Grammy Award-winning soundtrack. Flashdance the Musical features a mix of top-ten hits from the movie along with new songs written especially for the stage. The show opened in London in 2010 and made its U.S. debut on January 1st of this year. It is scheduled to arrive on Broadway in 2014.
Catch Flashdance the Musical May 7-19 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, located at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa.
Joe Turner’s Keith David and Glynn Turman
By CYNTHIA LUM
Photos By CRAIG SCHWARTZ/CTG
Acclaimed by critics as a “masterpiece,” August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone will open at the Mark Taper Forum on Wednesday, May 8 and run through Sunday, June 9. This celebrated work is part of a 10-part series narrating the 20th Century experience of Americans of African descent.
With the end of slavery only 50 years ago, there was a great incentive for the sons and daughters of former slaves to move to the industrial cities in the north to look for jobs and economic opportunities. Directed by Tony award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad, whom you may remember as Clair Huxtable of The Cosby Show, this historic drama takes place in a Pittsburgh boarding house in 1911 and chronicles the stories of boarders who come and go, and the changing dynamic of this makeshift family of African Americans beginning new lives in the north.
Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner author August Wilson said, “They arrive carrying bibles and guitars; their pockets lined with dust and fresh hope.” The story, sometimes joyous, sometimes sad, but always hopeful, brings to audiences a vision of the hopes and dreams of this cast of characters, breathing life into the history of a people hoping to forge new identities as free-men and women of worth.
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone will play at Mark Taper Forum, located at 135 N. Grand Ave, from May 8 to June 9.
The cast of Scooby-Doo! Live Musical Mysteries
By VICTORIA LOSURDO
Photos By KELLY PHILLIPS/WARNER BROS.
The Gang is all back together in the new hit musical Scooby-Doo! Live Musical Mysteries. When a mischievous ghost is haunting the theater, there is only one monster-hunting pup to call; Scooby Doo! Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Shaggy are determined to catch this ghoul and find out why he is playing tricks on the theater.
This reinvented show is composed of fresh new songs like “Round Every Corner” and “We’re Mystery Inc.” But they still stay true to the original cartoon, performing the beloved theme song.
Silly, interactive, and not so scary, this is a perfect show for kids! They will even have a chance to be a part of Mystery Inc. and help solve the puzzle from their seats. The older ones will adore it too! Who doesn’t love that nostalgic feeling of seeing one of their favorite childhood cartoons up on stage?
There will be three performances of Scooby-Doo! Live Musical Mysteries at Dolby Theatre, located at Hollywood and Highland, on May 12—the perfect Scooby Dooby Doo surprise for Mom and the kids!