ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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January 2019

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THEATRE!

An Inspector Calls!

Christine Kavanagh, Jeff Hammer, Lianne Harvey, An Inspector Calls Tour 2018-19 (Photo Mark Douet)

An Inspector Calls!

  • By Ken Werther
  • Photo Courtesy of The Wallis

I first saw director Stephen Daldry’s National Theatre of Great Britain’s landmark production of An Inspector Calls on Broadway in 1994. It was truly unforgettable and I was thrilled when it played at the Ahmanson Theatre here in LA in 1996 as part of a U.S. tour so I could see it again! Now, 22 years later, the show has been revived and begins performances on January 22 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. Once again directed by Stephen Daldry, the cast will feature Liam Brennan, Christine Kavanagh, Jeff Harmer, Andrew Macklin, Lianne Harvey, Hamish Riddle, and Diane Payne-Myers.

J.B. Priestley’s classic thriller, long considered part of the repertory of classic ‘drawing room’ theatre, was hailed as the theatrical event of its generation. It has won three Olivier Awards, four Tony Awards, and seven Drama Desk Awards, and has been seen by over four million theatergoers worldwide. An Inspector Calls has been described as, “An episode of The Twilight Zone wrapped in an Agatha Christie mystery … superbly tense … breathtaking anddaring … visually astonishing.” J.B. Priestley’s classic thriller is set in 1912 and tells the tale of Inspector Goole and his unexpected arrival at the prosperous Birling family home, shattering their peaceful dinner party by his investigation into the death of a young woman. Mystery, suspense, murder — I am so excited!

To purchase tickets and more details, click here.

Linda Vista!

Linda Vista plays January 9th - February 17th at the Mark Taper Forum

Linda Vista!

  • By Ken Werther
  • Photo Courtesy of Center Theatre Group

Are you a fan of Tracy Letts? This Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning actor/playwright has a long list of credits … and I mean really long! As a writer — August: Osage County, Mary Page Marlowe, Superior Donuts, The Man from Nebraska, The Stretch, The Minutes, Killer Joe, Bug … as a television actor, his credits include Homeland, Prison Break, The District, Strong Medicine, Profiler, and Judging Amy, among others. He has appeared in feature films including The Big Short, Christine, Elvis & Nixon, Lady Bird, The Post, and many more. His plays have been produced extensively by Steppenwolf Theatre of Chicago. First seen there in the spring of 2017, Linda Vista arrives at the Mark Taper Forum this month.

Directed by Dexter Bullard, the cast will feature Ian Barford, Tim Hopper, Sally Murphy, Caroline Neff, Chantal Thuy, Cora Vander Broek, and Troy West. Linda Vista is the tale of a middle-aged dude who just can’t get it together! It’s about Wheeler, a 50-year-old guy moving into an apartment of his own after a divorce and stuck in a dead-end job. His journey to a new life is tangled and complicated and promises much of Letts’s signature hilarity and deft examination of people struggling with moral and spiritual questions. Remembering the brilliance of August: Osage County at the Ahmanson a number of years back is more than enough to get me to the Taper for Linda Vista!

For more details, click here.

1776 at La Mirada!

1776 the Musical plays January 11th – February 3rd at La Mirada Theatre

1776 at La Mirada!

  • By Ken Werther
  • Photo Courtesy of La Mirada Theatre

If you’re a Hamilton fan and part of what you admire about the show is the musical history lesson it imparts, 1776 is for you! The popular and critically acclaimed Broadway musical is based on the events surrounding the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It dramatizes the efforts of John Adams to persuade his colleagues in congress to vote for American independence from Britain and to sign the document. The show premiered on Broadway in 1969 and ran for 1,217 performances. The production was nominated for five Tony Awards (winning three, including Best Musical). In 1972 it was made into a feature film, and it was revived on Broadway in 1997.

This month, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts (one of my favorite venues) and McCoy Rigby Entertainment will offer a new production of 1776 to Southland theatregoers. Directed by Glenn Casale with music direction by Jeff Rizzo, the cast will feature Broadway’s own James Barbour (Beauty and the Beast, Jane Eyre, The Phantom of the Opera) in the role of Edward Rutledge of South Carolina. Little known fact — Rutledge was the youngest signatory of the Declaration of Independence. I’ve seen countless productions of 1776 and it’s thrilling every time. The show is funny, touching, and yes, educational! Each time I see it I leave the theatre feeling proud to be an American. So come on — let’s head to La Mirada!

For more details, click here.

Rita Wilson!

"Rita Wilson’s Liner Notes" January 10 th– 13th at Geffen Playhouse

Rita Wilson!

  • By Arlene Winnick
  • Photo Courtesy of Geffen Playhouse

Like me I am sure you have listened to a song and wondered what’s the story behind the song?  Think Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” or Cindy Lauper’s “True Colors” or Tim McGraw’s “Felt Good on My Lips.” Well wonder no more as Rita Wilson’s Liner Notes – the true stories behind your favorite songs – comes to the Geffen for a limited run this month.

Joining singer/songwriter Wilson for this remarkable evening of music memories and behind-the-scenes backstories are special guests and songwriters extraordinaire Holly Knight, Billy Steinberg and The Warren Brothers.

Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee and three time Grammy winner Holly Knight has written hits for the recording industry’s biggest stars – “The Best” for Tina Turner, Pat Benatar’s “Love is A Battlefied” and hundreds more for Rod Stewart, Kiss, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and others. Bill Steinberg has penned hits for Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston. The Warren Brothers have written for the nation’s top country stars like Faith Hill, Lady Antebellum and Tim McGraw.

For tickets and details, click here.

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