ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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July 2019

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

LAArtsOnline - Get it while its hot!
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THEATRE!

Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon hits Pantages (July 16-Aug 11) and Segerstrom (Oct 1 – 13)

Miss Saigon

  • By Kenne Hoffman

Miss Saigon premiered in London’s West End  in 1989 before opening on Broadway in 1991. It was nominated for 11 Tony Awards that year and won three — Jonathan Pryce, Best Actor in a Musical; Lea Salonga, Best Actress in a Musical; and Hinton Battle, Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Based on Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, the musical tells the tragic tale of a doomed romance involving an Asian woman abandoned by her American lover. Miss Saigon relocates the story to 1970s Saigon during the Vietnam War, replacing the story of marriage between an American Lieutenant and a Geisha with a romance between a U.S. Marine and a 17-year-old South Vietnamese bar girl.

This month, Miss Saigon returns to the Pantages Theatre with Cameron Mackintosh’s epic new production. Mackintosh has produced three of the longest running musicals in history (The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, and Cats). Featuring a cast of 60 performers, the production highlights the evacuation of the last Americans from the Saigon Embassy by helicopter, the Victory Parade of the New Communist Regime, and the bedlam in a frenzied nightclub at the time of the defeat. This touring company includes Sooha Kim (a Korean-born actress, the first to perform the role of Kim in both English and Japanese), Ashley Gilmour as Chris, the U.S. Marine who unknowingly fathers a child with Kim, and Leo Tavarro Valdez (a popular Filipino recording artist) as the Engineer.

For tickets at Pantages, click here. For showtimes at Segerstrom (in October), click here.

THE LITTLE MERMAID

The Little Mermaid (presented by the Musical Theatre West) at Carpenter Performing Arts Center July 12-28th

THE LITTLE MERMAID

  • By KEN WERTHER

The Little Mermaid is the Broadway musical version of the classic 1989 animated film. The movie took in $84 million at the domestic box office during its initial release and $233 million worldwide. It’s given credit for breathing life back into the art of Disney animated features and it marked the start of an era known as the Disney Renaissance. It won two Academy Awards for Best Original Score (Alan Menken and Howard Ashman) and Best Original Song (“Under the Sea”). The stage adaptation of The Little Mermaid opened on Broadway in 2008 and featured the Broadway debut of Sierra Boggess as Ariel. Directed by Francesca Zambello, the production ran for 685 performances and garnered two Tony Award nominations.

Based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale, The Little Mermaid is the story of Ariel, a mermaid that is fascinated with life on land and during one of her visits to the surface she falls for a human prince. Determined to be with her new love, Ariel makes a dangerous deal with the sea witch Ursula to become human for three days. This month, Musical Theatre West offers a new production of The Little Mermaid starring Katharine McDonough as Ariel, Cynthia Ferrer as Ursula, David Burnham as Prince Eric, Joe Abraham as Scuttle, and Marc Cedric Smith as King Triton. So … come on! Let’s head out to Long Beach and go Under the Sea!

For more details and tickets, click here.

PLAY GOES WRONG

Peyton Crim, Scott Cote, Evan Alexander Smith and Ned Noyes in the national tour of The Play That Goes Wrong at Ahmanson Theatre July 9 through August 11th (Photo Jeremy Daniel)

PLAY GOES WRONG

  • By Deborah Behrens
  • Photo By Jeremy Daniel

Fans of backstage British farce, Agatha Christie country manor murder mysteries or shrieking with laughter should hurry downtown to the Ahmanson Theatre for Mischief Theatre’s The Play That Goes Wrong. This show-within-a-show started out at a small London fringe site before becoming a West End sensation that won the 2015 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. It garnered a 2017 Tony Award for Best Scenic Design of a Play during its recent Broadway run and has toured to more than two million people globally.

The Cornley University Drama Society, an amateur theater troupe known for its limited budget revivals (and resultant retitling) of Two Sisters, The Lion and the Wardrobe and Cat, just landed a major venue for its production of The Murder at Haversham Manor, a 1920s whodunit a la Christie’s The Mousetrap. Audience members watch as the drama society’s “cast and crew” prepare their shabby set for opening night while subsequently wrecking havoc upon both it and themselves as the “play” unfolds. Monty Python-like mayhem and hilarity ensue. Good actors playing bad actors in a musty melodrama might just be the tonic your summer gin drink needs.

“A gut-busting hit! The audience roared as loudly as the crowds at any wrestling match.” – The New York Times

Plays July 9 – August 11. For more information, click here.

GOOD BOYS

Good Boys (Starring Betsy Brandt) plays Pasadena Playhouse now through July 21

GOOD BOYS

  • By Deborah Behrens

Power. Privilege. Prep school. Sexual abuse. Which of these is not like the rest? Or do they fit hand in glove? Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad, Life in Pieces) stars in Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s moral thriller Good Boys at Pasadena Playhouse as physician Elizabeth Harper whose popular athlete son Brandon is involved in a sex tape scandal at prestigious St. Joseph’s Prep in Washington D.C. Is he the boy in the tape brutishly taking advantage of a minor without her consent? And if not, what other secrets might he be hiding from his influential parents?

Directed by Carolyn Cantor (Sell/Buy/Date, Rabbit Hole), this “game of cat and mouse between a mother and her son” co-stars Ben Ahlers (The Village) as Brandon, James Carpinello (Rock of Ages, Saturday Night Fever), Toks Olagundoye (Veep), Dylan Arnold (Halloween) and Annamarie Kasper (Criminal Minds). Good Boys world premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 2007. Playwright Aguirre-Sacasa, (series creator of Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Broadway musicals American Psycho and Magic Mike, plus CCO of Archie Comics), revisited and expanded the show’s still timely themes of toxic masculinity, family complicity and personal responsibility for the Playhouse production. According to him, it offers “twists and turns that will keep you guessing about the truth right up to the end.”

Plays June 26 – July 21. For more information, click here.      

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