Los Angeles Theater: 54th SEASON AT THE AHMANSON THEATRE (Center Theatre Group)

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by Tony Frankel on May 24, 2021

in Theater-Los Angeles

Ahmanson Theatre Will Have Been Dark For 20 Months

While it’s a shame that Diane Paulus’s new revision of 1776 will have to visit the Ahmanson another season, things look to go into full swing in November, which begins the seven-production season listed below. For more info, call the subscription hotline at 213-972-4444 or visit CTG. At this time, there is nothing further current subscribers need to do. Center Theatre Group will reach out to subscribers later this summer with more information. Groups of 10 or more may reserve tickets by calling 213.972.7231. General on-sale dates for individual productions will be announced at a later date.

A Christmas Carol
Adapted by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child)
Directed by Matthew Warchus (Matilda)
November 30, 2021 – January 2, 2022

The Broadway cast of A Christmas Carol. Photo by Joan Marcus.

A magical new interpretation opened on Broadway in November of 2019 earning five Tony nominations following celebrated runs at The Old Vic, London. This timeless and timely tale of isolation and redemption welcomes theatergoers of all ages into an immersive experience that’s brimming with Christmas spirit. The production features dazzling staging, moving storytelling and 12 of the most cherished Christmas carols, including “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night” and “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear.”

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
Music by Dan Gillespie Sells
Book and Lyrics by Tom MacRae
From an idea by Jonathan Butterell
Directed by Jonathan Butterell
January 16 – February 20, 2022
North American Premiere

Layton Williams in the West End's Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. Photo by Johan Persson.

Inspired by a true story, this funny, fabulous musical sensation has gained a loyal following since opening in 2017. Fresh and contemporary with an extraordinary mother and son relationship at its center, it celebrates acceptance, belonging, the power of unconditional love of a mother for her child and how good life is when everybody is the best they can be.

Jamie New is sixteen and lives in public housing in Sheffield, England. Jamie doesn’t quite fit in, he’s terrified about the future and he’s going to be a sensation. Supported by his loving mum and surrounded by his friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight — with catchy songs, naturally. Director Jonathan Butterell saw the doc Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 the true story of Jamie Campbell and his mother, Margaret. This inspired him to create this musical which is a dramatized portrayal of a period in Jamie’s life but is not a faithful account. Certain events and characters have been fictionalized.

The Lehman Trilogy
Written by Stefano Massini
Adapted by Ben Power
Directed by Sam Mendes (1917)
March 3 – April 10, 2022

Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley & Ben Miles in London's The Lehman Trilogy. Photo by Mark Douet.

The Lehman Trilogy weaves through nearly two centuries of Lehman lineage. On a cold September morning in 1844 a young man from Bavaria stands on a New York dockside. Dreaming of a new life in the new world. He is joined by his two brothers and an American epic begins. One hundred and sixty three years later, the firm they establish — Lehman Brothers — spectacularly collapses into bankruptcy and triggers the largest financial crisis in history.

Music, Lyrics and Book by Anaïs Mitchell
Developed with and Directed by Rachel Chavkin
April 26 – May 29, 2022

Reeve Carney and Eva Noblezada in Hadestown on Broadway. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Hadestown, the awesome new musical by celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell, and developed with innovative director Rachel Chavkin, originated as Mitchell’s indie theatre project in Vermont that toured North America and the UK which she then turned into an acclaimed album. With Chavkin, her artistic collaborator, Hadestown has been transformed into a genre-defying new musical that blends modern American folk music with New Orleans-inspired jazz to reimagine two sweeping ancient tales.

Following two intertwining love stories — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone — we are invited on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit
industry against nature, doubt against faith and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, singers, dancers and musicians, Hadestown delivers a deeply resonant and defiantly hopeful theatrical experience.

Come From Away
Book, Music and Lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein
Directed by Christopher Ashley
May 31 – June 12, 2022

The North American tour of Come From Away. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

On September 11, 2001 the world stopped. On September 12, their stories moved us all. Returning to the Ahmanson, Come From Away tells the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.

Dear Evan Hansen
Book by Steven Levenson
Score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Directed by Michael Greif
June 29 – July 31, 2022

Stephen Christopher Anthony (center) with the tour of Dear Evan Hansen. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Also returning to the Ahmanson, Dear Evan Hansen struck a chord with audiences — I said in my review, “As with Hair 50 years ago, Evan Hansen has hit the jugular of today’s teenage zeitgeist while reminding the rest of us just how difficult and damaging adolescence can be. Oh, sure, parents still don’t understand kids, but today’s fast-paced millennials — a generation lost in cyberspace — are experiencing a distressing increase of pressure as they grapple with information overload, out-of-control capitalism, population density, political polarization, and an ever-heating planet. As such, Evan — who has trouble fitting in and authentically communicating what he’s experiencing — perfectly represents the many who suffer from neurosis, anxiety, depression, and other disorders on the ADHD and autism spectrum.” When he lies to fit in, consequences spin out of control.

The Prom
Book by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin
Music by Matthew Sklar
Lyrics by Chad Beguelin
Directed and Choreographed by Casey Nicholaw
August 9 – September 11, 2022

The Original Broadway Cast of The Prom. Photo by Deen van Meer.

Broadway’s hit musical comedy is about big Broadway stars on a mission to change the world and the love they discover that unites them all. Brought to us by the creators of The Drowsy Chaperone.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
Music by Richard Rodgers
Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein
Based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs
Choreography by John Heginbotham, Original Choreography by Agnes De Mille
Directed by Daniel Fish
September 13 – October 16, 2022

Cast of the Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! Photo by Little Fang Photo.

The season closer was hailed by The New York Times’ Ben Brantley as a “wide-awake, jolting and altogether wonderful production … How is it that the coolest new show on Broadway is a 1943 musical?” asked Brantley. This is Oklahoma! as you’ve never seen or heard it before – reimagined for the 21st century: funny and sexy, dark and jolting, this acclaimed reimagining is stripped down to reveal the darker psychological truths. At its core, Daniel Fish’s production tells a story of a community circling its wagons against an outsider, and the frontier life that shaped America. Upending the sunny romance of a farmer and a cowpoke, this Oklahoma! allows the classic musical — and our country — to be seen in a whole new light.

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