THEATER TALK: Mormons, Follies, And More!
The musical, which is currently enjoying a massively successful run on Broadway, will start its national tour in Denver this summer, and then move to Los Angeles, where it will kick off the Pantages's 2012-2013 season.
This is a coup for the Pantages, whose current season isn't exactly promising. This also comes hot on the heels of the Center Theatre Group's announcement that the void left by the disappearance of "Funny Girl" in this season's schedule will be filled by the highly anticipated production of "Follies," which is currently playing a limited run on Broadway after appearing at the Kennedy Center earlier this year.
This is kind of fun to watch, like the "Annie Get Your Gun" song "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better." Both theaters seem to be trying to one-up each other, which is refreshing, given that the Pantages' current season looked like it was waving a white flag of surrender in response to the shows over at the Ahmanson.
It's interesting that these shows are going to these houses. The Ahmanson feels a lot bigger than the Pantages, probably due to its height. The Pantages feels a lot more intimate, despite the fact that it can actually hold a lot more patrons. The latter house is also permeated with history — at one point, the Academy Awards were held there! So it would seem to make more sense for the shiny new "Book of Mormon" to play at the shiny, new Ahmanson, and for the revival of Sondheim's 1970s show to play the Pantages. However, both shows should do fine in their respective Los Angeles venues.
Regardless of the houses in which these shows are playing, this is certainly great news for Los Angeles-area theater-goers! Hopefully, the rest of the line-up for the 2012-2013 season will be as great as what we've heard about so far.
My predictions? Look for the national tour of "Catch Me If You Can" to fly through the Pantages, and get excited for "Anything Goes," which I'll go out on a limb and say will be at the Ahmanson, hopefully with Stephanie J. Block reprising her role as Reno Sweeney. We may also be able to look forward to "The Normal Heart" coming to LA, maybe at the Ahmanson, or perhaps at the Geffen? After all, the Geffen is not dissimilar to Arena Stage in Washington, DC, where that tour will be kicking off this summer — both like showcasing new works, and neither is known for hosting national tours, but both should be able to host this play quite successfully.
Here's hoping for a great season of theater in Los Angeles!
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