Theater Preview: Ahmanson 2012-2013 Season
October 10-November 18
Theresa Rebeck's latest play, "Seminar," is making a bow on the west coast after a middling run in New York. Alan Rickman's successor in the lead role, Jeff Goldblum ("Independence Day," etc) is reprising his role as a crotchety writer who is unwillingly mentoring four young folks. I have to say personally, I'm not the hugest fan of Rebeck's writing after this past season (see: "Poor Behavior" at the Mark Taper Forum last fall, my love/hate relationship with "Smash"), and seeing "Seminar" on Broadway kind of solidified that feeling, but hopefully the production will be reinvigorated in Los Angeles.
November 27-January 6
It goes without saying that I am very excited for "Anything Goes" to sail into the Ahmanson this winter. I saw this production twice on Broadway, and absolutely adored it both times. Director Kathy Marshall has breathed some wonderful life into the old Cole Porter show, and it epitomizes everything a good old-fashioned musical should be.
January 16-February 24
The Ahmanson is hosting the U.S. premiere and pre-Broadway run of this British musical about the Beatles. It's an origin story, based on the 1994 film of the same name (because there's really been a lack of musicals based on movies recently). The show also provides insight into the journey of Stuart Sutcliffe, the band's original bassist, so that should provide some interesting insight.
"End of the Rainbow"
March 12-April 21
Tracy bennett is reprising her critically-acclaimed role as Judy Garland near the end of her life in this song-based play. It's a transfer from the West End and Broadway, where it was nominated for a healthy handful of awards. Bennett herself was nominated for a Tony for her portrayal of Garland, and her performance should be a delight.
April 25-May 5
The musical that just won't quit is back in Los Angeles for another limited run, following two stops on Broadway and a stop here this past winter. The show follows the life of Fela Kuti, an African musician who created a new style of music called Afrobeat, and is supposed to be an energetic and invigorating experience.
"The Scottsboro Boys"
May 21-June 30
The long-awaited musical by John Kander and Fred Ebb ("Chicago," "Cabaret") debuts in Los Angeles this summer after a critically-acclaimed but short-lived run on Broadway. The show is about the titular boys whose trial in the 1930s was influential on the civil rights movement. "The Scottsboro Boys" received 12 Tony nominations in 2011 and should be an interesting show.