MATTHEW BOURNE’S “CINDERELLA” AND PAULA VOGEL’S “INDECENT” COMPLETE CENTER THEATRE GROUP’S 52nd SEASON AT THE AHMANSON THEATRE
ACCLAIMED WORKS JOIN THE PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED “AIN’T TOO PROUD—THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS,” “COME FROM AWAY,” “DEAR EVAN HANSEN,” “FALSETTOS” AND “THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG” IN CENTER THEATRE GROUP’S 2018-2019 SEASON AT THE AHMANSON
The Season Runs August 21, 2018 Through August 11, 2019
Center Theatre Group announced two more productions for the 2018 – 2019 season at the Ahmanson Theatre. Pulitzer-winning playwright Paula Vogel’s deeply moving play with music, “Indecent,” and the return of Matthew Bourne’s highly evocative production of “Cinderella” complete the 52nd season at the Ahmanson Theatre joining the previously announced “Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations,” “Come From Away,” “Dear Evan Hansen,” the Lincoln Center Theater production of “Falsettos” and “The Play That Goes Wrong.”
“I am pleased to announce that Paula Vogel’s ‘Indecent’ and Matthew Bourne’s ‘Cinderella’ will round out Center Theatre Group’s 2018 – 2019 season at the Ahmanson,” said Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie.
“Paula Vogel’s ‘Indecent’ weaves together Paula’s original writing with a century-old work that shaped the theatre and tells personal stories during an explosive moment in history.”
“Matthew Bourne has an amazing ability to surprise us with classic tales as he does with ‘Cinderella,’ which he sets during World War II when Prokofiev originally composed the music for the work.”
“These two shows join an already full season including ‘Ain’t Too Proud,’ which comes to Ahmanson audiences before it makes its way to Broadway, and two of the hottest new shows coming from New York in six-time Tony Award-winning ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ and the show that stole Broadway’s heart last season, ‘Come From Away.’
“Add in Lincoln Center Theater’s terrific revival of William Finn and James Lapine’s groundbreaking musical ‘Falsettos’ and the wonderful new madcap murder mystery, ‘The Play That Goes Wrong,’ and you have a season of comedy and drama, music and dance that reminds us of the power of theatre to make us laugh, cry, think, feel and maybe even groove a bit.”
“Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations”
August 21 through September 30, 2018
Launching the 2018 – 2019 season at the Ahmanson “Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations” runs at the Ahmanson Theatre from August 21 through September 30, 2018 with the opening set for August 24.
With a book by Kennedy Prize-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau (“The Detroit Project,” “Shameless”), “Ain't Too Proud” features an iconic score made up of The Temptations’ legendary songs including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination” and “Papa Was A Rolling Stone.” Directed by twotime Tony Award winner Des McAnuff and choreographed by Olivier Award winner Sergio Trujillo, “Ain’t Too Proud” is a new musical that follows The Temptations’ extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With their signature dance moves and unmistakable harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts creating an amazing 42 Top Ten Hits with 14 reaching number one. A tale of friendship and betrayal amid the civil unrest that tore America apart, their moving and personal story still resonates five decades later.
The creative team includes Robert Brill (scenic design), Paul Tazewell (costume design), Howell Binkley (lighting design), Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Peter Nigrini (projection design), Edgar Godineaux (associate choreographer), Charles G. LaPointe (hair and wig design) and Steve Rankin (fight direction). Orchestrations are by Harold Wheeler with music direction and arrangements by Kenny Seymour.
“Ain't Too Proud” is the highest-grossing production in the 50-year history of Berkeley Repertory Theatre where the musical received its world-premiere – an engagement that had to be extended multiple times due to overwhelming popular demand.
Quotes from the world premiere of “Ain’t Too Proud” at Berkeley Repertory Theatre include:
“Throbs with grit and groove. Now more than ever, the magnitude of what the band accomplished, crossing over into the mainstream, and what they sacrificed to get there resonates. There’s nothing like the irresistible beat of The Temptations.” -San Jose Mercury News
“Not Just Your Imagination: Temptations Musical Rocks! Richly textured, perfectly blended harmonies back lead vocals that somehow combine swaggering showmanship, meticulously honed technique, and emotion of almost unbearable intensity.” -San Francisco Chronicle
“Dear Evan Hansen”
October 17 – November 25, 2018
The winner of six 2017 Tony Awards including Best Musical, “Dear Evan Hansen” begins previews on October 17 and runs through November 25, 2018. Opening is set for October 19.
A deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live, “Dear Evan Hansen” features a book by Tony Award winner Steven Levenson, a score by Academy Award and Tony-winning composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and direction by four-time Tony Award nominee Michael Greif.
Casting will be announced at a later date.
Declared “one of the more remarkable shows in recent musical theater history” by the Washington Post’s Peter Marks, “Dear Evan Hansen” opened at the Music Box Theatre to rave reviews on December 4, 2016, where it’s broken all box office records and has struck a chord with critics and audiences alike.
In addition to winning six Tony awards, “Dear Evan Hansen” has won numerous other awards, including the 2017 Drama League Award for Outstanding Musical Production and, for the Off-Broadway production, two Obie Awards, a Drama Desk Award, two Outer Critics Circle Awards and two Helen Hayes Awards.
The original Broadway cast recording of “Dear Evan Hansen,” produced by Atlantic Records, was released in February 2017, making an extraordinary debut on the Billboard 200 and entering the chart at number eight – the highest charting debut position for an original cast album since 1961.
“Come From Away”
November 28, 2018 – January 6, 2019
“Come From Away” opens November 28, 2018, and continues through January 6, 2019. There are no previews of “Come From Away.”
“Come From Away,” which has been playing to standing room only audiences on Broadway, features a book, music and lyrics by two-time Tony Award nominees and Outer Critics Circle Award winners Irene Sankoff and David Hein, direction by Tony Award and Outer Critics Circle winner Christopher Ashley, musical staging by two-time Tony Award nominee Kelly Devine (“Rocky”) and music supervision by Ian Eisendrath (“A Christmas Story”).
The critically acclaimed “Come From Away” was nominated for seven Tony Awards winning Best Direction of a Musical and also won five Outer Critics Circle Awards including Best Musical, four Helen Hayes Awards including Outstanding Musical Production, three Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical and the Drama League Award for Best Musical.
“Come From Away” features scenic design by Tony Award winner Beowulf Boritt (“Act One”), costume design by Tony Award nominee Toni-Leslie James (“Jelly’s Last Jam”), lighting design by two-time Tony Award winner Howell Binkley (“Hamilton”), sound design by Tony Award nominee and Outer Critics Circle Award winner Gareth Owen (“End of the Rainbow”), orchestrations by Tony Award nominee August Eriksmoen (“Bright Star”) and music arrangements by Ian Eisendrath.
The New York Times Critics’ Pick takes you into the heart of 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.
On 9/11, the world stopped. On 9/12, their stories moved us all.
Following sold-out, record-breaking, critically acclaimed engagements at La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. and Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre, “Come From Away” landed on the “Best Theater of the Year” lists in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Seattle Times, San Diego Union Tribune and Toronto Star, and was featured in The New York Times’ “Memorable Theatre of 2016.”
Matthew Bourne’s “Cinderella”
February 5 – March 10, 2019
Matthew Bourne’s “Cinderella” begins performances at the Ahmanson on February 5 and continues through March 10, 2019. Opening is set for February 6. One of New Adventures’ most loved works, Matthew Bourne’s “Cinderella” returns to the Ahmanson in a newly reimagined production.
“Cinderella” is a thrilling and evocative love story, set in London during the Second World War. Bourne’s interpretation of the classic fairy tale has, at its heart, a true war-time romance. A chance meeting results in a magical night for Cinderella and her dashing young RAF pilot, together just long enough to fall in love before being parted by the horrors of the Blitz.
With Lez Brotherston’s sumptuous costumes and sets, which won an Olivier Award for his original designs, and lighting by Olivier Award-winning Neil Austin, “Cinderella” will be performed in surround sound, designed by Paul Groothuis. Matthew Bourne’s vivid storytelling has never been more heart-stopping and touching and will take the audience into the heart of Prokofiev’s magnificent score and the sights and sounds of war-torn London.
In reviewing this production in 2017, Judith Mackrell said Matthew Bourne, “sprinkles his stage with the stardust of fairytale romance, but he gives his story a proper tear-jerking heft by reminding us that darkness always surrounds the stars.” In reviewing the 1999 American premiere at the Ahmanson, the Los Angeles Times’ Lewis Segal said “if anything is predictable about Bourne’s ‘Cinderella’ after his ‘Swan Lake,’ it's the brilliant mix of humor and hallucination that make both works so unnervingly contemporary.”
Bourne has enjoyed a special relationship with Los Angeles audiences, and Center Theatre Group, in particular. In addition to “Cinderella” and “Swan Lake,” which had its American premiere at the Ahmanson in 1997, a total of eight other Bourne productions have been presented: “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Car Man,” “Play Without Words,” “Nutcracker!,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “My Fair Lady,” “Mary Poppins” and “The Red Shoes.”
Mixing popular appeal with a ground-breaking, unique theatrical language, world class dancers and high-quality production values, New Adventures is one of the great success stories of British theatre. Under the leadership of Matthew Bourne, New Adventures has collected numerous international awards and a dozen Olivier Award nominations.
April 16 – May 19, 2019
“Falsettos” begins previews April 16 and continues at the Ahamanson through May 19, 2019. The opening is set for April 17.
The Lincoln Center Theater production of William Finn and James Lapine’s Tony Award-winning musical “Falsettos,” which received five Tony nominations including Best Musical Revival, marks a reunion for composer/lyricist Finn and playwright/director Lapine.
In 1981, Finn and Lapine’s new one-act musical “March of the Falsettos” premiered at Playwrights Horizons’ second floor, 75-seat space. The story of a gay man named Marvin, his lover Whizzer, Marvin’s wife Trina, son Jason and their psychiatrist Mendel, “March of the Falsettos” was a critical success, described by The New York Times as “a musical find.”
“March of the Falsettos” eventually moved to Playwrights Horizons’ larger downstairs theatre for an extended engagement before enjoying a long run Off-Broadway at what was then known as the Westside Arts Theatre. Fast forward to 1990, when a second new musical by Finn and Lapine, “Falsettoland,” opened at Playwrights Horizons. A continuation of the story of Marvin and his extended family in the early days of the AIDS crisis, “Falsettoland” repeated the success of its predecessor with rave reviews and a move to the Lucille Lortel Theatre.
In 1992, the two one-act musicals were combined into one and opened on Broadway as “Falsettos.” The musical ran for over a year at the John Golden Theatre and won Tony Awards for Finn’s score and Finn and Lapine’s book.
The new production of “Falsettos” is directed once again by James Lapine with choreography by Spencer Liff, sets by David Rockwell, costumes by Jennifer Caprio, lighting by Jeff Croiter, sound by Dan Moses Schreier and features Michael Starobin’s original orchestrations. “Falsettos” received five 2017 Tony nominations and was hailed as “an exceptional production” by Charles Isherwood of The New York Times, who added, “this singular show, about an unorthodox family grappling with the complexities of, well, just being a family — unorthodox or otherwise — has been restored to life, some 25 years after it was first produced, with such vitality that it feels as fresh and startling as it did back in 1992.”
June 4 – July 7, 2019
Highly acclaimed new play with music “Indecent” begins previews on June 4 and continues through July 7, 2019, at the Ahmanson Theatre. Co-produced by Center Theatre Group and Huntington Theatre Company, the opening is set for June 9, 2019.
Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel and directed by Rebecca Taichman, “Indecent” is a deeply moving play inspired by the true events surrounding the controversial 1923 Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s “God Of Vengeance” — a play seen by some as a seminal work of Jewish culture, and by others as an act of traitorous libel. “Indecent” follows the history of an incendiary drama and the path of the artists who risked their careers and lives to perform it.
Infused with klezmer music, “Indecent” was uniformly praised by critics when it debuted Off-Broadway where Charles Isherwood called it “a powerful new play.” It would go on to Broadway where it was nominated for three Tony Awards, winning Best Direction and Best Lighting Design. The New York Times called it “a powerful new play.”
“Indecent” marked the Broadway debut of Ms. Vogel, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1998 for her unforgettable play “How I Learned To Drive,” which received the NY Drama Critics Circle Award, Lortel, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Obie Awards for Best Play. Ms. Vogel’s numerous works, which have been widely produced in the U.S. and around the world, include “Baltimore Waltz,” “The Long Christmas Ride Home,” “A Civil War Christmas” and “And Baby Makes Seven.”
“Indecent” features choreography by David Dorfman; Aaron Halva and Lisa Gutkin are co-composers; Riccardo Hernandez is scenic designer; costume design is by Emily Rebholz; lighting design is by Christopher Akerlind; sound design is by Matt Hubbs and projection design is by Tal Yarden.
Rebecca Taichman won the Tony Award for Best Direction for “Indecent” in 2017. Most recently she directed “School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play” at MCC. She has directed at Lincoln Center, Roundabout and Playwrights Horizons, among others.
“The Play That Goes Wrong”
July 9 – August 11, 2019
“The Play That Goes Wrong” begins previews July 9 and continues at the Ahmanson through August 11, 2019. The opening is set for July 10.
Co-written by Mischief Theatre company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, “The Play That Goes Wrong” is a riotous comedy about the theatre. The play introduces The ‘Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’ who are attempting to put on a 1920s’ murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong...does, as the accident prone thespians battle on against all the odds to get to their final curtain call.
It is a remarkable rags-to-riches story for a play which started its life at a London fringe venue with only four paying members of the public at the first performance, and has gone on to play to an audience of over half a million around the world.
Mischief Theatre, led by Artistic Director Henry Lewis and Company Director Jonathan Sayer, was founded in 2008 by a group of graduates of The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and began as an improvised comedy group. Mischief Theatre performs across the UK and internationally with improvised and original scripted work.
“The Play That Goes Wrong” is directed by Mark Bell, featuring set design by Nigel Hook, lighting design by Ric Mountjoy, sound design by Andy Johnson and costume design by Roberto Surace.
The Broadway production of “The Play That Goes Wrong” transferred from the West End where it was awarded 2015 Olivier Award. It went on to receive a 2017 Tony Award for Best Set Design, Broadway.com’s Audience Choice Award for Best Play and the Theater Fans’ Choice Award for Best Play. “The Play That Goes Wrong” is now in its third smash hit year on the West End and is the longest running play currently on Broadway.
Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.
Bank of America is the season sponsor and Delta Air Lines is the official airline sponsor for Center Theatre Group’s 2018 – 2019 season at the Ahmanson Theatre.
Tickets for the 2018 – 2019 season are currently available by season ticket membership only. For information and to charge season tickets by phone, call the Exclusive Season Ticket Hotline at (213) 972-4444. To purchase season memberships online, visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org/Ahmanson.
Center Theatre Group offers a number of services to accommodate persons requiring mobility, vision and hearing access. For more information, please visit www.centertheatregroup.org/access.