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Zoot Suits, Performance Artists, and 50 years of History

A Letter From Michael Ritchie: January 2017

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(L-R) Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, "Zoot Suit" writer/director Luis Valdez and cast member Tiffany Dupont on the first day of rehearsal for "Zoot Suit."

Photo by Craig Schwartz

As 2017 begins, we’re officially celebrating Center Theatre Group’s 50th Anniversary. We’ll be spending much of the year looking ahead to the next 50 years of theatre in Los Angeles and beyond, but we’re also honoring our past. From January – May, each of our issues of Performances will feature a timeline of one decade in our history. We're kicking it off with highlights from 1967–1977, and we hope you’ll explore more content—including photos, video, music, and newspaper clippings—on our full digital timeline.

We’re delighted to have produced Amélie, A New Musical at the Ahmanson Theatre before it left for Broadway. It’s part of a rich tradition of pre-Broadway shows at Center Theatre Group that includes Neil Simon and August Wilson classics, musicals like Curtains and The Drowsy Chaperone, and plays like Zoot Suit and Angels in America. With a top-notch creative team and Phillipa Soo in the title role straight from Hamilton, Amélie was an event we were honored to be a part of at this early stage.

We are pleased, too, to be welcoming Tim Crouch back to the Kirk Douglas Theatre’s DouglasPlus program with his new work Adler & Gibb. Tim is also the theatrical genius behind 2011’s The Author, a unique immersive experience; we know Adler & Gibb will be just as exciting for you. Adler & Gibb is a co-commission with London’s Royal Court Theatre, and we’re very happy to have them as our partner on this and on future projects we’ll be announcing soon.

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