By Steven Leigh Morris
Here's what our Big Players are up to in the next few months. If you were napping in New York for the past decade, and you're planning a trip out west, it's an opportunity to play catch-up. At the Ahmanson, Monty Python's Spamalot runs through September 6. Steppenwolf Theatre Company rolls in on its heels with August, Osage County, September 8 to October 18; followed by Mary Poppins, November 13 to February 7.
Over at the Taper:, T.R. Knight (of Gray's Anatomy) stars in Parade, the Tony Award winning musical about Leo Frank's murder of Mary Phagan in 1913 Atlanta, September 24 to November 15 (This was on Broadway in 1999, a transfer from the Donmar Warehouse)
The most intriguing of CTG's three-theater slots appears booked for the Kirk Douglas Theater: Danai Guria's Eclipsed – which premiered at the Woolly Mammoth – about women caught in the crossfire of the civil war in Liberia. September 13-October 13.
Some of these look like great shows, but we've learned not to depend on our larger theaters if we're looking for discoveries. Also, I'm not the first to point out that there's been no locally created play on any of CTG's stages since 2006 that has much to do with Los Angeles (or anywhere else), despite a mission statement that asserts a commitment "to producing theatre that reflects and informs our own community. We hope to attract new audiences to our theatres through stories inspired on our own streets. . . "
(Perhaps to redress that lack, and as mentioned here on an earlier post, CTG has commissioned The Civilians to present a musical about L.A.'s porn industry here, on the same stage that hosted a transfer of Douglas Carter Beane's Hollywood satire, The Little Dog Laughed.)
I'll get to some other Big Players (and smaller players) on Thursday; in the meantime, pre-sale for the The Pee Wee Herman Show has been so huge that extensions have already been announced. Paul Reubens' ("and friends") act now runs November 8 to December 20 at the Music Box at the Henry Fonda Theater.
Finally, Haymarket books is releasing a collection of essays by Wallace Shawn called Essays, Sept 1. Shawn will be participating in promotional events on both coasts:
Sept. 1: Barnes and Noble-Lincoln Triangle, New York
Oct. 7: MacNally Jackson, New York
Oct. 14: Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
Oct. 15: City Arts and Lectures, San Francisco
Oct. 17: New Yorker Festival, New York
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
By Steven Leigh Morris