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ENTERTAINMENT
September 13, 2012 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
No need to bone up on the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith before attending "The Book of Mormon" at the Pantages Theatre. Just know that this exceedingly naughty, though in the end disarmingly nice, show is devised by the minds behind "South Park" and that risqué "Sesame Street" for theater-loving adults, "Avenue Q. " In other words, leave the kids at home with a baby-sitter, or child-protective services might be knocking at your door. Built for the irreverent Gen X faithful, all those aging slackers (myself among them)
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BUSINESS
April 12, 2014 | By Roger Vincent
A huge former department store on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles is being sold to a New York real estate investment firm that intends to pump new life into the old building and its rebounding neighborhood. The century-old flagship of the May Co. contains 1.1 million square feet of space surrounded by Broadway, Hill Street and 8th Street. The commercial district was once one of the best in the Southern California, but fell on hard times in the late decades of the 20th century. Waterbridge Capital has agreed to buy the property now known as Broadway Trade Center, city officials and property brokers said.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 12, 2014 | By Martin Miller
If there is such a thing as a comic antihero, Elder Cunningham in the highly acclaimed and wildly irreverent "The Book of Mormon" is it. Cody Jamison Strand portrays the character who is the kind of person - very clingy, prototypically schlubby and frequently less than truthful - that would have folks of all religious denominations unified in their haste to un-friend him on Facebook. And yet, Strand's character is able to harness those repellent qualities and humorously bring together Mormon missionaries and a small village in Northern Uganda - not only in their appreciation of each other, but for the universal role that storytelling and religion play as well.  PHOTOS: Best in theater 2013 | Charles McNulty The Tony-award winning musical is now on national tour at the Pantages Theatre through May 11. Below is an edited transcript of a conversation with Strand, 24, who also performed the role on Broadway.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 22, 2014 | By Deborah Vankin
In the next few months, Liza Minnelli will bring her new musical show, "Simply Liza," to Vienna, London, Paris and Amsterdam, among other places. There's one stage, however, on which this Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe and Tony winner has never set foot: Walt Disney Concert Hall. That'll change on Tuesday night, when "Liza With a Z" heads to downtown L.A. for a one-night-only performance of some of her favorite songs. Minnelli recently chatted about the show from her home in New York, on the eve of her 68th birthday.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 19, 2012
After its highly anticipated run at the Mark Taper Forum set to start Jan. 25, "Clybourne Park," Bruce Norris' 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, will open on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theater on April 12, according to a spokesperson for the show. It has been a circuitous path to New York's famed theater district, but at least it has carried many of the original crew along for the ride. Pam MacKinnon will direct at both the Taper and the Walter Kerr; she directed the show's original incarnation at off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons in February 2010.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 6, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
The sun will come out -- tomorrow. But the forecast looks cloudy for the Broadway revival of “Annie” in the not-too-distant future. The current version of the beloved musical, which opened in November at the Palace Theatre, will close in January, producers announced on Thursday. It has played 487 performances and 38 previews. The production, directed by Tony-winner James Lapine, was nominated for a Tony for best musical revival this year. But it has received tepid reviews and ticket sales have been on the decline recently.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 2013 | By David Ng
Once more to the barricades, "Les Misérables" fans. The beloved musical is heading back to Broadway next year in the form of the 25th-anniversary touring production, which came to Los Angeles in 2011. "Les Misérables," which has found renewed popularity thanks to the Oscar-nominated movie adaptation, is set to open in New York in spring 2014. The production has been touring the United States since 2010 and has stopped at the Ahmanson Theatre in L.A. and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.  Directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell, the 25th-anniversary production draws inspiration from the paintings of Victor Hugo, who wrote the original novel.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 26, 2014 | By David Ng
"Big Fish," the elaborate stage musical based on the 2003 Tim Burton movie, flopped on Broadway last year, running for fewer than four months before closing at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York.  But this fish isn't dead in the water just yet. The musical -- featuring the original Broadway sets and costumes -- is coming to Southern California in a run scheduled for Oct. 31 to Nov. 16. Musical Theatre West will produce "Big Fish" at the Carpenter...
ENTERTAINMENT
November 11, 2013 | By David Ng
Like a beached marine animal, "Big Fish" has flopped on Broadway. The musical, which is based on the 2003 Tim Burton movie of the same name, is set to close at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York on Dec. 29 after 98 regular performances, producers announced on Sunday. "Big Fish" opened with high hopes on Oct. 6, carrying a reported price tag of $14 million. The production stars Broadway veteran Norbert Leo Butz (in the role originated in the movie by Ewan McGregor), and was directed and choreographed by multiple Tony Award-winner Susan Stroman.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 17, 2013 | By David Ng
Is Broadway ready to see Neil Patrick Harris' angry inch? Coming off a successful stint hosting the Tony Awards last week, Harris will be heading back to Broadway next year in a production of the musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch. " Producers announced on Monday that Harris will star in the first Broadway staging of the popular John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask musical about an angsty, transgender rock musician. "Hedwig" is expected to open on Broadway in spring 2014, but no opening date or theater has been announced.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 21, 2014 | By David Ng
"The Phantom of the Opera" has been running on Broadway for more than 25 years. This week, the musical announced a first: a black actor has been cast in the title role in the New York production. Norm Lewis will join the company of "Phantom" at the Majestic Theatre starting May 12. He will be the first black actor to take the lead role in the Broadway run of the popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which first opened in 1988. Lewis won't be the first black actor to play the role of the Phantom.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 17, 2014 | By David Ng
Janis Joplin - the musical, that is - lives on, thanks to Live Nation. After a tour that took it to Southern California and other venues, and a run on Broadway that closed in February, "A Night With Janis Joplin" will transfer off-Broadway to the Gramercy Theatre in New York, with the opening set for April 10. The new engagement is in partnership with concert promoter Live Nation and is expected to be a new staging to fit the concert-like venue...
ENTERTAINMENT
March 15, 2014 | By Susan King
Billy Crudup, 45, who played a charismatic '70s rock musician in Cameron Crowe's 2000 comedy "Almost Famous," J. Edgar Hoover in Michael Mann's 2009's "Public Enemies" and the very blue superhero Dr. Manhattan in Zack Snyder's 2009's "Watchmen," stars as a dedicated New York detective with an ex-con big brother in the new film "Blood Ties. " The film opens March 21 in theaters and also debuts that day on VOD. Set in the 1970s, the crime thriller revolves around the brutal and loving relationship between two vastly different brothers.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 15, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
I fear for the future of James Franco's acting career. And when I say acting, I'm referring to Franco's portrayal of other characters, not the growing number of meta performances the actor is amassing. It's not that Franco is bad at playing Franco. If anything, the problem is how good his self-referential work has become in the years since his 2011 Oscar nomination for playing someone else in "127 Hours. " That performance as a stranded solo hiker, the fear rising, the bravado breaking down, put him on the hot list of the young and the talented.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 14, 2014 | By David Ng
The late-career comeback of Sylvester Stallone took a detour to Broadway this week with the opening of his "Rocky" at the Winter Garden Theatre. The new show, which Stallone co-wrote and produced (but doesn't star in), is a musical version of his 1976 movie about a Philadelphia boxer who dreams of big victory. Stallone took a bow on Thursday when "Rocky" officially opened in New York following a month of preview performances. The actor has been working on the musical for a number of years, first unveiling the show in Hamburg, Germany in 2012.  The musical -- which comes with a reported price tag of $16.5 million, steep by Broadway standards -- features music by Stephen Flaherty, who has reworked some of the movie music originally scored by Bill Conti.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 12, 2014 | By David Ng
Blythe Danner will return to Broadway in the new Donald Margulies play "The Country House," which is scheduled to open Oct. 2 in a production by the Manhattan Theater Club. But before bowing in New York, Danner and the play will open at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles for a month-long run starting in June. As previously announced, "The Country House," directed by Daniel Sullivan, is set to open at the Geffen on June 11. (The staging will be a co-production between the Geffen and MTC.)
ENTERTAINMENT
January 17, 2014 | By David Ng
With his "Harry Potter" days now well behind him, Daniel Radcliffe has been embracing less family-friendly material in recent years and that includes the darkly comic world of Martin McDonagh's "The Cripple of Inishmaan. " Having starred in the recent revival of the play on London's West End, Radcliffe will take the production to Broadway, with an opening at the Cort Theatre in New York scheduled for April 20. The play is expected to begin previews on April 12 and will run for three months.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 4, 2012 | By Deborah Vankin
The true stars of Broadway are New York's tourists, says a new study. Their first sightseeing stop? The Internet. The Broadway League's 15th annual demographics report, released Monday, profiles the current habits of theatergoers, comparing it with seasons past, and then predicts future trends. The study, based on questionnaires distributed in the Big Apple, finds that 63.4% of Broadway ticket sales for the 2011-12 season went to tourists. This was up from 61.7% in the previous season.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 12, 2014 | By Martin Miller
If there is such a thing as a comic antihero, Elder Cunningham in the highly acclaimed and wildly irreverent "The Book of Mormon" is it. Cody Jamison Strand portrays the character who is the kind of person - very clingy, prototypically schlubby and frequently less than truthful - that would have folks of all religious denominations unified in their haste to un-friend him on Facebook. And yet, Strand's character is able to harness those repellent qualities and humorously bring together Mormon missionaries and a small village in Northern Uganda - not only in their appreciation of each other, but for the universal role that storytelling and religion play as well.  PHOTOS: Best in theater 2013 | Charles McNulty The Tony-award winning musical is now on national tour at the Pantages Theatre through May 11. Below is an edited transcript of a conversation with Strand, 24, who also performed the role on Broadway.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 7, 2014 | By Meredith Blake
NEW YORK - In the new Broadway play "All the Way," President Lyndon B. Johnson, played by Bryan Cranston, takes a break from wrangling votes for what would become the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to reflect on the trying nature of politics. Facing mounting pressure from the Southern faction of his party and civil rights leaders like the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Johnson vents his frustrations to the audience. "Everybody wants power; everybody," he says. "And if they say they don't, they're lyin'.
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