November 30, 2011 |
— Take away the miracles, the bluesy guitar licks and all those antsy apostles, and what's "Jesus Christ Superstar" really about? Des McAnuff thinks he has the answer. It's a love triangle among Jesus, Judas and Mary Magdalene, said the U.S.-Canadian director of the critically heralded, Broadway-bound production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical that's running through year's end at the La Jolla Playhouse. Actually, McAnuff said, he heard lyricist Rice deliver that revisionist take on the New Testament during a TV interview.
May 15, 2008 |
Two ROCK musicals will amp up the summer, one a classic from an all-time great band, the other a world premiere about the racial politics of the birth of rock 'n' roll. As for substantive new dramas, two emerging playwrights tackle subjects that are sure to spark vigorous discussion, if not heated debate. A new mounting of the "The Who's Tommy" opens at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre on June 20 for a two-week run. The marvelous Alice Ripley, who was in Des McAnuff's original Broadway production, joins a cast that includes Nona Hendryx as the Acid Queen and Aleks Pevec as Tommy.
March 15, 2008 |
The unusual leadership troika at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada, has collapsed, leaving Des McAnuff, former artistic director of the La Jolla Playhouse, as the last man standing, with sole creative authority over his homeland's foremost theater. The partnership between the Tony Award-winning Mc- Anuff ("Jersey Boys," "The Who's Tommy") and two less widely known artistic directors, Marti Maraden and Don Shipley, was announced in 2006, as McAnuff's La Jolla tenure was ending, and lasted just one season.
April 11, 2007 |
With repeat off-Broadway successes but a less-proven record in commercial theater, stage director Christopher Ashley will become La Jolla Playhouse's artistic director in October, succeeding Des McAnuff, who turned the playhouse into a developmental workshop and launching pad for a series of Broadway hits. Announcing the 42-year-old New Yorker's appointment Tuesday, the playhouse's board chairman, Ralph Bryan, said a wide-ranging search had yielded "an accomplished theater artist ...
March 23, 2007 |
Screenwriter-playwright Aaron Sorkin, creator of TV's "The West Wing" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," will team with La Jolla Playhouse's outgoing artistic director, Des McAnuff, and Flaming Lips band member Wayne Coyne to create a stage musical based on the Flaming Lips' 10th album, "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots," which tells the story of fictional character Yoshimi's battle against evil.
February 25, 2007 |
THIS was one case in which "almost" did count. Des McAnuff, La Jolla Playhouse's outgoing artistic director, almost went to the Stratford Festival in his native Canada in 1983, but he headed south instead. He took up the reins of the playhouse and turned it into one of the country's most celebrated regional theaters, known for its taste for adventure and its propensity for birthing Broadway musicals. When Stratford beckoned a decade later, McAnuff was again tempted but again opted for La Jolla.