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Des Mcanuff

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November 4, 1993 | NANCY CHURNIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Des McAnuff will step down as artistic director of the La Jolla Playhouse at the end of the 1994 season to pursue film and theater projects, it was announced Wednesday. According to a Disney spokeswoman, McAnuff--director of the Broadway hit musical "The Who's Tommy"--is currently negotiating with Touchstone Pictures for a "multi-picture deal."
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 24, 2013 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
LA JOLLA -- The theater can do just about anything in my book, as long as it doesn't take place in a car. Driving always looks so ludicrous onstage, never more so than in the recent Pasadena Playhouse dud, "Sleepless in Seattle," in which a brief scene behind the wheel exhumed for me the buried memory of a cardboard cutout sedan shuffling across the stage of a school assembly. Such an aesthetically traumatic incident can send a theater critic back into therapy for an entire season.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 12, 1990 | NANCY CHURNIN
When he was 14, Des McAnuff was a rock and roller, a self-described "wild teen-ager" who spent his evenings playing guest sets at small Toronto clubs. Then he heard songs from the 1968 musical "Hair" and "that gave me the disease," as he puts it, of musical theater. He had performed in high school productions before, singing "There's No Business Like Show Business" in "Annie Get Your Gun," but theater "was just something that would get me out of classes."
ENTERTAINMENT
August 24, 2012 | By Christopher Smith
"First you're young. Then you're old. Then you're wonderful. " - Alice Roosevelt Longworth STRATFORD, Canada - Christopher Plummer is in the wonderful phase of his career - and at 82 he's seizing the opportunity. In February, the six-decade veteran of 100-plus movies and uncounted opening nights on stage, vaulted back to the top of the heap while becoming the oldest actor to win an Oscar, for his compelling turn as an out-of-the-closet-at-life's-end character in the movie "Beginners.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 30, 1992 | NANCY CHURNIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"Tommy," the record-breaking La Jolla Playhouse hit that closed Oct. 4, will open on Broadway in the St. James Theatre in late April. A national tour will follow in the fall of 1993, Playhouse officials announced Thursday. Playhouse Artistic Director Des McAnuff, who directed the musical he co-adapted with Pete Townshend from The Who's landmark 1969 rock opera, will again direct in New York. McAnuff starts rehearsals there in January.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 20, 1991 | RICHARD STAYTON, Richard Stayton is a playwright and free-lance journalist
Superstition insists that none dare speak its name. "It" is the Great White Way, Broadway, the promised land, which is beckoning "Elmer Gantry," a musical adaptation of the Sinclair Lewis novel that has its West Coast premiere tonight at La Jolla Playhouse.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 25, 2007 | Irene Lacher, Special to The Times
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 1992 | JAN BRESLAUER, Jan Breslauer is a frequent contributor to Calendar
A towering African-American actor playing an angel declaims in a mellifluous basso voice from the heights of the overhead catwalk, dropping fake dollar bills into the laps of the well-heeled crowd. A middle-aged woman playing a young girl who dreams she's Joan of Arc scrambles down a ceiling-high ladder at stage left. The entire back wall slides aside to reveal the scene shop upstage. Floodlights blind the audience.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 18, 1993 | SEAN MITCHELL, Sean Mitchell is a free-lance writer based in Los Angeles.
Last month Des McAnuff, artistic director of the La Jolla Playhouse, left his three-bedroom ocean-side apartment about four miles south of the theater and flew to New York to celebrate his 41st birthday at a party given for him in the East Village by Pete Townshend, the former airborne guitarist of the Who and more recently Tony Award-anointed composer.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 17, 1986
The photos of Des McAnuff and Peter Sellars were transposed in Thursday's Calendar. The photos of the two directors accompanied a story on the La Jolla Playhouse.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 30, 2011 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
— 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.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 15, 2008 | Charles McNulty, Times Theater Critic
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 15, 2008 | Mike Boehm
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 11, 2007 | Mike Boehm, Times Staff Writer
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 ...
ENTERTAINMENT
March 23, 2007 | Diane Haithman
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 25, 2007 | Irene Lacher, Special to The Times
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 23, 2007 | Diane Haithman
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 27, 2006 | Mike Boehm
Des McAnuff, who cited an overflowing creative plate as a primary reason for resigning this month as artistic director of La Jolla Playhouse, will make room for a similar but shared position starting in 2008 at the Stratford Festival of Canada. McAnuff, who was born in Illinois but grew up in Ontario, is part of an unusual four-director leadership team the festival announced Monday.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 14, 2006 | Charles McNulty, Times Staff Writer
IN the aftermath of Katrina, the sight of an African American family ambushed by a natural disaster can't help carrying political baggage. But racial concerns hardly register in Des McAnuff's update of the unpredictable theatrical twister known as "The Wiz." Unpredictable might seem like a strange description for William F. Brown and Charlie Smalls' R&B version of "The Wizard of Oz," written expressly for an all-black cast.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 27, 2006 | Mike Boehm
Des McAnuff, who cited an overflowing creative plate as a primary reason for resigning this month as artistic director of La Jolla Playhouse, will make room for a similar but shared position starting in 2008 at the Stratford Festival of Canada. McAnuff, who was born in Illinois but grew up in Ontario, is part of an unusual four-director leadership team the festival announced Monday.
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