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February 4, 1990 | JEFF SILVERMAN
Athol Fugard's choice of the La Jolla Playhouse for the first West Coast presentation of his latest play, "My Children! My Africa!," may come as something of a surprise to the theater community. Given both his and the Market Theatre's many previous associations with Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum and its artistic director, Gordon Davidson, La Jolla's announcement last week that it had wooed the play to its stage in July is a testament to tenacity and the powers of direct contact.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 22, 2014 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
SAN DIEGO - With an assured and intimate voice, playwright and novelist Ayad Akhtar's stories cleverly slide across religion, tradition, sexuality and the dangerous if sometimes comical predicaments endured by Muslims in a post-Sept. 11 world hardened by incendiary politics and "us" versus "them" prejudices. His work is intricately American, revealing the strains and joys of Muslims, many of them immigrants, trying to hold on to their ancestry while assimilating into a nation that celebrates diversity yet takes intense pride - and a degree of security - in counting the ways in which we're the same.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 13, 2012 | By David Ng
The recent stage adaptation of the bestselling novel "Sideways" that debuted in May in Santa Monica is moving up in the world. The La Jolla Playhouse said it will produce the play starting in July, with former artistic director Des McAnuff at the helm. Rex Pickett adapted his own novel for the stage. The plot follows two middle-aged male friends as they make their way through California wine country and meet two women who become possible romantic interests. The 2004 movie version of the novel, directed by Alexander Payne, was a critical and commercial success.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 13, 2014 | Matt Cooper
"My Name Is Asher Lev" introduces itself at the Fountain Theatre, "A Steady Rain" descends at Odyssey Theatre, and Moliere's "Tartuffe" is up to his old tricks at A Noise Within. DNA New Work Series Two-week showcase includes readings of new plays. La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. Mon., Thu., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 3 p.m.; ends March 1. Free; reservations required. (858) 550-1010. The Who & the What World premiere of Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar's drama about an aspiring writer and her conservative Muslim family in Atlanta.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 18, 2012 | By David Ng
The La Jolla Playhouse has been receiving a barrage of negative criticism from members of the Asian American community over its casting choices for the new musical "The Nightingale," featuring songs by the "Spring Awakening" team of Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater. "The Nightingale" is adapted from the Hans Christian Andersen story and is set in ancient China. The workshop staging for the La Jolla Playhouse, which began performances earlier this month, features a mostly non-Asian cast, with the lead role of a Chinese monarch played by a white actor.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 27, 2012 | By David Ng
The Geffen Playhouse and the La Jolla Playhouse are reaching out to military families as part of a new, nationwide program offering discounted or complimentary tickets to active-duty military personnel, veterans and their families. Blue Star Theatres is a nationwide program that officially will be launched Friday. The program is organized by Theatre Communications Group, the nonprofit organization that promotes theater around the country, and Blue Star Families, a support organization for military families.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 23, 2012 | By David Ng
LA JOLLA - The controversy over the casting of a new musical set in China with mostly non-Asians provoked a series of heated exchanges at a public forum arranged by the La Jolla Playhouse. The casting of “The Nightingale,” written by Tony-winning “Spring Awakening” collaborators Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater, has drawn sharp criticism. The musical, adapted from the Hans Christian Andersen story and set in ancient China, features a multicultural cast of 12, with two actors of Asian descent in supporting roles.
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 25, 2010 | By David Ng
La Jolla Playhouse announced Sunday that it would mount six productions as a part of its main 2010-11 season, including two world premieres and Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Ruined." The season begins in June with "Surf Report," a new work by San Diego playwright Annie Weisman. The drama tells the story of Judith, a Southern California wife and mother whose ambitions clash with the needs of her boss, husband and daughter. Artistic director Christopher Ashley will stage a new production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," which opens in July.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 14, 2010 | By David Ng, Los Angeles Times
"Memphis," which took home the Tony for best musical Sunday, is the latest awards juggernaut to emerge from the La Jolla Playhouse, the San Diego County theater company that has had an enviable track record of turning out Tony-winning (and -nominated) hits. A crowd-pleaser about race relations and '50s-era R&B, "Memphis" opened at La Jolla in 2008 in a production directed by Christopher Ashley, the company's artistic director. (The musical was previously co-produced by the North Shore Music Theatre and TheatreWorks in 2003-04.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 8, 2014 | By David Ng
A new musical inspired by the rap songs of the late Tupac Shakur is heading to Broadway. "Holler If Ya Hear Me" is scheduled to open at the Palace Theatre in New York on June 19, with preview performances set to begin on May 26. "Holler" isn't a biographical account of Shakur, who was killed at the age of 25 in 1996 following a shooting in Las Vegas. The musical production will use the rapper's lyrics to tell a story of contemporary inner-city lives. Among the producers of the musical are Afeni Shakur, the rapper's mother; movie and TV producer Eric L. Gold; and Chunsoo Shin , the prominent Korean theater producer who recently collaborated with the La Jolla Playhouse on another pop-music themed musical, "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 22, 2013 | By David Ng
Theater leaders in Southern California will convene for a second panel on racial diversity that will serve as a sequel of sorts to last year's discussion hosted by East West Players in downtown Los Angeles. The upcoming panel will be held Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Pasadena Playhouse. While last year's event was by invitation only, the upcoming discussion is free and open to the public. Panelists expected to attend include Michael Ritchie, artistic director of Center Theatre Group; Marc Masterson, artistic director of South Coast Repertory; Sheldon Epps, artistic director of the Pasadena Playhouse; Tim Dang, artistic director of East West Players; and Jessica Kubzansky, co-artistic director of the Theatre @ Boston Court.  PHOTOS: Arts and culture in pictures by The Times The 2012 panel was convened in response to a production of the Duncan Sheik musical "The Nightingale" at the La Jolla Playhouse earlier that year.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 16, 2013 | By Gina McIntyre
SAN DIEGO - Strands of Christmas lights bathed the La Jolla Playhouse stage in a warm golden glow as singing, dancing sister act Violet and Daisy Hilton prepared to leave behind the companionship of friends. The Lizard Man and the Tattooed Lady, the Dog-Faced Boy and the Geek surrounded the conjoined twins in a show of support for the young women who were attempting to break out of the traveling circus to take a shot at real 1930s fame: vaudeville. It was the final day of rehearsals, and costumes still needed to be hemmed and musical arrangements tweaked.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 2, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
The previously announced La Jolla Playhouse-Kennedy Center production of the 1997 musical "Side Show" will open in La Jolla on Nov. 5 in a reimagined form that will be directed by screenwriter and director Bill Condon ("Dreamgirls"). “Side Show,” which is scheduled for a six-week run, is based on the lives of conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, who advance from a circus act to vaudeville headliners in the 1930s. Bill Russell wrote the book and lyrics; Henry Krieger wrote the music . The original Broadway production starred Alice Ripley ("Next to Normal")
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 23, 2013 | By David Ng
The "Little Miss Sunshine" minibus is fueling up to head cross-country again, this time from the West Coast to New York. The stage musical based on the Oscar-winning 2006 movie will reportedly open at the off-Broadway Second Stage Theatre in New York next season, with previews expected to begin in October. A spokesman for the company didn't respond to a request to confirm the news, which was first reported Wednesday by the New York Times. Laura DiLorenzo, director of marketing and communications at Second Stage, said she was unable to comment on the matter.  PHOTOS: Hollywood stars on stage "Little Miss Sunshine" debuted in 2011 at the La Jolla Playhouse.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 29, 1987 | SYLVIE DRAKE, Times Theater Writer
The La Jolla Playhouse, which has been making a name for itself largely on the strength of its innovations, has announced a fifth season that may astonish many. With one exception, artistic director Des McAnuff has planned a summer of wall-to-wall classics--ancient and modern, American and not--whose greater surprises come in the artists he's chosen to involve. While one wouldn't call this the year of living dangerously at La Jolla, the season does begin with--ready for this?
ENTERTAINMENT
October 30, 1990 | NANCY CHURNIN
In a nationwide competition in which 35 theaters proposed entries for the funding of new plays, San Diego theaters have been awarded two of the four grants provided by AT&T. The announcement was made Monday at press conferences in New York and San Diego. The La Jolla Playhouse will receive $40,000 and the Old Globe Theatre $50,000. Each theater will also receive a national publicity campaign and marketing support as part of the year-old "The AT&T New Plays for the Nineties Project."
ENTERTAINMENT
December 13, 2012 | By David Ng
The recent stage adaptation of the bestselling novel "Sideways" that debuted in May in Santa Monica is moving up in the world. The La Jolla Playhouse said it will produce the play starting in July, with former artistic director Des McAnuff at the helm. Rex Pickett adapted his own novel for the stage. The plot follows two middle-aged male friends as they make their way through California wine country and meet two women who become possible romantic interests. The 2004 movie version of the novel, directed by Alexander Payne, was a critical and commercial success.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 5, 2012 | By David Ng
What do David Mamet and Kathie Lee Gifford have in common? Both have flops on Broadway this season. Mamet's new play "The Anarchist," which just opened on Sunday at the John Golden Theatre in New York, announced late Tuesday that it will close on Dec. 16. The play, starring Patti LuPone and Debra Winger, received lukewarm to negative reviews. Many critics noted that the play's structure -- an extended philosophical conversation lasting a little more than one hour -- would be rough going for audiences.
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