August 31, 2008 |
"Jersey BOYS," the show, came off well for the La Jolla Playhouse. The rock 'n' roll bio-play about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons opened late in 2004 and soon after moved to Broadway, where it won a Tony Award for best musical and looks to keep playing to packed houses into the next decade. Now La Jolla has the not-quite-sequel: Jersey Boys, the partnership -- Joe DiPietro and David Bryan, a writer-composer team of 46-year-olds who, on the face of it, are one of the oddest theatrical couplings since Neil Simon thought up Oscar Madison and Felix Ungar.
July 29, 2008 |
"Peter and the Starcatchers," a book about Peter Pan by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, will be adapted for the stage in a production at La Jolla Playhouse next spring. Under an arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions, the play will be presented as part of La Jolla's Page to Stage program for developing new works. During its run from Feb. 13 to March 8, audiences will be able to give feedback to the show's artistic team to help them polish it. Rick Elice ("Jersey Boys") is adapting the book, a prequel to J.M. Barrie's classic Peter Pan story, with Roger Rees as director and Alex Timbers ("Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson")
June 19, 2008 |
"Cry-Baby," the musical based on John Waters' film spoof of teen life in 1950s Baltimore, will cut short its Broadway run on Sunday after 45 previews and 68 performances. The musical -- with songs by David Javerbaum and Adam Schlesinger and book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan -- was shut out at the Tony Awards after receiving four nominations, including best musical. It premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2007, then opened at New York's Marquis Theatre on April 24 to unenthusiastic reviews and disappointing box office.
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.
February 17, 2008 |
Regional theaters can often seem like feeder schools to the big New York houses, funneling their best and most promising shows eastward in pursuit of awards and box office glory. Strange then is the new play or musical that searches for its destiny by traveling westward. Will Power's "The Seven," a Greek-tragedy-meets-hip-hop musical, opened in 2006 at the prestigious New York Theatre Workshop, where it ran for nearly two months.
January 16, 2008 |
The first season of plays picked by Christopher Ashley, the La Jolla Playhouse's new artistic director, begins with Beethoven: Moises Kaufman's "33 Variations" (April 8-May 4) jumps between the present and 1819 as a musicologist investigates the composer's obsession with another musician's piddling waltz melody, which turned into the famous Diabelli Variations. And the season ends, more or less, with "Have You Never Been Mellow?"
January 15, 2008 |
First "Hairspray," now "Cry-Baby." The musical version of John Waters' film about high school life in Baltimore, circa 1954, will open April 24 on Broadway. The show, which premiered last year at the La Jolla Playhouse, focuses on a bad boy who falls for a good girl. James Snyder stars in the role that Johnny Depp played in the 1990 movie.
November 4, 2007 |
As the newly appointed artistic director of the La Jolla Playhouse, Christopher Ashley was quite taken when a literary agent gave him a brief description of a new play by one of his writers: "This guy is in bed with his wife and he suddenly turns to her and says, 'Honey, let's sell the kids.' " "It was so 'whoa,' so explosive," says Ashley of the play, "The Gingerbread House" by Mark Schultz.
October 2, 2007 |
IF fortune smiles on "Most Wanted," a musical about a fame-hungry serial killer who saves his last bullet for himself, the theater world may have on its hands another testament to the power of drag queens. For nearly six years, off and on, three respected theater pros -- Mark Bennett, Jessica Hagedorn and Michael Greif -- have been grappling with its risky, unorthodox material.