September 24, 2006 |
NO one said it was going to be easy. But with his first season behind him and his second already underway, Center Theatre Group artistic director Michael Ritchie has yet to communicate a clear theatrical game plan. Questions concerning his artistic vision for the Ahmanson Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum and the Kirk Douglas -- three unique spaces demanding customized leadership -- are mounting.
September 28, 2005 |
Michael Ritchie did not win friends with his first landscape-changing decision as artistic director of Center Theatre Group: eliminating the programs designed to develop new plays and foster multicultural diversity. But even as he announced in May that he was scrapping Mark Taper Forum's play labs for Latino, Asian, black and disabled writers and the series of public play readings that went with them, Ritchie insisted that diversity, new work and community consciousness would continue at L.A.'
September 4, 2005 |
HEY, where's the fire? The Sunday morning church bells at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels had just chimed 8 when two firetrucks rounded the corner from Temple Street to Grand Avenue and pulled up alongside the Music Center's Ahmanson Theatre. Luckily, surrounding streets were blocked off for a 5-K run, part of the L.A. Tofu Festival. But these firefighters were not here to extinguish a blaze -- or to celebrate soy products.
September 2, 2005 |
L.A.'s flagship theater company has taken a two-year dip in red ink, and its new leader's response runs counter to intuition: The way to stop losing money, says artistic director Michael Ritchie, is to spend more. He's begun by forking out $3.1 million for "Dead End," his lavish first production, which opens Wednesday. That's $1 million more than the usual budget for an Ahmanson Theatre play.
July 17, 2005 |
Kate BURTON may be starring as rich, glamorous Constance Middleton in a revival of "The Constant Wife" -- the sort of drawing-room comedy with a butler who can bring the car around. But offstage she's an Upper West Side mom, struggling with such mundane tasks as alternate-side-of-the-street parking.
June 22, 2005 |
In the four weeks since Center Theatre Group's new artistic director Michael Ritchie announced that he would eliminate most of the company's formal programs for developing new plays -- including the annual New Work Festival as currently constituted and labs for Latino, Asian, black and disabled writers -- his actions have been the talk of the theater community.