Look out Broadway! Not only are we the movie capital of the world, but Los Angeles boasts one of the best theater crawls in the country. With venues like the Hollywood Pantages, the Ahmanson, A Noise Within and Geffen Playhouse, an amazing theatrical experience is never too far away, and coming up, some of the world’s most beloved musicals and talented artists will be making their run in the City of Angels!
1. THE BOOK OF MORMON
Average Price: $220
Pantages Theater: Jan 21-Mar 16
Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of South Park, are the brains behind one of the most outstanding musical productions in recent history. The hit musical is a religious satire on Joseph Smith and the creation of Mormonism, and tells the story of two young missionaries sent to a remote Ugandan village who try and share the scriptures amongst locals that are more concerned with surviving famine, warlords, death and poverty. The Book of Moron highlights the boy’s naiveté and buoyancy in uproarious fashion, with playful and colorful numbers by collaborator Robert Lopez (Avenue Q) and has already won nine Tony Awards in top categories. The musical has also just set the record for biggest single-day-sales in both West End (UK) and Broadway history; Stone and Parker have certainly accomplished their mission across the globe in generating a wholly new and outrageous theatrical experience with the unforgettable Book of Mormon—truly a must see!
Average Price: $190
Pantages Theater: Jun 3-22
The biblical story of Joseph, from the Book of Genesis, comes to life on stage with music and lyrics by award winning duo: composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has been around since the 1970s, and has been a hallmark of musical stage production since its inception; there have been countless revivals from school groups to amateur theater groups and full-blown Broadway productions and SingAlongs, and was even turned into a 1999 film starring Donny Osmond. The biblical saga is set to an eclectic mix of country, pop and rock and presents stunning Old Testament inspired costumes, and of course, Joseph’s coat of many colors. You wont want to miss out on this classic family-fun musical, only in town for a month!
3. THE LION KING
Average Price: $172
Pantages Theater: Nov 20-Jan 12
The Lion King has returned to Los Angeles for a holiday run at the end of this year and will bring all the vibrancy, life and excitement from the Disney film to the Hollywood Pantages Theater. The Lion King has ruled the musical landscape since its launch in 1997, and as of this month, it has become the first musical in history to gross over $1 billion on Broadway. Despite being only the 5th longest-running Broadway show, it is now threatening Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Phantom of the Opera’s record worldwide gross of $5.6b. With music from the classic Disney film and beautifully intricate costumes, makeup and elaborate sets, The New York Times boasts “there is simply nothing else like it,” while the Daily News says it’s “a perfect marriage of entertainment and art.” For a truly unforgettable night, check out this six-time Tony Award winning musical and see the roaring phenomenon yourself!
4. GHOST THE MUSICAL
Pantages Theater: Jun 27- Jul 13
Ghost the Musical is based on the tender 1990 hit movie, Ghost, featuring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. The plot centers on couple Sam and Molly, whose relationship ends too soon when Sam is attacked one night; a “medium” enters the mix to help the ghost of Sam warn his lost love of impending danger. It is a relatively new musical that made its debut at the Manchester Opera House and West Egg in 2011, a year later it made its stateside debut on Broadway, before moving back to Europe. Now is your chance to catch this heart-tugging romantic comedy on stage as it follows its immensely popular National UK tour back to the States.
Average Price: $177
Pantages Theater: Jul 15- Aug 10
The painstakingly sweet 2006 Academy Award-winning movie, Once, has been revived into an on-stage production that has already garnered eight Tony Awards, not to mention praise for the Oscar-winning song “Falling Slowly”. It is a minimalist musical, with simple staging and costume, because the play tries to focus on the intimate creation of music and love, as the talented actors on stage also comprise the orchestra. The Huffington Post calls Once “heart stopping,” while The Reporter notes it is “one of the best things to happen to Broadway in the past decade.” Fans of the movie, or those being introduced to the story for the first time, can’t help but fall for this romantically endearing folk-musical.
Average Price: $161
Pantages Theater: Oct 23- Nov 10
Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice’s classic musical Evita, inspiration for the 1996 film of the same name featuring Antonio Banderas and Madonna, will continue its 2012 Broadway revival (which starred Ricky Martin) on the West coast. It is a political romance, centered on the true-life story of Argentine diplomatic powerhouse Eva Peron, the charismatic wife to Argentine president Juan Peron and wholly beloved by the people. The musical traces her rise from rags to exuberance, power, and death in the eyes of the public. The newly revived Evita features more Latin choreography and sound such as the haughty tango, Spanish guitar and other more authentic south-of-the-border flavors in costume and set design than ever before. You wont want to miss hearing “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” when Evita comes to town!
7. AMERICAN IDIOT
Average Price: $155
Pantages Theater- May 13-18
Green Day’s American Idiot is the brainchild of lead singer and front man of the punk band, Billie Joe Armstrong. The idea to produce a rock opera came to Armstrong after watching Spring Awakening, and he approached admired musical director Michael Mayer to help him transform the group’s 2004 concept album “American Idiot” into a stage production that has been awarded three Tony Awards, an extended run on Broadway and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. Audience members will find that the music and lyrics are as paranoid, angst-ridden, anti-establishment and rebellious as one would expect from Green Day, who will be back on tour starting January 2014. The story surrounds three disillusioned friends who travel in different directions in a post-9/11 world: one to the army, one into fatherhood, and one to drugs, music, and love. American Idiot “is recommended for anyone who appreciates Green Day, the musicals Rent and Spring Awakening, or MTV videos.” Tickets went fast for American Idiot, as it will only be in Los Angeles for one week—the shortest stay on our list!
8. GERSHWIN’S PORGY AND BESS
Average Price: $126
Ahmanson Theater: Apr 22-Jun 1
The Porgy and Bess revival of 2012 was only supposed to show for limited time, but its high demand and overwhelming success granted it an extended run, and now audiences across the country will get a chance to see Gershwin’s musical on its Fall 2013 National tour. Porgy and Bess is an opera written by the legendary George Gershwin, based on the novel, Porgy, by DuBose Heyward. It was first performed in 1935, and but was not accepted in the US until 1976, because of racial, social and sexual controversy. With classic songs like “Summertime” and “I Got Plenty o’ Nothin,” Porgy and Bess mixes a blend of opera, jazz and folk music and has since been considered standard in operatic repertory. The story revolves around the nuances of African-American life in the Deep South along the fabled “Catfish Row” during the 1920s: Porgy is a beautiful young woman struggling to surmount her promiscuous past while trying to escape from her violent lover, Crown, only to be rescued by the honorable Porgy.
Average Price: $126
Ahmanson Theater: Jul 15-Aug 24
We Will Rock You is an uninhibited musical written by Sir Elton John, based on the songs of rock legends, Queen. The musical takes place in a dystopian future that has banned instruments, bands, and musical freedom, as “iPlanet Company Computers” punch out cookie-cutter boy and girl bands that everyone listens to. A so-called “Resistance” rises against this adversity to go back to the golden age of music, “The Rhapsody.” The raucous rock-opera was launched in 2002 across the Atlantic, and despite skeptical reviews from critics, it is an ultimate fan-favorite and has subsequently become the longest running musical at the Dominion Theater in West End. Now in its 12th year, the high-energy, leather-strapped, guitar-powered, hair-band romp will be in Los Angeles, bringing authority and the house down, for the final leg of its US Tour.
Average Price: $125
Ahmanson Theater: Mar 4-Apr 13
With music from the illustrious Barry Manilow and lyrics by Bruce Sussman, their new musical, Harmony, finally made its on-stage premier in September earlier this year at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. The performance follows the true story the Comedian Harmonists, a 6-piece boy band formed in the 1920s, who grew to great popularity and sold millions of records in one of the most tumultuous times in our recent history. Their expert harmonies, hysterical on-stage performances, musical careers and lives were only to be ripped apart by the Nazi regime, as the group consisted of Jewish and non-Jewish singers. Don’t miss out on this heartbreaking untold story, with expert song and lyrics from some of music’s finest.