"Into the woods and out of the woods and on Bway before fall?" That might be the words the Ahmanson Theatre is singing in 2002 when the Los Angeles theatre hosts a Broadway-bound revival of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods Feb. 1-March 24. The all-new production will be directed by the musical's original director and bookwriter, James Lapine.
In March, the New York Post reported that the Dodgers were interested in bringing a revival of Into the Woods onto Broadway in spring, 2002. There was no word yet then that this production, produced by Dodger Theatricals in association with the Center Theatre Group would originate at the Ahmanson.
Billed as a family show, Into the Woods twists popular fairy tales, infusing them with an adult sense of what happens after the "Happily Ever After." Jack's murder of the giant (of beanstalk fame) provokes the wrath of his giant wife, Cinderella's prince is a hopeless philanderer, the witch is not wicked but overprotective, and a slightly psychotic Little Red Riding Hood proudly wears the grey skin of the wolf she cut up from the inside out. The score is one of Sondheim's most popular, with the comic and manic "Into the Woods," "Agony" and "On the Steps of the Palace" contrasting with the dramatic and wondering "Children Will Listen" and "Giants in the Sky."
Before going into the woods, however, the Ahmanson goes into the car lot. The Car Man, the latest dance piece by Matthew Bourne (Swan Lake) and Adventures in Motion Pictures, makes its American premiere Sept. 6-Oct. 28.
Inspired by Bizet's opera Carmen and the classic film "The Postman Always Rings Twice," The Car Man sets a passionate menage a trois in a Midwestern car garage and a night club, where a handsome young stranger's presence tears the town apart. The Ahmanson also held the American premiere of Adventures in Motion Pictures' Cinderella. The company won a Tony for their Broadway production of Swan Lake, employing an all male swans corps. Another passionate menage a trois follows The Car Man: Aida. The new Elton John-Tim Rice musical makes a tour stop in Los Angeles Nov. 7-Jan. 5, 2002. The national tour, which kicked off March 27 in Minneapolis, stars Simone as the Nubian slave seeking to save her people, Patrick Cassidy as her captor and lover, and Kelli Fournier as his royal girlfriend, Amneris.
Closing out the season will be Charles Busch's comedy The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, running June 22-Aug. 11, 2002. The Tony-nominated comedy, still currently running on Broadway, tells the story of depressive, kvetching Upper West Side wife, Marjorie Taub, who cannot find hope in her life despite her daily intellectual, social and charitable activities. She is finally comforted by the appearance of a vivacious childhood friend, who leads Marjorie and her doctor husband to new and surprising experiences. Manhattan Theatre Club artistic director Lynne Meadow will stage the show in Los Angeles.
One production, for April, 2002, has not yet been announced.
To subscribe to the Ahmanson Theatre season, call (213) 628-2772. The Ahmanson Theatre is on the web at http://www.taperahmanson.com.