L.A.'s Ahmanson Packs in Avenue Q, Color Purple, Chorus Line, Sweeney, My Fair Lady & Drowsy Chaperone

News   L.A.'s Ahmanson Packs in Avenue Q, Color Purple, Chorus Line, Sweeney, My Fair Lady & Drowsy Chaperone Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group — which will be minus one theatre as the Mark Taper Forum undergoes renovations later this year — has lined up plenty of big musicals for the new season at the Ahmanson Theatre.

Avenue Q, The Color Purple and A Chorus Line fill the season with bonus options to include Sweeney Todd, My Fair Lady and the return of The Drowsy Chaperone.

The Ahmanson currently plays home to Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf starring Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin (through March 18) and will continue with Twelve Angry Men (March 28-May 6) and Jersey Boys (May 25-July 29).

The new year at the California company's 1,600-2,000-seat venue will line up as follows (subject to change):

 

 

  • Avenue Q (Sept. 6-Oct. 14)
    The 2004 Tony Award winner for Best Musical featuring music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx with a book by Jeff Whitty. Jason Moore directs with choreography by Ken Roberson.  

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  • The Color Purple (Dec. 27, 2007-March 10, 2008)
    The new musical based on the Alice Walker novel featuring a book by Marsha Norman and a score by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray. Gary Griffin will direct and Donald Byrd choreographs a cast that will feature Jeannette Bayardelle as Celie, original Broadway star Felicia P. Fields as Sofia, "Destiny's Child" songstress Michelle Williams as Shug Avery and "American Idol" finalist LaToya London as Nettie.  

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  • Sweeney Todd (March 11-April 6, 2008)
    John Doyle's new actor-musician staging of the musical scored by Stephen Sondheim with a book by Hugh Wheeler from Christopher Bond's adaptation. Sarah Travis orchestrates.  

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  • My Fair Lady (April 9-April 27, 2008)
    The Cameron Mackintosh/National Theatre of Great Britain production of the musical by Alan Jay Lerner (book and lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music). Trevor Nunn directs with choreography and musical staging by Matthew Bourne. U.K. tour stars Christopher Cazenove ("Dynasty") and Lisa O'Hare (Mary Poppins - London) will reprise their turns as Professor Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle.  

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  • A Chorus Line (May 21-July 6, 2008)
    The 1976 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning dance musical conceived and originally choreographed by Michael Bennett comes to life again with original co-choreographer Bob Avian directing. Featuring a book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante with music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Ed Kleban, Baayork Lee re-stages the choreography for this production.  

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  • The Drowsy Chaperone (July 8-July 20, 2008)
    The musical that debuted stateside at the Ahmanson in November 2005 returns. Casey Nicholaw directs and choreographs the work featuring music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison with a book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar. Subscriptions are currently available for the new season at the Ahmanson, located at 135 North Grand Ave. in Los Angeles, CA. For more information call (213) 628-2772 or visit www. centertheatregroup.org.