As previously reported, Sir Peter Hall will return to L.A.'s Ahmanson Theatre for the 2000-2001 season, but not to direct another Shakespeare play. Instead, Oct. 10-Nov. 28, 1999, Hall will helm a revival of Peter Shaffer's Amadeus, a play he recently mounted for the Old Vic in London. David Suchet and Michael Sheen, who headed the British production, will join an otherwise American cast. Center Theatre Group is among the co-producers (alongside Kim Poster, PW Productions, Adam Epstein and Pace Theatrical Group) who will then move the production to Broadway, where a tentative Dec. 16 opening is anticipated. The show picked up five Olivier Award nominations during its West End run, including Best Actor for Suchet and Outstanding performance for Sheen.
Hall, who is directing two Shakespeare dramas this summer at the Ahmanson, will skip doing anything by the Bard in 1999-2000 because of previous commitments. Also, Gordon Davidson, artistic director-producer, said he wanted to schedule the next round of Shakespeare during the academic calendar, instead of the summer, so that school groups would be able to attend.
According to the Boneau/Bryan-Brown press office, designers for Amadeus include William Dudley (an Olivier winner for his costumes), Paule Constable (lighting) and Matt McKenzie (sound).
The Ahmanson's Davidson also announced the other plays on the Ahmanson's upcoming schedule. Following Amadeus will be a nonsubscription production of Les Miserables (Dec. 12) and the new Martin Guerre (Feb 23, 2000). Both musicals are by the team of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, but Davidson said the pairing of the two shows was "just circumstance." The next show (May 3, 2000) will be The Scarlet Pimpernel, a revised production of the one that played on Broadway.
Final offering (July 30, 2000) on the sked is The Night They Raided Minsky's, an adaptation of the 1968 Hollywood film. The music is by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Susan Birkenhead.
Martin Guerre will play the Ahmanson just before it makes its New York bow on April 27, 2000. The show won the Olivier Award for best new London musical in 1997 but was then rewritten and restaged last November in Leeds, England -- the version that will be seen in L.A. Stephen R. Buntrock was just cast as the lead.