"The most important thing I wanted to bring to the Ahmanson Theatre in my inaugural season was a schedule of productions that display variety and theatricality," Ritchie said in a release. "I hope that through the range of productions that I have selected - some new, some classic - our audiences will become as excited as we are about the shows."
The national tour of Swan Lake (March 8-19, 2006) which earned Bourne two Tony Awards and Broadway's current entry from Australia's First Lady Dame Edna: Back With A Vengeance! (March 28-April 9, 2006) will be offered to subscribers as bonus options. One production, slated for summer 2006, is yet to be announced.
The new Ahmanson season (subject to change) is as follows:
Dead End - (Aug. 28-Oct. 16) Director Nicholas Martin stages the rarely produced 1935 Kingsley drama set in Depression-era Manhattan where a gang of youngsters known as the Dead End Kids rule the streets until they are challenged by their wealthy neighbors. The production began at Ritchie's former stomping grounds, the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and later played at Martin's Boston home, the Huntington Theatre Company. James Noone provides the set design which will feature a simulation of the East River in the Ahmanson's orchestra pit as it is filled with over 10,000 gallons of water. Michael Krass will costume the cast of over 40 actors and Ken Posner will light the 40 foot-high New York City skyline.
The Drowsy Chaperone - (Nov. 8-Dec. 24) The American debut of this musical with music by Greg Morrison, lyrics by Lisa Lambert and a book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar is being billed as a "pre-Broadway engagement." The musical-within-a-musical finds the biggest fan of musical theatre presenting his favorite 1928 Gable and Stein show featuring a plotline that finds a Broadway starlet who wants to give up show business to marry. Her scheming producer enlists a chaperone, a dizzy chorine, the Latin lover and a couple of gangsters to keep her from the debonair groom. The work played to sold out crowds at the 1999 Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival then transferred to a full production at Toronto's Winter Garden Theatre.
The Importance of Being Earnest - (Jan. 17-March 5, 2006) The Wilde tale set in 1890s England focuses on a gentleman who assumes the role of his fictitious brother Ernest in order to enjoy himself in the city without ruining his reputation at his country estate. Mistaken identity ensues in the classic tale.
The Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets - (April 22-June 11, 2006) Robert Wilson directs the musical theatre piece featuring music and lyrics by Tom Waits and text from the late William S. Burroughs. The re-imagining of a 19th century folk tale centers on a clerk who makes a deal with the devil for magic bullets to win the hand of his beloved in a shooting contest. The production played at BAM's Next Wave Festival in 1993 following a European tour and was translated to English for the 2004 production at London's Barbican Theatre, San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre and Australia's Sydney Festival.
Subscriptions are currently available for the season at the Ahmanson, 135 North Grand Ave. in Los Angeles, CA, by calling (213) 628-2772 or visit www.TaperAhmanson.com.