La Jolla Nabs Xanadu, Busch's Third Story and Tobacco Road Revival for New Season

News   La Jolla Nabs Xanadu, Busch's Third Story and Tobacco Road Revival for New Season
Christopher Ashley, the new artistic director of the La Jolla Playhouse, will bring his current Broadway musical Xanadu to the California venue for his first season, which will also feature Charles Busch's The Third Story and a revival of Tobacco Road.

Christopher Ashley
Christopher Ashley Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports Ashley, who has replaced Des McAnuff as La Jolla's artistic director, has announced three shows that will comprise half of the 2008-2009 season. Dates and further details are forthcoming. (McAnuff is now artistic director emeritus of LaJolla.)

Ashley directed the Broadway production of Xanadu, which currently plays New York's Helen Hayes Theatre. The new musical — based on the flop film of the same name — features a book by Douglas Carter Beane and a score by John Farrar and Jeff Lynne.

"The Playhouse will produce [Xanadu], and then it will go on tour," Ashley told the local paper. The work will play in the California company's Mandell Weiss Theatre with a tentative opening in June or July 2008.

The Third Story was commissioned by La Jolla and will feature writer-performer Busch. The star — who currently heads the Off-Broadway cast of his comedy Die Mommie Die! — is slated to appear in the fall 2008 staging of his new work, which "involves three interrelated and interweaving stories in very different styles – a fairy tale, a naturalistic 1940s drama and a surreal science fiction piece. In all three, there's a mother-son relationship," Ashley told the Union-Tribune.

Jack Kirkland penned Tobacco Road based on the 1932 Erskine Caldwell novel. The Georgia farm-set story opened on Broadway Dec. 4, 1933, and ran for more than seven years (spanning 3,182 performances).

La Jolla Playhouse is located at 2910 La Jolla Village Drive (on the corner Torrey Pines Road) in La Jolla, CA. Tickets are on sale by calling (858) 550-1010. For more information about the company visit

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