Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.
California NewsUSA

12 notable musicals coming to Southern California in early 2024 – Orange County Register

A banquet of sorts is coming to Southern California stages at the start of the 2024 season. There’s pizza, ham, jelly…and those are just a few of the show titles.

Audiences can consume from a range of offerings. In one scene, a Shakespearean ghost visits a black backyard barbecue. Elsewhere, there are not one but two jukebox variations of Julia Roberts’ most famous films. Plus, there’s a much-anticipated musical kiss.

From the menus of 13 top movie theaters in four Southern California counties, here are some of the tempting deals.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY

Ahmanson Theater: “Funny Girl”

If you’ve finally finished Barbra Streisand’s 966-page print tome, or just skipped past the highlights, now might be the perfect time to revisit “Funny Girl,” the series that made her who she is was – uh, was. Following the recent Broadway revival, the national touring version of the show follows the life (love) and times (comedy) of famous vaudevillian actress Fanny Brice. In New York, the musical triumphantly starred Lea Michelle. This tour will reveal whether young Katerina McCrimmon – a main character in her first national production – gets wow status or at least a “Hello Wonderful.”

When: April 2-28

Or: Ahmanson Theater, 135 N. Grand, Los Angeles

Information: CenterTheatreGroup.org

Geffen Playhouse: “Big Ham”

“Fat Ham,” an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” by playwright James Ijames, winner of the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Drama (pictured), will be presented at the Geffen Playhouse from March 27 to April 28. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

“Fat Ham”…a mash-up of “Hamlet” at a Black Garden BBQ wedding reception? Well, here’s the thing: James Ijames, winner of the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, relies more on rib tickles than Yorick’s skull. Its raucous tone is set when the ghost of the main character’s deceased father makes an appearance demanding a salad of revenge. This results in noisy actions. This is a transfer of the Broadway production, which received rave reviews from The New York Times.

When: March 27-April 28

Or: Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave, Los Angeles

Information: Geffenplayhouse.org

La Mirada Performing Arts Theater: “Mystical pizza”

From left, Krystina Alabado, Gianna Yanelli and Kyra Kennedy star in the West Coast premiere of the musical
From left, Krystina Alabado, Gianna Yanelli and Kyra Kennedy star in the West Coast premiere of the musical “Mystic Pizza,” playing at La Mirada Arts Theater January 19-February 11. (Photo by Rebecca J. Michelson)

The West Coast premiere of the musical version of a rendition of Julia Roberts’ directorial debut, ‘Mystic Pizza,’ serves up a two-topping combination pie: the coming-of-age jukebox storyline from the original film featuring twenty-something ’80s and ’90s pop hits including “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” The Power of Love” and “Manic Monday.” Whether it’s a tasty slice will be determined right out of the oven, but La Mirada has a reputation for providing top-quality ingredients when it comes to staging and broadcasting accessible, upbeat musicals.

When: January 19-Feb. 11

Or: La Mirada Performing Arts Theater, 14900 La Mirada Boulevard, La Mirada

Information: lamiradatheatre.com

West Musical Theater: “42nd Street”

Still, it’s a little surprising to realize that the meta-Broadway series “42nd Street” actually began life a long time ago as a movie. But it’s the perfect setting for a musical, from the initial visual opening of the curtain which rises about a foot, revealing a foot-tapping dance line across the entire stage. The plot seems clichéd, tracing the birth pangs of an imaginary musical and the rise of an unknown to become a young star. But “42nd Street” turns out to be the predominant origin myth about talent and ambition along the Great White Way.

When: February 9-25

Or: Carpenter Center, 6200 E. Atherton St, Long Beach

Information: Musical.org

Pantages Theatre: “The Wiz”

Avery Wilson as Scarecrow stars in the touring production of
Avery Wilson as Scarecrow stars in the touring production of “The Wiz,” which will run at the Pantages Theater February 13-March 3. (Photo by Jeremy Daniel)

In a reimagined production destined for Broadway, 1975’s seven-time Tony winner “The Wiz” — best musical and best score were among its trophies — sees a modernized take on the black pride of the famous tale of Oz featuring familiar R&B/funk. score. This new edit is already a road warrior, already making several stops on tour, so Hollywood should welcome a well-polished ride. However, the boogie on Yellow Brick Road is limited to three weeks here and with Wayne Brady as The Wiz here, rushing that road to the box office might be more advisable than slowing down there.

When: February 13-March 3

Or: Pantages Theater, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles

Information: BroadwayinHollywood.com

Pasadena Playhouse: “Jelly’s Last Jam”

A rarely revived gem — the casting alone could strain the souls of directors and choreographers — “Jelly’s Last Jam” is a tap-driven account of the difficult life of jazz pianist and songwriter Jelly Roll Morton. Navigating the back streets of New Orleans to New York’s biography of the self-proclaimed “inventor of jazz,” this is high-risk, high-reward musical theater. The late, legendary tap master Gregory Hines won a Tony in 1992 for his portrayal of Morton; As of this writing, there are no announcements on who will fill those big shoes in Pasadena.

When: May 29-June 23.

Or: Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena

Information: Pasadenaplayhouse.org

ORANGE COUNTY

Chance Theater: “Small and beautiful things”

Chance’s first half of 2024 finds two musicals that complement two plays focused on women’s voices. Perhaps the most promising is the premiere of “Tiny, Beautiful Things” in Orange County. Based on writer Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling book, actress Nia Vardalos (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) has adapted the experiences of a modern online advice columnist into an 80-minute think piece in which the The writer is visited by people who have asked for advice. and let the central character internalize the emotional challenges and reckonings she struggled with publicly.

When: April 5-April 28.

Or: Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim

Information: chancetheater.com

The Laguna Playhouse: “Ain’t Misbehavin’”

First performed in 1978 as a cabaret, “Ain’t Misbehavin'” is an irresistible singing spectacle that is somehow more than a revue, even if it is devoid of narrative. Running on the energy of Fats Waller’s fast, engaging tunes, it brings the vocalized energies of its five lively performers to the forefront. In the Harlem scene of the 1930s, Waller was both a songwriter/pianist and an impresario who wrote songs intended to entertain. Beyond the titled number, some of the 31-song score’s indelible titles include “I’ll Sit Down, Write and Write Myself a Letter,” “Honeysuckle Rose” and “‘Taint Nobody’s Bizness if I Do.”

When: January 24-Feb. 11.

Or: Laguna Theater, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach

Information: LagunaPlayhouse.com

South Coast Repertory: “A Prelude to a Kiss, the Musical”

One of South Coast Repertory’s most famous commissioned pieces, Craig Lucas’s ‘A Prelude to a Kiss’, will — finally — see the world premiere of the musicalized version of the same title with Lucas once again writing the book. This new work was originally planned for a 2020 release, having received a very promising reading the previous year, and now the long-awaited kiss is going to be granted. This world premiere production, for SCR’s Small Argyros Stage, is directed by SCR Artistic Director David Ivers.

When: April 21-May 11.

Or: South Coast Repertory Theater, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa

Information: SCR.org

Segerstrom Arts Center: ““MJ The Musical”

A touring production of
A traveling production of “MJ: The Musical,” presented on its opening night on Broadway, will take place at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa March 19-31. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)

The Michael Jackson biodrama “MJ The Musical” is on the way, and if even half of the captivating adrenaline rush of this dance-driven Broadway show transfers, it will land incredibly well. Although organized around a plot that ends in the early 1990s – avoiding the scandals that marred the King of Pop’s final years – this free-flowing story covers the singer’s early, then most successful, years with a maximum glare. Much of the success is due to director and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, whose experience in the ballet world brings focus and discipline to both Jackson’s dancing and the dances formed around his music. And, if you had to ask, yes, even that famous Swarovski crystal-studded white glove will probably get its own round of cheers.

When: March 19-31.

Or: Segerstrom Arts Center, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa

Information: scfta.org

RIVERSIDE COUNTY

Fox Performing Arts Center and McCallum Theater: “Pretty Woman”

The most successful film of the late director Garry Marshall’s prodigious career – and Julia Roberts’ biggest box office hit – this live musical version of “Pretty Woman” features songs by rocker Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. Although far from a critical favorite, it enjoyed reasonable success for a year on Broadway in 2018-2019. The plot resembles the film with its modern take on a Cinderella notion: a business tycoon hires a prostitute to be his official companion at events and a relationship emerges.

When: January 16 and 17 (Riverside); January 19-21 (Palm Desert)

Or: Fox Performing Arts Center, 3801 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside; McCallum Theater, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert

Information: tour.prettywomanthemusical.com

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY

California Theater for the Performing Arts: “In the Heights”

A local production of “In The Heights” presents Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “other” musical, the one not about anyone found on any denomination of American currency. Of course, calling this show an older, lesser Miranda musical doesn’t do it justice since it won four Tonys, including Best Musical in 2008. It’s enjoyable, fun-filled entertainment. lively with a substantial presentation of Puerto Rican, Cuban characters. and of Dominican origin.

When: May 19-21.

Or: The California Performing Arts Theater. 562 W. 4th Street, San Bernardino

Information: CaliforniaTheatre.net

California Daily Newspapers

Back to top button