‘Dance’ due at Ahmanson

Luhrmann musical based on Astaire-Rogers pic

Baz Luhrmann’s production of Puccini’s “La Boheme” and the world premiere of musical “Never Gonna Dance,” based on the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers pic “Swing Time,” highlight the Ahmanson’s 2003-04 subscription season.

“Never Gonna Dance” will open Jan. 25 and run through March 7, prior to a Broadway run. “Dance” features the music of Jerome Kern with a book by Jeffrey Hatcher and a story by Erwin Gelsey. Tuner will be directed by Michael Greif (“Rent”) and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell (“Hairspray”). “Never Gonna Dance” is produced by Weissberger Theater Group/Jay Harris, Edgar Bronfman Jr., James Walsh and Ted Hartley/RKO Pictures.

“La Boheme” will close the season, running July 30-Sept. 19, 2004. As it does on Broadway, Luhrmann’s production of Puccini’s opera will feature a revolving cast of young singers in the principal roles of Mimi, Rodolfo, Musetta and Marcello. Lurhmann’s show is produced by Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum, Emanuel Azenberg and Bazmark Live.

The season will open with two “bonus” productions, “Flower Drum Song” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”

The revised Rodgers & Hammerstein classic, which premiered at the Mark Taper Forum, will play the Ahmanson Sept. 17-28; the Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Theater Co.’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom” runs Oct. 12-Dec. 6.

The Center Theater Group/Ahmanson production of George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber’s “The Royal Family” opens March 31 and plays through May 16, 2004. A sendup of the Barrymore family that premiered in 1927, “The Royal Family” has been revived twice, in 1951 and 1975.

“Thoroughly Modern Millie,” winner of six Tony Awards in 2002, opens May 21, 2004, and plays through July 25 as part of its first national tour. “Millie” also will be an attraction of the Broadway/L.A. 2003-04 season, with performance dates the last two weeks of the Ahmanson engagement.

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