×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Local legit skeds snag B’way hits

Schubert offers 2001 subscription series

Two Los Angeles theater presenters announced their 2000-01 seasons Tuesday, more than doubling the number of Broadway productions that will come through town.

For only the second time in its 18-year history, the Shubert Theater in Century City will offer a subscription series of Broadway shows in 2001.

The Abba musical “Mamma Mia!” kicks off the series on Feb. 22, followed by “Dame Edna” (May 15-27), “Saturday Night Fever” (May 28-June 24) and “Kiss Me, Kate” (Aug. 21-Oct. 14).

Broadway/L.A., run by the Nederlander Organization, is moving most of its productions from its former home, the Pantages, to the Wilshire Theatre in Beverly Hills due to Disney’s “Lion King” taking up residence in the Hollywood Boulevard venue.

Broadway/L.A. opens its sixth season Nov. 21 with the Brit import “Gumboots,” which closes Dec. 17, and then follows with an open-ended run of “Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding” at the Henry Fonda Theatre starting Nov. 30. From there, “Annie Get Your Gun” (Feb. 27-March 18); “Stomp” (March 27-April 8); “Catskills on Broadway” (May 1-13); Savion Glover in “Foot Notes” (May 29-June 10); and “Jesus Christ Superstar” (Oct. 16-28) comprise the lineup. Broadway/L.A. will also present the nonsubscription show “Riverdance” Jan. 16-Feb. 4 at the Shubert.

The Pantages seating capacity of 2,670 is a good 700 seats more than the Wilshire. The Fonda is being configured to allow 250 theatergoers per performance of “Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding.”

Stiff competish

Competition for the theater dollar will be increasingly fierce over the next season as the not-for-profit Ahmanson Theater will offer the straight-from-Broadway “Swing,!” “Contact” and “Flower Drum Song.” In April, new operators of the 1,400-seat Wadsworth Theater in Westwood said they were attempting to bring in theatrical productions as well but have yet to announce shows.

This year, the Shubert has been dark with the exception of a few industrials and a four-week run of “Fosse.” The subscription series guarantees that the lights will be lit for most of the new year.

When the 2,000-seat Shubert opened in July 1972 with a production of “Follies” direct from its Broadway run at the Winter Garden Theater, the Stephen Sondheim musical was part of a subscription series in a season that included “Twigs,” “Butley” and “Grease.”

“We broke away from the subscription series initially,” said Phil Smith, president of the Shubert Organization. ” ‘A Chorus Line’ ran longer than anyone expected. And people did not want to wait 18 months for their next show on the series.”

The 1970s and 1980s produced several long-running musicals that filled the Shubert but made it difficult for the parent org to maintain a subscription series at their Los Angeles venue. In addition to “A Chorus Line,” megahits such as “Evita,” “Annie,” “42nd Street,” “Dreamgirls,” “Cats” and “Les Miserables” ran from one to two years there.

The L.A. venue took on new prestige when Andrew Lloyd Webber held the world premiere of his “Sunset Boulevard” at the Shubert in 1993. Star Glenn Close left the production seven months later, and Lloyd Webber became embroiled in controversy — and a lawsuit — when he shuttered the tuner prematurely instead of continuing its run with a new Norma Desmond, actress Faye Dunaway. In 1997, lightning missed twice when the Livent musical “Ragtime” did not perform up to expectations in its U.S. debut at the theater.

More Legit

  • Hamilton West End Production.

    'Hamilton' Panic Over Mistaken Reports of Gunfire Injures Three in San Francisco

    Three people were injured after mistaken reports of an active shooter at a San Francisco production of “Hamilton” caused attendees to flee the theater. CNN reported that a woman experienced a medical emergency — later determined to be a heart attack — during a scene in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s play wherein Founding Father Alexander Hamilton is shot on [...]

  • The American Clock review

    London Theater Review: 'The American Clock'

    Time is money. Money is time. Both come unstuck in “The American Clock.” Arthur Miller’s kaleidoscopic account of the Great Depression, part autobiography, part social history, crawls through the decade after the Wall Street crash, dishing up snapshots of daily life. In the Old Vic’s classy revival, director Rachel Chavkin (“Hadestown”) tunes into the play’s [...]

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Off Broadway Review: Jake Gyllenhaal in 'Sea Wall/A Life'

    Comfy? Okay, let’s talk Death: sudden death, painful death, lingering death, accidental death, and whatever other kinds of death happen to come into the receptive minds of playwrights Simon Stephens (“Sea Wall”) and Nick Payne (“A Life”). The writing in these separate monologues — playing together on a double bill at the Public Theater — [...]

  • Michael Jackson Estate Cancels Musical Test-Run

    Michael Jackson Estate Cancels Musical Test-Run

    With an HBO documentary that places strong allegations of abuse against Michael Jackson premiering in two weeks, the late singer’s estate announced Thursday that it’s canceling a scheduled Chicago test run of a jukebox musical about him. The estate and its producing partner in the musical, Columbia Live Stage, said that they’re setting their sights on going [...]

  • All About Eve review

    West End Review: Gillian Anderson and Lily James in 'All About Eve'

    To adapt a crass old adage: it’s “All About Eve,” not “All About Steve.” Stripping Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s sharp-witted screenplay about a waning theater star of its period trappings, Ivo van Hove’s stage adaptation fine-tunes its feminism for our own sexist age — image-obsessed, anti-aging, the time of Time’s Up. Rather than blaming Lily James’ [...]

  • Adam Shankman

    Listen: Why Adam Shankman Directs Every Movie Like It's a Musical

    Director Adam Shankman’s latest movie, the Taraji P. Henson comedy “What Men Want,” isn’t a musical. But as one of Hollywood’s top director-choreographers of musicals and musical sequences, he approaches even non-musicals with a sense of tempo. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “When I read a script, it processes in my head like a [...]

  • Matthew Bourne's 'Cinderella' Review

    L.A. Theater Review: Matthew Bourne's 'Cinderella'

    How much can you change “Cinderella” before it is no longer “Cinderella”? In the case of choreography maestro Matthew Bourne — who, it should be said, first unveiled his spin on the classic folk tale some 22 years ago — the music is most certainly “Cinderella” (Prokofiev’s 1945 score, to be exact), but the plot [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content