Bourne, Bard on Ahmanson slate

Nunn returns to helm Porter's 'Anything Goes'

Artistic director Gordon Davidson’s final season at the Ahmanson Theater will include the U.S. premiere of Matthew Bourne’s “Play Without Words,” Peter Hall’s production of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” and two touring Broadway revivals.

“The season marks the return to the Ahmanson of many old friends and colleagues,” Davidson said.

The Ahmanson has staged three American premieres of Bourne’s work; “As You Like It” will be Hall’s fourth L.A. production; and Trevor Nunn, who helmed Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People” starring Ian McKellen in 1998, returns to direct Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes.”

Season opens with the new Broadway revival of “Wonderful Town,” with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden and book by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov, directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall. It plays Oct. 29-Dec. 19.

“As You Like It” runs Feb. 7-March 27 and stars Hall’s daughter Rebecca as Rosalind.

The third presentation of the season marks the return of Bourne to the Ahmanson (following “Swan Lake,” “Cinderella” and “The Car Man”) with the U.S. premiere production of his latest dance/theater hit, “Play Without Words,” opening April 11, and closing May 29. It features a jazz score by Terry Davies and is designed by Lez Brotherston.

The dance/theater project is inspired by Joseph Losey’s film, by special arrangement with StudioCanal, based on “The Servant” by Robin Maugham. It takes place in London in 1965, and won Olivier Awards for entertainment and theater choreography.

Nunn’s National Theater production of “Anything Goes” plays July 6-Sept. 4, 2005. With a new book by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman, tuner won the 2003 Olivier Award for musical production.

Deaf West Theater’s production of “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” which played the Mark Taper Forum before a Broadway transfer, and Bourne’s “Nutcracker!” will be offered as bonus productions.

“Nutcracker!” will be staged at UCLA’s Royce Hall Dec. 16-Jan. 2. “Big River” will be presented for two weeks Jan. 12-23.

Tickets are on sale only on a subscription basis.

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