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Mamet, Hwang highlight local legit

CTG boasts new musical for new season

Six world premieres, including a musical by David Mamet and plays by Lisa Loomer and David Henry Hwang, will be presented on the stages of the downtown Mark Taper Forum and the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City.

Mamet’s “A Waitress in Yellowstone” is the first tuner from the playwright and will be presented at the Kirk Douglas Theater June 17, 2007, through July 15, 2007. A modern-day fable, “Yellowstone” concerns a waitress who catches a congressman stealing her tips the day before she and her 10-year-old son are leaving on vacation to Yellowstone.

Other musicals premiering are “13” by Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown, and “Sleeping Beauty Wakes” by Tony winner Rachel Sheinkin, Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda, members of the musical group GrooveLily. It’s a co-production with Deaf West Theater.

Center Theater Group, which runs the two venues in addition to the Ahmanson, also is producing Loomer’s “Distracted,” Hwang’s “Yellow Face” (a co-production with the Public Theater and in association with East West Players) and TV writer-producer Douglas Steinberg’s theatrical debut, “Nighthawks.”

“I believe that with 15 productions in the three CTG theaters, we are offering a fantastic variety of theatrical experiences — from the epic to the intimate, from musicals to dramas, from satire to laugh-out-loud comedy,” said artistic director Michael Ritchie. “We are bringing Taper audiences into the Ahmanson for the first time, forming special partnerships in the Los Angeles community with Playwrights’ Arena, Deaf West Theater and East West Players, and pairing with New York’s Public Theater to create a brand-new work.”

Taper subscribers will be traveling to the Ahmanson to see Cherry Jones reprise her Tony Award-winning role in “Doubt,” Sept. 22-Oct. 29.

The Taper season settles in with Lynn Redgrave starring in the American premiere of her “Nightingale,” Oct. 4-Nov. 19. Joseph Hardy directs the work, inspired by Redgrave’s maternal grandmother, Beatrice Kempson, which premiered in January at the New End Theater in London.

Musical comedy “13,” with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, Tony winner for his score to “Parade,” world premieres Dec. 22-Feb. 18. Todd Graff directs the 13 cast members, who are 13 years old, dealing with a new kid in school.

Loomer, whose “Living Out” had its world preem at the Taper in 2003, returns with “Distracted,” March 15-April 29. “Distracted” explores Attention Deficit Disorder, its effect on families and its meaning within the context of society.

“Yellow Face,” Hwang’s comic play about race and identity in America, receives its world premiere May 10, 2007, and runs through July 1, 2007. In fall 2007, “Yellow Face” will move to the Public Theater, where the play is being further developed in conjunction with the Taper and East West Players.

As a bonus option, Taper subscribers will be able to purchase tickets for Matthew Bourne’s dance theater piece “Edward Scissorhands,” at the Ahmanson Dec. 12-31.

The Kirk Douglas Theater’s season opens Aug. 27 with Steinberg’s rumination on Edward Hopper’s painting “Nighthawks.” A longtime television writer and producer, Steinberg’s credits include “St. Elsewhere,” “Boston Public” and USA Network’s “Psych.”

Off Broadway hit “In the Continuum,” written and performed by Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter, runs Nov. 12-Dec. 10. The two playwright-thesps play dozens of roles in their examination of AIDS among African and African-American women.

The Playwrights’ Arena and TDRZ Prods.’ production of Jessica Hagedorn’s “Dogeaters” runs Jan. 14-Feb. 11. Set in Manila in 1982, “Dogeaters” follows a movie-obsessed girl from an upper-middleclass family and a poor Afro-Filipino hustler in a coming of age tale.

Tuner “Sleeping Beauty Wakes,” a twist on a classic Grimm’s fairy tale will be presented by Center Theater Group and Deaf West Theater March 31 through May 13, 2007. One of the creators, Rachel Sheinkin, received the Tony Award last year for the libretto of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

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