Pantages schedule include old and new favorites

HOLLYWOOD - The Pantages Theatre has announced the lineup for its 2010-2011 season, a seven-show package that includes "West Side Story," "Hair," "Rock of Ages," "Burn the Floor" and "Shrek the Musical."A sixth musical to be announced later will play the Pantages in March. Rounding out the season is the West Coast premiere of "Traces," which will play just around the corner from the Pantages at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre. In addition to the seven-show season, the Pantages will also host special performances of "The Phantom of the Opera," "Spring Awakening" and "Rain - A Tribute to the Beatles." Season ticket holders receive first priority to purchase tickets for the three extra shows. For more information on season or individual tickets, call (800) 982-ARTS or go to www.broadwayla.org. West Side Story - November 30 - December 19, 2010 Last season, "West Side Story" returned to Broadway and became a huge hit, proving as powerful and poignant to modern audiences as it was when it forever changed theater more than fifty years ago. From the first note to the final breath, "West Side Story" envelops audiences in one of the greatest love stories of all time. The new "West Side Story" opened at Broadway's legendary Palace Theatre last March, receiving the kind of critical acclaim that tells New Yorkers there's a new must-see theatrical event in town. Soon, audiences from near and far were flocking to the show, which resulted in box office records that would propel the lavish $14 million production to recoup its investment after running just 30 weeks. Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical - January 5 - 23, 2011 An electric celebration which paved the way for some of the greatest musicals of our time, "Hair" includes such enduring musical numbers as "Let the Sun Shine In," Aquarius," "Hair" and "Good Morning Starshine." The musical follows a group of hopeful, free-spirited young people who advocate a lifestyle of pacifism and free-love in a society riddled with intolerance and brutality during the Vietnam War. As they explore sexual identity, challenge racism, experiment with drugs and burn draft cards, the show resonates with an irresistible message of hope more than 40 years after it first opened on Broadway. Traces - January 11 - February 20, 2011 7 Fingers is an acclaimed French Canadian company of performers who have pioneered a whole new brand of circus. Their show, "Traces, became the runaway hit of the 2007 Edinburgh Festival, and now it is coming to Los Angeles for the very first time. Combining circus training with urban energy, seven performers dazzle audiences with their gravity-defying displays of skill. Members of the troupe balance casually on each other's heads, tumble through hoops, and leap spectacularly up giant poles without using their hands. Rock of Ages - February 15 - 27, 2011 Just over five years from the time the show was born in a bar less than half a mile away on Hollywood Boulevard, "Rock of Ages" will open at Pantages Theatre. This 1/2 mile journey five years in the making is a lifetime of difference for the show, which has since become one of the biggest cult phenomena of Broadway's new century. Written by Chris D'Arienzo, directed by Kristin Hanggi and choreographed by Kelly Devine, "Rock of Ages" transports audiences back to the Sunset Strip, circa 1987, where a small town girl meets a big city rocker in L.A.'s most famous rock club. There, they fall in love to the greatest songs of the 80s in an awesomely outrageous story about dreaming big, playing loud, and partying on! TBD - March 9 - 20, 2011 Burn the Floor - April 26 - May 8, 2011 Years before "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance" turned ballroom dancing into must-see TV, one sizzling show was setting stages ablaze around the globe. "Burn the Floor, the electrifying Latin and Ballroom dance spectacular that has thrilled audiences in over 30 countries, brings the fire and passion of live ballroom performance to the Broadway stage. Shrek the Musical - July 12 - August 7, 2011 "Shrek the Musical," based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks film that started it all, brings the story of everyone's favorite ogre to life on stage. In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre - not a handsome prince - shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Throw in a donkey who won't shut up, a bad guy with a short temper, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you've got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there's one on hand... and his name is Shrek. The Phantom of the Opera - September 23 - October 17, 2010 As previously announced by producers Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Theatre Company, Inc., the national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera" will play its final performance right here in Los Angeles at the Pantages Theatre. The musical has been represented on the road since the performances in Los Angeles in May 1989. Since that time, there have been three U.S. national touring productions. The first national tour played Los Angeles and San Francisco for a combined total run of almost 10 years, grossing $305,192,485 with 3,902 performances and 6.6 million patrons. The second national tour played major markets during an eight and a half year run, grossed $393,608,819 with 3,364 performances and 7.5 million patrons. The Third National Tour is the only production still currently touring the U.S. and has played over 7,000 performances and recently celebrated its 17th anniversary in December 2009. Spring Awakening - February 1 - 6, 2011 Hailed as the "Best Musical of the Year" by the NY Drama Critics Circle, the Drama Desk, the Outer Critics Circle and the Tony Awards, "Spring Awakening" has emerged as one of the most talked about new musicals of Broadway's last decade. The show swept the 2007 Tony Awards, winning eight out of its eleven nominations, including Best Musical, Best Director (Michael Mayer), Best Book (Steven Sater), Best Choreography (Bill T. Jones), Best Orchestrations (Duncan Sheik), Best Lighting Design (Kevin Adams), Best Featured Actor (John Gallagher Jr.). Rain - A Tribute To The Beatles - April 12 - 17, 2011 A year ago, the award-winning concert event "Rain - A Tribute To The Beatles" had its Pantages Theatre debut, and word of mouth spread so fast that nearly every ticket was snapped up within days. Next year, the show will return for eight performances only, giving local audiences another chance to experience what it was like when four British lads took the U.S. by storm and changed the sound of popular music forever. From The Ed Sullivan Show to Abbey Road, "Rain" covers the Fab Four from the earliest beginnings through the psychedelic late 60s and their long-haired hippie, hard-rocking rooftop days. All the music and vocals are performed live, and audiences sing along to such Beatlemaniac favorites as "Let It Be," "Hey Jude," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Come Together," "Can't Buy Me Love," and so many more. The four band members look and sound just like The Beatles, so much so, that audiences lose themselves in the experiencing, giving themselves over to a kind of heightened reality that involves not only music, but a multi-media, multi-dimensional experience that includes historical video footage and hilarious television commercials from the 1960s, as well as live close-ups that transport audience members into an even more intimate encounter.

********** Published: February 26, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 45