Musical favorites return to Pantages Theater

HOLLYWOOD - The Pantages Theatre has revealed its lineup for the 2013-14 season, a seven-show package that returns many popular shows by popular demand."The Book of Mormon", which played a record-breaking 12-week run in the fall of 2012, returns for a limited engagement beginning Jan. 21, 2014. Disney's "The Lion King" also returns to Hollywood after a seven-year absence. Rounding out the season will be five Los Angeles premieres, including recent Broadway and West End hits: the 2012 Tony-winner for Best Musical "Once"; the supernatural love story "Ghost the Musical"; the hit Broadway revival of "Evita"; Andrew Lloyd Webber's new production of "The Wizard of Oz"; and a theatrical celebration of the composer himself, "The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber." Season ticket holders may add two Pantages premieres to their package: "War Horse" and Green Day's "American Idiot." Season ticket packages go on sale March 4. Current season ticket holders can renew their tickets right away. Seven-show packages start at $220. "The Wizard of Oz", Sept. 17 - Oct. 6, 2013: Andrew Lloyd Webber's new production of "The Wizard of Oz" is an enchanting adaptation of the classic story, totally reconceived for the stage. The New York Post states that with "The Wizard of Oz," Andrew Lloyd Webber finds new magic over the rainbow. A gorgeous sense of spectacle." The Sunday Telegraph calls the show, "Brilliant...A ten-star production if ever there was one." Developed from the ever popular MGM screenplay, this new production contained all the beloved songs from the Oscar-winning movie score, all the favorite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Webber. "Evita," Oct. 23 - Nov. 10, 2013: Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Tony Award-winning musical "Evita" returns to the Pantages Theatre for a limited engagement direct from the critically lauded revival this past Broadway season. Eva Peron used her beauty and charisma to rise meteorically from the slums of Argentina to the presidential mansion as First Lady. Adored by her people as a champion for the poor, she became one of the most powerful women in the world - while her greed, outsized ambition and fragile health made her one of the most tragic. "Evita" tells Eva's passionate and unforgettable true story, and features some of theater's most beautiful songs, including "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" and "High Flying, Adored." "The Lion King," Nov. 20, 2013 - Jan. 12, 2014: By popular demand, "The Lion King," the highest-grossing show in Broadway history, will return to Hollywood for an eight-week holiday engagement. This marks the production's first return to the Pantages in seven years since its eight-week sold-out engagement in 2006 and second return overall since its highly successful L.A. premiere in 2000 for which the Pantages Theatre underwent a $10 million renovation to accommodate the Tony-winning blockbuster. "The Lion King" won six 1998 Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Choreography and Best Direction of a Musical. It has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design. "The Book of Mormon," Jan. 21 - Feb. 9, 2014: Pantages season ticket holders will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets to "The Book of Mormon," winner of nine Tony Awards including Best Musical. Ben Brantley of the New York Times calls it "the best musical of this century." Entertainment Weekly says it's "the funniest musical of all time." Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show" called "The Book of Mormon, "a crowning achievement. So good it makes me angry." The production contains explicit language. "The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber," June 3-22, 2014: Since bursting onto the Broadway scene 30 years ago, Tony, Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has brought tot he stage a host of musical blockbusters that have taken the theatre world by storm. The biggest hits from these inspirational works have been fashioned into a theatrical evening of music that is unforgettable just for Los Angeles theater-goers. "Ghost the Musical," June 27 - July 13, 2014: The 2012 Tony-nominated and Drama Desk Award winner, "Ghost the Musical," will make its L.A. premiere at the Pantages for a three-week engagement. Relive the iconic and magical moments from the Oscar-winning movie "Ghost" in a brand-new Broadway musical that breathes new life into a timeless love story. The musical features an original pop score from multiple Grammy Award-winners Dave Stewart, one half of the 80s pop duo the Eurhythmics, and Glen Ballard, co-writer with Alanis Morissette on the multi-platinum album "Jagged Little Pill," among many other notable credits and collaborations. Adapted from the hit film, "Ghost the Musical" follows Sam and Molly, a young couple whose connection takes a shocking turn after Sam's untimely death. Trapped between two worlds, Sam refuses to leave Molly when he learns she is in grave danger. Desperate to communicate with her, he turns to a storefront psychic who helps him protect Molly and avenge his death. "Once," July 15 - Aug. 10, 2014: Winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards including Best Musical and winner of the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, "Once" will makes its L.A. premier at the Pantages Theatre. "Once" is a truly original Broadway experience. Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, "Once" tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who's about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights, but their unlikely connections turns out to be deeper and more complex than your everyday romance. "Once" is a story about going for your dreams, not living in fear and the power of music to connect all of us. The NY Daily News calls "Once", "the most romantic show on Broadway. It speaks volumes about the power of music and connection." Optional season events "War Horse," Oct. 8-13, 2013: A heartwarming tale of loyalty and friendship, "War Horse" tells the story of young Albert and his beloved horse Joey. When Joey is sold to the cavalry and shipped from England to France, he is soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary journey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man's land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home. Based on the beloved novel by Michael Morpurgo, this powerfully moving and imaginative drama, filled with stirring music and songs, is a show of phenomenal inventiveness that is currently playing to packed houses in London and around the world. At its heart are life-sized puppets created by South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company that bring to life breathing, galloping, charging horses strong enough for men to ride. "American's Idiot," May 13-18, 2014: A 2010 Tony Award-nominated Best Musical and 2010 Grammy Award winner for Best Musical Show Album, "American Idiot" features the music of Green Day with the lyrics of its lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong. The production was called "wonderfully raucous" and emotionally charged" by the New York Times and "flat-out electrifying" by the Boston Globe. The musical features the hits "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," "21 Guns," "Wake Me Up When September Ends," "Holiday" and the blockbuster title track "American Idiot" from Green Day's 2004 multi-platinum album. Also included in the score are several songs from Green Day's 2009 release "21st Century Breakdown" and an unreleased love song, "When It's Time."

********** Published: February 28, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 46