'Wicked' headlines Pantages 2011-12 schedule

HOLLYWOOD - Broadway L.A. has announced the lineup for its 2011-12 season at the Pantages Theatre, a seven-show package that includes six Los Angeles premieres of recent Broadway productions - "Come Fly Away," "Billy Elliot the Musical," "The Addams Family," "Million Dollar Quartet," "La Cage Aux Folles" and "Memphis."The season also includes the return of the most successful show in Pantages Theatre's history, "Wicked."Season ticket packages are now on sale at broadwayla.org. Orchestra level seating packages start at $236 for all seven shows."Come Fly Away" - Oct. 19-30, 2011 - From the visionary creator of the Tony Award-winning "Movin' Out" comes the Los Angeles premiere of the new Broadway musical, "Come Fly Away," conceived, choreographed and directed by Tony Award-winner Twyla Tharp and featuring vocals by Frank Sinatra.The musical follows four couples as they fall in and out of love during one song and dance filled evening at a crowded nightclub. Blending the legendary vocals of Frank Sinatra with a live on-stage big band and 15 of the world's finest dancers, "Come Fly Away" weaves an unparalleled hit parade of classics, including "Fly Me to the Moon," "My Way" and "That's Life" into a musical fantasy of romance and seduction. "Wicked" - Nov. 30, 2011 - Jan. 22, 2012 - When it first played the Pantages, it broke box office records and sold out in record time. Now back by popular demand, "Wicked" returns to its Los Angeles home for a limited engagement.With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman, "Wicked," the untold story of the witches of Oz, is directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello.Based on the best-selling 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, "Wicked," winner of 35 major awards, including a Grammy and three Tony Awards, is the untold story of the witches of Oz. Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the Land of Oz. One - born with emerald-green skin - is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. "Wicked" tells the story of their odyssey, and how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good."I'm very pleased that we have secured a return of 'Wicked' for Los Angeles. It has been a thrill to have so much excitement at the Pantages Theatres again," said Martin Wiviott, general manager of the Pantages. "In my opinion, the national tour is even better than the Broadway production, which I also loved. The producers of 'Wicked' should be complimented for sending out such a high-quality show.""Billy Elliot the Musical" - April 12 - June 2, 2012 - Based on the international smash hit film and featuring music by Elton John, "Billy Elliot the Musical" will make its long-awaited Southern California premiere engagement in 2012."Billy Elliot the Musical" is the joyous celebration of one boy's journey to make his dreams come true. Set in a small town, the story follows Billy as he stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class, discovering a surprising passion that inspires his family and his whole community.Including its Tonys, the production has been awarded 73 national and international awards."The Addams Family" - June 5-17, 2012 - The national tour of the new musical, "The Addams Family," based on the bizarre and beloved family of characters created by legendary cartoonist Charles Addams, will make its Los Angeles premiere at the Pantages Theatre.The musical, entering its second year on Broadway, began performances in March 2010 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre and immediately became one of Broadway's biggest hits, regularly grossing over $1 million a week."The Addams Family" features an original story. It's every parent's nightmare: that innocent little girl has suddenly become a young woman, and what's worse, she's fallen deliriously in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family. Yes, Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has a "normal" boyfriend, and for parents Gomez and Morticia, it's a shocking development that turns the Addams house upside down when they are forced to host a dinner for the young man and his parents."Million Dollar Quartet" - June 19 - July 1, 2012 - On Dec. 4, 1956, an auspicious twist of fate brought Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley together. The place was Sun Records' storefront studio in Memphis. The man who made it happen was Sam Phillips, the "Father of Rock 'n' Roll," who discovered them all. The four young musicians united for the only time in their careers for an impromptu recording that has come to be known as one of the greatest rock 'n' roll jam sessions of all time."Million Dollar Quartet" brings that legendary night to life with a tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal and celebrations featuring an eclectic score of rock, gospel, R&B and country hits, including "Blue Suede Shoes," "Fever," "Sixteen Tons," "Who Do You Love?", "Great Balls of Fire," "Matchbox," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," Hound Dog" and more."La Cage aux Folles" - July 10-22, 2012 - "La Cage aux Folles" recently made Tony Awards history as the first show to ever win the Tony Award three times for best production. The classic musical comedy by Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein originally won six Tony Awards in 1984, including Best Musical. A Broadway revival won two 2005 Tony Awards including the Best Revival of a Musical prize. The new, freshly reconceived "La Cage" won three 2010 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Director of a Musical."Memphis" - July 31 - Aug. 12, 2012 - An original Broadway musical, "Memphis" takes place in the smoky halls and underground clubs of the segregated 50s.A young white DJ named Huey Calhoun falls in love with everything he shouldn't: rock 'n roll and an electrifying black singer. "Memphis" weaves a story about a cultural revolution that erupted when his vision met her voice, and music changed forever.The show features a band new score with music by Bon Jovi's founding member and keyboardist David Bryan. "Memphis" is based on a concept by the late George W. George."Riverdance" - Nov. 15-20, 2011 (optional season event) - The thunderous celebration of music, song and dance that has tapped its way on the world stage thrilling millions of people around the globe, will return to its Los Angeles home, where the show originally took Southern California by storm when it premiered in 1996, completely selling out its engagement by opening night."Riverdance" has played more than 10,000 performances and has been seen live by more than 22 million people."Mamma Mia!" - March 27 - April 8, 2012 (optional season event) - The smash-hit musical based on the songs of ABBA will return to the Pantages for a two-week engagement.An independent, single mother who owns a small hotel on an idyllic Greek Island, Donna is about to let go of Sophie, the spirited daughter she's raised alone. For Sophie's wedding, Donna has invited her two lifelong best girlfriends - practical and no-nonsense Rosie, and wealthy, multi-divorcee Tanya - from her one-time backing band, Donna and the Dynamos. But Sophie has secretly invited three guests of her own.On a quest to find the identity of her father to walk her down the aisle, she brings back three men from Donna's past to the Mediterranean paradise they visited 20 years earlier. Over 24 chaotic, magical hours, new love will bloom and old romances will be rekindled on this lush island full of possibilities. For information on tickets to any of the shows, go to broadwayla.org or call (866) 755-2929.**********Published: March 3, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 46