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Acting Co. and Guthrie premiere touring production of The Comedy of Errors

THE ACTING COMPANY & GUTHRIE THEATER

PREMIERE TOURING PRODUCTION OF SHAKESPEARE’S
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS

AT THE GUTHRIE THEATER

 

April 4 – 17 run at New York’ Pace University to cap 28-city national tour

 

Photos available online at  http://www.guthrietheater.org/media_room/image_library

 

 

(Minneapolis/St. Paul) The Acting Company (TAC), in association with the Guthrie Theater, continues its 28-city national tour, stopping at the Guthrie Theater this month for the premiere of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors. The production, directed by TAC Associate Artistic Director Ian Belknap, opened January 12 on the McGuire Proscenium Stage and will play in repertory with Romeo and Juliet through January 30.

 

The 2010-11 tour season launched on October 22, 2010 with a limited run of Romeo and Juliet at New York’s Pace University, where the company concludes its 28-city tour with an April 4 – 17 New York run of The Comedy of Errors.

 

Both productions again showcase the talents of young performers from the ranks of both organizations, including graduates of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program, as well as alumni of The Acting Company. The 2010-11 tour company includes Kaliswa Brewster (Amelia/Juliet), Ray Chapman (Egeon/Friar Laurence), Elizabeth Grullon (Courtesan/Peter), Whitney Hudson (Adriana/Lady Capulet), Jonathan C. Kaplan (Antipholus of Syracuse/Lord Capulet), Jason McDowell-Green (Antipholus of Ephesus/Lord Montague), Stephen Pilkington (Dromio of Ephesus/Abraham), Alejandro Rodriguez (Jailer/Officer/Balthazar/Romeo), Benjamin Rosenbaum (Second Merchant/Tybalt), John Skelley (Dromio of Syracuse/Benvolio), Jamie Smithson (Duke/Pinch/Nell/Luce/Paris), Sid Solomon (First Merchant/Angelo/Mercutio/Prince) and Elizabeth Stahlmann (Luciana/Nurse).

 

The Comedy of Errors, one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays, is also his shortest and one of his most farcical — a major part of the humor derived from slapstick, puns and wordplay. The story of two sets of identical twins accidentally separated at birth involves a series of wild mishaps based on mistaken identities leading to wrongful attacks, a near-seduction, an arrest and accusations of infidelity, theft, madness and demonic possession. Shakespeare sets all this action in one day and features a theme that recurs throughout his work: blending tragic situations with comedic resolutions and introducing slapstick to wide appeal. TAC Associate Artistic Director Ian Belknap will direct the production, whose creative team also includes Neil Patel (Set Design), Michael Chybowski (Lighting Design), Candice Donnelly (Costume Design), Felix Ivanoff (Choreography) and Andrew Wade (Voice and Speech Consultant).

 

Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s iconic romantic tragedy, returns for a second consecutive tour season and will again be directed by Penny Metropulos, formerly of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. As innocent young star-crossed lovers fall victim to family hatred and cruel destiny, swords clash, everlasting love is promised and a treacherous sleeping potion is swallowed in the greatest love story of all time. Evoking the lyricism of Shakespeare’s sonnets, Romeo and Juliet exquisitely embodies the brief joy of teenage passion and ecstasy, while their families’ mutual disdain and prejudice lead to revenge and an irreversible fate. The creative team for Romeo and Juliet includes Neil Patel (Set Design), Michael Chybowski (Lighting Design), Mathew J. LeFebvre (Costume Design), Victor Zupanc (Music Composition), Scott W. Edwards (Sound Design), Felix Ivanoff (Fight Direction), Marcela Lorca (Choreography), Elizabeth Smith (Voice and Speech Consultant) and Dakin Matthews (Dramaturg).

 

The company is also joined on tour by Jesse Jou (Staff Repertory Director), Karen Parlato (Stage Manager) and Meaghan Rosenberger (Assistant Stage Manager).

 

For a complete tour itinerary, visit www.theactingcompany.org.

 

The GUTHRIE THEATER (Joe Dowling, Director) was founded by Sir Tyrone Guthrie in 1963 and is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. The Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. With annual attendance of nearly 500,000 people, the Guthrie Theater presents a mix of classic plays and contemporary work on its three stages. Under the artistic leadership of Joe Dowling since 1995, the Guthrie continues to set a national standard for excellence in theatrical production and performance. In 2006, the Guthrie opened its new home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Guthrie Theater houses three state-of-the-art stages, production facilities, classrooms and dramatic public lobbies. www.guthrietheater.org

 

THE ACTING COMPANY was founded in 1972 by Margot Harley and legendary producer and actor John Houseman with Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone and others in the first graduating class of Juilliard’s Drama Division. Since then it has performed 131 plays to audiences in 48 states and 10 foreign countries. In addition to Kline and LuPone, its alumni include Frances Conroy, Jeffrey Wright, Harriet Harris, Jesse L. Martin, David Ogden Stiers, Richard Ooms, Richard Iglewski, Keith David and Rainn Wilson. The Acting Company was honored in 2003 with a Tony Award for Excellence in Theater.

 

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Critics love The Importance of Being Earnest! Read the reviews.

ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY

 

CRITICS ARE RAVING ABOUT

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST

Read all the reviews!

 

Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, starring and directed by Brian Bedford.   The Importance of Being Earnest is playing at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway (227 West 42nd St) in a limited engagement through March 6, 2011.

NEW YORK TIMES by Ben Brantley

The Importance of Being Astonished

“Mr. Bedford is perhaps the finest English-language interpreter of classical comedy of his generation, and he seems to pick up a Tony nomination every time he steps on a Broadway stage.” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/theater/09bedford.html?_r=1&ref=theater

NEW YORK TIMES by Charles Isherwood

A Stylish Monster Conquers at a Glance

“Within seconds of sweeping onstage, and with a wordless gesture as funny as it is subtle, the great actor Brian Bedford proves beyond question that gender is of no importance whatsoever in portraying the imposing Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s greatest comedy, “The Importance of Being Earnest.” …. It’s one of the great performances of the season; to miss it would most definitely look like carelessness.”

Full review: http://theater.nytimes.com/2011/01/14/theater/reviews/14importance.html

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS by Mark Kennedy

Brian Bedford proves Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ is never a drag

“The sure sign of a good actress is that you forget, over the course of two hours, that the woman you are seeing is, in fact, a man. Such is the case with Brian Bedford, who has adopted Lady Bracknell’s haughty sensibility and her stern Victorian gowns in a terrific new Roundabout Theatre Company production of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” that opened Thursday.”

Full review: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=12612595&page=2

NEW YORK MAGAZINE by Scott Brown

An Absolutely Perfect (and Important) Earnest

“Each jewel of wit is polished apple-bright, and every performer is playing in the same key. Forget literary interpretation, forget clenched internal acting: There’s great damned musicianship here, and the joy of sheer comic virtuosity. For this we must thank, again, Brian Bedford, who pulls off actor-director double duty with uncommon grace. Having assembled a uniformly brilliant cast (including the great Dana Ivey as dotty governess Miss Prism, and the terrific, incipiently potbellied Fontana, who seems perpetually, girlishly overjoyed to be six months pregnant with himself), he’s free to make his Lady Bracknell the prime showpiece, not the show-saver she can become if lesser stars fill out her constellation. When Bedford’s Bracknell enters — a one-woman armada of pomp with a face like a guillotine — the world stops briefly, but the show does not. (When it comes to imbuing a single word with devastating hilarity, the actor has no equal.) To know something like scripture, as we do Earnest, and to have it feel fresh off the press; to anticipate every jape, and yet react with delightful surprise? To paraphrase Gwendolen: The suspense is terrible, not to mention funny as hell, and it lasts.” Full review: http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/01/stage_dive_an_absolutely_perfe.html

 

WALL STREET JOURNAL by Terry Teachout

“The Roundabout Theatre Company has brought to Broadway Brian Bedford’s brilliantly zany Stratford Shakespeare Festival staging of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest,” in which the veteran classical comedian dons wig and gown to play Lady Bracknell.  Desmond Heeley’s fantastic set, which looks like a giant marzipan sculpture by Georges Seurat, has moved to New York along with Mr. Bedford, and the new cast includes Dana Ivey and Paxton Whitehead, two of the American theater’s most trustworthy wits.”  Full review: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704803604576077791348875596.html?mod=WSJ_LifeStyle_LifestyleArtEnt

 

NY1 by Roma Torre

“Brian Bedford, leading an outstanding production of “The Importance of Being Earnest”, is truly as super as it gets on Broadway.  As written, Bracknell is already over the top among the great characters in drama. Bedford’s unique gift is to supply the skin, bones and teeth to make her bitingly real. Add to that impeccable comic timing…and a legendary performance is born. Brian Bedford is easily among our finest interpreters of comedy classics. So abundant is his talent in fact, he seems to inspire that level of excellence in all who share the stage with him.”

 

NEW YORK POST by Elisabeth Vincentelli

The lady mans up in a wickedly Wilde revival

“In this Roundabout revival, Lady Bracknell is played by Brian Bedford. She couldn’t be in better hands.

The 75-year-old star — who also directs — is consistently funny without resorting to camp or caricature. He’s a master of the precise pause and the arched eyebrow, evoking laughter simply by dropping his voice an octave on a word. Floating onstage like a galleon in full sail (excellent costumes by Desmond Heeley), he basically plays the Gorgon straight.” Full review: http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/theater/the_lady_mans_up_in_wickedly_wilde_8iPQ8PQ0wsUPq6qrMAFiqL

 

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER by David Rooney

“Oscar Wilde’s wittiest comedy sparkles in this Broadway production, and when its director is onstage, it delivers pure bliss.  Bedford unleashes a limitless arsenal of variations on dry disapproval and can do wonders with a pause or vocal fluctuation of a half-octave or so. Mulling whether Jack is worth adding to her list of eligible bachelors, Lady Bracknell’s grilling of him is comedy at its most sublime. But then, Bedford’s every line in this entertaining revival is a jewel.” Full review: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/importance-earnest-theater-review-71658

VARIETY by Marilyn Stasio

“It’s Brian Bedford’s party, so let’s give the old dear the rousing chorus of “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” that he’s earned as director and showpiece of the Roundabout’s revival of Oscar Wilde’s scathingly witty 1895 comedy of manners, “The Importance of Being Earnest.” All foot traffic stops, as it should, whenever Bedford is commanding center stage with the imperial presentation of Lady Bracknell he originated in 2009 at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. But the thesp’s lifetime commitment to the classics (27 seasons at Stratford alone) also accounts for the technically assured craftsmanship underpinning this lavishly mounted crowdpleaser.” Full review: http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117944292?refcatid=33

 

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY by Melissa Rose Bernardo

“Bedford directed (and starred in) The Importance of Being Earnest in 2009; now he’s brought his vision, his deliciously deadpan Lady Bracknell, his set/costume designer, and his ingenue (Sara Topham) to Broadway. The result, thankfully, is a perfectly pitched, fantastically funny rendition of Oscar Wilde’s self-subtitled ”Trivial Comedy for Serious People.” A-

AM NEW YORK by Matt Windman

“Bedford, while dressed to the nines in Victorian attire, treats the character with the utmost sincerity and gentleness. This results in a brilliant performance that is just as hilarious as it is utterly convincing. Those who forget to read the Playbill might not even realize that the role is being played by a man, which is perhaps the greatest compliment that Bedford can receive.”  Full review: http://www.amny.com/urbanite-1.812039/theater-review-the-importance-of-being-earnest-4-stars-1.2607694

2010

09

29

08

59

 

WOR RADIO by David Richardson

“The show stars a terrific Brian Bedford who, while also directing the show, plays Lady Bracknell to an uppercrust tee. The costumes are to die for and the three sets designed by Britain’s  famous Desmond Heeley are marvelous.  Everyone who goes will enjoy Mr. Bedford and his stodgy portrayal of a Victorian lady beyond reproach. He’s the reason you will want to see this well directed and superbly acted farce.”

 

www.roundabouttheatre.org

Follow ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY on Twitter: @RTC_NYC and on Facebook.

Follow BBB on Twitter: @BBBway and on Facebook.

 

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Cast announced for Penumbra’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at Guthrie Theater

CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR PENUMBRA THEATRE’S PRODUCTION OF

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM

BY AUGUST WILSON
DIRECTED BY LOU BELLAMY

 

Limited engagement begins February 10, 2011 at the Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis

 

Production Photos available online at:

http://www.guthrietheater.org/media_room/image_library/ma_raineys

(Minneapolis/St. Paul) The Guthrie Theater welcomes Penumbra Theatre Company’s acclaimed production of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson’s gripping drama Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, directed by Penumbra artistic director Lou Bellamy. Part of Wilson’s ten-play Pittsburgh Cycle chronicling the twentieth century African American experience, the production features Grammy Award-winning artist Jevetta Steel in the title role as Gertrude “Ma” Rainey. A co-production with Arizona Theatre Company, Ma Rainey’s recent Phoenix run was heralded by Wall Street Journal drama critic Terry Teachout as “earthily direct, wholly to the point and impeccably cast, with Jevetta Steele hitting the center of the bull’s-eye.”

 

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom marks the third Penumbra Theatre production presented at the Guthrie in as many seasons, following the critically acclaimed productions of Gem of the Ocean in 2008 and A Raisin in the Sun in 2009.

 

The cast of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom also includes James T. Alfred (Levee), Lerea Carter (Dussie Mae), James Craven (Cutler), Penumbra founding member Abdul Salaam El Razzac (Toledo), William John Hall, Jr. (Slow Drag), Phil Kilbourne (Irvin), Brendan Guy Murphy (Policeman), Michael Tezla (Sturdyvant) and Ahanti Young (Sylvester).

 

Set in 1920s Chicago, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom deals with the issues of race, art, religion and the historic exploitation of black recording artists by white producers, as fiery blues legend Gertrude “Ma” Rainey is getting ready to lay down a hit record with her virtuoso band. As she strides into the cramped, South Side Chicago recording studio, she squares off against a battling quartet of musicians, a tight-fisted producer and her manager who’s just trying to keep the recording session on track, giving the audience a look at a time when even the most legendary singer of her day had to fight for every scrap of respect she could get.

 

Steele has appeared on Broadway in The Gospel at Colonus and in the national/international tours of The Gospel at Colonus, Buddy-The Buddy Holly Story, Bagdad Café-The Musical, The Sounds of Blackness and The Night Before Christmas. Locally, she has performed with Penumbra Theatre Company, Guthrie Theater (most recently in the 2004 production of Crowns), Mixed Blood Theatre, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Hey City Theater and Park Square Theatre. Her film credits include Corrina, Corrina; Hoop Dreams; Born to be Wild; Graffiti Bridge and Bagdad Café (for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Song for “Calling You”). She has four gold records to her credit and can be heard on her solo CDs, Here It Is and My Heart, as well as the original cast recording of Two Queens, One Castle.

 

The artistic team also includes Vicki M. Smith (Scenic Designer), Mathew J. LeFebvre (Costume Designer), Don Darnutzer (Lighting Designer), Brian Jerome Peterson (Sound Designer), Sanford Moore (Music Director), Brent Gibbs (Fight Director), Bruno Ingram (Stage Manager) and Jason Clusman (Stage Manager).

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom previews February 10, opens February 11 and continues through March 6, 2011, on the McGuire Proscenium Stage. Single tickets start at $24 and are now on sale through the Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224, toll-free 877.44.STAGE, 612.225.6244 (Group Sales) and online at www.guthrietheater.org.

 

PENUMBRA THEATRE was founded in 1976 by Lou Bellamy to make socially responsible art – art that demanded a response, art with intent, art that could create change. At a time when roles for black artists were limited to stereotypes and comical representations, Penumbra produced theater that roared with authenticity through the unrestrained and rich voice of black artists and playwrights.  This respect for cultural authenticity became Penumbra’s signature style – and demand for it has reached new heights from theaters around the country fostering collaborations, new productions, tours and awards. The 2010-2011season features Penumbra’s co-production with Arizona Theatre Company of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, staged in Tucson and Phoenix, and in Minneapolis, MN at the Guthrie. Penumbra is also proud to stage the world premiere of I Wish You Love this April and take it to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts this June. For the latest news and updates, visit www.penumbratheatre.org.

The GUTHRIE THEATER (Joe Dowling, Director) was founded by Sir Tyrone Guthrie in 1963 and is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. The Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. With annual attendance of nearly 500,000 people, the Guthrie Theater presents a mix of classic plays and contemporary work on its three stages. Under the artistic leadership of Joe Dowling since 1995, the Guthrie continues to set a national standard for excellence in theatrical production and performance. In 2006, the Guthrie opened its new home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Guthrie Theater houses three state-of-the-art stages, production facilities, classrooms and dramatic public lobbies. www.guthrietheater.org

 

 

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La Cage star Kelsey Grammer guests on “Late Show with David Letterman” tonight

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES STAR

KELSEY GRAMMER

GUESTS ON

“THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN” TONIGHT

Five-time Emmy Award winner and 2010 Tony Award nominee Kelsey Grammer, currently starring on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning revival of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, will be a guest tonight on “The Late Show with David Letterman”.  In the New York area, “The Late Show” airs on WCBS-TV Channel 2 at 11:35 PM.  Check local listings.

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES features music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and book by Harvey Fierstein, based on the play by Jean Poiret.  This production is choreographed by Lynne Page and directed by Terry Johnson, who won a 2010 Tony Award for his direction.

 

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES made Tony Awards history kast year as the first show to ever win the Tony Award three times for best production. The classic musical comedy 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. LA CAGE won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, as well as Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Musical (Douglas Hodge) and Best Director of a Musical (Terry Johnson).

LA CAGE is also the winner of three Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Douglas Hodge) and Outstanding Costume Design (Matthew Wright), four Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Douglas Hodge), Outstanding Director of a Musical (Terry Johnson) and Outstanding Costume Design (Matthew Wright) and the Drama League Award for Distinguished Revival of a Musical.

 

The production has also been cited on more Best of 2010 lists than any other Broadway musical, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Daily News, Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Time Out New York and NY1.

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES currently stars Kelsey Grammer as Georges; Douglas Hodge as Albin; Fred Applegate as M. Dindon/M. Renaud; Alyce Beasley as Mme. Dindon/Mme. Renaud; Chris Hoch as Francis; Elena Shaddow as Anne; A.J. Shively as Jean-Michel; Christine Andreas as Jacqueline; Robin De Jesús as Jacob; Heather Lindell as Colette; Michael Lowney as Etienne and Bruce Winant as Tabarro.

 

Grammer, Hodge and De Jesús will play their final performances on Sunday, February 13.  On February 15, LA CAGE will star four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein as Albin, six-time Emmy Award nominee Jeffrey Tambor as Georges and Tony Award winner Wilson Jermaine Heredia as Jacob.
Also starring as the notorious and dangerous Cagelles are Matt Anctil as Angelique, Nicholas Cunningham as Hanna, Sean Patrick Doyle as Chantal, Yurel Echezarreta as Phaedra, Logan Keslar as Bitelle and Terry Lavell as Mercedes.   The production also features Christophe Caballero, Todd Lattimore, Dale Hensley, Caitlin Mundth and Cheryl Stern.

 

Georges (Kelsey Grammer) is the suave owner of a glitzy drag club on the French Riviera. Partnered romantically with his high-strung star performer, Albin (Douglas Hodge), the pair live a charmed life—until Georges’ son announces his engagement to the daughter of a conservative right-wing politician who’s coming to dinner.

 

Douglas Hodge and Nicholas Cunningham are appearing with the permission of Actors’ Equity Association. The producers gratefully acknowledge Actors’ Equity Association for its assistance to this production.

 

PS Classics, the label dedicated to the heritage of Broadway and American popular song, released the New Broadway Cast Recording for LA CAGE AUX FOLLES on September 28. The recording is produced by PS Classics co-founder Tommy KraskerPS Classics co-founder Philip Chaffin serves as Executive Producer.

 

The original production of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES was one of Broadway’s biggest hits of the 1980s.  It opened August 21, 1983 at the Palace Theatre, where it played for over four years and 1,761 performances.  The show won six Tony Awards in 1984, including Best Musical, Best Score (Jerry Herman) and Best Book (Harvey Fierstein).

 

The new production of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES played from November 23, 2007 to March 8, 2008 at the Menier Chocolate Factory, earning across the board raves and moving to the West End’s Playhouse Theatre on October 30, 2008, where it was nominated for seven 2009 Olivier Awards, winning for Best Musical Revival and Best Actor in a Musical for Douglas Hodge and won the 2009 Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Best Musical.   The Broadway production opened at the Longacre Theatre on April 18, 2010.

 

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES features set design by Tim Shortall, costume design by Matthew Wright, lighting design by Nick Richings, sound design by Jonathan Deans and wig and makeup design by Richard Mawbey. Musical supervision, orchestrations and dance arrangements are by Jason Carr. Musical director is Todd Ellison.

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, David Babani, Fran and Barry Weissler and Edwin W. Schloss, Bartner/Tulchin, Broadway Across America, Matthew Mitchell, Raise the Roof 4 Richard Winkler/Bensinger Taylor/Laudenslager Bergère, Arlene Scanlan/John O’Boyle, Independent Presenters Network, Olympus Theatricals, Allen Spivak, Jerry Frankel/Bat-Barry Productions, Nederlander Presentations, Inc/Harvey Weinstein.

 

Tickets ($132.50 – $39.50; Premium $251.50; Table Seating $251.50) are on sale through Telecharge.com at 212-239-6200, online at www.telecharge.com/lacage and at the Longacre Theatre box office (220 West 48th Street).  Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8:00 PM, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2:30 PM, Sunday at 3:00 PM.

 

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www.LaCage.com

 

 

Broadway’s Wonderland in the news

WONDERLAND

A New Alice.  A New Musical.

IS IN THE NEWS

STUDIO 10 INTERVIEW WITH KAREN MASON

FOX 13 INTERVIEW WITH DARREN RITCHIE

TAMPA TRIBUNE FEATURE ON DARREN RITCHIE

NOW PLAYING AT THE DAVID A. STRAZ JR. CENTER

FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

THROUGH JANUARY 16

OPENS ON BROADWAY

AT THE MARQUIS THEATRE

APRIL 17, 2011

PREVIEWS BEGIN MARCH 21

Broadway’s WONDERLAND – A New Alice.  A New Musical is in the news.

Karen Mason, who stars as the Queen of Hearts and Judy Lisi, the President and CEO of the Straz Center in Tampa, sat down with the hosts of Tampa’s “Studio 10” to talk about WONDERLAND:

CLICK HERE TO WATCH STUDIO 10

http://www.studio10.tv/day/wednesday/segment.aspx/166472/Wonderland_reopens_at_the_Straz

 

Tampa’s Fox 13 TV News has this interview with Darren Ritchie, who plays the White Knight:

CLICK HERE TO WATCH FOX 13 INTERVIEW WITH DARREN RITCHIE

http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/entertainment/music/a-trip-to-wonderland-01122011

The Tampa Tribune’s Walt Belcher sat down with Darren Ritchie to talk about preparing WONDERLAND for Broadway:

CLICK HERE TO READ TAMPA TRIBUNE FEATURE ON DARREN RITCHIE

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2011/jan/13/131213/wonderland-actor-praises-sarasota-roots/news-metro/

WONDERLAND is now playing at The David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts (Judy Lisi, President and CEO) in Tampa, Florida through January 16, 2011 and will open on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre (1535 Broadway between 45th & 46th Streets) April 17; previews begin March 21.

 

WONDERLAND stars Janet Dacal (In The Heights) as Alice, Darren Ritchie (Little Shop of Horrors, Thoroughly Modern Millie) as White Knight, E. Clayton Cornelious (The Scottsboro Boys, A Chorus Line) as Caterpillar, Jose Llana (Spelling Bee, Flower Drum Song) as El Gato, Karen Mason (Hairspray, Mamma Mia!) as Queen of Hearts, Kate Shindle (Legally Blonde, Cabaret, Jekyll and Hyde) as Mad Hatter, Carly Rose Sonenclar (Les Miserables, Little House on the Prairie) as Chloe, Edward Staudenmayer (Spamalot, Martin Short:  Fame Becomes Me) as White Rabbit and Danny Stiles (Regional productions of Guys and Dolls and Sister Act:  The Musical) as Morris.  The book is by Gregory Boyd and Jack Murphy, lyrics by Jack Murphy, music by Frank Wildhorn, choreography by Marguerite Derricks and direction by Gregory Boyd, WONDERLAND.

 

The ensemble includes April Berry, Grady Bowman, Sae La Chin, Dan Domenech, Mallauri Esquibel, Derek Ferguson, Wilkie Ferguson, Laura Hall, Natalie Hill, Lauren Lim Jackson, Morgan James, Ryan Link, Kate Loprest, Renee Marino, Heather Parcells, Stefan Raulston, Julius Anthony Rubio, and Tanairi Vasquez.

 

The design team is comprised of Neil Patel (set), Susan Hilferty (costume), Paul Gallo (lighting), Peter Hylenski (sound) and Sven Ortel (video and projection).

 

WONDERLAND is the first production of the Broadway Genesis Project, an initiative by the Straz Center for the Performing Arts to develop and prepare new musical theater for Broadway. From a show’s inception to final staging, the Project provides a safe and nourishing environment in a state-of-the-art complex with artistic, technical and administrative resources.

 

WONDERLAND was optioned by Judy Lisi, CEO of the Straz Center, and was subsequently produced as its world premiere at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, FL this past December.  In association with the Alley Theatre in Houston, TX, in January of 2010, the show was transferred for further development, becoming one of the highest grossing shows in that theater’s history.

 

A new spin on the classic story of Alice and her Looking-Glass world, WONDERLAND is about a modern-day woman who goes on a life-changing adventure far below the streets of New York City, where a colorful cast of strange but familiar characters help her rediscover what’s really important. Featuring a fresh, contemporary pop score from the creator of Jekyll and Hyde, WONDERLAND arrives on Broadway this spring following two sold-out national stage premieres.

 

WONDERLAND is produced on Broadway by the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts (Judy Lisi, President and CEO), William Franzblau and Nederlander Presentations, Inc.

 

Broadway ticket Information:

Tickets to WONDERLAND – A New Alice.  A New Musical are now available through www.Ticketmaster.com or by calling 877-250-2929.

 

Tampa Ticket Information:

Tickets for WONDERLAND – A New Alice.  A New Musical may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Office or online at www.strazcenter.org

 

For more information about the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and its upcoming events, please visit www.strazcenter.org

 

The WONDERLAND Concept CD is available through ITUNES from SONY Masterworks.

 

For more information, log on to www.WonderlandOnBroadway.com

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WWW.WonderlandOnBroadway.com

 

Follow WONDERLAND

On Twitter:  http://Twitter.com@WonderlandBway

On Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/WonderlandBway

 

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LOMBARDI’s Judith Light featured on www.outsports.com

LOMBARDI’s JUDITH LIGHT FEATURED ON OUTSPORTS.COM


Judith Light is currently earning rave reviews for her performance as Marie Lombardi in Broadway’s LOMBARDI.  Today, she is featured on Outsports.com speaking to reporter Cyd Zeigler about her current stage role and her work with the gay community.

 

“What could a play about the roughest, toughest, most legendary coach in NFL history have to do with a gay audience? You might be surprised, but there’s plenty in the current Broadway run of “Lombardi on Broadway” to keep theatergoers of any sexual orientation intrigued and entertained.  At the top of that list is the performance of actress Judith Light who plays Vince’s wife, Marie. Light is best-known for her long-running stint as Angela Bower on the hit TV series, Who’s the Boss. Light has long been an advocate for the equality of gay and HIV-positive people. In fact, she said the overarching theme of Lombardi is exactly what drew her to the gay community in the late ‘80s and early ’90s.”  To read the entire piece, CLICK HERE.

 

Directed by Tony Award nominee Thomas Kail, LOMBARDI is an original play by Academy Award-winning playwright Eric Simonson, based on the best-selling biography When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi by Pulitzer Prize winner David Maraniss.  The production opened in October at Circle in the Square Theatre.

 

Starring Dan Lauria as the legendary Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi and Judith Light as his wife Marie, LOMBARDI also features Keith Nobbs as Michael McCormick, Bill Dawes as Paul Hornung, Robert Christopher Riley as Dave Robinson and Chris Sullivan as Jim Taylor.  Joining producers Tony Ponturo and Fran Kirmser as special producing partner is the National Football League, marking the organization’s first foray on Broadway.

 

Tickets can be purchased online at www.telecharge.com, by phone at 212-239-6200, or in person at the Box Office (50th Street, West of Broadway).

 

www.lombardibroadway.com

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Roundabout’s THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST opens tonight on Broadway

OPENING NIGHT IS TONIGHT!

 

ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY

Presents

 

Brian Bedford

 

Directing & Starring in a New Broadway production of

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST

By Oscar Wilde

 

at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway

 

Opening night is tonight for Roundabout Theatre Company’s new Broadway production of Oscar Wilde’s comedy The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by and starring Brian Bedford as “Lady Bracknell,” at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway (227 West 42nd St.).

 

The cast also features Dana Ivey as “Miss Prism,” Paxton Whitehead as “Rev. Canon Chasuble,” Santino Fontana as “Algernon Moncrieff,” David Furr as “John Worthing,” Tim MacDonald as “Merriman,” Paul O’Brien as “Lane,” Charlotte Parry as “Cecily Cardew,” and Sara Topham as “Gwendolen Fairfax.”

 

The Importance of Being Earnest began previews on Friday, December 17th and opens officially on Thursday, January 13th, 2011. This is a limited engagement through Sunday, March 6th, 2011.

 

The design team includes Desmond Heeley (Sets & Costumes), Duane Schuler (Lights) and Drew Levy (Sound).

 

The Importance of Being Earnest is a glorious comedy of mistaken identity, which ridicules codes of propriety and etiquette.  Dashing men-about-town John Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff pursue fair ladies Gwendolen Fairfax and Cecily Cardew.   Matters are complicated by the imaginary characters invented by both men to cover their on-the-sly activities – not to mention the disapproval of Gwendolen’s mother, the formidable Lady Bracknell.

 

Wilde’s classic production premiered in 1895 at the St. James Theatre in London offering a stinging critique of love, sex and social hypocrisy that remains relevant today.

 

TICKET INFORMATION:

Tickets are available by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212)719-1300, online at www.roundabouttheatre.org or at the American Airlines Box Office (227 West 42nd Street).

 

To become a Roundabout subscriber visit www.roundabouttheatre.org or call Roundabout Ticket Services (212)719-1300.  Ticket prices range from $67.00-117.00.

 

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:

The Importance of Being Earnest plays Tuesday through Saturday evening at 8:00PM with Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00PM.

 

www.roundabouttheatre.org

 

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MTC’s THE WHIPPING MAN Announces Extension On Day of First Preview

MANHATTAN THEATRE CLUB’S

NEW YORK PREMIERE OF

THE WHIPPING MAN

ANNOUNCES ONE WEEK EXTENSION DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND

ON DAY OF FIRST PREVIEW

NEW AMERICAN PLAY STARRING

ANDRÉ BRAUGHER, ANDRÉ HOLLAND, JAY WILKISON

BEGINS PREVIEWS TONIGHT; OPENING NIGHT SET FOR TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 1

 

Manhattan Theatre Club is pleased to announce that due to popular demand, the New York premiere of THE WHIPPING MAN, the acclaimed new play by Matthew Lopez, directed by Tony Award winner Doug Hughes, has been extended as the production prepares to begin previews tonight at MTC at New York City Center – Stage I (131 West 55th Street). This new production stars two-time Emmy Award winner André Braugher (“Men of a Certain Age,” “Homicide”), André Holland (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Brother/Sister Plays), and Jay Wilkison (film version of Rabbit Hole).

 

The limited engagement of THE WHIPPING MAN opens Tuesday, February 1 with tickets now on sale through Sunday, March 20.

Three men tied by faith, bound by secrets, at a crossroads—a Jewish Confederate soldier (Wilkison) who has returned from battle, and two former slaves (Braugher and Holland), who were raised as Jews in his household. As the three men reunite to celebrate Passover, they uncover a tangle of secrets that might cost each man his freedom.

The creative team for THE WHIPPING MAN includes: John Lee Beatty (scenic design), Catherine Zuber (costume design), Ben Stanton (lighting design), Jill BC DuBoff (sound design), Tom Watson (hair & wig design), and J. David Brimmer (fight direction).

 

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, MTC has become one of the country’s most prominent and prestigious theatre companies. Over the past three decades, MTC productions have earned a total of 17 Tony Awards and six Pulitzer Prizes, an accomplishment unparalleled by a New York theatrical institution. MTC has a Broadway home at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) and an Off-Broadway theatre at New York City Center – Stage I (131 West 55th Street). Renowned MTC productions include Time Stands Still; The Royal Family; Ruined; The American Plan; Come Back, Little Sheba; Blackbird; Translations; Shining City; Rabbit Hole; Doubt; Proof; The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife; Love! Valour! Compassion!; A Small Family Business; Sylvia; Putting It Together; Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune; Crimes of the Heart; and Ain’t Misbehavin.’

 

For more information on MTC, please visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

 

TICKETING INFORMATION FOR THE WHIPPING MAN:

  • Tickets for THE WHIPPING MAN are available via the New York City Center Box Office (131 West 55th Street), CityTix® (212-581-1212) and http://www.nycitycenter.org.
  • Tickets for THE WHIPPING MAN are $80.

 

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:

Please note THE WHIPPING MAN is dark on Mondays:

  • THURSDAY, JANUARY 13 – SUNDAY, JANUARY 16: Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM, Sunday at 7 PM. Matinee on Sunday at 2 PM. There will be no Saturday matinee performance this partial week.
  • MONDAY, JANUARY 17 – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 6: Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM, Sunday at 7 PM. Matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 PM.
  • MONDAY, FEBRUARY 7 – SUNDAY, MARCH 6: Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM. Matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 PM.
  • MONDAY, MARCH 7 – SUNDAY, MARCH 13: Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM. Matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 PM. Please note there will only by seven performances on sale to the general public this week.
  • *EXTENSION WEEK* MONDAY, MARCH 14 – SUNDAY, MARCH 20: Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 PM. Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM. Matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 PM.

 

For more information on MTC, please visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

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Charles Busch’s THE DIVINE SISTER Announces Second Extension at SoHo Playhouse

A “HOLY” NEW BLOCK OF TICKETS ON SALE NOW

CHARLES BUSCH’S

THE DIVINE SISTER

ANNOUNCES NEW BLOCK OF TICKETS ON SALE

SMASH HIT COMEDY EXTENDS RUN

THROUGH SUNDAY, APRIL 30 AT SOHO PLAYHOUSE

Today, producers Daryl Roth and Bob Boyett announced that a new block of tickets have gone on sale for THE DIVINE SISTER, Off-Broadway’s best reviewed new comedy written by and starring Charles Busch. Tickets for THE DIVINE SISTER are now on sale through Sunday, April 30 at the SoHo Playhouse (15 Vandam Street).

 

This marks the second extension for the production, directed by Busch’s long time collaborator Carl Andress, starring Alison Fraser, Amy Rutberg, Jennifer Van Dyck, Jonathan Walker, and Julie Halston. With the current new block of tickets, THE DIVINE SISTER will become one of the longest running hits of his Off-Broadway career.

 

THE DIVINE SISTER is Charles Busch’s outrageous comic homage to nearly every Hollywood film involving nuns: The Song of Bernadette, The Bells of St. Mary’s, The Singing Nun and Agnes of God. THE DIVINE SISTER tells the story of St. Veronica’s indomitable Mother Superior (played by the legendary Charles Busch). Come join this madcap trip through Tinseltown religiosity from the creator of Die Mommie Die, Psycho Beach Party and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom.

 

THE DIVINE SISTER has been unanimously praised by New York critics calling the show, “comic paradise” (The New York Times), “refreshingly sublime,” (Variety), “non-stop laughter” (NY1), “a gag-packed miracle” (New York Magazine), and “a laugh riot” (Bergen Record).

 

The creative team includes:  Scenic and Graphic Design by B.T. Whitehill, Costume Design by Fabio Toblini, Lighting Design by Kirk Bookman, Sound Design by Jill BC DuBoff, Wig Design by Katherine Carr, and Original Music by Lewis Flinn.

 

Tickets for THE DIVINE SISTER are on sale now via www.SoHoPlayhouse.com, or by calling OvationTix 212-352-3101, or at the SoHo Playhouse box office (15 Vandam Street between Sixth Avenue and Varick Street; Monday through Sunday NOON – 6 PM). Tickets for Tuesday through Sunday matinee performances are $75.00. Student rush tickets are available for THE DIVINE SISTER on the day of the performance at the box office pending availability. Tickets are $25 (cash only) and limit of two tickets per valid student ID.
REGULAR PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:

  • Tuesday through Saturday at 8 PM. Matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 3 PM.

 

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www.DivineSisterOnstage.com

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GOD OF CARNAGE original Broadway cast reunites in Los Angeles for six weeks only

ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST OF “GOD OF CARNAGE”

REUNITES IN LOS ANGELES FOR SIX WEEKS ONLY

Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis

James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden

Reprise Their Roles at the CTG/Ahmanson Theatre

April 5 – May 15, 2011**

Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden, the original Tony Award-nominated Broadway cast of the scathingly funny, Tony Award-winning Best Play “God of Carnage,” will reunite in Los Angeles for six weeks only to bring this comedy of manners without the manners to the Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre, April 5 through May 15, 2011.  Opening night is April 13. **

 

Matthew Warchus, winner of the Tony Award for his direction of “God of Carnage,” returns to lead the cast of four – all of whom were nominated for Tony Awards for their performances (Marcia Gay Harden took home the award).

 

“When I saw the original production on Broadway I knew that I wanted to bring the play to L.A. but I never dreamed that we would get this cast,” said CTG Artistic Director Michael Ritchie. “Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden – four terrific actors in four great roles squaring off at the Ahmanson. This isn’t just the theatrical event of the season, it’s the battle of the century and it’s only happening here in Los Angeles.”

 

After seeing this cast on Broadway, Ben Brantley of The New York Times wrote “Never underestimate the pleasure of watching really good actors behaving terribly . . . highly skilled stage performers take on roles that allow them to rip the stuffing out of one another, tear up the scenery, stomp on their own vanity and have the time of their lives.”

 

Hailed by Elisabeth Vincentelli of the New York Post as “. . .  gleefully nasty fun,” “God of Carnage” is set in a gentrified section of Brooklyn where two married couples meet to sort out a playground fight between their sons. At first, niceties are observed but as the evening progresses and the rum flows, the gloves come off and the night becomes a side-splitting free-for-all of verbal brawling. Linda Winer of Newsday said “God of Carnage” is “. . . brutally entertaining,” while syndicated columnist Liz Smith raved, “Hysterical! Fasten your seat belts and go!” and Variety’s David Rooney thought it was “Played to perfection by a scorching cast.”

 

French playwright Yasmina Reza received her first Tony Award in 1998 for Best Play for “Art,” which CTG presented at the UCLA/James A. Doolittle Theatre in Hollywood in 1999. She has written seven plays in total including the more recent “Life (x) 3,” “The Unexpected Man” and “A Spanish Play.”

 

Christopher Hampton has translated five of Reza’s plays including “Art.”  He is well-known to CTG audiences for his plays “Savages” (1974), “Tales from Hollywood” (1982) and “The Talking Cure” (2004) at the Mark Taper Forum, and “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” (1987 Tony Award nomination) at the Ahmanson (1988). He won a Tony Award for the book and score for “Sunset Boulevard” in 1995 and an Academy Award for “Dangerous Liaisons” in 1989.

 

Director Matthew Warchus was nominated for a Tony for directing Reza’s “Art” in 1998 as well as “True West” in 2000, “Boeing – Boeing” in 2008 and all three parts of “The Norman Conquests” in 2009 (he won the 2009 Tony for “God of Carnage”).

 

Jeff Daniels’ Broadway credits include “God of Carnage” (Tony Award nomination), “Redwood Curtain” and “Fifth of July” (Drama Desk Award). He appeared in the Manhattan Theatre Club’s American premiere of “Blackbird” and received a Drama Desk nomination for “Lemon Sky,” as well as an Obie Award for “Johnny Got His Gun” (Circle Rep).  His film credits include “Ragtime,” “Terms of Endearment,”  “Purple Rose of Cairo,” “Something Wild,” “Fly Away Home,” “Pleasantville,” “Gettysburg,” “Dumb and Dumber,” “The Hours,” “Imaginary Heroes,” “Goodnight, and Good Luck” and “The Squid and the Whale.”

 

Hope Davis received a 2009 Tony Award nomination for her role in “God of Carnage,” and also appeared on Broadway in “Ivanov” and “Two Shakespearean Actors.”  Her off-Broadway credits include “Spinning Into Butter,” “Pterodactyls,” “The Food Chain,” “The Iceman Cometh” and “Speed the Plow.” Davis was named Best Actress by the New York Film Critics Circle for her work on “American Splendor” and “The Secret Lives of Dentists.” Her extensive film credits also include “The Daytrippers,” “Next Stop Wonderland,” “Arlington Road,”  “Mumford,” “About Schmidt,”  “Proof” and “Synecdoche, New York,” among others. She received both an Emmy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award nomination for her portrayal of Hillary Clinton in the HBO movie “A Special Relationship,” and an Emmy nomination for her work on HBO’s “In Treatment.”

 

James Gandolfini, nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in “God of Carnage” in 2009, is best known for the role of Tony Soprano in HBO’s “The Sopranos” for which he received a Golden Globe, four SAG Awards and three Emmy Awards. He made his Broadway debut with Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin in “A Streetcar Named Desire.” His numerous film credits include “The Man Who Wasn’t There,”  “The Castle,” “The Mexican,” “Get Shorty,” “All the King’s Men,” “The Taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3,” “Where The Wild Things Are” and “In the Loop,” among many others. Next, Gandolfini stars in the HBO film “Cinema Verite” with Diane Lane and Tim Robbins. He was the executive producer of two HBO’s documentary films:  “Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq” (Emmy Award nomination) and “War-Torn: 1861 to 2010.”

 

Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden received the 2009 Tony Award for Best Actress, as well as an Outer Critics Circle Award for her role in the original Broadway production of “God of Carnage.” Harden also received a Tony Award nomination for her performance in “Angels in America” (for which she won the Drama Desk and Theatre World Awards). Marcia Gay has starred in films such as “Pollock” (for which she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress), “Millers Crossing,” “The First Wives Club,” “Meet Joe Black,” “Mona Lisa Smile,” “The Hoax,” “Whip It,” “Into the Wild,” and “Mystic River” (where she received another Academy Award nomination). Harden is also well known for her Emmy-nominated roles in “Law and Order: SVU” and “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler,” as well as her role in the FX drama “Damages.”

 

Tickets for “God of Carnage” are currently available by subscription only.  Individual tickets will go on sale January 30.  Tickets and subscriptions can be purchased by calling CTG Audience Services at (213) 972-4400 or online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org or in person at the CTG box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center.

 

“God of Carnage” is produced by Robert Fox, David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers, Stuart Thompson, Scott Rudin, Jon B. Platt, The Weinstein Company and The Shubert Organization, and presented at the Ahmanson Theatre by Center Theatre Group.

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January 12, 2011

** Please Note:  The performance dates for “God of Carnage” have changed from the schedule announced in the 2010 – 2011 Ahmanson Season release (dated April 23, 2010).