The cast of the national tour of CATS, now at the Pantages Theatre. Photo by Joan Marcus
Opening This Weekend: Old Glory, Salam Shalom; Closing This Weekend: Celadine, Calliope Rose
A Noise Within presents Much Ado About Nothing; Shakespearean comedy previews Mar. 3-5, opens Mar. 6
Plays about Emmett Till, Billie Holiday and those fabulous Dreamgirls light up local stages
Some shows stick around for months, some are here for just a short while. The following shows have very limited runs and are playing only in March, so catch ‘em now before they're just a memory...
CATS, at the Pantages Theatre Mar. 9-21
CATS has returned for yet another life in Los Angeles – albeit it, a short one – presented by Broadway/L.A. The second-longest running show in Broadway history (its record was finally broken in 2006 by another Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber mega-musical, The Phantom of the Opera), this family favorite feline fantasy became the longest continuously touring show in American theatre history in October 1991. The national tour of CATS recently celebrated its 27th anniversary, and is the only production in North America sanctioned by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. It is only in LA for two weeks.
Based on a book of poetry by T.S. Eliot, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, CATS won seven 1983 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Lighting and Best Costumes. It has been seen in five continents and 26 countries, by over eight and a half million people, and is credited as the show that launched the British invasion of Broadway.
CATS includes such memorable numbers as Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats, The Rum Tum Tugger, Old Deuteronomy, Mr. Mistoffelees, and, of course, Memory – which is appropriate, because CATS is an experience you’ll never forget.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: CATS at the Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Run: Mar. 9-21. Performances: Tues.- Thurs. at 7:30pm; Fri. at 8pm, Sat. at 2 and 8pm; Sun. at 1pm and 6:30pm. Tickets: $25-$78. No children under 5 admitted. Reservations: 800/982-ARTS (2787), the Pantages box office, Ticketmaster, or click here. www.BroadwayLA.org. Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes.
Darrell Dennis in Tales of an Urban Indian. Photo by Joan Marcus
Tales of an Urban Indian, at the Autry National Center of the American West’s Wells Fargo Theatre Mar. 11-28
Native Voices at the Autry presents the west coast premiere of Canadian playwright/actor Darrell Dennis’ (Shuswap tribe) critically acclaimed solo show, Tales of an Urban Indian, as part of its 10th anniversary season. Herbie Barnes (Ojibway tribe) directs Dennis in this dark comedy, based on the actor’s own life experiences moving from the reservation to the city. It previews Mar. 11-13 (2pm show), officially opens Mar. 13 (8pm show), and plays thru Mar. 28.
There will also be two post-show “Talk Back” sessions with Dennis following the Sunday matinees on Mar. 14 and 21. On Mar. 14, Dennis will be joined by special guests Micah Ian Wright (Muscogee Creek tribe) and Jason Gavin (Blackfeet tribe), members of the American Indian Writers Committee for the Writers Guild of America, West.
Native Voices at the Autry is America's leading Native American theater company. Tales of an Urban Indian is produced by Native Voices at the Autry in association with New York's The Public Theater, which premiered the play last spring. The New York Post said of that production, “This semi-autobiographical tale of a young man's transition from reservation to the city amusingly counters our stereotypical notions of Indian life.” And the Village Voice noted that, “Dennis has a lovely theatrical presence - charming, high-spirited, a little dorky, and a little anguished.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Tales of an Urban Indian at the Autry National Center of the American West’s Wells Fargo Theatre, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles (in Griffith Park). Previews: Mar. 11 – 13 (2pm). Run: Mar. 13 (8pm) - 28. Performances: Thurs. - Fri. at 8pm; Sat. at 2pm and 8pm; Sun. at 2pm. Tickets: $20 general, $12 Autry members. Previews $10. Groups (10 or more) save 40%. Reservations: 866/468-3399. www.NativeVoicesattheAutry.org. Running time: 90 minutes, no intermission.
IL to R: John Wesley and Henry Clarke in RFK... Photo courtesy of Notre Dame's DeBartolo PAC
RFK: The Journey to Justice, at the Skirball Cultural Center Mar. 17-21
The world premiere of a major new docudrama that covers Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's eight year, personal and political journey during the civil rights movement concludes its two-month, ten-city national tour with five performances only at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. RFK: The Journey to Justice by Murray Horwitz and Jonathan Estrin was commissioned by L.A. Theatre Works and a collaboration of university arts presenters that includes Stanford and Notre Dame. L.A. Theatre Works will record the Skirball performances, Mar. 17-21, for broadcast on its nationally syndicated radio series, airing in So. California on KPCC/89.3 FM every Saturday from 10pm - midnight. The production can also be streamed on demand at www.latw.org.
RFK: The Journey to Justice is directed by John Rubinstein and stars Henry Clarke as Robert F. Kennedy, Philip Casnoff as John F. Kennedy, and Kevin Daniels as Martin Luther King. Also featured are Michael Leydon Campbell, Kyle Colerider-Krugh, Ross Hellwig, Thomas Vincent Kelly, Sheilynn Wactor and John Wesley, who play such famous political figures as RFK aide John Seigenthaler (interviewed by the playwrights), Lyndon B. Johnson, Coretta Scott King, and Cesar Chavez.
Kennedy wasn’t always the champion of civil rights that we remember him to be. Horwitz and Estrin spent many months conducting interviews and going through articles, transcriptions and private conversations to discover how and why Kennedy was transformed.
”In 1960, neither Bobby Kennedy nor his brother was very involved with civil rights,” explained L.A. Theatre Works Producing Director Susan Loewenberg. “They thought it was an important issue, but also something that had to be managed politically, because it was fraught with danger for them with regard to the Southern Democrats, whom they did not want to alienate. They were very focused on getting John elected.”
”By the end, he was a true believer,” Horwitz concluded. “It was no longer just politics.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION: RFK: The Journey to Justice at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. Run: Mar. 17-21. Performances: Wed.- Fri. at 8pm; Sat. at 2:30pm; Sun. at 4pm. Tickets: $20-$48. Reservations: 310/827-0889 or click here. www.latw.org. (Please do not contact Skirball for info; contact L.A. Theatre Works only.) Running time: 2 hours, approx.