Culture Monster
All arts, all the time
The shows go on, despite snow, on Broadway

The Great White Way is just that – white with fresh snow – from the massive snowstorm that hit New York, but after a dark Monday, most of Broadway's Tuesday night performances will go on as scheduled.

The region was still dealing with transit and travel limitations and Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of the Broadway League, encouraged the snowbound to have a theater date.

“For those who are staying in hotels and can’t get home, it’s a great time to see a show,” St. Martin said. “As always, the safety and security of theatergoers and employees is everyone's primary concern, so those who can’t get in to the city should contact their point of purchase for questions about exchange or refund policies.”

Some productions are even offering weather-related deals.

“Honeymoon in Vegas” at the Nederlander Theatre is selling orchestra and front mezzanine seats for $79 – down from $152 -- when ticket buyers mention “the storm special” at the box office for Tuesday and Wednesday night...

Read more
Placido Domingo teaming up with Woody Allen for L.A. Opera's new season

Los Angeles Opera will celebrate its 30th-anniversary season in the fall with a main-stage lineup featuring Plácido Domingo and Woody Allen working on "Gianni Schicchi," the L.A. debut of "Moby Dick" and the company debut of Gustavo Dudamel conducting "La Boheme."

The 2015-16 season, which is being announced on Tuesday, will include a total of six main-stage productions, beginning with a double bill of "Gianni Schicchi," which Allen created for the company in 2008, and a return of Franco Zeffirelli's production of "Pagliacci," first seen in L.A. in 1996, that Domingo will conduct. The double-bill program is set to run Sept. 12 to Oct. 3.

To mark its 30th anniversary, L.A. Opera will stage a special concert on March 18, 2016, with Domingo and soprano Renee Fleming.

Christopher Koelsch, the company's president and chief executive, said in a recent interview that the 30th-anniversary lineup is intended to celebrate the legacy of Los Angeles Opera and its history of collaborating with...

Read more
L.A. theater openings, Feb. 1-8: 'Seussical the Musical' and more

3-D Theatricals enlists Cathy Rigby for "Seussical the Musical," veteran talk-show host Dick Cavett plays himself in "Hellman v. McCarthy," and "SNL's" Darrell Hammond debuts a one-man show.

The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon Family-friendly fable based on the children’s books. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. Sun., 3 p.m. $15, $20. (562) 467-8818.

Musi-cal Selections from new, locally created musicals. Rockwell: Table & Stage, 1714 N. Vermont Ave., L.A. Mon., 8 p.m. $15-$25. (323) 669-1550.

Dirty Dancing OC premiere of this musical based on the hit 1987 movie about a young woman’s eventful summer at a Catskills resort in the early 1960s. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Tue.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Feb. 15. $29 and up. (714) 556-2787.

Let’s Duet The Hollywood Jane Revue presents burlesque duets. Rockwell: Table & Stage, 1714 N. Vermont Ave., L.A....

Read more
'If/Then,' Carole King musical lead Pantages' 2015-16 season

The Los Angeles premieres of the Broadway hit "If/Then" and the Tony Award-winning "Beautiful — The Carole King Musical" anchor the Pantages Theatre's 2015-16 season, organizers announced  Monday. 

The theater also will mark its 85th year with two other L.A. premieres, "Bullets Over Broadway" and "The Illusionists — Witness the Impossible," as well as the return of four productions: "Annie," "Dirty Dancing," "42nd Street" and "Cabaret."

"Since we first opened our doors to eager audiences in June of 1930, the theater has not only retained its beauty, but has proven time and time again that we maintain the perfect marriage of Broadway’s finest entertainment with the luster of Hollywood’s Golden Age," read a statement from Martin Wiviott, the Pantages' general manager. 

The season will kick off Oct. 13 with the new U.S. national tour of "Annie," which will run through Nov. 1. 

That will be followed Dec. 8 through Jan. 3 with "If/Then." The show follows the adventures of a thirtysomething...

Read more
'La Bohème' a rousing comeback for San Diego Opera

— The first standing ovation of San Diego Opera's season opener Saturday came at the start of the evening, not at the end.

Taking the stage before "La Bohème" to cheers at the Civic Theatre downtown, opera board President Carol Lazier praised the staff, donors and audiences for rallying behind the company even after it abruptly announced last year that it was shutting down.

"You never gave up hope," Lazier said.

The performance was a rousing comeback for the company — celebrating its 50th anniversary season no less — after months of uncertainty and internal power struggles. The opera reversed its decision to close in May, but only after a mass board exodus and the departure of its longtime director.

San Diego Opera has since worked to rebuild its board, bank accounts and, most of all, the trust of the public. In an interview Saturday, company leaders said the opera was back on solid financial feet, but they acknowledged that challenges still lie ahead.

One of those challenges is the...

Read more
Wang, Lang, Ma and Bell rule Philharmonic Society's 2015-16 season

What would an Orange County classical music season be without a superstar or two from China?

The Philharmonic Society of Orange County’s newly-announced concert list for 2015-16 leaves the question unanswered. It features separate performances by pianists Lang Lang and Yuja Wang – both known for virtuosity spiked with showmanship.

Almost every year since 2008 has seen a starring performance by either Lang or Wang at Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa.

For the Philharmonic Society, O.C’.s leading importer of touring classical talent, 2015-16 will be the first season picked by its new artistic director, John Mangum.  The current 2014-15 season that ends in May was chosen by Dean Corey, who’d led the organization for 21 years before retiring last summer.

Among Corey’s parting gifts as an impresario is a March 28 performance by Wang, who’ll appear as soloist in the Gershwin piano concerto, accompanied by Michael Tilson Thomas and the London Symphony Orchestra.

Other big names in...

Read more