‘Leap of Faith,’ ‘Next to Normal,’ ‘God of Carnage’ set for Ahmanson Theatre’s 2010-11 season

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Two recent Tony-winning shows -- ‘God of Carnage’ and ‘Next to Normal’ -- and a world-premiere musical, ‘Leap of Faith,’ will be the main attractions of the Ahmanson Theatre’s 2010-11 season, which was announced Thursday by L.A.'s Center Theatre Group.

The season will include four productions on the Ahmanson stage, which is down from the six full productions for the current season. The company said there’s a possibility it will add more shows to the 2010-11 calendar in the months to come.

Michael Ritchie, the artistic director of the CTG, said the recession was not a factor in the programming of the upcoming season. However, he said the company has had its share of financial hardship.

‘We’ve had to tighten our belts on expenses this year,’ he said, adding that the company has experienced some difficulty with contributed income, though subscriptions were up overall.


The 2010-11 season will begin with the world premiere of ‘Leap of Faith’ (Sept. 26-Oct. 17), a musical based on the 1992 Steve Martin movie about a bogus faith healer who gets stranded in a small town. The production features a gospel-inspired score by Oscar-winner Alan Menken and will be directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford.

Casting for ‘Leap of Faith’ will be announced in the coming weeks, but Ritchie said the ensemble will be made up of more than 20 people. The show has Broadway potential, though so far nothing specific is in place, Ritchie said.

As was previously announced, the national tour of ‘Next to Normal’ will kick off at the Ahmanson on Nov. 28 and will run through Jan. 2, 2011. The musical, which was the surprise winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for drama, tells the story of a suburban mother’s psychological meltdown and the effects it has on her family.

‘Next to Normal’ won three Tony Awards last year, including one for the original score by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey.

Yasmina Reza’s ‘God of Carnage’ (April 27, 2011-May 29, 2011) will have its L.A. debut in a new production.

The Tony-winning comedy, which follows the interactions between two couples brought together by a playground brawl between their respective children, was supposed to have a national tour, but plans were called off, reportedly for financial reasons.

The creative team for the Ahmanson’s ‘God of Carnage’ hasn’t been announced, but Ritchie expressed interest in bringing in Matthew Warchus, who won a Tony for staging the current Broadway version.

‘Les Misérables’ (June 17, 2011-July 31, 2011) will come to the Ahmanson as part of the musical’s 25th anniversary tour, which features a new staging of the popular show.

As part of the season, the CTG will offer season ticket holders first-priority seating in previews for Cirque du Soleil’s new Kodak Theatre production, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2011.

The CTG said it is not a producer of the Cirque show.

-- David Ng


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