Hollywood, Calif. –Andrew Lloyd Webber, the man who brought rock and romance to Broadway, is back with a new heart-stirring hit. SCHOOL OF ROCK is a New York Times Critics’ Pick and “AN INSPIRING JOLT OF ENERGY, JOY AND MAD SKILLZ!” (Entertainment Weekly). School of Rock is playing now through May 27.
Based on the hit film, this hilarious new musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher who turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. This high-octane smash features 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber, all the original songs from the movie and musical theater’s first-ever kids rock band playing their instruments live on stage. Vanity Fair raves, “FISTS OF ALL AGES SHALL BE PUMPING!”
Hollywood, Calif.– The Pantages Theatre will be presenting the ultimate love story, LOVE NEVER DIES, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. The show will run from April 3 to April 22, 2018. This story of boundless love, full of passion and drama, follows one of the most successful musicals of all time, which has now been seen by more than 130 million people worldwide and is the winner of over 50 international awards.
The new touring production will reflect an extensive re-working of the material by an Australian creative team for the original Australian premiere in 2011. Described by Chris Boyd in The Australian as “The best thing Lloyd Webber has written in the quarter century since The Phantom of the Opera”.
Hollywood, Calif. – From the producer of The Lion King comes the timeless story of Disney’s ALADDIN, a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. It’s an extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite. Disney’s Aladdin opens at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood January 10 and runs through March 31.
Hailed by USA Today as “Pure Genie-Us,” ALADDIN features all your favorite songs from the film as well as new music written by Tony® and Academy Award® winner Alan Menken (Newsies) with lyrics penned by the legendary Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast), Tony Award winner Tim Rice (The Lion King, Aida), and book writer Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer).
Hollywood, Calif., – Taking its cue from the groundbreaking years of public television’s Muppet lore, Broadway’s Tony Award winning musical ‘Avenue Q’ is sweeping the clouds of political correctness away during its whirlwind stop at the Pantages Theater. The show opened tonight and runs through Sunday in a special limited engagement.
‘Avenue Q’ cast member Ashley Eileen Bucknam who stars in two roles as “Kate Monster” and “Lucy the Slut,” reflected on the early days of ‘Sesame Street’ – which starred the likes of Bert and Ernie, Kermit the Frog, Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster.
“There are many similarities to the original characters of Sesame Street but there is a lot more to it than a-b-c and one two three. You get involved in their lives and every character is someone you can relate to and have fun with,” said Bucknam, assuring that audiences are sure to be entertained by the show’s unique and risqué format.
“You have to come into the show with an open mind, and by the end of the show you end up really feeling for these puppets,” said Bucknam who was born and raised in South Jersey where passion for the arts took flight at the age of two while growing up along the beaches of the Jersey Shore.
While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, ‘Avenue Q’ has not been authorized or approved in any manner by The Jim Henson Company or Sesame Workshop, which have no responsibility for its content.
In a departure from Sesame Street, the puppeteers of ‘Avenue Q’ take to the stage more in the tradition of a ventriloquist than a muppeteer.
Bucknam and her fellow cast members are fully seen on stage as they provide the voices for their colorful furry, Styrofoam-eyed characters with their lips moving in full sight.
“All of the actors wear black, but as the show progresses they are watching the puppets – it’s like watching the subtitles in a movie,” explains Bucknam of the challenge audience members may have of suspending belief with the actor’s faces and moving lips in full view. “Eventually you get used to it end up watching the puppets.”
As the play opens, ‘Avenue Q’ introduces audiences to a young man named Princeton, a bright eyed, college grad who moves to NYC with big dreams and a tiny bank account. The only apartment he can afford is way out on Avenue Q, where everyone is looking for the same thing he is: a decent job, a stable relationship, and a “purpose.”
“Every show is different because the characters evolve over the course of the tour,” Bucknam said of the show that has been seen in more than 96 cities in the United States and Canada.
Bucknam stars opposite David Colston Corris Princeton, Rod), Michael Liscio, Jr. (Nicky, Trekkie Monster, Bear & Others), Lisa Helmi Johanson (Christmas Eve), Tim Kornblum (Brian), Anita Welch (Gary Coleman) and Kerri Brackin (Mrs. T, Bear & Others). Rounding out the company are ensemble members Ben Hart, Kate Lippstreu, Katie McCreary, and Zach Trimmer. Avenue Q features music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, a book by Jeff Whitty, based on an original concept by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx; and is directed by Jason Moore. Puppet design is by Rick Lyon, with orchestrations by Stephen Oremus, choreography by Ken Roberson, scenic design by Anna Louizos, costume design by Mirena Rada, lighting design by Howell Binkley, and sound design by Lew Mead. Associate director is Evan Ensign and music supervisor is Andrew Graham.
“We’re thrilled and excited to be performing right in the heart of L.A.,” said Bucknam in between performances during her San Francisco stop prior to making her way down to the streets of Hollywood’s storied Tinseltown.
“Everything in life is for now only,” the classically trained actress added borrowing a line from the last song of the show when the characters come to the realization that growing up isn’t so bad at all.
“I hope that LA will love it as much as we do – and you never know what will happen next!”
Tickets to ‘Avenue Q’ may be purchased by visiting www.broadwayla.org or by call 800-982-ARTS (2787). Parental warning, Due to adult situations (like full-puppet nudity), ‘Avenue Q’ may be inappropriate for kids under 13. (Everyone must have a ticket; children under 5 will not be admitted to the theatre).
City Life Communications – L. A. Life and Style Entertainment Magazine