Los Angeles Theatre Fall Preview

Photo courtesy of The Pantages Theater, Facebook

With all of the incredibly talented actors, directors and designers who call Los Angeles home, it’s no surprise that the city is brimming with outstanding live theatre in both large and small venues, from East LA to Venice. The upcoming theatre season promises to be a spectacular one, with blockbuster hits like The Book of Mormon at the Pantages Theatre among the must-sees. But just as exciting are the many productions that will be featured in smaller venues. In fact, LA’s intimate theatres (usually with 99 seats or fewer), offer audiences the “only-in-LA” unique opportunity to witness live acting on a cinematic scale, as the performers are usually just a few feet away. For the very best in LA theater—often available at half-price—check out the “Ovation Recommended” shows at LAstagealliance.com.

The Book of Mormon at Pantages Theatre

The National Tour of The Book of Mormon, winner of nine Tony Awards including Best Musical, will play a limited 12-week engagement from September 5 through November 25, 2012 at the landmark Pantages Theatre. The Book of Mormon features book, music and lyrics by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (four-time Emmy Award-winning creators of South Park) and Robert Lopez, the Tony Award-winning writer of Avenue Q. The blockbuster musical is choreographed by Casey Nicholaw (Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Drowsy Chaperone) and is directed by Nicholaw and Parker. The Book of Mormon tells the story of a pair of mismatched Mormon boys sent on a mission to a place that's about as far from Salt Lake City as you can get. Get your tickets now for what the New York Times has praised as “The best musical of this century”!

Under My Skin at Pasadena Playhouse

The Pasadena Playhouse world premiere engagement of Under My Skin is written by the award-winning team of Robert Sternin and Prudence Fraser, and directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge. In the play, a twist of fate leads to love and laughs when New York's most eligible bachelor and a single working mom hilariously experience each other's lives and see things from a very different perspective. Under My Skin plays from September 19 through October 7, 2012.

November at Mark Taper Forum

It’s the end of the line for an unpopular president in David Mamet’s November, playing September 23 through November 4, 2012 at the Mark Taper Forum. The inauguration of hilarity begins when Pulitzer Prize winner Mamet (Glengarry Glen Ross, American Buffalo, Race) makes the Oval Office a three-ring circus of political incorrectness. Emmy Award-nominee Ed Begley, Jr. (Arrested Development, A Mighty Wind) and Emmy Award-winner Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) lead the cast in Mamet’s delicious spoof of the highest office in the nation.

Seminar at Ahmanson Theatre

The Ahmanson Theatre kicks off its new season with Seminar, the sexy, smart comedy by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Peabody Award-winner Theresa Rebeck. Directed by Obie Award-winner Sam Gold, Seminar stars Academy Award and Emmy Award-nominee Jeff Goldblum. In Seminar, four aspiring young writers sign up for private writing classes with Leonard (played by Goldblum), an international literary figure with a brilliant and unorthodox teaching method. Seminar arrives in Los Angeles for its West Coast premiere directly from its hit Broadway run, and will play October 10 through November 18, 2012. Seminar was cheered as “the funniest show on Broadway” by WOR Radio, and called “a wonderful new comedy” by Mark Kennedy of the Associated Press.

The House of Finnegan at El Portal Theatre

Making its world premiere at the Monroe Forum at the El Portal Theatre is The House of Finnegan, an original work by Bill Rich and composer Steve Kopandy. The comedy/drama with music and song combines recollections from the early days of musical theatre, the Golden Age of television, and motion pictures with the reality of the present era. The House of Finnegan plays October 18-28, 2012 at the Monroe Forum, an intimate venue within the historic El Portal Theatre, located in the heart of the NoHo Arts District.

Gatz at REDCAT

Much more than just a retelling of The Great Gatsby, Gatz is a dazzling, seven-hour enactment of experiencing F. Scott Fitzgerald’s American masterpiece, brought to life and delivered word for word by the audacious New York theatre ensemble Elevator Repair Service. The drama opens in the offices of a mysterious small business, where an employee finds a copy of the book on his desk and begins reading the novel out loud. After a series of strange coincidences, his co-workers appear to take on the roles of The Great Gatsby’s characters. Is the reader, “Nick” merely reading the novel, or is he being personally transformed by it? Gatz will play at REDCAT in the Walt Disney Concert Hall from November 29 through December 9, 2012. Gatz has been hailed by critics around the world: the New York Times describes Gatz as “The most remarkable achievement in theatre not only of this year but also of this decade,” while The Times (London) raves, “The show that made Gatsby even greater...Brilliantly enthralling.”