LOS ANGELES: A quartet of Tony-winning Broadway musicals, new and old, will fill the Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre stage in its 2015–16 season. The titles include The Bridges of Madison County (to be conducted by composer Jason Robert Brown), A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Titanic.
“This is our 49th season,” said artistic director Michael Ritchie in a statement. “And it is a season bursting with works that have earned Broadway’s highest stamp of approval: these musicals come to us overflowing with Tony Awards for best musical, best score, and for the creative teams, the directors and the designers. The season is a true celebration of the musical theatre art form we all love.”
The season begins with the kickoff of a new national tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic The Sound of Music (Sept. 20–Oct. 31), to be directed by Jack O’Brien and choreographed by Danny Mefford (in time for the film’s 50th anniversary). Director O’Brien said in a statement, “The Sound of Music has been in our ears for decades, as it deserves to be, but it might be time to look once more, and more closely, at this remarkable work which, I feel, begins to reveal itself as deeper, richer and more powerful than ever before.”
Next is a reprise production of Jason Robert Brown and Marsha Norman’s lavishly lauded but not quite blockbusting adaptation of The Bridges of Madison County (Dec. 8–Jan. 17, 2016), which took a best score Tony last season. Director Bartlett Sher (who helmed the Broadway run) will again direct, and the composer himself will be on hand to conduct the entire run at the Ahmanson.
Last year’s Tony winner for best musical, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, waltzes in next (March 22–May 1, 2016), with book and lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and music and lyrics by Steven Lutvak. Direction, as on Broadway, is by Tony winner Darko Tresnjak, with choreography by Peggy Hickey.
Second to last is Titanic The Musical, the Maury Yeston/Peter Stone musical about the iconic boating disaster (May 14–June 26, 2016), which last played at the Ahmanson in 1999. It won a best musical Tony in 1997. Thom Southerland, who directed the musical in London in 2013, will direct the LA run.
About a planned fifth (and final) production, CTG is so far pleading the fifth. The title will be announced at a later date.