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2004: The Year Ahead in Los Angeles Theatre

 


Lately I have been saying that L.A. is the new New York, as the city continues to expand its cultural horizons and bring us the best the theatre world has to offer. Not only was L.A. the first to see Tony Kushner's Angels in America, we also got The Cider House Rules, and Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake before Broadway (and some shows like Matthew Bourne's Cinderella and The Car Man, both wondrous, magical evenings of theatre, that never saw the bright lights of Broadway). And with such new venues as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and it's adjacent RedCat Performance space, I think L.A. will be seeing a lot more theatre greats and productions pass through town.

After a great 2003 in L.A. theatre, which brought us, among other things, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty (my personal fave) and The Producers (finally!), the year 2004 shows some great promise for the Southland legit-lovers. It will be a year when some of your favorite shows return to town, the best of Broadway stop by for the first time, as well as some 'L.A. only' shows which will make this city the envy of the rest of the country (well, aside from New York).

Before I begin the list of things to come, I would like to highlight a few things that are sure to be the hot tickets in town.

First off is Baz Luhrmann's production of La Boheme, which opened in New York to the critics' accolades. Well, L.A. is the only other American city (aside from San Fran which hosted it's O.O.T. tryout) that will see this spectacular production. Previews begin January 9th, the show opens officially with a Black-Tie gala on Sunday, January 14th, and it runs through March 7th, 2004. For tickets visit www.taperahmanson.com.

Also creating buzz right next-door at the Mark Taper Forum, is the new musical, Like Jazz, running now through January 25th, 2004. Talk about a dream team of creators: music by Cy Coleman (Sweet Charity, City of Angels), lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman (Streisand's favorite!), book by Larry Gelbart (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, City of Angels), choreography by Patricia Birch (A Little Night Music, Parade), and directed by Gordon Davidson (Children of a Lesser God). This new musical offers a glimpse into the world of Jazz, celebrates the art form and the people who can do nothing else but live, breathe, sleep and create jazz. For tickets visit http://taperahmanson.com/theatre.asp?theatre=taper.


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Timothy Kuryak After starting at the bottom, fetching coffee for some of theatre's most powerful producers of the great white way, and making his way up to Assistant Director of one of Broadway's longest-running musicals, Timothy headed west to try his luck in television. He then spent a few years in syndicated television, interviewing celebrities and producing segments featuring musicals coming through town, before directing the first season of "Big Brother" for CBS, and then focused his attention at two cable network start-ups. He then segued to international TV production for FOX, where he oversaw the international production of such formats as "Beauty & the Geek," "The Simple Life," and "Temptation Island" among others. In 2008, he was instrumental in the start-up and launch of Discovery Communications' PLANET GREEN network before segueing to OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network where he was VP, Programming. Most recently he served as VP of Production & Development (West Coast) for TLC, overseeing such shows as the "Say Yes to Dress" franchise, "Little People, Big World," "Who Do You Think You Are?" and "My 600lb Life" to name a few. Currently, he is the Executive Producer of "Who Do You Think You Are?" with Season 5 premiering this summer on TLC.

They say there is no culture in LA (well aside from what's in yogurt), but he is here to prove that axiom wrong. Anxious to begin covering the state of theatre here in the Southland (that's what the local news likes to call Southern California), neither earthquakes, fires, mudslides, nor high-speed freeway chases will keep him from his appointed rounds of giving you the scoop on the Left Coast theatre happenings!


 
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