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Los Angeles Spotlight: January 2007

The Lusty Month of January logo
Rachel York
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
Some extremely exciting fare is on tap this month, as Los Angeles theaters start the new year with a bang.

To start, Michael York, Rachel York, and James Barbour will headline the national tour of the beloved 1960 Lerner and Loewe musical Camelot, which has its first pre-tour engagement at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts (January 12-28). The musical saga of King Arthur, his beloved queen Guinevere, and Sir Lancelot never fails to stir the blood.

Reprise! Broadway's Best presents the James Lapine-Stephen Sondheim masterpiece Sunday in the Park With George (UCLA's Freud Playhouse, January 30-February 11), starring Tony Award nominees Manoel Felciano, Kelli O'Hara, and Nancy Dussault.

There are no stars -- well, not yet -- in 13 (Mark Taper Forum, through February 18), a new musical about teenage angst by Tony Award winner ason Robert Brown (Parade, The Last Five Years). Todd Graff, director of the film Camp and a former actor, helms the comic tuner.

And that's not all for musical lovers. There's also the world premiere of a newly restored version of the 1925 George and Ira Gershwin musical, Tip-Toes (Sherman Oaks' Whitefire Theatre, January 13-February 18), and the touring edition of Stephen Schwartz' Pippin (Orange County Performing Arts Center, January 2-7).

A few comedies promise to lighten the post-holiday blahs. Former Dynasty adversaries Joan Collins and Linda Evans get a chance to bare claws again in the national tour of James Kirkwood's Legends! (Beverly Hills' Wilshire Theatre, January 16-28). Tony winner Greg Kotis' Pig Farm (Costa Mesa's South Coast Repertory, January 12-28) is a how-you-gonna-keep-'em-down-on-the-farm tale of rural madness. Laguna Playhouse offers the work of one its favorite playwrights, Richard Dresser, in the world premiere of The Pursuit of Happiness (January 2-February 4), about a woman who will stop at nothing to make sure her daughter gets to college.

Heading the month's dramatic fare is Geffen Playhouse's revival of David Mamet's caustic showbiz satire, Speed-the-Plow (January 30-March 18), with Greg Germann, Alicia Silverstone, and Jon Tenney taking the lead roles. Another highlight will be director Jon Lawrence Rivera's restaging of his Playwrights' Arena production of Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters (Kirk Douglas Theatre, January 14-February 11), which examines the travails of two richly-etched Filipino characters in 1982 Manila. Also on tap is a revival of Lanford Wilson's venerable drama Burn This (Hollywood's Egyptian Arena Theatre, January 11-27).

New dramas of potential interest include: Chris Thorpe's Safety (Hollywood's McCadden Theatre, January 4-February 18), about a war photographer coming to terms with his neglected family relationships; Romulus Linney's A Lesson Before Dying (Studio City's The Actors Group Theatre, January 13-February 18), about a black man in 1948 Louisiana wrongly accused of murder; and Steve Totland's Swimming (North Hollywood's Road Theatre, January 12-March 24), about a 10-year marriage marred by deception.

Hollywood's gay-focused Celebration theatre goes classic -- sort of -- in Nika Serras and Allain Rochel's sexy, all-male adaptation of the Euripides Greek drama The Bacchae (January 12-February 11). Gay audiences will also flock to the L.A. premiere of Confessions of a Mormon Boy (West Hollywood's Coast Playhouse, January 10-February 18), Steven Fales' bittersweet solo piece about how he abandoned life as a married Mormon man to become an aging New York City rent boy.

Far more suitable for family audiences are The Falcon Theatre's new kids-oriented musical comedy The Root Beer Bandits (January 20-March 25); the evergreen Broadway musical Annie at the Orange County Performing Arts Center (January 30-February 11); and the ever-busy Santa Monica Playhouse's new spin on old fairy tales called And Awaaay We Go to Wonderland! (January 30-February 11).

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