A Strange Loop, the critically acclaimed musical about a black gay man writing a musical about a black gay man writing a musical about a black gay man, is coming to Los Angeles.
Michael R Jacksons Pulitzer- and Tony-winning work will play at the Ahmanson Theater next summer (5-30 June 2024) as part of the Center Theater Group’s 2023-24 season. Co-produced with the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, the film follows a young performer named Usher and the chorus of comedic yet punitive voices in his head that interrupt his attempts to create an original stage show.
“For most of this triumphant, emotionally stirring show…I sat with my mouth open, amazed and grateful that something so brutally honest and rigorously constructed had finally made it onto a Broadway stage,” wrote Times critic Charles McNulty in his review last year. “What sets the show apart is the raw honesty with which Jackson questions his own marginalization. “A Strange Loop” draws its power from its fearless specificity.”
A Strange Loop is one of Center Theater Group’s 2023-2024 season offerings, which the company announced this morning. Seasonal programming also includes Funny Girl, A Christmas Story, The Musical and more.
The Center Theater Group unveils its 2023-24 season Break in programming on the Mark Taper Forum, shortening the venue’s historic season of all-female/gender-neutral writers. With the decision announced last month, the world premiere of was cancelled “Fake It Until You Make It” by Larissa Fast Horse and the LA performance by Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band.
Speaking of the season announcement, CTG Managing Director and CEO Meghan Pressman stated, “At the Mark Taper Forum, we will be offering special programming throughout the year while we also work to bring a full subscription season back to market.”
“Since our announcement about the Temporary pause in taper productionsIt has been a great honor to receive so much support from our community, and we remain immensely proud of our CTG staff who have continued to work hard to bring some of the best shows in the country to Los Angeles – and this season is no exception.”
This is also mentioned in the announcement new artistic director Snehal Desai will present its first official season in spring. “During our 2023-2024 season, audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy four classic works and three adventurous new musicals – and it’s all just the beginning,” Desai said in a statement.
For the 2023-2024 season, the Ahmanson season begins with the previously announced return of Hadestown (October 3-15), the toured LA last spring. The eight Tony Award-winning musical creatively reimagines the Greek tragedy of Orpheus and Eurydice with an industrial setting, poetic lyrics and howling jazz-blues music. In this releaseReasonable Eurydice has fallen in love with the idealistic Orpheus, but craves the financial stability guaranteed in the eponymous underworld – a factory town overseen by Hades and angered by his wife Persephone. Hadestown Features a book, music and lyrics by Anaïs MitchellShe is only the fourth woman in Broadway history to be a solo writer for a musical.
A Christmas Carol, the Musical (December 5-31) comes out in time for the holiday season. Based on the 1983 film and the writings of radio humorist Jean Shepherd, the adaptation follows 12-year-old Ralphie Parker as he seeks the gift of his dreams (an official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle, of course). The production features original songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“Dear Evan Hansen,” “The Greatest Showman”) and signature visuals from the hit film, like pink bunny pajamas, a freezing flagpole, and that infamous leg lamp.
The Ahmanson will kick off the new year with Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet (January 28 – February 25, 2024). This dance-like retelling of the Shakespearean classic takes place in the “Verona Institute” in the not too distant future. The run continues the Center Theater Group’s presentation of Bourne’s work, as CTG has presented numerous performances of Bourne’s Swan Lake, as well as Cinderella, The Car Man, Edward Scissorhands and The Red Shoes.
The venue will then host the Broadway touring revival of Funny Girl (April 2-28, 2024), based on the life of legendary Jewish variety star Fanny Brice (the stage and film role that made Barbra Streisand a superstar). Directed by Michael Mayer, the production includes Harvey Fierstein’s adaptations of Isobel Lennart’s book. Newcomer Katerina McCrimmon will play Fanny Brice, and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Melissa Manchester will play Mrs. Brice.
The Ahmanson season concludes with Clue (July 30 – August 25, 2024), based on the 1985 film and classic Hasbro board game. Written by Sandy Rustin and with additional material from Hunter Foster and Eric Price, the crime thriller brings well-loved characters such as Miss Scarlett, Professor Plum, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock and Colonel Mustard to the stage as they make their way through the estate, rushing to solve a murder and making sure their secret motives don’t implicate them in the crime.
Meanwhile, the Kirk Douglas Theater will present TheaterWorksUSA’s production of Dog Man: The Musical (November 21 – January 7, 2024). Adapted from Dav Pilkey’s popular book series, the family-friendly series tells the story of two elementary school friends and their favorite character: Dog Man, who with a dog’s head and a cop’s body enjoys fighting crime and chewing on furniture. With music by Brad Alexander and book and lyrics by Kevin Del Aguila, Dog Man: The Musical will be performed in LA after a long run in New York.
Tickets for the Center Theater Group season are available by subscription from August 9th. Additional community programs and special events at both the Kirk Douglas Theater and the Mark Taper Forum will be announced at a later date.