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hamilton-webimageHAMILTON:  Yes, the legendary, much-touted, unapproachable Broadway megahit is hitting the road.  Although seats on Broadway are still fetching up to $2,500 each, even when purchased online from the theatre, the tour seats are much closer to standard rates, although they are still extremely difficult to buy.  Most theatres have used Hamilton as leverage to sell season ticket packages, making the show only available as part of a subscription package.  In case you live in a cave and don’t know, Hamilton is a sung-through musical about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, with music, lyrics and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda.  The score is primarily rap and pop ballads, but is generally accessible to all audiences. The touring company is currently playing at the San Francisco Orpheum through 8/5.  It then transfers to the Hollywood Pantages from 8/11 – 30; San Diego Civic 1/3 – 28/18; Denver Buell Theatre 2/27 – 4/1; and Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center 5/8 – 27.  Single tickets at the Hollywood Pantages go on sale on 4/19 for American Express cardholders, and 4/30 for all others.


into-the-wood-webimageINTO THE WOODS – Los Angeles:  Stephen Sondheim’s classic mashup of fairy tales is being presented at the Music Center’s Ahmanson Theatre.  This production, originally staged by the Fiasco Theatre Company on Broadway, is a much stripped down version – almost concert staging – which focuses on the words, the music, and the interplay between characters.  We quickly and warmly recognize fairy tale favorites such as Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (of beanstalk fame), the baker and his wife, Cinderella, Rapunzel, a couple of charming princes, and a very horny wolf.  However, what happens when their stories get intertwined, with a healthy dose of evil from an angry witch and a lady giant is the substance of this show.  Hint:  not very many of them live happily ever after!  Ahmanson Theatre (centertheatregroup.org) 4/4 – 5/14.


redvelvet-webimageRED VELVET – San Diego:   San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre is truly one of the most exciting theatre companies in the country.  They are currently presenting Red Velvet, a stirring drama that transports the audience to the turbulent backstage world of London’s Theatre Royal in the early 1800’s.  Edmund Kean, the greatest actor of his generation, can’t go on tonight as Othello, so a young American actor named Ira Aldridge arrives to step into the role – but no black man has ever played Othello on the English stage.  The Old Globe knows their way around Shakespeare, so they are the natural company to produce this show, which has been described as “informative, entertaining, and thought-provoking.”  Plays at the Old Globe, San Diego (TheOldGlobe.org) through April 30.


bodyguard-musical-webimageBODYGUARD, THE MUSICAL:     Based on the 1992 film, Bodyguard, The Musical has played to packed houses in London’s West End since 2012.  It is now touring the US (though it never played on Broadway).  As with the movie, the story involves a former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, hired to protect a lady superstar from an unknown stalker.  Each expects to be in charge.  What they didn’t expect was that they would fall in love.  The score includes One Moment in Time, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, and of course, I Will Always Love You.  The cast is headed by disco diva Deborah Cox.  Plays Tucson Centennial Hall 4/12 – 16; Sacramento Community Center 4/18 – 23; San Jose Center for Performing Arts 4/25 – 30; Hollywood Pantages 5/2 – 21; Costa Mesa Segerstrom Center 5/30 – 6/11; and San Diego Civic 6/13 – 18.


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