The lights will soon be back on inside the Ahmanson Theatre.
Center Theatre Group artistic director Michael Ritchie announced this week that the 54th season at the Ahmanson will kick off Nov. 30 — three months later than originally scheduled and 20 months after shuttering due to COVID-19 — with director Matthew Warchus’ A Christmas Carol.
The season includes productions of The Lehman Trilogy, The Prom, Hadestown, Dear Evan Hansen, Come From Away and Brit import Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, the latter in its North American premiere. The Tony Award-winning revival of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! that was previously set to open the season in August 2020 will now close the season in 2022. Meanwhile, the previously announced production of 1776 will be postponed until a future season.
“It feels like ages ago that theaters across the world went dark and, in many ways, it has been,” said Ritchie of the closure, which happened along with all other live event venues and entertainment in March 2020. “But, with vaccination rates going up, infection rates falling, and all of us cautiously returning to museums, movie theaters, restaurants and even stadiums, we can finally see the moment when the curtain will rise again at the Ahmanson.”
He said that “for the first time in a very long while” there is light at the end of the tunnel and they are making plans for a full return across all three CTG stages. CTG previously announced Slave Play would be performed at Mark Taper Forum while Tambo & Bones would be staged inside the Kirk Douglas Theatre. They are currently working to assemble full seasons at both venues, Ritchie added.
“I look forward to announcing those seasons in the coming months and, in light of rapidly developing good news from state officials, we are continuing to search for nontraditional productions and other opportunities to return to the stage more quickly than our subscription seasons would generally allow,” he said. “Working with the state, the county and The Music Center, we have already made remarkable progress and I have no doubt that we will be ready when the curtain rises again.”