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Best Spring 2014 Theater Productions In Los Angeles

March 10, 2014 6:00 AM

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(credit: Joan Marcus)

(credit: Joan Marcus)

(credit: Totem)

(credit: Totem)


Forget Broadway in New York City. Our Southland has plenty of quality theater productions – just consider LA ‘Broadway West.’ From spiritually enlightening stage art to love stories, and from humor to the serious, theater in the Southland lacks nothing. These five choices offer opportunities to up the game in entertainment. Stage shows and theater productions offer dazzling color-filled flash, music and dance, all intended to create an unforgettable experience for audiences.
(credit: HollywoodPantages.com)

(credit: HollywoodPantages.com)


“The Book of Mormon”
Pantages Theater
6233 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(888) 803-9646
www.los-angeles-theatre.com
Date: Through May 11, 2014

From the creators of adult cartoon series “South Park,” this Tony Award-winning Broadway musical’s humor needs some intellectual sense to enjoy it to its fullest. Two young Mormon men go on a ‘mission’ with distinct personality differences. For Mormon youth, it is a rite of passage, but for this pair, it’s an over-the-top exercise in hilarity. At a non-stop pace, every scene breaks out with insightful humor. Meant for adults, this is a show that is sure to become a classic.

Related: LA’s Best Small Performing Arts Theaters

(credit: Totem)

(credit: Totem)


“TOTEM”
Grand Chapiteau at the Santa Monica Pier
200 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 458-8901
www.santamonica.com
Date: Through March 16, 2014

In humanity’s murky past, our ancestors believed that animals and objects, including features of the landscape, had special powers and spiritual meanings – totems. Combined with myth, totems evoke meaning for our common human experience. “Totem,” the award-winning show, explores the evolution of social culture with dance, music, feats of agility and costume. The deeper meanings of life are presented in what can be only be inadequately described as wholly unique.

(credit: The Geffen Playhouse)

(credit: The Geffen Playhouse)


“Slowgirl”
Geffen Playhouse – Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater
10886 Le Conte Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 208-5454
www.geffenplayhouse.com
Date: March 4 – April 20, 2014

An expatriate uncle in Costa Rica opens his home to his niece as she escapes a youthful and wayward path, but the uncle himself is lost on the same path of diversion and escape. These ‘lost souls’ contrast as they find each other in a common need to reconcile regrets in life. With ‘sharp humor and authenticity,’ the characters interact as the play explores intimacy, forgiveness and personal redemption. Critical reviews describe the play on an ‘intimate stage’ as ‘engaging’ and the actors as ‘absorbingly off kilter.’

Related: LA’s Best Local Theater Directors

(credit: Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

(credit: Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)


“Shen Yun”
Nokia Theatre
777 Chick Hearn Court
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 763-6030
www.axs.com
Date: March 22-23, 2014

One hundred performers with hundreds of costumes bring life to Central China’s 5,000-year-old culture. Moving from old legends to modern stories, the dance and music communicates the meaning of life and our relationship to the universe. While modern China seems to have lost its past, “Shen Yun” brings the Far East to the West. Animated backdrops and orchestra music round out a truly inspirational performance. At the heart of “Shen Yun” is the cultural essence of a people, and a touchingly interment reaching out to the world.

rock of ages 300
“Rock of Ages”
City National Grove of Anaheim
2200 E. Katella Ave.
Anaheim CA 92806
(714) 712-2700
www.citynationalgroveofanaheim.com
Date: April 11-12, 2014

Love and 80s rock hits the Southland with “Rock of Ages.” The love story of a small-town girl and urban rock star from Detroit is in the forefront as the music of Bon Jovi, Journey, REO Speedwagon and more fills the background. Adult themes bring back the feeling of an idealized post-60s generation with full-force. The year 1987 on the Sunset Strip was a time when unknowns felt they were on the verge of fame. Dreams took on reality in flashes, friendships were expected to last forever and love seemed tangible. Audiences of all generations will enjoy a far-out trip to that not so far past.

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Robert Cuthbert is a freelance writer covering all things Los Angeles. His work can be found on Examiner.com.
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