Los Angeles is known the world over for its movie stars and television actors. Yet when "The Theater" is mentioned one immediately thinks of Broadway and not the City of Angels.
However, Los Angeles has a bustling theater scene replete with award winning talent and state-of-the-art venues. After all, actors and directors need to do something in between film projects.
The Pantages Theatre is located on Hollywood Boulevard and is one of the city's most endearing landmarks. The theater opened in 1930 and was once owned by Howard Hughes.
The theater seats over 2,600 and is a great place to see some of Broadway's best musicals.
"Rent," "Grease," "Mamma Mia!," "Dirty Dancing," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Legally Blonde" and "How The Grinch Stole Christmas," are all schedule to perform at the Pantages in 2009.
"Rain: The Beatles Experience," is a Beatles cover-band that will having you believing it's 1965 all over again. The fake fab four has been booked for an extended engagement in April.
The Ahmanson Theatre is located at 135 North Grand Avenue and is one of the premier venues in Los Angeles for plays, musicals, classics and revivals.
The Ahmanson has debut six Neil Simon plays and featured performances by such legends as Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Rex Harrison, and James Earl Jones.
Remodel in 1995, the state-of-the-art theater has a seating capacity of 1,600 to 2,000, depending on size and scope of the production. This historic and versatile venue has the largest subscription base of any theater on the West Coast.
In 2009, you can expect to see "Minksy's" a musical set in the prohibition era, "Frost/Nixon" starring Stacy Keach, and the Tony Award winning musical "Ain't Misbehavin."
Later in the year, the Ahamanson will be visited by Dame Edna, the Ballet Hispanico, and Patti Lupone & Mandy Patinkin.
The hilarious musical comedy "Monty Python's Spamalot" will raise Ahamanson's curtain as well as the 2008 Pulitzer Prize winning play, "August: Osage County."
Come 2010, look for performances of "Mary Poppins" and "DreamGirls."
The Ahamanson Theatre is located within the Los Angeles Music Center, which is one of the three largest performing arts centers in the United States.
Besides the Ahamanson Theatre, the Music Center encompasses three other venues: the Mark Taper Forum, the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion used to host the Academy Awards but the last time the Pavilion gave out Oscars was in 1999.
The Pavilion seats 3,197 and is home to the Los Angeles Opera.
Upcoming performances at the Pavilion include the first two operas in Wagner's ring cycle, "Das Rheingold" and "Die Walkure." Also on the schedule is Verdi's classic "La Traviata."
Also appearing at the Pavilion in 2009 is Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Birds, and the American Ballet Theatre.
The Mark Taper Forum, yet another venue at the L.A. Music Center, also has its share of world-class theater productions. The award winning "Pippin" makes an extended run on its stage, as well as "Lydia," "Uncle Vanya," "The Lieutenant of Inishmore," "Parade," and "Palestine, New Mexico."
The Mark Taper Forum opened in 1967 and underwent a $30 million renovation just a few years ago. The Taper is known for staging innovated and risk-taking plays. It was also the host for the world premiere of "Angels in America."
Pulitzer Prize winning writer Donald Margulies' new work, "Time Stands Still," can be seen at the Geffen Playhouse. The low-key drama about journalists covering the Iraqi War stars Alicia Silverstone and Anna Gunn.
The Geffen Playhouse, located in Westwood, was originally built in 1929. In 2001, it was updated with a $17 million remodel. The theater is quite cozy, seating just 525 patrons.
The Ralph Freud Playhouse is yet another destination for theater goers. You can find the theater on the campus of UCLA in the James West Alumni Center.
This year, the intimate theater, and its 586 seats, are schedule to host performances of "Man of La Mancha," "David Rousseve Reality" and "The Fantasticks".
It's quite clear that Los Angeles has a vibrant and diverse theater scene. With its state-of-the-art facilities and its award winning talent, the city of angels produces more than just movies and television shows, it also produces great theater.