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Theater preview: Musicals, comedy and ice-skating heat up the spring season

By Alicia Caldera/Daily Bruin

By Isabella Appell, Sydney Gaw, Ruwani Jayasekara, Puja Anand, and Reid Sperisen

April 18, 2024 12:56 p.m.

This post was updated April 18 at 7:39 p.m.

Theater’s biggest names will be springing into action this season.

As the sun shines brighter, vibrant productions will be flowering across Los Angeles stages. Featuring Tony Award-winning musicals and world-class comedians, the upcoming theatrical slate will guarantee a blooming season.

Read on for the Daily Bruin’s picks for spring’s supreme seats.

[Related: Film preview: Upcoming spring flicks find adventure at every turn]

(Courtesy of Feld Entertainment)
Mickey Mouse stands among his friends, donning ice skates. “Mickey’s Search Party,” a “Disney On Ice” touring production, will take place at the Long Beach Arena on April 25-28. (Courtesy of Feld Entertainment)

Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party (Long Beach Arena)

Help Mickey search for his new weekend plans.

Disney On Ice will feature its newest addition of “Mickey’s Search Party” from April 25-28 at the Long Beach Arena. Mickey will take viewers through an immersive experience as he searches for Tinker Bell, meeting some unexpected friends along the way. With tickets as low as $25, people of all ages can come and enjoy the show.

The performance will feature skating, acrobatics and stunts done by some of audiences’ favorite Disney characters. Producer Nicole Feld launched the show in 2018, working with a team to mold the costumes, set design and characters to capture the enchanting magic of Walt Disney. Taking attendees through a comedic yet endearing journey, Mickey’s Search Party will unravel multiple storylines right in front of their eyes.

Sail away with Moana, sing with the characters of “Coco” and get taken to a whole new world with Aladdin on “Mickey’s Search Party” adventure.

– Isabella Appell

 

(Courtesy of Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade)
The cast of “Come From Away” sings together on stage. Running at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre from May 7-12, the critically acclaimed Broadway musical is based on real events. (Courtesy of Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade)

Come From Away (Hollywood Pantages Theatre)

“Come From Away” is making its comeback this spring.

The critically acclaimed Broadway musical will be making a nearly week-long run at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre from May 7–12, with ticket prices for any of the eight shows starting at $49. Based on real events, “Come From Away” takes place in the Newfoundland town of Gander during the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, where approximately 7,000 passengers are deposited at Gander International Airport. The local townspeople rally together to welcome the newcomers and bond as a community as news of the tragedy makes its way to Gander.

Written by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, “Come From Away” opened on Broadway in 2017 and was nominated for seven Tony Awards the same year. The musical features 23 songs that remind its audience of the capacity for human kindness and the triumph of compassion over hate in the midst of a crisis. Lauded for its dazzling technical performance and dynamic cast, “Come From Away” highlights the good that ultimately allows the passengers and townspeople to persevere through hardship.

Viewers are sure to come away with a new outlook on life, love and humanity.

– Sydney Gaw

(Courtesy of Netflix)
Trevor Noah holds a microphone and smiles. The South African comedian will perform at the Hollywood Bowl on May 11 as part of the annual “Netflix Is A Joke Fest.” (Courtesy of Netflix)

Netflix Is A Joke Presents: Trevor Noah (Hollywood Bowl)

Trevor Noah is standing up for comedy this spring.

On May 11, the two-time Emmy-winning comedian is set to grace the Hollywood Bowl stage as part of Netflix’s annual “Netflix is a Joke Fest”, a 12-day festival spotlighting over 400 comedy artists throughout LA. Following his unexpected departure from “The Daily Show,” the festival appearance adds a highly anticipated stop on his ongoing “Off the Record Tour,” answering the audience’s question of “What Now?” for the South African comedy veteran. Closing out the Hollywood Bowl’s festival dates, Noah’s fresh take on the intricacies of global pop culture sets him apart from the extensive list of acclaimed names in comedy slated to perform at LA’s beloved venue.

Intertwining political satire with witty recounts of his own experience growing up during the apartheid, Noah’s seven-year legacy at Comedy Central and four Netflix stand-up specials have developed a global audience of steadfast supporters. Although the television host departs from the political material that has become his signature, his upcoming set is sure to be rooted in authentic storytelling and the universal experiences that fans all over the world have grown to love.

After the last joke is told on the Hollywood Bowl stage, Trevor Noah will surely not be the “Last One Laughing.”

– Ruwani Jayasekara

(Courtesy of Marc J. Franklin)
The cast of “A Strange Loop” sings in a line. The Tony Award-winning musical will run at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre from June 5-30. (Courtesy of Marc J. Franklin)

A Strange Loop (Ahmanson Theatre)

Broadway will loop through Hollywood this June.

The Pulitzer Prize-, Tony Award-winning Broadway production “A Strange Loop” is gracing LA’s Ahmanson Theatre from June 5-30. Self-proclaimed to be “the big, Black, and queer-ass Great American Musical for all,” the show is an edgy, comedic take on social issues, striving to depict the lived experiences of the Black LGBTQ+ community. The musical is directed by Stephen Brackett, with tickets beginning at $35.

Featuring Michael R. Jackson’s book, music and lyrics, the show mirrors his own life as an aspirational theater artist. The protagonist Usher is a gay Black writer who, fed up with the limitations of his day job as a theater usher, begins to write a musical about a gay, Black artist writing a musical about a gay, Black artist – thus, forming the strange loop. Furthermore, Jackson was once a struggling usher for “The Lion King” insistent on writing a musical, adding another layer to this “Inception”-like narrative. As an ensemble, the musical personifies the protagonist’s inner dilemmas as “Thoughts” playing the characters in his mind. Through humor and quirky dialogue, the musical illustrates Usher grappling with the barriers of race and sexuality as he chases his dreams.

Viewers are sure to get lost in this strange loop, emerging with a fresh look on society.

– Puja Anand

[Related: Theater review: Katerina McCrimmon is ‘unrivaled’ as Fanny Brice in ‘Funny Girl’]

(Courtesy of Joan Marcus)
The cast of “Mrs. Doubtfire” wields broomsticks while singing. Starring Tony-nominated actor Rob McClure, the musical comedy will be staged at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre from June 11-30. (Courtesy of Joan Marcus)

Mrs. Doubtfire (Hollywood Pantages Theatre)

The stage could always use a little more mischief.

The musical comedy “Mrs. Doubtfire” will arrive at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre on June 11, where 24 shows are lined up through June 30. Ticket prices start at $45 to see Tony-nominated actor Rob McClure star as the titular nanny. Four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks is the director behind the ongoing 30-city “Mrs. Doubtfire” tour.

Anne Fine’s 1987 novel “Madame Doubtfire” provided the source material for the Broadway production. Audiences are likely most familiar with the film adaptation of “Mrs. Doubtfire,” which starred Robin Williams and Sally Field and became the second-highest-grossing film of 1993 at the domestic box office. Like its predecessors, the musical will follow Daniel Hillard, a middle-aged father, and his efforts to spend more time with his children in the midst of custody battles caused by his divorce. Posing as an elderly woman in order to be hired as his children’s caretaker, Hillard struggles to keep his true identity a secret through a series of increasingly hilarious situations.

For close-knit families like the Hillards, and Angelenos looking for a hearty laugh, “Mrs. Doubtfire” is sure to entertain while offering up a lesson or two.

– Reid Sperisen

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