Heading into the final weekend of the year, what better way to celebrate new beginnings than with a night out at the theater? This week’s Countrywide Guide spotlights a chance to see two-time Tony winner Brian Dennehy, a strangely magical production of Xanadu, a final chance to catch Oliver! and more!
LOS ANGELES, CA
Brian Dennehy Plumbs the Depths
Tony winner Brian Dennehy tackles one of his most challenging roles in Center Theatre Group’s mounting of Sebastian Barry’s The Steward of Christendom. Set in Baltinglass, Ireland, in 1932, the play centers on the delusional and physically worn down Thomas Dunne, who recalls his years with the Dublin police. The Steward of Christendom, running through January 5, is a haunting portrayal of a soldier at the end of his life.
Ye Gods! Xanadu Is Back
Xanadu may have been a flop at the box office back in 1980, but the 2007 musical version was a Tony-nominated Broadway hit. Set in 1980 on Mt. Olympus and Los Angeles, Xanadu follows Sonny Malone, a frustrated street artist who needs a model to finish his chalk mural of the nine Greek muses. Arizona Theatre Company’s production, running through January 19, will take you back to the period of bad fashion, big hair and arena rock.
PALO ALTO, CA
Celebrate the Holidays with Little Women
The delightful 2005 musical adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women is the perfect holiday treat. Featuring a book by Allan Knee and a score by Jason Howland and Mindi Dickstein, the show follows the four March sibs—eldest sister Meg, tomboy and budding author Jo, shy Beth and artistic Amy—as they come of age during the Civil War. TheatreWorks' production runs through January 4 at Palo Alto's Lucie Stern Theatre.
Last Chance for Some More Oliver!
It's the final weeked to savor 5th Avenue Theatre's revival of Oliver! Lionel Bart's irresistible musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist. You won't want to miss the adventures of young Oliver, his pal the Artful Dodger, the dastardly Fagin and heroine Nancy, not to mention songs like "Consider Yourself," "Food, Glorious Food" and "As Long as He Needs Me." Catch the show through New Year's Eve.
Lookingglass Puts Playful Spin on The Little Prince
There are few stories as universally beloved as Antoine de St. Exupery’s tale of a pilot who crash-lands in the Sahara Desert and meets a mysterious little prince from another planet. Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre Company and The Actors Gymnasium collaborate to present Rick Cummins and John Scoullar’s adaptation of the tale, through February 2. Stilt walkers, circus artists and visual surprises bring the story to life.