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Center Theatre Group to Host Productions of ‘1776,’ ‘Ain’t Too Proud,’ Cecily Strong Play in New Season

The cast of the A.R.T. production
Evan Zimmerman

Los Angeles’ Center Theater Group will host two world premieres, a West Coast bow, a U.S. launch and several classics and modern hits for its 2022-23 season.

The initial programming lineup for the next season of the theater group, which operates the Ahmanson and the Mark Taper Forum, was announced on Thursday by managing director and CEO Meghan Pressman, producing director Douglas C. Baker and associate artistic directors Luis Alfaro, Lindsay Allbaugh, Tyrone Davis, Neel Keller and Kelley Kirkpatrick.

The Taper’s season will open with “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe,” a one-woman play written by Jane Wagner that originally starred Lily Tomlin in 1991. The new production, which ran at the Shed in New York earlier this year, stars Cecily Strong and is directed by Leigh Silverman. It will run at the Taper from Sept. 21 to Oct. 23.

The Taper will also feature the West Coast premiere of “Clyde’s,” the Tony-nominated play from Pulitzer-winner Lynn Nottage that premiered on Broadway last November. It will run from Nov. 15 to Dec. 18. From March 8 to April 9, the theater will feature a 30th anniversary production of “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992,” Anna Deavere Smith’s play about the Los Angeles Riots that originally premiered at the Taper. It will end the season with two world premieres: “A Transparent Musical,” a theatrical adaptation of the Amazon Prime series “Transparent,” and “Fake It Until You Make It,” a comedy from Indigenous playwright Larissa FastHorse. “A Transparent Musical” runs from May 20 to June 25 next year, while “Fake It Until You Make It” runs from Aug. 2 to Sept. 3, 2023.

The Ahmanson’s season will kick off with the U.S. premiere of “2:22 A Ghost Story,” a West End play written by Danny Robins and directed by Matthew Dunster. After “2:22 A Ghost Story” runs from Oct. 29 to Dec. 4, the Ahmanson will host three Broadway productions: “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations,” “1776” and “A Soldier’s Play.” “Ain’t Too Proud,” a jukebox musical featuring the music of the Motown group now in its U.S. tour, will run from Dec. 22 to Jan. 1.

From April 5 to May 7, the Ahmanson will host American Repertory Theater’s revival of Sherman Edwards’ Tony-winning “1776,” which will feature an all-female cast in the roles of the founding fathers during the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Jeffrey L. Page and Diane Paulus-directed production is set to premiere on Broadway in September, before going on a 16-city National tour.

“A Soldier’s Play” will run at the Ahmanson from May 23 to June 25. The Kenny Leon-directed revival of the Charles Fuller play, which won a Tony after playing on Broadway in 2020, will feature Norm Lewis in the central role. Additional programming for the Ahmanson, as well as programming for the Center Theater Group’s Kirk Douglas Theater, will be announced at a later date.

“As we emerge from the pandemic and continue the leadership search to replace artistic director Michael Ritchie who retired at the end of 2021, I am proud of our artistic team and the bold collection of new work and modern classics we have assembled for the upcoming season,” Pressman said in a statement. “It is an impressive slate of powerful, poignant, funny and endlessly entertaining works that are both timeless and timely.”

Tickets to Taper productions are now on sale for subscribers at the Center Theater Group’s website.