10 Great Places for Theater Performances in DTLA

Nothing can compare to the grandeur of Downtown’s most memorial theatrical performances, encased within Historical landmarks, brought to the stage by some of the world’s most renown performers. From classical productions of Shakespeare to modern day musicals, DTLA has it all.

Bob Baker’s Marionette Theater

Bob Baker and partner Alton Wood turned a run-down scenic shop near downtown Los Angeles into a family entertainment institution in 1953 purchasing the property for use as a live puppet theater and permanent showcase for hand-crafted marionettes, making The Bob Baker Marionette Theater one of the longest-running puppet theaters in the United States. Baker died 2014 but he left behind a lifetime worth of smiles and memories, 1,000’s of enchanting, hand-crafted puppets, the beautiful Cultural-Historical landmark. On stage now: Bob Baker’s beloved marionette adaptation of the classic ballet the NUTCRACKER allowing us to take you on an adventure through the wizardry of strings and into the enchanted world of the fantastic. 1345 W 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90026. (213) 250-9995.

LA Opera

Throughout its history, LA Opera has maintained a talented roster of resident artists, young singers who perform regularly in mainstage productions as well as the company’s community programs under the personal supervision of Peter Hemmings, Plácido Domingo, Kent Nagano, and current Music Director James Conlon. Tracing its roots back to 1948, the Company, under the directorship of Francesco Pace, LA Opera staged productions through the 1950s, and in 1964 and presented the first opera performed in the Music Center’s brand-new Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. On stage now: well, in January, James Conlon conducts, THE ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO marrying the brilliance of Mozart’s comic gem with the flair of a classic Hollywood comedy. En route from Istanbul to Paris, two beautiful damsels in distress are held captive aboard the luxurious Orient Express by a notorious Ottoman royal. It’s up to their faithful lovers to rescue them before it’s too late! Show opens January 28th and runs through February 19th.  135 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012. (213) 972-8001.

Latino American Company @Los Angeles Theatre Center

The Latino Theater Company (LTC) celebrates over 29 years of commitment to the creation of exciting, thought-provoking theater in Los Angeles under Artistic Director José Luis Valenzuela also co-founded the Latino Theater Lab at the LATC in 1985.  Since LATC has provided a world-class arts center for those pursuing artistic excellence; a laboratory where both tradition and innovation are honored and honed; a place where the convergence of people, cultures, and ideas contribute to the future. On stage now: The Latina Christmas Special, Back by popular demand, The Latina Christmas Special returns to the LATC this holiday season! Starring critically acclaimed Latina comedians, Sandra Valls, a Mexican America from Laredo, Texas (Showtime’s “Latin Divas of Comedy”), Diana Yanez, a Cuban-American from Miami (“Margaret Cho Sensuous Woman Show”), and Maria Russell, the daughter of an over-dedicated Mexican mother and compliant Lithuanian father (FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) sharing sassy tales of the season as first generation Americans. The show runs through December 18th.  514 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013. (213) 489-0994.

Cornerstone Theater Company

For over 29 years, Cornerstone has brought together an ensemble of professional artists of the highest caliber with people who would never think of themselves as artists to produce works of excellence based on the stories, concerns and issues of a given community. Their plays celebrate many voices and are staged in theaters and in parking lots, in factories, schools and subway stations. They’ve taken up residence in small towns and urban neighborhoods, collaborating with locals from start to finish to tell their unique stories through theater with headquarters in Downtown’s Arts District. On stage now: well, coming in January, the eighth play in Cornerstone’s Hunger Cycle, Fellowship is a performance that immerses you in the role of volunteer, giving you the opportunity to do something useful for hungry people in Los Angeles. The show runs January 19th through February 12th. 708 Traction Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013. (213) 613-1700.

REDCAT

Through performances, exhibitions, screenings, and literary events, REDCAT introduces diverse audiences, students, and artists to the most influential developments in the arts from around the world, and gives artists in this region the creative support they need to achieve national and international stature. On stage now: Stew and Heidi featuring Tony and Obie Award-winning writer and composer Stew who delves into the rich legacy of activist writer James Baldwin in his new music and theater event Notes of a Native Song, created with long-time collaborator and co-composer Heidi Rodewald and an all-star band. The show runs from December 14th through the 17th. 631 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012. (213) 237-2800.

East West Players.

East West Players was founded by nine Asian-American artists (Mako, Rae Creevey, Beulah Quo, Soon-Tek Oh, James Hong, Pat Li, June Kim, Guy Lee, and Yet Lock) seeking opportunities to take on roles beyond the stereotypical parts they were being offered in Hollywood. Established in 1965, East West Players has been hailed as the nation’s leading Asian American theater troupe for our award-winning productions that blend Eastern and Western movement, costumes, language, and music. EWP has premiered more than 100 plays and musicals about the Asian Pacific American experience and has held more than 1,000 readings and workshops. On stage now: The East West Players just wrapped up their 2016 season, returning for more incredible stage performances in mid-February.  120 Judge John Aiso St, Los Angeles, CA 90012. (213) 625-7000.

Ahmanson Theater

As one of the nation’s most influential nonprofit theatre companies, the Ahmanson proudly continues their 50-year tradition of using the art of theatre to broaden horizons and illuminate new perspectives. On stage now: Amélie the five-time Oscar-nominated film now a pre-Broadway musical. Embark on a mesmerizing journey with inquisitive and charmingly shy Amélie (played by “Hamilton’s” Phillipa Soo) as she turns the streets of Montmartre into a world of her own imagining, while secretly orchestrating moments of joy for those around her. Previews begin December 4, 2016. The show opens December 16th and runs through January 15th, 2017. 135 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012. (213) 628-2772.

Los Angeles Theater

The Los Angeles Theatre was the last and most extravagant of the ornate movie palaces built on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles between 1911 and 1931. Designed by architect S. Charles Lee with a French Baroque-inspired décor, its majestic six-story main lobby and 2,200-seat auditorium of carved plaster ornamentation, mirrors, and cove-lit murals recall the glamorous days of 1930s Hollywood. On stage now: The multi-Tony winning The King and I dancing its way out of New York based on a true story, of the blossoming romance between an English governess and the King of 19th Century Siam. Part love story and part culture clash comedy, the show contains some of musical theatre’s greatest numbers, from Shall We Dance to Getting to Know You, to I Whistle A Happy Tune. The show runs through January 22nd. 615 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014. (213) 629-2939.

LA Central Library

In addition to its existance as Downtown’s main information hub, providing access to countless volumns, ideas, books and technology, the Los Angeles Central Library remains the cities most intriguing lighthouse beacon, a historical monument illuminating the development of our great city. The LA Central Library host tours, classes, and various exhibits year round. This season, they are shedding new light on the world’s most reveared playwright, Sir William Shakespear. On stage now: Well, on exhibit, the complete works of “America’s Shakespeare,” giving insight into the playwright’s absorption into California’s history and culture, the centerpiece of the exhibit is a First Folio (1623) from the Folger’s Shakespeare collection – the largest of its kind in the world. Exhibition runs from November 17th through February 26th, 2017. 630 W 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90071. (213) 228-7000.

Mark Taper Forum

The Mark Taper Forum sheds a light on society. Under the Center Theater Groups alongside, the Ahmanson and Kirk Douglas Theaters, the Taper serves diverse audiences presenting theatre of the highest caliber, transforming the lives of individuals and society at large. On stage now: THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE, a dark comic tale of Maureen Folan, a plain and lonely woman in her early 40s, and Mag, her manipulative, aging mother, whose interference in Maureen’s first and potentially last loving relationship sets in motion a chain of events that are as tragically funny as they are horrific. Garry Hynes, who won a Tony Award® for her direction of The Beauty Queen of Leenane on Broadway, revisits this black comedy by Martin McDonagh (The Lieutenant of Inishmore) with the renowned Druid theatre company. The show runs through December 18th. 135 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012. (213) 628.2772.

  

  

KerFree100

Yup, you guessed it. It’s me Keri Freeman, publisher and concept designer for Downtown Weekly. Living, working and playing in Downtown coming from an entertainment background…I discovered something about myself. I discovered I really liked sharing my knowledge of DTLA and its awesome hospitality movement. Also in doing so I have the great pleasure of working with incredible sponsors (who believe in the vision), extraordinary literary artists, photographers, event coordinators and many talented artists and musicians who inspire me every day to keep the DTLA Weekly going. Also, it would seem I’m the only woman of color to publish a newspaper here in over 100 years, so hopefully that inspires some future generations as well….Just remember if its fun…it can’t be work….Thank you, people of Gaia, for your continued support and thank you for reading!