THE BODYGUARD

Over a dozen of Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits performed by an electrifying Deborah Cox in the screen-to-stage tale of a superstar pop diva and her obsessed, life-threatening stalker may not be great art. Indeed, it’s not even a traditional song-propelled musical per se. But no matter. I enjoyed just about every minute of The Bodyguard, the West End smash now touring the U.S.A. and stopping this week and next at the Segerstrom Center For The Arts.
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JERSEY BOYS

Mark Ballas shows off Frankie Valli vocals to match his Dancing With The Stars footwork as Jersey Boys, the 12th-longest-running show in Broadway history, arrives at the Ahmanson Theatre to dazzle audiences with its true-life story of pop legends The Four Seasons (plus a few dozen Top Forty smashes thrown in for zing).
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AN AMERICAN IN PARIS

There’s been more than one “new (i.e. jukebox) Gershwin musical” before An American In Paris’s 2015 Broadway debut, but there’s never been one as gloriously song-and-dance-packed (emphasis on dance) as the gorgeously choreographed and designed quadruple Tony winner, a veritable feast of color and light and ballet and tap and more.
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INTO THE WOODS

Revivals don’t come any more thrillingly imaginative than Fiasco Theater’s brilliantly re-imagined Into The Woods, now paying a visit to the Ahmanson Theatre in a production no musical theater lover will want to miss.
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FINDING NEVERLAND

It’s telling that the Best Picture Oscar-nominated Finding Neverland scored not a single Tony nomination when set to music on Broadway in 2015. Despite a number of memorable moments (and an Act One finale that may well inspire longer, louder, more deserved cheers than any in recent memory), Finding Neverland The Musical substitutes broad comedy, generic songs, and cartoonish supporting characters for the subtlety and depth that made Finding Neverland The Movie one of 2005’s most acclaimed films.
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A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER

Homicide has rarely been as hilarious as it is in A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder, the murderously mirthful quadruple-Tony-winning Best Musical of 2014, now paying a crowd-delighting weeklong visit to the Segerstrom Center For The Arts.
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FUN HOME

Coming of age. Coming out. Coming to grips. Three extraordinary actresses breathe life into a young lesbian’s journey from childhood to mid-life in Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir-turned-Tony-winning musical Fun Home, now making a thrilling Los Angeles debut at the Ahmanson.
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946: THE AMAZING STORY OF ADOLPHUS TIPS

World War II England comes breathtakingly to life as Cornwall’s Kneehigh Theatre returns to the Wallis Annenberg Center For The Performing Arts with the magical, musical, mesmerizing (and fact-based) 946: The Amazing Story Of Adolphus Tips.
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