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Here comes “Fly,” a new Wendy-centered musical opening at La Jolla Playhouse Feb. 18. And it’s offering a whole new Pan-orama, with a re-imagined Wendy taking center stage. Book-writer (and co-lyricist) Rajiv Joseph is a playwright best known for his Pulitzer Prize-nominated “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” and “Guards at the Taj,” which had a controversial production at the Playhouse in 2016. (I loved it.) “Fly” is an offbeat take on J.M. Barrie’s “Peter and Wendy,” a 1911 novel that was the Scottish-born, London-based writer’s follow-up to his hugely successful 1904 play “Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Would Never Grow Up.”
“The Great Leap,” a basketball-centric play, is coming to Old Town San Diego’s Cygnet Theatre Jan. 22, 2020. Written by multi-award-winner Lauren Yee, it was one of the 10 most-produced plays in the United States in 2019, along with her “Cambodian Rock Band,” recently staged at La Jolla Playhouse. “The Great Leap,” which premiered in Denver in 2018, is about an American basketball team going to China for an exhibition game. There’s more than a game at stake; there are long-buried personal histories, a clash of dreams and ambitions, and the main setting is Beijing in 1989, when student protesters were about to be massacred in Tienanmen Square. With all this going on, there’s still plenty of humor — one of the playwright’s conspicuous gifts.
Best Bets for Events: Jan. 9-15, 2020 in La Jolla and San Diego include Japanese brush painting classes; J Company Youth Theatre presents “Mamma Mia!” musical; San Diego Early Music Society presents the ensemble Concerto Italiano; Salk Science & Music Series concert and talk; preview of San Diego International Jewish Film Festival; and screening from San Diego Italian Film Festival.
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Playwright Lauren Yee is hot, hot, hot! According to American Theatre Magazine, she’s the second most-produced playwright in the country this season, and “Cambodian Rock Band” — coming to La Jolla Playhouse Nov. 12-Dec. 15, 2019 — is on the list of the top 10 most produced plays in the United States. It has earned her the Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association Award and the Horton Foote Prize for outstanding new play, and she has been rewarded for her body of work at the highest levels.
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