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Los Angeles: Theater, Major Theaters

Intro | Major Theaters | Small Equity Companies | Specialized Theaters

Los Angeles Theater: Major Theater Companies Around Los Angeles

The six Los Angeles Theater companies listed below (along with the major Broadway show tour producer) are considered the among the best Theater companies in the world, casting top flight talent in nearly every production. Each listing features information on location, ticket prices, transportation/parking, theater history and other points of interest.

Broadway in L.A. (Pantages Theater)

Broadway in L.A. is the title of a series of large-scale Broadway touring productions presented at the Pantages Theater by the Netherlanders Organization. Before taking on its current name, Broadway/L.A. was known as the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera, the oldest theatre subscription organization in the city and one of the most successful subscription series in U.S. history.

In 2000, the Netherlander Organization poured more than $10 million into an extensive …more…

Cabrillo Music Theatre

Cabrillo Music Theatre is the resident musical production company at the Bank of America Performing Arts Center at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, the largest theatre between Los Angeles and San Francisco. A volunteer-based, non-profit company, it has become known over the three decades of its existence for shows that feature top talent, full orchestras, and lavish sets and costumes.

The company has a current annual audience of approximately 125,000 …more…

Center Theatre Group

The Center Theatre Group runs two of L.A.’s most distinguished theaters, the Ahmanson Theatre (often home to shows both going to and coming from Broadway) and the Mark Taper Forum (Angels in America and Children of a Lesser God started here), as well as a third that’s gaining in reputation, the Kirk Douglas Theatre. The former are both located at the Music Center right in Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk …more…

Geffen Playhouse

Originally called the Westwood Playhouse, the Geffen was later renamed for its benefactor, movie bigwig David Geffen. Appropriately, Geffen Playhouse productions often star Hollywood actors, which may account for its ticket prices being higher than most local theaters. The discount options aren’t overwhelming, but the Geffen does have an Industry Insider program that notifies people by email when discounted tickets (as low as $10) become available. Sign up for free here.

The …more…

Laguna Playhouse

The Laguna Playhouse was launched in 1920 as a community theatre. Following several play readings and performances in private homes and storefronts, the company presented its first full production: Suppressed Desires, a satire on Freudian psychology by Susan Glaspel, a member of the famed Provincetown Playhouse in New York and Massachusetts.

The group’s first real home was The Playhouse on Ocean Avenue in downtown Laguna Beach. During World War II, the Playhouse …more…

Pasadena Playhouse

Founded in 1917 and declared the State Theatre of California in 1937, the beautiful Pasadena Playhouse enjoyed a reputation as “Hollywood’s talent factory” for many years as it churned out great actors like William Holden, Eve Arden, Robert Preston, Gene Hackman, and Dustin Hoffman. Superman’s (George Reeve’s) 1959 memorial service was held here. In May 2010 the Playhouse filed for bankruptcy. It reopened in July, with plans to produce four …more…

South Coast Repertory

New plays, premieres, multicultural works, classics, and the occasional musical can be found at South Coast Repertory, which each year produces six shows on its main stage, five on its smaller second stage and three family shows (Theatre for Young Audiences).

SCR’s holiday traditions include not only the perennial favorite A Christmas Carol, but also La Posada Magica (The Magical Journey), Octavio Solis and Marcos Loya’s imaginative tale about a little girl’s Christmas …more…