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Ford Amphitheatre announces its '09 summer season

April 1, 2009 |  3:06 pm


Does fighting the crowds at the Hollywood Bowl give you the summer blues?

The Ford Amphitheatre, located just up the street, has long served as the Bowl's funkier younger sibling, offering an eclectic cultural menu in a relatively more intimate setting (1,241 seats versus the Bowl's approximately 18,000).

Ford This summer, the Ford's lineup is typically diverse and unpredictable, featuring appearances by Eden Espinosa ("Wicked"), Korean pop star Shin Hae Chul, Helios Dance Theater and Oscar-winning composer Stephen Schwartz.

The season kicks off June 6 with City Ballet of Los Angeles' jazz interpretation of "Peter and the Wolf." That's followed the next day by a multimedia tour of the murals of Diego Rivera led by art scholar Gregorio Luke, who will host similar art-talks throughout the summer.

Espinosa takes the stage July 24 as part of Upright Cabaret's Wicked Summer Nights. The series will also include "Stephen Schwartz: Making Good," an evening with the songwriter during which he is scheduled to present a preview of his new opera (Aug. 23).

Korean techno-pop star Chul will make his U.S. debut on July 4. The Helios Dance Theater, a Ford regular, will present its interpretation of "The Odyssey" on Aug. 22.

Other highlights of the summer include a night of Broadway cabaret produced by Reprise Theatre Company (June 27) and an evening of accordion bands (June 28) presented by the Los Angeles Accordion Festival.

Adam Davis, managing director of the Ford, told Culture Monster that the theater is producing "one or two" fewer shows this summer as a result of the weak economy. He added that in all other respects, this summer's lineup is on par with previous editions.

The average ticket price for the Ford is $32, but don't forget to check out the numerous discounts and freebies that are also available.

-- David Ng

Photo credit: Paul Antico.