Geffen Playhouse to move weekday curtain from 7:30 to 8 p.m.
Like palm trees, billboards, heavy traffic and air, Culture Monster is a creature of no particular area or neighborhood but is, in fact, everywhere, in your space, in your face, all the time.
And since we are everywhere, all the time, we can't help hearing occasional gripes that are specific to geographical regions.
One popular refrain from the Westside is that the rush-hour commute makes it virtually impossible for Westsiders to make it downtown to the Music Center theater complex by curtain time on weekdays. That's usually 8 p.m. at the Ahmanson Theatre and the Mark Taper Forum, and 7:30 for Los Angeles Opera performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
But here's some welcome news for reverse commuters: The Geffen Playhouse in Westwood announced today that its evening performances on weekdays -- that is, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday -- will be moved from 7:30 to 8 p.m. for the 2009-10 season, beginning with the season's first play "Matthew Modine Saves the Alpacas," opening Sept.16.
Friday evening performances will remain at 8 and Sunday evenings at 7; Saturday evening performances will actually be earlier than in previous seasons, moving from 8:30 to 8. Weekend matinees will be at 3 p.m. Saturdays (used to be 4 p.m.) and remain at 2 p.m. Sundays.
Geffen producing director Gil Cates says that the change is taking place both to simplify the schedule and to acknowledge the traffic problem. Adds Cates: "Everybody used to think of L.A. as an 'early' town, but we find that people like a bit more time between their business day and when they go to the theater."
The later weekday curtains should give ticket holders plenty of time to get into their seats and unwrap their candy. . . .
Meanwhile, if there's any change in those pesky curtain times downtown, you'll hear it first from Culture Monster. After all, we're everywhere, all the time.
-- Diane Haithman
Photo: Geffen Playhouse. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times