In 1997, Los Angeles hosted the U.S. premiere of Matthew Bourne's breakthrough Swan Lake featuring male swans in feathered knickers, helping to launch what became an international sensation. Since then Bourne's rebooting of ballet classics has produced audacious and popular theatrical events — a Nutcracker set in an Oliver Twist orphanage, a Cinderella cinematically moved to WWII London. Despite occasional mixed reviews for Bourne's choreographic skills, his talent for producing enthralling, even visionary treatments of familiar stories is unquestioned. The man is back with Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty. It also totes the subtitle “A Gothic Romance,” a strong clue that it's prime Bourne paying homage to the original classic ballet, and particularly the luscious Tchaikovsky score, while gender-bending the various good/bad fairies and injecting a nightclub populated with vampires when Aurora is awakened. Bourne always enjoys his bad-boy characters, but he has not ignored the Beauty of the title, who appears first as a perky bunraku puppet and then later as a barefoot, free spirit (a stated reference to Isadora Duncan) before her sleep, something the audience is unlikely to do. Ahmanson Theatre, Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Thurs.-Fri., Nov. 21-22, 8 p.m., Sat., Nov. 23, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 24 & Dec. 1, 1 & 6:30 p.m.; Tues.-Wed., Nov. 26-27, 8 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., Nov. 29-30, 2 & 8 p.m.; $35-$120.

Nov. 21-22, 8 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 1 & 6:30 p.m.; Nov. 26-27, 8 p.m. Starts: Nov. 21. Continues through Dec. 1, 2013

LA Weekly