A good piece in Backstage.com reports today on the increase in number of new Musicals opening in Los Angeles, before making the step to Broadway. Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 is the Center Theater Group's latest, following successes withThe Drowsy Chaperone and Curtains!
The article discusses some of the advantages (talent pool, money, etc) and challenges in creating theatre in Los Angeles… (geographic distance between venues, so there's no “theatre district”, diversity of audiences, competition for audience attention, etc.). Worth a read.
Sadly, the article doesn't mention the wealth of resources available to folks just starting out in this arena. Among them, I'd like to highlight the Academy of New Musical Theatre (full disclosure: I sit on this organization's Board of Directors) which provides training and resources to bookwriters, composers and lyricists, workshops new material, and offers dramaturgical services to producers working on new material.
Also, don't forget that L.A. has at least one experienced and knowledgable theatre lawyer available to help playwrights, producers, and other theatre industry professionals navigate the process of bringing a show to life. L'Chaim.