Monday, August 31, 2015

WEEK AT A GLANCE: August 31 - September 6

Click on any show title to get more information on that production

And Click Here for a complete day by day calendar of what shows are playing.




PuppetWorks / Theater Works
August 22 - Sept. 5, 2015

iTheatre Collaborative
Aug. 21-Sept. 5, 2015

Grand Canyon University
August 28 - September 6, 2015


Actor's Youth Theatre
September 3 - 12, 2015

Greasepaint YouTheatre
September 4 - 13, 2015

Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre
September 4 - October 25, 2015

Fountain Hills Theater
September 4 – 20, 2015

Studio 3 Performing Arts
September 4 - September 12, 2015

Theatre Artists Studio
September 4 - 20, 2015

Southwest Shakespeare Company
September 04 – September 19, 2015


Spotlight Youth Theatre
August 28 – September 13, 2015

Arizona Broadway Theatre
August 28 - September 20, 2015

Don Bluth Front Row Theatre
Aug 13 - Sept 19, 2015

Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre
August 21 - September 20, 2015

Don Bluth Front Row Theatre
August 18 - September 26, 2015

August 26-October 4, 2015

Hale Centre Theatre
August 28 - October 10, 2015


Desert Foothills Theater
September 10 - 20, 2015

Theater Works
September 11 - 27, 2015

Mesa Encore Theatre
September 11 - 20, 2015

Starlight Community Theater
September 11 - 26, 2015

Hale Centre Theatre
September 14 - November 17, 2015

September 13 - October 18, 2015

Arizona Broadway Theatre
September 24 - October 4, 2015

cast announcement - SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM - Scottsdale Musical Theater Company

from our friends at SMTC:

Scottsdale Musical Theater Company is happy to announce the cast of the Arizona premiere of Sondheim on Sondheim.

Congratulations to the following performers. We had great auditions and saw a ton of talent.

Matt Newhard
Alex Crossland
Nikki Bond
Marina Blue Jarrette
Michael Schauble
Curtis Moeller
Lindsay Newhard
Chelsea Janzen

Don't miss seeing this Arizona Premiere of the only Sondheim review that actually includes Sondheim himself.

Performances are Oct. 29 -31 at Tempe Center for the Arts. CLICK HERE for more information

promo photos - BUGSY MALONE, JR - Starlight Community Theatre

For more information on this production, that runs September 11 - 26, click here

photos: Eric Gibson

cast announcement - MARY POPPINS - Hale Centre Theatre

for more information on this production, that runs October 15 to November 28, click here

Annalise Webb:   Mary Poppins
Tedd Glazebrook:   Bert
Josh Mortensen:   Michael Banks
Isabelle Jensen:   Jane Banks
Rob Stuart:   George Banks
Laura Anne Kenney:   Winifred Banks
Carrie Klofach:   Miss Andrew
Kinsey Peotter:   Mrs. Brill/Mrs. Corry/Bird Woman
Brent Graham:   Admiral Boom/Bank Chairman
Allan Bradley DeWitt:   Robertson Ay/Ensemble
Nate Dutson:   Neleus/Ensemble
Ben Massouras:   Ensemble
Jesse Thomas Foster:   Ensemble
Dale Mortensen:   Ensemble
Nathan Taylor:   Ensemble
Harley Barton:   Ensemble
Rebecca Bryce:   Ensemble
Zoe Zamora:   Ensemble
Monica Domschot:   Ensemble
Jessie Jo Pauley:   Ensemble
Jacqueline Brecker:   Ensemble

audition notice - MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET - Desert Stages Theatre - September 20 & September 24

Auditions for Miracle on 34th Street will be held on Sunday, September 20th and Thursday September 24th at 7pm.

Please register online at, print out form and bring a head shot and resume.

Directed by Virginia Olivieri

Some characters are open to either male or female, many role can be double cast

Kris Kringle (m)
Doris Walker (f)
Fred Gayley (m)
Susan Wlaker (f- child age 6-10)
Shellhammer (m/f)
Sawyer (m/f)
Doctor Pierce (m)
Judge Harper (m)
Halloran (m)
Finley (m/f)
Mara (f)
Mr. Macy (m)
Mr. Gimble (m)
Mara jr (m child- ages 6-12)
Al & Lou (m/f))
Duncan (m/f)

Ensemble (m,f, children)

promo photos - CHICAGO - Phoenix Theatre

for more information on this production, that runs September 9 to October 4, click here

Photography by Erin Evangeline Photography

reviews - LUCKY STIFF - Arizona Broadway Theatre

the cast of Lucky Stiff
photo: Arizona Broadway Theatre
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through September 20th.

"...there’s something funny going on at Arizona Broadway Theatre and there are two good reasons to find out why; the songs and the voices that sing them....Mild mannered Harry Witherspoon (Seth Tucker) is an English shoe salesman who wishes for a better life.  Just at the moment when he feels he’s going nowhere he receives a telegram and it changes everything.  Apparently, Harry had an American uncle he never knew, and that uncle has left Harry six million dollars, but there’s a catch.  In order to receive the money, Harry has to take the embalmed corpse of the dead uncle on a trip to Monte Carlo in a wheelchair and fulfill specific tasks at specific times, including sky diving, fishing, scuba diving, visiting museums and gambling.  It’s all spelled out in the will.  If Harry fails in any of those areas, the money goes to Uncle Harry’s favorite charity; the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn, all six million dollars of it. In theatre circles, a general issue considered to be a problem with musical farce is that farce with music doesn’t always work....Not so with Lucky Stiff.  In fact, the songs are the saving grace; it’s writer Lynn Ahrens’ book that gets in the way. The plot is as it should be, full of nonsense, broad humor, lots of mugging and occasionally a little incomprehensible; everything you would expect in a farce.  The issue here is the humor and the padding.  The show moves at a breakneck speed, often leaving the audience, and presumably the cast, frequently breathless, and it’s all undeniable fun, but it’s not always easy to laugh; the dialog isn’t quite as witty as you might hope. ...Where Ahrens’ script sometimes falters, her punchy, clever lyrics never do, and neither does Stephen Flaherty’s bright and exceptionally tuneful score.... Seth Tucker’s Harry might stumble on the English accent from time to time, but he makes a wonderful nerdy and continually bemused foil to all the comically well-timed mayhem and black humor swirling around him.... Trisha Hart Ditsworth plays Annabel Glick, the rep from the Brooklyn dog home... her solo "Times Like This" where we learn a dog can be a woman’s best friend as much as a man’s is a thing of genuine beauty ...Abigail Raye... takes center stage.  You can’t miss her.  She’s like Carol Burnett on speed but better looking with a voice that can really belt.  Her bizarrely dangerous and legally blind Rita La Porta, the woman who killed Uncle Anthony – it’s complicated – is a truly funny comic creation, and Abigail’s spiky high-heels runs with it....As a show, Lucky Stiff may not compare as well or as grand as previous productions, but when the score surprises as much as this one does and it’s sung so well as it is here, it remains a perfectly satisfying way to end the season.  Besides, hearing Trisha sing and watching Abigail mug are alone worth the price of admission." -David Appleford, Valley Screen and Stage (click here to read the complete review)

"Wacky, zany, convoluted and charming are just a few adjectives to describe the quirky musical Lucky Stiff. Originally premiering Off Broadway in 1988, this show was the first collaboration of lyricist and book writer Lynn Ahrens and composer Stephen Flaherty who would later go on to write many well-known shows, including winning a Tony for their score for Ragtime. While Lucky Stiff isn’t as near as accomplished a work as some of their later shows, it still results in a delightful musical with a few slapstick, farcical moments and some charming and witty songs. Arizona Broadway Theatre’s production has a talented cast and confident direction by Evan Pappas, a man who has firm ties to both Flaherty and Ahrens, as well as this musical....The score is smart, with clever lyrics and tuneful music, and features a nice range of songs...While the convoluted book includes several plot points that are never fully realized or clearly resolved, it does feature a bevy of comical characters and situations.  Director Evan Pappas... is well acquainted with the material as well as has worked directly with the composers in the past. He does a nice job in ensuring that his cast doesn’t oversell the comic moments, guaranteeing the charm underneath the main characters isn’t lost. And he also stages two superb moments in the second act – the farcical gem “Him, Them, It, Her” which is full of well-choreographed, non-stop slamming doors and “Welcome Back, Mr. Witherspoon,” a hilarious nightmare sequence that features the entire cast.  Pappas also manages to get clear comical performances from his cast, including fine work from Seth Tucker and Trisha Hart Ditsworth, as Harry and Annabel, who both embody their parts with a combination of quirkiness and innocence under their assured exterior. They both have lovely, clear and strong singing voices with Ditsworth’s warm voice delivering solidly on the nicely understated comical ballad “Times Like This.”  With humorous body language, a thick New Jersey accent and even thicker glasses, Abigail Raye is comically delicious as the over the top, near-sighted Rita. Her big, powerful voice make Rita’s songs soar with humorous flair. ...Creative elements are bright and fun with Kara Thomson’s set design nicely expanding this originally very small show for the large ABT stage with a multi-functional Monte Carlo hotel set that works nicely to portray the many scenes in the hotel ...Lucky Stiff has its flaws, but it is lively and fun, and ABT’s production has skilled direction and a cast that throws themselves into their roles with gleeful abandonment."  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"Lucky Stiff was the first collaboration by composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist/book writer Lynn Ahrens, who went on create Ragtime...As both a musical and a comedy, it feels like apprentice work ...but it also has some wonderful moments that point toward the team's later successes. And the production that just opened at Arizona a lively one filled with plenty of laughs and some top-notch warbling....the actors, under the direction of Evan Pappas, are fully committed to the silliness, and the results are consistently funny. It helps that there isn't a weak singer in the bunch, and Flaherty's songs are consistently tuneful...Hands down, the best song is "Times Like This," sung by (Trisha) Ditsworth (one of Valley theater's most talented sopranos) with a melancholy sincerity that makes the lyrics' comic twist (which won't get spoiled here) all the more hilarious. Speaking of twists, there's a decent one at the end, even if much of the buildup is by the numbers, including the ultimate obligatory element in a farce, a chase scene with eight slamming doors. And in some wonderful comic turns — and more great singing — by ensemble members Heather Fallon and John McAvaney, and "Lucky Stiff" really comes to life."  Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic (click here to read the complete review)

"Something very funny is going on at Arizona Broadway Theatre. Lucky Stiff, the rib-tickling musical farce by the team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty is ringing out the company's hit-loaded 10th Anniversary Season with broad peals of laughter and a cast that you'll walk away loving....Evan Pappas has faithfully directed and choreographed this gem of manic Monte Carlo moments, splendidly accentuated by Kara Thomson's evocative set pieces. Complementing Pappas's keen sense of staging is the perfect judgment of Cassandra Klaphake.. in assembling a cast as good as gold,, each bringing distinctive talent and flair to their roles. Here are just a few deserving special mention: (Abigail) Raye, exuding attitude and accent (Joisy-style) and a powerhouse voice; Heather Fallon, as a voluptuous cabaret singer, Dominique Du Monaco, giving a sexy, robust, and grinding lesson in Speaking French; (Tim) Shawver, meriting a garland of roses for best prolonged poker face while playing dead.... -Herbert Paine, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review)

cast announcement - THE PRODUCERS - Greasepaint Youth Theatre

for more information on this production, that runs October 16 to 25, click here

Leo Bloom.....Hale Stewart
Max Bialystock......Jack Rose
Ula...........Cami Benton
Roger.....Sean Lillis
Carmen....Andrey Lull
Franz........Sawyer Bland
Julian Mendoza.........Stormtrooper soloist, Ens
Matthew Villareal.......Marks, Ens
Grant Roberts.....multiple ensemble
Owen Stewart....multiple ensemble
Keegan Luther.....multiple ensemble
Harrison McCoy.....multiple ensemble

First ensemble (women) - tappers - multiple roles
Tatumn Zale
Jasmine Bassham
Thea Nakagawa
Katie Rodin
Taylor Penn
Briana Fleming

second dance ensemble (women) multiple roles
Johnna Watson
Ashlyn Zale
Greer Tornquist
Grace Parsons
Katy Sprowls
Andrra Hearn
Sabrina Hirshorn
Kasey Safa

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Welcome Queen Creek Performing Arts Center to PHX Stages!

We'd like to welcome Queen Creek Performing Arts Center to PHX Stages!

All of their shows, auditions, casting info and more will be posted to the site.

They have a great line-up of Family Theatre planned for 2015 / 2016, as well as many special events.

Click here to see what they've got lined up for the 2015 / 2016 season.

photos - LUCKY STIFF - Arizona Broadway Theatre

for more information on this production, that runs through September 20th, click here

photos: Arizona Broadway Theatre

promo photos - DISNEY'S ALADDIN, JR - Fountain Hills Theater

for more information on this production, that runs September 25 to October 11, click here

Sebastian Harris Wylde and Hunter DiGrazia

Sebastian Harris Wylde, Katie Male, Steven Enriquez and Hunter DiGrazia
photos: Patty Torrilhon

CHICAGO - Phoenix Theatre - September 9, 2015 - October 4, 2015

Book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, Music by John Kander, Lyrics by Fred Ebb, Based on the Play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, Original Production Directed and Choreographed by Bob Fosse

On the dark and seductive streets of 'The Second City,' the blues reign supreme, murder is a way of life and a little razzle dazzle makes everything just fine. Returning to kick-off Phoenix Theatre's 96th season and helmed by Producing Artistic Director Michael Barnard, this quintessential musical spectacular's tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz will keep you riveted from one show-stopping number to the next.

CLICK HERE for more information and to order tickets

Wed 9/9/15 7:30PM
Thu 9/10/15 7:30PM
Fri 9/11/15 7:30PM
Sat 9/12/15 2:00PM
Sat 9/12/15 7:30PM
Sun 9/13/15 2:00PM
Wed 9/16/15 7:30PM
Thu 9/17/15 7:30PM
Fri 9/18/15 7:30PM
Sat 9/19/15 2:00PM
Sat 9/19/15 7:30PM
Sun 9/20/15 2:00PM
Sun 9/20/15 6:30PM
Tue 9/22/15 7:30PM
Wed 9/23/15 7:30PM
Thu 9/24/15 7:30PM
Fri 9/25/15 7:30PM
Sat 9/26/15 7:30PM
Sun 9/27/15 2:00PM
Wed 9/30/15 7:30PM
Thu 10/1/15 7:30PM
Fri 10/2/15 7:30PM
Sat 10/3/15 2:00PM
Sat 10/3/15 7:30PM
Sun 10/4/15 2:00PM

THE TOXIC AVENGER - Phoenix Theatre - October 28, 2015 - November 22, 2015

Book by Joe DiPietro
Music and Lyrics by David Bryan

From the creative team that brought Memphis to the stage comes The Toxic Avenger and the question, “Who Will Save New Jersey?!” Our unlikely hero, Toxie, a mutant freak with superhero strength and a heart bigger than Newark, will battle for the cleanup of the Turnpike. Add in a charming love story, a dash of corruption and stiletto-wearing backup singers and you have an uproarious, R-rated rock musical that will have you falling in “Hot Toxic Love.” For mature audiences only.

CLICK HERE for more information and to order tickets

Wed 10/28/15 8:00PM
Thu 10/29/15 8:00PM
Fri 10/30/15 8:00PM
Sat 10/31/15 3:00PM
Sat 10/31/15 8:00PM
Sun 11/1/15 3:00PM
Wed 11/4/15 8:00PM
Thu 11/5/15 8:00PM
Fri 11/6/15 8:00PM
Sat 11/7/15 3:00PM
Sat 11/7/15 8:00PM
Sun 11/8/15 3:00PM
Sun 11/8/15 7:00PM
Tue 11/10/15 8:00PM
Wed 11/11/15 8:00PM
Thu 11/12/15 8:00PM
Fri 11/13/15 8:00PM
Sat 11/14/15 8:00PM
Sun 11/15/15 3:00PM
Wed 11/18/15 8:00PM
Thu 11/19/15 8:00PM
Fri 11/20/15 8:00PM
Sat 11/21/15 8:00PM
Sun 11/22/15 3:00PM

THE WIZARD OF OZ - Phoenix Theatre - November 18, 2015 - December 27, 2015

By L. Frank Baum, With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, Background Music by Herbert Stothart , Dance and Vocal Arrangements by Peter Howard, Orchestration by Larry Wilcox, Adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Based upon the Classical Motion Picture owned by Turner Entertainment Co. and distributed in all media by Warner Bros.

Prepare to go over the rainbow with the entire family this holiday season. Travel with Dorothy as she journeys to the magical land where scarecrows wish for brains, lions are afraid of their roars, tin men long for hearts and witches come in all varieties. No trip down the Yellow Brick Road would be complete without you and your munchkins so follow us as we make our way for the glow of the Emerald City!

CLICK HERE for more information and to order tickets

Wed 11/18/15 7:30PM
Thu 11/19/15 7:30PM
Fri 11/20/15 7:30PM
Sat 11/21/15 2:00PM
Sat 11/21/15 7:30PM
Sun 11/22/15 2:00PM
Wed 11/25/15 7:30PM
Fri 11/27/15 7:30PM
Sat 11/28/15 2:00PM
Sat 11/28/15 7:30PM
Sun 11/29/15 2:00PM
Sun 11/29/15 6:30PM
Tue 12/1/15 7:30PM
Wed 12/2/15 7:30PM
Thu 12/3/15 7:30PM
Fri 12/4/15 7:30PM
Sat 12/5/15 7:30PM
Sun 12/6/15 2:00PM
Wed 12/9/15 7:30PM
Thu 12/10/15 7:30PM
Fri 12/11/15 7:30PM
Sat 12/12/15 7:30PM
Sun 12/13/15 2:00PM
Wed 12/16/15 7:30PM
Thu 12/17/15 7:30PM
Fri 12/18/15 7:30PM
Sat 12/19/15 7:30PM
Sun 12/20/15 2:00PM
Wed 12/23/15 7:30PM
Thu 12/24/15 12:00PM
Sat 12/26/15 2:00PM
Sat 12/26/15 7:30PM
Sun 12/27/15 2:00PM

CALENDAR GIRLS - Phoenix Theatre - January 20, 2016 - February 7, 2016

Written by Tim Firth

Steeped in sentimentality and full of heart comes the oh-so-British story of the indomitable women of Calendar Girls. Determined to raise money for a cause, Chris and Annie conclude that the best way is to give the public what they want - a nude calendar. However, instead of the models of the day gracing the pages, it will feature themselves and the other real women of their small English village. When this group of ladies put their experiment to the test what arises is a media circus, new found fame, a hilarious look at the true events that resulted in a charitable windfall and the reminder that all women are strong and beautiful – inside and out.

CLICK HERE for more information and to order tickets

Wed 1/20/16 7:30PM
Thu 1/21/16 7:30PM
Fri 1/22/16 7:30PM
Sat 1/23/16 2:00PM
Sat 1/23/16 7:30PM
Sun 1/24/16 2:00PM
Wed 1/27/16 7:30PM
Thu 1/28/16 7:30PM
Fri 1/29/16 7:30PM
Sat 1/30/16 7:30PM
Sun 1/31/16 2:00PM
Wed 2/3/16 7:30PM
Thu 2/4/16 7:30PM
Fri 2/5/16 7:30PM
Sat 2/6/16 7:30PM
Sun 2/7/16 2:00PM

EVITA - Phoenix Theatre - February 24, 2016 - March 20, 2016

Book and Lyrics by Tim Rice
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

The bravery, beauty and passion that made Eva Peron an inspiration throughout Argentina combines with the genius of musical theatre giants, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, resulting in a sublime blockbuster certain to sweep you away. Filled with soaring ballads, seductive paso dobles and elegant melodies, this Tony® Award Winner for Best Musical will draw you into a tale of a woman driven by ambition, love and power while masking a fragility few ever saw. Prepare to have your breath taken away when this iconic and unforgettable story fills the theatre floor to ceiling, front to back.

CLICK HERE for more information and to order tickets

Wed 2/24/16 7:30PM
Thu 2/25/16 7:30PM
Fri 2/26/16 7:30PM
Sat 2/27/16 2:00PM
Sat 2/27/16 7:30PM
Sun 2/28/16 2:00PM
Wed 3/2/16 7:30PM
Thu 3/3/16 7:30PM
Fri 3/4/16 7:30PM
Sat 3/5/16 2:00PM
Sat 3/5/16 7:30PM
Sun 3/6/16 2:00PM
Sun 3/6/16 6:30PM
Tue 3/8/16 7:30PM
Wed 3/9/16 7:30PM
Thu 3/10/16 7:30PM
Fri 3/11/16 7:30PM
Sat 3/12/16 7:30PM
Sun 3/13/16 2:00PM
Wed 3/16/16 7:30PM
Thu 3/17/16 7:30PM
Fri 3/18/16 7:30PM
Sat 3/19/16 7:30PM
Sun 3/20/16 2:00PM

LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL - Phoenix Theatre - March 16, 2016 - April 10, 2016

By Lanie Robertson

In a small bar in South Philly, on a typical night in 1959, Billie Holiday, the icon dubbed Lady Day, put on a show that unbeknownst to the audience, left them witness to one of the last performances of her lifetime. Through her poignant voice and moving melodies, one of the greatest jazz singers of all-time shared her loves, her losses, her demons and her angels. You’re invited to enter the intimacy of this singular night in music history and feel the presence of a legend reborn.

CLICK HERE for more information and to order tickets

Wed 3/16/16 8:00PM
Thu 3/17/16 8:00PM
Fri 3/18/16 8:00PM
Sat 3/19/16 3:00PM
Sat 3/19/16 8:00PM
Sun 3/20/16 3:00PM
Wed 3/23/16 8:00PM
Thu 3/24/16 8:00PM
Fri 3/25/16 8:00PM
Sat 3/26/16 8:00PM
Wed 3/30/16 8:00PM
Thu 3/31/16 8:00PM
Fri 4/1/16 8:00PM
Sat 4/2/16 3:00PM
Sat 4/2/16 8:00PM
Sun 4/3/16 3:00PM
Sat 4/9/16 3:00PM
Sat 4/9/16 8:00PM
Sun 4/10/16 3:00PM

THE ALL NIGHT STRUT! - Phoenix Theatre - April 6, 2016 - May 1, 2016

Music and Lyrics by Various

The time has come to be dazzled by this classy and sassy musical extravaganza celebrating the American experience from The Dirty 30’s to the Post-War Boom. Weaving together the work of legendary songwriters such as Frank Loesser, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller and the Gershwins, this delightfully playful story moves through time and place to put a spotlight on a slick slice of yesteryear. Get set to dance in your seat along with the standards we all know, all love and could all hear again and again sung by the tremendous voices you’ve come to expect from Phoenix Theatre.​

CLICK HERE for more information and to order tickets

Wed 4/6/16 7:30PM
Thu 4/7/16 7:30PM
Fri 4/8/16 7:30PM
Sat 4/9/16 2:00PM
Sat 4/9/16 7:30PM
Sun 4/10/16 2:00PM
Wed 4/13/16 7:30PM
Thu 4/14/16 7:30PM
Fri 4/15/16 7:30PM
Sat 4/16/16 2:00PM
Sat 4/16/16 7:30PM
Sun 4/17/16 2:00PM
Sun 4/17/16 6:30PM
Tue 4/19/16 7:30PM
Wed 4/20/16 7:30PM
Thu 4/21/16 7:30PM
Fri 4/22/16 7:30PM
Sat 4/23/16 7:30PM
Sun 4/24/16 2:00PM
Wed 4/27/16 7:30PM
Thu 4/28/16 7:30PM
Fri 4/29/16 7:30PM
Sat 4/30/16 7:30PM
Sun 5/1/16 2:00PM

THE HORMEL FESTIVAL OF NEW PLAYS AND MUSICALS - Phoenix Theatre - May 6, 2016 to May 22, 2016

Each year, Phoenix Theatre receives hundreds of new and dynamic scripts from playwrights around the country who are searching for the first opportunity to see their new work performed for an audience. In this stripped down and intimate theatre environment, the emphasis is placed on the words on the page and the interpretation from the actor. The audience reaction to these staged readings is vital to the future development of a piece. After each performance, you- the patron- are given an opportunity to participate in the final stage of the festival process by responding to questions that allow you to relay your experience of the piece. This feedback helps the playwright hone their story and deepen its impact.

CLICK HERE for more information and to order tickets

WHEN YOU WISH: THE STORY OF WALT DISNEY - Phoenix Theatre - May 18, 2016 to June 12, 2016

Book, Music and Lyrics by Dean McClure

As the founding force behind the company that continues to capture the imagination of millions around the world year after year, Walt Disney's legacy is undeniable. In this World Premiere musical, Phoenix Theatre brings you the story of this unusual and special man fascinated by possibility and determined to persevere in the face of deniers. Armed with his child-like ingenuity and guileless belief in himself, he turned failures into triumphs and never ceased wishing on stars. Be a part of the magic of seeing this new production come to life and celebrate the icon who brought us the most famous set of ears on earth.

CLICK HERE for more information and to order tickets

Wed 5/18/16 7:30PM
Thu 5/19/16 7:30PM
Fri 5/20/16 7:30PM
Sat 5/21/16 2:00PM
Sat 5/21/16 7:30PM
Sun 5/22/16 2:00PM
Sun 5/22/16 6:30PM
Tue 5/24/16 7:30PM
Wed 5/25/16 7:30PM
Thu 5/26/16 7:30PM
Fri 5/27/16 7:30PM
Sat 5/28/16 2:00PM
Sat 5/28/16 7:30PM
Sun 5/29/16 2:00PM
Wed 6/1/16 7:30PM
Thu 6/2/16 7:30PM
Fri 6/3/16 7:30PM
Sat 6/4/16 7:30PM
Sun 6/5/16 2:00PM
Wed 6/8/16 7:30PM
Thu 6/9/16 7:30PM
Fri 6/10/16 7:30PM
Sat 6/11/16 7:30PM
Sun 6/12/16 2:00PM

AVENUE Q - Phoenix Theatre - June 8, 2016 - July 10, 2016

Concept, Music & Lyrics by Robert Lopez & Jeff Marx
Book by Jeff Whitty

There’s more fuzz to love when our badly-behaved puppet friends return! Staged in the intimacy of the Hormel Theatre, this R-rated, laugh-out-loud look at life after college packs more purposeful punch and candid heart than ever before. Be there when Phoenix Theatre favorites take the stage to bring this still fresh, fast-paced and exuberant musical to life and once again, explore “ What Do You Do with a B.A. in English?” Mature Audiences Only!

CLICK HERE for more information and to order tickets

Wed 6/8/16 8:00PM
Thu 6/9/16 8:00PM
Fri 6/10/16 8:00PM
Sat 6/11/16 8:00PM
Sun 6/12/16 3:00PM
Wed 6/15/16 8:00PM
Thu 6/16/16 8:00PM
Fri 6/17/16 8:00PM
Sat 6/18/16 8:00PM
Sun 6/19/16 3:00PM
Wed 6/22/16 8:00PM
Thu 6/23/16 8:00PM
Fri 6/24/16 8:00PM
Sat 6/25/16 8:00PM
Sun 6/26/16 3:00PM
Wed 6/29/16 8:00PM
Thu 6/30/16 8:00PM
Fri 7/1/16 8:00PM
Sat 7/2/16 8:00PM
Sun 7/3/16 3:00PM
Wed 7/6/16 8:00PM
Thu 7/7/16 8:00PM
Fri 7/8/16 8:00PM
Sat 7/9/16 8:00PM
Sun 7/10/16 3:00PM

Saturday, August 29, 2015

reviews - WICKED - National Tour: ASU/Gammage

Alyssa Fox and Carrie St. Louis
Photo: Joan Marcus
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through October 4th.

 "One of the most enjoyable aspects of experiencing a large scale touring Broadway production at ASU Gammage in Tempe is the response of the audience. Point in question: Wicked...The score is epic, the stage required is huge, and the packed house is overwhelmingly vocally responsive...
tells the story of what happened in the Land of Oz, seen not from the point of view of a certain little girl from Kansas and her dog Toto but from the Wicked Witch of the West. Evidently, original author Frank L. Baum must have got it wrong; the famous green witch wasn’t necessarily bad, just misunderstood...this current production on our local stage actually works better than the last visit, and a lot of that has to do with its two leads....Carrie St. Louis wins you over the moment she floats down.  The performer injects Glinda with such a fresh sense of playful energy, not to mention a new burst of great comic timing, that after awhile if you’re among those who’ve seen the show before, you tend to forget that the role wasn’t always played that way...Same with Alyssa Fox as Elphaba.  Being perpetually green has its challenges when trying to get audiences on your side – facial expressions are not always as easy to determine, plus there was always the original concern that the character’s novelty factor might actually block the ability to fully connect – but that’s nowhere near the case here.  Employing everything from fluid body movement often used to good comic effect to an appropriate maniacal laugh when needed, not to mention a wonderful singing voice – she brings the house down with both the The Wizard and I and Defying Gravity...There’s also solid support from the rest of the colorful and high-energy cast, but something special happened with the opening week lineup, and of all times it happened on Press Night....Plus, there’s one more thing, and it’s great news.  It will alter the enjoyment of not only Wicked but all future ASU Gammage touring productions – the theatre’s sound system.  If anyone had a complaint regarding the auditorium it was always the lack of clarity.  Depending where you were seated, lyrics weren’t always heard and dialog was occasionally lost.  The new and well publicized ASU system is now in place and it’s good.  There’s a rich quality to the sound that now enables everyone in the house, no matter where you’re seated, to enjoy a superior clarity of audio previously absent.  It really does make all the difference." -David Appleford, Valley Screen and Stage (click here to read the complete review)

"The Broadway musical Wicked is a phenomenon. About to celebrate its 12th anniversary on Broadway and still running in London, the show has launched two National Tours and there have been successful productions in numerous cities around the world...The national tour of the popular musical just opened at ASU/Gammage for a six week run, the third time the show has come to the Phoenix area, and this tour boasts a superb cast and creative elements that deliver an energetic and emotionally fulfilling experience.  Telling the back story of the Wicked Witch of the West and how she got to be that way and given that name, the musical is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Gregory Maguire. While the main theme and characters of the musical are the same as the novel, there are many changes that book writer Winnie Holzman and composer Stephen Schwartz made to make the story and characters more accessible and as a result created a show that so many people fell in love with. The way that Holzman and Schwartz were also able to connect this version of the story to things we all know and love from the movie The Wizard of Oz also adds another layer to the storytelling that includes many fun surprises. Schwartz’ score is full of high energy and tuneful showstoppers. There are many twists and turns in the story, so no spoiler alerts for those who haven’t seen it, but the basic plot overview follows Elphaba and Galinda, from the time they meet at college to their later years when Elphaba has become the Wicked Witch of the West and Galinda has become Glinda the Good Witch of the North. But, to quote a line from the show, was Elphaba "born wicked, or did she have wickedness thrust upon her?" ...The current tour cast includes Alyssa Fox as Elphaba and Carrie St. Louis as Galinda, both of whom completely instill the characters with the drive and power that the original Broadway leads Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth did as well. They both embody their parts with ease, making them original, though St. Louis is a bit wackier than actresses I’ve seen in the part before, though she does have impeccable comic timing. They are also both very good singers, with St. Louis hitting some glorious high notes and Burns a powerhouse who belts out her big solos with a roar, including the showstopper "Defying Gravity" that she delivers with ease. The two form a great, believable partnership and make the characters their own....On opening night at Gammage, understudy and Phoenix native Beka Burnham was on for Liana Hunt as Nessarose, Elphaba’s sister. Burnham is a 2014 graduate from the Boston Conservatory who just celebrated her one year anniversary on the tour and the first time she saw Wicked was here on the Gammage stage. So it was nice to see a local girl in one of the main parts in the show and, even at such a young age, delivering an accomplished, nuanced portrayal. The production boasts... exceptional production aspects almost identical to Broadway with just a few small modifications in the physical aspect of the show to allow it to easily tour. This is the first time I’ve seen a tour of this show, having seen the musical numerous times on Broadway, so it’s nice to see that audiences outside of New York City get a production that is on par with the one on Broadway and that the cast is as good as ones I’ve seen in New York...."  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"...Wicked, the splashy and lavishly elaborate popular musical at ASU Gammage is ...a thoroughly delightful telling of “The Wizard of Oz’s” pre-story.  As is the case with most Broadway musical tours that stop here, the original Broadway production and its stars influence each road production but this pristine new tour’s two leads come close to cloning the original Broadway stars, KristIn Chenoweth’s good witch, Glinda, and Idina Menzel’s award-winning Elphaba.  Alyssa Fox possesses Menzel’s big, rich voice but she doesn’t quite have the Broadway star’s dynamically shimmering personality.  Carrie St. Louis has Chenoweth’s glistening, soaring voice and the finely honed comic skills to bring audiences Glinda’s endless laughs.  Surrounding the two stars is a spot-on cast that recreates other roles with sparkling pizzazz.  And, unlike many downscaled Broadway road tours, the ASU Gammage stage is filled with lush, ever changing, and vibrantly colorful scenery that dazzles while the sumptuously sparkly New York costumes glisten with fancifully lavish delight...if joyous entertainment is desired, there’s nothing better than Wicked....The show boasts Stephen Schwartz’ catchy and melodic score while Winnie Holzman’s book, based on Gregory Maguire’s novel, is loaded with merry frivolity that makes Wicked one of the most entertaining musicals ever created.  Joe Mantello’s breezy staging and Wayne Cilento’s swirling dances make the action fun to watch.  Even when Wicked gets more dramatic, there’s still a winsome charm to the story."
 --Chris Curcio, KBAQ (click here to read the complete review)

"...with all due respect to composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz. (Wicked's) song list boasts two solid showstoppers and one comic masterpiece, but overall it hardly matches the tunefulness of Schwartz’s best work, Pippin....Yet even the forgettable tunes demonstrate Schwartz’s mastery of songwriting as storytelling. Wicked has a story to tell, and it has characters to care about, and that’s what really matters in the theater.... the touring production that opened this week at Gammage demonstrates everything that makes Wicked a musical worth revisiting.  Part of it is certainly the lavish spectacle,..
And do you want to talk about lighting design? ...the spotlight shafts creating a star around a flying Elphaba during the climactic “Defying Gravity” are magical indeed. But the heart of this show is the rivalry-turned-friendship between Elphaba, the green-skinned misfit...and Glinda, the deceptively ditzy blonde...played, respectively, by Alyssa Fox and Carrie St. Louis, and even though neither can match the virtuosic belting of the original stars, Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, their chemistry is spot on. St. Louis is especially endearing — and delightfully dorky — singing “Popular,” the best song of the show, in which Glinda attempts an unsuccessful makeover on her newly minted BFF....It might not have been obvious from the start. But it’s girl power that makes Wicked rise above." - Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic (click here to read the complete review)

Desert Stages Theatre's LEGALLY BLONDE, JR at Barnes & Noble in Scottsdale

review - EVITA - Tuscany Theatre Company

Javier Stefano De Vita and Allyson Igielski
Photo: Lisa Webb / Southwest Shots Photography
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

"Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's musical Evita is a fairly well-known show that follows the story of a real life woman's rise to power and fame. Tuscany Theatre Company in Gilbert recently closed their two week run of this show with an energetic production that featured a capable cast and good direction with very fluid staging and lively choreography. Evita follows the real story of Eva Duarte, a poor girl in Argentina who rose to power and fame in the 1940s by calculating, scheming and even sleeping her way to the top. She would eventually marry Juan Peron, who at the time they met was a Colonel but who would be elected as Argentina's President, making Eva Argentina's first lady. Narrated by Che, a young man who has no respect for Eva and Peron's devious and sometimes illegal ways behind their rise to power, Evita is an interesting history lesson about a young poor woman who gets caught up in the struggle for fame and success. Director Andrea McFeely assembled a more than capable cast for this production. Allyson Igielsk was quite good as Eva. It is a difficult part to play, requiring a transformation from gangly teenage girl to calculating, assured woman along with the skill to pull off some intricate dance steps and the ability to demonstrate Eva's declining health. With just a few wig and costume changes and good acting and vocal skills, Igielsk pulled it off, even managing her way quite well through the parts of the score that are extremely rangy, sometimes requiring Eva to scream or screech her lyrics. Her scrappy take on the part also allowed us to see that there was still some roughness present in Eva even as she ascended to power. Javier Stefano De Vita was just about perfect as Che... McFeely's staging incorporated Che into many scenes as either a participant or an onlooker, and De Vita had the appropriate facial expressions and body language to demonstrate the seething frustration and even humor he saw at the events unfolding around him. The role of Peron doesn't have a lot of layers but Chris Chavez created an effective portrayal, including showing Peron as a romantic, caring person. Also, both De Vita's and Chavez' Latin American accents added a nice touch of authenticity to this extremely large cast of almost all white American actors....McFeely’s blocking on the fairly small stage was quite good. Her exceptional take on “Perone's Latest Flame” was perfectly staged with succinct dance movements from the whole company. She crafted an energetic "And the Money Kept Rolling In" and, with assured music direction from Karli Giles Kemper, delivered some lovely choral work from the large children's choir as well as the ensemble in the finale...Corrinne Mann’s choreography was varied, energetic and upbeat with Latin inspired movement and an emphasis on the tango...Evita is a pretty good musical, albeit one with a few shortcomings...Though the book has several weaknesses, making us connect the dots between scenes one too many times to fill in the gaps due to no major dialogue being present. The show also doesn't have the strongest ending; we are simply told what happened to Evita's body but nothing about Peron’s fate....Tuscany Theatre Company's production featured a talented cast, excellent direction and showed the passion, power and romance not only behind the story of both Eva and Peron's rise to power but the people of Argentina as well."  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

Youth Works at Theater Works' Fall 2015 Classes start soon

from our friends at Youth Works/Theater Works:

Explore YWA arts education classes where students ages 3 to 18 are instructed by local and national professional teaching artists in the various disciplines of performing arts including: voice, acting, improvisation, dance, puppetry, creative drama, and more.  The YWA program teaches life-skills, enriches self-esteem, and broadens horizons.

Fall 2015 Schedule

PLEASE NOTE: Academy classes require a minimum of 8 students for a class to take place.
If registered for a class that is cancelled all monies will be fully refunded.
Academy classes culminate with a classroom sharing or performance of understanding for friends and family to attend.
Classes held at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts.


Story Drama Adventures
This class allows students to play with their favorite stories and picture books through theatre, crafts, song, and dance. Growing artistically and socially, campers are encouraged to let their imaginations go wild and harness their creativity to collaborate with others. Students will become the characters in the story, using critical thinking skills and early literacy skills to reenact the story and speculate what will happen next. Each class will contain Arizona State Standards for Early Childhood preparing your child for Kindergarten and hopefully igniting a lifetime passion for literature and reading.
Ages 3 – 6. Saturdays 9:00am – 9:45am. Ten class sessions beginning September 12. Cost $150.00
Intro to Musical Theater (A & B) 
This course is designed to help students improve and enrich their musical theater skills for auditions and performances. Special focus is placed on teaching students how to connect to the material of their songs through solo, duet and trio work in order to provide the most convincing performances possible.
(A.)Ages 7-12. Saturdays 10:00am – 11:00am. Ten class sessions beginning September 12. Cost $175.00
(B.)Ages 13-17. Saturdays 11:15am – 12:15am. Ten class sessions beginning September 12. Cost $175.00
Musical Theater Dance Jr.
This class has been created to give our younger performers the basics of dance for the stage. This class will focus on vocabulary and combinations common for musical theater. Actors will also learn how to prepare for a musical theater dance audition.
Ages 7-12. Tuesdays 4:15pm – 5:15pm. Ten class sessions beginning September 15. Cost $175.00
Teen Musical Theater Dance
Dance, dance, dance! A must for the musical theater performer-this class will help develop physical characterizations for any role you are cast to play, musical or non-musical. Learn and/or hone-up on skills and combinations that will help you get through any dance audition with confidence.
Ages 13 – 17. Tuesdays 5:20pm – 6:20pm. Ten class sessions beginning September 15. Cost $175.00
Home School Playmakers
Come join us in an acting course on Devised Theatre. In this class you will participate in game structures, and work as an ensemble to create an original, age appropriate play. You will be involved in group scenes, monologues, duet scenes, and movement pieces. We will take everything you know from playwriting and performing and technical aspects of theatre and help your group develop a meaningful piece of theatre.
Ages 7 – 17. Thursdays 10:00am – 12:00pm. Ten class sessions beginning September 17. Cost $195.00
Acting 101
What’s a monologue? Where is downstage? How do I create a character? All of these questions and more will be explored in this beginning acting class. Students will be given an overview of acting and its many parts and pieces. This class is perfect for the young performer still navigating the world of the theater and for those with no experience.
Ages 7 – 12. Thursdays 4:15pm – 5:15pm. Ten class sessions beginning September 17. Cost $175.00
Acting for the Stage
Our teen acting class will focus on auditions, monologues and duet scene work. Actors will learn how to explore a script for character clues and break down a monologue into a workable piece. This class will be a great continuation for some performers and a wonderful introduction for those just getting their feet wet in the acting world.
Ages 13 – 17. Thursdays 5:20pm – 6:20pm. Ten class sessions beginning September 17. Cost $175.00


Theater Works youth programs are specially geared towards fostering young actors to develop and hone their acting and stage presence skills.  Focus is on building confidence through individual and group achievements.
YouthWorks offer a wide range of programs for aspiring actors with varying degrees of skill and experience. Year round  plays, musicals, workshops, camps and special productions are offered to youth ages 3 to 18 years of age.
YouthWorks’ professional teachers believe there is a place for everyone to be involved. The Youth Theater has many openings for actors, technicians, directors, and organizers.

Friday, August 28, 2015

THE JUNGLE BOOK - Theater Works - September 11 - 27, 2015

By Thomas W. Olson

It all began when the silence of the jungle was broken by an unfamiliar sound…

Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is based on short stories about Mowgli, an orphaned man-cub, who escapes death by Shere Khan, the tiger. A wolf couple discovers him. To protect him, they raise him as one of their own with the help of Baloo, a bear and Bagheera, a black panther. These timeless Jungle stories emphasize such noble qualities as: loyalty, honor, courage, tradition, integrity and persistence.

Produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY of Woodstock, Illinois.

September 11 at 7pm
September 12 at 7pm
September 13 at 2:30pm
September 18 at 7pm
September 19 at 7pm
September 20 at 2:30pm
September 25 at 7pm
September 26 at 7pm
September 27 at 2:30pm

CLICK HERE for more information and to order tickets

MAN OF LA MANCHA - Theater Works - October 9 - 25, 2015


Book by:  Dale Wasserman
Music by:  Mitch Leigh
Lyrics by:  Joe Darion

A milestone of musical theater based on great literature, this is the remarkable, poignant and moving story of the “mad” knight Don Quixote and his “Impossible Dream” of honor, justice and love.
“Sinuous, rousing music tingles in the ear while before one’s eyes, Miguel de Cervantes… blazes into musical life…”  – The NewYork Times –

CLICK HERE for more information and to order tickets

Friday, October 9 at 7:30pm
Saturday, October 10 at 7:30pm
Sunday, October 11 at 2pm
Wednesday, October 14 at 2pm
Friday, October 16 at 7:30pm
Saturday, October 17 at 7:30pm
Sunday, October 18 at 2pm
Friday, October 23 at 7:30pm
Saturday, October 24 at 7:30pm
Sunday, October 25 at 2pm