Monday, November 11, 2019

WEEK AT A GLANCE: November 11-November 17

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

Arizona Theatre Company presents First Public Reading of how to make an American Son on Nov. 18

christopher oscar peña
from our friends at Arizona Theatre Company:

The first public reading of the new play, how to make an American Son,by Arizona Theatre Company (Sean Daniels, Artistic Director; Billy Russo, Managing Director) Artistic Associate and playwright christopher oscar peña, is at 6 p.m., Monday, Nov. 18 at the Arizona State University Performing and Media Arts Building (APMA), Room 131.  Parking is free in the lot on the corner of Rural and University.

The reading, which is free and open to the public, will complete a four-day workshop of the play, which begins Nov. 15. The workshop and public reading is part of ATC Artistic Director Sean Daniels’ commitment to introduce Arizona theatergoers to new plays from the world’s best playwrights.

how to make an American Son is the story of Honduran-born “model immigrant” and business mogul, Mando, whose cleaning empire is bracing for a downturn forcing him to rein in his over-privileged American son Orlando, who is living large on dad’s dime.

To teach him a lesson, Mando puts Orlando on the floor with the cleaning team.  But, in the wake of an identity crisis, Orlando suddenly finds himself responsible for the fate of a treasured undocumented worker and the future of his father’s entire enterprise. 

“It is an insightful and eye-opening play about the complexities of privilege, status, sexual identity and legal status within a newly wealthy immigrant family,” Daniels said.

The reading will feature an all-Arizona cast directed by Kimberly Senior, who directed the Broadway production of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winning play Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar and currently is directing Bella Bella, written and starring Harvey Fierstein, at Manhattan Theatre Club. Senior is an award-winning Resident Director at Writers Theatre and an Associate Artist at TimeLine Theatre, both in Chicago.

Actors in the workshop cast are Roberto Garcia (Mando), Anthony Diaz-Muniz (Orlando), Alida Holguín Gunn (Mercedes), Marcelino Quiñónez (Rafael), Matthew Milne (Sean) and David Dickenson (Dick).

Playwright peña, is a story-teller originally from the Silicon Valley. Before joining ATC Artistic Director Sean Daniels in Arizona, he co-directed the world premiere of Daniel’s adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s “lost novel” The Haunted Life at Merrimack Rep. The production marked the first time the Kerouac Estate had ever sanctioned an official theatrical adaptation of Kerouac’s work. 

Most recently as a playwright, the Clarence Brown Theatre commissioned and produced the world premiere of his play The Strangers.  In New York, the Flea Theatre produced the world premiere of his play a cautionary tail. His TV credits include HBO’s Insecure,Sweetbitteron Starz and, most recently, the upcoming Freeform show, Motherland: Fort Salem.

The reading and workshop also reflect ATC’s “important partnership with Arizona State University for creative collaborations,” Daniels said.

For more information about Arizona Theatre Company, visit

reviews - AMERICAN PSYCHO THE MUSICAL - Stray Cat Theatre

Toby Yatso
photo by John Groseclose
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 November 23

"When Bret Easton Ellis's novel "American Psycho" was published in 1991 it caused quite a stir and incurred an immediate and intense level of wrath from angry feminists and the morally highbrow due to the book's explicit depiction of the graphic and violent acts, most against women, committed by a wealthy Wall Street investment banker who just happened to also be a serial killer. Ellis's book was cancelled by its original publisher Simon & Schuster and subsequent sales of the novel were even banned in some countries. ...composer Duncan Sheik and bookwriter Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa adapted the novel into a dark musical that, like the novel, deliciously satirizes the greedy 1980s. Stray Cat Theatre is presenting the Arizona premiere of the show in a sleek, slick and sick production that is well directed and bitingly funny, with excellent creative aspects and an exceptional turn by Valley favorite Toby Yatso as the psychopathic serial killer...."  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"...if you want to see an unconventional musical that slams the rich and the fake things that impress these phony people, check out the superb Stray Cat Theatre’s Arizona premiere production of “American Psycho” based on the novel that inspired the dark film....Stray Cat Theatre does a masterful job with this show that features Toby Yatso in one of his most unusual roles to date as Patrick...Ron May’s superlatively flowing and visually gruesome staging couldn’t be more on target as is Kat Bailes’ cleverly unique dances...." -Chris Curcio, Curtain Up Phoenix (click here to read the complete review)

Digital Lottery Announced for $25 Tickets for BLUE MAN GROUP at ASU Gammage

ASU Gammage is hosting a digital lottery for a limited number of tickets during the engagement of the all new tour of BLUE MAN GROUP November 15-17.  The show features new and original compositions, acts, and instruments alongside iconic BLUE MAN GROUP moments based in joy, art, music, laugher and escapist absurdity.

Entries for the lottery for each performance will be accepted until 11:00 a.m. local time the day before the performance. Enter here for your chance to purchase up to two (tickets) at $25 each;

  • Notifications will be sent to fans who are selected to purchase lottery tickets and those who are not via-email at approximately 11:00 a.m. local time the day prior to the performance. Fans selected to purchase will also receive a text SMS message (if mobile number is furnished).
  • Tickets must be purchased online with a credit card by 4:00 p.m. local time prior to the performance using the purchase link in the notification email.
  • Entrants must be 18 years or older.
  • Seat locations awarded by the lottery are subject to availability.

photos - DARKSIDE - Mesa Encore Theatre

CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs through November 24

Photos by Justin McBride / Social Profit Media

Sunday, November 10, 2019

cast announcement - A NICE FAMILY CHRISTMAS - Stage Left Productions

CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs December 13-22

CARL - Justin Harris
MOM-Deborah Lee Hall
GRANDMA-Elanna Donovan
MICHAEL-William Buckley
STACY-Natalie Merlino
UNCLE BOB-Jack White
JILL-Karly Way

review - PATTI LUPONE - "Don't Monkey With Broadway" - Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Patti LuPone

highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

"Last weekend, Broadway legend Patti LuPone delivered a powerhouse evening of songs, stories, and personal anecdotes to a practically sold out audience at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. The two-time Tony Award winner's show, entitled Don't Monkey with Broadway, featured several songs LuPone has performed in Broadway shows and some that touched upon important milestones in her life. With her musical director Joseph Thalken on piano, LuPone delivered songs from many classic musicals. Her vocal versatility allows her the ability to deliver soaring, clear and bright notes while also infusing the lyrics with emotion and meaning while connecting the words and the character to both the song and the audience. Thalken's expert piano playing and the well thought out song selections for the concert allowed LuPone to show her versatility throughout..."   -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)