Tuesday, January 19, 2021

WEEK AT A GLANCE: January 18-January 24, 2021

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


OPENING:



CLOSING:


CONCERTS / LIMITED RUNS:

N/A

STILL PLAYING:

photos - BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY - Copperstate Productions at Fountain Hills Theatre

CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs January 22- February 7



photos by Patty Torrilhon



Thursday, January 14, 2021

review - JANE EYRE, THE MUSICAL - MCC Musical Productions

Austin Stuart and Jessie Jo Pauley
photo by Melody Stuart

by Gil Benbrook

Charlotte Bronte's classic novel "Jane Eyre" has been adapted into dozens of films, TV mini-series and movies so it's somewhat surprising that it took more than 150 years after the novel was published in 1847 before a musical adaptation based on Bronte's work would make it to Broadway. With a book by John Caird and a score by Paul Gordon, the stage musical is a faithful retelling of Bronte's novel, infused with a range of emotions and rich characters. MCC PAC Musical Productions is streaming their filmed stage production of this beautiful and haunting musical and it has lush creative elements and a talented cast, led by Jessie Jo Pauley as Jane and Austin Stuart as Rochester.

Bronte's plot is fairly simple. Jane is a plain yet defiant orphan who takes a job as a governess at Thornfield Hall, where Edward Rochester is the master of the house. Although Rochester is a temperamental and somewhat troubled soul, the two become friends and develop trust and a deep bond with each other, and ultimately fall in love, even though they also have personalities that sometimes clash. However, Rochester has a terrible secret in his past that threatens their love and the possibility of their future, just as it's about to begin. 

Caird's book is brisk yet manages to touch upon the key plot points in Bronte's novel while also using dialogue that is true to the 19th century origins of the book, though some of the plot elements are rushed and could benefit from a bit more clarity. The score by Gordon packs over three dozen songs into the almost through-sung musical, though many are fairly short. Still, the songs are rich and luxurious, with plot and character specific lyrics and there is also an abundance of lush underscoring throughout.

Tregoney Shepherd grew up in Arizona before appearing in National tours and on Broadway and recently took over the role of Artistic Director for Mesa Community College's Musical Theatre department. This is her first production directing since taking over leadership of the department at MCC and her direction is crisp and astute. She makes great use of the expansive MCC PAC stage and ensures her cast all create fairly realistic characters. 

Jessie Jo Pauley and Austin Stuart are simply glorious as Jane and Rochester. Both have rich, refined singing voices that soar on their many songs in the show. Pauley manages to deliver a sophisticated yet subtle portrayal of this beloved character while also allowing us to understand the pain this young woman has faced and the joy she feels once she begins to fall in love with Rochester. Stuart's depiction of this fractured, rash and reckless man is also, appropriately, emotionally complex. 

Due to the briskness of the show's book, many of the supporting characters are only in a scene or two yet the majority of the MCC cast manages to achieve performances that avoid cliché. Hallie Wright is quite touching as the young Jane and Gillian Ficarra is lovely as Helen Burns, the young girl Jane befriends in the orphanage. When the older Jane begins to work at Thornfield Hall, Emily Noxon and Ada Larsen are quite good, as the housekeeper and Adele, the ward of Rochester, respectively, as is Haley McHardy as the woman engaged to Rochester.

The set design by Chris Dane Burk is expansive, with moving pieces that work well to delineate the various locales in the story. Sharon Jones' costumes are gorgeous and period perfect and Melody Stuart's makeup is quite good, including her design in the second act for a character who suffers a tragedy. Jeff A. Davis' lighting is stunning and gorgeous with the excellent use of shadows to elicit the gothic nature of the story. Darin Shryock's music direction achieves warm vocals and lovely harmonies from the large cast. While there isn't a lot of choreography in the show, Cullen Law's contributions are welcome.

While there may be some shortcomings in the book of Jane Eyre, the Musical, due to some moments feeling rushed and some secondary characters disappearing almost as swiftly as they appear, it still manages to be a successful theatrical adaptation of Bronte's beloved novel. MCC Musical Theatre's production is infused with romance and gothic tones, with a cast, direction and creative elements that ensure the heart and emotion of Bronte's novel are never forgotten. 

In accordance with state and local guidelines, MCC's production was filmed with the actors wearing face shields with no physical audience present






Wednesday, January 13, 2021

BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY - Copperstate Productions at Fountain Hills Theater - January 22 - February 7, 2021


Written by Alan James 
Presented by Special arrangement with Buddy Worldwide Limited 

Before The Beatles.  Before The Stones.  There was Buddy!

Copperstate Productions is proud to announce the return of the musical Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story.  Presented in 2017, Buddy shattered Fountain Hills Theater box office records and now returns to the outdoor stage as a part of our continuing socially distanced theater productions.

Buddy tells the story in words and music of the last few years of Buddy Holly’s life. We see how he and his childhood high-school friends, the Crickets, turn country music upside down and create a unique style of sound which some called ‘the devil’s music’. We see Buddy’s frustrations at Decca Records, his skill as a songwriter and composer when recording and experimenting with Norman Petty, the excitement he and America felt when “That’ll Be The Day” went to #1, and his naïve determination to be the first white act to play the Apollo. Later we meet Maria Elena, his future wife, and witness his whirlwind romance. Then we are taken on his ill-fated ‘Winter Dance Party’ Tour of 1959. Finally, we are the audience at the Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake, Iowa, where Buddy’s final performance with Ritchie Valens (“La Bamba”) and ‘Big Bopper’ J.P. Richardson (Chantilly Lace”) is recreated, and what in theatre must be one of the most exciting musical concerts of all-time! Features such timeless hits as “Peggy Sue”, “Not Fade Away”, “True Loves Way:, “Everyday” and “Raining in my Heart”.

Cast:
Buddy: Tom Mangum
Joe B. Mauldin (Double Bass): Stephan Hettinger
Jerry Allison (Drummer): Dave Lopez
4th Cricket (Lead Guitarist): Thomas Oliver
Hi Pockets Duncan/Ensemble: Alex Gonzalez
Norman Petty: Peter J. Hill
Vi Petty/Ensemble/Hayrider: Leah Klein
The Big Bopper/Producer: Bill Bennett
Ritchie Valens/1st Engineer/Ensemble: Julian Mendoza
2nd Engineer/Apollo DJ/clearlake MC: Peter J. Hill
Apollo Performer/Ensemble/Hayrider: Cheryl Banks
Maria Elena/Ensemble: Sydney Lover
Band Leader/Reporter: Jay Melberg
Trumpet/Apollo Announcer: Lance Wilson
Trombone/Apollo Performer: Javone Patton

Buddy is produced by Copperstate Productions, directed by Peter J. Hill, musically directed by Jay Melberg and choreographed by Noel Irick.  

The Fountain Hills Outdoor Theater is comfortable, convenient and safe.  The theater features 15 heated ‘stations’, seating up to 6 patrons per station.  Each station is reserved for a single party and no party will be seated with any other patrons.  Each station is 8 feet from any other station and is provided with a large patio space heater for comfort on chilly nights.   Masks will be required for all attendees and staff. Patrons may also request one of 8 stage viewable parking spots which allow them to remain in their cars or sit outside their cars and ‘tailgate’ All patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance for a “contact-free” experience while you’re at the show. Seating is limited. FHT’s outdoor stage is provided by and sponsored by Kern Entertainment.  

 All performances are at Fountain Hills Outdoor Theater 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd. (The Corner of Saguaro and Rand). Tickets are available through the Theater Box Office at (480) 837-9661 x3 or at https://www.fhtaz.org.  Box Office Hours are 12:00PM-5:00 PM Tuesday through Saturdays. For additional information not contained in this press release, please call Fountain Hills Theater (480) 837-9661.

Jan 22 – Feb. 7, 2021
Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:00 pm

Reservations:(480) 837-9661x3 or https://www.fhtaz.org

Adult Tickets $35, Children 17 and under $18. Group rates available.

Copperstate Productions and Fountain Hills Theater are committed to the safety of their patrons, staff, and performers. They will be closely following CDC safety recommendations, as well as local guidelines, due to COVID-19. Hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout the facility, and the wearing of face masks inside the facilities, for staff and patrons, is currently mandated by Maricopa County. Please check the website for evolving guidelines as the season progresses. 

Brelby Theatre Company releases their very first web series, 12 DAYS


from our friends at Brelby Theatre Company:

Brelby's new film branch, Brelby Productions, has been steadily releasing sketch comedy shorts, an original monologue series, and even several episodes of Brelby artists reading bedtime stories for our tiniest fans. Perhaps what we're most proud of, is producing our very first web series, 12 Days.

12 Days is available for viewing online in two locations:

1) Become a subscriber for access to all of our current and upcoming content at patreon.com/brelby
2) To rent our web series on demand visit: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/brelby12days

We're looking forward to releasing more filmed content in 2021, and continuing to work towards a time when performing in person together is safe once again.


photos - JANE EYRE, THE MUSICAL - MCC PAC Musical Productions

 CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which streams January 14-17







photos by Melody Stuart

Monday, January 11, 2021

ASU Grads Kait Russell and Kade Bailey have launched the "WE'RE STILL HERE" podcast as a way to connect local, regional and Broadway theatre artists while also providing hope for the future

 
by Gil Benbrook

ASU School of Music and Theatre graduates Kait Russell and Kade Bailey are close friends who have appeared in numerous shows, both together and alone, at ASU and at theates in the Valley. But when they were in New York City last March they found themselves at a crossroads. As Broadway was literally closing down around them when the COVID pandemic broke out they realized that meant their Senior Showcase in NYC was cut short as well. 

They found themselves in Times Square practically alone at 3am early the morning after Broadway shut down and didn't know what this would mean for their future as well as the futures of all of the other Broadway actors, dancers, musicians and backstage staff.  However, instead of feeling despondent, they  took that experience to create a podcast entitled "We’re Still Here" that they also co-host. 

"We're Still Here" is meant to connect artists from local & regional theatre communities along with Broadway, TV/Film and everything in between during this time where artists have been sort of left behind as most other businesses have found a way to safely reopen.

When asked about their podcast, they added, "We want this to be a source of hope and inspiration for artists of all kinds, since in a way COVID has been a great equalizer. We’ve all been left to fend for ourselves - we want to connect with artists and remind them that they’re not alone and that we’re still here, together, staying strong while we make it work until we get back on the stage."

Kait and Kade have already recorded interviews with several Broadway performers, including Tony winner Karen Olivo (Moulin Rouge, In The Heights, West Side Story) Zachary James (The Addams Family, South Pacific) Brittney Mack (SIX), and Becca Ayers (My Fair Lady, Les Misérables).

Their first podcast premiered on New Year's Day and their second one featuring Karen Olivio premiered last Friday with new episodes planned to be released every Friday at 8PM EST.




Act One Youth Theatre announces auditions for THE INTERNET IS DISTRACT - OH LOOK A KITTEN! for February 5


The Internet is Distract--OH LOOK A KITTEN!

by Ian McWethy

Micah only has twenty minutes to finish a class paper on The Great Gatsby only a few facts need to be checked on the Internet first. Unfortunately, the web is a nefariously wacky place where boxing cats, Facebook lurkers, and baby goat's head butting threaten to take over Micah's schoolwork, or worse. Will the paper be finished in time to allow escape before the school bell rings? A high-octane comedy that explores the rabbit hole of distraction we all go down every time we go online.

Produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc.

Auditions February 8, 5:30-7:30 open for ages 5-18

Rehearsals start Feb 16 on Tuesdays and Thursdays 5:30-7:30

Tech days and filming: March 25, 30, April 1

Virtual Performance Air Date: April 9th, 2021 at 7:00pm

Click here to sign up for an audition time: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0844aeaf22a7ff2-auditions6

Theatre Artists Studio presents a reading of ORB OF NIGHT this Monday, January 11


 Join Theatre Artists Studio on Monday, Jan 11th @ 7:00pm for another FIRST LOOK! 

This week they will be reading ORB OF NIGHT, by Tim Ashby.

"A full moon lights something in the past as sleepless as Frank and Evelyn, the soft trickle of their fountain like a leak in time."

With an All Star Cast:
Evelyn: Maureen Watson
Frank: Tom Koelbel
Leanna: Larah Pawlowski
Tommy: Quinn Johnson
Cindy: Lizzy McGroder
Narrator: Linda Warren
Director: Annie Vogel


Saturday, January 9, 2021

Video Auditions for THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES at Desert Stages Theatre are due by January 15



 
DESERT STAGES AUDITION NOTICE!

THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES
Directed and Choreographed by Molly Lajoie

***Initial auditions will be by video. Callbacks on January 19 will be in person with a valid COVID TEST.***

Initial Audition

Video submissions due 1/15 by 6pm

Teens/Adults are welcome to audition

Synopsis

This smash Off-Broadway hit takes you to the 1958 Springfield High School prom, where we meet Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy, and Suzy: four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts! Featuring over 30 classic ’50s and ’60s hits, The Marvelous Wonderettes will keep you smiling in this must-take musical trip down memory lane!

For more audition information and REQUIRED COVID-19 PROTOCOLS for participating actors, please visit:


Please contact auditions@desertstages.org with any questions or concerns.  

Friday, January 8, 2021

INTO THE WOODS - Actor's Youth Theatre - January 28-February 13, 2021



This story follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King’s Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a witches curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone’s wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with a disastrous result. 

Show Dates: January 28th-February 13th 
Thursday Friday : 7:00pm 
Saturday : 2:00pm Matinee 7:00 Evening 


GLASS SLIPPER CAST

NARRATOR: ZACH BURGESS
CINDERELLA: BONNIE WANSTREET
JACK: CHARLIE HALL
JACK'S MOTHER: HAILEY HALTERMAN
BAKER: CARTER NEEF
BAKER'S WIFE: RACHEL NATHAN
CINDERELLA'S STEPMOTHER                 : ALLISON AVERY
FLORINDA: ZOE BAUERLE
LUCINDA: KATIE MULLEN
CINDERELLAS FATHER: AARON CLARK
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD: DEVORAH JOYCE
WITCH: ERIN GARNER
CINDERELLAS MOTHER: RACHEL HAUGAN
MYSTERIOUS MAN.   : ZACH BURGESS
WOLF: CARTER GIANETTI
GRANNY: RACHEL HAUGAN
RAPUNZEL: SAVANNAH SWIATKOWSKI 
RAPUNZELS PRINCE: LIAM DELGADO
CINDERELLAS PRINCE: JAKE ASHTON
STEWARD: DRAYTON LANTZ
GIANT: NOELLE PARENT
SNOW WHITE: KELLY GARNER
SLEEPING BEAUTY: ALEX MARIN


RED CAPE CAST

NARRATOR: JAKE ASHTON
CINDERELLA: OLIVIA DOSTAL
JACK: CHARLIE HALL
JACK'S MOTHER: MARGUERITE DURMA
BAKER: CARTER NEEF
BAKER'S WIFE: RACHEL NATHAN
CINDERELLA'S STEPMOTHER: NOELLE PARENT
FLORINDA: KELLY GARNER
LUCINDA: ALEX MARIN
CINDERELLAS FATHER: DRAYTON LANTZ
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD: KATIE WRIGHT
WITCH: NADIA JOCSON
CINDERELLAS MOTHER: RACHEL HAUGAN
MYSTERIOUS MAN.   : LIAM DELGADO
WOLF: CARTER GIANETTI
GRANNY: NATALIE SMITH
RAPUNZEL: LILY NELSON
RAPUNZELS PRINCE: ZACH BURGESS
CINDERELLAS PRINCE: BENNETT SMITH
STEWARD: AARON CLARK
GIANT: NOELLE PARENT
SNOW WHITE: ZOE BAUERLE
SLEEPING BEAUTY: KATIE MULLEN

JANE EYRE, THE MUSICAL - Mesa Community College Musical Productions - January 14-17, 2021


Mesa Community College Musical Productions presents Jane Eyre.

Charlotte Brontë's great love story comes to life with music to lift your heart and set your spirit soaring. This beloved tale of secrets and the lies that secrets create, of unimaginable hope and unspoken passion, reminds us what it is to fall deeply, truly and completely in love. Nominated for five Tony Awards, Jane Eyre explores religion, sexuality and protofeminism, all while enchanting audiences with a timeless love story.

This show will be streamed through Showtix4u.com. 

Indiviudal Viewing - $13.00

Group Viewing - $19.00

Event Short Link

Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 7:00pm

Friday, January 15, 2021 - 7:00pm

Saturday, January 16, 2021 - 7:00pm

Sunday, January 17, 2021 2:00pm


THE WOLVES - Scottsdale Community Players at Greasepaint Youth Theatre - January 7-9, 2021



The Wolves is a 2016 play by Sarah DeLappe. It premiered Off-Broadway at The Duke at 42nd Street in September 2016 and centers on the experiences of high school girls through their weekly Saturday morning pre-game soccer warmups. The play was a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

January, 7, 8 & 9 - 7PM

CAST :
Liv Boscardin #2
Sophia Drapeau #46
Tatum Grell #0
Bebe Katsenes #11
Sophia Penn #13
Taylor Penn #25
Emma Sucato #14
Greer Tornquist. #7
Allison     Watson #8
Maureen Watson.     Soccer Mom

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Auditions for URINETOWN at MCC PAC have been announced for January 13 & 14


Auditions 1/13/21 and 1/14/21 4:00 - 7:00 PM via ZOOM

Callbacks 1/15/21 via ZOOM

Rehearsals begin 1/20/21

Filming of technical rehearsals and production will take place March 26 – April 6, 2021.

CLICK HERE for the Link for the audition form

CLICK HERE to signup for an audition time