Monday, December 11, 2017

WEEK AT A GLANCE: December 11 - December 17

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

CLOSING:



December 7 - December 17, 2017



STILL PLAYING:


INSPECTING CAROL
Fountain Hills Theater
December 1 - 23, 2017

ELF ACADEMY
Brelby Theatre Company
December 1 - December 23, 2017

A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Hale Centre Theatre
November 30, 2017 - December 23, 2017



A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Fountain Hills Theater
November 30 - December 24, 2017

SCROOGE IN ROUGE 
Mesa Encore Theatre 
December 1 - December 24, 2017

GO, DOG. GO! 
Childsplay 
November 25 - December 23, 2017

PETER PAN 
Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre 
November 17 - December 23, 2017

A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Arizona Broadway Theatre at the Herberger Theater Center
December 9 - 28, 2017

A BLOODY MARY CHRISTMAS
Space 55
November 24 - December 30, 2017

SOUTH PACIFIC 
Arizona Broadway Theatre 
Nov 24 - Dec 30, 2017

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
Don Bluth Front Row Theatre 
November 16 - December 30, 2017

cast announcement - MAN OF LA MANCHA - Arizona Theatre Company


CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs from January 5th to January 28th

Cast:
Cervantes/Don Quixote: Philip Hernandez*
Aldonza: Michelle Dawson*
Captain of the Inquisition: Alex Gossard
Sancho: Carlos Lopez*
Governor/Innkeeper: John Patrick Lowrie*
Duke/Carrasco: Michael Sharon*
Fermina, a Dancer: Amelia Moore
Jose, a Dancer: Jose Luis “El Niño” Uz
Tenorio, a Flamenco Guitarist: Joaquin Gallegos
Paco, a Percussionist: Samuel Flores
Anselmo: Miguel Mejia
Pedro: Louis Tucci*
Juan/Barber: Alexander Sovronsky*
Quito/Padre: Patrick Connaghan*
Maria/Housekeeper: Kara Mikula*
Antonia: Ana Marcu*
Guard: Max Anton Protzen
Prisoner: Marissa Salazar

Creative Team:
Director: David Bennett
Choreographer: Kathryn Van Meter
Music Supervisor: Tim Symons
Associate Music Director, Arranger: Greg Fulton
Scenic Designer: William Bloodgood
Costume Designer: Melanie Burgess
Lighting Designer: Mary Louise Geiger
Sound Designer: Abe Jacob
Associate Lighting Designer: William Kirkham
Casting: Geoff Josselson, CSA
Flamenco Choreography: Amelia Moore, Jose Luis “El Nino” Uz
Fight Choreographer: Brent Gibbs
Vocal and Dialect Coach: Micha Espinosa
Stage Manager: Bruno Ingram*
Assistant Stage Manager: Glenn Bruner*
Assistant Stage Manager: Timothy Toothman*
*Denotes members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Making News with NEWSIES' Rusty Ferracane

Rusty Ferracane, center, with Cooper Hallstrom, left, and James Gish, right
photo by Reg Madison Photography
by Jennifer Haaland

Acclaimed Valley actor Rusty Ferracane is literally a news maker in his role as magnate Joseph Pulitzer at Phoenix Theatre.  As publisher and editor of New York's World newspaper in the late 1800s, Ferracane's character twists the plot points through his business decisions about the boys of New York who sell his papers.... the NEWSIES.

"I really enjoy the power play going on between these characters, and being able to wrap people around my finger," Ferracane chuckled about his character being "a bit on the angry and aggressive side."

As a Disney musical, first in film (1992) and then on Broadway (2012), NEWSIES is a heart-throb of a song and dance show. Before the dawn of child labor laws, Newsies leader Jack and his destitute, often homeless buddies risk survival when giants like Pulitzer cut their pay.  The poor boys' plights provides an emotional swell of converging stories for the musical's plot. Winning Tony and Drama Desk Awards for both Choreography and Music, the show had legions of local fans waiting impatiently for a national tour (ASU Gammage 2016)  who are now eagerly in line at the Phoenix Theatre box office.

"I don't know if this Phoenix theatre community has ever seen this level of skilled dancing coupled with such amazing, brilliant choreography. It's going to blow people away," Ferracane said. "You sit there gasping while your brain is trying to process, 'Did I really just see what I think I saw?!"

Beyond hummable, the music that accompanies those steps is unforgettable. Ferracane describes stirring, powerful orchestrations that "really, really connect with people emotionally."

"There is a moment in 'The World Will Know' when the boys are all trying to drum up some excitement to go on strike. When the orchestra kicks in and that bass is vibrating, it resonates through the whole cast," said Ferracane.

Ferracane believes deeply that even a formulaic Disney villain can't be just pure, ruthless evil.  He finds little in common with the traits of his Pulitzer character, but is certain any character fails without having a humanity we recognize and appreciate.

"You can't just play him being mean because he's mean. There has to be a purpose behind it. And I don't think a lot of the characters who are the bad guys think they are bad," Ferracane said. "Pulitzer is just a business guy who thinks he needs to take care of his company in order to remain in power and take care of his family."

Allowing he might be almost as stubborn as his character seems, Ferracane noted he's otherwise unable to relate to Pulitzer's influence and prestige.  He added that, contrary to the script, history suggests Pulitzer himself defended and "fought for the working man."

"That's one of the best things about playing a character like this. When I get my wig on--and I've grown this big, old, massive beard--when I look in the mirror I don't even see me anymore," said Ferracane. " It's fun to just dissolve into a another character that is totally different from me."

The whole Newsies story at Phoenix Theatre, ramped up by the theatrics and music, is a heart-tugging change maker. Ferracane suggested we resist the likely urge to be hi-jacked by the cast's superb, overwhelming showmanship.


"Especially today, I think the plight of the common man coming together to defeat obstacles.... fighting for what they believe... is really important," Ferracane said. "Don't let the brilliant dance and amazing music let you forget the powerful message in the story being told."

audition notice - TWELVE ANGRY JURORS - Zao Theatre - January 15


ZAO THEATRE announces auditions for the play TWELVE ANGRY JURORS, directed by Mickey Bryce, with set design by Robert Andrews.

Auditions are by appointment and will be held on Monday night, January 15th, 2018 from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM.

Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script.

Call-backs are scheduled for Tuesday, January 16th, at 6:30 PM.

Auditions will be held at the Zao Theatre at Centerstage Church, 550 S. Ironwood Dr., Apache Junction, AZ 85120.  (Broadway and Ironwood)

CLICK HERE to sign up for an audition


Sunday, December 10, 2017

WEEK AT A GLANCE: December 4 - December 10

Childsplay's Flex Tickets - the perfect Holiday Gift!




MR. HANKEY PRESENTS: THE MOST OFFENSIVE CHRISTMAS CONCERT EVER - The Listening Room - December 22, 2017

Valley favorites come together in a hilariously offensive Christmas benefit concert for Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS

Mr. Hankey Presents: The Most Offensive Christmas Concert Ever! Join a group of hilarious misfits as they sing the funniest, dirtiest, most inappropriate-st Christmas songs of our generation. Raising money for Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS in a guilt riddled attempt to get off the naughty list. You’ll laugh your a** off and leave feeling a little better about yourself. This little shindig is B.Y.O.B. so grab some 40s and let's get our giggle on as we raise money for an incredible organization. The night including songs from: Family Guy, The Nightmare Before Christmas and South Park (written by Book Of Mormon Tony Award winners Matt Stone & Trey Parker). Starring Valley favorites Brandi Bigley, Alyssa Chiarello, Phillip Fazio, Seth Tucker and More!

WARNING: Adult supervision is recommended. Performance includes bad words, poop jokes, easy puns, obvious blasphemy and Hitler. Please be advised.
All proceeds go to Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS.
Come and see “A little show with a big heart FART”!

"Mr. Hankey Presents: The Most Offensive Christmas Concert Ever!”
Friday, December 22nd at 7pm and 10pm
Tickets: $10 http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3198264
80 minutes no intermission
The Listening Room Phoenix. 4614 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85014 (http://thelisteningroomphoenix.com/)

Directed by Seth Tucker. Produced by Seth Tucker and Acting Up Series in conjunction with The Listening Room Phoenix.

Starring*:
Brandi Bigley
Alyssa Chiarello
Phillip Fazio
Brynn Lewallen
Kaivan Mayelzadeh
Kurtis Overby
Seth Tucker
*(Subject to change)

If you are unable to attend but want to donate: https://donate.broadwaycares.org/MrHankey
To find out more about BC/EFA: https://broadwaycares.org

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation's leading industry-based HIV/AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. They fund the social service work of The Actors Fund and award grants to AIDS service organizations nationwide.
With your help, what we do together makes a difference.

reviews - AGNES OF GOD - Compass Players

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 December 17th.


"Questions of faith, spirituality, doubt and morality plus the role of science and the power of love combine in John Pielmeier's classic drama Agnes of God. Compass Players, one of the newest theatre companies in the Valley, opens their second season with a searing production of this complex and compelling play.
Dr. Martha Livingstone, a court-appointed psychiatrist, is assigned to assess the sanity of a young nun named Agnes who lives in an isolated convent and who has been accused of murdering her newborn baby. But Agnes claims to have no memory of giving birth to the infant. And just who fathered the child? Did faith play a part in the birth and death of the child, or is Agnes a mentally unstable woman who killed her baby? Livingstone squares off with the convent's Mother Superior as secrets and the truth are revealed....With just a few pieces of furniture, character-specific costumes, and a gifted cast, director Jeanna Michaels has beautifully brought Pielmeier's work to vibrant life. ...Only the use of a couple of short video segments to portray flashback scenes is a bit of a disconnect. ...Michaels also plays Dr. Livingstone. As this strong, educated woman, Michaels is adept in showing how Livingstone struggles with her own logic and convictions and how the events of her rough and raw past have formed and influenced her to resent religion. Megan Holcomb is superb as Agnes...Holcomb's portrayal of the insecure, diminutive, terrified and haunted girl is stunning. As Mother Superior, Frances Murphy is very good in showing how this calm and composed woman is protective of Agnes and afraid that if the young woman is exposed to the real world it will tear away her innocence....While at first Agnes of God appears to be an intricate murder mystery, it is a superbly calculated and cunning raw character study of three very different women and an intense drama that portrays the views of society concerning faith and facts, as all three women question their own beliefs and who they are. With precise, confident performances, Compass Players presents a beautiful, powerful production of this provocative play that draws distinct lines between faith and reality and the presence or absence of God." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"...When the eponymous nun at the center of John Pielmeier's AGNES OF GOD beckons Christ to forgive her her apparent sin, the alleged murder of her mysteriously new born baby, all Hell breaks loose. The great thing about this play is the way it pits the eternal struggle between faith and reason within the somber confines of a convent and a riveting murder mystery. AGNES OF GOD is the opening production of Compass Players' second season and a worthy testament to the vision of its founders that an audience fully experience the power of the story, its characters, and their motivation. Under the direction of and starring Jeanna Michaels, AGNES OF GOD lights a fire on all three elements. The spark to that fire is Megan Holcomb who envelops Agnes, the young nun accused of infanticide, with an astonishing mix of childlike radiance and innocence on the one hand and, on the other, the fury of a troubled soul. ..Agnes is a complex role that Holcomb masters with remarkable intensity and instinct. Agnes is the centerpiece of the table that sets Dr. Martha Livingstone (Ms. Michaels), the voice of reason and science, at odds with Mother Miriam Ruth (Frances Murphy), the protectress of faith and mystery. ...Ms. Michaels is sterling in her role as the self-assured professional ...as she trades barbs with the Mother Superior (for example, questioning whether the saints would have smoked if tobacco had been popular in their time), it becomes clearer that no one holds the corner on morality. At play's end, we are left with a mystery that cannot be resolved and a debate that will endure. But, as Mother Miriam noted, the essence of the journey is in the asking, not in answers that may never be known. We are left as well with a bouquet of solid performances. " Herbert Paine, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review)

Friday, December 8, 2017

review - EURYDICE - Mesa Community College Theatre & Film Arts

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 December 9th.

"Based on the ancient Greek myth, Sarah Ruhl's updated version of Eurydice is a hypnotic journey into the depths of the underworld. Mesa Community College's production features a cast of talented students who provide nuance to the familiar mythical characters, though the direction adds additional unnecessary elements that detract from what should be an entrancing experience.
Ruhl's play follows the basic story of the Greek myth. Eurydice dies on her wedding day and her husband Orpheus goes to the Underworld to bring her back. The Lord of the Underworld agrees to let Eurydice return with Orpheus but on one condition: Orpheus must walk in front of Eurydice and never look back at her until they are both safely out of the Underworld. If he does, she will die all over again....MCC's production is fortunate to have a talented cast of actors who throw themselves into their roles with sheer glee and a high level of dedication. Lillian Gastelum embodies Eurydice with the sweetness and spunkiness of youth, while Brandon Caraco brings a bold stroke of intensity to Orpheus in his desire to find his bride no matter the cost. With layers of subtlety and nuance and an abundance of sadness, Seamus McSherry is superb as Eurydice's father, while Jared Kitch hams it up as the Lord of the Underworld...The creative elements for this production are full of mystery and magic...Unfortunately, director David Barker makes several odd choices that detract from the beauty and unconventional approach that Ruhl took for this classic story. First, the addition of an intermission in the original 90-minute one-act show pulls the audience out of the intensity of the piece. Second, Barker adds extra layers and elements to the piece (such as the addition of strange bits of clowning and mime, and turning the Underworld Lord into a campy character when he should be imposing and dangerous) that muddy the story. And third, there are many moments of unclarity, specifically the death of Eurydice and the ending, that are so unfocused that if you didn't know the story already you would have no idea what was going on. Also, while I like the creative elements, the absence of any water on the stage, when water is a major element to the story, seems like a missed opportunity. Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice is a mesmerizing play that effectively uses poetic language and the addition of a father figure to update this classic story. While MCC's cast and creative elements are good, the overall production adds too many unnecessary pieces and omits some key elements, preventing the play from truly coming to life. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

A CHRISTMAS CAROL - Arizona Broadway Theatre at the Herberger Theater Center - December 9 - 28, 2017

CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs through December 28th

Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, Book by Mike Ockrent and Lynn Ahrens. Based on Charles Dickens' novel.

One of the Valley of the Sun’s most cherished and anticipated Holiday traditions returns to downtown Phoenix this season as the Herberger Theater Center, Arizona’s premier arts venue, and Arizona Broadway Theatre, Arizona’s Leader in Musical Theatre, present A Christmas Carol: The Musical!

What better way to capture the holiday spirit than through the joy and merriment of Charles Dickens’ enduring tale of hope and redemption? Travel back in time with Ebenezer Scrooge as he journeys through his past, present and future to find the importance of family, friendship, and love. Brimming with rousing musical numbers, splendid costumes, and side-splitting Bah Humbugs, A Christmas Carol will have you and yours wrapped in the spirit of the holidays!

Saturday, December 9, 7:30pm
Sunday, December 10, 1pm
Sunday, December 10, 7pm
Thursday, December 14, 7pm
Friday, December 15, 7pm
Saturday, December 16, 2pm
Saturday, December 16, 7pm
Sunday, December 17, 1pm
Tuesday, December 19, 7pm
Wednesday, December 20, 2pm
Wednesday, December 20, 7pm
Thursday, December 21, 7pm
Friday, December 22, 7pm
Saturday, December 23, 2pm
Saturday, December 23, 7pm
Sunday, December 24, 1pm
Tuesday, December 26, 2pm
Tuesday, December 26, 7pm
Wednesday, December 27, 7pm
Thursday, December 28, 7pm

audition notice - CURTAINS! - Almost Famous Players - January 7

Casting Call for Curtains!

Roles: Aaron, male 30s-40s must sing well, 
male & female ensemble roles must sing and move well.

Audition: Sunday, January 7th from 3 to 5 pm.

Send pic and resume to play@almostfamoustheater.com

Come play with these usual suspects-Leslie Wall, Ryan Falcheck, Lisa Mendoza Barnes, Keith Chandler, Molly Jisa, Alice Davidson,Melia Coury, Steven Settefrati, Shannon Clark and Shelly Boucher

video - YES, VIRGINIA, THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS - East Valley Children's Theatre

CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs through December 10th


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Arizona Broadway Theatre's Fifth Annual BROADWAY BALL - March 3, 2018



from our friends at ABT:

THE BROADWAY BALL CELEBRATES FIFTH YEAR
Gala Black Tie Fundraiser Benefits Programs at Arizona Broadway Theatre

The Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT) announced today that it will celebrate The Fifth Annual Broadway Ball on Saturday, March 3, 2018. Proceeds from this important fundraising event benefit the artistic, educational, and charitable programs at the Arizona Broadway Theatre.

The Broadway Ball features a cocktail hour with complimentary Champagne, a three-course dinner, silent and live auctions, the Broadway Ball Wine Pull, and the popular Gift Card “Frenzy.” Live entertainment includes performances of Mainstage shows and children’s programs at ABT. The evening ends with dancing to the music of Len King and the AZ Swing Kings. Tickets are $150 per person.

“The primary purpose of the Broadway Ball is to raise awareness of and funds for all of the programs at ABT,” said Ellen Versen, Development Director of the nonprofit performing arts organization located in Peoria. “We have been so fortunate to attract a committee of very dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly to stage a fun and festive event. Their goal every year is to host the most exquisite gala in the West Valley.”

The 25-member all-volunteer Broadway Ball committee prepares all year for a festive and financially successful event. ABT Board of Trustees Secretary Sharon Jarnagin and West Valley Women Chief Connections Officer Lisa Platt serve as co-chairs of the 2018 gala. “During the process, our volunteers form genuine and long-lasting friendships. This is one of the reasons the committee members return from year to year. Working with friends makes planning this event very enjoyable,” said Versen.

For more information about the Broadway Ball, please call the Arizona Broadway Theatre Development Office at 623.707.8842.

audition notice - FEATHERED - Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre - January 6 & 7



from our friends at DST:

We are proud to announce the upcoming auditions for Feathered: A Story of the Ugly Duckling!

Audiences delight in Gerry Cullity’s touching musical take on the celebrated story of an UGLY DUCKLING, whose peculiar appearance instantly triggers taunting from the beautiful Meadow Ducks. Throughout her lively adventure, the UGLY DUCKLING meets an array of unforgettable characters, such as the inseparable GOOSE and GANDER, the bumbling DUCK HUNTERS, and their zany, but lovable, DOG.

By Hans Christian Andersen
Adaptation/Music And Lyrics By Gerry Cullity

Ages 3-13

DANCE CLASS (optional):
January 2, 3 and 4 from 2:30PM to 4:00PM
Cost: $60

AUDITION DATE & TIMES:

Friends of Desert Stages:
Saturday January 6th from 9am-3pm

Solo auditions available from 9:00AM to 2:00PM
Group auditions available from 2:00PM to 3:00PM

General Auditions:
Sunday January 7th at 2pm (check in beginning at 1pm)

Location for both dance class and auditions will be at Desert Stages Theatre located inside Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall.

Bring clothes to move in, closed toe

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

HAMILTON single ticket sales Info!!

HAMILTON TICKETS ON SALE POWERED BY TICKETMASTER VERIFIED FAN®  DECEMBER 11 AT 9AM  / REGISTRATION DEC. 5 THROUGH 7


Producer Jeffrey Seller and ASU Gammage/Broadway Across America announce today that tickets for HAMILTON will be available online through Ticketmaster Verified Fan® only, on December 11 at 9 a.m.  Verified Fan is a new fan-facing technology from Ticketmaster that allows pre-registered fans to unlock access to tickets without competing against scalpers and bots.

Jeffrey Seller states, "Verified Fan is the newest program to make tickets available to theatre-goers at regular prices. I am confident that it will be a valuable service to our fans.  We know how challenging it is to buy tickets and this new Ticketmaster program will make the process a whole lot easier."

Ticketmaster Verified Fan® registration begins Tuesday, December 5 at 10 a.m. and will close Thursday, December 7 at 11:59 p.m. Visit hamiltonaz.tmverifiedfan.com to register.

Those who registered will be notified by Ticketmaster via email on Sunday, December 10 if they have been selected for the Verified Fan on sale. The Ticketmaster Verified Fan® on sale will be available for purchases online only.

"We are ecstatic to have HAMILTON at ASU Gammage,” states Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, Executive Director of ASU Gammage and ASU Vice President for Cultural Affairs. "Ticketmaster Verified Fan® is a tremendous advance in ensuring that real patrons have access to tickets and we value the innovative approach that put fans first."

Tickets will be available for performances at ASU Gammage, January 30 through February 25, 2018.

There is a maximum purchase limit of four (4) tickets per household for the engagement.  Tickets range from $79.50 - $189.50, with a select number of $489.50 premium seats available.  There will be a lottery for forty (40) $10 orchestra seats for all performances. Details will be announced closer to the engagement.

A very limited number of tickets will be available at ASU Gammage’s box office starting December 11 at noon.

Register for Ticketmaster Verified Fan!
Ticketmaster Verified Fan® gets tickets into the hands of fans.

Don't throw away your shot! Register for Ticketmaster #VerifiedFan to unlock access to tickets for Hamilton in Tempe.

Act now - registration closes Thursday, December 7 @ 11:59PM MT.
Book, Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda

HAMILTON is the story of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, HAMILTON is the story of America then, as told by America now.  

HAMILTON’s creative team previously collaborated on the 2008 Tony Award ®-winning Best Musical IN THE HEIGHTS.

HAMILTON features scenic design by David Korins, costume design by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Howell Binkley, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe, and casting by Telsey& Company, Bethany Knox, CSA.

The musical is produced by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman and The Public Theater.

asugammage.com

video interview - SOUTH PACIFIC - Arizona Broadway Theatre

CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs through December 30th

review - GO, DOG, GO! - Childsplay

Jon Gentry, Michael Thompson, Caitlin Dhuse, Adam Sowards, and Brynn Lewallen
Photo by Tim Trumbule
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 December 23rd.

"The great thing about Childsplay is that they not only offer a season of over a half dozen shows aimed at children of various ages, but they also feature plays with serious themes as well as others that are mainly just for fun. Their production of Go, Dog, Go! may not have an in-depth plot or much character development, and the life lessons the show imparts are mainly geared toward younger children and focus on such things as different colors and that when it's nighttime you should be sleeping, but with an energetic cast and upbeat direction it amounts to a fun and infectious theatrical treat...the story simply focuses on a group of dogs as they go about their everyday routine, which mainly includes the standard canine traits of playing, partying and sleeping...Based on P.D. Eastman's 1961 picture book, the 2003 adaptation by Allison Gregory and Steven Dietz uses the same simple words Eastman used in his book, along with a zippy score from Michael Koerner and an abundance of good physical comedy under Andrés Alcalá's spotless direction, to deliver an hour of humor and joy...Jon Gentry leads a cast of talented actors including Caitlin Dhuse, Brynn Lewallen, Jennie Rhiner, Adam Sowards and Michael Thompson. ...Andrés Alcalá's direction is as playful as the pups, with Caroline Wagner's upbeat and varied choreography adding to the show's jubilant nature. ...Rob Witmer's sound design includes a nonstop stream of fun sound effects and his music direction creates some lovely sounds from the cast who excel at singing Michael Koerner's score with a series of vocal acoustics including plenty of barks and howls....Childsplay's production is bright and catchy and amounts to an upbeat, fun and funny time. While the show is geared toward younger audience members, it truly is a show that will put a big smile on the faces of people of all ages. Even this middle-aged theatre critic was grinning throughout. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"What delighted Childsplay audiences in Tempe more than six years ago has returned for the holiday season to delight valley audiences all over again. Based on the 1961 children’s book, written and illustrated by screenwriter and protégé of Theodor Geisel, P.D. Eastman, the six rambunctious pups of Go, Dog, Go spring from the page to the stage and bring Eastman’s hugely popular book to colorful life....Jon Gentry as the Master of Ceremonies dog leads the energetic pack in a series of situations aimed at introducing children to concepts they may never have considered, such as colors, their differences, how they’re mixed, and how to have fun with them....As with Eastman’s illustrated book, the play may be plot free, but there is a running story of sorts revolving around a pink poodle called Hattie (Jennie Rhiner) and her hat with the little flower....The show is aimed at the same age group as the book, ages 3 to 6, but, in truth, if you enjoy clever theatrics, physical comedy, and vaudeville in general, not to mention six boisterous pups barking in musical harmony, then as a parent you’ll enjoy this highly skilled Andrés Alcalá directed Childsplay production as much the child you’ve accompanied, just for different reasons." -David Appleford, Valley Screen and Stage (click here to read the complete review)