Friday, October 19, 2018

WEEK AT A GLANCE: October 15 - October 21

Good Girl Gone Bad - playing the demonic child in THE BAD SEED

Anora Bitts, with Virginia Olivieri
photo by Wade Moran
by Haddi Meyer

Anora Biggs is just like any other 10-year-old. She attends school, she’s in 5th grade, and she’s playing a homicidal child in Desert Stages production of The Bad Seed.

Oh wait, is that abnormal?

The Bad Seed is a play which features a deeply violent and awful child, and her mother who struggles to deal with and understand why her daughter is the way she is.

The Bad Seed has been through many incarnations, from the original play to two movies. The play itself, was critically acclaimed, and was even shortlisted for a Pulitzer Prize, by its namesake’s grandson, Joseph Pulitzer Jr. himself.

Now, Scottsdale Desert Stages is bringing all of the toil, horror, and drama of the play to Phoenix, just in time for Halloween.

Between school and rehearsals, Biggs is undeniably busy, but she found some time to talk with me about the show and her character. Despite the dark role, she was nothing but a delight to speak with.

For someone who isn't aware of The Bad Seed what would you tell them it's about?

“It’s about a little girl who is sweet and innocent on the outside but on the inside she’s definitely a sociopath and she is definitely evil and she gets what she wants.”

You play Rhoda, the lead character who is revealed to be awful and violent later on in the story. How did you prepare to play such a dark role?

“I watched the original film with Patty McCormack, and I also watched the lifetime channel remake and I watched a youtube video with a bunch of kids doing Rhoda and they kind of inspired me.

I imagine that Rhoda is a bit different from you, personality and mentality wise. How do you get into character? 

“I don’t really do anything to get into character, I kind of just step on stage and I do it. She’s a lot more aggressive and a lot more like, ‘oh, I didn’t do this’ and usually she gets what she wants and that’s why she kills, and she kills a lot of people.”

When you aren't playing a homicidal child, you are going to school every day just like most kids. How do you balance school work and rehearsals?

“My rehearsals start at about 7 o’clock so I have time to do [the show]. But sometimes, if I’m really tired, when rehearsal goes late, sometimes my mom will pull me out a little early.”

What types of roles have you played before? 

“I’ve played Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web, Iago in Aladdin, Horace in 101 Dalmatians, Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh and recently I was in Annie and I played Duffy. Rhoda is my favorite though. She’s much different from the other roles. I usually play comedic roles, or sometimes I’ll play serious roles but she’s kind of like the bad guy in this case.”

Is this your first show that also features adults? If so, what's it been like working with a cast of adults?

“It’s definitely more fun, in my opinion. It’s really funny because they always crack jokes and they always mess around. They always kind of get into it more than children do, so that makes me get into it.”

What has been your favorite part of playing Rhoda?

“I get to be evil. I love the Leroy scenes because that’s where you see her true side and what she’s doing to all these people.”

What has been your favorite part of The Bad Seed?

“Working with my director, and the adults and Kendall the stage manager.”

CLICK HERE for more information on The Bad Seed, which runs through November 18th

reviews - TITANIC - Arizona Broadway Theatre

Olin Davidson, Matthew Mello, and Kiel Klaphake
Photo by Scott Samplin
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 10th.

"...Since it's hard to recreate a sinking ship on stage or the vast and expansive rooms and decks of the Titanic, Arizona Broadway Theatre's production, which has an exceptional cast, goes for a more minimalistic approach. While the creative aspects may not be as effective as other productions I've seen of this show...it still makes for a moving and emotional journey and a captivating look at a tragic event from over a hundred years ago that fascinates us to this day....provides plenty of details on the ship and skillfully weaves together dozens of characters...Arizona Broadway Theatre's cast is exceptional. ...Danny Gorman's direction is fine, though somewhat uneven. His cast creates realistic, identifiable roles and he delivers fluid scene changes. However, many of the comic lines in (Peter) Stone's Tony Award winning book are rushed and, while his first act is infused with an appropriate sense of urgency and fascination with the ship, the second act lacks, somewhat, the sense of fear and dread that most of the passengers should be exhibiting once they realize their unfortunate fate. He isn't helped by Nate Bertone's scenic design which, while the two-tiered design is beautiful and evokes the sleek, powerful and seemingly impenetrable riveted metal walls of the ship, doesn't ever truly give you any sense of the magnitude of the splendor of the ship. Also, having several members of the cast practically stroll, unburdened, across the stage toward the middle of act two, when the ship is already beginning to tilt into the water, seems very odd. There is also a stagnant sense throughout, with only the use of a few small set pieces and three moving ladders to give much sense of any location change. Only in the second act, once the back wall begins to crack and various objects descend from overhead as if they are suspended in the water, does the abstract and slightly surreal scenic design begin to show its beauty, as does the superbly staged and sung final scene....While I have a few quibbles with Arizona Broadway Theatre's production of Titanic, the magnificent cast and orchestra deliver a truly moving and incredibly poignant memory of the over fifteen hundred people who perished, along with their dreams, on that fateful night back in 1912. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)


"....With the streamlined set, Brian DeMaris’ outstanding ten-piece orchestra, and director Danny Gorman’s staging where the cast often face the audience directly as they sing, ABT’s Titanic often feels less a presentation of a regular musical and more a spectacular concert presentation in full costume. It’s lavish in sight and inspiring in sound. And best of all, it’s genuinely thrilling..." -David Appleford, Valley Screen and Stage (click here to read the complete review)


"...
the dimension and scope of the tragedy that befell the ship and the vignettes that reveal the diversity of the humanity aboard it ~ are embraced by Danny Gorman, the director of Arizona Broadway Theatre's production of TITANIC, and translated into a monumentally uplifting experience...There's not an actor in this show who does not excel in his/her performance...To reflect the immensity of the RMS Titanic, scenic designer Nate Bertone has gone brilliantly simple...Under the direction of Brian DeMaris, the band roars with richness and depth...this production of TITANIC is equal to anything you'd see on the Great White Way, exemplary in its stagecraft. Opening night (October 12th) was epic! ..." - Herbert Paine, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review)

Learning from the Past - a conversation with Charles St. Clair, the director of iTheatre Collaborative's THE TRIAL OF THE CATONSVILLE NINE

Charles St. Clair
by Gil Benbrook

This weekend, iTheatre Collaborative opens a drama based on actual events that happened fifty years ago.

The play, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine, was written by Daniel Berrigan, a Roman Catholic priest and antiwar activist who, along with eight other people including his brother, broke into a draft board office in Catonsville, Maryland and burned hundreds of draft cards to protest the Vietnam war.

Berrigan based his drama on the actual federal court documents from the case where he, his brother and seven others, afterwards known as "the Catonsville Nine," were sentenced for destroying US government property.

But, this group would also find their protest and the attention it received something that would inspire many other anti-draft and anti-military protests.

Director Charles St. Clair, who has directed or appeared in hundreds of theatre, film and video productions and is on the faculty of ASU West where he teaches acting and directing, took a few minutes in final rehearsals for this production to answer some questions about this production and the importance of the historic events in Berrigan's play.

While this play is based on actual events that happened in 1968, I don’t believe the exact details are that familiar to a lot of people today. What can you tell them about the events that happened and this play? 

"I feel the events of 1968 will forever live in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans.  In April of that year, Martin Luther King Jr. was killed; in June, Robert Kennedy was killed; in November, Richard M. Nixon was elected the 37th president; and by December, US troops in Vietnam had reached 549,000 making it the longest War to date. On May 17th 1968, nine people, including two Catholic priests, entered the Selective Service office in Catonsville, Maryland and removed 378 draft cards and burned them in the parking lot with homemade napalm to protest the war in Vietnam. Based on the actual trial transcripts, the play delves into the moral and religious motives of the 'Nine'. The Catonsville Nine gave a new face to activism, civil disobedience, and inspired hundreds."

I know the play is based on the actual court transcripts from the trial. Since some people will already know the outcome of that trial before seeing the play what did you have to to keep the tension high and the audience guessing as to the verdict?  

"The verdict or outcome in the play is well known so there is no guessing.  The motives behind the Catonsville’s Nine actions were at the center of my attention. There is no right or wrong, there just is. The real verdict is in the conscience of the audience."

What can you tell us about your cast for this production? 

"The cast is from all over the Valley.  In casting, I wasn’t as much concerned with finding actors who resemble the actual Nine, as those with the heart and spirit to make the journey back through a time when our country was in tremendous turmoil. Like the gathering of the actual Catonsville Nine,
they came together in pieces."

What type of research did you do to prepare to direct this show?  

"The Catonsville Nine was not new to me, fortunately I have deep roots in the time period and I had the honor of meeting several of the Nine alongside the FBI agents who accompanied them. The research was massive, however the archived materials are so readily available. iTheatre’s Artistic Director, Chris Haines and I began by reading several versions of scripts based on the transcripts of the trial. "

Was there any specific reason that made you want to direct this production? 

"My work of choice has always been to give a voice to the voiceless, even if that voice is from the grave. The message of the play is so relevant today.  I feel so much Hatred instead of Love motivating the actions of those who rightfully protest the unjustly acts of those in power. October 5 – 9, 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the actual trial."

The Vietnam war and the events around the protest that are documented in the play are now fifty years behind us. What do you think we can learn from these events from the past? 

"Whenever we take the opportunity to look back into our past, the future and the actions we must take become clearer. When we witness daily events that rip apart the very treads of society we must take non-violent action. We cannot sit back and say it’s not our problem or expect someone else will fix it.
Social responsibility!"

What do you hope audiences will take away from seeing this production of The Trial of the Catonsville Nine?

"Our younger generations have not heard the stories of Vietnam, have not heard this part of our nation's history, and have not experienced the lessons we must learn from it. We can't forget all those who fought... We cannot forget Vietnam! 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.' – Santayana"

CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs through November 3rd

rehearsal photos - FROGWOMAN - B3 Productions

CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs November 9-December 15






photos courtesy B3 Productions

urgent casting notice - male (aged 8-12) for A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE PLAY - Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre


DST is still looking to cast a role in A Christmas Story-The Play:

FLICK [Male, 8-12]
Ralphie’s friend and classmate. Outspoken, with personality & humor but gets bullied constantly by Scut Farkas. A weakling with a lot of heart; think like Dustin from Stranger Things.

Second round of auditions will be Sunday October 21st at 7pm at Desert Stages Theatre.

Cold Reads from the script.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Studio 3 Performing Arts presents The Ultimate Audition Workshop for Parents - October 19



Friday, October 19 from 6-8pm
The Ultimate Audition Workshop for Parents

Finally! The Ultimate Audition Workshop You Never Knew You Needed… until NOW!
Friday, October 19, 2018

We’ve all gone through it… preparing our child for auditions in the ever-changing world of theatre, only we don’t have a background in theatre ourselves.

If you want your child to succeed, you’ve gotta be right there with them!

And we’ve got all the tips and tricks to make your lives EASIER!

You don’t have to be a “stage mom” (or dad) and you certainly don’t have to have a background in theatre. You just need our helping hand.

Don’t wait to sign up as space is limited! Childcare available.

For more information
http://www.studio3arts.com/parentsunite/announcements/

To get signed up
https://studio-3-performing-arts.ticketleap.com/

Growing Pains - Charlie Brown and friends are all grown up and struggling with issues in DOG SEES GOD at Spotlight Youth Theatre

by Haddi Meyer

“Charlie Brown is our 5-year-old imagination, and Dog Sees God is our adult reality.”

That's how Ali Giordano, one of the many talented teens acting in Spotlight Youth Theatre's production of Bert V. Royal's Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, compared this dark satire of the Peanuts comics to the original tales of Charlie Brown and his friends.

Giordano is playing Van’s Sister, the character who is the teenage mirror of Lucy. The Lucy we all know from the Peanuts comic strips and cartoons is gone, and instead Giordano described how she's become a lonely, timid and unstable girl.

“In Dog Sees God she’s all alone. The only person she really has contact with is Charlie Brown, CB (the character's name in the show). When she [was] young she was kind of immature, she thinks she knows what’s real and what’s not, what’s going on in life, but she doesn’t and that’s what’s funny. Now, she’s all grown up, she knows what’s good and what’s bad, what's real, and part of it kind of scares her in a way but in her mind it’s we’ve all grown up and it’s time to move forward.”

All of the characters in Dog Sees God are the darker, angsty, struggling and slightly older versions of themselves, including our faithfully clumsy, snoopy loving Charlie Brown, or in Dog Sees God, CB. Jack Taylor plays our leading man, but he isn’t quite the same Charlie Brown we’ve always known and loved.

“He’s become this big presence at his high school. He’s become a bully, and he’s much more respected now,” Taylor adds.

CB and the other characters aren’t two dimensional either. Each goes through their own path throughout the show. Taylor said of CB, “from the beginning to the end, there is definitely a big change. There is a growth within him.”


Taylor also stated that in order to play his big mean Charlie Brown, he pulled from his own experiences as a victim of bullying.

“Growing up I feel like everyone deals with a bully. I’ve lived in three states and in each one of them there has been at least one guy who isn’t really the best.”

Dog Sees God deals with more issues than just bullying. Director Kenny Grossman described the show as touching “on bullying, homosexuality...teenage drug use, tolerance, awareness, acceptance, teenage drinking.”

Grossman said the show provides a painfully honest look into “the everyday life of a teenager. This show is truth.”

Giordano agreed saying that “some people think that with theatre, you’re lying to people, you’re just acting, but I think with this play, especially, you are telling the truth. We want you to believe in what’s really going on.”

Dog Sees God follows the lives of the main Peanuts crew, under various pseudonyms, as they struggle with the issues that teens across America struggle with everyday. The show focuses on some incredibly dark and intense topics, but the brutal honesty of the show is what makes it so valuable in the modern day and led Grossman to a very specific reason for choosing to direct Dog Sees God this season.

“The number one theme in this show, is teen suicide. Teen suicide in Arizona is the number two cause of death for teenagers. Number one is car accidents.” Grossman explained, “I chose to do this show because it shows a different angle of what teenage life is and what teenagers go through. Not everything is all hunky dory and footloose and fancy free. These are real problems that teenagers face.”

Spotlight is also partnering with Teen Lifeline for the run of this show. Teen Lifeline is a suicide hotline specifically for Phoenix teenagers, and they will be present at every show with a table ready to speak to anyone who might need help. Grossman said his goal was to make teenagers aware that they aren’t alone, and that someone is there to always support them. He also mentioned that after two performances of the show there would be talk backs with the cast, and that Teen Life Line would also be present to speak with anyone who had questions.

“If there is one kid, just one kid that ends up picking up the phone and calling them because of the awareness that happened here, then doing a show like this is worth it.”

The show isn’t all dark and gloomy however. Grossman says the show will “give all the feels. [The audience is] gonna laugh, they’re gonna cry, they’re gonna be angry, sad, nervous. I just want them to feel everything and really appreciate what these young people are doing in the show.”

All of the emotions and beauty of the show are summed up in Van’s Sister. Giordano focused on one thing she wanted people to understand most.

“I want everyone to see that’s she’s human. There’s no such thing as normal, everyone has something different about them and all and all she is really just a human...but it really teaches the truth. I want people to get the truth from this play.”

CLICK HERE for more information on Dog Sees God, which runs in repertory with You're a Good Man Charlie Brown at Spotlight Youth Theatre from October 20th to November 4th

For anyone struggling with any teenage issues, you can reach Teen Lifeline in Maricopa County, AZ at 602-248-8336 (TEEN), or statewide in Arizona at 800-248-8336 (TEEN) You can also reach Teen Lifeline at https://teenlifeline.org/

audition notice - ROBIN HOOD - TheaterWorks' Youth Works - November 10



Directed by: Sandi Carll

Farce/Play/High Adventure

HUGE cast and GREAT roles for both guys and girls galore!

PLEASE SIGN UP FOR THE AGE APPROPRIATE TIME SLOT

Group 1(Ages 7-11) 9:30am: collect paperwork, pass out sides, 10am-11am group audition

Group 2 (Ages 12-14) 10:30am: collect paperwork, pass out sides, 11am-12pm group audition

Group 3(Ages 15-19) 11:30am: collect paperwork pass out sides, 12p,-1pm group audition

Performance Schedule:

Friday, Jan. 11 @ 7:00pm
Saturday, Jan. 12 @ 7:00pm
Sunday, Jan. 13 @ 2:30pm
Tuesday, Jan. 15 @ 9:30am & 11:30am
Wednesday, Jan. 16 @ 9:30am & 11:30am
Friday, Jan. 18 @ 7:00pm
Saturday, Jan. 19 @ 7:00pm
Sunday, Jan. 20 @ 2:30pm
Friday, Jan. 25 @ 7:00pm
Saturday, Jan. 26 @ 7:00pm
Sunday, Jan. 27 @ 2:30pm

Rehearsals are Mon-Thurs 6pm-9pm and Saturday 10-1pm

No rehearsal Nov. 21-25 (Thanksgiving)

No rehearsal Dec. 22-25 (Christmas)

No rehearsal Dec. 29-Jan 1 (New Year's Day)

Tech Week: January 5-10, 2019

Please attend your audition appointment with your audition form filled out. Please bring a headshot and resume if available. A headshot can consist of any recent photo that you are OK with not being returned back to you. Please note all conflicts. No performance conflicts will be honored.

Auditions will consist of cold reads and theatre games. Dress for movement. Please do not be late. These are group auditions.

This hilarious, action-packed retelling of Robin Hood is a show-within-a-show, filled with funny gender-bending characters, high-adventure sword fighting, chaotic chase scenes, audience participation, madcap mayhem and sidekick shenanigans!

Synopsis

Prince John has decreed that the citizens of Nottingham pay weekly taxes or face the penalty of death! His decrees are enforced by the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. The citizens think that all hope is lost until they hear word of a noble hero, Robin Hood of Locksley. Robin Hood, with the help if his very-nontraditional merry men, rob from the rich, give to the poor and save the fair Maid Marion.

PLEASE NOTE:

If cast there is a $125.00 production fee.

There are day time, school day performances scheduled for January 15th & 16th 2019.

Date: 11/10/2018 (Sat.)
Location: TheaterWorks

CLICK HERE to sign up for an audition slot, and for additional info

photos - DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE -TheaterWorks

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













photos by John Groseclose

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

ticket discount - SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES - BLK BOX PHX


Get $5 off with promo code “Carnival” for any of the upcoming performances of Something Wicked This Way Comes at Blk Box Phx!

Runs Oct 31 – Nov 11 with performance at the Hardes Theatre at Phoenix Theatre

Two boys are lured to a mysterious carnival that passes through their town. Soon they discover the diabolical truths behind the funhouse mirror maze and its eerie cast of characters. The boys fight to save their town from this sinister carnival that threatens to destroy it.

CLICK HERE to get your tickets today!

Unrooting Prejudice One Show At A Time - a conversation with Douglas Lyons, the creator of POLKADOTS: THE COOL KIDS MUSICAL

Douglas Lyons outside Valley Youth Theatre on opening night
photo courtesy Valley Youth Theatre

by Haddi Meyer

In order to remove a diseased tree, you have to pull out its roots, no matter how deep they run. The roots of prejudice run deep in America, and often people address it on an adult level. However, one man is tackling the issue from the bottom up. Douglas Lyons is an incredibly accomplished actor, writer, and lyricist who, in his own words, strives “to use diverse stories to inspire children through art and remind them of their fullest potential and worth.”

This is exemplified in the musical he conceived, Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical. The show tells the story of Lily Polkadot, a child with polka dotted skin, who moves to an all square town and the one curious square-skinned boy who decides to befriend her. Polkadots is a powerful story of friendship and overcoming perceived differences, and preaches love and acceptance.

While there is a current tour of the show on the road, Phoenix audiences can see the show right now as Valley Youth Theatre just opened their production, which is the Arizona premiere of the show.

Despite being as busy as any actor/writer/lyricist would be while also performing in Broadway’s Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Lyons found some time to speak with me about the show's meaning, its inspiration, and importance.

This show takes heavy inspiration from the civil rights movement, specifically Ruby Bridges and the Little Rock 9, the group of children who integrated an all-white Arkansas school in the 1950s. It is a perfect way to introduce younger kids to the idea of racism and bullying and what can be done about it. How did the idea to create a show about these issues, which are so relevant to today's society, come about?

“I saw a YouTube video of Phylicia Rashad, and she was being interviewed and she talked about growing up in the Jim Crow south in Houston, Texas, and being a little black girl in a grocery mart with this curiosity for a white only water fountain. When no one was looking she went and tasted that water to only realize that it tasted the same as her water and how ridiculous this idea that you could separate the races and separate humanity. My favorite quote is ‘Humanity had tricked itself into dividing the races’ she said, and that was sort of this light bulb of an idea. It was just kind of like how innocent and curious that children are that they will defy American tradition and division with their own curiosity. It seemed like a perfect way to introduce our issues with race to [use] water fountains in which you put the same identical water in as a backdrop to have this conversation with the next generation.”

As an African American man, did you bring any personal experiences you encountered of racism or bullying to the show?

“Well, living in America everyday is a personal experience when it comes to racism. But yes and no. Honestly, the beauty of Polkadots is that it’s actually honoring a time in history that I don’t think is as comprehensible to us. The fact that we were not allowed to be in the same rooms, in the same balconies, in the same parts of the buses. Racism as it stands is already pretty horrible now, but to think of where we came from it seems a little alien and so truly what we’re trying to do is honor the people who have lived through segregation. My mother was the first the girl of all of her sisters to be in a desegregated school, so it isn’t that far away, you know? I’m honoring people who had to truly endure the negativity and harshness of racism because I have a more glorified, if you will, experience of it because of my ancestors, so I am really trying to honor them.”

Polkadots addresses what many would consider an 'adult' topic. How does the show explain an issue as complex as race relations to children?

“I mean it breaks it down to its smallest form and how stupid it really is. When you take a water fountain and you’re pouring the same water into both fountains and just placing a different title on the outside, it doesn’t make sense and that’s one of the things that Phylicia Rashad said, she said ‘you know with racism I knew what was going on but I didn’t really know why because it really doesn’t make sense’ and it still doesn’t make sense. When you really break it down we’re purely operating on fear and you know being unintelligible to truth, which is passing down the tradition of theatre, that’s all racism is and hopefully this show can stop that tradition with this next generation of folks that are now living in a Trump America.”

Clearly, using polka dots and squares instead of black and white is an interesting way to distinguish the differences between the characters. Was that decision an instant one in creating this show, or were there other ways you had originally come up with as a way for the show to demonstrate racism and bullying?

“I call them mosquito bites, when there are ideas that come to me in my sleep or before I get in the shower. You know like how mosquitoes fly around, and you swat them and sometimes they bite you and Polkadots had come to me actually in the winter of 2014 but I put it on a shelf for six months and it just kept biting at me. In January, February of 2015 I was like, oh my gosh and I just wrote this six page manifesto of what the world would look like, who the characters were and it seemed like a simple analogy for race. It’s really not just black and white though, and that’s the beauty of Polkadots because you can’t patent a pattern. The actress going out on the national tour is an Asian actress playing Lily Polkadot, the idea being that whatever makes you different makes you a polkadot. It doesn’t have to be specific to skin but in the case of what it is based off of it becomes a black and white story but part of why we made it polka dots and squares is that hopefully you can see yourself projected in any of the positions. For instance, if all the squares were black and the polka dot was middle eastern or something. Racism butts its head in many, many different ways. It could be class, poverty, all that stuff.”

This show is subtitled the 'Cool Kids Musical, referring to the group that is considered to be the "in crowd" or the most popular group of kids. Did you ever consider yourself to be a member of that club?  

“Not really, haha but this is kind of the fun thing too. Melvin, the book writer actually really likes the play on words. It can work in two ways. Polkadots is for all the cool kids right, or it can be the cool kids musical. Kids musicals have this bad wrap of being cheesy and corny so it’s kind of like it’s the coolest one of them all, so there are a few play-on-words there. I’ve never been the cool kind. I have always kind of created my own path and the older I’ve gotten the more I’ve seen how to do that. I think the show has made me maybe a little cooler haha, but I’m not like a cool person everyday of my life, no way. It also beckons what is it to be cool? In the end of the show the lyrics [say] ‘You’re a cool kid even if you’re…’ and there’s a listing, ‘you’re a cool kid because you were there, though some people stare, somebody care’ and so we try to meet the kids where ever they are and take that title to everyone it’s not for a select group of people.”

This is Polkadots first performance in Arizona, after debuting just a couple of years ago. Have you made any changes to the show since it first debuted as you've seen it be produced in other cities?

“I think the only thing that changed from Ivrington, which was our developmental production to the Atlantic, and the album was the squadot. We added a rap section, that I think was not there initially. It was just sort of the instructional part of the 11:00 dance number and for the recording we added versed that then went into the show permanently so they’re performing the squadot in a way that it wasn’t performed in 2016 in Ivrington.

What do you hope audiences take away from seeing Polkadots?

“Love, community, not tolerance because tolerance is just dealing with someone different but actual acceptance which is embracing them into your community. I honestly hope it’s just a beam of light in a time that is very dark, unfortunately. To see kids of all different races on stage telling a story of unity and history will hopefully inspire and empower people to keep that mindset fresh and to use it everyday since we’re combating so much division right now.”

CLICK HERE for more information on Polkadots: the Cool Kids Musical, at Valley Youth Theatre through October 28th

cast announcement - JEKYLL & HYDE - Actor's Youth Theatre


CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs October 18-November 3

Noah Delgado - Dr. Henry Jekyll/Edward Hyde
Quincy Cowans - Gabriel John Utterson
Carter Neef - Sir Danvers Carew/Spider
Bryce Vehrs - Simon Stride
Nadia Gilbert - Lady Beaconsfield/Nellie
Thomas Green - The Bishop of Basingstoke
Sara Blue - Lord Savage
Hailey Boiarsky - General Glossop
Joey La Mattina - Sir Archibald Proops
Abby Cardenas - Emma Carew
Drew MacCallum - Lucy Harris
Aaron Clark - Poole
Miranda Bellows - Bisset
Isabel Aksamit - Ensemble
Ava Aagaard - Ensemble
Allison Carter - Ensemble
Caitlyn Miller - Ensemble
Jaide Montefour - Ensemble



review - THE WORLD GOES 'ROUND - Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Kathleen Berger, Patrick Russo, Victoria Fairclough, Michael Paul, and Savannah Alfred
Photo Courtesy of Scottsdale Center for the Performing 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 October 27th.

"John Kander (music) and Fred Ebb (lyrics) wrote the scores for over a dozen Broadway musicals. Most likely known for their songs from the hit shows Cabaret and Chicago and the popular title song from the film New York, New York, they also wrote numerous less successful scores. The musical revue The World Goes 'Round features over two dozen Kander and Ebb tunes and makes for a fun, moving and crowd-pleasing journey through the vast songbook of these two collaborators. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is presenting the revue for a three-week run in a production that is well directed and well sung by a quintet of versatile Valley performers.... a beautiful testament to the exceptional songwriting talents of Kander and Ebb. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

Monday, October 15, 2018

WEEK AT A GLANCE: October 15-October 21

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





ON GOING:


OPENING SOON:









October 27-November 18, 2018

SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES 
BLK BOX PHX 
October 31-November 11, 2018


LOVE, LIES AND THE DOCTOR'S DILEMMA 
Westbrook Village Players 
November 2-11, 2018

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME 
Zao Theatre 
November 2-17, 2018

THE RAT PACK LOUNGE 
Fountain Hills Theater 
November 2–18, 2018

MARY POPPINS 
Mesa Encore Theatre 
November 2-18, 2018

RHINOCEROS 
Now and Then Creative Company 
November 2-18, 2018

ON YOUR FEET! 
November 6-11, 2018 
ASU Gammage

THE PRINCESS KING 
Starlight Community Theater 
November 9-10, 2018

The Second City Guide to the Symphony
Phoenix Symphony Orchestra
November 9, 2018 - November 11, 2018 | 2:00 pm

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING 
Brelby Theatre Company 
November 9-17, 2018

BYE BYE BIRDIE 
Desert Foothills Theater 
November 9-18, 2018

ELF, JR. 
TheaterWorks YouthWorks 
November 9-18, 2018

THE CAKE 
Stray Cat Theatre 
November 9–24, 2018

FROGWOMAN 
B3 Productions 
November 9 - December 15, 2018