Tuesday, July 22, 2014

RADIO GOLF, Black Theatre Troupe, September 26 - October 12, 2014

By August Wilson
At the end of the century the world is just beginning. Radio Golf is the final play in August Wilson’s epic ten-play cycle chronicling the African-American experience in the twentieth century. Harmond Wilks, an Ivy League-educated lawyer with an educated and ambitious wife, wants to redevelop a poverty-stricken section of Pittsburgh. He is also preparing to enter the 1997 mayoral race to become Pittsburgh’s first black mayor. Suddenly another world intrudes when the owner of an old mansion at 1839 Wylie refuses to give up his home and make room for the development. It turns out that the house at 1839 Wylie has a more significant past than Harmond or his investors could have imagined.

(clockwise from top) Calion Maston, T.A. Burrows, Lillie Richardson,
Kwane Vedrene and Roosevelt Watts
Written by August Wilson

Directed by David J. Hemphill

Scenic Design: Thom Gilseth
Lighting Design: Jeff Davis
Costume, Hair and Make-Up Design: Mario Garcia
Sound Design: Alex Cozza
Technical Director: Joel Birch
Stage Manager: DeOnte Lemons
Properties: Carrie Marion

Cast: (in alphabetical order)
Elder Joseph Barlow: T.A. Burrows
Roosevelt Hicks: Calion Maston
Mame Wilks: Lillie Richardson*
Harmond Wilks: Kwane Vedrene
Sterling Johnson: Roosevelt Watts 
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association

Photo: Laura Durant 

TOMMY J & SALLY, Black Theatre Troupe, November 28 - December 14, 2014

By Mark Medoff
A young African-American man, Tommy J forces his way into the Manhattan loft of Sally Hemmings, a famous white pop singer whose latest anthem is about racial harmony. He insists that her real name is Madeline Rosenberg, a girl shaped by her Jewish culture, who has since reinvented herself, taking on the name of Thomas Jefferson’s black slave-mistress. He also claims that, as a teen in Phoenix, he was taken in by the Rosenberg family and watched her fledgling attempts at songwriting. An intense examination and study about black/white relations, Tommy J & Sally looks at race from both sides of the color line, exposing not only the inevitable tensions but also the yearning for reconciliation, forgiveness and redemption.

Cast, photos and review links will be added when available.

CONVICTION, Black Theatre Troupe, February 6 - 22, 2015

By Ben Tyler
2015 marks the centennial year of the genius that was Billy Strayhorn. His conviction to creating some of the world’s greatest music and to living his truth shaped his life and those around him. In this inventive new play we meet “A Convict” as he performs songs for a select group of his fellow inmates as a reward for their individual accomplishments. In one evening he reminisces and performs songs that have enriched his life – the music of Billy Strayhorn. His compelling story, set to the backdrop of this powerful music, is lifted to monumental heights and then to a stunning conclusion.

Cast, photos and review links will be added when available.

AIN'T SHE BRAVE, Black Theatre Troupe, April 10 through 26, 2015

By: Ntare Ali and Erika Gault Originally Edited and Staged by Lorna Hill
This innovative and provocative work chronicles the modern black woman’s perspective on her journey in America. Through rich poetry and stories, music and dance we meet women living “between hope and history.” An entertaining evening of powerful moments of love, fear and dreams, sweet tales and memories. Communal stories of strength, survival and individual expression and universal thoughts that have been around for centuries.

Cast, photos and review links will be added when available.

Monday, July 21, 2014

THE PRODUCERS - Scottsdale Musical Theater Company December 31, 2014 - January 5, 2015

Continuing its tradition of bringing Broadway's favorites back to life, SMTC is proud to announce their next production, the hilarious, Tony Award record-breaking Mel Brooks musical The Producers, for a special engagement. Performances will take place at the Tempe Center for the Arts (700 Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe AZ). This full production will feature an incredible cast and a full live 20-piece orchestra, a rarity in town.

Click here for tickets and more information.

Cast, photos and review links will be added when available.

EDGES, Mesa Community College, September 25 - 27, 2014

Edges is not a traditional musical; it is an exciting new show about four burgeoning adults asking classic coming-of-age questions. Written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul--2007 Jonathan Larson Award Recipients--in their sophomore year at the University of Michigan, this contemporary song cycle carries an honest voice advocating introspection while maintaining wit and charm. 

Music & Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Producer: SueAnne Lucius
Directed by Jere Van Patten
Music Directed by Cathy Hauan
Set Designer: Dori Brown
Costume Designer: Aurelie Flores
Lighting Designer: Troy Buckey
Hair & Makeup Designer: Melody Stuart
Stage Manager: Stefan Jorgensen

Jesse Thomas Foster
Rachel Heitkamp
Angelica McGrew
Kinsey Peotter
Brian Robertson
Jordan Woollen

"I don’t know what you were doing when you were 19 but I definitely wasn’t writing a collection of songs that within ten years would go on to receive over 200 productions around the world and launch a career that would include a Tony nomination for Best Original Score for the hit Broadway musical A Christmas Story. But that’s just what composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul did when they were students who were bored after being cast in small supporting parts in their college’s production of City of Angels. With a lot of free time on their hands they decided to start writing songs. The story songs they wrote became the song cycle Edges which just received its Arizona premiere this weekend from the Mesa Community College. While this song collection isn’t completely successful it does show two gifted song writers at the beginning of their career and the MCC production featured some talented singers and was another successful directing venture from Jere Van Patten." - Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway

RUMPELSTILTSKIN, Mesa Community College, October 10 - 18, 2014

Written by Linda Daugherty
Directed by Kevin Dressler
Evening Performances - Oct. 10th, 11th,16th and 17th  2014 at 7PM
Matinee Performance - Oct. 11th and 18th 2014 at 2PM
In order to make himself appear more important, a miller lied and said that his daughter could spin straw into gold. The king heard of this and called for the girl, shut her in a tower room with straw and a spinning wheel, and demanded that she spin the straw into gold by morning, for three nights, or be executed. Just as she had given up hope, a creature appears and spins the straw into gold in return for items. So as to keep her life, the girl offers all that she can until she attempts to retract her offer only to find that she needs to fulfill the creature’s demand.
Click here for tickets and additional information.

Cast, photos and review links will be added when available.

HAIRSPRAY, Mesa Community College, November 13 - 22, 2014

The 1950's are out and change is in the air!  HAIRSPRAY, winner of 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical, is a family-friendly musical piled bouffant high with laughter, romance, and deliriously tuneful songs. 

It's 1962 in Baltimore, and the loveable plus-size teen Tracy Turnblad has only one desire - to dance on the popular Corny Collins Show.  When her dream comes true, Tracy is transformed from social outcast to sudden star.  She must use her newfound power to dethrone the reigning Teen Queen, with the affections of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a TV network, all without denting her 'do!

Performances in the *NEW* MCC Performing Arts Center

Click here for more information

MOTHER HICKS, Mesa Community College, December 5 - 13, 2014

Written by Suzan Zeder
Directed by Debra K Stevens
Evening Performances - Dec. 5th, 6th, 11th and 12th 2014 at 7:30PM
Matinee Performances – Dec. 6th and 13th 2014 at 2PM
In a small town during the Great Depression we meet three people living on the outskirts of society: a young deaf man, an orphan girl known as "Girl," and a mysterious older woman who lives all alone on a hill outside of town. Times are hard for everyone, but especially for Girl, who—with no family of her own—gets passed around from household to household, until, following clues and whisperings of her heart, she encounters the eccentric Mother Hicks. The townspeople are afraid for Girl: Mother Hicks—or so people say—is a witch. But is she really? A haunting tale told through sign-language and poetry, Mother Hicks recounts the difficult journey we all make in life, the journey to discover who we really are.
Click here for tickets and additional information.

Cast, photos and review links will be added when available.

BEYOND THERAPY, Mesa Community College, March 6 - 14, 2015

Written by Christopher Durang

Directed by David Vining
Evening Performances - March 6th, 7th, 12th and 13th 2015 at 7:30PM
Matinee Performances - March 7th and 14th 2015 at 2PM
A quirky comedy about a lonely woman (Prudence) who replies to a personal ad and meets an eccentric, outspoken bisexual man (Bruce) who wants Prudence to be the mother of his children (and this is five minutes into their conversation). If Bruce sounds like he needs to be in therapy, he is. So is Prudence. However, both of their therapists are even more mentally messed up than the distraught main characters.
Click here for tickets and additional information.

Cast, photos and review links will be added when available.

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, Mesa Community College, May 1 - 9, 2015

Written by Tennessee Williams
Directed by James Rio
Evening Performances - May 1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th 2015 at 7:30PM
Matinee Performances - May 2nd and 9th 2015 at 2PM
Wealthy Mississippi plantation owner Big Daddy Pollitt, unaware that he's dying of cancer and disturbed by the strained and childless marriage of his favored alcoholic son Brick and his other son, Gooper, whose wife is about to bring forth another in, celebrates his sixty-fifth birthday with his family. Brick's wife, Maggie, beautiful and desirable, tries unsuccessfully to coax her husband away from the bottle, while enticing him and taunting him about his obsession with his deceased best friend and guilt about their relationship. The tension reaches a climax when the truth of Big Daddy's health is revealed, and he and Brick manage to resolve their differences.
Click here for tickets and additional information.

Cast, photos and review links will be added when available.

Friday, July 18, 2014

SEASONS OF BROADWAY, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, November 7

Backed by a full band, original stars from RentWickedGleeIn the HeightsAida,Godspell and more perform an evening of classic pop, rock, jazz and hit songs from iconic Broadway shows that audiences know and love. 

Featuring Robin De Jesus, Mandy Gonzalez, Marcus Paul James and Adam Pascal

Click here for tickets and additional information.

VANESSA WILLIAMS, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, January 18, 2015

Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in entertainment today. She has conquered the musical charts, Broadway, music videos, television and motion pictures. Williams has sold more than 4 million albums worldwide, and her skills as an actress on stage, in film and on television have earned widespread critical praise, including a Golden Globe, a Grammy and an Oscar for “Best Original Song” for her Platinum single Colors of the Wind from the Disney filmPocahontas. This intimate concert features Williams performing with her trio.

Click here for tickets and additional information.

THE ELEPHANT WRESTLER, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, January 24, 2015

The contradictions of modern India with its iPhones and ancient gods come alive in this outrageously funny and heartbreakingly beautiful romantic thriller. A poor chaiwallah (tea seller) has his life changed forever when a young girl is abandoned at a busy railway station and brings the place to a standstill with the beauty of her singing. The Sydney Morning Herald picked this production as one of the theatrical highlights of 2010 and the New Zealand Listener named it the “Feelgood Production of the Year.”
“Generous spirited ... I came out feeling rejuvenated as well as entertained.”
– The Sydney Morning Herald

JULIAN SANDS IN A CELEBRATION OF HAROLD PINTER, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, February 4, 2015

Directed by John Malkovich
With personal anecdotes and reflections drawn from their work together, acclaimed British actor Julian Sands (A Room with a ViewThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo24) combines Harold Pinter’s poems and prose to create a fresh and intimate portrait of the Nobel laureate and his extraorindary literary legacy. In 2005, Sands was approached by Pinter to prepare a set of his poems for a special presentation in London. Working closely with Pinter, he was granted a rare insight into his personality, life and work. This extraordinary collaboration evolved into this wonderfully humorous and fascinating solo show directed by John Malkovich. Devoid of pretension or glittery trappings, A Celebration of Harold Pinter gets to the soul of the man.
“Julian Sands is on occasion about as naked as an actor can be ... when he reads Pinter’s poems, you feel the playwright’s presence. This modest, affecting show embodies the notion of the actor as a transparent vessel through which we see the thoughts and feelings of others.”
– The New York Times
“[Sands’] accomplished delivery of Pinter’s moving language is both graceful and impassioned, as he vehemently enacts Pinter’s intensity or extemporaneously adds a few asides.”
– Associated Press

BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL - SIMPLY BROADWAY, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, March 7, 2015

Brian Stokes Mitchell has enjoyed a rich and varied career on Broadway, television and film, along with appearances in the great American concert halls. Known for his powerful baritone, he performs songs from his album Simply Broadway, featuring new interpretations of classic recordings of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.
Click here for tickets and additional information.

4 GIRLS 4, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, April 17, 2015

 Christine Andreas, Randy Graff, Andrea McArdle, Faith Prince

Four dynamic, award-winning musical stars from Broadway, film, TV and recordings come together for an evening of song, dance, laughter and memories. 

Christine Andreas (“Eliza Doolittle” in My Fair Lady’s 20th-anniversary production), Randy Graff (Tony Award winner, A City of Angels), Andrea McArdle (Broadway’s original “Annie”) and Faith Prince (Tony Award winner, Guys and Dolls) perform the biggest hits from their extraordinary careers. 4 Girls 4 is a fabulously flirty, funny frolic featuring four famous females!

  Click here for tickets and additional information.

Monday, July 14, 2014

VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, Arizona Theatre Company, October 9 - 26, 2014

The winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play!
In rural Bucks County, PA, Vanya and Sonia have frittered their lives away in their family’s farmhouse full of regret, angst and the alarmingly ambiguous prophecies of their house keeper. Enter their sister, self-absorbed movie star Masha, and the stage is set for an absurd weekend of hilarity and global warming. This Broadway sensation, delights audiences with abundant comic twists.
“The theater erupts in booming gusts of laughter that practically shake the seats.” – The New York Times
Run time is 2 hours and 30 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission.
Contains mature language.
Click here for tickets and additional information.

Cast, photos and review links will be added when available.

WAIT UNTIL DARK, Arizona Theatre Company, November 13 - 30, 2014

Written by Frederick Knott
Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher

A gripping thriller from the author of Dial M For Murder.
Don’t let Susan Hendrix’s quaint Greenwich Village apartment fool you; hidden within is a treasure for which conmen would kill. Susan, tragically blinded in an automobile accident, unwittingly becomes the key player in a dangerous game threatening all she holds dear. Employing disguise and deception, two crooks become increasingly desperate and depraved, but must wait until dark to play out this classic thriller’s chilling conclusion. Spellbinding theatre as only ATC can do it.
“...a roller-coaster ride that leaves the audience giddy from terror.” – TheatreMania
Run time is 2 hours, including one 15-minute intermission.

By Frederick Knott
Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher
Directed by David Ira Goldstein
Scenic Design by Vicki Smith
Costume Design by Marcia Dixcy Jory
Lighting Design by Don Darnutzer
Sound Design by Brian Jerome Peterson
Fight Direction by Adriano Gatto
Dramaturgy by Jean Gordon Ryon
Stage Manager Timothy Toothman*

Cast: (in order of appearance)
Carlino: Craig Bockhorn*
Roat: Ted Koch*
Susan: Brooke Parks*
Sam: Joseph Kremer*
Mike: Peter Rini*
Gloria: Lauren Schaffel*
*Member Actors Equity Association

MURDER FOR TWO, Arizona Theatre Company, December 31, 2014 - January 18, 2015

The perfect blend of music, mayhem and murder! In this hilarious 90-minute tour-de-force, 2 performers play 13 roles—not to mention the piano—in a witty and winking homage to old-fashioned murder mysteries. Currently running off-Broadway to critical raves and packed houses, The New York Times calls Murder for Two “INGENIOUS! A snazzy double-act that spins out a comic mystery animated by funny, deftly turned songs.” You won’t want to miss this killer musical comedy!

Book & Music by Joe Kinosian
Book & Lyrics by Kellen Blair
Directed by Scott Schwartz

Click here for tickets and additional information.
Cast, photos and review links will be added when available.

FIVE PRESIDENTS, Arizona Theatre Company, February 5 - 22, 2015

The eagerly anticipated world premiere by the Emmy Award-winning writer of The West Wing, Six Feet Under, Mad Men and House of Cards.
It’s April 27, 1994. In Yorba Linda, California, the five living Presidents – Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton – gather in a conference room to wait for the start of Richard Nixon’s funeral. A loving, witty and touching speculation on what may have happened at this true-life event, Five Presidents gives us a humanizing and unforgettable look at five great men trying to find relevance after being the most powerful people in the world.
Click here for tickets and additional information.
Cast, photos and review links will be added when available.

ROMEO AND JULIET, Arizona Theatre Company, March 26 - April 12, 2015

ATC’s first ever production of Shakespeare’s poetic masterpiece.
Jealousy. Prejudice. Betrayal. And the chance that true love could actually conquer all.Romeo and Juliet comes to vibrant life through the inventive talents of award-winning director Kirsten Brandt and designer David Lee Cuthbert, whose state-of-the-art scenery, lighting and projections bring new life to the warring world of the Capulets and Montagues. Romeo and Juliet like you’ve never seen before!
“Bold, ambitious, and stirring...Brandt has become a disciplined and inventive theatrical storyteller.” – San Diego Union-Tribune
Click here for tickets and additional information.
Cast, photos and review links will be added when available.

A WEEKEND WITH PABLO PICASSO, Arizona Theatre Company, April 30 - May 17, 2015

Written by Herbert Siguenza
Based on the writings of Pablo Picasso

The work of Pablo Picasso forever changed the way that the world looks at art. This one-man show, written by and starring the astonishing actor and artist Herbert Siguenza, will forever change the way that you think about Picasso. In a performance that explodes with color, Picasso’s most intimate thoughts rip through the air with each thundering brushstroke as Siguenza creates six new masterpieces live on stage in this Arizona premiere. He rages, dances, takes a bath, admonishes, philosophizes, scolds – and paints, right in front of you.
“...an utterly engaging portrait of an artist at work. Don’t miss it!” – SDGLN
Click here for tickets and additional information.
Cast, photos and review links will be added when available.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

THE BROTHERS SIZE, Stray Cat Theatre, September 19 - October 5, 2014

by Tarell Alvin McCraney

Directed by Ron May

The ultimate tug of war for a soul.
Set on the back-roads of the Louisiana bayou, THE BROTHERS SIZE follows the recently paroled Oshoosi Size as he seeks to jumpstart his life. Working in his brother Ogun’s repair shop was not at all what he had in mind, so when his old friend Elegba rolls up, offering a different…“direction”, Oshoosi quickly finds himself torn between his brother, his loyalties, and his dreams. Flights of poetry, music and West African mythology slam together in a visceral tale that begins in ritual and evolves into a hot-blooded, tough and tender drama about the need to belong somewhere, to something, to someone. "The greatest piece of writing by an American playwright under 30 in a generation or more." – Chicago Tribune

Director/Sound Design: Ron May
Production Stage Manager: Amanda Keegan
Scenic Design: Eric Beeck
Technical Director: Chase Budden
Costume Design: Danny Chihuahua
Property Design: Amanda Keegan and Eric Beeck
Lighting Design: Ellen Bone
Sound Engineer: Pete Bish
Sound Board Operator: Connor Imhoff

Cast :
Ogun Size: Damon J. Bolling*
Oshoosi Size: Michael Thompson
Elegba: DeJean Brown
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association

YEAR OF THE ROOSTER, Stray Cat Theatre, December 5 - 20, 2014

by Eric Dufault

Directed by Michael Peck

A play about cockfighting.
Odysseus Rex is a champion.
He is his trainer's greatest hope.
He is his opponents' greatest fear.
One day he will destroy the sun.
Odysseus Rex is a rooster.

Also? YEAR OF THE ROOSTER will feature Stray Cat’s very own Louis Farber alongside head kitty Ron May in his first Stray Cat appearance in over 10 years.

"…astonishingly entertaining…" – New York Times

Cast, photos and review links will be added when available.

PLUTO, Stray Cat Theatre, February 20 - March 7, 2015

by Steve Yockey

Directed by Ron May

The new play from the writer of WOLVES and OCTOPUS.
In the wake of a violent tragedy at a local community college, a single mother struggles to reconnect with her withdrawn son across the breakfast table as mysterious forces threaten to invade the kitchen. Continually interrupted by a talkative three-headed dog, a radio gone haywire, and an animated refrigerator, time is running short for mother and son to deal with the morning's events. “And so I leave you with a warning: This is not Yockey writing in the sexually sinister, frequently delicious style of “Wolves” and “Octopus.” It is a much more potent cup o’ joe. Not everyone will want to see this play. Those who do may never be the same again.” – Atlanta Journal Constitution

Cast, photos and review links will be added when available.