Tuesday, March 31, 2015

THE BOOK OF MORMON auditions in Phoenix - April 8th

THE BOOK OF MORMON will be coming to Phoenix to hold auditions Wednesday April 8th by appointment only. We are looking to build our files for future replacements for all three companies (Broadway, 1st National Tour, Jumamosi Tour) for the roles of ARNOLD CUNNINGHAM, KEVIN PRICE, NABALUNGI and ELDER MCKINLEY etc. (See role descriptions below.)

Anyone interested in auditioning for any or all of these companies should submit a picture and resume and any additional materials to jrichcasting@gmail.com by Noon Tuesday, April 7th 2015. Please make sure you put the City Name of the audition in the subject line. Due to the amount of emails we receive, we may not be able to respond to every submission. Please note that submitting does not guarantee an appointment. Both Union and Non-Union should submit. You must be 18.

Producer: Anne Garefino & Scott Rudin
Director: Trey Parker & Casey Nicholaw
Book, Music & Lyrics: Robert Lopez, Matt Stone & Trey Parker
Music Supervisor: Stephen Oremus
Choreographer: Casey Nicholaw
Phoenix Casting Director: Jeremy Rich
Casting Director: Carrie Gardner

ARNOLD CUNNINGHAM (Early 20's-Late 20's to play 18): Caucasian. Seeking a true character actor. Must be a physical contrast to the other good looking, All-American Mormons. Dweeby, dorky, nerdy, overweight, or all four combined. Arnold is a pathological liar but his heart is in the right place. He is a total screw-up but not for lack of trying, he always wants to do the right thing. Must be fantastic comedic actor who sings well. Tenor. We are also particularly interested in comics who sing.

KEVIN PRICE (Early 20’s-Late 20’s to play 18): Caucasian. All-American. Very handsome. Head of the class, always optimistic. Heroic Mormon. Must be a great comedic actor and a fantastic pop-rock high tenor to a B. Should be at least 5’10 or taller.

NABALUNGI (18- Late 20’s to play 20): Black African. Pretty. Takes the hardships of her village very seriously and wants to help her people find a better life. Must have great comic timing. Strong Alto. Belt to an E.

ELDER MCKINLEY (early 20’s to late 20’s to play 18): Caucasian. District leader of the Mormon missionaries in Uganda. All- American, wide-eyed and hopeful. Often struggles to cover his flamboyant tendencies and adhere to his Mormon morals. Must be a fantastic comedic actor and great singer. High Baritone who can pop out high Bb's for comedic effect.

MAFALA HATIMBI (40’s): Black African. Father of Nabalungi. Has come to accept the hardships in the village where they live but is a discerning community leader and tries to bring joy to their lives. Must be a great comedic actor and singer. Also interested in actors who sing.

PRICE’S DAD/MISSION PRESIDENT/VARIOUS ROLES (40’s): Caucasian. All-American good looks and physique. Plays several parts from the perfect picture of a head of a Mormon household, to the stern missionary president, to Joseph Smith, so must have the ability to be transformative. Must be a great comedic actor and good singer. High Baritone to an Ab.

MALE & FEMALE AFRICAN VILLAGERS: (Early 20s-Late 30s) Characters are black Africans. Seeking great singers and great comedic actors who can move. Seeking tenors (to high B), baritones, gospel sopranos (to high Bb), gospel belters (to E) and altos.

Fountain Hills announces their 2015 - 2016 Season

The New Mel Brook’s Musical Young Frankenstein
June 19-July 5, 2015
It’s Alive! AGAIN!!!!
It's alive and It’s Back!!! The return of the electrifying adaptation of Mel Brooks' monstrously funny film that left our audience in stitches! From the creators of the record-breaking Broadway sensation The Producers comes this monster new musical comedy. The comedy genius Mel Brooks adapts his legendarily funny film into a brilliant stage creation - Young Frankenstein! Grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced "Fronk-en-steen") inherits his family's estate in Transylvania. With the help of a hunchbacked side-kick, Igor (pronounced "Eye-gore"), and a leggy lab assistant, Inga (pronounced normally), Frederick finds himself in the mad scientist shoes of his ancestors. "It's alive!" he exclaims as he brings to life a creature to rival his grandfather's. Eventually, of course, the monster escapes and hilarity continuously abounds.
Book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan
Music and Lyrics by Mel Brooks

July 10 -19, 2015
We are still negotiating to bring you a wonderful production.

The Ballad of Buzzard Basin
July 24-August 9, 2015
Saddle Up!
When the town drunk Skragg Mudd dies it’s just the beginning of the fun in the old west town of Buzzard Basin. This rollicking original musical by Peter J. Hill will have you howlin’, singin’ and yodelin’


South Pacific
September 4 – 20, 2015
The Most Beloved Musical of All Time!
Some Enchanted Evening, Bali Ha’i, Younger Than Springtime, I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair, Bloody Mary, I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy . . . Bursting with iconic melodies, this award-winning musical is based on James Michener’s famous book. An American nurse, stationed on a WWII South Pacific island, falls deeply in love with a French widower but struggles to accept his mixed-race children. And an American lieutenant grapples with fears of social retribution if he marries his Asian sweetheart. Personal happiness and love are pitted against prejudice and the terrors of war in this glorious megahit that still resonates today.
Music by Richard Rodgers Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan adapted from the Pulitzer Prize winning novel ‘Tales of the South Pacific’ by James A. Michner
Produced through special arrangement with The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization

Any Number Can Die
October. 16- November. 1, 2015
The Plot Thickens
An hilarious take off on the mystery plays of the Twenties complete with sliding panels, robed figures, wills being read at midnight as four ingenious murders take place in an island mansion and a pair of elderly detectives set to work on their first case. The ever popular storm, the unexpected guests, the cryptic poem, and the missing fortune all add to the intricate and inventive mystery off which the laughs bounce
Written by Fred Carmichael and produced through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

La Cage Aux Folles
January 22 – February. 7, 2016
Come as You Are!
Before there was the popular movie The Birdcage, there was the Tony Award- winning, smash hit Broadway musical, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES. After twenty years of bliss, Georges and Albin, two men partnered for better-or-worse, get a bit of both when Georges' son announces his impending marriage to the daughter of an ultra-conservative politician. Further complicating the situation, Albin and Georges run a drag nightclub in St. Tropez, where Albin is the star performer ‘Zaza.'
Book by Harvey Fierstein
Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman
Based on the play by Jean Poiret
Produced through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Play It Again, Sam
April 1 – 17, 2016
Here’s Laughing at You, Kid.
Allan Felix, who has just been dumped by his wife, is desperate to connect with another woman and dreams of a really BIG romance. Problem is, as he struggles to find an ideal partner in love, his neuroses, awkwardness, and insecurity with the opposite sex keep getting in the way. A movie buff and professional film critic, Allan has this thing about Humphrey Bogart, embodiment of machismo, epitome of cool … so he tries to tap into some of Bogart’s technique. As Allan muddles through real-life set-ups and let-downs, failed dates and panic attacks, Bogey indeed comes to his rescue – lurking in the shadows offering helpful pointers, zingers, words of wisdom, and … hope.
Written by Woody Allen and produced through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

May 6 -22, 2016
It’s a Mystery, It’s a Musical!
Curtains is the hilariously entertaining whodunit from the creative team behind Chicago and Cabaret. It’s opening night at Boston’s Colonial Theatre and the leading lady has mysteriously died on stage, leaving the cast and crew as suspects. Local detective Frank Cioffi, a theater fan and amateur actor, arrives to conduct the investigation. As the body count rises and secrets spill, Cioffi becomes more and more involved in saving the musical than solving the case. This madcap musical will leave you on the edge of your seat, tapping your feet, and laughing all night.
Book by Rupert Holmes, Music By John Kander, Lyrics by Fred Ebb, Original book and Concept by Peter Stone, Additional Lyrics by John Kander and Rupert Holmes.
Produced through special arrangement with Theatrical Rights World Wide


August 21 – 30, 2015
And They Called It Puppy Love!
Empty nesters Greg and Kate have moved back to Manhattan after twenty-two years in the suburbs. As Kate tells Greg: "The dog phase of my life is definitely over." But life has a way of giving you what you think you don't want. Greg finds Sylvia, a street-smart lab/poodle mix, and brings her home. She promptly becomes a bone of contention between Greg and Kate, testing their marriage to hilarious and touching effect.opportunity presents itself.
Written A.R. Gurney and produced through special arrangement with Dramatist’s Play Service.

Sunday in the Park With George
November. 6 – 22, 2015
A Blank Canvas of Possibilities
Inspired by the painting "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" by Georges Seurat, Sunday In The Park With George is a deeply insightful and highly personal examination of life, the creation of art, and its lasting impact not only on its creators but future generations. Shimmering with love and light, this unique, inventive musical is one of the most acclaimed shows of our time. Sondheim’s soaring score and James Lapine’s award-winning book intertwine with Seurat’s distinctive art to create a moving, poetic drama that explores the complexity of life and the art of understanding it.
Book by James Lapine. Music by Stephen Sondheim. Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
Sunday in the Park With George is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).

A Christmas Carol, The Musical
December 4-20, 2015
A Holiday Tradition!
We've taken the spirit of the season, wrapped it in beautiful original melodies and tied it with all the holiday magic and wonder of your childhood. Fountain Hills Theater is proud to present a new musical adaptation, ‘A Christmas Carol’. Based on the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol tells the tale of curmudgeonly miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future hoping to change his destiny and save his soul. This delightful musical, an original adaptation written by Fountain Hills Artistic Director Peter J. Hill, with music and lyrics by Peter J. Hill and Jay Melberg, follows Scrooge through a series of strange and magical journeys, where he ultimately discovers the true spirit of the holiday season.

Talley’s Folly
January 8 -17, 2016
Love Unexpected.
Set in July 1944, Talley’s Folly is the story of one evening in the courtship between two unlikely lovers. Matt Friedman is an accountant from St. Louis and has come to rural Missouri to woo Sally Talley in her family’s dilapidated Victorian boathouse. Through persistence, charm, and humor, he courts her despite her fears that her family would never accept him. But for romance to bloom, each must work through their innermost secrets together. Talley’s Folly won both the Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best play.
Written by Lanford Wilson and produced through special arrangement with Dramatist’s Play Service.

March 11-27, 2016
A Musical Gem
QUILTERS blends a series of interrelated scenes into a rich mosaic which captures the sweep and beauty, the terror and joy, the harsh challenge and abiding rewards of frontier life. Illuminating stories contained in various patches or "blocks" with music, dance and drama, the action depicts the lot of women on the frontier: girlhood, marriage, childbirth, spinsterhood, twisters, fire, illness and death. But, with this, there is also love, warmth, rich and lively humor and the moving spectacle of simple human dignity and steadfastness in the face of adversity. In the end, when the various patches are assembled into one glorious, brilliantly colorful quilt, the effect is both breathtaking and magical—and a theatrical masterstroke which will linger in the mind and memory long after the house lights have dimmed.
Created by Molly Newman and Barbara Damashek and produced through special arrangement with Dramatist’s Play Service.


Disney’s Aladdin, Jr.
September 25-October. 11, 2015
It’s a Whole New World!
Welcome to Agrabah, City of Enchantment and the fantastic tale of the street rat who became a prince!
All of your favorite characters from the hit Disney film - Aladdin, Jasmine, Iago, Jafar, the Genie, and more - are here in a musical adventure filled with magic, mayhem, and flying carpet rides. With a tuneful Academy award-winning score, with songs by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice, including "A Whole New World" and "Friend Like Me," will send audiences soaring.
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice
Book Adapted and Additional Lyrics by Jim Luigs
Music Adapted and Arranged by Bryan Louiselle
Based on the 1992 Disney film Aladdin –
Disney’s Aladdin Jr. is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).

Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
December. 4 – 20, 2015
Ho, Ho…Uh,oh!
Junie B. Jones, First-Grader, is super-excited about the upcoming Holiday Sing-Along and Secret Santa gift exchange at her school. Too bad tattletale May keeps ruining all of Junie B.'s fun. So when Junie B. draws May's name for Secret Santa, she comes up with the perfect plan to teach her nemesis a lesson! But will the Christmas spirit of peace and goodwill interfere before she can give you-know-who what she deserves? A hilarious and endearing tale based on the best-selling book series by Barbara Park.
Written by Allison Gregory based on the book Junie B., First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smell! (P.S. So Does May) by Barbara Park and produced through special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc.

Into The Woods
February. 12-23, 2016
Be Careful What You Wish For!
James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone's favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless yet relevant piece and rare modern classic. The TONY Award-winning book and score are both enchanting and touching. Into The Woods 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 Witch's 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.
Book by James Lapine
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Into the Woods is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).

Dear Edwina
April 22 – May 1, 2016
A Musical comedy for Kids
13 year-old problem solver Edwina dishes out advice with the help of her friends and a little song and dance
Dear Edwina, Jr follows the adventures of plucky advice-giver extraordinaire Edwina Spoonapple as she directs the neighborhood kids in a series of buoyant production numbers as part of the latest edition of her weekly "Advice-A-Palooza" extravaganza.
Book by Marcy Heisler
Lyrics by Marcy Heisler
Music by Zina Goldrich
Dear Edwina, Jr. is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).

Miss Minnie’s Melodram-odeon!
May 27-June 12, 2016
A Ross Collins Original
Poor Miss Minnie! She has been forced to become the reluctant manager of her old father’s melodrama theater, ‘The Melodram-Odean’ since he has suddenly and mysteriously taken ill (He thinks he’s a chicken!) right before the judgings of the grand melodrama competition! Throw in a devious and insincere leading man, a deceitful developer and a large cast of misfits and ne’er-do-wells, and poor Minnie faces her biggest challenges ever.

audition notice - HAIR - Desert Stages Theatre, May 17

From our friends at Desert Stages:

This is the age of Aquarius! Join us in auditioning for our upcoming summer Main Stage production of HAIR!

Famous for songs like Aquarius and Let the Sunshine In, this enduring spectacle explores the themes of the hippie movement through original folk and psychedelic rock music. Hair is the story of the young artists and musicians protesting Vietnam, fighting for free love, and finding an escape from it all in one hell of a good time!

Directed by: Sam Wilkes

Auditions will be held on Sunday May 17th from 7-10pm
Call backs will be held on Monday May 18th from 6-11pm

Rehearsals start June 1st
*Show runs July 10th-August 9th
Fridays and Saturday at 7:30pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm
*Late evening shows MAY be added.

Please come prepared with ONE song under 2 minutes. Something from the style of the show is preferred but not required. CD or iPod is fine to bring.

There will also be a cold read from the script.

Auditions are on a first come-first serve basis. Please pre-register online at http://desertstages.org/audition?event_id=59

ALL ACTORS MUST BE 18 years and up.

Needed: Approximately 10 women and 10 men of all ethnicities to play a wide range of characters. All members of the tribe look between 18 and 30 years old. Some of those characters are specified below.

Claude: baritone-tenor - plays 18-20. A romantic trying to figure out exactly who he is and what he wants in life.

Berger: tenor - plays 18-20. Leader of the tribe. Cocky, sexy.

Sheila: soprano belt - plays 18-20. Freshman at NYU, powerful, willful.

Dionne: any vocal range - 18-30. African American. Smart, supportive.

Hud: baritone - 18-30 - African American. Confident, laid back.

Woof: baritone-tenor - 18-30.

Jeannie: soprano - 18-30.

Crissy: any vocal range - 18-30

photos - LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR - Fountain Hills Theater

For more information on this production, that runs through this Sunday, click here

Mike Romano, Bryan David Cameron and Ken Milder

Autumn Carlton, Roger Prenger and Ken Milder

Van Rockwell, Roger Prenger, Mike Romano and Autumn Carlton

Ken Milder and Dana Doyle

Bryan David Cameron, Autumn Carlton, Ken Milder, Roger Prenger, Peter J. Hill and Ryan Toro
photos: Patty Torrilhon

audition notice - RUMORS - Desert Stages Theatre - April 12

From our friends at Desert Stages:

Join us in auditioning for one of Neil Simon's funniest plays- Rumors!

When guests arrive at a formal dinner party in a high class New York townhouse they immediately sense something is terribly wrong. There are no servants, the hostess is missing and the host, the Deputy Mayor of New York, has shot himself in the ear lobe upstairs in the bedroom. His lawyer quickly concocts a story to protect him from gossip but too many missteps result in a night of hilarious rumors. This is as zany as Neil Simon gets in an upscale farce that goes awry!

Co-Directed by Virginia Olivieri and Gary Zaro

Auditions will be held Sunday April 12th at 7pm at Desert Stages, 4720 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, Arizona 85251
Callbacks will be Monday April 13th at 7pm.

Please bring headshot AND resume with you.

You can pre-register at http://desertstages.org/audition_information

Rehearsals will run through May
Show runs June 5th-July 26th
Show dates and times are:
Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2pm

Auditions will consist of cold reads from the script.

We are looking for 5 men and 5 women. Ages may vary:

Chris Gorman- Female 30-40's
Ken Gorman- Male 30-40's
Claire Ganz- Female 30-40's
Lenny Ganz - Male 30-40's
Ernie Cusack- Male 40's-50's
Cookie Cusack- Female 40-50's
Glen Cooper- Male 30's
Cassie Cooper- Female 30's
Officer Welch- Male
Officer Pundey- Male or Female

Monday, March 30, 2015

WEEK AT A GLANCE - March 30 - April 5

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

And Click Here for a complete day by day calendar of what shows are playing.


Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
March 31-April 5

Phoenix Center for the Arts
April 3 & 4

Arizona Biltmore Resort and Mesa Arts Center


Actor's Youth Theatre
March 25 - April 4, 2015

Hale Centre Theatre
February 19 - April 4, 2015

Arizona Broadway Theatre
February 27 - April 4, 2015

reviews - ROMEO AND JULIET - Arizona Theatre Company

Chelsea Kurtz and Paul David Story
Photo: Tim Fuller / Arizona Theatre Company
For more information on this production, that runs through April 12th, click here

"one can’t help wondering what Shakespeare might have thought had he witnessed the new, gender changing production of his most famous of romantic tragedies, Romeo and Juliet, as presented by Arizona Theatre Company.  It’s one thing to have Montague’s lines delivered by Lady Montague (Heather Lee Harper) during the final burial vault scene but it’s another to have the Prince laying down the law and giving orders that must be obeyed when delivered with such forceful, no-nonsense power by a woman (an outstanding Leslie Law). ...it’s the constant updates, changes and reinventions that keep the work alive for new generations who may otherwise have little or no interest.  Here at ATC, director Kirsten Brandt has taken a bold leap forward with the story of the star-crossed lovers by presenting the play as a vibrant, lustful, ever-moving production with seamless scene changes supported by inventive, multi-media screen projections and imaginative lighting.   When Romeo (a suitably youthful Paul David Story) and Juliet (a luminous Chelsea Kurtz) meet for the first time at the Capulet’s house party, as designed with the hanging lights that appear from above like night stars glittering in the dark, the movement, the music, plus the overall look of the setting and the character’s appearance, it’s as though Fellini had directed the Dance at the Gym.   There are several directorial flourishes that work well.  That Vespa is a nice visual touch to the time and place as it motors across stage, plus those inventive projections add a rich, atmospheric texture to the settings, particularly the flash of red during a murder or the splash of blood that flings from Romeo’s knife to the wall behind him, but there’s also the occasional overreach.  Watching a blown up image of the lovers in bed removes the intimacy of seeing them for real, plus the faded image of the deathly skull projected on the wall when drugs are administered doesn’t set the scene as well as intended, it just makes it more obvious.  There’s also the issue of the musicians.  From time to time, actors stand or sit stage left playing instruments which proves both distracting and unnecessary.  There’s already an effective, scene setting musical landscape courtesy of Michael Roth.  Once you realize they’re there, perhaps sitting at a keyboard or holding a cello, your attention is diverted away from what should really be your center of attention.  Particularly intrusive is the percussive pounding used during Juliet’s bedroom speech that all but drowns what she’s saying.  For a tragedy, Shakespeare incorporated much humor, fleshed out particularly well with playful energy by Leslie Law as Nurse and Richard Baird as Mercutio.  But in a production that works so well in some areas – the playfulness of the balcony scene, for instance, makes something familiar seem fresh and alive again – there’s a danger of veering too much into making other things appear funny.  Those seeing Romeo and Juliet for the first time would be forgiven for thinking they were watching a full blown comedy. " -David Appleford, Valley Screen and Stage (click here to read the complete review)

"Arizona Theatre Company gets most things right in their production of this classic tragedy. Changing the setting of the play to the 1960s (yet still set in Verona, Italy) and having two key parts now played by women, both add a vibrancy to what is probably the most famous story of young lovers. With an exceptional cast and impressive creative aspects ATC takes a fresh and daring approach to the tale. However, Shakespeare purists be warned as this is clearly not your grandparent's Romeo and Juliet.  Director Kirsten Brandt has done an impressive job in finding a talented cast to portray these iconic characters. Paul David Story and Chelsea Kurtz give refreshing takes on the young star crossed lovers. While both Story and Kurtz are a few years past their teens, they both have no problem instilling their characters with plenty of teenage moments of exuberance, emotion, and excitability. They also deliver some of the play's most famous lines with a fresh energy that makes them seem anything but stale.   Leslie Law humorously plays Juliet's loving nurse with a sharp tongue full of wit but also plays one of the two male roles being performed by women, the Prince, with a refined sense of authority and righteousness. Likewise, Richard Baird portrays Romeo's boisterous close friend Mercutio and also the wise, caring Friar Lawrence, achieving superb performances of both. Law and Baird are giving the two best performances in this production with their ability to navigate Shakespeare's language with a natural ease that makes the language come alive. They also instill their parts with plenty of assured comical moments, especially in the first act, making the tragedy that unfolds in act two even more heartbreaking. Brandt's staging is quite good. She uses David Lee Cuthbert's three large wall panels of colorful projections to sweep us seamlessly from one location to the next, yet also ensures that her cast has the ability to instill Shakespeare's prose with both a lightness and an emotional weight when appropriate. There are only a few small missteps in the direction. First, having a few of her actors also play instruments on the sides of the stage for very brief moments is a bit strange. They play along to the existing prerecorded score by Michael Roth yet don't really add much to it, and sometimes become a bit of distraction to the events unfolding on the stage. My other quibble is in the overuse of humor in act one. There are points when it almost becomes an out and out comedy that, for anyone who has never seen this play before, might be confused with how tragic act two becomes. While the cast is expert in the comical moments, and never crosses the line into broad comedy or caricature, it is jarring at times and almost makes it seem like this has become one of Shakespeare's comedies and not one of his tragedies. Not everything works in this ATC production and some who prefer their Shakespeare in a traditional format might be put off by the abundance of humor in the first act (in one scene Friar Lawrence is sneaking a joint). Yet, this is a perfect example of how to update a Shakespeare classic to appeal to a new audience while at the same time providing a fresh take on a play many have seen numerous times before. Even with just a few small quibbles, with an engaging cast, clear direction and a visually impressive production, ATC's 1960s Verona-set Romeo and Juliet is quite impressive." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"Arizona Theatre Company publicity states that the company’s first production of William Shakespeare’s classic love story, Romeo and Juliet, “takes on a bold new theatricality under the ambitious and creative hand of award-winning director Kirsten Brandt and designer David Lee Cuthbert.”  It’s rare that such glowing marketing proves so true.  Re-envisioned by Brandt, Shakespeare’s classic dialogue and the familiar plot that includes jealousy, revenge, prejudice, and evil betrayal is intact as is the Verona, Italy locale but the time has been shifted from the 15th century to the 1960s. The ill-fated affair still ends as we know it will but the ride is a rambunctious delight that finds more humor in the piece than usual while never undermining the play’s serious undertones or the horrific ending.  Costuming is outrageously bright and garish in the flagrantly overdone ‘60s style of excess while designer Cuthbert uses projections on an interesting alignment of screens that take us from place to place with choreographed precision that when coupled with Brandt’s brightly paced staging keeps the long play moving briskly as each plot detail is revealed with brilliant imagery on an ever changing stage. The production’s major strength beyond its interesting concept is a fine cast that makes each dramatic moment movingly sincere but finds much humor in the hypocrisy of the longtime feud between the Montagues and the Capulets that dooms Romeo and Juliet’s love since they come from the opposing families.  Boyish Paul David Story delivers a physically agile Romeo who is truly infatuated with Chelsea Kurtz’s delicate and beauteous Juliet who also possesses great courage as she goes with her adoration for Romeo.  The pair’s scenes together are touchingly intimate but explode with genuine romance.  Richard Baird has many fine moments in three roles as he helps unite the lovers.  Leslie Law is a wise but funny Nurse to Juliet and Kyle Sorrell plays the double role of angry Tybalt and phony Paris with stalwart conviction.  Romeo and Juliet gives the classic love story a welcome dimension of contemporary relevance." -Chris Curcio, KBAQ (click here to read the complete review)

"Arizona Theatre Company's first Romeo and Juliet, set in early 1960s Italy, throws a lot of ideas against the wall. A few of them even stick.  This is almost literally true, thanks to the scenic design of David Lee Cuthbert, which mixes a few old-school "hard" set pieces with a series of moving panels for video projections. When we meet Juliet in her bedroom, for example, the walls are plastered with virtual movie posters, including James Dean on a motorcycle, which serve to underline both the setting and the fact that our tragic heroine is still just a wide-eyed teen.  Visiting director Kirsten Brandt also goes for a bit of gender-switching with a matronly Prince and a Benvolio reimagined as a "Teddy Boy." Brandt also taps her cast to play a succession of musical instruments onstage, sometimes to add much-needed dramatic tension; others, it seems, just to make it hard to hear the dialogue.  There are a number of nice visual touches, even if the onstage-Vespa card gets played one time too many. Unfortunately, the many creative ideas add up to less than the sum of their parts, resulting in a production that looks like La Dolce Vita but sounds like the same old Romeo and Juliet, complete with caterwauling histrionics sputtered by actors with an underdeveloped affinity for Shakespearean verse. There are two exceptions. Leslie Law makes a winsomely bubbly Nurse, and Richard Baird, familiar to Valley theatergoers from his stint at Southwest Shakespeare Company, serves up a refreshingly masculine Mercutio (a role often played fey) as well a Friar Lawrence who's one part holy man and one part Jeff Bridges as the Dude.  A brisker pace would help some, too. Shakespeare's famous prologue promises the tale of star-crossed lovers will take up "the two hours' traffic of our stage," but this production stretches to three, which makes all those explanations and confessions in the sepulcher all the more tedious. It's just too much weight for one Vespa to carry along." -Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic (click here to read the complete review)

photos - ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST - Theater Works

For more information on this production, that runs through April 19th, click here

Cathy Dresbach, Matt Zimmerer and Peter Hart

Abel Zerai, Matt Zimmerer and Bill Bennett

Cathy Dresbach and Matt Zimmerer

 Matt Zimmerer, Beau Heckman and Cathy Dresbach

T.A. Burrows, Abel Zerai and Matt Zimmerer
Photo credit:  Marcus Holder

review - THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL - Actor's Youth Theatre

Liam Thibeault and Cast
Photo: Lisa Webb / Southwest Shots Photography
For more information on this production, that runs through April 4th, click here

"Actor's Youth Theatre has found three very capable leads to portray the characters entangled in the romantic triangle at the center of this story of intrigue, secret identities, and swashbuckling derring-do.   Liam Thibeault, who was so impressive in Southwest Shakespeare's King John a few months back, is Percy, and he is delivering a winning performance. He manages to effectively portray both the comical side of the character and the more adventurous daredevil side equally. Behind the foppish façade, Thibeault expertly shows us the intelligent, caring and loving man, but he also has a blast in the comical prancing about that the character does. Likewise, Jessica Sinodis is very good as Marguerite, especially in how she achieves a measure of mystery in the part. While we don't quite know if she is a spy or not, the fact that Percy believes that she is puts a strain on their relationship. Both Thibeault and Sinodis are quite good at showing us how that uncertainty affects how they interact with each other, with Sinodis' facial expressions and body language excellent as the woman who can't quite understand why the man she married has changed so much. They both also manage decent English and French accents. While the two struggle just a bit on some of the sustained high notes in the score's rangier power ballads, they still deliver touching, engaging and extremely likable performances. As Chauvelin, Isaac Dowdle has the right level of menace and determination and he also manages a capable French accent. His deep voice achieves some nice notes in his singing, the best in the cast. The obsession Chauvelin has with capturing the Pimpernel transfers to his delivery of the lyrics, almost spitting some of them out. It is an engaging performance with assured singing.   As in most youth theatre productions, there are a few actors who don't sing quite as well as the rest of the cast, or occasionally are out of tune or off pitch, and there are times when the un-miked cast needs to project more, but those moments are few and far between.
The Scarlet Pimpernel is a fun musical, filled with humor and intrigue. Actor's Youth Theatre's production shows that a cast of talented teenagers is more than capable of delivering the story in a comical and rousing way with winning results." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

TWELFTH NIGHT - Grassroots Shakespeare Arizona - March 27 - April 13

Mesa Riverview
March 27-29th
Fri @ 6:30pm
Saturday at 10:30am
Sunday at 6:30pm

Kiwanis Park
April 4th
Saturday at 6:30pm

Freestone Park
April 10-13th
Friday @ 6:30
Saturday at 5pm
Monday at 7:30pm
Pay what you will; suggested donation is $3

From our friends at Grassroots Shakespeare Arizona:

We are a branch of The Grassroots Shakespeare Company whose mission is to create genuinely engaging theatre through open-air performances and use of original Shakespearean staging techniques. Our goal is to bring accessible Shakespeare to the Valley and get at least 50 people who have never seen a Shakespeare play before to come to a show.

It’s going to be fun: Part of the original technique means little rehearsal so, there will be some improv. Plus, audience engagement is encouraged! You have something to say? Say it loud! We will be doing an abridged version of Twelfth Night that is about 90 minutes long. It’s perfect for date and it’s family friendly. It has kids on the edge of their seat!

Come out and enjoy an energetic and hilarious production of Twelfth Night! Like us on Facebook for more details or checkout our website at grassrootsshakespeareaz.weebly.com.

cast announcement - THE WIZARD OF OZ - Hale Centre Theatre

Hale just announced the cast for their upcoming production of The Wizard of Oz.  For more information on this production that runs May 21st to July 3rd click here.

● Jessie Jo Pauley..................Dorothy Gale
● Teddy..................................Toto
● Alanna Kalbfleish.................Aunt Em / Glinda
● Jonathan Holdsworth..........Uncle Henry / Emerald Cit y Guard
● Jesse Thomas Foster.........Hunk / Scarecrow
● Vinny Chavez......................Hickory / Tinman
● Geoffrey Goorin..................Zeke / Cowardly Lion
● Heidi-Liz Johnson................Miss Gulch / The Wicked Witch
● Matthew Harris....................Professor Marvel / Wizard of Oz
● Harley Barton......................Ensemble
● Jacquelyn Brecker..............Ensemble
● Monica Domschot...............Ensemble
● Zib Jacobs...........................Ensemble
● Skylar Ryan.........................Ensemble
● Kimberly Shepard................Ensemble
● Nick Fernandez...................Ensemble
● James Gish.........................Ensemble
● Ben Massouras...................Ensemble
● Michael Schwenke..............Ensemble
● Nathan Taylor.....................Ensemble
● Connor Wince.....................Ensemble

Board Operator and Wardrobe Assistant - HISTORY OF THE DEVIL - Nearly Naked Theatre

From our friends at Nearly Naked Theatre:

We are looking for a Board Operator and a Wardrobe Assistant for HISTORY OF THE DEVIL.

Small stipend, comps, some food here and there and a lot of fun and camaraderie!!

If you're interested email Joanne Gregg at jgregg@nearlynakedtheatre.org with contact info ASAP!

Show runs April 10th - 25th

DOG SEES GOD - Phoenix Center for the Arts - April 3 & 4

When CB's dog dies from rabies, CB begins to question the existence of an afterlife. His best friend is too burnt out to provide any coherent speculation; his sister has gone Goth; his ex-girlfriend has recently been institutionalized; and his other friends are too inebriated to give him any sort of solace. But a chance meeting with an artistic kid, the target of this group's bullying, offers CB a peace of mind and sets in motion a friendship that will push teen angst to the very limits. Drug use, suicide, eating disorders, teen violence, rebellion and sexual identity collide and careen toward an ending that's both haunting and hopeful.

April 3rd & 4th, at 7:30 p.m. in the Phoenix Center for the Arts, Third Street Theater.

Tickets are $7.00 and can be purchased at dogseesgodaz.com or at the door.

Phoenix Center for the Arts is located at 1202 N 3rd Street in Phoenix.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

And we just passed 50,000 page views!

We just passed 50,000 page views and it was just a week ago that we celebrated our 4 month anniversary.  Thanks again to all of you for using PHX Stages as your one stop shop for everything theatre in the Valley.

Now go see a show!!



On April 18th and 19th, ProMusica Arizona (PMAZ) will present a one-of-a-kind concert experience featuring classical music and audience participation. Bring your cell phones and be prepared to use them to help Henry Hicklebee choose the next stage in his journey of personal discovery. Where will he go? Russia? Spain? Will he discover romance? Adventure? Using cell phones to vote, audience members make the decisions that drive Henry’s adventures and the music of the concert.

Renowned actor and singer Matt Newhard brings Hicklebee to the stage. Under the direction of Artistic Director Adam Stich, Newhard, the orchestra and the chorale will prepare 40 songs for this concert—the audience will decide which songs will be heard. PMAZ Executive Director Yvonne Dolby says, “This concert is part of PMAZ’s commitment to live classical music presented in a way that engages audiences of all ages in today’s technology-driven world.”

The unique concert was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the Arizona Art Tank. Competing against seven other arts groups, including the Phoenix Art Museum and the Musical Instrument Museum, in a January 12th event, PMAZ’s presentation team demonstrated the cell phone voting process, and thankfully It won over the Art Tank judges! We have no doubt it will win over concert-goers as they become a part of Hicklebee's musical adventures.

The Unpredictable Adventures of Henry Hicklebee will be held at Camelback Bible Church, known throughout the Southwest for its outstanding acoustics. Tickets are available at http://www.pmaz.org/, by calling (623) 326-5172 and at the door. Prices are $20 for adults, $17.50 for seniors 60+, $12 for students (18 years and under).

Saturday, April 18th at 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 19th at 4:00 pm

Camelback Bible Church
3900 E. Stanford Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Saturday, March 28, 2015

audition notice- BOEING, BOEING - Don Bluth Front Row Theatre

Don Bluth Front Row Theatre is looking to cast the following characters for their upcoming production of Boeing, Boeing:

The show runs May 12 - July 3rd  with performances on Tuesday & Wednesday nights at 7 p.m.

Robert (25-30) - American architect - shy around women - Comedic timing required.
Bertha (50-60) - French housekeeper - disgruntled, dry and often unsympathetic
Gabriella (25-30) - Italian fiancee; fiery passion of an Italian, but very compassionate - Italian accent preferable
Glorian (25-30) - American fiancee; bold, strong, empowered female - aggressive one in the relationship
Gretchen - German fiancee - conflicted over her love for Bernard and her lusting after Robert; German accent preferable

For more information or to set up an audition - please email curtis@donbluthfrontrowtheatre.com

review- CHICAGO- National Tour: ASU/Gammage

Photo: Paul Kolnik
For information on this production that runs through March 29th, click here.

"The touring company of "Chicago" is back at Tempe's ASU Gammage for a three-night stand, and it has all of the old "Razzle Dazzle" fans expect, from the smoky-hot onstage jazz band to the unabashedly sensual dance numbers "in the style of Bob Fosse." Terra C. MacLeod is the sultry and (sometimes) sophisticated Velma Kelly, a vaudeville star who claims to have no memory of killing her husband and her sister. Dylis Croman is her déclassé rival-in-crime, Roxie Hart, who hopes to parlay publicity of her upcoming murder trial into a showbiz career of her own. And John O'Hurley — best known as J. Peterman from TV's "Seinfeld" — is their slick, smarmy lawyer, Billy Flynn.  Anyone who thinks O'Hurley is an example of celebrity gimmickry hasn't heard O'Hurley's musky baritone. No doubt this is a case of type-casting, but the actor's goofy gravitas, not to mention his perfect shock of white hair, is so perfect for the role that no one could possibly complain.  But it's Croman's brassy, crass but somehow winsome performance that reveals the heart of "Chicago." In the confessional musical monologue "Roxie," she offers striptease glimpses of fragile humanity behind the cynical artifice that drives her character, the plot and the staging. Yet, despite the in-your-face sexuality of this acerbic satire, there is a remarkable subtlety at work. This is one musical that isn't afraid to stop for a breath, to let the moment sink in and the sinuous score and sly lyrics slip under your skin. So many Broadway shows seem desperate to please, but not "Chicago." "Chicago" is confident enough in the strength of its music and its storytelling. It knows you cannot help but be seduced." -Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic (click here to read the complete review)

photos - ROMEO AND JULIET - Arizona Theatre Company

For more information on this production, that runs through April 12th, click here

Kyle Sorrell, Paul Michael Thomson, Brenna Welsh and Silvia Vannoy

Chelsea Kurtz and Paul David Story

Paul David Story and Chelsea Kurtz

Chelsea Kurtz and Paul David Story 

 Richard Baird, Kathryn Tkel, Kyle Sorrell, Sterling Boyns and Paul David Story

Chelsea Kurtz, Richard Baird and Paul David Story

Paul David Story, Paul Michael Thomson, Kathryn Tkel, Richard Baird and Leslie Law

Chelsea Kurtz and Paul David Story 

Paul David Story and Vivia Font

Photos by Tim Fuller

cast announcement - AVENUE Q - Mesa Encore Theatre

MET has just announced the cast for Avenue Q!  For information on this production, that runs April 10 - 26, click here.

Princeton............................................Ryan Malikowski
Kate Monster..........................................Laura  Terry
Trekkie Monster......................................Deryl Wayne
Lucy........................................................Rachel Redleaf
Gary Coleman........................................Anne-Lise Koyabe
Brian......................................................Chad Campbell
Christmas Eve........................................Chelea Umeda
Mrs. Thistletwat / Bad Idea Bear.............Katharine Boelter
Rod........................................................Nathan Spector
Nicky / Bad Idea Bear.............................Michael Shuey

Brelby Theatre's innovative class discount plan - ClassPass!

From our friends at Brelby Theatre Company -

Introducing, Brelby's ClassPass!

It's our educational response to our stellar ShowGO deal*

For one monthly payment of $40, you can have access to all of our regular monthly classes and special workshops. (As well as a discount on our specialized intensives.)

This April we'll be offering dance classes, improv classes, acting classes, and we'll be unveiling Brelby's Fight Club!

This allows you the freedom to pick and choose which classes you'd like to take in a given week, and piece together your own arts education!

CLICK HERE to find out more information on this great new way to learn your theatre craft.

*ShowGo is an innovative new way to see theatre - just one low monthly price plan that gets you unlimited access to ANY and EVERY show that Brelby presents. Think of it as Netflix for theatre! Click here for more info on ShowGo

Friday, March 27, 2015

photos - WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION - Desert Stages

For information on this production that runs through May 17th click here

Arizona Broadway Theatre's Second Annual Broadway Ball raises $60,000

From our friends at ABT:

Second Annual Broadway Ball Raises More Than $60k For Arizona Broadway Theatre Performing Arts Programs
ABT Board Members and their spouses
Arizona Broadway Theatre recently hosted its Second Annual ABT Broadway Ball to raise awareness of and funds for the artistic, educational and charitable programs presented by the organization.

The black-tie event was attended by the Valley’s arts-minded donors and supporters, and was sponsored by some of the Valley’s leading names in philanthropic support including “Tony Award” level sponsor and 10th Anniversary Season sponsor Arrowhead Cadillac and “42nd Street” level sponsor Four Corners Tax & Accounting among others.
“It is incredibly important we continue to raise awareness within our community about why arts funding is so crucial, and what financial support can do to impact lives through the power of the performing arts,” said Ellen Versen, development director at Arizona Broadway Theatre. “ABT hopes to impact generations through its programs, and now is a pivotal time for Arizonans to step forward in support of the state’s performing arts efforts.”

ABT Executive Producer Kiel Klaphake
The evening’s guests enjoyed an intimate cocktail hour in the theatre’s lobby, followed by a three-course meal in the 470-person house. Silent auction and raffle opportunities, along with a wine pull, offered friendly rivalry among the guests as they bid on one-of-a-kind ABT items such as signed artist sketches from some of the theatre’s most popular shows and opportunities to dine with the artistic staff. The live auction included a box suite from the Arizona Coyotes, an REO Speedwagon meet-and-greet package with concert tickets and international travel packages.

The program included entertainment and live speakers, all who experienced an Arizona Broadway Theatre educational, artistic or charitable program in the past. An after-party, with music from the Arizona Swing Kings, kept guests dancing into the night.
The Broadway Ball brings attention and understanding to the impact ABT has had on residents and visitors to Peoria, Glendale, the Sun Cities and Surprise for 10 years as one of the Valley’s premiere performing arts destinations.
For more information on ABT and its donation opportunities, visit azbroadway.org or call the ABT Box Office at (623) 776-8400.