Friday, October 30, 2015

reviews - SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM - Scottsdale Musical Theater Company

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 31st.

Stephen Sondheim is considered by many to be the greatest living American musical theatre composer. ...There have also been numerous revues of his musical contributions, the latest being Sondheim on Sondheim which is receiving its Arizona premiere in a smart, solid, and often moving production from Scottsdale Musical Theater Company....While the other revues of his work have featured the many hits that he has written, Sondheim on Sondheim is the first one that includes Sondheim himself. Through the clever use of pre-recorded video pieces’some recorded specifically for the 2010 Broadway production along with archival footage of Sondheim on various TV shows’Sondheim is incorporated throughout the show to provide information on his life, his working habits, his music, and the creation process....the inclusion Sondheim himself as part of the show adds a unique way to get to know the man behind the music along with the experience of hearing dozens of his songs. ...While the show does have a few downsides, including the fact that sometimes the video segments break up the flow of the show and that some of Sondheim's major works, including Sweeney Todd, are barely represented, the video segments are always informative and the songs that are included add to the context of the piece by providing a background in to the creative process. The cast for SMTC's production is just about perfect, with varied singing styles and featuring a nice mix of performers of different ages. ...Nicole Bond... excels in several numbers, including a touching delivery of "Send in the Clowns" as well as two lovely duets. Her performance of "Beautiful" from Sunday in the Park with George that she sings with Michael Schauble is exceptionally moving. A nicely crafted pairing of "Not a Day Goes By" from Merrily We Roll Along and "Losing My Mind" from Follies, which is sung by Marina Blue Jarrette, is remarkable in how the delivery of Sondheim's succinct lyrics about love in its many shapes and forms combine so beautifully and simply....Jarrette shows off her clear, strong voice throughout, including delivering a fun "Ah, but Underneath" from Follies, and Schauble exceeds in bringing out the emotion within the humor of "Franklin Shepard, Inc." from Merrily We Roll Along. Alex Crossland's smooth voice excels on "Being Alive" from Company as well as on "Is This What You Call Love?" from Passion. "Finishing the Hat" from Sunday in the Park with George receives a stirring performance from Matt Newhard, full of passion and understanding of the creative process. Curtis Moeller, Lindsay Newhard, and Chelsea Janzen round out the cast with each getting a moment of two throughout to show their strong vocal skills. Hector Coris' smart direction includes ...just enough choreographed moments to provide variety to the evening. Coris is able to achieve exceptional performances from his cast which is exemplary, considering that, with just a few sequences where a few songs from a single show are used, all of the numbers are taken out of the context of their respective shows. This is both a testament to Coris' directorial skills as well as Sondheim's ability to write lyrics that are clear, clever, specific, and full of meaning....Both informative and entertaining and including solid performances and direction, SMTC's production of Sondheim on Sondheim will give you a better understanding of the creative process behind making musicals as well as an even greater appreciation for Sondheim himself."  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"There is one major problem with Scottsdale Musical Theater Company's production of SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM and it is its limited engagement. Three performances in a single weekend just ain't enough for a show that involves the technical sophistication of synchronizing videos of Sondheim recollections, forty choreographed vignettes, and live orchestra...and for a company that does it so very well and deserves to be seen and applauded....Directed by Hector Coris, who, given his chops as both a performer and a director, understands the musical form as well as anybody, has smartly matched his eight talented crooners with the music. ...Matt Newhard,whose stage presence and vocals are equally and consistently rich, provides a number of them, most notably his take on sinister Sweeney Todd's Epiphany.  Nicole Bond shines throughout the production and her renditions of Take Me to the World and Loving You are heartfelt and deeply touching reveries. Michael Schauble rocks the stage with a witty and muscular turn in Franklin Shepard, Inc. Of course, it is Sondheim's remarkably candid reflections, captured in Peter Flaherty's masterful collage video, that are the tapestry through which this weave of songs are wound. They are as broad and deep as the range of his compositions and reveal the mind, heart, and soul that have been the wellspring of his genius. He recounts his upbringing ~ the unwanted child of a self-absorbed socialite whose fortuitous introduction to Oscar Hammerstein gave Sondheim his chief and beloved mentor. He speaks of the collaborations with Broadway's other geniuses, that framed his work. He opines on his life choices, successes, failures, and rewrites. He invites us into his inner sanctum where, lying back on his couch, with lead pencil and legal pad and shot of vodka, he puts his muse to work. In footage from TV interviews, he shares his artistic vision and creative method.  In the end, SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM, conceived by James Lapine, one of his great collaborators, is a unique revelatory journey and a treasure chest of insights...."  -Herbert Paine, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review)

DRY LAND - ASU Theatre - October 30 - November 8, 2015

By Ruby Rae Spiegel
Oct. 30, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 31, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 1, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 6, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 7, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 8, 2015, 7:30 p.m.

Film, Dance and Theatre
Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
Location: Nelson Fine Arts Center FAC 133 
Campus: Tempe            
Cost: Tickets: $10–General, ASU Faculty, Staff + Alumni; $5–Seniors, Students 
Written by Ruby Rae Spiegel
Directed by William Partlan

Written by up-and-coming playwright Ruby Rae Spiegel, “Dry Land” tells the story of two high school swimmers, Amy and Ester, who are drawn together by the need to secretly terminate Amy’s unwanted pregnancy. An intimate and searing portrait of teenage friendship and desperation set in a girls’ locker room.

Mature content.

video preview - THE TOXIC AVENGER - Phoenix Theatre

for more information on this production, which runs through November 22nd, CLICK HERE

cast announcement - OLIVER! - Greasepaint YouTheatre


CATE LABAS..................CHARLOTTE
ZOE ROLLON.................OLD SALLY 


Accents You Can Use Class - coming up on December 1st

Dialect Coach Diane Senffner has worked with many theatre companies in town to assist with the accents of numerous production. Sign up for her class coming up on December 1st....

Accents You Can Use: French, German, Italian!
Actors are regularly called upon to perform accents in roles and it’s a tricky to get them to sound intelligible while also sounding authentic. Diane Senffner’s class Accents You Can Use: French, German and Italian focuses on the key sounds of the three accents that are most often requested on stage and film. You’ll leave class sounding magnifique! Wunderbar! Fantastico!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 | 6:30-9:30 pm | $60*

Thursday, October 29, 2015

3, 500 Facebook Followers!

We just passed 3,500 followers on Facebook!!  

If you aren't following us on Facebook, CLICK HERE and "like" our Facebook page - it's the easiest way to ensure you see everything we post on the site as it will show up automatically in your Facebook News Feed.  Thanks for your support!

Don Bluth Front Row Theatre's 2016 Season

Don Bluth Front Row Theatre's 2016 Season has been announced.

The best way to save money and receive preferred seats is to become a member of CLUB 500! CLUB 500 members pay only $12 a ticket when they subscribe for all ten shows in the 2016 season. If you would like to be part of the best deal in town, there is still space available in CLUB 500.  Join today by calling the box office at (480) 314-0841.

Please note, general admission ticket price will rise to $25 for the 2016 Season and the lowest discount offer available will be $20 - so make sure you join CLUB 500 today for the BEST savings.

Note:  2016 Season will be available online to the general public Wednesday, November 3rd.

2016 Season

JAN 7 - FEB 13
FEB 25 - MARCH 26


(Youth Production)
MAY 5 - MAY 28




JULY 21 - AUG 6

AUG 11 - SEPT 17

SEPT 22 - OCT 15



OCT 20 - NOV 26


DEC 1 - DEC 31
*2016 Season Dates - some performances have matinees while others may be on a Monday night.  Shows may be subject to change without notice.

*Limit - 4 Memberships per Person

*Each membership requires a name to be associated with our 2016 CLUB 500 Roster

Valley Youth Theatre seeks Run Crew for A WINNIE THE POOH CHRISTMAS TAIL

From our friends at VYT:

VYT seeks run crew for their upcoming production of Winnie the Pooh. They just need 1 person over the age of 12 with a good work ethic and ability to commit to the schedule below:

Saturday 11/21  12:30p - 1:30p    Second Company Meeting (Parent also required to attend)

Must attend at least one of the following rehearsals to see a run through:
Saturday 11/21 1:30p - 6:00p       Review/Work Show
Monday 11/23   5:30p - 9:00p      Run show
Tuesday 11/24   5:30p - 9:00p      Run show

Full commitment begins with Tech:
Saturday 11/28  10:00am - 10:00pm          Tech Day 1
Sunday 11/29     10:00am - 10:00pm          Tech Day 2
Monday 11/30   4:00p - 10:00p    Dress Rehearsal
Tuesday 12/1     4:00p - 10:00p    Dress Rehearsal
Wednesday 12/2 4:00p - 10:00p Dress Rehearsal
Thursday 12/3   4:00p - 10:00p    Final Dress Rehearsal
Day                        Date      Call Time              Show Time(s)
Friday                    12/4       5:00pm                 7:00pm
Saturday              12/5       9:30am                 11:00am, 1:30pm (4:00pm TBA)
Sunday                 12/6       11:00am               12:30pm & 3:00pm
Monday               12/7       NO SHOWS      
Tuesday               12/8       NO SHOWS      
Wednesday        12/9       NO SHOWS      
Thursday             12/10     8:00am                 9:30am & 11:30am
Saturday              12/12     9:30am                 11:00am, 1:30pm & 4:00pm
Sunday                 12/13     11:00am               12:30pm & 3:00pm
Monday               12/14     NO SHOWS      
Tuesday               12/15     NO SHOWS      
Wednesday        12/16     NO SHOWS      
Thursday             12/17     8:00am                 9:30am & 11:30am
Friday                    12/18     5:30pm                 7:00pm TBA
Saturday              12/19     9:30am                 11:00am, 1:30pm & 4:00pm
Sunday                 12/20     11:00am               12:30pm & 3:00pm
Monday               12/21     8:30am                 10:00am & 12:30pm
Tuesday               12/22     8:30am                 10:00am & 12:30pm
Wednesday        12/23     8:30am                 10:00am & 12:30pm

Contact Tiffany Owen, Production Stage Manager at 602-253-8188 x308 or

STUCK - The Bridge Initiative - November 8th

The Bridge Initiative and Mesa Encore Theatre's Second Sundays presents "Stuck" by Deshja Driggs-Hall

This brand new, never-produced play, a finalist for The Bridge Initiative: Women in Arizona Theatre, is a poignant and funny exploration of a family in crisis.

HOSTED BY MESA ENCORE THEATRE IN THEIR NEW SPACE!! There is no sign yet, but it is the FAR EAST side of the complex facing Main St.

Mesa Encore Theatre, 933 E Main St Mesa AZ 85201

Sunday, November 8at 7:00pm

Director: Tracy Liz Miller
Cast: Brenda Jean Foley, Maren Mascarelli, Connor Wanless and TBA

FREE EVENT (donations gratefully accepted at the door)

photos - THE SMARTEST GIRL IN THE WORLD - Childsplay

for more information on this production, which runs through November 22nd, CLICK HERE

photos: Tim Trumble

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A conversation with the star and director of Zao Theatre's TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

Tom Koelbe in Zao Theatre's production of
To Kill a Mockingbird
Photo by Sharyn Sheffer
by Gil Benbrook

To Kill a Mockingbird is an American classic. Harper Lee's 1960 semi-autobiographical novel was set in a fictional small town in Alabama during the Great Depression and centers on the lawyer Atticus Finch and his daughter Scout.  Lee's book deals with racial inequality and prejudice as we see through Scout's eyes how her father is appointed and has to deal with an angry town as he defends a black man who has been accused of raping a young, white, local townswoman. The novel was turned in to an Academy Award winning film starring Gregory Peck as Atticus and Lee and the novel have been much in the news the past few months as an earlier draft of "To Kill a Mockingbird," entitled "Go Set a Watchman" was just published in July.

The theatrical version of Lee's novel has found some success as well and Zao Theatre is bringing this classic novel to the stage with a production of the play that opens on Friday and runs through November 14th. Tom Koelbel, who stars as Atticus and Mickey Bryce, who is directing this production, took a break from rehearsals to answer some questions about this production.

Tom Koelbel:

Did you have any concerns in taking on such an iconic role?

"This isn't the first time I've faced this challenge.  I also got to play George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life.  And I feel that it's important to make the role my own, but to keep in mind the audience's preconceived notions of the character.  For instance, as bold a choice as it might be, playing Atticus as a cross between Woody Allen and Charles Nelson Reilly might be too much of  a distraction."

While Scout could be perceived as the emotional anchor of the plot of the show, Atticus truly is the hero in how he takes on racial prejudice and emphasizes tolerance.  How do you prepare for a character that is so beloved?

"I've tried to prepare like I have for any other role by going to the text, noting what is said about my character by anyone in the play, then filling in the missing pieces.  Worrying about the importance of the play and the character, in my view, would not serve me well."

Any other type of research you did for the part?

"I've read the book, of course, and also researched the era and aspects of the law."

the cast of Zao Theatre's To Kill a Mockingbird
Photo by Sharyn Sheffer
What was the rehearsal process like?

"It's been great.  Mickey keeps things very easy going.  And the cast has been fun to work with.  A play like this is one of my favorite things about theatre.  It brings together a large group of people whose paths might not otherwise cross."

Have you ever worked with Mickey before?  

"I haven't, but I know many people who have.  And I decided to audition despite their warnings.  I'm kidding, of course.  Mickey is truly loved in this theatre community and I hope I get the privilege to work with him more in the future."

What is your favorite moment in the show?

"It keeps changing as we go through the rehearsal process.  As everyone keeps growing into their roles I'm finding different scenes hit me each night."

What do you think the most important message of the show is?

"We should judge people on the content of their character, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said, and we should also make our own judgments and not rely on others' opinions."

Mickey Bryce
Mickey Bryce:

Since To Kill a Mockingbird is both a classic novel and a classic film, how does the stage version 

"Of the three, the play is the newest, of course, and so it is judged by the other two.  Each is so iconic that it is difficult to measure up.  I think some of the wonder of Scout’s findings in the tree hole are less than in the movie and book.  On the other hand,  more is given to Jean Louise as a grown-up/narrator."

What experiences did you draw upon in directing this production?

'I grew up in Texas, and I married a New Orleans girl, and I am familiar with Southern culture, both the good and the bad.  So, much of the tone and subtext of the play comes naturally to me.  This is a serious play, and serious plays have to be handled in a serious way.  Conflict and hatred are depicted, and so to avoid parody, the actors must not overact.  My experience as an actor has been helpful in helping other actors to not overact.  My work in ministry has helped me value honesty and develop an ability to listen to others well.  Both of these are critical on the stage.  I think this is key in developing story."

Any concerns with directing a production of such a beloved story?

"I always wonder how my direction will measure up.  But not in the way one might think.  I am not concerned with measuring up to other directors.  I am concerned with measuring up to the story itself.  I am married to a composer, and long ago, Ellen helped me to see the inside of the creation process.  In directing theatre, I have an abiding desire to measure up to the work itself, and to do it justice.  In the arts, there can be many variations of good quality work.  I want to be one of them- for the sake of the art, and for the sake of those who have given two and a half months of their time to create this beloved work again."

What was the audition process like?

'Each person read from the script.  Then each person was asked to do something they were not prepared for.  Something different for each actor.  Maybe a mimicry- maybe another take on their read,  maybe something weird.  I am looking for imagination."

Abraham Anene Ntonya and Tom Koelbe in Zao Theatre's production of
To Kill a Mockingbird
Photo by Sharyn Sheffer
What is your favorite moment in the show?

"I have two-  one is where Walter Cunningham says to Scout, after being confronted in the mob scene, '…ain’t nothin’ the matter, little lady…'  She has diffused the situation, and Walter backs down.  The second is at the end where Jean Louise (grown-up Scout)  looks at Atticus and says, 'You did know…'  She is comforted that her father did know of her need to understand the morality of every situation, aka the killing of a mockingbird."

What do you think the most important message of the show is?

"I think the message of the show is- There are people all around us who are less fortunate than we are. We should take the time and give the effort to protect, nurture, and defend those “mockingbirds” in our  midst.  Of course, the message also includes a stern warning to those who practice racism of any sort.  There is justice, which guides right and wrong, and it is not that hard to see, only sometimes to do.

You also have Godspell coming up in Feburary, what can you tells us about those productions and anything special you have planned for either of them?

"Godspell will be Zao Theatre’s first musical , and we are looking forward to a fresh look to a timeless story.  We have chosen a “steampunk” motif and we promise a delightful and meaningful depiction of the Gospel of Matthew in the Bible.  It is a pleasure to bring my life as a Christian pastor together with the theatre to make this show come alive.  The message of Jesus is one that I never get tired of telling. "

CLICK HERE for more information on To Kill a Mockingbird, Godspell and the other shows in Zao Theatre's 2015 season.

cast announcement - MISSING GRACE- Brelby Theatre Company

By John Perovich
Directed by Brian Maticic

Grace and Robert Davis maintain pleasant smiles while their legacy as suburban royalty fades. They may have the perfect house, the perfect lawn, and the perfect roses—but looks can be deceiving. Today is the anniversary of a tragic event that sent the Davis family into a downward spiral. Nonetheless, a celebratory cake is in the oven, a child’s birthday decorations are going up, but no one’s there to blow out the candles. Unexpected surprises erupt in this play about family, honesty, and new beginnings.

Performance Dates:
Feb 25-27, March 3-4 @ 7:30 pm, Feb 27-28, March 5 @ 2:00 pm

CLICK HERE for more information and to order tickets (when available)

audition notice - THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE - Desert Stages Theatre - November 1

Directed by Cambrian James
Musical Direction by Liz Spencer

Ages 16+

General Audition will be held on Sunday November 1st at 7pm.
Callbacks will be Sunday November 8th at 6pm

For inital audion please prepare 16-32 of a song of choice. Accompanist will be provided.
Please register online at and bring head shot and resume.

Character Breakdown~
MILLIE DILLMOUNT: (Female, 20-25) Midwestern upbringing, arrives in New York determined to acquire big city sophistication and a rich husband.
Singing: ALTO/MEZZO RANGE G#3 to E5 with Possible Belting.
Dancing: Must Tap

JIMMY SMITH: (Male, 20-30) Self-assured and quick witted, loves to have a good time. Charming, but goofy, must possess a good sense of comic timing. Romantic lead.
Singing: Strong Singer. TENOR RANGE – C3 to A4.
Dancing: Tapping a plus

MISS DOROTHY BROWN: (Female, 20-25) MILLIE's best friend, bubbly ingénue.
Singing: Strong SOPRANO – B3 to C6. No belting.
Dancing: Light tap.

TREVOR GRAYDON: (Male, 30-40) MILLIE's boss, a “manly-man”. Romantic lead.
Singing: HIGH MALE TENOR RANGE. Low: F below middle C. High: should be able to carry the chest voice up to G above middle C.
Dancing: Light Dancing Required

MRS. MEERS: (Female, 45-55) Striking and sinister, the VILLAIN. Pretends to be Chinese. Some lines are in Mandarin Chinese. Strong Singer/Dancer/Comedian.
Singing: ALTO RANGE E3 to Bb4)
Dancing: Light Dancing Required

MUZZY VAN HOSSMERE: (Female, 35-45) Exceptional Singer/Dancer. Becomes Millie’s friend and mentor.
Singing: Mezzo/ALTO RANGE: G#3 to D5
Dancing: Light Dancing Required

BUN FOO: (Male, 20-30) Chinese immigrant henchman, brother of Ching Ho. The brothers reluctantly help MRS. MEERS in exchange for bringing their mother to America. He is more hardened by the world than younger brother, Ching Ho. Comic character.
Singing: Strong Singer, Bass/Baritone E3 to E4
Dancing: Light Dancing Required

CHING HO: (Male, 18-25) Chinese immigrant henchman, brother of Bun Foo. Sings and Speaks in Chinese. Bright-eyed, non-conventional, romantic. Comic character.
Singing: Strong Singer, Bass/Baritone Bb2 to E4
Dancing: Light Dancing Required

MISS FLANNERY: (Female, 35-45) Runs the office and Stenographer Pool. Strong, loud and in charge. Character/Cameo actress.
Singing: ALTO/Mezzo - RANGE Db3 to D5.
Dancing: Must Tap.

Ensemble - PRISCILLA GIRLS: (Females: 18-35) Lucille, Rita, Alice, Gloria, Ruth, Mary, Ethel Peas, Dorothy Parker. Aspiring actresses who are a tight knit group. Strong singers and dancers.
Singing: ALTO TO SOPRANO. Should be able to sing in a small, multi-part ensemble. May have some solo or duet parts. No belting. Should be able to blend well.
Dancing: Must Tap

Ensemble - MALE: (Males: 18-35) George Gershwin, The Letch, Rodney, Muzzy’s Boys:
Dancing: Must Tap

job opening - Artist Services Assistant -The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Artist Services Assistant: The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts seeks Part Time, On Call individual to assist when artists or guests come to the Center to perform or visit.

Duties include providing transportation (using rental or organization van), acting as liaison while on site, setting up and breaking down of greenroom/dressing area, errands associated with guests/visitor’s needs.

Qualified candidate will have High School Diploma and preferably related college courses, 1-3 years’ experience in performing arts with knowledge and understanding of backstage etiquette. Exceptional interpersonal skills, ability to maintain confidentiality related to working with artists, and ability to work in high pressure, fast paced environment required.

Send resume and cover letter to

Greasepaint YouTheatre's CASINO NIGHT PART - Friday, November 13

From our friends at Greasepaint YouTheatre:

Its that time again!! A night out for the adults in the family!! Come have a great time! And raise money for YOUR theatre smile emoticon Tickets on sale now at

cast announcement - OUTGOING TIDE - Theatre Artists Studio

For more information on this production, which runs April 8-24, 2016, CLICK HERE

Michael Fleck as Gunner
Judy Lebeau as Peg
Steve Fajardo as Jack

Directed by Judy Rollings

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

review - THE HAUNTED - Actor's Youth Theatre

Laurynn Allen
photo: Lisa Webb / Southwest Shots Photography
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 31st.

"For a creepy and spooky Halloween experience...Actor's Youth Theatre's production of The Haunted is a welcome addition to the traditional Halloween haunts. Based on Robert W. Chamber's classic short story "The King in Yellow: The Repairer of Reputations," author and director Marcus Ellsworth has crafted a mostly original piece with plenty of chills, ghostly characters, and murderous acts. While there are a few negatives, including some confusion in the overstuffed plot, the end result is a fun and often frightening theatrical treat.  Told over three generations, Ellsworth sets the piece mainly in a haunted English summer cottage where the inhabitants become possessed if they read the second act of the bound play "The King in Yellow," a copy of which just happens to always be readily available in the house. ...While Ellsworth uses a couple of Chamber's characters, most of the piece is original, with Ellsworth creating several generations of characters who are relatives to the ones in the original story. The plot is fairly well paced with realistic dialogue and also includes several well written moments that are eerie and disturbing....However, with dozens of characters, a couple of whom are confusing as to exactly what their relationship to the plot is, and with several scenes in the first act that aren't clearly flashbacks or not, a few slight revisions and a small amount of editing and clarification would make the overall effect even better....Ellsworth also directs and achieves believable and haunting performances from most of his cast, though a few of the young cast members should project more in order to be heard better. As Rachel, the daughter of the author of "The King in Yellow" play who serves as a ghostly narrator, Laurynn Allen is superb, not only in her even-measured and spooky line delivery but in the way she floats across the entire theatre, just like a ghost. It is a haunting performance. ...Ellsworth's direction creates plenty of spooky scenes, with superb, evocative, and dim lighting from Tom Fitzwater that adds considerably to the effect. ...Julie Clement's costumes are perfectly gothic in nature and Cheri Lundgreen's extremely creepy makeup is the icing on this cake of demonic horrors.  While there may be a few plot points and characters that could be clarified, Actor's Youth Theatre's production of The Haunted makes for a fun Halloween theatrical outing, full of spooky elements and chilling moments, and illustrates a good first play by director Marcus Ellsworth."   -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

cast announcement - MEET THE DRYERS - Brelby Theatre Company

 Meet the Dryers follows the story of James, an introverted 14 year old, who finds solace and acknowledgement through the extreme embellishment of stories about his real life family for his followers on Reddit. Our audiences will experience the fantastical world of James’ imagination played out onstage, as well as a glimpse into the personalities of his quirky family through their social media interactions, displayed prominently on the stage for the audience to see. When his stories begin to spin out of control, James begins to question whether he is in control of his online presence, or whether it is controlling him. Meet the Dryers is an exploration of how social media impacts our lives, no matter which generation you hail from.

Performance Dates:
April 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 29 @ 7:30 pm, April 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 30

CLICK HERE for more information and to order tickets (when available)

Murder and a Meal's 2015 Halloween Party

CLICK HERE for more information and to order tickets NOW

Monday, October 26, 2015

WEEK AT A GLANCE: October 26 to November 1

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 Musical Theater Company
October 28 - 31, 2015


Don Bluth Front Row Theatre
October 1 - November 7, 2015

Arizona Broadway Theatre
October 16 - November 15, 2015

Hale Centre Theatre
September 14 - November 17, 2015

Hale Centre Theatre
October 15 - November 28, 2015


various weekend dates from
September 26, 2015 - June 4, 2016

Friday and Saturday nights


Ghostlight Theatre
November 5 - 15, 2015

job openings - Stray Cat Theatre is looking for Designers and Crew for their 2015 / 2016 Season.

from our friends at Stray Cat Theatre:

Stray Cat Theatre is on the hunt for CREW and DESIGNERS for the remainder of their 2015 / 2016 season.

They are looking for resumes from a variety of backgrounds from lighting to scenic to run crew. And if you have carpentry experience that's a big bonus.

Always wanted to work with Stray Cat Theatre but weren't sure when or how? Now's your chance.

They are offering paid roles as well as volunteer roles and volunteer roles that turn into pay roles.

Send your resumes to Michael Peck at

Michael may even take you out for coffee to chat about your experience and the positions available.

Don't have a resume? That's cool, too. Just email Michael and let him know what you're interests are.

review - AMERICAN MYTH - Theater Artists Studio

Tyler Gasper and Steven Mastroeini
photo: Bill Phillips
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 1st.

Embellish...Lie...What is the line, if it is at all fine, between the two ~ and should the act, in whichever form, forever influence one's perception and trust of the disseminator? ...Such are the questions at the heart of Christina Gorman's AMERICAN MYTH, on stage now at Theatre Artists Studio....They are good and timely questions that would make for good theater in the hands of the right playwright. However, in Ms. Gorman's stab at the theme, the effort is skin-deep, with a plot line that, at times, defies credulity....the challenge for director Robyn Allen is how to embellish ~ how to make lemonade out of lemon. ...she cuts deeper into the substance of the play, although not without some unavoidable pitfalls. Professor Douglas Graham (stoically played by Steven Mastroieni) is a renowned specialist on American history...Peter Finnerty (played by Tyler Gasper), one of Graham's former students and now a junior reporter for the lifestyle section of the local newspaper, has discovered flaws in his published profile of the professor. Flaws, embellishments, lies! ...A young journalist's disbelief and disappointment would be understandable, but Gasper indulges in paroxysms that detract from the character's credibility. What's more are his frequent and unlikely intrusions at the Graham home and confrontations with Lanie, the professor's loyal ally and wife, movingly portrayed by Christi Sweeney. At bottom, he is relentless about exposing the liar...At play's end, we may have some inkling of the forces that drive men and women (think Brian Williams!) to color their past a bit and to assume the risk of embellishment. ...Truth, justice, and the American way. Is this formulation the American myth? Is the American dream the American myth? If nothing else, AMERICAN MYTH provides food for thought at the after-theater coffee klatch."  -Herbert Paine, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review)