Thursday, January 31, 2019

photos - THE PRODUCERS - Fountain Hills Theater

CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs through February 17th 

Scott Hyder as Max Bialystock and Michael Stewart as Leo Bloom

Raelyn Burkhart, Jacqui Notorio, Michael Stewart, Brooke Peffer and Sydney Lover
photos by Stephanie (Tippi) Hart


Melissa VanSlyke, Heidi-Liz Johnson, Rebecca Bryce, and Gina Kim
Photo by Nick Woodward-Shaw
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 April 16.

"Roger Bean has crafted close to a dozen jukebox musicals that feature plots with lovable characters and humorous and heartfelt moments set against a selection of well-known and popular songs from the past. His biggest hit is The Marvelous Wonderettes...Hale Centre Theatre presented the original version two years ago and are now presenting The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps and Gowns, featuring three of the four actresses who starred in their 2017 production of The Marvelous Wonderettes. It's a fun and engaging nostalgic trip and a rewarding follow-up experience with these lovable ladies....Hale's cast create engaging, unique, and lovable characters and all four women have excellent singing voices that deliver rich and powerful vocals. Rebecca Bryce is perfectly playful and just a little bit bossy as Cindy Lou, and Heidi-Liz Johnson is energetic and spunky but also a little ditzy as Suzy. As Betty Jean, the jokester of the group, Melissa VanSlyke is a firecracker, and Gina Kim is firm, yet full of charm, as Missy, the serious girl in the quartet who also has a major crush on one of her teachers....Though The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps and Gowns may not be quite as fun as the first Wonderettes, it is full of romance, an abundance of humor plus moments of drama that provide some realism and seriousness. Hale Centre Theatre's production features four talented actresses who bring plenty of personality to the young women they play while also delivering exceptional vocals on the many hit songs in the show from the 1950s and '60s......... " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

Guest Stars announced for Scottsdale Musical Theater's THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE and THE PAJAMA GAME

Dawnn Lewis 
TV and stage stars Dawnn Lewis (TVs “A Different World”, “Major Crimes”, “Veronica Mars” and Broadway’s Sister Act) and Marc Koeck (50th Anniv. International tour of West Side Story) appear in the jazz-age treat Thoroughly Modern Millie (April 25 - May 5, 2019).

Local TV newscaster and weatherman Cory McCloskey heads the cast of The Pajama Game (July 11 - 21, 2019). Performances will take place at the Tempe Center for the Arts.

Thoroughly Modern Millie
April 25 - May 5

Winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, this high-spirited, tap dancing musical is a delightful valentine to the styles, music, dance and nostalgia of the 1920s Jazz Age. Dawnn Lewis stars as Muzzy Van Hossmere alongside Marc Koeck as Jimmy Smith.

Marc Koeck

Cory McCloskey
The Pajama Game
July 11 - 21, 2019

Popular Valley of the Sun newscaster and weatherman Cory McCloskey stars as Sid Sorokin, the manager of a pajama factory on the verge of a labor strike who’s trying not to fall in love with union leader, Babe. This classic musical features memorable hit tunes like “Hey, There”, “Hernando’s Hideaway” and “Steam Heat”.

Tickets are now on sale ranging from $32 - $58, with Senior and Student discounts available, and can be purchased at or by calling (602) 909-4215.

Group rates are also available.

Tempe Center for the Arts is located at 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway Tempe, AZ 85281.


audition notice for male (aged 40-60) for BLITHE SPIRIT - Don Bluth Front Row Theatre

Additional audition notice for men of a “certain age and charm” for the lead role:

Charles Condomine – (40-60) in Noel Cowards Blithe Spirit.

Auditions to be held at the Don Bluth Front Row Theatre
8670 E. Shea Blvd Suite 103
Scottsdale Az 85260

Monday February 4th and 5th 6:30 to 9:30

Please email for your appointment:

Auditions will consist of cold reads from the script.

cast announcement - OUR TOWN - Zao Theatre

CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs March 29 - April 13

Directed by Kellen Garner

Stage Manager - Mickey Bryce
Dr. Frank Gibbs - Matthew Cary
Mr Charles Webb – Scott Sims
George Gibbs - Taylor Dahl
Mrs Julia Gibbs – Diane Senffner
Mrs Myrtle Webb - Anna Moore
Emily Webb  - Sarah Stinocher
Rebecca Gibbs - Sara Blue
Mrs Soames - D. Ann Jones
Samantha Craig - Kelly Fulcher
Joe Crowell - Owen Fisk
Howie Newsome - Tyler Galley
Wally Webb/Si Crowell – Lyle Blessington
Professor Willard - David Herbert
Simon Stinson - Stacey Blake
Joe Stoddard – Clayton Marlowe
Constable Warren - David Stewart
Towns People - Elizabeth Bridgewater, Kelly Fulcher
Baseball Player - Jayden Nguyen

TheaterWorks' Broadway SR. Program - SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, SR.

TheaterWorks is pleased to announce the launch of our newest program – Broadway Senior. The Broadway Senior program is specifically designed for adults over the age of 50 as a recreational activity where participants learn the skills of musical theater, including acting, voice, choreography, movement and stage presence, while creating a mainstage production. Participants will rehearse twice a week for nine weeks culminating in two performances on the Gyder Stage of the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts.

Broadway Senior will be learning and performing SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, SR. The "Greatest Movie Musical of All Time" is faithfully and lovingly adapted by Broadway legends Betty Comden and Adolph Green, from their original award-winning. Hilarious situations, snappy dialogue and a hit-parade score of Hollywood standards this show a guaranteed good time for performers and audience members alike.

TheaterWorks is honored to have been chosen by Music Theater International to participate in this pilot program targeting active adults for educational programs. TheaterWorks is one of five national theaters to have been selected to participate. “Being chosen is a testament to the reputation that TheaterWorks is gaining in the community and nationally, not only for the caliber of performance but also the quality of our educational programs,” says Artistic Director Chris Hamby. “We are honored to have been selected for this national pilot program with such a prestigious company.”

The goal of this program is to use the performing arts as a way to build and sustain social connections as well as motivating participants cognitively and physically. There will be an emphasis on fun and learning the skills of theater. Actors will not be expected to memorize lines, choreography will be individualized and all actors who attend and pay tuition have roles in the production.

Rehearsals will take place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30am – 1pm beginning February 12, 2019. Final performances are scheduled for Wednesday, April 10 at 6pm and Thursday, April 11 at 6pm. Registration for Broadway Senior is now open. Tuition is $180. Rehearsals and performances take place at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts (10580 N. 83rd Drive, Peoria, AZ 85345).

To register, visit, or contact the Box Office at (623) 815-7930


CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs through April 16th

photos by Nick Woodward-Shaw

review - BAD HOMBRES - Space 55

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 February 3rd.

"..playwright Guillermo Reyes’ new show, “Bad Hombres,” a brilliantly-written one-man performance that tackles racism, sexual identities, love across cultures, and the surprising effectiveness of holy texts as weapons. Director Dwayne Hartford’s newest production, which unrolls as a string of comedic monologues starring Israel Jimenez, is every bit as funny as it is insightful....Provocative yet touching, “Bad Hombres” is Space 55 at its best: unique, entertaining and incredibly enjoyable." - Serena O'Sullivan, Downtown Devil (click here to read the complete review)

additional audition notice - DISASTER! - Desert Foothills Theater

DFT is holding a second round of auditions for their upcoming production of DISASTER! on Feb. 6 from 6-8 pm with “callbacks” immediately following

Looking for the following leads as well as additional members of the ensemble.

Chad: [Male 25-40]
Scott: [Male 25-40]

Tony: [Male 35-50]
Jackie: [Female 32-42]
Levora Verona: [Female 30-50]

There is a singing/dancing ensemble of various survivors and victims and other featured roles including: Chef, Taxi Driver, Tracy, Wealthy Woman, Blind Woman and various others.

For more info, and to sign up, CLICK HERE

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

cast announcement - DISNEY'S ALADDIN - National Tour: ASU Gammage

CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs January 31 to February 17

Clinton Greenspan as Aladdin
Michael James Scott as Genie
Lissa deGuzman as Jasmine
Jonathan Weir as Jafar
Jay Paranada as Iago
Jerald Vincent as Sultan
Philippe Arroyo as Omar
Zach Bencal as Babkak
Jed Feder as Kassim
Korie Lee Blossey as Standby Genie and Sultan
Ellis C. Dawson III as Standby Genie and Babkak
Adam Stevenson as Standby Jafar and Sultan.

Ensemble: Michael Bullard, Michael Callahan, Gary Cooper, Cornelius Davis, Bobby Daye, Mathew deGuzman, Brian Dillon, Olivia Donalson, Michael Everett, Erik Hernandez, Orianna Hilliard, Adrienne Howard, Albert Jennings, Kenway Hon Wai K. Kua, Jason MacDonald, Pierre Marais, Charles McCall, Angelina Mullins, Celina Nightengale, Charles South, Cassidy Stoner, Liv Symone, Alec Vargas, Annie Wallace, Michelle West, and Zach Williams.

Waiting for the genius: Talking to author and director Shaun Michael McNamara about the hilarious concept behind All Puppet Player's WAITING FOR HENSON

Shaun Michael McNamara and a few of his friends
photo courtesy All Puppet Players
by Julia Bashaw

Sometimes theater isn't always people reciting lines of dialogue on a stage. Rather, sometimes, it is a group of people being so creative that they have kept alive an old piece of history and made it their own. That is what All Puppet Theatre has been doing for the past nine years; puppeteering, using puppets to perform hilarious shows that spoof famous films and novels.

But, for the first time, they are doing something different. Shaun Michael McNamara, the founder of All Puppet Players, has decided to write his own original play.

Waiting for Henson is Shaun’s first original piece that has been an idea in his head for about nine years. Shaun has been interested in puppeteering since he was in fifth grade when a teacher hosted a puppet making class after school. Down the road, Shaun started up All Puppet Players in 2010. And after all these years, Shaun still couldn’t get the idea for Waiting for Henson out of his head.

“When we first opened the company nine years ago, this should have been the third show that I was planning on doing,” explained Shaun. “It ended up never actually happening. So this has been in my brain for basically nine years and finally, it sort of pushed itself to the surface. It needed to come out of my head.”

Jim Henson, who has been crowned the ‘king’ of puppeteering is where Shaun got the name Henson for his production. The play is not about Jim Henson at all but some of his direct quotes are sprinkled in throughout the show as a tribute. But what is so clever is that Shaun got the concept for Waiting for Henson from another famous playwright’s piece; Samuel Beckett’ Waiting for Godot.

“The great magic trick that Samuel Beckett, that everyone thinks is a genius, played on these people,” explained Shaun, “is that he wrote a nonsense show. He told people, ‘you tell me what you think it means’. And then people infused all these fantastic, crazy, infused genius ideas on it. So I wrote this show with the idea that it would mean nothing and if someone could take meaning from it, then is the show still meaningless? I guess the inspiration is a big joke towards theater that I'm not a hundred percent anyone will get.”

The show is still completely original and written by Shaun, but with the concept that the show has no meaning. He wants to see if he will receive the same effect that happened to Samuel Beckett.

“I knew I had to write a show that was pure nonsense,” laughed Shaun. “Just to see if someone walks away with the key to life’s existential questions. If they do, they will applaud me as a genius. But if they’re smart, they will realize it’s just one big joke.”

Excited to try out this experiment, Shaun will be seeing what the audience thinks about his unique production.

“I am curious as to what they will take away. At the very end of the show, we’re going to put up a camera in the lobby where people can tell us what they think it meant.” He is excited to witness what everyone will say the show is really about, knowing he had no intention for their interpretation.

This play wasn't just for fun and games, however. Shaun, cast, and crew have been working very hard on this new challenge for their theatre. “I am tired,” admitted Shaun. “This is the hardest I've ever worked on a show, it is not like the other ones. I have a great cast and crew but we can't rely on the stuff we usually did; breaking character and sort of knowing what your line should be. This show is very specific and you really have to know your exact lines and cues. For the first time ever All Puppet Players is doing really theater and it is super tiring.”

But for the theatre company, the challenge is worth it and they are all excited for their audiences to see what they are capable of.

“I would say if you are a fan of All Puppet Players you will love the fact that it is so different and yet so uniquely us,” Shaun stated. “For those who have not seen a production of ours, I would say that if you had stayed away because you have heard that it’s just puppets saying the ‘f’ word, now is the time to show up and see what we are capable of, that we can also do original theater.” Shaun jokingly added, “But also know that at the very same time that we’re going to be performing this, we will be quietly flipping you off behind our backs.”

Shaun hopes All Puppet Players continues going strong season after season.

“For now the future plans are just kept doing stuff that makes us laugh,” said Shaun. “I would like to take one of these shows to New York, that is the ultimate goal, to just perform it. I don't need to be on Broadway, I just want to take my group of people who have worked as hard as they have with me for the past nine years in Arizona. And I would like to perform All Puppet Players in New York as a way to say ‘hey guys we did it, we made it’. That is a future goal, to get to New York and perform it somewhere. I feel like that’s important which I can't figure out why.”

Don't miss Shaun Michael McNamara's first original production. Just try not to take it too seriously.

CLICK HERE for more information on Waiting for Henson at the Playhouse On The Park at The Central Arts Plaza, which runs February 1st- 23rd

cast announcement - BIG RIVER - Hale Centre Theatre

CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs from April 4 - May 11

Huckleberry Finn: Nicholas Gunnell
Jim: Robert Collins
Widow Douglas/Aunt Sally/Ensemble: Kathleen Richard
Miss Watson/Strange Woman/Tart/Ensemble: Bonnie Romney
Judge Thatcher/Harvey Wilkes/Doctor/Ensemble: Joey Morrison
Pap Finn/Sheriff Bell: Gary Caswell
Tom Sawyer: Allan DeWitt
Ben Rogers/Hank/Ensemble: Nathan Spector
Jo Harper/Young Fool/Ensemble: Nick Williams
Simon/Ensemble: Hunter Cuison
Dick/Andy/Ensemble: Kale Burr
The King/Teacher: Tim Fiscus
The Duke/Preacher: Matthew Harris
Silas Phelps/Lafe/Counselor Robinson/Ensemble: Tom Endicott
Mary Jane Wilkes/Ensemble: Maya Weber
Susan Wilkes/Ensemble: Emily Woodward-Shaw
Joanna Wilkes/Ensemble: Annalise Decker
Alice/Ensemble: Savannah Alfred
Alice’s Daughter/Ensemble: Anne-lise Koyabe
Male Gospel Singer/Ensemble: Nathan Alfred
Male Gospel Singer /Ensemble: Pierre Brookins

promo photo - NEXT TO NORMAL - Arizona Regional Theatre

CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs February 15-24

Nathan Sheppard, Andy Albrecht, Amy Jo Halliday, and Kendra Richards
photo courtesy JALT Media / Kimberly Sheppard

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

ticket offer - BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL - Arizona MusicFest

reviews - JERSEY BOYS - The Phoenix Theatre Company

James D. Gish, Justin Albinder, Anthony Fortino, and Tommy McDowell
Photo by Reg Madison 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 March 10th.

"....With over thirty songs, Jersey Boys is a show full of recognizable hit pop tunes but also a swift moving musical that covers many years, settings and characters to depict how the Four Seasons became one of the most successful pop groups of all time. The Phoenix Theatre Company's production features an exceptional cast and gorgeous creative aspects which, when combined with seeing the struggles the quartet went through to become successful, make for a vastly entertaining experience." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"..."As directed by Larry Raben, The Phoenix Theatre Company’s high-energy, slick, and overall exhilarating new production of the Broadway hit jukebox musical serves as a perfect reminder where and why the Hollywood 2014 movie version went wrong. Hollywood neglected to realize that it’s the music to Jersey Boys that was always its reason for being. The show isn’t just a streamlined biographical account of The Four Seasons, it’s a celebration of the songs..." -David Appleford, Valley Screen and Stage (click here to read the complete review)

"...Oh, what a night!..Opening Night of The Phoenix Theatre Company's production of JERSEY BOYS was quite a night!..Justin Albinder (Frankie Valli), James D. Gish (Bob Gaudio), Anthony Fortino (Tommy DeVito), and Tommy McDowell (Nick Massi) successfully recreate the power doo-wop style and sweeping movements of the originals. And, oh, how they harmonize! Perfectly! With Albinder achieving Valli's characteristic range and falsetto..Yes, indeed! Oh, what a show!" Herbert Paine, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review)

THE ADDAMS FAMILY - YOUNG@PART - Actor's Youth Theatre - March 21-April 6, 2019

In the kooky, upside-down world of the Addams Family, to be sad is to be happy, to feel pain is to feel joy, and death and suffering are the stuff of their dreams. Nonetheless, this quirky family still has to deal with many of the same challenges faced by any other family, and the spookiest nightmare faced by every family creates the focus Lippa, Brickman, and Elice’s musical: the Addams kids are growing up. The Addamses have lived by their unique values for hundreds of years and Gomez and Morticia, the patriarch and matriarch of the clan, would be only too happy to continue living that way. Their dark, macabre, beloved daughter Wednesday, however, is now an eighteen year-old young woman who is ready for a life of her own. She has fallen in love with Lucas Beineke, a sweet, smart boy from a normal, respectable Ohio family — the most un-Addams sounding person one could be! And to make matters worse, she has invited the Beinekes to their home for dinner. In one fateful, hilarious night, secrets are disclosed, relationships are tested, and the Addams family must face up to the one horrible thing they’ve managed to avoid for generations: change.

Performances at the Tuscany Theatre, 861 N Higley Rd, St 105, Gilbert, AZ 85234

Thursday, Friday & Saturday - 7PM
Saturday matinee - 3PM

For tickets please visit or call the box office at 480-907-7050!

Gomez Addams - Carter Neef
Morticia Addams - Isabella Jones
Wednesday Addams - Devorah “DJ” Coon
Pugsley Addams - Zac Nelson
Uncle Fester Addams - Ryley Hansen
Grandma Addams - Marguerite Durma
Lurch - Jordan Gingell
Mal Beineke - Austin Watts
Lucas Beineke - Max Meeker
Alice Beineke - Lily Nelson
Conquistador Ancestor - Aaron Clark
Caveman Ancestor - Laine Bombard
Flapper Ancestor/Wednesday Addams U/S - Katie Mullen
Queen Ancestor/Morticia Addams U/S - Alex Marin
Saloon Girl Ancestor/Cousin It - Amber Dench

Valerie Codling
Grant Clausen
Slaton Fraser
Lindsay French
Carter Giannetti
Emily Jones
Drayton Lantz
Caitlyn Miller
Kendall Morgan
Katrina Sapakie
Natalie Smith
Justine Wattay
Katie Wright

Monday, January 28, 2019

WEEK AT A GLANCE: January 28-February 3

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