Friday, May 31, 2019

audition notice - ROALD DAHL'S MATILDA - Valley Youth Theatre - June 17

Valley Youth Theatre is delighted to announce the additional audition date for the Arizona Premiere of Roald Dahl's Matilda, the Musical.

Auditions: June 17, 2019

Callbacks: June 18 & 19, 2019
Rehearsals begin as early as June 24, 2019
Load In: August 1, 2019- parents and older cast members required; potential hours 8am - midnight
Tech: August 3 – 8, 2019

Public performances:

Fridays, August 9, 16 & 23, 2019 at 7:00pm
Saturdays, August 10 & 24, 2019 at 2:00pm & 7:00pm
Sundays, August 11, 18, & 25, 2019 at 2:00pm
Thursdays, August 15 & 22, 2019 at 7:00pm

VYTal Affair Gala: August 17, 2019

School Shows: Wednesdays, August 14 & 21 at 9:30am & 11:30am

Show Info:

Roald Dahl's Matilda The Musical, with a book by Dennis Kelly and music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, is based on the Road Dahl book, Matilda.  A children's novel that was published in 1988, it became notable in years thereafter for a film adaptation in 1996 that starred Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman.  The Royal Shakespeare Company had a desire to bring Dahl's work to the stage in 2009, so they reached out to Kelly, a writer for film and television, and Minchin, a comedian and musician, to work on the show, before beginning to assemble the creative team.

Matilda is a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers. She's unloved by her cruel parents but impresses her schoolteacher, the highly loveable Miss Honey. Over the course of her first term at school, Matilda and Miss Honey have a profound effect on each other's lives, as Miss Honey begins not only to recognize but also appreciate Matilda's extraordinary personality. Matilda's school life isn't completely smooth sailing, however – the school's mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, hates children and just loves thinking up new punishments for those who don't abide by her rules. But Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts, and could be the school pupils' saving grace!

Packed with high-energy dance numbers, catchy songs and an unforgettable star turn for a young actress, Matilda is a joyous girl power romp. Children and adults alike will be thrilled and delighted by the story of the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.


Matilda Wormwood -An imaginative girl who is clever and wise far beyond her years. She has a thirst for learning that cannot be quenched.

Miss Agatha Trunchbull - The tyrannical headmistress at Matilda's school who despises children.

Miss Honey - Matilda's kindhearted teacher. She is tired of living in fear under Miss Trunchbull.

Mr. Wormwood - Matilda's uncaring father. A slimy, greedy used-car salesman.

Mrs. Wormwood - Matilda's self-absorbed, negligent mother and an amateur ballroom dancer.

Michael Wormwood - Matilda's older brother. He is not very bright and favored by their parents.

Bruce - Matilda's classmate. He is subject to extreme punishment by Miss Trunchbull.

Lavender - Matilda's classmate and friend.

Mrs. Phelps - A nice librarian.

The Escapologist - A character in a story Matilda tells to Mrs. Phelps who comes to life in their imagination.

The Acrobat - A character in a story Matilda tells to Mrs. Phelps who comes to life in their imagination.

Rudolpho - Mrs. Wormwood's ballroom dance partner.

Doctor - Mrs. Wormwood's Doctor when she goes into labor with Matilda.

Children’s Entertainer - A party entertainer at the start of the show.

Ensemble - Cook, Henchman 1, Henchman 2, Henchman 3, Kids, Parents

For more information:

ticket discount - OTHER DESERT CITIES - Stage Left Productions

Stage Left Production is offering $15.00 tickets at the door on the opening weekend of Other Desert Cities, June 7-8

Stage Left is located at 11340 West Bell Road # 105 in Surprise

Thursday, May 30, 2019

review - BE MY LITTLE BABY - Space 55

Matt Clarke, Gerald Thomson, and Christian Boden
photo courtesy Space 55
by Carolyn Thomas

A world premiere from the mind of playwright John Perovich, a local playwright involved in various new work development ventures, Space 55's be my little baby presents a dark comedy centered around astral projection, family dysfunction, and a more than mild obsession with cowboys. In a space dedicated to new and innovative work, be my little baby qualifies on both counts. It's a creative concept with interesting characters, and with an audience open to suspending their disbelief, it proves to be a wild ride.

be my little baby centers around Johnny and his imaginary cowboy friend LaRue. After years of being homeschooled by his overprotective mother and watching his older sister, Heather, attend public school, Johnny pushes for the freedom to attend school like everyone else. When Johnny finds out that Heather's new boyfriend Bobby is dangerous, he and LaRue resort to more mystical methods to try and protect those in Bobby's line of fire.

Perovich's script provides plenty of opportunities for over-the-top performances and subtle moments alike, and a few of the actors in this production take full advantage of the dynamics. The play's strengths lie in its dark humor and imagination, though there are moments where a little more explanation could benefit the audience. Ultimately, be my little baby takes the audience on a journey, even if they aren't always sure where they are or where they're going. As long as they're along for the ride, it comes to a more or less satisfying end.

Christian Boden brings a youthful exuberance to main character Johnny, though it's unclear exactly how old Johnny is meant to be. Christian is vibrant and skillful in capturing the innocent naivete of a boy who hasn't seen much past his bedroom window. As the helpful cowboy companion LaRue, Gerald Thomson imbues a rustic warmth to his character that makes him quickly likable and altogether curious to the audience. Marcella Grassa portrays Heather, the quintessential teenage girl, with a relatable vulnerability. She embodies her character from head to toe, every flip of her hair, every lip nibble, every defensive huff and compulsory laugh rings true for anyone who's either been a teenage girl, or at least been around them. Matt Clarke plays Bobby with such ease that his villain shifts from charming to terrifying on a dime. His performance is positively magnetic.

Ilana Lydia's direction makes use of every inch of the stage and the passages through the audience, though there are many moments between characters that could use more attention to bring out the full emotional pull or comedic effect. Lydia evokes some great moments of tension, however, and the overall vision of the play is executed well. Mask makers Dain Q. Gore and Hannah Walsh do beautiful work on the moon masks for the Celestial Voyeur, though the character itself is very abstract and questionable from an audience perspective. Paul Filan's painting provides the clear location of the desert with a setting sun, though the majority of the play takes place indoors. Ashley Naftule's prop design firmly evokes the interior of a home in which hot dogs and baked beans constitute a special family dinner (I find that combination positively delicious, myself) and provides enough versatility that many furniture items make sense in a number of settings. Brady Anderson's lighting excels best during the moments of astral projection, providing a consistent and clear visual to clue the audience in to what plane Johnny happens to be on.

be my little baby is a testament to theatre's ability to take the audience on a journey using their imagination, and this world premiere at Space 55 does exactly that. If you're in the market for something dark, playful, and a little risky, be my little baby might be just what you're looking for.

CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs through June 9

Broadway at the Orpheum Theatre now accepting New Season Subscriptions!

The Broadway At The Orpheum Theatre Series has begun accepting New Members for their 2019-2020 Season.

Come fly with us in FINDING NEVERLAND, or travel to the depths of the sea with THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL. Ever been entranced by magic? Well, then THE ILLUSIONISTS would peak your interests. And you can welcome home the soldiers of WWII with the energetic & courageous Musical BANDSTAND, featuring original music!

With four shows and two season add-ons, this season offers a little something for everybody.

You can learn more at #AZBway

promo photos - NEWSIES - Actor's Youth Theatre

CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs June 19-23

audition notice - MY FIRST TIME - Fountain Hills Theater - June 15

Fountain Hills Theater announces auditions for the adult comedy My First Time.

WHERE: Fountain Hills Theater, 11445 N Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
WHEN: Saturday, June 15, 4:00pm and Tuesday, June 18, 7:00pm

HOW: Appointment: or (480) 837-9661 x3

In 1998, a decade before blogging began; a website was created that allowed people to anonymously share their own true stories about their First Times. The website became an instant phenomenon as over 40,000 stories poured in from around the globe that were silly, sweet, absurd, funny, heterosexual, homosexual, shy, sexy and everything in between. And now, these true stories and all of the unique characters in them are brought to life in this hysterical, touching and heartbreaking play.

My First Time is directed by David Chorley. 

My First Time will play Aug 16 – Sept 1, 2019.

Auditions will be held Saturday, June 15 at 4:00pm, and Tuesday, June 18th at 7:00pm.  Callbacks (If required) will be Wednesday, June 19th at 7:00pm.  Auditioners are asked to provide a 1-2 minute comedy monologue and be prepared to read cold from the script.  Please note that the script contains adult material.  My First time contains occasionally graphic dialogue.

Casting for:
Man 1:  Any age or ethnicity.
Man 2:  Any age or ethnicity.
Woman 1: Any age or ethnicity.
Woman 2:  Any age or ethnicity.

THE GOOD FEELZ - The Listening Room - June 8, 2019

THE GOOD FEELZ...get some.

VOCAL TRIO FEATURING LISA FOGEL, BRIAN SWEIS AND ADAM VARGAS with Andria Fennig on piano and Josh Weinstein on drums.

$20 ADVANCE / $25 DOOR


Vocal trio featuring Lisa Fogel, Brian Sweis, and Adam Vargas

Tight harmonies, strong vocals, original arrangements of hit songs, and a whole lotta good feelz! Jazz, pop, contemporary, rock, name it, we've got it!

Back to the place where it all began with sold-out performances before they even had a name, The Good Feelz are so grateful to perform at The Listening Room Phoenix one more time before the doors close. Lisa Fogel, Brian Sweis, and Adam Vargas are local artists and friends who have crossed paths on and off stage for many years. With extensive vocal and theatre credits locally and across the country, the trio decided to bring their talents together back in 2017 to create something we could all use a little more of- The Good Feelz … get some.

 ***A portion of the day’s proceeds will benefit the Monique Rebilas Gregory Fund in conjunction with Pappas Kids Schoolhouse Foundation (***

SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS - Stray Cat Theatre - August 9-24, 2019

By Bess Wohl

at Tempe Center for the Arts
Directed by Michael Peck

More than words…
In the overwhelming quiet of the woods, six runaways from city life embark on a silent retreat. As these strangers confront internal demons both profound and absurd, their vows of silence collide with the achingly human need to connect. Filled with awkward humor, this strange and compassionate new play constructed almost entirely out of silence with relatively little actual dialogue asks how we address life’s biggest questions when words fail us.

“Bess Wohl’s luminous play uses silence to dig into the core of human pain, which, like everything unendurable, can also be very funny…as entertaining as it is transcendent.” - Time Out New York

Friday, August 9, 2019 - 7:30
Saturday, August 10, 2019 - 7:30
Sunday, August 11, 2019 - 2:00
Thursday, August 15, 2019 - 7:30
Friday, August 16, 2019 - 7:30
Saturday, August 17, 2019 - 7:30
Sunday, August 18, 2019 - 2:00
Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - 7:30
Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 7:30
Friday, August 23, 2019 - 7:30
Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 7:30

CLICK HERE for more information and to purchase tickets when available

AMERICAN PSYCHO - THE MUSICAL - Stray Cat Theatre - November 8–23, 2019

by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Duncan Sheik

based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis

at Tempe Center for the Arts
Directed by Ron May

A high octane nightclub musical
The sexy, ruthless and daring new musical from Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening) and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Riverdale). Based on the electrifying novel by Bret Easton Ellis, the musical tells the story of Patrick Bateman, a young and handsome Wall Street banker with impeccable taste and unquenchable desires. Patrick and his elite group of friends spend their days in chic restaurants, exclusive clubs and designer labels. But at night, Patrick takes part in a darker indulgence, and his mask of sanity is starting to slip. Even MORE exciting? The Stray Cat production will star local superstar Toby Yatso as Patrick Bateman. Hype!

"American Psycho slays onstage! Wonderful! Graphic sex acts, torturing, stabbing, slashing, axe-wielding, snorting coke off toilets and a marvelous score" - The Associated Press

Friday, November 8, 2019 - 7:30
Saturday, November 9, 2019 - 7:30
Sunday, November 10, 2019 - 2:00
Thursday, November 14, 2019 - 7:30
Friday, November 15, 2019 - 7:30
Saturday, November 16, 2019 - 2:00
Saturday, November 16, 2019 - 7:30
Sunday, November 17, 2019 - 2:00
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 7:30
Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 7:30
Friday, November 22, 2019 - 7:30
Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 2:00
Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 7:30

CLICK HERE for more information and to purchase tickets when available

THE WOLVES - Stray Cat Theatre - February 7–22, 2020

By Sarah DeLappe

at Tempe Center for the Arts
Directed by Heather Harper

FINALIST! 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
One of the most talked about and produced plays in recent years, THE WOLVES is at its core a fly-on-the-wall look at a girls’ high school soccer team as they go through their warm-ups. From the safety of their suburban stretch circle, the team navigates big questions and wages tiny battles with all the vim and vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors. A searing portrait of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for nine American girls who just want to score some goals. Listen very carefully.

CRITIC'S PICK! "The scary, exhilarating brightness of raw adolescence emanates from every scene of this uncannily assured first play by Sarah DeLappe." - The New York Times

Friday, February 7, 2020 - 7:30
Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 7:30
Sunday, February 9, 2020 - 2:00
Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 7:30
Friday, February 14, 2020 - 7:30
Saturday, February 15, 2020 - 7:30
Sunday, February 16, 2020 - 2:00
Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 7:30
Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 7:30
Friday, February 21, 2020 - 7:30
Saturday, February 22, 2020 - 7:30

CLICK HERE for more information and to purchase tickets when available

DANCE NATION - Stray Cat Theatre - May 8-23, 2020

By Clare Barron

at Tempe Center for the Arts

Directed by Ron May

Winner! 2017 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize
Best Theatre of 2018 New York Times
Best Theatre of 2018 The Washington Post
Best Theatre of 2018 Forbes
Best Theatre of 2018 BuzzFeed
Best Theatre of 2018 The Stage
Best Theatre of 2018 Vulture
Best Theatre of 2018 Independent

Cuteness is death
Somewhere in America, an army of pre-teen competitive dancers plots to take over the world. And if their new routine is good enough, they’ll claw their way to the top at the Boogie Down Grand Prix in Tampa Bay. But in Clare Barron’s raucous pageant of ambition and ferocity, these young dancers have more than choreography on their minds, because every plié and jeté is a step toward finding themselves, and a fight to unleash their power.

"A blazingly original play [...] marvel at how close what you see cuts to the bone." - The New York Times

Friday, May 8, 2020 - 7:30
Saturday, May 9, 2020 - 7:30
Sunday, May 10, 2020 - 2:00
Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 7:30
Friday, May 15, 2020 - 7:30
Saturday, May 16, 2020 - 7:30
Sunday, May 17, 2020 - 2:00
Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 7:30
Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 7:30
Friday, May 22, 2020 - 7:30
Saturday, May 23, 2020 - 7:30

CLICK HERE for more information and to purchase tickets when available

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

FESTIVAL OF SHORTS - B3 Productions - June 7-16

CLICK HERE for more information, and to purchase tickets

review - RENT - National Tour: ASU Gammage

the cast
Photo by Carol Rosegg
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 June 2.

"...A multi-year, 20th anniversary touring production that recreates the direction and most of the creative aspects of the original 1996 Broadway show, and that features a cast who embody the beloved characters of the piece, hit the road in 2016 and is at ASU Gammage for a week-long run. ....Seeing those aspects of the original production so lovingly recreated should make any Rent fan happy, as well as provide a good basis for anyone new to the show with a clear understanding as to why it was such a groundbreaking production in its originality and theatricality....The energy and eagerness that all members of the touring cast bring to their parts makes them all quite effective, and fairly realistic, as these, mostly, young starving artists from the 1990s....While Rent is now more than 20 years old and the topic of living with AIDS is now one with less of a stigma and death sentence attached to it, the themes the show presents of young people struggling to find their place in the world and a family of friends coming together to overcome their issues and celebrate life still resonate. Jonathan Larson's score is still energetic, timeless, raw and fun and this anniversary tour production is a loving testament to how moving and memorable this musical is and results in a highly enjoyable and emotionally effective piece of theatre. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

review - IN THE HEIGHTS - Mesa Encore Theatre

Israel Jimenez, Avery Jones, Frenki Hykollari, Alek Rahman and cast
Photo by Justin McBride
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 June 2nd.

"...the story it tells of this vibrant community and the dreams they have, the pressures they face, and how they come together to support each other beautifully depicts the true meaning of "home." Mesa Encore Theatre's production has a talented cast and clear direction that exhibit the life, love and heart of this joyful musical....director Marcos D. Voss has assembled a group of actors who are very capable of presenting fleshed out portrayals of these realistic individuals. Israel Jimenez is quite good as Usnavi..As Abuela Claudia, Greta Skelly is a complete knock-out...Alek Rahman is a very talented singer and dancer and makes for a gutsy and vibrant Vanessa, Usnavi's love interest. As Nina, Frenki Hykollari's voice soars and she has a refined stage presence that pulls us in and immediately lets us see how her character feels uncertain, having recently lost her way. ...Voss' direction brings an abundance of energy to the entire production and he stages the action well on Lorelee Golden's gorgeous, large, and multi-tiered set... Unfortunately, the only creative aspect that isn't on the same level as the rest is the sound design. At the performance I attended there were many times when the sound mix was off and the lead singers' voices could barely be heard over the ensemble or the band...Hopefully, with just some slight tweaking the levels can be adjusted to correct this unfortunate oversight....a musical with a universal appeal that will most likely resonate with everyone... " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

audition notice - MARY POPPINS, JR - Actor's Youth Theatre - June 22

Auditions are LIVE now for Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins JR, AYT's final show of their 15th season!

Based on one of the most popular Disney movies of all time and the Broadway musical that played for over 2,500 performances and received multiple Olivier and Tony Awards nominations, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins is capturing hearts in a whole new way: as a practically perfect Broadway Junior musical!

The jack-of-all trades, Bert, introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family members how to value each other again. Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren't the only ones upon whom she has a profound effect. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that "Anything can happen if you let it."

AUDITIONS: Saturday, June 22nd, 2019 - 9am-2pm
Tuscany Theatre
861 N Higley Rd, St 105
Gilbert, AZ 85234


Monday, May 27, 2019

WEEK AT A GLANCE: May 27-June 2

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

reviews - ONCE - The Phoenix Theatre Company

Kyle Sorrell and Michelle Chin, and the Cast
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 June 16th.

"Based on the Oscar-winning movie of the same name, Once is an unconventional love story centered on a guy and a girl who meet on the streets of Dublin...the Phoenix Theatre Company presents the first local production of the show in a beautifully designed and expertly directed presentation that features an incredibly talented cast of local performers who not only act and sing but also skillfully play various musical instruments. Once may have a fairly simple story, but it's also a moving piece of theatre with many moments of pure beauty.....Director Pasha Yamotahari uses the same theatrical concept used in the original Broadway production—having the entire cast of 12 provide the musical accompaniment for the songs, which provides an excellent platform to showcase the musical skills of the cast...Kyle Sorrell and Michelle Chin are Guy and Girl, and their portrayals create characters of nuance and depth. ...Chin is simply ravishing and luminous as Girl...The ensemble cast is exceptional...the songs and the characters will most likely connect to you in a way you hadn't imagined and sweep you away to a place of pure beauty. The Phoenix Theatre Company's production is gorgeous to look at with a top-notch cast who create beautiful characters and deliver soaring, heartfelt, and emotionally rich songs. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

."...From the pre-show, street corner jam until the Falling Slowly reprise at the conclusion, the songs and the musical performances, under Alan Ruch’s musical direction and director Pasha Yamotahari’s staging, are a joy... You’ll leave Phoenix Theatre with two things in mind.  Should you buy or download the original cast CD to experience those emotions again, or should you return to the theatre box-office as soon as possible for a second visit before word spreads and the rest of the run is already sold out? I’d recommend the latter." -David Appleford, Valley Screen and Stage (click here to read the complete review)

cast announcement - NEWSIES - Actor's Youth Theatre

CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs from June 19-23

Jack Kelly - Dylan Romero
“Crutchie” Morris - Joshua Boenzi
Katherine Plumber - Drew MacCallum
Davey Jacobs - Cole Denham
Les Jacobs - Tristan Foushee
Joseph Pulitzer - Noah Delgado
Medda Larkin - Kalei Cotecson

Race - Kale Klein
Albert - Nico Hernandez
Specs - Madison Brassow
Henry - Max Meeker
Finch - Devorah “DJ” Coon
Romeo - Rayshawn Watkins
Elmer - Jake Ashton
Mush - Brett Small
Buttons - Sarah Brassow
Splasher/Bunsen - Ryley Hansen
Sniper - Carter Neef
Tommy Boy - Tony Gurreri
Jojo - Caitlyn Miller
Mike - Michael Mulvena
Ike - Jackson Clark

Spot Conlon/Guard/Policeman/Goon/Newsie U/S- Connor Olden
Wiesel/Mayor - Jordan Gingell
Morris Delancey - Laine Bombard
Oscar Delancey - Liam Delgado
Hannah/Bowery Beauty/Nun - Gracie Gamble
Bowery Beauty/Nun/Other Newsie/Katherine U/S - Taylor Lee
Bowery Beauty/Nun/Other Newsie - Gwendolyn Clark
Bowery Beauty/Nun/Medda Larkin U/S/Hannah U/S - Katie Wright
Seitz/Mr. Jacobi/Stage Manager/Teddy Roosevelt - Eric O’Dell
Snyder/Nunzio/Other Newsie - Sergio Romo
Photographer/Other Newsie - Miranda Bellows
Bill/Goon/Other Newsie - Tyler Driggs
Darcy/Scab 1/Other Newsie - Zachary Taylor
Scab 2/Other Newsies - Marguerite Durma
Scab 3/Other Newsies - Isabella Jones

Paige Shanks
Diana Stapley
Anna Tabot
Bonnie Wanstreet

photos - RENT - National Tour: ASU Gammage

CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs May 28-June 2

photos by Carol Rosegg