Wednesday, June 30, 2021

review - STEEL MAGNOLIAS - Hale Centre Theatre

Linsey Maxson, Amy Jo Halliday, Meg Farnsworth, Kandyce Hughes, and Kamie Tierce
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 July 27

"...Robert Harling's play Steel Magnolias continually gets produced across the country and it's easy to see why. With strong, independent and lovable characters and an abundance of witty dialogue, it is a crowd-pleasing play. In Phoenix there are two productions planned for this summer, including the beautifully cast and expertly directed production that plays on Monday and Tuesday nights at Hale Centre Theatre through July....Director Jere Van Patten has found a crackerjack cast of six strong and gifted actresses who bring these loveable characters to life. He does a phenomenal job staging the action in Hale's in-the-round space so the audience never feels they are missing out on anything in the plot while also being drawn into the plight of the characters...M'Lynn is the voice of reason in the play and (Linsey) Maxson is excellent in the role, especially in how she portrays M'Lynn's emotional outburst toward the end of the play...I last saw (Amy Jo) Halliday as Diana in Next to Normal two seasons ago and with the thick Southern accent, quick comic timing, and funny body language she uses as Truvy, you'd never know it was the same actress. That's how good she is. Shelby is a young woman who is stubborn, always upbeat, energetic and optimistic and who tries to live her life to the fullest and Meg Farnsworth is a glorious and glowing firecracker of movement and energy in the role. As Clairee, Kandyce Hughes is elegant and refined with a clear depiction of this wealthy woman who isn't sure what to do with herself now that her husband has died....Beth Anne Johnson is hilarious and an absolute steamroller who doesn't let anyone or anything get in her way as Ouiser, the cranky, loud and cantankerous, but entirely lovable, woman with a rough exterior that is just housing a big heart underneath. Kamie Tierce hits all the right marks to beautifully portray Annelle.... Truvy states that "laughter through tears" is her favorite emotion and you will most likely find yourself laughing through tears due to the wonderful cast, beautiful direction, and perfect creative elements in Hale Centre Theatre's production of this crowd-pleasing show."   -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

photos - DADDY LONG LEGS - The Phoenix Theatre Company

photos by Reg Madison Photography

Fountain Hills Theater presents The Sizzlin' Summer Weekend Music Festival - Four Concerts July 16-July 18


Fountain Hills Theater announces The Sizzlin’ Summer Weekend Music Festival, the perfect escape into the cool theater for some hot concerts in Fountain Hills.  Four fabulous concerts in three days!  

Friday night, July 16th at 7:30pm - Everybody Rise -A Boozy Cruise Through Broadway’s Greatest Lushes. Join world renowned Opera and Musical comedy star, Kathleen Berger and her guest, the multi-talented Tony Blosser, for an evening of drunk songs, songs about drinking, and songs that would be waaaay better if they were sung while drinking.  With the marvelous Steve Hildebrand at the piano, they make a trio that will have you laughing, crying and celebrating all night long.

Saturday night, July 17th at 7:30pm - Diamonds and Cash.  Charlie Jourdan brings his one- man show Diamonds and Cash to Fountain Hills, performing songs of two of the most iconic singer songwriters of our time, Neil Diamond and Johnny Cash. Through story and song, you will hear about what inspired Neil Diamond to write such hits as "Sweet Caroline" and "Solitary Man." You'll find out the history behind Johnny Cash's chart toppers like "Folsom Prison Blues" and "I Walk the Line." Charlie Jourdan has been performing live for most of his life. He began singing in local bars and restaurants on the east coast and Alaska. From there he spent the last fourteen years entertaining cruise ship audiences all over the world. Close your eyes and you'll believe that you're in the theatre with Neil and Johnny.

Sunday afternoon, July 18th at 2:00pm - Remember When. Dedicated to the music and memories of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, this retro radio-style revue features award-winning entertainer T.A. BURROWS, who not only hosts this swinging soiree, but also uses his remarkable vocal talents to perform 18 popular hits by a variety of artists from Elvis Presley to The Beatles to Stevie Wonder. Their songs provided the soundtrack for our lives for three decades.  Between the decades, T.A. keeps his “listeners” entertained with humorous recollections of the fads, fashions, and pop culture of each era along with amusing anecdotes and witty DJ banter.  Featuring a classic mix of pop, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll along with some great memories, “REMEMBER WHEN” is a rockin' retro radio revue that is truly a remember!

And finally, on Sunday evening at 7:00, a recent star of Fox’s “I Can See Your Voice”, Julian Mendoza, brings his show to the FHT stage.  Julian Mendoza: A Knight’s Tale will feature the different genres of Julian’s songbook, ranging from musical theater to Selena Quintanilla. Julian recently starred as Richie Valens in FHT’s highly popular production of “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story”. He was also seen on stage at the Phoenix Symphony, singing backup for Kristin Chenoweth and was a featured artist in the Utah Festival for Opera and Musical Theatre in Utah, the Barn Theatre in Augusta, Michigan and Quisisana in Maine.
The Sizzlin’ Summer Weekend Music Festival will play July 16th, 17th & 18th.  Individual tickets are $35.00 for Adults and $18.00 for Youth 17 and under. A full festival pass is available for $100.00. 

Please note:  The four-concert festival pass is NOT available on line, ONLY through calling the box office.  All performances are at Fountain Hills Theater on its Mainstage Too at 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd. (The Corner of Saguaro and Rand). Tickets are available through the Theater Box Office at (480) 837-9661 x3 or by visiting  Box Office Hours are 10:00AM-5:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday. For additional information not contained in this press release, please call Fountain Hills Theater Artistic Director, Peter J. Hill at (480) 837-9661 EXT. 7.  

Musical Theatre of Anthem Announces Auditions for MATILDA, JR on August 14 and Audition Prep Workshop on August 12 & 13

Musical Theatre of Anthem (MTA) announces auditions for Matilda Jr., a story about a special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.

Rebellion is nigh in Matilda JR., a gleefully witty ode to the anarchy of childhood and the power of imagination! This story of a girl who dreams of a better life and the children she inspires will have audiences rooting for the "revolting children" who are out to teach the grown-ups a lesson. Matilda has astonishing wit, intelligence... and special powers! She's unloved by her cruel parents but impresses her schoolteacher, the highly loveable Miss Honey. 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 and catchy songs, Matilda JR. 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.

AUDITIONS: Saturday, August 14, 2021:
11:00 a.m. General Auditions
9:00 a.m. Auditions for workshop participants (A-L)
10:00 a.m. Auditions for workshop participants (M-Z)
Dance Call 1: Sunday, August 15 @ 9:00 a.m.
Dance Call 2: Sunday, August 15 @ 10:00 a.m.
Callbacks: Sunday, August 15 @ 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: MTA’s theatre performance space at 42201 N. 41st Drive, Suite B100, Anthem, AZ 85086

COST: $325 for ages 6-18; 10% Sibling discount; Scholarships available.

DETAILS: Please bring a musical theatre song (or any song they are comfortable with), 16-32 bars or one minute in length. Bring an accompaniment with CD or iPod to sing with. You may also sing acapella if needed. Have your registration materials completed prior to coming to the audition. For materials and additional information and to reserve your spot, visit MTA’s website

Audition Preparation Workshops will be held at MTA on Thursday, August 12, from 4:30p.m.-6p.m. and 6:30p.m. – 8:00p.m. and Friday, August 13, from 4:30p.m. – 6:00p.m. During these 90-minute sessions, participants will be instructed on cold reads, acting technique, characterization and more.  Participants of the workshop will get to audition prior to the general audition time.  Cost is just $35, and space is limited to just 18 participants per session.  There is a 10% sibling discount.  For more information and to reserve your spot, visit

PERFORMANCES: Performances take place SEPTEMBER 30 – OCTOBER 3, 2021:
Thu. 9/30: 7 p.m. | Fri. 10/1 : 7 p.m. | Sat. 10/2: 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. | Sun. 10/3: 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

HyREV Video Audition submissions at Arizona Broadway Theatre Due July 5 - July 19

HyREV IS BACK! Submit your video auditions now!

Directed by Mark and Lynzee Foreman, HyRev is specifically for young performers ages 13-19 with some previous music theatre / dance / show choir experience. 

The program includes two performance troupes:  HyperToneZ (advanced troupe) and Sonic Revolution (elite troupe) – both build upon and improve participants’ performance strengths and include Valley-wide performances (with future out-of-area performances as time and schedules allow).

If you'd like to audition, please submit 16 bars of two contrasting audition songs to

Video auditions will be accepted July 5 - July 19. 

Callbacks will be in person at ABT on August 8 with the first rehearsal beginning on August 9.

Desert Foothills Theater's 2021 - 2022 Season!

DFT 2021-2022 Season

High School Musical Jr.
Ages 7-18
Sept. 17-Sept 26
CSFAC Black Box

War of the Worlds
Oct. 28-Oct. 31

The Music Man
All Age
Nov 12-Nov. 21
CSFAC MainStage

Elf Jr.
Youth 8-18
Dec. 10 -Dec. 19

Fair Game
Feb. 10-Feb. 13

Les Mis School Edition
March 18-March 27
CSFAC Black Box

Monday, June 28, 2021

WEEK AT A GLANCE: June 28 - July 4, 2021

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



A CHORUS LINE - Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre - July 30 - August 8, 2021

Book by James Kirkwood & Nicholas Dante
Music By Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Edward Kleban
A Chorus Line is a celebration of those unsung heroes of the American Musical Theatre: the chorus dancers– those valiant, over dedicated, underpaid, highly trained performers who back up the star or stars and often make them look even more talented than they are. It is also a celebration of the American Musical itself. A Chorus Line is also about competition, and competition might easily be the common denominator that grabs the audience and holds it by the collective heartstring until the final, ultimate choices are made. For everyone, at one time or another, puts his life on the line. We all compete, no matter what business we’re in, for promotion, for attention, for approval and for love. Specifically, A CHORUS LINE takes the audience through the final grueling audition run by the director, Zach, for a new Broadway musical.

Friday & Saturday at 7:30pm
Saturday & Sunday at 2:00pm

MADAGASCAR, JR. - Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre - August 20 - August 29, 2021


Original Music and Lyrics by GEORGE NORIEGA & JOEL SOMEILLAN

Based on the smash DreamWorks animated motion picture, Madagascar – A Musical Adventure JR. follows all of your favorite crack-a-lackin’ friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.

MADAGASCAR, JR., directed by Erin Tarkington and music-directed by Luke Ottinger, opens at Desert Stages Theatre on Friday, August 20, and runs through Sunday, August 29. 

Limited socially-distanced tickets are $20 per person, on sale NOW at!


Alex - Xander Zeeb
Marty/Zookeeper Zeke/Zookeeper Zoe - Anora Biggs
Gloria/Zookeeper Zelda - Samantha Stinnett
Melman - Mathew Sheade
Skipper/Server - Sienna Stoll
Kawalski/Server - Ava Seidensticker
Private/Server - Maddelynn Smith
Rico/Server - Emmie Zeeb
King Julien/Zoo Guest - Kara Armstrong
Maurice/Zoo Guest - Ashleigh Herek
Mort/Zoo Guest - Lucas Moran 
Lars/Zoo Guest - Calvin Sheade
Lew/Cameraman/Zoo Guest - Lincoln McKnight
Lynn/Zoo Guest - Avaani Lilanni
Lee/Zoo Guest/Server - Briley Greer
Mason/Police Officer/Ship’s Captain/Zoo Guest/Lemur/Foosa - Dash Tagge
Old Lady/Lioness/Server/Zoo Guest/Lemur/Foosa - Isa Farmer-Bonilla
Lioness #1/Candy Hammernose/Lioness/Zoo Guest/Subway Announcer/Server/Lemur/Foosa Leader - Lizzie Hendrickson
Lioness/Newspaper Woman//Zoo Guest/Server/Lemur/Foosa - Abby Brown
Lioness/Steak/Zoo Guest/Lemur/Foosa - Rogan Greer

Sunday, June 27, 2021

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING - Showcase Community Theatre - July 8-July 25, 2021

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

To pass the time until the marriage of Claudio and Hero, Don Pedro and company conspire to set-up Benedick, a self-proclaimed bachelor for life, with his rival Beatrice. This classical comedy has it all: mistaken identity, witty banter, and perhaps even a silly puppet. 

Come see Showcase Community Theatre's production of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Joey Whelan and performed at Ghostlight Theatre. 

The show runs July 8th-25th. Shows will be at 7PM on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. 2PM matinees will be performed on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Tickets are only $15.

Get your tickets at

Director: Joey Whelan
Assistant Director: Daniel Williams
Stage Manager: Marissa Beckett
Benedick/Watchman: Jason Jones
Beatrice: Sawyer Wolter
Claudio: Ben Mosedale
Hero: Linzey Connor
Leonata: Michelle Herro
Don Pedro/Sexton: Alejandro Rueda
Don John/Dogberry: William Buckley
Borachio/Friar Francis/Messenger: Nate Cummins
Margaret/Conrade: Kassidy Yielding

Auditions for RUMORS at Fountain Hills Theater announced for July 17 and July 18

Rumors will play September 10th through 26th – with a possible extension through October 3rd.  Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm. All rehearsals and shows will be held at the theater located at 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills.

Auditioners are asked to provide a 1-2-minute comic monologue and be prepared to read cold from the script.  Please note that the script contains adult material.    

Early video auditions - which must be submitted prior to July 17 – may be submitted and can substitute for appearing at the Sunday or Monday auditions.  However, if chosen from a video audition, candidates will be required to appear in person at the callbacks July 19.  Video auditions should be sent to  FHT prefers and encourages auditioners to be vaccinated.

Casting for: 

Characters ages are not set in stone. Actors should consider roles if they feel they can represent the age ranges listed

*Ken Gorman: Male, 30-50. A well-spoken, handsome attorney. A bit high strung.
*Chris Gorman: Female, 30-50. Ken’s elegant and attractive wife. A bit high strung.
*Lenny Ganz: Male, 30-50. An accountant who has just wrecked his brand-new BMW. Irascible, sarcastic, and very likeable.
*Clair Ganz: Female, 30-50. Lenny’s gossip-monger, attractive wife. A Westchester, New York housewife type.
*Ernie Cusak: Male, 40-60. A smug psychiatrist.
*Cookie Cusak: Female, 40-60. Ernie’s wife and a cooking show host with a bad back. She has a very dramatic, physical personality.
*Glenn Cooper: Male, 30-50. An ambitious, polished man preparing for a run for the state senate. *Cassie Cooper: Female, 25-40. A jealous type. Glenn's trophy wife. Insecure, sexy, shrewish. Officer *Pudney: Male or Female, 20-30. A rookie cop.
*Officer Welch: Male or Female: 35-50. A vigorous, straight- talking, veteran police officer.

Friday, June 25, 2021

WEEK AT A GLANCE: June 21 - June 27

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







East Valley Children's Theatre's 2021 / 2022 25th Anniversary Season!

East Valley Children's Theatre celebrates 25 years of theater opportunities for youth age 8-18, kicking off with The Clumsy Princess, Sept. 23-Oct. 3, in the Nesbitt/Elliott Playhouse Theatre in the Mesa Arts Center in downtown Mesa. 

Winner of EVCT's 2020 Aspiring Playwrights Contest, The Clumsy Princess is an original work about a charming prince looking for the picture-perfect princess to ask her hand in marriage. Instead, he meets Princess Tilly, who knocks him out of a window, leaving him stranded in his own kingdom on a quest to defeat the beast plaguing the land. 

Following this hysterical opening production, the next show is a holiday favorite, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the musical, on stage Dec. 2-12. 

Another original work and winner of EVCT's 2021 Aspiring Playwrights Contest, The Prince and the Pauper, the musical will feature a new twist on a familiar story Feb. 10-20, 2022. 

Closing out the anniversary season is another original adaptation of a familiar story with Marion and the Merry Men, A New Legend of Robin Hood, June 16-26. 

Season tickets can now be purchased for only $50/pp for all four shows. 

Visit or call 480-756-3828.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

cast announced for HELLO DOLLY! at Zao Theatre

Dolly Levi : Britt Powell
Horace Vandergelder: Adam Guinn
Cornelius Hackl: Tyler Galley
Barnaby Tucker: Charlie Hall
Irene Malloy: Lauren Tye
Minnie Fay: Ashley Letizia
Ermengarde: Devorah Coon
Ambrose Kemper: Kyle Webb
Ernestina: Lynn Golden
Mrs Rose: Priscilla Bertling
Rudolph: Benjermin Tietz
Stanley: Laine Bombard
Judge: Michael Leeth
Court Clerk: Turner McKenzie
Dance Ensemble: Rebecca Bryce, Dani Cleveland, Sophie-Leigh Jordan, Carah Mollerup, Sapphire Nova, Sabrina Petroski, Calliandra Rasmussen, Punawai Tietz, Jake Ashton, Owen Grover, Joshua Hengst, Ryley Hansen, Jeff Montgomery, Benjermin Tietz, Turner McKenzie, Michael Leeth

Vocal Ensemble: Laine Bombard, Joshua Merrill, Alec Merrill, Jayden Nguyen, Priscilla Bertling, Randi Jill, Lynanne Cottle, Brianne Gobeski, Lynn Golden, Julie Hastings, Katrielle Jordan, Kendall Morgan, Sarai Phillips-Dunlap, Emily Wood

review - KILL SOCRATES, A COMEDY - Don Bluth Front Row Theatre


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 July 24

"...In the new play Kill Socrates: A Comedy, making its Arizona premiere in a smartly directed and well-cast production at Don Bluth Front Row Theatre, playwright Amanda Schaar uses comedy, witty wordplay, and modern sensibilities to take us inside the mind of Socrates to witness his thoughts and feelings on the day of, and the moments after, his trial and up to his subsequent death. With funny dialogue and well-written characterizations, Schaar has crafted a drama that is very humorous while also moving and ultimately heartbreaking....Tom Koelbel is direct, clear and forceful as Socrates, a man who is deeply convinced that he did nothing wrong and someone who, while he questions the way things are done, is also committed to obeying the laws....Koelbel delivers a beautiful performance. Van Rockwell does a good job depicting Socrates' friend Phaedo, who is struggling with his own predicament concerning his relationship with his father....J. Kevin Tallent expertly plays two completely different roles...his portrayal of Meletus is a downright hoot. His varied, repeated and loud proclamations to "think of the children" whenever he is at a loss for words during the trial, and as basically his main proof of evidence of Socrates' guilt, are hilarious. He is just as good in act two, when he returns in a dramatic role as the quiet, simple and friendly guard....a winning production of a funny, charming, moving, interesting and intriguing new play."   -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

Auditions for THE ADDAMS FAMILY at Queen Creek Performing Arts Center announced for June 26 & 29

Auditions will be held at the QCPAC:

Saturday, June 26 • 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Tuesday, June 29 • 5-8 p.m.

Callbacks will be held the evening of Wednesday, June 30
Callback and cast lists will be posted on our website
(note: no phone calls will be made)

Ages 14 years and older (must be age 14 by first rehearsal)

Show Dates:

August 27, 28 & 30


Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays 5:30-8 p.m.
Saturdays 9 a.m.-noon
Rehearsals begin July 20

Tech week will be the week of the show. Starting August 2, you
cannot miss any rehearsals.  All rehearsal conflicts must
be listed on the audition form.
Audition Requirements:

To audition, you must secure an audition slot within the given audition dates and times. This is to ensure everyone gets seen and heard for equal amounts of time. Parents/guardians signing up for your child, please sign up using their name and not your own. If signing up multiple children, each child must have their own audition slot.

Come prepared to sing 16 bars (30 seconds) of any musical theater song. Be prepared with a cd or karaoke mp3 track (on an iPhone, iPad, tab or android) with NO VOCALS on it (piano accompanist will NOT be available.) Please do not sing a capella. You will also need to be prepared and dressed appropriately to learn simple choreography.

**Please check in 15 minutes earlier than your secured audition time.**

For additional information, audition form/waiver and the link to sign up for an audition slot, visit the CT Auditions page on our website. Any questions, please email

Virtual Theater Lab presents live digital production of THE MANIC MONOLOGUES on Sunday, June 27

Virtual Theater Lab is producing the first live digital production of The Manic Monologues on Sunday, June 27th, 3PM MST.  We are so excited to share this important and exciting work, which aims to break down the social stigma surrounding mental illness, with our AZ community!

We are also thrilled to announce that following the performance there will be a talkback with one of the playwrights (Zack Burton) as well as with Arizona local, Erin Callinan, who has written a book based on her own personal journey with mental illness.  

Play Summary & Background:
The Manic Monologues is a play developed and premiered by Zachary Burton and Elisa Hofmeister at Stanford University. The play consists of autobiographical accounts of mental illness from people diagnosed with mental health disorders, the family and friends of mental health patients, and health professionals. The play explores diagnoses including bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, OCD, and PTSD in stories that are by turns tragic, humorous, and uplifting. 

Burton and Hofmeister wrote the play in the wake of Burton's 2017 bipolar diagnosis while a doctoral student at Stanford University, drawing inspiration from The Vagina Monologues and incorporating approximately 20 true stories of mental illness provided by individuals across the U.S., Canada, and beyond.

Event Page:

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

review - GILLIGAN'S ISLAND, THE MUSICAL - Arizona Broadway Theatre

Liz Fallon, Lynzee Foreman, and Stephen Hohendorf
photo courtesy Arizona Broadway Theatre

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 July 11

"When you think of classic TV shows that have become pop culture icons, "Gilligan's Island" one that is still fondly remembered more than 50 years after the original series went off the air. Sherwood Schwartz created the TV show...and in the 1990s he crafted Gilligan's Island: The Musical, with a book by Schwartz and his son Lloyd and songs by Schwartz's daughter and son-in-law, Hope and Laurence Juber. While the songs are all mostly instantly forgettable, and the plot isn't much better, Arizona Broadway has a talented cast of local performers who lovingly throw themselves into these iconic characters, providing a big shot of nostalgia for fans of the TV show in a fairly amusing and fun theatrical endeavor....Under Jon Gentry's astute direction the cast works well together to make most of the jokes land and his direction moves the show along at a brisk pace....The cast does an admirable job of depicting the well-known characters, though some don't achieve much more than a one-note caricature. Stephen Hohendorf is adorable as the fumbling, accident-prone Gilligan. Liz Fallon beautifully echoes sweetness and innocence as Mary Ann, and Lynzee Foreman is a hoot as the smokey-voiced, sultry and sexy Ginger..."  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)