Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Auditions for HOLMES AND WATSON at Don Bluth Front Row Theatre announced for November 19

Sunday, November 19th
A high camp Sherlockian mystery.

About the Show:


A twisting, tantalizing mystery! Sherlock Holmes is dead, or is he? Three years after the death of the mastermind detective at Reichenbach Falls, Dr. Watson receives a cryptic message that his old friend may be alive. At a remote asylum off the coast of Scotland three patients are claiming to be Sherlock Holmes! Who's the real detective? Who are the impostors? Did the world's greatest sleuth fake his own death? And, if so—Why? As he investigates, Watson is drawn into a web of intrigue, murder, and surprise that reveals what really happened at Reichenbach Falls in the fateful confrontation between Holmes and his nemesis, Professor Moriarty. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat in this fast-paced, thrilling and suspenseful adventure, and just enough laughs to make it a fun ride from beginning to end. It's Elementary!

Our goal is to cast the very best actors for each role- we are committed to racial, cultural and artistic diversity. Artists of all ethnicities, genders, and abilities are welcome and warmly encouraged to audition. For the health and safety of all performers, all actors are required to be fully vaccinated from COVID-19- unvaccinated actors will not be considered.

See Current CDC Guidelines: Stay Up To Date with COVID 19 Vaccines

Director's note: Auditions are open to anyone who can act and react with comic timing. Just because Watson believes the three Holmes look "rather similar," they may not. If you enjoy Mel Brooks, you'll enjoy this production of H&W.

Date: Sunday, November 19th, 2023
Time: From 1 pm to 5 pm

Use Signup Genius link below to reserve your time slot.

Callbacks by Invitation Only:
Date: Monday, November 20th, 2023 
Time: From 6 pm to 8 pm

What to Prepare:
Cold reads from sides provided. Sides available online a minimum of two weeks prior to auditions (available for download using Signup Genius link once uploaded) and at the theatre at time of audition. Select the side for each character that you wish to be considered for but please select only one audition slot. Bring current headshot, resume, and rehearsal conflicts (do not email headshot/resume in advance, please).

Don Bluth Front Row Theatre, 8989 E. Via Linda, Suite 118, Scottsdale, 85258

Rehearsals begin with an all-cast reading on Saturday, February 3rd.

Rehearsals are held at the theatre on Mondays, Tuesdays, and/or Wednesdays from 6 pm to 9 pm and usually on Saturday mornings from 9am to Noon. Tech rehearsals may run longer and include Thursdays and Fridays. There will be a speed-thru reading from 6 pm to 9 pm on Wednesday, March 27th. 

Performance Dates:
March 21st through April 27th (24 performances total)

All shows are 7 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings and 2 pm Saturday matinees. There is a possibility of adding 7 pm shows on Wednesday evenings during the run if there is a demand. Call time is 1 hour prior to show time. A stipend will be paid. Please do not audition if you are not available for all performances. 

Characters/Roles Available:
(Sides available on Signup Genius a minimum of two weeks prior to auditions) 

WATSON: (M/F 35+) Physician. Author. Devoted friend and associate to Holmes, who has been missing for some time now.

DR. EVANS: (M 30+) Psychiatrist. Superintendent of an asylum on a remote Scottish island. He seems skeptical of Watson.

ORDERLY+MORE: (M/F 35+) Attendant. Capable of restraining inmates at the asylum. Must have a broad range of acting skills.

MATRON+MORE: (F 25+) In charge of medical arrangements at the asylum. Must have a broad range of acting skills.

HOLMES 1+MORE: (M 30+) One of three asylum inmates who insists that he is Sherlock Holmes.

HOLMES 2: (M 30+) Claims to have committed murder, must be comfortable in a straight jacket.

HOLMES 3+MORE: (M 30+) Diagnosed as deaf, must be able to under react. Ability to speak un tout petit peu de français a plus.

Email Director Lee Cooley with questions at gapmarcom@gmail.com and please be sure to include H&W in the subject line.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Arizona Opera announces expanded programs in Phoenix and Tucson

Arizona Opera has announced exciting new details of expanded programs for its 2023/24 Season in Phoenix and Tucson, including a recital featuring one of the world’s most celebrated tenors, educational and community programs, a new series of outdoor concerts, and more. Arizona Opera’s 2023/24 Season includes something for everyone, from tried-and-true opera lovers to school-aged children and everyone in between—both inside the opera house and beyond.

“We are eager to continue connecting communities across Arizona through the power and beauty of opera, celebrating stunning traditional operas and powerful new works, while reaching beyond the walls of the opera house with impactful education, training, and community programs," said Arizona Opera's President and General Director, Joseph Specter.


Lawrence Brownlee in Recital

Arizona Opera is thrilled to present Lawrence Brownlee in Recital in the company’s continued partnership with the Tucson Desert Song Festival (TDSF), March 13 at 7:00 PM at Holsclaw Hall on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson. Arizona Opera’s partnership with TDSF, spanning over a decade, makes it possible each year for our community in Arizona Opera’s birth city to experience some of the greatest singing artists alive, all in an intimate 200-seat venue.

Lawrence Brownlee is a leading figure in opera, both as a singer on the world's top stages and as a voice for activism and diversity in the industry. Captivating audiences and critics around the globe, he has been hailed as "an international star in the bel canto operatic repertory" (The New York Times), “one of the world’s leading bel canto stars” (The Guardian), and “one of the most in-demand opera singers in the world today” (NPR).

In the 2022/23 Season, Brownlee performed a program with longtime friend, collaborator, and fellow Rossini expert Michael Spyres entitled Amici e Rivali at the Theatre des Champs-Élysées, in addition to the premiere of an exciting new program titled Rising, which featured Brownlee and pianist Kevin J. Miller performing newly commissioned songs by composers Shawn Okpebholo, Damien Sneed, Joel Thompson, and others with texts drawn from James Weldon Johnson and other great Black writers of the Harlem Renaissance. Brownlee joins an extraordinary alumnus of singers that have performed in Tucson through Arizona Opera’s association with TDSF over the years, including Susan Graham, Matthew Polenzani, Lisette Oropesa, and more.

Opera Outdoors in Tucson

In addition to its partnership with the Tucson Desert Song Festival, Arizona Opera is eager to announce its new recital series, Opera Outdoors, designed to reach Tucsonans beyond the walls of the theater. These outdoor performances will bring the arts to those who may not otherwise be able to access them within a traditional theatre setting. Experience Opera Outdoors at unique community venues like Reid Park Zoo and the Temple of Music and Art, performed by our Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio Artists with piano accompaniment. Programs will include a variety of popular opera selections, perfect for those new to opera or seasoned operagoers.

Friday, October 20, 2023, at 12:15 PM – The Temple of Music and Art Courtyard
Friday, February 2, 2024, at 12:15 PM – Tucson Botanical Gardens
Friday, March 8, 2024, at 12:15 PM – Reid Park Zoo
Friday, April 26, 2024, at 12:15 PM – Tucson Museum of Art


Arizona Opera’s K-12 education programs continue to flourish, bringing its Arlyn M. Brewster OperaTunity in-school touring program to Tucson in 2023 with performances of Beauty and the Beast and Phoenix in 2024 with a new performance of Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf. OperaTunity is currently enjoying a successful run of Beauty and the Beast performances in Phoenix.

For the first time, Arizona Opera will present daytime Student Preview performances of The Barber of Seville, Jan. 25, 2024, and Roméo & Juliette, Feb. 29, 2024. The daytime previews will provide field trip opportunities for thousands of school-aged students to experience opera and the performing arts. Additionally, there will be evening Student Preview performances of Frankenstein, Oct. 11, 2023, and Don Giovanni, Apr. 18, 2024.

"Arizona Opera continues to bring arts education to the community. Annually, we provide arts experiences for over 50,000 students in over 30 school districts across Arizona through our outreach programming efforts," said Cassie Hollerbach, Director of Education and Community Engagement.

“In addition to extending our Tucson Seats-for-Students program, we are especially excited to introduce daytime Student Preview performances in Phoenix, where students will take a field trip to Symphony Hall and enjoy what will be most students' first opera! We can give them an opera experience they may not otherwise have been exposed to because of accessibility, financial reasons, and demographic restrictions. Each opera is paired with a preview video for educators to share with their students before attending the performance."

Opera for Lunch continues in the 2023/24 Season, giving daytime employees, young families, and retirees across the community a chance to step away and experience world-class singing. This free, 30-minute lunchtime recital occurs monthly at 12:15 PM at the Arizona Opera Center in Phoenix.

Opera Book Club returns in 2023 with a brand-new book selection and virtual meetings in collaboration with Pima County Public Library. The Book Club aims to augment the opera experience by learning more about the stories on which these works were based – great literary works, historical events, legendary people, and even current issues.


Arizona Opera embraces the importance of bringing new, exciting, and socially relevant operas to the communities we serve as we seek to impact increasingly more people through this vibrant art form in the years to come.

As part of this ongoing effort, the 2023/24 Season will see the debut of the inaugural New Works Festival in Phoenix. Recently moved to new dates in May (May 10-12, 2024), the inaugural offering is designed as an immersive experience highlighting contemporary and unique selections from two new operas – Zorro and Intimate Apparel. The festival invites patrons to be the first to preview these poignant works and share their feedback on pieces being considered for full productions on Arizona Opera’s stage. Food and beverages round out a festive weekend.

Zorro, with score and libretto by Hector Armienta, is a swashbuckling adventure opera based on and inspired by the masked vigilante of pulp fiction fame. Set in Los Angeles when it was still a colony of Spain, this re-telling of the Zorro legend naturally follows Diego de la Vega, an esteemed swordsman and Spanish nobleman, as he fights for the poor and enslaved. As if a comic book and a telenovela have come to life, this family-friendly opera is sung in both Spanish and English, filled with all the romance, swordplay, and humor that is a trademark of the Zorro universe.

Intimate Apparel, composed by Ricky Ian Gordon and with a libretto by Lynn Nottage, is set in 1905 in turn of the century New York. The opera, based on Nottage’s play—one of the most produced plays in America—tells the story of Esther, a lonely, single African American woman who makes her living sewing beautiful corsets and ladies’ undergarments. There is warm affection between her and the Orthodox Jewish man who sells fabrics to her, but any relationship between them, even a touch, is completely forbidden. Seeking love and romance, Esther eventually engages in a letter-writing relationship with a mysterious suitor laboring on the Panama Canal. When he moves to New York, they embark on an unhappy marriage, leading Esther to realize that only her self-reliance and certainty of her worth will see her through life's challenges.


Our second annual Studio Cabaret, featuring young singers from the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio, will occur on March 21 in Phoenix and March 24 in Tucson. The program will feature classical Musical Theatre, Golden Age songs, contemporary tunes, and opera samplings.

This fun and exciting event will be hosted by countertenor John Holiday, who is among the opera world’s fastest-rising stars, deftly bridging genres from baroque to contemporary classical, jazz to spirituals, and bringing his unique voice and charisma to every performance.

Holiday has established himself as “one of the finest countertenors of his generation” (Los Angeles Times). Recent and career highlights include Man Under Arch and Hotel Clerk in Kevin Put’s The Hours at Metropolitan Opera, his debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago in the World Premiere of Four Portraits by Caroline Shaw and Jocelyn Clark, Metropolitan Opera debut in Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice as Orpheus’s Double, Handel’s Messiah with the New York Philharmonic, and his debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper as Nerone in Agrippina.

An acclaimed concert singer and versatile artist, Holiday has performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, London’s Barbican Center, Philharmonie de Paris, and was notably a finalist on NBC’s The Voice. The 2023/24 Season brings a return to Dutch National Opera as Nerone in Agrippina, Bayerische Staatsoper as Prince Go-Go in Le Grande Macabre, and to Metropolitan Opera to reprise his roles in The Hours.

In residence all season, the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio Artists can be seen performing on both the main stage and throughout Arizona. The Pullin Opera Studio also provides well-rounded, personalized instruction that propels each artist to the next level. These opportunities help bridge the gap between academic studies and a professional career. The Pullin Opera Studio is part of Arizona Opera’s NextGen Initiative, which encompasses various programs that go beyond the opera stage to develop the next generation of opera artists, audiences, and philanthropists.

Sponsors for Arizona Opera’s Expanded Programs:

New Works Festival

Part of the McDougall Arizona Opera RED Series. Production made possible, in part, through generous support from Ron and Kay McDougall, Carol Franc Buck Foundation, and Michael and Beth Kasser.   



Arizona Opera’s NextGen programs are made possible, in part, thanks to generous support from: The Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation, Jeannette Segel, The Molly Blank Fund, APS, Milo and Kim Kauffman, and a consortium of individual donors. 

Department of Education (including the Brewster OperaTunity Tour and Student Night)

Arizona Opera’s Education and Community Engagement programs are made possible, in part, thanks to the support of: Dr. Herschel Rosenzweig, Invest in Kids Charitable Fund, The Moreno Family Foundation, A Gift in Memory of Elsa Reichenbach, The City of Peoria, Cardinals Charities, The Krumholz Foundation, the William E. Hall Foundation held at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, and a consortium of individual donors. 

Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio Peter Barber, bass-baritone 
Sponsored by Marlu Allan and Scott Stallard 

Brad Bickhardt, tenor 
Sponsored by Alan and Linda Englander, and Ole and Teri Thienhaus 

Lauren Cook, mezzo-soprano 
Sponsored by Drs. Tom and Ginger Collier 

Véronique Filloux, soprano  
Sponsored by Ron and Kay McDougall 

Yazid Gray, baritone Sponsored by Roma Wittcoff 

Kihwa Kim, pianist 
Sponsored by Matt and Ann Melsheimer 

Mario Pacheco, assistant stage director 
Sponsored by Shoshana B. Tancer and Helen S. Pierson 


Arizona Opera’s Production Apprentice Program is made possible through the support of a consortium of individual donors. 

WEEK AT A GLANCE: October 30-November 5, 2023

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.





Saturday, October 28, 2023

Auditions for ALWAYS…PATSY CLINE at Fountain Hills Theater announced for November 4 & 5

Always…Patsy Cline is a true story of Cline’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk, and continued a correspondence with Cline until her untimely death in a plane crash. The show’s title is inspired by Cline’s letters to Seger, which were consistently signed “Love ALWAYS… Patsy Cline.” Tales of Patsy’s life on the road are told with down-home country humor and brought to vibrant life through her music.

Cast announced for SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE at Paradise Valley Community College

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

BAT BOY: THE MUSICAL - Neon Cactus Playhouse - November 10-18, 2023


Based on a story in The Weekly World News, BAT BOY: THE MUSICAL is a musical comedy/horror show about a half-boy/half-bat creature who is discovered in a cave near Hope Falls, West Virginia. For lack of a better solution, the local sheriff brings Bat Boy to the home of the town veterinarian, Dr. Parker, where he is eventually accepted as a member of the family and taught to act like a “normal” boy by the veterinarian’s wife, Meredith, and teenage daughter, Shelley. Bat Boy is happy with his new life, but when he naively tries to fit in with the narrow-minded people of Hope Falls, they turn on him, prodded by the machinations of Dr. Parker, who secretly despises Bat Boy. Shelley and Bat Boy, who have fallen in love, run away together from the ignorant townfolk and have a blissful coupling in the woods, but their happiness is shattered when Meredith arrives and reveals a secret. Soon the entire town arrives and hears the shocking story of Bat Boy’s unholy origin. 

PLEASE NOTE: This show is rated PG-13 for its subject matter. There is also the use of guns and gunfire. This show also uses fog machines and strobe lights.

Performances: November 10-18, 2023.  Friday & Saturday at 7pm and Saturday at 2pm. All performances are at Scottsdale Neighborhood Art Place. 

CLICK HERE for more information and to purchase tickets 

Cast annnounced for ANYTHING GOES at Mesa Community College

Cast (In Order of Appearance)

Elisha Whitney Logan Holmes
Fred Madelyn Fickel
Billy Crocker Christopher Gallacher
Reno Sweeney Catherine McCreary
Captain McKay Moody
Purser Alonzo Regalado
Reporter Porter Molinar
Photographer Gavin Kennedy
Henry T. Dobson Ryley Hansen
Spit Isaac Kellogg
Dippy Matthew Leavitt
Purity Jessica Huber
Chastity Raelyn Burkhart
Charity Thea Moore
Virtue Madelyn Fickel
Hope Harcourt Suzy Olson
Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt Britney Burns
Lord Evelyn Oakleigh José Andrés Uribe
FBI Agents Alexandra Vargas, Jady Grover
Erma Natalie Ellis
Moonface Martin Jack Walton

Ensemble of Ship’s Passengers and Sailors
Nathan Blake
Jady Grover
Ryley Hansen
Gavin Kennedy
Michael Kunz
Porter Molinar
Gin Selfridge
Alexandra Vargas

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Cast announced for SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE at Fountain Hills Theater

Isabelle Bandt: Kate/Waiter/Lady in Waiting
Doug Behm: Lambert/Nol/Actor
Al Benneian: Fennyman
Spenser Borschel: Will Shakespeare
Shelby Daeffler: Viola de Lesseps
Jeff Davey: Burbage
Dheeraj Dixit: Boatman/Adam/heavy/Actor
Bob Feugate: Henslowe
Adam Gobeski: Ned Alleyn
Peter Hill: Wabash
R. Curtis Hills: Frees/Robin/heavy/Valentine
River Holmes: Wessex
Stephani James: Nurse
Henry Male: Ralph/Catling
Elias Matthews: Sam
Lauren Miller: Queen Elizabeth
Andrew O’Neil: Kit Marlowe
Kalei Romano: Ms Quickly/Molly/Barman/actor
Gwen Selfridge: Webster
Richard Wells: Tilney/Sir Robert de Lesseps

Tony Award Winner Shuler Hensley to star in SCROOGE at Arizona Theatre Company

Arizona Theatre Company is excited to announce Hollywood film and stage actor Shuler Hensley as the title character in the theatre’s holiday show, Scrooge! The Musical. Hensley list of roles and awards is long and illustrious. His film appearances include The Greatest Showman, The Legend of Zorro, Van Helsing, The Bread, My Sweet (aka A Wedding for Bella), Odd Thomas, Cruiser, Devil’s Hollow and the upcoming Brutal Season.

“I’m very excited to be reunited with Shuler working on this new adaptation of Scrooge,” said ATC Kasser Family Artistic Director Matt August. “We last worked together in 2016 on the Madison Square Garden production of Grinch and we had an absolute blast. This time around, he is going to be instrumental in shaping this new version of the show.  It takes a very special actor to be able to reinvent an iconic character such as Ebenezer Scrooge, and Shuler has a track record of doing exactly that with so many other indelible characters.”

Hensley’s Broadway credits include playing Hugh Jackman’s right-hand man Marcellus in The Music Man,  Tom Kettle in Jez Butterworth's Tony-Winning play The Ferryman, directed by Sam Mendes, the Monster in Young Frankenstein, Javert in Les Misérables and Jud Fry in Oklahoma!, a powerful and moving performance which earned him the “Triple Crown”: Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards. His roles Off-Broadway include Fiorello!, The Whale, for which he was awarded “Stage Performance of the Year” by New York magazine, Silence! The Musical, Sweet and Sad and The Great American Trailer Park Musical.  And he played the Grinch in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas at NYC’s Madison Square Garden.

He is also the Artistic Director at City Springs Theatre Company and on the founding advisory board for the new Musical Theatre Program at The Manhattan School of Music.

Adapted from the Oscar-nominated film Scrooge comes a Christmas musical spectacular by Oscar-winning, Grammy-winning, and Tony-nominated composer Leslie Bricusse. Scrooge! The Musical is a ground-breaking adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol filled with songs that are as impressive as the ones he wrote for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Single tickets for Arizona Theatre Company’s 56th season, with a grand slam lineup of productions under the direction of new Kasser Family Artistic Director Matt August, are now on sale.

Subscriptions, including five-play packages and flex passes that allow patrons to choose the shows that fit their schedules, will be available starting now, for purchase via ATC’s website, ATC.org, or by calling the box office at 833-ATC-SEAT (833-282-7328).

Monday, October 23, 2023

LOOKING BACK, a new play based on a true story, will run November 17-19

November 17 to November 19, 2023

“Looking Back” is inspired by a true story about Cave Creek residents Dick and Evie Engel, who owned Cow Track Ranch from 1950 through 1958. They purchase Cow Track planning to subdivide it into smaller lots and sell them to home builders. As they find themselves in the middle of the development versus open space debate, they fall in love with Cave Creek’s spectacular views and the ranching lifestyle. They ultimately must decide between striking it rich by subdividing, or remaining poor but continuing to live on their 640 acres of Paradise. 

“Looking Back" chronicles the couple’s trials and triumphs as they search for their place in a changing world. The story also showcases historic characters Manfred Cartwright, who owned the Cartwright Ranch at Seven Springs, Bud Miller, who rode the Pony Express and became Harold’s Corral Bar’s official greeter, Jerry Permutt, who owned the gas station that is now Big Earl’s Greasy Eats, and others who represent the robust gamut of attitudes and values that shaped the future of Cave Creek. 

This play is co-sponsored by Desert Foothills Theater and Desert Foothills Library.

By Andrea Markowitz

November 17, 18, 19    2 pm.

Desert Foothills Library
38443 N. Schoolhouse Road, Cave Creek, AZ 85331

Fountain Hills Youth Theater seeks additonal Male actors for their production of ELF, JR

FHT is seeking additional male youth actors for their production of Elf Jr. 

To audition, please email a video audition performing a 1 to 2 minute monologue to play@fhtaz.org

Elf Jr opens December 8 and plays through December 17, performing Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm and Sunday at 2pm. 

For questions and to request a rehearsal schedule, please call 480-837-9661 x3

WEEK AT A GLANCE: October 23-October 29, 2023

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.