Rebecca Rudnyk

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Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical first appeared at the La Jolla Playhouse in late 2017, then moved to Broadway in 2018. It closed in late 2018, after 27 previews and 288 performances. The show recounts Summer’s story, starting in her childhood. Three actresses of varying ages play her in life stages. Duckling Donna is her youth. Disco Donna her early career. And Diva Donna at the top of her game, the undeniable Queen of Disco…

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Million Dollar Quartet Rocks The Phoenix Theatre Company’s Hormel Theatre

Million Dollar Quartet is a jukebox musical based around an unplanned 1956 jam session between Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis. They converge at Sun Studios in Memphis for different reasons, and the result is rock and roll history. It is ultimately Sam Philip’s story. The record producer who discovered them serves as the imperative narrator who ties the unwoven pieces together…

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Celebrate the Holidays with ‘Elf: The Musical’ at Arizona Broadway Theatre

Elf: The Musical is a stage adaptation of the family classic about Buddy the elf, who ventures out from the North Pole to The Big Apple to find his real father. It is a recreation of the iconic Will Farrell comedy known and beloved by so many. Inspired by, but not a duplication thereof. The same story told through the eyes and voices of different storytellers, using different methods, including really catchy songs. Thankfully maintaining most of the film’s best jokes, and all of the heart that makes the original so compelling…

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24th Annual ‘A Winnie-The-Pooh Christmas Tail’ Lights Up Valley Youth Theatre

The holiday season is officially upon us. The fresh air is cool and crisp, with the distinctive and rare scent produced by burning fireplaces. Indoors it smells of balsam, cinnamon pine cones, and pumpkin spice candles. Wreaths adorn front doors and sparkling lights glitter both inside and outside of our homes. Thanksgiving, the most glorious and gluttonous of holidays, is in the rearview. We are in the year’s home stretch. Christmas is nearly here. And, aside from many other things, that means Valley Youth Theatre’s annual production of A Winnie-The-Pooh Christmas Tail has officially arrived…

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Celebrate the Season with ‘The Sound of Music’ at The Phoenix Theatre Company

The Sound of Music is one of the most iconic shows of Broadway’s Golden Age. Known to nearly all, in some form or fashion, and sacred to many. However, popularity can be a double-edged sword. While it equates to a most-assured larger potential audience, there are also expectations that everyone has going into the performance. We all know what the songs should sound like, in the best case scenario. And those preconceived notions are inherently baked in, so the cast always has an uphill battle to fight from the outset…

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Blue Man Group Leaves Audience ‘Speechless’ at ASU Gammage

My introductory encounter with the Blue Men occurred on my first trip to New York City when I was in high school. The show was unlike anything I had ever encountered. Pervasive, insightful and rather mind-blowing. When I experienced it again, over a decade later, it felt like I was essentially seeing the same show. Everything my memory retained was showcased gloriously, and I delighted in the nostalgia of it. But it didn’t feel like it had evolved. That has changed with the Speechless tour…

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Stray Cat Theatre’s ‘American Psycho: The Musical’ Strikes at Tempe Center for the Arts

A blood-stained shirt draped over a chair in the center of a room. Commercials from the nineteen eighties blaring overhead, into your bloodstream, from an intentionally forgotten period of cultural subversion. The mood is set. The show begins. And after a brief moment of overwhelming static and piercing radio waves, Toby Yatso – a megastaple of local Phoenix theatre – is standing on a nearly-bare stage, nearly-bare himself as Patrick Bateman…

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‘Anastasia’ at ASU Gammage

Anastasia is a Broadway musical based on the animated 1997 feature film of the same name. An exploration of the long-held rumor that the Grand Duchess Anastasia survived the Bolshevik’s murder of the Raminov family, a tale DNA evidence has debunked. Twenty years after the movie was released, its newly-envisioned stage production premiered on the Great White Way. Magical characters replaced by historically-relevant ones. Slightly less focused on the fairy tale, and more with addressing the plight of the time…

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The Canterbury Tarot at Aside Theatre Company

The Canterbury Tarot is a new play by local playwright Ashley Naftule, whose other works include Ear and The First Annual Bookburners Convention. It is a mashup of Chaucer’s classic novel “The Canterbury Tales” and characters from Alejandro Jodorowsky’s tarot deck. Our players converge in an inn that sits in the shadow of Canterbury Cathedral, sharing stories as they make their pilgrimage. Motivations unfolding as interactions do…

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‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ at The Phoenix Theatre Company

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a play by Simon Stephens based on Mark Haddon’s book of the same name. And it is staged in a way to viscerally convey how overwhelming existence can be as a child who is special, and brilliant, and often afraid. A child with sensitivities to light, sound, and touch. A savant who finds solace in numbers and the stars…

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