ASU Gammage

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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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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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‘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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‘Miss Saigon’ Reveals Consequences of War at ASU Gammage

Miss Saigon is generally considered a modern classic. A cannon work in Broadway’s soaring age of powerful, post-Golden Age, works. It opened in the West End in 1989 and premiered on Broadway in 1991, winning several Tony Awards for performances, although none for technical or developmental components. Based on Puccini’s Madame Butterfly and inspired by a photograph of painful childhood separation after the Vietnam War, it was the Schonberg/Boublil collaborative work immediately following Les Misérables…

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‘The Book of Mormon’ Rings in Unapologetic Delight at ASU Gammage

by Rebecca Rudynk

The Book of Mormon is simply delightful: Unwaveringly blunt, raucously hilarious, and unapologetically offensive. It tackles the taboo and the sacred. The absurd and the heartwrenching. While it maintains the structure and cadence of a traditional Broadway musical, it is anything but. Unlike any other show out there, it is absurdly special…

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Pure Imagination: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Delights ASU Gammage

by Rebecca Rudnyk

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory is a new musical based on the beloved children’s book by Roald Dahl. A story that was woven into the everlasting fabric of our zeitgeist by the 1971 film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Gene Wilder’s portrayal of the odd-but-intriguing candy man left a lasting impression on an entire generation of young people. A warmth and nostalgia that, although some have tried, has never been fully replicated…

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Rent Returns to ASU Gammage on 20th Anniversary Tour

It’s a tragic, recurring cycle. Every generation loses artistic visionaries too soon, and the mourning of that loss embeds itself into the fabric of popular culture. Jonathan Larson, the creator of Rent, died suddenly in 1996 at the age of 35, leaving a gaping wound in the theatre-loving community upon which he had already generously bestowed his talent and vision. Although he was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize, as well as several of the most coveted Tony, Drama Desk, Obie and Outer Critics Circle awards, he passed before seeing his greatest success open on Broadway, and its subsequent meteoric rise…

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‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ Does Everything Right at ASU Gammage

by Rebecca Rudnyk

The Play That Goes Wrong is a play within a play. A college production with a small but mighty cast, making due as things go devastatingly awry. Bringing back memories of shows from childhood when everyone invests their entire soul into a production, building sets from scraps and piecing together costumes from Goodwill finds and parents closets. Desperate to making it work. Improvising as things fall apart along the way. Yet this is not a cobbled-together, low budget passion project. It is a Broadway show with a Tony Award-winning set, perfectly constructed and capable of doing the unimaginable. Accompanied by a script with carefully considered errors yielding hilarious results. And as if that wasn’t enough, there are some very impressive magic tricks sprinkled in for good measure…

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Aladdin Brings Spectacular Performance to ASU Gammage

by Rebecca Rudnyk

Disney knows how to do Broadway.

They’ve proven it again and again, arguably most successfully with The Lion King which began its run on the Great White Way in 1997 and is ranked amongst the longest running Broadway shows of all time. Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and most recently Frozen. Disney has proven that animated films built on a foundation of magical and unhappenable-happenings can be adapted for the stage and brought to live audiences. Aladdin proves it yet again…

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