theatre

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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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‘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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‘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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‘Kinky Boots’ Sashays Through The Phoenix Theatre Company

by Rebecca Rudnyk

Kinky Boots is based on an independent British film, which was inspired by the true story of Steve Pateman who found a niche market in an attempt tried to save his family’s failing shoe business. Although it had a somewhat rocky start, Kinky Boots defied the odds, ultimately winning 6 Tony Awards in 2013, including Best Score (for pop icon Cyndi Lauper, the first female to win an individual Tony in the category) and the top spot, Best Musical. The show closed in April of this year, after more than 2,500 performances on Broadway…

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‘Unmentionables’ Takes Cross-Country Trek to Space 55

by Rebecca Rudnyk

Unmentionables is a new work written by Molly Greville and developed at Boston University in collaboration with Kirsten Greenidge, the award winning playwright of Milk Like Sugar. It premiered in 2018 at the Boston Fringe Fest, and was recently brought to Arizona, thanks to a collaboration with Space 55 in Phoenix. The production team is comprised of recent Boston University BFA graduates, almost all female, and all incredibly talented. Annie Brennan Coursey directs, and Sophie Gore is both Stage Manager and Intimacy Director…

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Valley Youth Theatre Brings Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda’ to Life

by Rebecca Rudnyk

Matilda is a musical based on the beloved children’s novel written by Rold Dahl, the author of other acclaimed classics including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “James and the Giant Peach.” The show premiered in London in 2011 before moving to Broadway. It was nominated for a multitude of Tony Awards in the 2013 season, winning Best Book, Best Scenic Design, and Best Lighting Design…

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