Category Archives: Theatre

Rock of Ages – Theatre Review: Mesa Encore Theatre, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa

Writer Chris D’Arienzo has written of his unapologetic love for musicals. But it was in his youth when he quickly realized a harsh reality: Chicks don’t trust their heart or virginity to a guy who says he’s straight but owns the original cast recording of Annie. So when the opportunity to write the book revolving […]

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Les Miserables – Theatre Review: National Touring Production, ASU Gammage, Tempe

The story goes that when producer Cameron Mackintosh opened Les Miserables in London in 1985 he was convinced he had a flop. On that October night, audiences didn’t seem to respond, while opening night reviews were less than enthusiastic. The Observer called it “witless,” while The Sunday Telegraph thought it “lurid.” Then Mackintosh received a […]

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Church & State – Theatre Review: iTheatre Collaborative, Herberger Center Theater’s Rax Stage, Phoenix

There are two informal subjects we’re taught never to mention in polite conversation. One is politics, the other, religion. Having once moved to North Carolina, there were two things repeatedly asked in friendly Charlotte social settings during those six years of residency, and they never ceased to amaze: Who do you support and what church […]

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Silence! The Musical – Stray Cat Theatre, Tempe Center for the Arts, Tempe

In the 1990 movie comedy, The Tall Guy, Jeff Goldblum played an actor whose big break was playing the lead in a new show called Elephant! The Musical. It was an intentionally dreadful song and dance version of The Elephant Man, a retread of the 1980 drama that starred Anthony Hopkins. It even featured dancing […]

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Flora & Ulysses – Theatre Review: Childsplay, Tempe Center for the Arts, Tempe

It all began with a perky curmudgeon. That’s how author of children’s fiction, Kate DiCamillo once described herself as a child; a little girl who viewed the world with curiosity and just a little bit of cynicism. Years later, that self-description would become the basis of her ten year-old character, Flora Belle Buckman, the girl […]

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Godspell – Theatre Review: Phoenix Theatre’s Hormel Theatre, Phoenix

After a five-year run off-Broadway, then a further year on Broadway, Godspell may rank as one of the more successful though oddest musicals ever to emerge from the Great White Way. Consider the following: It has no structure in the traditional sense; there’s no plot; no setting; no sense of time; plus, it’s a religious […]

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