Photo Flash: [title of show] Comes To The Herberger Theater Center
In 2004, two out-of-work actors in New York decided to write a musical. The problem was, they didn't know what to write about. So they simply wrote about writing the musical and the result was the hilarious and tuneful Broadway hit [title of show], a startlingly hilarious and tuneful musical about musicals. The witty story follows the two writers, and their best friends, as they create a Cinderella tale set to music about the journey from the unemployment line to the Great White Way. Arizona Theatre Company is proud to be the first regional company in the west to produce this offbeat musical that has been hailed as "hilarious" by the New York Times, "sly, sassy and inspired" by Entertainment Weekly, and "irresistible" by the NY Sun. [title of show] plays in Phoenix at the Herberger Theater Center from February 18 through March 7. Arizona Theatre Company's season sponsors are I. Michael and Beth Kasser and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. The Phoenix production sponsors of [title of show] are Ann C. and Frederick A. Lynn.
[title of show] is a dizzy, unpredictable, and uproarious tongue-in-cheek musical about show business and making one's dreams come true. Follow Jeff, Hunter, Heidi and Susan as they negotiate a musical theatre obstacle course of finding backers, casting singers, and making it to Broadway. This hit musicalwill be staged for Arizona audiences by the same team of artists that created ATC's hit productions of Hair and The Pajama Game. [title of show] contains mature language and content. Broadway.com also warns, "I wouldn't recommend it to two groups: toddlers and stupid people."
Jeff Bowen (Music and Lyrics) wrote the music and lyrics and co-starred in the Broadway production of [title of show]. He was awarded an OBIE for his work on [title of show], and has composed music for several shows at PS 122, including Avant Garde-a-Rama in Sparklevision and Hello, My Name Is Avant Garde-a-Rama. Also, Sparklefest 2000 at Dixon Place, The A Train Plays and the film Boat Mime. His onstage credits include The Who's Tommy, The Diviners, The Doctor in Spite of Himself, Of Thee I Sing, The Sandbox and On the Twentieth Century, among others.
Hunter Bell (Book) wrote the book and co-starred in the Broadway production of [title of show]. He received an OBIE Award and Tony Award and Drama League nominations for [title of show]. Writing credits include, Silence! The Musical (book writer/Overall Excellence Award-Outstanding Musical, 2005 New York Fringe Festival), Stuck by Epcot (playwright/Manhattan Theatre Source), A Train Plays (lyricist/Neighborhood Playhouse), Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (writer/2007 Circus). He has developed new works at the Dramatist Guild, Irish Repertory Theatre, PS 122, Goodspeed Musicals/Chester, CanStage, Manhattan Theatre Club, Ars Nova and The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center.
"When I first saw [title of show] in its off-Broadway incarnation, I was exhilarated by its wit, honesty and joyful message about daring to dream big," said director David Ira Goldstein. "It's a true 'insider's insider's' view of what it takes to make something brand new and what fun it is express your voice passionately. Everyone creates something in this world that is uniquely theirs, and [title of show] celebrates with stylish glee the perspiration and the inspiration of creation. It's also about friendship of the deepest kind, friendship between people who put themselves on the line to create, to sing their songs and to share their vision. That this little show made it all the way to Broadway - and now beyond - is a wonderful case of life mirroring art."
[title of show] will be directed by David Ira Goldstein, Artistic Director of Arizona Theatre Company. He has directed over 35 mainstage productions ranging from classics to new plays to musicals including the world premieres of The Kite Runner earlier this season; Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, Inventing van Gogh, Rocket Man, Private Eyes, Over The Moon and Dracula, all by Steven Dietz;and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Jeffrey Hatcher. He has been a guest director at theatres across the country including Seattle Repertory Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Florida Stage, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, Northlight Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, GeVa Theatre Center, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Laguna Playhouse, Mixed Blood Theatre, and The Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis. Before moving to Arizona, Mr. Goldstein was Associate Artistic Director of ACT Theatre in Seattle. His musical A Marvelous Party: The Nöel Coward Celebration, has played at theatres around the United States winning four Joseph Jefferson Awards in Chicago, including one for Best Director; The Elliot Norton Award in Boston; and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Production.
The cast of [title of show] includes Stanley Bahorek (Hunter), who appeared on Broadway as Leaf Coneybear in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Off-Broadway, he has been seen in Inventing Avi. He performed Tom Sawyer in the national tour of the DeafWest revival of Big River. Other New York theatre credits include Rent, See Rock City and Wood. Regionally, he has appeared in the world premieres of Ordinary Days and Up In The Air; as well as in Happy Days, Jim Henson's Emmet Otter, and A Little Night Music. On television, he has been seen in Law & Order: CI. Lauren Lebowitz (Susan) returns to Arizona Theatre Company after appearing as Jeanie in last season's production of Hair. She has performed in the national tours of Footloose and Godspell, and has toured with the USO. Last year, she was seen Off-Broadway in the world premiere of To Paint the Earth as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Other theatrical credits include Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof, Grace in Annie, Rosa in Wallenberg and the Vagina Monologues. Kelly McCormick (Heidi) is returning to ATC, where she last appeared as Babe in The Pajama Game. She comes directly from playing the role of Truly Scrumptious on the 1st National Tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Ms. McCormick appeared nightly as the Factory Girl (and occasionally as Fantine) on the final National Tour of Les Misérables. Regionally, she has played Martha Jefferson in 1776, Linda in Pal Joey, Aysha in Children of Eden and Fantine in the regional premiere of Les Misérables at Pioneer Theatre Company. Other credits include the NYC workshop of Zhivago and soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Sal Sabella (Jeff) returns to Arizona Theatre Company where he appeared in Hair. Most recently, he was in the concert version of Kristina at Carnegie Hall. He performed in the Broadway national tour of Phantom of the Opera, as well as in the national tours of Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Godspell (cast recording). His other theatrical credits include performancesat Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center Theater.
The creative team for [title of show] includes Patricia Wilcox (Choreographer), who returns to ATC where her work has been seen in Hair, The Pajama Game, The Pirates of Penzance and My Fair Lady, among many others. Other credits include Bowfire (national tour and PBS special), A Marvelous Party (Co-Conceiver, Jeff Award and LA Drama Critics Circle Award), the New York revival-as well as the national and international companies and Thames Television production-of Blues in the Night (DramaLogue Award), Seussical (national tour), Hit Me with a Hot Note (national tour), A Swell Party (The Kennedy Center) and Broadway Under the Stars (New York). She has also created numbers for ice skating gold medalists Viktor Petrenko, Ilia Kulik, and Katya Gordeeva. Christopher McGovern (Musical Director) returns to ATC where he conducted and performed in Hair and The Pajama Game. He has worked Off-Broadway on That's Life (Outer Critics Circle nomination), The Jazz Singer, Sheba, The Fishkin Touch and Totie, among others. His national tours include Fame and The Presidents with Rich Little. He is the Author/Composer of Lizzie Borden, Backwards in High Heels, A Visit to Roswell and many original songs. He has worked as Producer/Arranger/Orchestrator and Songwriter on recordings by Tony-nominees Rebecca Luker, Susan Egan and Alison Fraser. Mr. McGovern has performed in concert with Susan Egan (national tour including Carnegie Hall), Karen Mason, Liz Callaway, Roslyn Kind and many others.
The design team for [title of show] includes John Ezell (Scenic Designer), who designed the scenery for last season's production of Hair at ATC. He has designed for Broadway, New York Shakespeare Festival and The Public Theater, as well as Roundabout Theatre Company, Crossroads Theatre Company and Shakespeare Theatre Company, among many others. His work has received the Award for Experimental Television Art in Milan, two Corporation for Public Broadcasting Awards for Excellence and eleven Critics' Circle Awards. Kish Finnegan (Costume Design) has designed many shows for ATC, including The Kite Runner, Hair, Touch the Names, Molly's Delicious, Tuesdays with Morrie, Copenhagen, and 2 Pianos 4 Hands, among many others. She has also designed for Childsplay, the Burbank Repertory Theatre and the Chamber Theatre, where she won the Los Angeles DramaLogue award for Costume Design. Her most unique designs have been for aquacades and aquatic costumes for the US national synchronized swimming team. Michael Gilliam (Lighting Designer) returns to Arizona Theatre Company where he designed Hair, George Gershwin Alone, The Fantasticks, Play On!, The Mystery of Irma Vep andBlue.He has designed lighting on Broadway, The West End, Off-Broadway and regionally at such theatres as Arena Stage, The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse and Mark Taper Forum, among many others. Among the awards he has garnered are Los Angeles Ovation Awards, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, DramaLogue Awards, Garland Awards, Robby Awards and the 1999 Career Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle. Abe Jacob (Sound Designer) returns to ATC where he was Sound Designer for Hair, The Pajama Game, The Pirates of Penzance and My Fair Lady, among others. He pioneered and introduced the field of sound design in Broadway theatre. His original designs for musical theatre include the Broadway productions of Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Pippin, Chicago, Sgt. Pepper, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, A Chorus Line, Gilda Radner Live, Dancin', Beatlemania, Evita, Cats, Big Deal and Black and Blue. A native of Tucson, his initial contribution to the performing arts was the creation of the concert sound for such legendary artists as Jimi Hendrix; The Mamas and the Papas; Peter, Paul and Mary; and the historic rock celebration, The Monterey Pop Festival. Jeffrey Cady (Projections Designer) returns to Arizona Theatre Company where he designed projections for Love, Janis. Nationally, he has designed lighting and projections for Columbia Artists Theatricals' tours of Love, Janis and lighting for Theatre Leagues' production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Recently, Mr. Cady served as the Head Projection Programmer for Berkeley Repertory Theatre's production of Green Day's American Idiot. Glenn Bruner is the Production Stage Manager. Casting is by Telsey + Company.
Arizona Theatre Company offers accessibility services for patrons with disabilities for select performances. Audio Description provides patrons with vision loss a running audio description of the movement and activities onstage through an infrared broadcast system. Audio-described performances are offered on February 24 at 7:30 PM and February 25 at 2 PM. Interested patrons may request a tactile tour one hour prior to curtain. American Sign Language interpretation is presented by professional, theatrically-trained ASL-interpreters for people who have deafness or hearing impairment. An ASL-interpreted performance is offered on March 6 at 4 PM. Open-Captioning allows patrons to read the play's dialogue on an LED screen as the play progresses. An open-captioned performance is offered on February 28 at 7 PM. For open-captioned or ASL-interpreted performances, patrons should request seats best suited to ASL interpretation or captioning when purchasing tickets. Large print and Braille playbills and infrared listening amplificationdevices are also available at every ATC performance with reservation. TTY access for the box office is available in Phoenix at (602) 256-1144 or via Arizona Relay at (800) 367-8939 (TTY/ASCII).
Tickets start at $31, depending on date and section choice and are available at www.arizonatheatre.org or by calling the box office at (602) 256-6995. Discounts are available for students, seniors and active military on specific performance days. Half-price rush tickets are available for balcony seating for all performances one hour prior to curtain at the box office (subject to availability).
"Pay What You Can" for [title of show] is February 21 at 7 PM. Balcony seats for this performance are available for a suggested $10 donation. (Tickets must be purchased in the Herberger Theater Center lobby starting one-hour prior to curtain on February 21. Seating is 'first-come, first served' and is not guaranteed. Cash only, please. Two tickets per person maximum.)
Groups Get Great Seats at a Great Price!
Groups of eight or more save at least 20% off regular ticket prices. Non-profit organizations can save up to 50% off for fundraising packages. All groups are eligible for free on-site event space with minimum group purchase. For exceptional customer service, contact a customer service representative at (602) 256-6995.
Photo credit: Tim Fuller.