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BWW Review: Brelby Wins THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE BWW Review: Brelby Wins THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE
by Jeanmarie Simpson - March 12, 2017

Brelby Theatre Company's Shelby Maticic has directed her company in a breakneck paced, enticing production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. With a book by Rachel Sheinkin and music and lyrics by William Finn, it's a show that could be breathtakingly dreadful, but instead is wildly ente... (more...)
BWW Review: BLACKLISTERS at Brelby Theatre Company BWW Review: BLACKLISTERS at Brelby Theatre Company
by Jeanmarie Simpson - February 27, 2017

Blacklisters ain't for sissies. It is, however, a vital work by a serious young playwright, produced by an essential young theatre company that must be encouraged and supported. Our survival depends on it.... (more...)
BWW Review: SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE at Theatre Works BWW Review: SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE at Theatre Works
by Jeanmarie Simpson - February 27, 2017

Alanna Kalbfleisch is an utter delight to see and hear, with luminous skin, bright eyes and dimples in both cheeks and chin. Let's face it. She's eye candy. As Dot/Marie, the comfortable authority with which Kalbfleisch moves about the stage suggests a lifetime of performance. Her voice is off-the-c... (more...)
BWW Review: Outstanding PETER AND THE STARCATCHER at Brelby Theatre Company BWW Review: Outstanding PETER AND THE STARCATCHER at Brelby Theatre Company
by Jeanmarie Simpson - January 23, 2017

Now and then, but not often, a theatregoer experiences theatre that is THEATRE. Not theatre that tries to be film or television, but theatre that has the audacity to be theatrical. Theatre wherein the actor looks the witness in the eye and says, 'I know you know I'm an actor, and I know you're sitti... (more...)
BWW Review: MAMMA MIA! at ASU Gammage BWW Review: MAMMA MIA! at ASU Gammage
by Lee Cooley - December 08, 2016

#MammaMia Farewell as good/better than previous national tours @ASUGammage... (more...)
BWW Review: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROL KING MUSICAL at ASU Gammage BWW Review: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROL KING MUSICAL at ASU Gammage
by Lee Cooley - November 25, 2016

Thanks to @BwayAmerica for sharing Julia Knitel as Carole King with Phoenix @ASUGammage. #SomeKindOfWonderful... (more...)
BWW Review: THE TRUMP CARD at Stray Cat Theatre BWW Review: THE TRUMP CARD at Stray Cat Theatre
by Herbert Paine - November 07, 2016

Mike Daisey's pre-Election monologue, THE TRUMP CARD, is a no holds barred diatribe to the choir about the 2016 celebrity candidate for the Presidency. Stray Cat Theatre's Ron May channels the author's snark and sarcasm with an intensity that is raw and visceral and engaging.... (more...)
BWW Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC Soars At ASU Gammage BWW Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC Soars At ASU Gammage
by Erin Kong - October 24, 2016

This national tour of The Sound of Music, is delightfully delectable, and most importantly different. Rodger and Hammerstein's much-loved The Sound of Music is the tale of postulant Maria who is hired as a governess for the militaristic Von Trapp family. The movie portrayal starring Julie Andrews le... (more...)
BWW Reviews: Loss Of Self Is Inevitable In VELOCITY OF AUTUMN BWW Reviews: Loss Of Self Is Inevitable In VELOCITY OF AUTUMN
by Erin Kong - September 09, 2016

Who does someone become when their memories fade? When they can no longer do the things they love, when they can no longer remember the names of the ones they loved? In 'The Velocity of Autumn,' 79-year-old Alexandra grapples with her impending mortality, and the slow, but inevitable loss of the nim... (more...)
BWW Review: LOVE, LOSS & WHAT I WORE in Phoenix BWW Review: LOVE, LOSS & WHAT I WORE in Phoenix
by Lee Cooley - September 06, 2016

Theatre Artists Studio (TAS) kicks off its 2016/17 season in high fashion style with Nora and Delia Ephron's LOVE, LOSS, AND WHAT I WORE.... (more...)
BWW Review: A Murderess Is Made In A/C Theatre's LIZZIE BWW Review: A Murderess Is Made In A/C Theatre's LIZZIE
by Erin Kong - August 18, 2016

A/C Theatre Company takes the reigns from creators Steven Cheslik-deMeyer, Tim Maner, and Alan Stevens Hewitt, and depicts LIZZIE: The Musical, a phenomenon with head-banging rock music, haunting four-part harmonies, and refreshing feminist motifs. Directed by Kim Richard and Tim Shawver, A/CTC's pr... (more...)
BWW Review: VYT's GREASE Is Slick and Cool - It's A 'Greasenado!' BWW Review: VYT's GREASE Is Slick and Cool - It's A 'Greasenado!'
by Herbert Paine - August 15, 2016

In Valley Youth Theatre's current production of Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey's award-winning musical, the ensemble of talented teens ~ plus a couple of well-placed adults ~ kicks up a storm, plays their roles true to form, and has a grand time doing so. In other words, it's a GREASEnado! A slick and ... (more...)
BWW Preview: 2016-2017 Theatre Season Guide - Full of Promise - We Review, You Decide! BWW Preview: 2016-2017 Theatre Season Guide - Full of Promise - We Review, You Decide!
by Herbert Paine - August 15, 2016

A full and diverse menu of theatrical offerings for young and old and every persuasion is on tap for the 2016-2017 Season in the Phoenix region. It is reflective of the evolution of the performing arts in the Valley of the Sun. Lots ~ old and new, comforting and provocative, comedy and drama ~ for t... (more...)
BWW Review: Holy Ogre! SHREK THE MUSICAL Is A Blast! BWW Review: Holy Ogre! SHREK THE MUSICAL Is A Blast!
by Herbert Paine - July 20, 2016

Arizona Broadway Theatre's staging of SHREK THE MUSICAL exceeds expectations. Mace Archer has gone beyond the norm, directing something more than a lively and exhilarating show. He's fashioned a distinctive and incredibly intimate and engaging experience that speaks with authenticity to audience mem... (more...)
BWW Review: LEND ME A TENOR THE MUSICAL Runs Riotous at Fountain Hills Theater BWW Review: LEND ME A TENOR THE MUSICAL Runs Riotous at Fountain Hills Theater
by Herbert Paine - July 11, 2016

Fountain Hills Theater has wrapped up its 29th Season with a summertime delight ~ LEND ME A TENOR, THE MUSICAL ~ proving definitively that cool community theater is the best antidote for Arizona's triple digit heat. The musical adaptation by Peter Sham (book and lyrics) and Brad Carroll (music) of K... (more...)
BWW Review: AMERICAN IDIOT Tri-oomphs in Tempe BWW Review: AMERICAN IDIOT Tri-oomphs in Tempe
by Herbert Paine - June 28, 2016

Ron May, Stray Cat Theatre's founding artistic director, has further propelled his arc of artistic excellence with a stunning staging of AMERICAN IDIOT, and, in turn, reveals the work's continued relevance. The production is a triumph in every sense of the word. May can lay claim to a trifecta of oo... (more...)
BWW Review: TIDE POOLS Reflects Well On Theatre Artists Studio's New Summer Shorts BWW Review: TIDE POOLS Reflects Well On Theatre Artists Studio's New Summer Shorts
by Herbert Paine - June 17, 2016

Michael Fleck's TIDE POOLS ~ a creative, contemplative, and lovely 'paean' to Steinbeck ~ is one of eight engaging short plays on themes comical and whimsical and all relevant in Theatre Artists Studio's ninth annual festival of innovations, New Summer Shorts.... (more...)
BWW Review: Pearls of Talent Abound In THE LITTLE MERMAID BWW Review: Pearls of Talent Abound In THE LITTLE MERMAID
by Herbert Paine - June 13, 2016

SPECTACULAR is the key word for Valley Youth Theatre's current production of DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID, directed by Bobb Cooper and featuring enough pearls of talent to fill an oyster bed or two. Karol Cooper's lavish costumes, Dori Brown's sets, Mike Eddy's lighting, Mark Fearey's orchestra all a... (more...)
BWW Review: The Band Is Where It's At In ROCK OF AGES BWW Review: The Band Is Where It's At In ROCK OF AGES
by Herbert Paine - June 06, 2016

The band is the essential heartbeat of rock & roll! In Arizona Broadway Theatre's current production of ROCK OF AGES, Mark Foreman (keyboards), Daniel Stotz (bass), Douglas Ramlow (percussion), and Andrew Hake and Jeff Lauffer (guitars) prove the point with an explosive and electrifying nonstop perf... (more...)
BWW Review: YOU CAN'T KILL A STORY Recalls Arizona's Day of Infamy BWW Review: YOU CAN'T KILL A STORY Recalls Arizona's Day of Infamy
by Herbert Paine - June 03, 2016

Ben Tyler's YOU CAN'T KILL A STORY: THE MURDER OF DON BOLLES is not only a moving and truly theatrical memorial to Don Bolles but it is also a compelling tribute to the power and imperative of a free and unfettered press,... (more...)
BWW Review: Scottsdale Musical Theater Company Presents KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN BWW Review: Scottsdale Musical Theater Company Presents KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN
by Herbert Paine - May 27, 2016

With its array of accolades ~ novel, film, and musical ~ and the richness of its themes and content, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN is a treasure trove of possibility, to be mined deeply and imaginatively for its allusions to the mythology of the spider woman, cinema, and revolution. On these varied accou... (more...)
BWW Review: Gripping, Compelling and Explosive -  HOSTAGES Explores The Heart of Darkness BWW Review: Gripping, Compelling and Explosive - HOSTAGES Explores The Heart of Darkness
by Herbert Paine - May 23, 2016

Todd Michael Isaac and Mike Traylor deliver riveting and captivating performances as two hostages, isolated in a sterile cell and united only by their shared Kafkaesque despair, in iTheatre Collaborative's gripping and compelling production of Yussef El Guindi's HOSTAGES.... (more...)
BWW Review: WHEN YOU WISH Is A Wish Unfulfilled BWW Review: WHEN YOU WISH Is A Wish Unfulfilled
by Herbert Paine - May 23, 2016

Phoenix Theatre premiering WHEN YOU WISH: THE STORY OF WALT DISNEY, a highly idealized and superficial portrait of the mogul of animated filmdom that leaves too many stones of character and relationship development unturned.... (more...)
BWW Review: DISCORD Is Revelation Lite Well Served BWW Review: DISCORD Is Revelation Lite Well Served
by Herbert Paine - May 13, 2016

Scott Carter's DISCORD is more akin to an extended SNL sketch ~ longer to the tune of ninety minutes, comprised of a series of XV scenes, and made thoroughly bearable thanks to the whirlwind performances ~ albeit caricatures ~ of its original cast, Larry Cedar (Jefferson), Mark Gagliardi (Dickens), ... (more...)
BWW Review: DAVID SEDARIS Is America's Humorist Laureate BWW Review: DAVID SEDARIS Is America's Humorist Laureate
by Herbert Paine - May 02, 2016

If America had an award for satirist-in-chief, David Sedaris would be the odds-on favorite. If there were a garland for humorist laureate, it would rest on his head. DAVID SEDARIS on-tour proves the point in an evening of readings and commentary that is both intellectual, personal, and theatrical.... (more...)