Now Playing Onstage in Tempe - Week of 2/24/2013

February 24
10:00 AM 2013
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A British Invasion! in Broadway A BRITISH INVASION!
First United Methodist Church of Tempe
Popular favorites chosen by choir members and performed by the Barrett Choir as well as small feature groups and soloists.
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Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble in Broadway ARIZONA CONTEMPORARY MUSIC ENSEMBLE
Katzin Concert Hall
The Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), directed by Glenn Hackbarth, presents a concert of works for small ensemble, soloists and electronics. Composed within the past few decades, the works on this program provide a view of the varied creative activity in the music of our time.
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Sons of the Prophet in Broadway SONS OF THE PROPHET
Stray Cat Theatre
Their tragedy. Your comedy. A 2012 Pulitzer Prize Finalist and hailed as one of the Top 10 Plays of 2011 from The New York Times, New York Magazine, and Newsday. Brothers Joseph and Charles Douaihy are young, gay, and having a hell of a year. Their father has died and their uncle is losing it - putting the brothers' once unbreakable sense of humor to the test. As if that's not enough, Joseph is battling a mysterious ailment, and his eccentric boss is pressuring him to write a memoir about his Maronite Catholic family's tenuous connection to Kahlil Gibran, author of The Prophet. Things get even more intense when an ambitious and sexy reporter descends on the family in search of a story. Stephen Karam, author of the Stray Cat hits Speech and Debate and columbinus pens a brutally funny comedy about family, culture and how where we come from plays a part in how we cope with wounds that just won't heal.
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<a href=Emily Johnson/ catalyst in Broadway" border="0" bheight="100" width="100" align="right"> Emily Johnson/ CATALYST
ASU Gammage
Celebrated director, choreographer, curator Emily Johnson (Native Alaskan Yup'ik) presents NIICUGNI (Listen) a new dance performance, housed within a light and sound installation made of hanging fish-skin sculptures. Johnson's almost ethereal ability to weave elements of theater, dance and art installation into a uniquely affecting experience is not to be missed. The fish-skin sculptures will be produced by local community members during her residency at ASU Gammage and will be an integral part of an unforgettable theatrical journey fusing music and dance with contemporary performance. The effect is one of taking us out of the theater and into nature, to NIICUGNI (Listen) to our connection with the Earth and our ancestors. "Niicugni is many things. Here's what I can tell you: it is a dance that took thousands of years to make. It is a story made of many. It is a word that instructs us to listen. There is hope here, and death; monsters and laughter; salmon, bear, blood. There is you, everyone who has ever lived, the ground beneath us, and a never ending attempt to pay attention. I made this for you and it is also for my dad." - Emily Johnson
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Tempe Center for the Arts
Yumi La Rosa and Ava Fleming join forces to bring an eclectic cultural experience. Desert Dance Theatre and Step's Junk Funk performs as guests in Mujere 5
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Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type in Broadway CLICK CLACK MOO: COWS THAT TYPE
Occupy the Barnyard! When the animals of Farmer Brown's farm get fed up with their working conditions, they take to their typewriters and turn the barn upside down. This peaceful protest will QUACK you up as you join Duck, Cow, Hen, and the rest of the animals for an uproarious farm adventure, based on the delightful picture book by Doreen Cronin.
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Die Fledermaus in Broadway DIE FLEDERMAUS
Evelyn Smith Music Theatre
A practical joke. A secret rendezvous. One man's elaborate plan for revenge leads to a rousing evening of mistaken identities, flirtations, and light-hearted deceit in Johann Strauss' most celebrated operetta, Die Fledermaus. Set in 19th-century Vienna, this delightful farce is filled with effervescent melodies, lilting waltzes and charming sentiment. From the sparkling overture to the rollicking tribute to champagne, the Waltz King's madcap masterpiece is the jewel of the golden age of operetta.
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Tradition and Innovation, The Evolution of Composing for the Organ in Broadway TRADITION AND INNOVATION, THE EVOLUTION OF COMPOSING FOR THE ORGAN
Organ Hall
French organist Francois Espinasse presents a program that reflects the long tradition of organ music and the innovation of contemporary French composers. His program includes works by Frescobaldi, Bach, Muffat, Foccroulle, and Aubertin.
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Kishi Bashi in Broadway KISHI BASHI
Club Congress
On Kishi Bashi's debut full length, 151a, the songwriter expands on the majestic sound of his Room for Dream EP (Aerobic International), teasing out the baroque mysteries suggested in those songs while sharpening focus. Since the release of Room for Dream, K Ishibashi has toured with Sondre Lerche, and Alexi Murdoch. He's also collaborated with of Montreal's Kevin Barnes on that band's new album, Paralytic Stalks. This last endeavour, Ishibashi credits with some of his most recent musical growth, acknowledging that Barnes pushed him to new heights of creativity, forcing him to explore a broader use of his primary instrument, the violin. This experimentation affected his loop-based live show and led to him write more of the new record with violin rather than piano or guitar, loosening him from the grip of habit and expanding his palette. Ishibashi uses Japenese singing as another of many layers, doing so without any trace of gimmickry, and achieving what, to Western ears, must sound like an expression of the ineffable. After lead track "Intro/Pathos, Pathos," a soaring yet concise amalgam of all that is to come, the record unfolds with a gentle, and somehow grander revisiting of two songs from Room for Dream, reigniting their purpose with subtle variations that serve the larger arc of this new LP. From this foundation the record candidly affirms its suggested dialectic, a dance between the earthbound materialism of captured art and its airy origins, in the give and take of "It All Began With a Burst." The song appropriately struggles for take-off, whispering its intentions in washes of synthesizer that threaten to drown the claps and voices struggling to emerge, until a fragile harmony is realized in a bass-driven dance beat and desperately triumphant vocals. From the deconstructed doo-wop of "Wonder Woman, Wonder Me," a 21st century transmission of Smile-era BrIan Wilson that is both lush and blushingly naked to the menacing marriage of Eastern hues and Western operatics that is the Blade Runner-like trance of "Beat the Bright out of Me," this album is a mediation between opposing drives, offering possible reconciliation but never promising it. A nuanced awareness of inherent contradiction is constant in all of these songs, at turns jubilant, as in "Chester's Burst Over the Hamptons," a frenetic violin driven gallop full of stabs of sound and classical vocal harmonics that resolves in a synth and string composition worthy of Bach or Vangelis, and lamentable, most pronounced in the sweet despair of "I Am the Antichrist to You," which layers the delicate vocal melodies of the best of post-Beatles pop over a somber and beautiful New Age string arrangement. If "I Am the Antichrist to You" is tragedy, then "Atticus, in the Desert" is comedy, albeit dark, bouncing and whistling with the acceptance of romantic failure, reaching for a fuller, more compassionate survey of the landscape. Starting with the admission, couched in the layered a capella not done so well since Queen, that "as twins we create an era, two souls in bright Sahara," a tale is told, over bright symphonic gypsy pop, of a doomed affair, and yet there is a palpable sense of acceptance and even enjoyment in the suffering. It is fitting that, during the conception of this record, Ishibashi was mindful of the Japanese term "ichi-go ichi-e," a recognition of life's transience, sometimes translated as "for this time only." Acknowledging that each moment happens only once, ichi-go ichi-e, reminds one to invest fully in these moments but also to let go of their outcome. It is in this practice that one opens the portals to both creativity and love and the results are clearly in evidence throughout this record with its synthesis of disparate formal elements and its unnerving look at contradiction.
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ASU Gammage
TURN UP THAT DIAL ... From the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, comes a hot new Broadway musical that bursts off the stage with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love. Inspired by actual events, MEMPHIS is about a white radio DJ who wants to change the world and a black club singer who is ready for her big break. Come along on their incredible journey to the ends of the airwaves - filled with laughter, soaring emotion and roof-raising rock 'n' roll. Winner of four 2010 Tony Awards® including Best Musical, MEMPHIS features a Tony®-winning book by Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change) and a Tony®-winning original score with music by Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan. Get ready to experience Broadway's most exciting new destination - what AP calls "The very essence of what a Broadway musical should be."
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Tempe THEATER Stories | Shows


Seussical in BroadwaySeussical
Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre
(Runs 9/30 - 10/30)
Ruthless! the Musical Comedy in BroadwayRuthless! the Musical Comedy
Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre
(Runs 3/3 - 4/9)
Disney's The Little Mermaid in BroadwayDisney's The Little Mermaid
Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre
(Runs 2/24 - 3/26)
The Book of Mormon in BroadwayThe Book of Mormon
ASU Gammage
(Runs 5/18 - 5/28)
Holiday Rep in BroadwayHoliday Rep
Peoria Center for the Performing Arts
(Runs 11/3 - 11/17)


Backstage with Richard Ridge
Back to Falsettoland w/ OBC - Passing the Torch
Backstage Bite
TV Exclusive: BACKSTAGE BITE with AVENUE Q's Elizabeth Ann Berg
Turning the Tables
Randy Rainbow w/ FIDDLER Cast
  Chewing the Scenery with Randy Rainbow
SPAMILTON Takes Over at Broadway Sessions!