Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Timothy Shawver

Timothy Shawver Tim Shawver has appeared in or directed over 120 productions in the Phoenix area, including work with Arizona Broadway Theatre, The Phoenix Theatre Company, Childsplay, Southwest Shakespeare Company, Stray Cat Theatre, Actors Theatre, Nearly Naked Theatre, Mesa Encore Theatre, and Space 55. He is a co-founder of A/C Theatre Company, a local producer of alternative musicals.


Review: THE LION KING at Gammage Auditorium
July 11, 2022

Disney's THE LION KING has found its way back to Tempe nearly a decade after its sold-out multi-week visit in 2013.

BWW Review: HADESTOWN at Gammage Auditorium
April 21, 2022

HADESTOWN has arrived in Sun Devil country for a six day run at ASU's Gammage Auditorium. The 2019 Best Musical Tony Winner succeeds with an expressive, haunting score and the dark imagination of director Rachel Chavkin.

BWW Review: Arizona Opera presents a captivating production of Sondheim's A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC
March 10, 2022

Last fall, when local companies were announcing their various seasons, one particular show made my eyes widen as I thought, 'WHO'S doing WHAT?' I'm talking about Arizona Opera bringing to Phoenix and Tucson a fully orchestrated presentation of the infrequently produced, head-shakeningly brilliant Stephen Sondheim musical, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC. Elegant, poetic, heady, romantic, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC is an exciting choice for a large-scale staging leaning into traditional opera. Arizona Opera makes the most of the moment with an enchanting, delightful treat of a show.

BWW Review: MEAN GIRLS National Tour at Gammage Auditorium
November 7, 2021

A tribute to adolescent angst and nerd revenge fantasies, MEAN GIRLS is a satisfying, hilarious musical adaptation of Tina Fey's 2004 comedy. It's an entertaining (if guilty) pleasure propelled by superb video design, skilled comedians all over the stage, and its fun (if disposable) score. The hit musical has resumed its National Tour, re-premiering in Tempe's Gammage Auditorium and the energy in the theatre is palpable. The performers are clearly bursting to perform and the audience is eager to watch.

BWW Review: BELL, BOOK, AND CANDLE at Don Bluth Front Row Theatre
October 13, 2021

BWW Review: DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS at Hale Centre Theatre
May 19, 2021

With DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, Hale Centre Theatre treats the East Valley to an exquisite production of a rarely produced musical gem. It's delightful from moment one and impeccably staged by director/choreographer Cambrian James. It's full of skilled performances, but the design elements might be the greatest successes of the show.

BWW PREVIEW: TICK, TICK...BOOM at Desert Stages Theatre
May 8, 2021

Scottsdale's Desert Stages Theatre presents TICK, TICK...BOOM in a limited engagement through May 16th.

BWW Review: ORSON WELLES at Don Bluth Front Row Theatre
May 5, 2021

Don Bluth Front Row Theatre debuts their new venue with ORSON WELLES, a one-man theatrical biography of the acclaimed actor/filmmaker. It’s a pleasant 80 minutes featuring Keath Hall’s expert performance of an unambitious script. 

BWW Review: THE RAINMAKER at Hale Centre Theatre
April 16, 2021

The impact on American theatre of N. Richard Nash's THE RAINMAKER, a mid-century, self-described Romantic Comedy, is primarily found in its formidable presence (exceeded only by OUR TOWN) in any and all monologue and scene-study books. The leads, 'Lizzie' and 'Starbuck', are ever present at auditions, duo-acting tournaments, and Intro to Acting courses in high schools and colleges coast-to-coast. Despite it's not uncommon presence in local theatre, I'd never seen the full play before attending Hale Centre Theatre's current production. The play is culturally dated most certainly but made enjoyable by some strong performances and deft staging by director Tim Dietlein.

BWW Review: THE ISOLATION PROJECT at Limelight Youth Theatre
July 29, 2020

THE ISOLATION PROJECT is two one-acts told through a series of Zoom chats between teenage friends (and frenemies), both set during the current health crisis.

February 23, 2020

BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING STORY is the most earnest jukebox musical to date. The chord progressions and resolutions felt like being at an oxygen bar. It's ripe with nostalgia, fascinating for its window into 1960s pop and rock music, and spirit lifting for its recording of a beautiful human life

BWW Review: MASTER HAROLD... AND THE BOYS at Arizona Theatre Company
February 20, 2020

Arizona Theatre Company's current production hits the mark as a historical reminder and, through masterful performances by its cast of three, depicts institutionalized racism's capability to destroy even the most loving relationships.

BWW Review: THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE at Mesa Encore Theatre
November 13, 2019

Mesa Encore Theatre's current production of Gilbert and Sullivan's THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE pushes the already campy comic opera.

BWW Review: ANASTASIA National Tour Impresses All Ages at Gammage Auditorium
November 2, 2019

The first clue that ANASTASIA was going to be different than what I expected was a note on the title page reading, “Inspired by the Twentieth Century Fox Motion Pictures.” Plural? A savvy journalist, I quickly asked Siri to bring up the imdb page for “Anastasia”. Turns out Fox made ANASTASIA twice, the 1997 animated off-brand Disney princess movie and a 1957 film that scored Ingrid Bergman's second Oscar and marked Helen Hayes' transition to the big screen. And it turns out the musical version has more in common with LES MISERABLES and RAGTIME than BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Gone is the hell-wizard Rasputin, his talking fruit bat sidekick, and the singing demon caterpillars. At intermission, I asked my third grade niece, Adalyn, how she was liking it. “It's awesome…it's real people, like no Beast or anything. No animals.” We decide that Disney staged musicals are great but more it's more impressive when you can achieve the magic without a story that departs from reality. ANASTASIA is historical fiction hypothetical. It poses a “what if…?” that a daughter of the last czar of Russia (The Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna) escaped when the czar's family was executed in 1918. Rumors persisted for decades that Anastasia did, in fact, escape. In 2007, DNA testing confirmed the remains of all four Grand Duchesses were in the Imperial grave. In this version, Terrence McNalley's book follows Anastasia's rediscovery of her identity after surviving the attack on her family and sustaining some plot enabling amnesia. Renamed “Anya” she grows up and makes a life in post-Revolution Russia. Anastasia's grandmother, the Dowager Empress (in a staggeringly moving performance by Joy Franz) has fled to France and offered a cash reward for anyone escorting the rumored alive Anastasia to Paris. The wily duo Vlad (Edward Staudenmayer) and Dmitry (Jake Levy) pull a My Fair Lady style makeover on Anya to collect the Dowager's prize. They are pursued by Gleb (Jason Michael Evans). A Soviet officer drawn to Anya romantically but tasked with finding and eliminating the last Romanov. Anya's memory becomes somewhat coaxed back, but the Dowager has stopped seeing Anastasia claimants after too much heart-break from countless frauds. It sounds dark, but with high-tech digital scenery and inspired performances across the cast it is delightful. Stephen Flaherty (Music) and Lynn Ahrens (Lyrics), responsible for bringing us RAGTIME, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, LUCKY STIFF, as well as the Oscar nominated songs carried over from the animated film. ANASTASIA is a perfect context for this pair. “Stay, I Pray You” (my favorite song of the evening) is evocative of RAGTIME's “New Music”. The two songs literally race my heart in a strangely specific way. My real test of a National Tour at Gammage is how fast I get the music playing in my car on the way home. At ANASTASIA I was already finding, “Stay, I Pray You” walking through the parking lot. The rest of the score is similarly haunting. Lila Coogan, as Anya/Anastasia, powers through the score with nuance, clarity, and passion. Tari Kelly, as Countess Lily, and Stadenmayer (Vlad) were Adalyn's favorite performances and I have to agree. This incredibly gifted pair take the “triple threat” designation (singer, dancer, actor) and go quadruple with the addition of flawless comic timing. The choreography by Peggy Hickey is masterful. It somehow combines inventive and traditional throughout and the ten-minute slice of “Swan Lake” infused into “Quartet at the Ballet” is the highlight of the second act. It's a fun-size version that gets an under-represented art form onto the plate. This kind of trope often means the plot putting the plot on hold. But here, it is the connective tissue between Anya, Dmitry, the Dowager, and Gleb as they each bring us up to speed heading into the show's climax. Ultimately, the show's success comes from applying a higher artistic standard to the “previously-animated-film-now-theatrically-staged” genre. It cashes in on the name draw of the 1997 film then gives the viewer something much more enriched than what they think they are coming to see.

BWW Review: THE BOOK OF MORMON Testifies at Gammage Auditorium
August 9, 2019

Appearing at Tempe's Gammage Auditorium for the third time since 2015, THE BOOK OF MORMON is gaining momentum as it tours.

BWW Review: CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY reviewed by Eight-year-old, First-time Gammage Attendee.
June 13, 2019

BWW Review: CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY gets raves from Eight-year-old, first time Gammage attendee. Just into her Summer break between second and third grade, Adalyn 'Addy' Cable raved about the National Tour of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY currently playing at Tempe's Gammage Auditorium. She urges people to see it and after the show had these comments to share:

BWW Review: THINGS I KNOW TO BE TRUE Fascinates at Arizona Theatre Company
May 29, 2019

With its spectacular American premiere production of playwright Andrew Bovell's THINGS I KNOW TO BE TRUE, Arizona Theatre Company might soon achieve its greatest impact on and thrust into the national theatre conversation.

BWW Review: BIG RIVER at Hale Centre Theatre, The Great American Musical Shines in Gilbert
April 18, 2019

Hale Centre Theatre's production of BIG RIVER, running through May 11th in Gilbert, AZ, is confirmation that BIG RIVER is among the Great American Musicals.

BWW Interview: BEN VEREEN of STEPPIN' OUT WITH BEN VEREEN at the Musical Instrument Museum
April 9, 2019

The Musical Instrument Museum presents STEPPIN' OUT WITH BEN VEREEN bringing the legendary perform to Phoenix for two shows on April 20th.

BWW Review: OUR TOWN at Zao Theatre in Apache Junction
April 6, 2019

The most producible classic American play, OUR TOWN, is thankfully one of its best. Zao Theatre's production delivers an enjoyable, well-performed production running in Apache Junction through April 13th.