Actors Theatre to Close in Phoenix

Categories: News, Theater

GoodPeopleJeanMargiebyJohnGroseclose-thumb-550x381.jpg
John Groseclose
Actors Theatre's production of Good People featured Maria Amorocho and Katie McFadzen.

Early on Friday, December 19, Actors Theatre announced via press release that it will shutter after 29 years.

"The simple truth is we're out of money," Actors Theatre board president Renee Gerstman says in the release.

More »

Stray Cat Theatre's Year of the Rooster: A Rough-and-Tumble Love Story in Tempe

Categories: Review, Theater

KatieMcFadzen_AustinKiehle_RonMay.jpg
John Groseclose
Katie McFadzen, Austin Kiehle, and Ron May in Year of the Rooster.

Year of the Rooster, now crowing its head off at Stray Cat Theatre, serves up a compelling theatrical medley of black comedy, tough characters, and pretty pathos. Intelligently handled by young playwright Eric Dufault, this angst-drenched story is presented by a quartet of characters who demonstrate what happens when pain and longing spin out of control, and is nudged along by a talking bird who, as played by Austin Kiehle, is some kind of revelation.

There are several shattering moments and grown-up revelations, but Dufault doesn't make his play into either a catechism lesson on public morality or a sermon against cruelty to animals. He is, it eventually becomes clear, exploring the damage done to boys with lousy fathers. The director is Michael Peck, who nurtures this rough-and-tumble tale, turning it into a love story told by people most of us wouldn't like to know.

More »

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni on Growing Up with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Race, and What It Takes to Do a One-Woman Show

FanshenCoxMesaArtsCenter-1.jpg
Courtesy of Mesa Arts Center
Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni stars in a one-woman show written by her and produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni wants to talk about race in America -- and she's got an idea of where she wants to start. The writer-actor-director-producer extraordinaire will bring her one-woman show, One Drop of Love, to Mesa Arts Center on Saturday, November 1.

Inspired by her own experiences with race, family, and reconciliation, One Drop of Love endeavors to explore these concepts in a funny, relatable way. In addition to giving two performances, Cox DiGiovanni will be hosting a panel discussion and community dialogue on Thursday, October 31, at the Arizona Opera Center. We spoke with the creative about her performance, her history, and her first-ever visit to Arizona.


More »

The Hungry Woman at ASU's Lyceum Theatre Is Interesting, Lacks Subtlety

Categories: Review, Theater

TheHungryWomanTimTrumble.jpg
Tim Trumble, courtesy of ASU Herberger Institute for Design and Arts
The Hungry Woman at ASU will continue October 23 through 26.

Cherrie Moraga's The Hungry Woman debuted on the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts' mainstage last weekend. The play, set in a post-Revolutionary, futuristic Phoenix, is a modernized retelling of the tragedy of Medea. Native and Mexican themes and folklore are integrated into the story, which also explores issues of homophobia and gender inequality. While the play presented an interesting perspective and was certainly thought-provoking, many elements of this particular production failed to reinforce the text.


More »

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike: Misery Meets Company Meets Absurd Comedy at Phoenix's Herberger Theater

Categories: Review, Theater

VanyaSoniaMashaSpike0093r.jpg
Joan Marcus
Charles Janasz and Ali Rose Dachis in Arizona Theatre Company's production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

Two women are weeping. A man dressed as a Disney dwarf arrives with a tea tray. References to Chekhov are made. It's plain: We are watching a Christopher Durang play.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play. It is, in many ways, archetypal Durang: an absurdist comedy dense with literary and theater-world references, a happy story about deeply unhappy people.

More »

Cherrie Moraga's The Hungry Woman Comes to ASU: Tragedy That Hits Close to Home

TheHungryWomanTimTrumble.jpg
Tim Trumble, courtesy of ASU Herberger Institute for Design and Arts
The Hungry Woman weaves together Greek and Aztec mythology, along with a little Mexican folklore.

ASU's fall theatre lineup will feature The Hungry Woman by Cherrie Moraga, which promises to be a new -- and local -- take on an old classic.


More »

13 Must-See Plays This Fall in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Theater, Top Lists

brothers-size.jpg
John Groseclose
See DeJean Brown and Damon J. Bolling in Stray Cat Theatre's The Brothers Size.
With the 2014-15 theater season already started and the busy holiday season here before you know it, it's time to mark your calendars with fall's most anticipated productions. Get ready to laugh, cry, and renew your appreciation for the stage, because these shows look promising.


More »

Nicole Belit Dazzles in By the Way, Meet Vera Stark at Phoenix's Herberger Theater

Categories: Review, Theater

vera-nicole-belit-phoenix.JPG
Courtesy of iTheatre Collaborative
Nicole Belit shines in By The Way, Meet Vera Stark.

Vera Stark is, like so many actresses who start out hungry and wind up legendary, alone on her own stage. She works alongside other actors only because she needs someone to talk to, but none -- in her estimation, and in ours -- are her equals.

Vera is a fictional character, drawn from life by playwright Lynn Nottage. Nicole Belit, the woman who plays her in the iTheatre Collaborative production of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark that opened on Friday night at the Herberger, is very real. The two women share this: They are -- thanks to Belit's enchanting performance -- alone onstage.

More »

Biloxi Blues Exceeds Expectations at Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre

Categories: Review, Theater

biloxi-blues-wade-moran-dst.jpg
Wade Moran
Rick Davis as Toomey and Ryan Toro as Eugene in Biloxi Blues.

One attends a community theater production of Neil Simon's Biloxi Blues hoping to see pleasant performances and, if you're a Simon fan, expecting to have a few laughs. One does not go expecting a powerhouse performance by a principal player -- a performance so thrilling that it completely overshadows the production itself and its other leads, both of whom also make their mark in this tidy little presentation.

More »

Orange Theatre's Blood Wedding Gallops Through Completed Version at ASU Tempe's Lyceum

bloodweddingKatrinaDonaldsoncourtesyofOrangeTheatre.jpg
Courtesy of Orange Theatre
Katrina Donaldson is the Bride in Orange Theatre's Blood Wedding.
The setup: Orange Theatre's industrially flavored, iconoclastic mounting of Lorca's Blood Wedding is similar in many ways to the roughly two-thirds complete work-in-progress version we got to see last winter. The company develops a play in several periods spanning about a year, and viewing multiple iterations reveals some of the decision-making that goes into the creation of art.

If that alone doesn't sound like fun (and if so, understandably -- a lot of people prefer not to witness the making of sausage, either), you're in luck, because the show is still densely packed with complex characters who strut and romp through a Home Depot-y wonderland, managing to symbolize concepts like lust and vengeance while also representing real people.

More »
Loading...