Opening Nights | June 2016

Four productions heading Valley stages this month

By Richard Schultz, June 2016 Issue.


The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord
Through May 29thegospel-300-01

Fans of Jean-Paul Sartre will recognize this scenario when three guys walk into a small room in the afterlife. Different from No Exit, the characters in this are three of the most eminent men of the 19th century. A Founding Father, a Victorian novelist and a Russian revolutionary encounter each other and hash out their views of scripture, the nature of God and the true meaning of existence. Directed by Mark August, this perceptive comedy is a blistering battle of wits written by Scott Carter, Executive Producer of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” This upbeat work examines what happens when great men of history are forced to repeat it.

The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord
Through May 29
Arizona Theatre Company
Herberger Theater Center
222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix
Tickets: $37-$73; 602-256 – 6995
arizonatheatre.org



Equal Opportunity Offenders: The Music of South Park
May 20-June 5

South ParkExperience the brilliance, relevance and irreverence of Trey Parker, Matt Stone, their crafty “South Park” antics and more through this documentary musical revue. After decades on the air, “South Park” has earned its place as a cultural icon. The score features musical hits from the television series as well as their feature film, Bigger, Longer, & Uncut, such as “Kyle’s Mom’s a Bitch” and “Blame Canada.” This revue also explores songs from Parker and Stone’s other works including The Book or Mormon, Team America and Cannibal, The Musical. Directed by Mary Robinson with musical direction by Tony Robinson, this risqué musical features Valley favorite Patti Davis Suarez and guest artists Joshua Vern, Elyse Wolf, Alex Kunz and Brenda Goodenberger.

Equal Opportunity Offenders: The Music of South Park
May 20-June 5
Theatre Artists Studio
4848 E. Cactus Road, #406, Scottsdale
Tickets: $20; 602-765-0120
thestudiophx.org


Sweeney ToddSweeney Todd
May 20-27

It’s a tasty, thrilling, theatrical treat that has simultaneously shocked, awed, and delighted audiences across the world. An infamous tale, Sweeney Todd, an unjustly exiled barber, returns to 19th century London seeking vengeance against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. The road to revenge leads Todd, played by Damon J. Bolling, to Mrs. Lovett, a resourceful proprietress of a failing pie shop played by Alaina Beauloye, above which he opens a new barber practice. Mrs. Lovett’s luck sharply shifts when Todd’s thirst for blood inspires the integration of an ingredient into her meat pies that has the people of London lining up, and the carnage has only just begun. This dark Tony Award® winner for Best Musical features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and is based on the 1973 play “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street” by Christopher Bond.

 Sweeney Todd
May 20-27
Mesa Encore Theatre
Mesa Arts Center
1 E. Main St., Mesa
Tickets: $29; 480-644-6500
mesaencoretheatre.com


 

Newsies

Newsies
June 14-19

Winner of the 2012 Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Choreography, this high-energy explosion of song and dance is based on the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899. They delivered the papers, until they made the headlines. Based on true events, this Disney musical tells the captivating story of a band of underdogs who become unlikely heroes when they stand up to the most powerful men in New York. It’s a rousing tale about fighting for what’s right and staying true to who you are. The plot centers around Jack Kelly, a rebellious newsboy who dreams of a life as an artist away from the big city. After publishing giant Joseph Pulitzer raises newspaper prices at the newsboys’ expense, Kelly and his fellow newsies take action. With help from the beautiful female reporter Katherine Plumber, all of New York City soon recognizes the power of “the little man.”

 Newsies
June 14-19
ASU Gammage
1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe
Tickets: $20-$200; 480-965-3434
asugammage.com


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