Opening Nights | July 2015

Five productions heading Valley stages this month.

By Richard Schultz, July 2015 Issue.


Photo courtesy of Shanna Brock.

Bad Dates
Live Theatre Workshop

This wildly popular one-woman show, directed by Sabian Trout and features Shanna Brock, follows a single mother’s search for love, which involves the Romanian mob, a Buddhist rainstorm, 600 pairs of shoes and, of course, some very, very bad dates, is a feel-good charmer.

Theresa Rebeck’s 90-minute monologue begins with an introduction to one woman’s array of shoes and clothes: classy, earthy, trashy, cute, dangerous and dowdy. Hayley Walker seems to lurch through her life on impulse. For Hayley, dating after a certain age is awful, but dating while raising a child, running a business and escaping past mistakes before they catch up is even harder. As Hayley worries in her bedroom, changing from one misguided ensemble to another, her nature as an emotional wreck is revealed with insight and comic flair.

Bad Dates
July 9-Aug. 8
Live Theatre Workshop
5317 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson
Tickets: $14-$20 | 520-327-4242


LegallyBlonde_WEBLegally Blonde
Arizona Broadway Theatre

This fabulously fun and international award-winning musical, based on the adored movie, follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery and scandal in pursuit of her dreams.

Woods, played by Leanne Smith, appears to have it all. Her life is turned upside-down, however, when her boyfriend dumps her so he can start getting serious about his life and attend Harvard Law. Determined to get him back, Woods uses her charm to get into Harvard Law. At school, she struggles with peers, professors and her ex-boyfriend Warner Huntington. With the help of hair stylist Paulette and fellow law student Emmett, though, Elle quickly realizes her potential and sets out to prove herself to the world.

Director and choreographer Carl Rajotte, who is also the artistic director at The Palace Theater in New Hampshire, makes his ABT debut.

Legally Blonde
July 10-Aug.9
Arizona Broadway Theatre
7701 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria
Tickets: $46-$87.50 | 623-776-8400


Desert Stages Theatre

At a large, tastefully appointed Sneden’s Landing townhouse, the Deputy Mayor of New York has just shot himself. Though only a flesh wound, four couples are about to experience a severe attack of farce. Gathering for their 10th wedding anniversary, the host lies bleeding in the other room and his wife is nowhere in sight. His lawyer, Ken, played by Wade Moran, and wife Chris, played by Heidi Carpenter, must get “the story” straight before the other guests arrive. As the confusions and miscommunications mount, the evening spins off into classic farcical hilarity. Co-directed by Virginia Olivieri and Gary Zaro, Neil Simon’s frothy comedy is a throwback to the screwball drawing room comedies of the 1930s with a whodunit mystery element used purely for comic effect.

Through July 26
Desert Stages Theatre
4720 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Tickets: $25 | 480-483-1664

New Capra Theater

Have you ever thought of killing your brother and marrying his wife? You might, if it meant you’d get to be a billionaire, the governor and a leading candidate for the White House. But what if a certain ghostly figure knew your secret? Directed by Kathryn James, James E. Garcia’s adaptation of Hamlet answers those questions, and, perchance, whether “tis nobler in the mind to suffer” or sleep … or just dream.

New Carpa Theater
June 19-21
Arizona Opera Black Box
1636 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
Tickets: $12 | 623-252-2772

To BOLDLY Go Where Everyone Else Has Gone Before
Herberger Lunch Time Theater

To-Boldy-Go-Improbable-Theatre-WEBEnjoy a one-act delight at lunchtime in downtown Phoenix. Order a boxed lunch or bring you own and enjoy one of Phoenix’s most intimate spaces where variety is always the main course. Improbable Theatre Company celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), in scene, song and dance featuring performers who do and do not have disabilities that live life to the fullest because the ADA has afforded that opportunity. Be prepared to laugh and cry in this tribute, written and directed by Melissa Ann Santora, to the law responsible for “removing barriers and empowering people.”

To BOLDLY Go Where Everyone Else Has Gone Before
July 14-23
Improbable Theatre Company
Herberger Lunch Time Theater
The Kax Stage
222 E. Monroe, Phoenix
Tickets: $6 | 602-258-9481