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“Avenue Q” – Phoenix Theatre

This review aired on KBAQ February 28, 2011

PHOENIX THEATRE MOUNTS FANTASTIC “AVENUE Q” THAT RIVALS BROADWAY

“AVENUE Q”
Phoenix Theatre
Phoenix, AZ

“Avenue Q” is an adult-inspired “Sesame Street” musical complete with insightful and hilarious puppets who take pointedly direct viewpoints and feelings about contemporary life. In its first local run, Phoenix Theatre mounts a fantastic production that rivals the superb Broadway version.

Phoenix Theatre rented the Broadway puppets and imported the show’s original puppeteer/designer, Rick Lyon, to teach the local cast how to manipulate his creations. The cast has mastered the tricky machinations of operating the outspoken puppets brilliantly and they do it so … Continue Reading

“9 to 5: The Musical” – ASU Gammage

This review aired on KBAQ February 24, 2011

“9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL” DOESN’T IMPROVE ON THE FILM IN VANITY ADAPTATION

“9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL”
Broadway Across America – Arizona, ASU Gammage
Tempe, AZ

For a Broadway musical adaptation of a popular film to succeed, it must improve upon its source. “9 to 5: The Musical” fails in its vanity-inspired attempt as it turns the film’s worthy premise about women’s unequal treatment in the workplace into a tepid show. And Dolly Parton’s score, added to the film’s title tune, is a collection of pleasant but useless ditties that add nothing.

The road tour is supposed … Continue Reading

“Ten Chimney’s” – Arizona Theatre Company

This review aired on KBAQ February 21, 2011

LUNT AND FONTANNE PROBED SUPERBLY IN “TEN CHIMNEY’S”

“TEN CHIMNEY’S”
Arizona Theatre Company, Herberger Theater Center
Phoenix, AZ

Although I never saw the great Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne act on stage, I feel like I know them from the superbly staged and magnificently written “Ten Chimney’s.” The world premiere play’s title comes from the Lunt’s Wisconsin retreat where the pair spent summers crafting the next season’s play.

Commissioned by Arizona Theatre Company, “Ten Chimney’s” is playwright Jeffrey Hatcher’s inspiration to give contemporary audiences an insightful glimpse into the Lunt’s and the theatrics of their lives. Hatcher’s marvelously … Continue Reading

“The Last Schwartz” – Arizona Jewish Theatre Company

This review aired on KBAQ February 7, 2011

“THE LAST SCHWARTZ” NOT AN EFFECTIVE DYFUNCTIONAL FAMILY PLAY

“THE LAST SCHWARTZ”
Arizona Jewish Theatre Company, John Paul Theatre, Phoenix College
Phoenix, AZ

Dysfunctional families are a common topic of plays. Deborah Zoe Laufer’s “The Last Schwartz” is another entry in this genre and, while the Arizona Jewish Theatre Company production is fine, the play isn’t the best. It tires to be a comedy with some expected and routine humor and it adds seriousness that isn’t particularly effective.

We are at the upstate New York ancestral Schwartz family home a year after the patriarch’s passing. The four children … Continue Reading