2017/18 Theater/Opera Season Highlights

Theater/Opera Peview – June 19, 2017


Over the past few weeks, we have reviewed Arizona Theatre Company, ASU Gammage, and Phoenix Theatre 2017/18 seasons.  In addition, the Valley has other significant performing arts companies that bring popular, classic, and premiere attractions here.  Today we look at highlights from the new Arizona Opera, Childsplay, Hale Centre Theatre, Phoenix Symphony, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, and Stray Cat Theatre seasons.

Arizona Opera presents five productions of usually standard operatic fare.  This season, in addition to three warhorse productions, the company will present a new opera based on the popular 1961 cult film “Hercules in the Haunted World,” entitled “Hercules vs Vampires,” Leonard Bernstein’s Broadway musical “Candide” that celebrates the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth is the Opera’s other significant production.

Childsplay’s seven-show season features creative and often unusual children’s stories creatively adapted for the stage.  Highlights include a “frolicking musical dog party, “Go Dog, Go!,” and a stage version of the hilarious new book and its quirky adventure, “Flora & Ulysses.”  Hale Centre Theatre stages seven major shows, mostly musicals at its Gilbert theater where a rare production of “Meet Me in St. Louis,” will join two local premieres, “Big Fish” and “Sister Act.”

In addition to a full season of classical music, Phoenix Symphony presents three Broadway-themed events including a concert version of Bernstein’s “West Side Story,” a “Live From Broadway” event co-produced with Phoenix Theatre, and “Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins A Broadway Celebration.”  Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts devotes several concerts to Broadway including “You’re the Top: The Songs of Cole Porter,” “From ‘On the Town’ to ‘West Side Story’: The Theater Music of Leonard Bernstein,” and “Finishing the Hat: The Songs of Stephen Sondheim.”  Two Broadway stars, Kelli O’Hara and Megan Hilty, will present solo shows.  Popular Broadway radio host Seth Rudetsky will be pianist and host for two concerts with Broadway stars to be announced.

Stray Cat Theatre, the Valley’s leading alternative theater company, presents a five-show season that includes a world premiere, “Mercury,” written by the author of three previous Stray Cat plays, and they are co-producing with Phoenix Theatre, “Hand to God” that brings puppets back to the theater.  Closing Stray Cat’s season will be the local premiere of “Silence,” a musical; parody of “The Silence of the Lambs” film.

With these shows and those we previously previewed, the Valley continues its diversity of popular and unusual theater.  To order tickets, call each theater box office.