“My Fair Lady” – Hale Centre Theatre & 2015/16 ASU Gammage Broadway Season Announcement

This review and season announcement aired on KBAQ March 23, 2015


Hale Centre Theatre
Gilbert, AZ

Two items today, first a review of a “My Fair Lady” production and second, the Broadway musicals to be included on the 2015/16 ASU Gammage Broadway season.

“My Fair Lady” is a tough musical to stage but Gilbert’s Hale Centre Theatre presents a beautiful and thoughtful staging with a fine local cast.  The musical challenges because it’s a period piece set in 1912 London that mandates two very different English accents, accomplished singers, and actors who can create complex characters.  The glittering Hale production looks fabulous with rich period costuming and nice sets and it has an outstanding cast that tells the story of flower girl Eliza Doolittle’s transformation by Henry Higgins to a lady.

Annalise Webb delivers a believable and beautifully sung Eliza that you care about as she tries to better herself.  Rob Stuart’s Henry is strong as he treats Eliza with dogged tenacity knowing she can achieve what appears impossible initially.  The supporting cast is perfect.  The Cambrian James staged production moves briskly and has unbelievable verve.  Hale Centre’s “My Fair Lady” continues through April 4.  For tickets, call the Hale Centre Theatre box office at 480-497-1181 or order tickets online at www.haletheatrearizona.com.

Grade: B


2015/16 ASU Gammage Broadway Season
ASU Gammage
Tempe, AZ

The 2015/16 ASU Gammage Broadway season includes the first local appearance of the biggest musical in recent Broadway history, “The Book of Mormon.”  This show has been touring for three years but hasn’t played here until it opens the season with a three-week run beginning October 20.  Next is the holiday attraction “A Christmas Story The Musical,” followed by “If/Then,” a contemporary musical about a woman’s approach to life in New York City.  The show’s successful Broadway run starred Idina Menzel but she will not tour.  Adapted from the successful film, “The Bridges of Madison County,” lasted on Broadway for a short run because of the fine performances of Kelli O’Hara and Stephen Pasquale in the lead roles.  Neither star will be in the tour at ASU Gammage.

“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” is a big Broadway hit due to the musical’s zany comic situations but the small show may get lost on ASU Gammage’s huge stage and it is critical that every word of dialogue be understood to enjoy the show’s delights.  One wonders why a revival of “42nd Street” was included since the show has played here many times.  Disney’s “Newsies” completes the season along with a production of “Annie.”  Two of the recent Broadway musicals that are touring next season but won’t play here include “Matilda” and “Beautiful,” the Carole King tribute.    Phoenix still isn’t in the select group of American cities that see tours of recent Broadway hits early.  For season tickets, call Ticketmaster box office at 800-982-2787 or order tickets online at www.asugammage.com.