2017/18 Arizona Theatre Company Season – Herberger Theater Center

Theater Review – June 5, 2017


Arizona Theatre Company
Herberger Theater Center
Phoenix, AZ

After 50 seasons, the Arizona Theatre Company approaches the 2017/18 season with renewed vigor after several recent financial struggles almost closed Arizona’s only fully professional theater company that performs in Phoenix and in Tucson.

The new season will see some major administrative changes plus an eclectic six show season that includes a popular musical, two classic plays, a recent musical revue, a new play that won the 2013 ATC National Latino Playwriting award, and a Broadway Tony Award nominee for Best Play .

The Tony Award winning 1965 musical, “Man of La Mancha,” will fill the popular major musical slot and will open here January 5 in what is termed a “thrilling new production” by David Bennett.  The recent Tony Nominee for Best Play, “Outside Mullingar” is a romantic comedy by John Patrick Shanley set in Ireland.  It plays here in February.  The 2010 musical revue, “Low Down Dirty Blues,” combines many popular song hits from a collection of famous show business names.  The show’s creative team is the same one that brought local audiences two popular ATC shows, “It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues” and “Love, Janis.”  It plays in April.  The play that won ATC’s National Latino Playwriting award, “The River Bride,” will be presented in November and is a story about lives in a small fishing village along the Amazon that focuses on two sisters who both hope to find happiness.  One of the classic plays, Neil Simon’s 1977 comedy-drama,  “Chapter Two,” opens the ATC season in October.  It will be staged by Simon’s second wife, Marsha Mason, who the play is about.  Closing the ATC season in May is the other classic play, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” that tells of eight people who hide from the Nazis during World War II in Amsterdam.

The new season brings major changes in the theater’s top two administrators.  After helming ATC for the last 25 years, artistic director David Ira Goldstein will leave the company to pursue new opportunities while becoming ATC’s Artistic Director Emeritus.  He will return to direct “The Diary of Anne Frank.”  Goldstein’s shoes will be filled by David Ivers who for the last seven years has served as the Utah Shakespeare Festival artistic director after staging 50 productions at that venue over the past 20 years.

Ivers will be joined by Billy Russo who will officially become Managing Director after serving the last two years in the position as acting Managing Director.  Russo, along with Goldstein, ATC’s staff, and Board of Trustees helped ATC through the recent financial crisis.  To order tickets, call the Arizona Theatre Company box office at 602-256-6995 or order tickets online at www.arizonatheatre.org.