“A Man of No Importance” – Mesa Community College

Theater Review – November 7, 2021


Mesa Community College, MCC Performing Arts Center
Mesa, AZ

By Chris Curcio
Theater Critic

While this website focuses primarily on Phoenix-area professional productions presented by Arizona Theatre Company, The Phoenix Theatre Company, Stray Cat Theatre, and Broadway tours at ASU Gammage, there are occasional university and community theater productions of unusual works that warrant mention because they are an important facet of local theater.

Mesa Community College is presenting a commendable area premiere staging of Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty, and Lynn Ahrens’ musical “A Man of No Importance” based on the popular film.  The creators crafted the great American musical “Ragtime.”

Mounted by Tregoney Shepherd, who claims several Broadway credits including “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Les Miserables,” she has fashioned a remarkable production of a complex musical about a small Dublin amateur theater troupe.  The show focuses on Alfie Byrne, the company’s director, and exposes a long-hidden secret about him.  The musical is ultimately about the acceptance by people who can’t always understand variations in established societal norms.

The music is richly varied and complex like the team’s earlier “Ragtime” score.  The score’s live musical presentation is elegantly flawless and the cast, while not always perfect, present realistic character studies with fine ensemble musical support.

The players often do the piece justice with some performances from students who possess the talent to pursue professional careers.  Identifying specific enactments either positive or negative seems inappropriate for student actors but be assured that even the weakest performers are never embarrassing.

With a limited college budget, the show looks professional with a workable unit set that creates busy scenic changes to move the show around to the script’s many locales.

For those interested in seeing a rarely performed musical with a challenging subject presented by some adept college actors within a consistently strong production, a trip to Mesa Community College is in order.  “A Man of No Importance” ends November 13.  For tickets, call the Mesa Community College box office at 480-461-7172 or order tickets online at www.mesacc.edu/arts.

Grade: A