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“Jagged Little Pill” – ASU Gammage

Theater Review – January 31, 2024

“JAGGED LITTLE PILL” IS A DARK AND SOBERING LOOK AT CONTEMPORARY LIFE

“Jagged Little Pill”
Broadway Across America – Arizona, ASU Gammage
Tempe, AZ

By Chris Curcio
Theater Critic

Jukebox musicals have dominated Broadway since “Mamma Mia’s” tribute to Abba songs and continuing through “Jersey Boys,” “& Juliet,” and “Beautiful” among others. Alanis Morissette’s Tony and Grammy winning musical “Jagged Little Pill,” based on her album, struggled on Broadway due to the Covid crisis but a rousingly exciting touring version is playing this week at ASU Gammage.

The show explodes over ASU Gammage’s gigantic stage in a constantly moving, dynamically throbbing production … Continue Reading

“The Lehman Trilogy” – The Phoenix Theatre Company

Theater Review – January 27, 2024

“THE LEHMAN TRILOGY” IS A HISTORICALLY INSIGHTFUL LOOK INTO A MAJOR FINANCIAL FAMILY IN A TOP-NOTCH TPTC STAGING

“The Lehman Trilogy”
The Phoenix Theatre Company, Mainstage Theatre
Phoenix AZ

By Chris Curcio
Theater Critic

The Lehman brothers’ commodities and financial machinations may not be the household name of other big monetary dynasties.  But Stefano Massini and Marc Silvia’s fascinating “The Lehman Trilogy” turns the tug-of-war between the three founders into an interesting statement on how a major organization’s success can ultimately become its downfall when family members are no longer involved.

The Tony Award-winning play is being presented in a superb Arizona … Continue Reading

“Islander” – Herberger Theatre Center

Theater Review – January 14, 2024

“ISLANDER” IS A UNIQUE WAY OF THEATER STORYTELLING

“Islander”
Herberger Theater Center, Center Stage
Phoenix, AZ

By Chris Curcio
Theater Critic

When the Herberger Theater Center opened on July 19, 1989 with “Party of One,” produced by the now defunct Musical Theatre of Arizona, it was an auspicious debut for a much-anticipated new dual theater complex.  Filled with the latest stage and audience amenities not previously available in the area’s storefront playhouses or college auditoriums, a new dawn for local theater premiered.

Many theater companies were anxious to move to the Herberger and they hoped to better produce their shows in a … Continue Reading

“The Wiz” – ASU Gammage

Theater Review – January 3, 2024

“THE WIZ” CAN’T BE HEARD HERE BUT ITS FRESH LOOK SHOULD WORK ON BROADWAY

“The Wiz”
Broadway Across America – Arizona, ASU Gammage
Tempe, AZ

By Chris Curcio
Theater Critic

“The Wiz” is back in town in a heavily contemporized version of the 1975 Tony Award-winning musical.  The show has always taken a different look at the 1903 L. Frank Baum tale immortalized in the 1939 Judy Garland film with an upbeat score and all Black cast.

The local engagement is part of a year-long road tour with the final stop beginning March 29 on Broadway.  The superb touring cast will bring … Continue Reading