Students at an acting class in rural Vermont go seriously off-script in Circle Mirror Transformation, a funny and emotionally-affecting play by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Annie Baker. As an "Adult Creative Drama" workshop instructor leads an unlikely collection of strangers -- a former actress, a recently divorced carpenter, a moody teenage girl and her own hippie husband -- through theater games, the drama that emerges begins to reflect their real-life issues. Watch this Obie Award-winning play about regular people and titanic transformations at Mesa Encore's Black Box.
The musical Grand Hotel is inspired by the novel and the 1932 Academy Award-winning movie of the same name, starring Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford and John and Lionel Barrymore. It's set at the tail-end of the Roaring Twenties, when the world is between wars, the stock market is booming and a crew of eccentric characters meet at the Grand Hotel: the fading ballerina, the charming young Baron, the mortally ill bookkeeper, the honest father-to-be and a doctor who foreshadows the coming Depression. The musical, which opened on Broadway in 1990 and won five Tony awards and five Drama Desk Awards, is now playing at Fountain Hills Theater Mainstage.
Freed from her husband's oppression after he suffers a stroke, a suburban housewife lights the fuse on a revolt against patriarchy in Hir, aided by her newly liberated transgender son. But when her other son returns home from combat duty in Afghanistan, he's not exactly thrilled to find his family under siege from his mom of all people. The New York Times raved "Perhaps no play this year inspired a greater sense of awe than Taylor Mac's audacious dive into the dysfunctional-family playpen of American theater." Check out the Stray Cat Theatre production of this subversive comedy at Tempe Center for the Arts.
Experience Shakespeare's chilling portrait of temptation, ambition and betrayal at the intimate Actor's Cafe at Desert Stages Theatre in downtown Scottsdale. Set in a gloomy world of ghosts and witches, the tragedy's cycle of corruption is thrown into motion when the popular King Duncan of Scotland is murdered by his trusted friend and general Macbeth. Driven by a supernatural prophesy and his wife's deadly ambition, Macbeth goes on to claim his destiny. But just as he grasps the crown, it starts to slip through his bloody fingers.
Dancing nuns, singing nuns, circus nuns -- they're all a part of the glorious madness in Dan Goggin's wildly funny musical phenomenon Nunsense, presented in a lively new production Sun City West's Ghostlight Theatre. The Little Sisters of Hoboken have suffered a disaster of biblical proportions. Their cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, has accidentally poisoned 52 of the sisters, and they are in dire need of funds for the burials. Five of the remaining nuns -- ballet-loving Sister Leo, street-wise Sister Robert Anne, befuddled Sister Mary Amnesia, Mother Superior Sister Regina and mistress of the novices Sister Mary Hubert -- decide that the best way to raise the money is to put on a variety show. Their chaotic version of a variety show features crazy dance routines, solo star turns, an audience quiz and a slew of comic surprises.
Follow the adventures of Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens' lovable orphan who finds himself tied up with a gang of child thieves. With memorable numbers such as "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two," "Consider Yourself" and "Food, Glorious Food," the three-time Tony Award-winning musical Oliver! will leave you begging for more as the plucky lad escapes from one bad situation after another, until the benevolent Mr. Brownlow takes him in. But can Oliver escape the clutches of the sinister Bill Sikes and finally find the true love of a real family? Find out as this classic musical comes to Peoria's Arizona Broadway Theatre with an included meal prior to the performance.
Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy tale The Princess and the Pea gets the full musical treatment in this Theater Works production of Once Upon a Mattress -- with a few surprises! Like, did you know that Princess Winnifred swam the moat to reach Prince Dauntless the Drab? Or that Lady Larken's love for Sir Harry provided a rather compelling reason that she reach the bridal altar ASAP? Or that it wasn't the pea at all that caused the princess a sleepless night? Come see this lighthearted musical romp that's fun for the whole family when it comes to the stage of the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts.
Mel Brooks' outrageous, Tony-winning musical comedy The Producers tells the story of broke Broadway producer Max Bialystock and his accountant, Leo Bloom. Desperate for cash, these two schemers hatch a plan to produce a musical that's sure to be a failure so they can cut and run with the unspent production money. But when their "big flop" turns out to be a huge hit, they're in trouble. Based on the classic 1968 film, and featuring the hilariously tasteless show-within-a-show Springtime for Hitler, The Producers skewers the over-the-top absurdities of musical theater while delivering a heartfelt tale of the true friendship that develops between two would-be con artists. Catch this Broadway hit that scored a record 12 Tony Awards when it comes to the Desert Stages Theatre in Scottsdale.
The last musical collaboration by the legendary theater team of John Kander and Fred Ebb (Chicago, Cabaret) snagged 12 Tony nominations in its 2010 Broadway run. Framed within the ironic construct of a minstrel show, The Scottsboro Boys tells the true story of nine young African-American men, who were convicted in 1931 Alabama of a shocking crime they didn't commit, and whose long fight for justice helped spark the civil rights movement. The Associated Press praised the score, saying "Kander's melodies are effortless, pouring out in a variety of styles from cakewalk to folk ballad to comic ditty." Don't miss this classic masterpiece when it takes the stage of the Phoenix Theatre at Hormel Black Box Theatre.