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    War Stories (Tucson Weekly)
    Beowulf Alley offers a fine production of 'A Piece of My Heart,' but the disjointed script lets them down. Just in time for Memorial Day, Beowulf Alley Theatre has delivered Shirley Lauro's A Piece of My Heart, a peek at the women who found themselves caught up in the controversial conundrum that was the Vietnam War.

    9 Queens Chess Fest offers lessons, puzzles, fun (Arizona Daily Star)
    Mingle among kings, queens and knights at the Third Annual Chess Fest at Hotel Congress next weekend. 9 Queens and Hotel Congress will host the free family festival that celebrates the benefits of chess...

    Arizona Theatre Company's The Glass Menagerie Builds a Story Around Story Building (New Times, Phoenix)
    I hesitate to describe the staging tricks that make Arizona Theatre Company's production of The Glass Menagerie so magnificent, for fear that detailing the ways in which director Juliette Carrillo has illuminated this graceful old warhorse will diminish its beauty for you when you go to see it. And you must go to see this production, even if — no, especially if — you've seen The Glass Menagerie before...

    Gin Blossoms, Blessthefall, The Love Me Nots and More Have Big Plans

    (New Times)
    What does a band do if its tour bus hits a deer? Ask Blessthefall, who at least pretend to deal with that situation in the latest dispatch from the Bangover tour, currently selling out shows in Canada. The band comes back to Arizona Thursday, April 29 to play at Tucson's Rialto Theatre with As I Lay Dying and have a European tour slated for this fall...

    Major presenters already have us looking ahead to the fall

    (AZBiz.com)
    While much of the current performing arts season is wrapping up, big announcements have come from some of the major presenters in Tucson. These have us looking ahead in the calendar to a great season coming up this fall and into 2011...

    Shepherds, Rejoice! Borderlands' merry 'Pastorela' once again reflects the spirit of Tucson (Tucson Weekly)
    In this age of big-budget movies and streaming video, it's easy to question the value of live theater. A movie ticket is cheap, and theater certainly can't compare in terms of pyrotechnics or CGI.Is there, in fact, anything you can do onstage that can't be done better on film? The answer is a resounding yes, and anyone who doubts this should attend Borderlands Theater's A Tucson Pastorela, now making its 14th annual appearance in the Old Pueblo...

    Drums, Dance, Mime (Tucson Weekly)
    Odaiko Sonora enlists some friends for their first full concert in two years... Yarrow King has the answer to the great mystery of Batucaxé: How do you pronounce the name of the lively troupe that's been bringing the rhythms of Brazil and Africa to Tucson for the last eight years?

    Gordon Knox named new ASU Art Museum director (Arizona State University)
    The ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts announced the appointment of Gordon Knox as the new director for the ASU Art Museum. Knox, currently a core collaborator for the Stanford Humanities Lab (SHL) at Stanford University, will begin his duties as museum director on a part-time basis on Jan. 11, 2010, assuming the position full-time July 1....

    ShowUp.com celebrates 5th anniversary (The Arizona Republic)
    ShowUp.com, the Valley's one-stop shop for arts and culture listings and discount tickets, marks its fifth anniversary Sunday, Nov. 15, with plenty to celebrate. Nearly every Valley arts group participates, from such major institutions as the Phoenix Symphony, Ballet Arizona and the Desert Botanical Garden on down to tiny alternative theaters. And this year, ShowUp.com expanded, creating mirror sites for Tucson and Flagstaff...

    Rent’s going up in Mesa (Echo Magazine)
    Mesa may have a conservative reputation, but Mesa Encore Theatre won’t be doing the high school version of Rent when the show is staged there. “No, no, no, no, no! We are doing all of Rent from beginning to end,” director Phillip Fazio said. “I know it’s hard to believe that this is actually going to happen in Mesa, but I guess it’s one of those ‘you’ll have to see it to believe it.’” ...

    Theater Works' The Smell of the Kill Is a Little Off (Phoenix New Times) 
    The Smell of the Kill is an awful name for a play, especially one as smartly written as Michele Lowe's tart black comedy, now on display at Algonquin Theater in Peoria. The story concerns three 21st-century wives stuck in pre-feminist marriages; each has a husband who's lacking in some real way and who's keeping his wife down with his rotten behavior....

    "Fools" (KBAQ)
    KBAQ Theater Critic Chris Curcio reviews the Arizona Jewish Theatre Company's production of Neil Simon's comedy "Fools," that tells of a small Russian town, Kulyenchikov, where the inhabitants are plagued by a curse that makes them all foolish.

    Lodestar Day Resource Center at the Downtown Phoenix Homeless Campus Offers Art Classes and a Place to Create (Phoenix New Times) This year, we asked artists and other creative types we know to come up with something that reflected their idea of Phoenix as their own personal Wonderland, this year's theme...

    KBAQ and Phoenix Chorale Scavenger Hunt (KBAQ)
    KBAQ Classical 89.5 FM and the Grammy Award-winning Phoenix Chorale challenge you to identify these 18 Sites You'd See on a First Friday Art Walk. Entry deadline is First Friday, October 2, at 5:30 PM online or 9:00 PM in person at Trinity Cathedral....

    Recession hits arts groups (Jewish News of Greater Phoenix)
    Arizona Jewish Theatre Company's decision in April to cancel the last show of its 2008-2009 season was one of the most visible signs of the effects of the current American recession on Arizona arts organizations, but it was not the only one...

     ShowUp.com expands reach (Jewish News of Greater Phoenix)
    Local arts and culture patrons in the know already use ShowUp.com to find out what's going on in the Valley. Starting Aug. 24, the Web site will expand its scope to Flagstaff as well. This comes only a few months after ShowUp.com began serving the metropolitan Tucson area. "Flagstaff and Tucson have really vibrant arts and cultural happenings that in many ways are very different from what goes on in the Valley," says Matt Lehrman, executive director of Alliance for Audience, the nonprofit organization that founded ShowUp.com in November 2004...

    Local arts find silver lining in cloud of economic woes (The Arizona Republic)
    The economic storm that has washed away arts funding has also grown creativity and strengthened relationships, members of the state's local arts agencies say.As artists, art advocates and executives met this week during the Southwest Arts Conference in Carefree, one workshop discussed the hardships and successes of local arts agencies.The hardships, naturally, involved funding. Some agencies, such as the Phoenix Arts Commission, saw their funding cut by as much as 50 percent. The Arizona Commission on the Arts saw its funding cut by 42 percent...

    Classical Indian dance at Tempe Center for the Arts (The Arizona Republic)
    Before attending Harvard University as a Coca-Cola scholar in the fall, Smitha Ramkrishna will perform her Bharatnatyam Arangetram before an audience at Tempe Center for the Arts.

    Red Rocks Music Festival launches eighth season (Jewish News of Greater Phoenix)
    After eight years, the Red Rocks Music Festival is still going strong. The annual cultural event, which brings classical music performances to venues in Sedona and around the Valley, will be held Aug. 30-Sept. 6."We try to reach a broad audience and come up with programs that are appealing and...

    The Year in Gay Theater (Echo Magazine)
    Okay, this is where I roundly castigate local theaters for their lack of LGBT content, right? But believe it or not, if you look hard enough, there are plenty of shows that tell our stories, or are written by gay playwrights. Of course, who could have imagined that one of the prime theaters for gay-friendly work is little Mesa Encore Theatre, which opens with Ken Ludwig’s cross-dressing comedy Leading Ladies (September), follow it with their version of Rent (November)...

    After 45 years, the Guarneri Quartet retires (KBAQ)
    With its final Valley performance, the Guarneri Quartet says farewell after 45 years of glorious music-making. Hear excerpts from a backstage interview when violinists Arnold Steinhardt and John Dalley and violist Michael Tree talked with Katrina Becker...

    Meeting Anthony Rapp & Adam Pascal.- Mark and Roger of Broadway's RENT. (azTeen Magazine)
    What is RENT? No, it’s not a payment made periodically by someone in exchange for land or a home. RENT is one of the most famous shows to have been on Broadway. More than 13 years ago, a man named Jonathon Larson created this show. It started out as a workshop then grew to be what it is now....

    DuoWest Presents the World Premiere of "Artifacts" (KBAQ)
    Piano-cello chamber ensemble DuoWest performs the world premiere of "Artifacts," a song cycle inspired by the lost civilization of the Hohokam, created by local composer Craig Bohmler and lyricist Marion Adler...

    Columbine revisited (Echo Magazine)
    Columbinus takes a look at what leads to high school shootings- Created by the United States Theater Project, columbinus seeks to make sense of the horrors of the Columbine High School massacre and the social hierarchies that helped foster it.

    Tucson Pima Arts Council to start online directory (Tucson Citizen)
    An online directory will be launched April 10 to provide a one-stop look at all arts and entertainment options in the Tucson region, the Tucson Pima Arts Council announced. Tucson will join cities around the country where arts organizations have consolidated color-coded arts and entertainment listings plus the ability to buy tickets onto a single Internet site. Tucson's listings will be available on a dedicated button at ShowUp.com..!

    High on Rent (Echo Magazine)
    When the much-anticipated tour of Rent arrives in Tempe at Gammage Auditorium, a lot of the cast will look familiar to those who know the show’s history or who saw the amazing DVD of the final Broadway performance. Original stars Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal have joined the tour to recreate their iconic roles of Mark and Roger...

    Just a Stage- Die laughing with Killer Joe at Nearly Naked Theater (Echo Magazine)
    Nearly Naked premieres Tracy Letts’ horrifyingly hilarious comedy. If you thought the Palins were the worst white trash family in America, think again! The benignly named Smiths of Tracy Letts’ brutally black comedy, Killer Joe, definitely take the deep-fried Twinkie in that contest....

    Arizona State University's Future Arts Research is Shortsighted in Failing to Focus on Phoenix (Phoenix New Times)
    Let's get this straight: Millions of dollars are being hacked from Arizona university and college budgets. Entire university programs are being eliminated. There's talk of actually closing down some of ASU's satellite campuses. ASU employees are forced to take furloughs. The downtown Phoenix arts community is tenaciously hanging on by its fingernails. And Michael Crow's latest brainchild is...

    Latino arts groups call for a cultural home (The Arizona Republic)
    When Elizabeth Gauna closed the Museo Chicano in January, it wasn't just the end of a small Phoenix museum. It left a city of 1.5 million people, 40 percent of them of Hispanic descent, without a Latino art museum. While major Latino museums have sprung up in big cities, including Long Beach, Calif.; Albuquerque; and San Antonio, Phoenix has lagged behind.

    Arts World Weight-Sharing Techniques (The Bulletin, PA)
    To dig each other out of the current economic morass, a fundamental integration of the arts and business worlds is urgently needed. Instead of segregating each into right- and left-brain domains relegated to work versus leisure time, these two equally important elements must finally be united into one forceful whole. Artists know...

    Arts Groups Lose Out in Fight for Funds (The Wall Street Journal)
    Museums, theaters and operas, already reeling from the recession, are having a tough time attracting support amid perceptions that vital services like soup kitchens and homeless shelters should receive funds first. Arts organization are retrenching, and in some cases closing, as a result of fewer sales of tickets and merchandise, arts leaders say. They're also seeing fewer donations from individuals and corporations, and cutbacks in government funding. About 10,000 arts organizations, or 10% of the U.S. total, are at risk of folding, according to Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit lobbying group in Washington, D.C....

    Shakespeare feast: Original recipe, 2 adaptations(The Arizona Republic)
    This month, Valley theaters are offering a three-course feast for Bardophiles. Southwest Shakespeare has a more or less traditional Othello, while Black Theatre Troupe is serving up a hip-hop musical version of Hamlet called Revenge of a King. Over at Theater Works, there's Premiere!, a new comedy by Dale Wasserman about a successful playwright who decides to pass off his own work as a "lost" tragedy by the greatest dramatist in history...

    Get Ready to Burp These Babies! (Echo Magazine)
    Who is Dixie Longate and why is she calling me “Hooker?!” Not to worry, it’s a term of endearment from the big-hearted and even bigger-haired Queen of Tupperware...check out this interview wiht the star of Dixie’s Tupperware Party...

    The buzz on 'Triple Espresso'(The Arizona Republic)
    The creators of the showbiz comedy Triple Espresso might not have imagined that their pet project would become such a gigantic hit, running for 12 years in their hometown of Minneapolis and playing in theaters across the country. But even before they booked their first performance (at a local church), they had big ambitions: to write "the funniest show in America."...

    'Hair' long on appeal, power(The Arizona Republic)
    Peace, love, harmony? Check. Sex, drugs, rock and roll? Check. But there's a lot more powering Arizona Theatre Company's revival of Hair than flowers and nostalgia...

    No Bailout for the Arts? (Washington Post) 
    While government bailouts are being offered or considered for financial institutions, the auto industry, homeowners, and so many other needy and worthy sectors, one group is quickly and rather quietly falling apart: our nation's arts organizations...

    Life is wild with 'Lion King' (Arizona Republic)
    Elephants, giraffes, gazelles: The Lion King may be the most dazzling Broadway show in a generation, but the supporting roles played by the ensemble sound like something out of a grade-school pageant... review by Kerry Lengel

    Life’s a Stage, Even When You’re Sitting in Front of One (Phoenix New Times)
    As usual, I saw a hell of a lot of plays this past year. But I suspect 2008 is the year I'll remember not so much for what took place on stage (although it's hard to forget a production as flawless as Childsplay's A Tale of Two Cities, or one so mind- and ass-numbing as Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde) as what happened around me before, during, and after the show...

    Robert Harper Q&ARobert Harper (Echo Magazine)
    One of the Valley’s most beloved actors talks about the Phoenix Theater scene. If you’re a fan of professional theater in Phoenix, you have either seen Robert Harper onstage or seen his inventive choreography....

    Logainne has two daddies and a really long last name!The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee  (Echo Magazine)
    Echo talks to Putnam County’s littlest overachiever. William Finn’s (Falsettos) humorous musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, may seem sweet on the surface...William

    “Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting” at SMoCA Manifests in the Form of Lead Teddy Bears and Car Wreckage(Phoenix New Times)
    At Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art's "Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting," charred car parts equal lace and lead yarn equals teddy bear. See, unlike me, the artists in this show successfully push the boundaries of method and material....

    Behind-the-scenes work garnering rave reviews( Jewish News of Greater Phoenix)
    Multicultural approach suits ASU events chief-"She is a creative and dynamic person who has brought a tremendous commitment to taking the arts out to the community, involving more people of different backgrounds and in different ways than anyone I've ever met," said Rabbi Barton Lee, director of the Hillel Jewish Student Center at Arizona State University.

    Deavere Smith to Raise Issues in 'Arizona' (Back Stage.com)
    Playwright-actor Anna Deavere Smith will present The Arizona Project — a one-woman show exploring women's relationships to justice and the law — at Herberger Theater in Phoenix.

     Curtains: A New Brain at Soul Invictus(Phoenix New Times)
    Nowadays most theatergoers have at least heard of Avenue Q, Angels in America, and Urinetown, but the original offbeat, snarky, hyper-literate, queer-friendly Renaissance man, in my opinion, is William Finn, composer/lyricist of the Falsettos trilogy and, most recently, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Artists' Theatre Project, informally known as @Pro, has built their reputation by programming on the daring side (especially for the Valley) and mounting energetic, respectable....

    Chihuly helps us see life anew ( The Arizona Republic)
    Dale Chihuly is ambitious.The Seattle glass artist built a marketing empire, selling his signature as a brand name and single-handedly raising the profile of glass as an art medium for the wider public.

    Out of the mouths of babes comes … Scientology? (Echo Magazine)
    Neil Cohen covers The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Stray Cat’s newest holiday offering — A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant and Holly Jolly Christmas  a seasonal treat at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre.

    Arty Girl: Artists on Artists: "The Re-Imagined Space" Series at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (Phoenix New Times) 
    If you grew up in the West, you’re probably pretty hungry for space. With our ranch-style homes, big back yards and seemingly endless desert, we’re sensitive to the way our walls block us from that which we crave. Such is the focus of a discussion, curated by local artists Steven Yazzie and Sue Chenoweth, that focuses on three artists’ work 

    “Lowriders and Tattoos” at Mesa Arts Center Is an Audiovisual Attack That Hurts So Good (Phoenix New Times) 
    It's difficult to enter "Lowriders and Tattoos" at Mesa Contemporary Arts without preconceptions. Let's be honest: Both cultural phenomena carry a negative stigma, even in a country where Hispanic culture is blossoming and, according to exhibit curator Patty Haberman, nearly half the population is inked....What happened? The show kicked my presupposing booty into sensory overdrive and knocked me off my stereotyping course....

    Reviews for: "The Producers" - Phoenix Theatre and "Everything Will Be Different" - Stray Cat Theatre Media Reviews for Everything Will Be Different: (Cutain Up Phoenix)
    Two diverse but well staged theater events premiered over the weekend. For its 1,000 show, Phoenix Theatre mounts a thoroughly entertaining staging of “The Producers,” Mel Brooks’ hilarious musical based on his film that slams crackpot Broadway producers. The other show is Stray Cat Theatre’s fascinatingly dark character study of a troubled teenage girl devastated by her mother’s death, “Everything Will Be Different,” subtitled “A Brief History of Helen of Troy.” This production marks the alternative theater company’s move to the downtown Tempe Performing Arts Center....

    Stray Cat brings old spirit to new digs in 'Everything' (The Arizona Republic)
    You can take the cat out of the alley, but you can't take the alley out of the cat. Stray Cat Theatre has moved into new digs for the 2008-09 season, at the Tempe Performing Arts Center. The venue is not to be confused with the $63 million Tempe Center for the Arts, but it's a vast improvement over the alternative troupe's last theater, with better lighting and sight lines....

    Vegas, baby!  (Echo Magazine)
    Get ready to see the original coolest of the cool when The Rat Pack Live at the Sands hits Gammage. You might be tempted to think that The Rat Pack Live at the Sands is a tribute show where the performers just mimic icons like Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin, and that the show had to be made in America. You’d be wrong on both counts...

    Talk about Dysfuntional!  (Theater Maven)
    Take one imaginative teen age girl whose mother has died and who does not communicate with her father at all, mix in some fantasy involving her sexuality, demeanor and need for a confidante and you have the recipe for a very intriguing evening of theater!...

    'BS4P' makes pop-culture point, over and over (The Arizona Republic)
    Part sketch comedy, part performance art, Britney Spears for President is billed as a "pop culture disaster." Which is as good a description as any. A demented fantasia on celebrity worship, plastic surgery and post-9/11 politics, it's the brainchild of John Caswell Jr. and his Progressive Theatre Workshop....

    10/2-11/15: 'All Shook Up' (The Arizona Republic)
    In an unlikely pairing, Shakespeare meets Elvis Presley in Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre's next offering. The result is a sweet tangle of romantic love and high energy rock and roll. All Shook Up opens Thursday, Oct. 2, and runs through Nov. 15 at the Mesa theater....

    Dinner theater options (The Arizona Republic) Caberet and All shook Up!
    It doesn't matter whether you order the chicken or the beef, the main course at a dinner theater is always nostalgia. Even when it's a "new" musical, it's usually a revue packed with familiar melodies. A comparison of this month's openings at the two big dinner-and-a-show venues in the Valley...

    Art comes out at night at Tempe Marketplace (East Valley Tribune)
    A partnership between Tempe Marketplace and ASU Herberger College of the Arts, Night Gallery is a showcase for graduate students, faculty and alumni...

    >> Hits ‘Lion King,’ ‘Wicked’ return in ‘08-’09 Gammage season (East Valley Tribune)
    Stage musical versions of television’s “Happy Days” and Disney’s “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” plus returns of hit musicals “The Lion King,” “Rent,” “Cats” and “Wicked,” headline the 2008-’09 Broadway Across America season at Tempe’s Gammage Auditorium.

    >> 9 Parts of Desire: a story of Iraqi women searching for freedom (Phoenix New Times)
    ...Raffo's remarkable one-woman show unfolded before me, moved not only by the depth of emotion she brought to each of her nine characters but by the subtlety with which she led me (and, I'm guessing, much of the audience) to...

    >> Innovative band keeps Basie's jazz alive, fresh (The Arizona Republic)
    What a difference a day makes. Very little if it's the Count Basie Orchestra. William "Count" Basie has been dead for 23 years, but it would be difficult to tell from the group's performances

    >> Through 4/20: 'Jekyll & Hyde' is a macabre spectacle (The Arizona Republic)
    Fans of such macabre musicals as Phantom of the Opera and Tim Burton's latest big-screen bloodletter, Sweeney Todd, will want to head over to Arizona Broadway Theatre for Jekyll & Hyde. Frank Wildhorn's hit Broadway musical is running at the Peoria dinner theater through April 20.

    >> Joanna Settle on directing 9 Parts of Desire and what she refuses to ask an actor to do (Phoenix New Times)
    Director Joanna Settle is the other woman behind playwright/actor Heather Raffo's acclaimed 9 Parts of Desire as well as...

    >> 'Merry Wives’ of whimsy (Get Out)
    Dressed up in the fat suit and fineries of bloated grifter Sir John Falstaff in Southwest Shakespeare Company’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” Ben Tyler is so much more than the funniest sight gag this season. He’s a source of architectural wonder.

    >> Sirens of Song will sing for Opera's benefit (The Arizona Republic)
    The Sirens of Song, three East Valley sopranos, will fill Steinway of Scottsdale's hall with music in a fundraising concert April 4 for the Phoenix Metropolitan Opera. The concert, from 6 to 8 p.m., is one of a series of community events for the Phoenix Metropolitan Opera, which was founded in 2006 by Metropolitan Opera star and mezzo soprano Gail Dubinbaum and her husband, John Massaro, an award-winning arranger, conductor, composer and producer of North Phoenix.This community fundraiser will feature...

    >> Cyber sins – dark play weaves a dangerous web (Echo Magazine)
    Director Jonathan Bellar is about to take audiences on a scary ride through the secret worlds of the Internet when his production, dark plays or stories for boys opens at ASU’s historic Lyceum Theatre.

    >> 'Kissing' leaves emotional mark (The Arizona Republic)
    Theatre Artists Studio bills itself as a workout space for actors and directors, rather than a producing company in competition with the dozens of others in the Valley. But with its onstage offerings, this "co-op" is aggressively staking out a prominent place in the theater scene.

    >> As WGA Nears Deal, Is SAG Next? (Backstage.com)
    The timing of a potential resolution -- less than five months before a potential actors walkout -- means there will be no immediate greenlights based on the work of returning writers....