West Side Glory

Phoenix Theatre updates a classic with aplomb, but other season openers lack hit power

The real horror is that Dead Mother's cast, a fledgling company of former ASU students who've performed admirably on that school's stages, is wasting its time and talent on this kind of nonsense. I'm hoping that someone will step in and inform these capable kids that wearing plastic phalluses and simulating sex with inflatable sheep is neither shocking nor entertaining; it's just dumb.

I'm frankly surprised that PT's West Side Story didn't tank, and that the talents of ASU's theater alumnae haven't, as yet, breathed life into Planet Earth's perishing playhouse. I'm even more startled to find myself writing a recommendation for skipping a new, unusual piece of theater in favor of the umpteenth production of a classic stage musical. Consider it done.

West Side Story continues through October 11 at Phoenix Theatre, 100 East McDowell.

Dead Mother or Shirley Not All in Vain continues through October 3 at Planet Earth Multi-Cultural Theater, 909 North Third Street.

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