By Kathleen Vanesian
By Amy Silverman
By Robrt L. Pela
By Jim Louvau
By Kathleen Vanesian
By Benjamin Leatherman
By New Times
By Becky Bartkowski
Well: Lisa Kron’s autobiographical play, set in the Lansing, Michigan, neighborhood where she grew up, delves into her family’s medical history and addresses issues of health and sickness via her chronically ill mother and the community that this woman once saved from decline after its racial integration. Kron’s main conceit is her script’s structure: It’s presented as a work in progress, one in which the actors often refuse to follow what’s on the page, even as we look on. The original, in which Kron appeared as herself, was nominated for a Tony Award. This Arizona Women’s Theatre production, directed by Ann Tully, is an Arizona première, with performances Thursday to Sunday through April 29. Ticket prices vary, depending on the day of the show; reservations are available at http://www.azwtc.org/ or by calling 480-607-7107. AWT performs at Stable Arts Theatre, 7610 E. McDonald Dr., south of Lincoln and east of Scottsdale Road.
My Fair Lady: The rain in Spain will be falling mainly on the theatrical plain of Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, which brings us this famed Lerner-Loewe musical through mid-April. Based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, My Fair Lady contains more classic tunes in its first act alone (“Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?”; “The Rain in Spain”; “I Could Have Danced All Night”; “On the Street Where You Live”) than most composers have turned out in an entire career. The original cast of the show’s 1956 debut production, directed by Moss Hart and choreographed by Hanya Holm, included Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews, and Cathleen Nesbitt, and ran for an incredible 2,717 performances, a record at the time. And who can forget Al Hirschfeld’s infamous playbill cover drawing depicting Eliza as a marionette being manipulated by Henry Higgins, whose own strings are being yanked by a heavenly George Bernard Shaw? This dine-and-ogle version plays through April 14 at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 5247 E. Brown Rd. in Mesa. Call 480-325-6700 for tickets and showtimes.
Pajama Tops: In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Copperstate Dinner Theatre is trotting out a remount of this, its first-ever production. One can’t imagine that a quarter-century has done anything to improve Mawby Green and Ed Feilbert’s script, one of those silly sex farces in which stereotypically goofy people tease us and each other for two hours before finally not having sex. There’s a ditzy maid, an oafish police inspector, a woman-hating poet who’s secretly gay, and a chic young couple who own the French villa in which the action, such as it is, takes place. Through May 20 at Copperstate Dinner Theater, inside Phoenix Greyhound Park, 3801 E. Washington St. For curtain times and ticket prices, call 602-279-3129.
Psycho Beach Party: Artists Theatre Project is probably hoping that no one remembers Phoenix Little Theater’s crafty, long-ago production of this campy Charles Busch favorite. PLT’s stunningly silly version starred Christopher Wynn in a giant, polka-dot party dress and Kirby Holt in a dirndl, either of which would be a tough act to follow even more than a decade later. If anyone can come close to making fun from Busch’s expert spoof of ’60s beach party films, it’s @PRO, which has scored in the past with equally broad burlesques. Time will tell, Berdine. Through April 29 at Soul Invictus, 1022 NW Grand Ave. Call 602-614-4154 or visit http://www.soulinvictus.com for times, ticket reservations, and more information.
Suds: Local critics haven’t much liked this goofball extravaganza of tunes from the 1960s, and who can blame them? Of the innumerable inane musical revues that attempt to wrap era-specific pop songs around a slim story, this one’s the hokiest. To sell its silly tale of a Laundromat owner who attempts suicide and is cornered by a trio of guardian angels, a troupe really needs talented singers with a wide range of singing styles. Desert Stages has chosen a different route; thankfully, there are always audiences who don’t care who’s crooning “Wait a Minute, Mr. Postman,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” or “Wishing and Hoping”; they just want their big slice of ’60s pie. This one may be mincemeat, but it’s been playing for months on end, and Desert Stages plans to keep it afloat through the end of April in its Theatre’s Actor’s Café at 4720 North Scottsdale Road. Curtain is at 7:30 on Fridays and Saturdays; tickets are $20-$25. Call 480-483-1664 for reservations.