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
Forever Plaid: They’re dead and they like to sing close harmonies, so what’s not to love about The Plaids, a fictional guy group that’s become a fixture of sorts in local theater? This time, they’re brought to you courtesy of Copperstate Dinner Theater, where they’ll cover the Four Aces and the Four Freshmen while you eat surf and turf. Songs include “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Perfidia,” “Cry,” and “Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing,” sung here by Stephen Goodfriend and Matt Bauer, among others. As usual, Copperstate’s producing director Peter J. Hill is directing, with choreography by Noel Irick and musical direction by Bill Moore. Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings, with dinner at 6:30 and curtain at 8, and on Sundays at 5:30 with a 7 p.m. curtain. Show and dinner price is $39.95; reservations can be made at 602-279-3129. Through November 11 at Phoenix Greyhound Park, 3801 E. Washington St.
Jersey Boys: Last year’s Tony for Best Musical went to this Bob Gaudio/Bob Crewe tuner about the lives and career of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The cheese factor is high with any book musical about a pop supergroup, but this one thanks in no small part to Marshall Brickman and Rick Elise’s unsentimental book manages to avoid a lot of the usual show biz clichés. One of the show’s several touring casts have docked at Gammage for a short run that closes on October 14; if you miss it, there’s a permanent production playing nonstop in Vegas. Songs include “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” and “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night),” a.k.a. the French national anthem. ASU’s Grady Gammage Auditorium is located on Mill Avenue at 11th Street in Tempe; for tickets, call 480-965-3434.
Hershey Felder as George Gershwin Alone: “It is difficult,” said one review of this show, “to determine if the actor listed in the playbill, Hershey Felder, is inhabiting Gershwin, or if Gershwin is inhabiting him.” ’Nuff said, except to mention that Felder switches between monologues about the great composer’s life (funny stuff, like his father’s misunderstanding of Gershwin song titles or his mother’s interference in the costume design for Porgy and Bess; and disturbing, like the reviews his music received later in his life) and tunes that tell an even greater story. Arizona Theater Company’s presentation of Felder’s uncanny impersonation plays the Herberger (222 East Monroe Street) through October 28. For tickets, call 602-256-6899.
Charlotte's Web: Find out what Wilbur said to Templeton in Joseph Robinette’s well-regarded translation of E.B. White’s marvelous storybook about Wilbur, a special piglet who’s on his way to the slaughterhouse until Charlotte, a wise spider, intercedes on his behalf. The pair explores friendship, loyalty, and some pretty special adjectives as well in this Childsplay production. Saturdays and Sundays at 1 and 4 p.m. at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe. $25 for adults; $20 for children, seniors, and students. Through October 14.
Little Shop of Horrors: The first of four local productions of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s wildly successful musical is this one from Arizona Broadway Theatre, which runs straight through November 4. Dine on pork tenderloin and cream-cheese-frosted carrot cake while Audrey II, a giant puppet of a plant, dines on the cast of this comic perennial. ABT is located at 7701 West Paradise Lane in Peoria. Dinner is served at 6:15; curtain time is at 8. Call 623-776-8400 to reserve a seat or maybe just to plead with these guys to do more original work from time to time.
Dracula: The Musical?: The question mark in this Scottsdale Desert Stages production’s title screams, “Careful! Hyper-clever campiness awaits you!” But who can resist any show that includes a song called “The Tippy, Tippy Tap of Love”? Playwright Rick Abbot is taking pokes at Bram Stoker’s classic monster story in this family-friendly tune-fest; look for wisecracks about hemoglobin and songs about being buried alive. Dracula: The Musical? plays Fridays and Saturdays at Desert Stages’ Actor’s Café through December 15. For some reason, the curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. rather than the more customary 8. The theater is located at 4720 North Scottsdale Road, and tickets are $22 in advance and $25 day of show. Reservations are recommended. Call 480-483-1664.