A Chorus Line: That tried-and-true celebration of the unsung heroes of American musical theater, the chorus boys and gals, is traipsing back into town and this time it comes with an entree! The second-longest-running show in Broadway history won both a Tony and a Pulitzer and features the now-classic songs "At the Ballet," "The Music and the Mirror," "One," and that ultimate blank-stare ballad, "What I Did for Love." It reveals, through song and dance, the hopes and fears of professional dancers as they audition for a new Broadway show, and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that show people are not necessarily the most mentally stable bunch in the whole world. A Chorus Line performs Sept. 28 through Nov. 11 at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. Tickets cost between $41 and $50, and showtimes are all over the map; call 480-325-6700 for dinner and curtain times. Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre is located at 5247 E. Brown Rd. in Mesa.
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying: Even people who hate musical theater tend to look fondly on this irreverent tuner from the authors of Guys and Dolls. A satire of big business and all it holds sacred, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying follows the rise of J. Pierrepont Finch as he climbs the corporate ladder, from put-upon window washer to high-powered executive. Frank Loesser's still-topical tunes tackle corporate horrors like nepotism, office parties, company men, and ambitious receptionists. The show's original production opened in October of 1961 and ran for more than 1,400 performances; this and subsequent productions tend to draw more from the staging of the show's recent Broadway revival. Sept. 29 through Nov. 12 at Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 W. Paradise Lane in Peoria. Showtimes are 6:15 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 12:15 and 6:15 p.m. Saturdays, and 11:15 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $39 to $49; call 623-776-8400.
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Pearls: Motherhood Unstrung: This tribute to moms and momism is culled from a collection of essays by the students of Mothers Who Write, a creative writing workshop for mothers sponsored by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. The play incorporates pieces both comic and tragic about divorce, finding God, and moms who've reconciled relationships with their own mothers. Pearls is produced by actor/author Debra Rich Gettleman along with Jewish News of Greater Phoenix associate editor Deborah Sussman Susser and New Times managing editor Amy Silverman, who teach the Mothers Who Write workshops. The show will run through Oct. 8 at the newly opened Arizona Women's Theatre Company at Stable Arts Theatre, 7610 E. McDonald Dr. in Scottsdale. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $25 for evening performances and $20 for matinees. Discounts are available for groups, seniors and students. Call 602-620-0044 for tickets and additional information.
Previews and reviews
Sleeping Beauty: Mark your kiddy calendars Childsplay's 29th season is about to begin with this fresh version of the timeless fairy tale in Center Stage at the Herberger Theater Center. Arizona's award-winning theater company for young audiences and families will mount Welsh playwright Charles Way's adaptation of the famous fable, one that brings us a bolder, funnier Sleeping Beauty than Disney ever imagined. A different spin on the usual suspects, some wild plot twists, and wacky new characters will tickle kids and their chaperones as well. There's Briar Rose, a spunky and independent princess; her prince, Owain; Gryff, a half-man, half-dragon sidekick; and a fairy-only dance troupe named Twyleth Teg. Samantha K. Wyer, associate artistic director and education director at Arizona Theatre Company, makes her Childsplay directorial debut here with a show that's the first in the Target Storybook Season. Cast members include Childsplay stalwarts Katie McFadzen, Jon Gentry, Dwayne Hartford, and Debra K. Stevens. The run continues through Sept. 30 at Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. Single tickets cost $22 for adults, $18 for children and seniors. For reservations, phone 602-252-8497.