Best Comeback By A Local Theater Troupe (2002)
Phoenix Theatre's Sophisticated Ladies
After several consecutive seasons of mostly ill-conceived dreck, the Valley's oldest theater company rebounded with what was arguably the best show of the year. Phoenix Theatre's production of Sophisticated Ladies was so letter-perfect in performance and execution, it was nearly enough to make us forget the same company's laughably awful take on A Streetcar Named Desire of two seasons ago. Everything about Ladies was right: The dancing and singing were superb; the choreography fresh; the set and costume design outstanding. Every word, note and gesture jibed with our memory of Duke Ellington, whose music was celebrated in this tough-to-stage musical revue. Here's to hoping that Phoenix Theatre's upcoming season will repeat the stunning success of its Sophisticated Ladies.