Best Community Theater Phoenix 2011 - Stray Cat Theatre
Reviews were mixed for their season-ending Abraham Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party, but that show — as well as so many others offered by this smart, talented troupe of community players — was sold out. So who cares what critics say? In a town overrun with little theaters (most of them a revolving door for would-be thespians that offer nothing more exciting than another rerun of West Side Story), this petite playhouse caters to a more discerning theater-going crowd. This season, artistic director Ron May and company offered up a rousing production of Neil LaBute's stunning meditation on looksism, reasons to be pretty; a naughty-but-nice look at racism called Learn to be Latina; and Steve Yockey's wet and wonderful Octopus, full of naked men and very moist special effects. While not every one of this tiny troupe's productions is a winner, most of the time they come closer than any other local troupe with a nice mix of alternative theater done up right. We're looking forward to their next season, set to launch this month.