Best Theater Venue - 2011
Kax Stage, Herberger Theater Center
We've seen a lot of nice plays and musical revues in this dark, compact space, once used exclusively for rehearsal by the likes of Arizona Theater Company and Actors Theatre. Its new renovation includes a Van Buren Street canopy that beckons passersby to drop in for weekday Lunch Time Theater, courtesy of drama doyenne Judy Rollings and a revolving cast of characters and playwrights. The marquee sign outside reminds us, late in the year, to reserve tickets for iTheatre Collaborative's magnificent holiday cabaret featuring Jeff Kennedy and a parade of local song-and-dance talent doing Yuletide tunes every December. Once inside, we feel like a member of the theater elite — or at least like we're enjoying entertainment in a more sophisticated city — while we sit in the dark mustiness of a rehearsal hall, watching our favorites emote and croon.