Best Community Theater, East Valley Phoenix 2013 - Hale Centre Theatre
To be honest, we're always a little skeptical of anything billing itself as "community theater." That is, we were until we saw a production at Hale in downtown Gilbert. Last year's The Secret Garden was so good that we took our family — and some family friends — to see Annie. Equally impressive. This summer, when we took the kids out one night for a spontaneous dinner in Gilbert, there was a collective gasp when we saw the sign advertising Hale's Hairspray — drat, we missed it. But we'll be back. If you can get us excited about a small-town theater production that doesn't include a single cast member we know (who hasn't sat through a dreadful show just because a fourth cousin once removed had a bit part?), you can guarantee it's gonna be good. From the setting to the sets to the dancing, singing, and acting, these people are real pros.