Culture News

10 Must-See Plays and Musicals in Metro Phoenix This Spring

Scene from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Space 55.
Scene from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Space 55. Space 55
In the mood for some serious escapism? Need inspiration to get more engaged in issues of the day? Either way, theater has you covered. Spring offerings in metro Phoenix are looking good. And we’ve found 10 plays and musicals to put at the top of your must-see list.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Space 55
Through March 12
See Edward Albee’s classic play exploring the breakdown of a marriage, and the ways a younger couple gets drawn into a middle-age couple’s travails. Directed by Carolyn McBurney, it’s enjoying an extended run following rave reviews. Learn more on the Space 55 website.

Ralph Remington will direct the play Some Velvet Morning in Tempe.
Greg Wolf, City of Tempe
Some Velvet Morning
Tempe Center for the Arts
March 9 to 19
Sexism and misogyny take center stage as Ralph Remington directs this provocative Neil LaBute play exploring obsession, desire, and the roles people play. Guest artists Tandem Duo are performing an original score on violin and marimba, so you’ll get a good music fix, too. Find details on the Tempe Center for the Arts website.

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Brittany Watson as Mary Dalton, Micah Jondel DeShazer as Bigger Thomas, and Jason Hammond as Jan. Alan Johnson in background as The Black Rat.
John Groseclose
Native Son
Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center
March 10 to 24
Ron May directs this Stray Cat Theatre production filled with social-justice themes from oppression to freedom. Set in the south side of Chicago during the 1930s, the play was adapted by Chicago playwright Nambi E. Kelley from a Richard Wright novel. Get information on the Stray Cat Theatre website.

Jesus Christ Superstar
Arizona Broadway Theatre
March 17 to April 16
Apparently, it was possible to achieve rock-star status even before the dawn of Twitter. See how it happened to Jesus, told through the eyes of Judas, in the classic rock opera by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Learn more on the Arizona Broadway Theatre website.

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Throwback to the Phoenix Theatre and Black Theatre Troupe Hairspray collaboration.
Phoenix Theatre
The Scottsboro Boys
Phoenix Theatre
April 5 to 30
Phoenix Theatre collaborates with Black Theatre Troupe to present this musical rooted in historical events that occurred in Alabama during the 1930s. The musical, featuring music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, considers issues of racial injustice. Get details on the Phoenix Theatre website.

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A sneak peek at themes for the world-premiere play Haboob.
ASU Herberger Institute
Nelson Fine Arts Center
April 14 to 23
Xanthia Walker directs this world premiere play written by Marvin González De León in the style of magical realism. His work imagines the plight of a young man whose father sends him on a quest along the U.S.-Mexico border. Find more information on the ASU Herberger Institute website.

Read on for more  must-see theater this season.
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Three smart guys walk into a German town...
Southwest Shakespeare Company
Taliesin West
April 20 to 29
Southwest Shakespeare Company once again performs the David Davalos play that sets Hamlet, Faustus, and Martin Luther together in 1517, the year Luther launched the Protestant Reformation by nailing his famous 95 Theses to a church door in Germany. Learn more on the Southwest Shakespeare Company website.

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Mysteries abound.
Esser Design
Holmes and Watson
Herberger Theater Center
May 11 to 28
Arizona Theatre Company presents a world premiere mystery by Jeffrey Hatcher, in which the famed detective has supposedly died, leaving his faithful assistant to determine which of three men are imposters, and which might be the real Sherlock Holmes. Get details on the Arizona Theatre Company website.

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The Book of Mormon National Tour company.
Joan Marcus
The Book of Mormon
ASU Gammage
May 18 to 28
Another tour for The Book of Mormon is headed to ASU Gammage. Written by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, creators of the TV series South Park, the musical parodies not only religion but also the American Dream. Find more information on the ASU Gammage website.


Mesa Arts Center
May 19 to 28
Mesa Encore Theatre performs the musical that imagines life in a town where people have to pay to pee. Consider it a tasteful, tongue-in-cheek riff on capitalism, populism, politics, bureaucracy, and the legal system. Learn more on the Mesa Arts Center website.
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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble