Reviews and Previews of What's Running Now

Pajama Game: Word from Tucson, where Arizona Theatre Company debuted this recently revived Broadway favorite last month, is that the company has come up with another winner. With direction by ATC artistic director David Ira Goldstein, and a return from New York by local favorite (and former Phoenix native) Bob Sorenson, that doesn't seem unlikely. Sorenson plays grumpy factory timekeeper Vernon Hines and, therefore, gets to sing the delightful "I'll Never Be Jealous Again," one among a handful of songs from this show's original score (by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross) that people actually remember. That song was made over in the 2006 Broadway revival, which made a sweep of the most recent Tonys and is probably why Equity companies are suddenly interested again in this old fave, already a staple with every community theater in the country. ATC's production will play through January 20 at the Herberger Theatre Center, 222 E. Monroe St. Call 602-256-6899 for times and reservations.

Halpern and Johnson: Lionel Goldstein's play, originally presented as a telefilm in 1983 starring the rather odd pairing of Sir Laurence Olivier and Jackie Gleason, begins at the New York graveside of Florence Halpern, whose husband of 50-plus years is paying his last respects. He's joined there by a stranger bearing flowers, a fellow who may or may not have had an ongoing affair with Florence. Arizona Jewish Theater Company is presenting its first show of the new year through January 20 at its new facility, the Paradise Valley Community College center for the Performing Arts, at 18401 N. 32nd St. Call the box office at 602-264-0402 for ticket prices and show times.

Anything Goes: Not to be confused with the super-cheesy '70s game show of the same name (Remember? Pie fights and challenge rounds featuring The DeFranco Family?), this popular book musical is among the better composer-centric homages. Sing-along standards from Cole Porter like "I Get a Kick Out of You," "You're the Top," "It's De-Lovely," "Blow, Gabriel, Blow," and of course, the title tune, presented here as a show-stopper, are all neatly grafted onto a story of mistaken identities and a ship full of tap-dancing Marines. Through February 9 at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 5247 E. Brown Road in Mesa. Call 480-325-6700 for ticket prices and dinner menus.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela