The 10 Best Plays I Saw in Metro Phoenix in 2012

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9. Orange Theatre Group's hair & fingernails at phx:FRINGE Having a genuinely experimental theater headquartered in town makes me so glad I could plotz. This performance, in the upstairs jazz studio at Phoenix Center for the Arts, used video cameras, microphones, and computer manipulation and projection of the resulting stimuli to enhance a troubling and bizarre solo performance.

8. iTheatre Collaborative's Gruesome Playground Injuries Some of playwright Rajiv Joseph's conventions for this story of two friends -- who simultaneously attract and repel like magnets of crazy -- work wonders, and some don't. But a top-notch cast and thoughtful staging and direction made it a haunting and thought-provoking evening.

7. Arizona Theatre Company's Daddy Long Legs It's awesome enough when great literature you're familiar with becomes an entertaining stage adaptation, but when a delightful play shines a spotlight on a neglected work of fiction, it's even more fun. This musical has captivated fans of musicals without ever having a big, spectacular Broadway run, and the composer's Jane Austen's Emma is something to look forward to in coming weeks from ATC.

6. Dark Porch Theatre's TUTOR: enter the exclave, also at phx:FRINGE This San Francisco company stole one of Phoenix's favorite young actors, Brandon M. Wiley, and cast him alongside some of the strongest performers I've ever encountered anywhere at any ticket price. That and the fucking weird story made it a show to remember.

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Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson