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FLASHDANCENovember 4-9, 2014Centennial HallCelebrating its 30th Anniversary, the pop culture phenomenon of FLASHDANCE is now live on stage. With electrifying dance at its core, FLASHDANCE-THE MUSICAL tells the inspiring and unforgettable story of Alex Owens, a Pittsburgh steel mill welder by day and a bar dancer by night with dreams of one day becoming a professional performer. When romance with her steel mill boss threatens to complicate her ambitions, Alex learns the meaning of love and its power to fuel the pursuit of her dream.***Please note there is no Sunday evening performance***Recommended for ages 12+. Contains language and some adult content.
Who you gonna call when you want to see a hilarious spoof of the 1984 film “Ghostbusters”? The Gaslight Theatre, of course. In its latest production, “Ghostblasters,” the Gaslight Theatre manifests another comedic work of art under writer/director Peter Van Slyke, starring Mike Yarema and Jake Chapman as ghost-hunting protagonists tasked with saving the city from a flurry of trouble-making spirits. As is the usual with Gaslight shows, this one starts out high-energy and doesn’t let up for the duration, in the process seamlessly revisiting some of the most memorable scenes from the “Ghostbusters” series, the third and latest film of which is rumored to be going into production next year. But “Ghostblasters” doesn’t share in that speculation. With a running date of June 12 through Aug. 31, this one is already made, and made well.Initially set in New York City’s Metro University Science Lab, we are introduced to scientist/ghostblaster Zack Freeman (Yarema), and parapsychologist/ghostblaster Wally Beaker (Chapman), who are in the process of creating a hi-tech device that will allow them to visualize ghostly spirits.
By now the Great American Playhouse has gained notoriety across north Tucson as a rowdy melodramatic theater that fills its auditorium with laughter and energy. On weekend evenings, the theater is commonly filled to the back with audience members who join in on the fun by singing along with the familiar ballads, booing at the villains, and cheering for the heroes. The roof threatens to fly off the foundation on these crowded evenings of rowdiness. You can imagine my surprise, then, when I attended the theater’s Sunday afternoon showing of their newest production “Naomi and Michelle’s Excellent Adventure”, and found the auditorium half full. It seemed as though it would be a different crowd than I had grown accustomed to in prior GAP experiences, as the audience appeared tired from the mid-day heat, from large Sunday lunches, and from the thoughts of beginning a new a work week. I sat in my seat, and prepared myself for what I fully expected to be a toned down and lazy rendition of GAP’s newest play, lacking the perennial punching power that the company has become known for.Boy, was I ever wrong.By the beginning of the second act, the Great American players had won over the crowd completely, and I had entirely forgotten that attendance was far less than that of a weekend evening. You never would have guessed by the volume and energy that filled the room. In “Naomi and Michelle”, playwright Sean MacArthur blends elements of “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” to bring us a wonderfully silly tale about two hip high school girls from the fictional Oro Valley High in the year 1984. Naomi and Michelle are facing academic probation on account of their less than radical grades in American history. Unless they can pull off an incredible final presentation, the girls will be forced to sit out of the championship volleyball game. But as luck would have it, the desert dwelling duo happens upon a time machine that ultimately takes them on a journey throughout American history, opening the floodgates for hilarious occurrences between the clueless teenagers and the most prominent men and women in America’s formation.The GAP is comprised of much more than actors. These are all out performers, feeding off the orchestration of musical director Mike Padilla to deliver a top-notch over-the-top invention.Sean MacArthur seems to lead the way of the talented team, as he masterfully slips into historical role after historical role as John Adams, John Muir, and American General MacArthur (as well as a few secret cameos). Nick Seivert and Jesus Limon are comedic naturals, undoubtedly in their element in a company such as GAP. The mere presence of Limon and Seivert seems to bring the hilarity up a notch whenever they appear on the stage. Amy Dehaven may be the most diverse part of the GAP comedy machine, as she masters roles ranging from a stereotypical 40-something high school volleyball coach, to the tough and rugged cowboy Frank James, to a refined and principled Susan B. Anthony. Jacinda Rose Swineheart has established herself as an ever-faithful centerpiece of the team. With Swineheart, you always know what you are going to get, a strong presence, talent, and a bounding energy. Swineheart’s partner in crime, Dennis Tamblyn flows in a similar vein as Seivert, unmistakably self aware that just about anything he does is funny. In this production, he conquers as Todd, the metro and evil high school cheerleader who, as malicious as he is, is impossible to hate. Most of the team’s energy is pumped from the bottomless reservoir that is the young Randy McDonald. McDonald has a way of stealing the show with his comedic precision and dancing. GAP’s young aces are Erin Anderson and Jacqueline Williams, who play the title roles. They bring much promise and stability to a group oozing with talent, and are perfect as oblivious 80’s teens who begin to learn valuable life lessons.
The Tucson Fringe Theater Festival is proud to announce its acceptance of performer applications for its 2014 festival. The Tucson Fringe Festival is an unjuried and uncensored performance, art, and theater festival promoting accessibility for presenting established and emerging artists, and unrestrained artistic freedom. Tucson Fringe is looking for writers, performers, actors, directors, sign twirlers, puppeteers, balladeers, auctioneers, playwrights, bards, jugglers, raconteurs, stage managers, state legislators, other clowns, artists, guitarists, creative alarmists, poets, thespians, musicians, sirens, comedians, really talented sign twirlers, dancers, prancers, knowers of answers, and other prognosticators.The Festival will take place Sept. 12 through Sept. 14 at Club Congress in downtown Tucson. The priority deadline for performer applications is June 23. Interested performers may apply to for a single performance during the festival, or a two-night residency.Interested artists can visit www.tucsonfringe.org for more information.Tucson Fringe is also looking for volunteers for the upcoming festival. Rewards for interested individuals may include free admission to upwards of at least half of one festival performance, a sense of accomplishment, free leftover popped corn, a feeling of moral superiority, a commemorative festival lanyard, and more.Tucson Fringe Theater Festival strives to expand upon an already thriving theatrical community by promoting affordable opportunities for artists to craft original ideas while presenting a wider array of performance practice. Downtown Tucson provides an ideal backdrop for bringing together arts patrons of all demographics and the creative force that is Fringe. Fringe doesn’t curate. Fringe restores the artist’s creative influence. Fringe is affordable. Fringe is unique. Fringe doesn’t preach. Fringe gives all the money back to the artist. Fringe is a laboratory for ideas. Fringe is community.
Casino Del Sol presents singer, comedian, ventriloquist and celebrity impressionist Terry Fator at Anselmo Valencia Tori Amphitheater.May 30, 2014Event Location: 5655 W. Valencia Rd., Tucson, AZ 85757 Venue: Casino Del Sol Resort, Spa and Conference Center Time: Starting: 8:00 PM Admission: See website
The Great American Playhouse presents "Quest of the Caveman," with an invasion of the Ashers home in Wildcat Valley. A small ragtag group goes on a quest to united their tribe amidst unseen monsters and a hostile world.March 27, 2014 - June 07, 2014Event Location: 13005 N. Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ 85739 Venue: The Great American Playhouse Time: Thurs.&:00 PM; Fri. 6:00 PM & 8:30 PM; Sat.3:00 PM & 6:00 PM; Sun.3:00 PM Admission: Adults – $17.95 Seniors (60 and over), Active Military and Students – $15.95 Children (12 and under) – $7.95
First Stages Theater for Young Audiences presents a lively, engaging "play" by adults for young children, directed by Katie Bucher, featuring Brian Levario as The Cat, Eddie Diaz as The Fish, Cisiany Olivar and Carrie Silverman as Thing 1 & Thing 2, and Shira Maas and Bradford Hill, at the Temple of Music and Art Cabaret Theatre.May 17, 2014 - May 25, 2014Event Location: Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701 Venue: Temple of Music and Art Cabaret Theatre Time: Sat, May 17, 12:30 PM and 3:00 PM; Sun, May 18, 12:30 PM; Sat, May 24, 12:30 PM and 3:00 PM; Sun, May 25, 12:30 PM Admission: First Weekend Special -- all tickets $12.00; May 24-25 $15 adults, $10 children ages 2-16
If within the first few minutes of The Gaslight Theatre’s new show, “Beach Blanket Bee-Bop”, your eyes aren’t transfixed on the stage, you’re not laughing, and your foot isn’t tapping along to the musical beat, you may want to check your pulse.But chances are that if you’ve selected The Gaslight Theatre for your entertainment destination, you’re functioning just fine.In the wake of the compelling show, “The Belle of Tombstone,” the crew at Gaslight set the bar high for any subsequent performances, and in impressive fashion, “Beach Blanket Bee-Bop” leaps over that bar with room to spare.After the always-captivating intro from the Gaslight Band, the curtain draws to the side, and we find ourselves smack in the middle of the 1960s in Surfside, Calif. – a place known for its sunny days, beaches, boardwalk, and, you guessed it – surfing.We soon meet the very likeable protagonist, Moondoggie (Jake Chapman), a fun-spirited, curly-haired high schooler who is looking to better the city’s popular boardwalk by fixing the Tornado, a roller coaster that is experiencing technical difficulty.With the help of his nerd-genius sidekick Melvin (Mike Yarema), the two successfully repair the ride, only to have it sabotaged soon thereafter by a couple of boardwalk bullies known as Moose (Todd Thompson) and Lunkhead (Seth Fowler).
Wanting to ‘wow’ the audience through their voices and acting, performers from Christian Youth Theater (CYT) will be putting on Peter Pan from May 15-18.Peter Pan will be held at Crowder Hall at 1017 N. Olive Road. Christian Youth Theater will be putting on six performances and tickets are $12 per person.CYT is a nonprofit organization that helps train students, ages 5-18, in theater arts. The mission of the organization is to provide wholesome family entertainment. Anyone is welcome to be a part of CYT. For more information visit their website at cyttucson.org.“We have kids from all different faiths. It’s neat because they all learn from each other and the different aspect of each other’s beliefs and religion,” said Kathy Thuerbach, executive director of CYT. “We are modeling good character to the kids, honesty, responsibility, being kind to others and being inclusive.”Thuerbach first got involved in CYT back in 1986 while living in San Diego. After helping there for a few years, as well as being a part of Christian Community Theater, a nonprofit theater arts program for people ages 16 and up, Thuerbach moved to Tucson with her husband and three kids. In 2005, after her kids had grown up a bit, Thuerbach started CYT in Tucson. It originally started at her house with only 35 students. Since then, the program has grown to having 1,500 students be involved every year.With so many students now a part of the program, CYT has grown in how many classes it offers throughout the year. Classes include training in voice, acting, magic, tech classes, musical theater workshops and more. Summer camps run for 10 days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On the last day the campers perform their show. This summer they will offer three different camps: Tangle in Tucson, Camp Frozen and Hairspray Junior (only for teenagers).
The Ashers, a tribe of cave people, find their world turned upside down when their primary source of fire is taken. A humble seed planter leads a group in search of reclaiming the flame. A Neanderthal clan, an unknown monster and the ever-changing world await them on their quest.Written and directed by Sean MacArthur, “Quest of the Caveman” will be presented between March 27 and June 7 at the Great American Playhouse, located at 13005 N. Oracle Road, Ste. 165.Show times are Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays with a show at 3 p.m. and one at 6 p.m.For tickets, call 512-5145, or visit the website at www.greatamericanplayhouse.com.
The Town of Oro Valley is home to much quiet beauty, powerful landscape, and a calm temperament. The last collective personality that Oro Valley could possibly draw attention for is as a rowdy and rambunctious enclave that knows how to sing and dance the night away. The Great American Playhouse (GAP), however, is trying to change that. The eight-month-old melodramatic theater prides itself on lively productions with audience interaction, a family friendly environment, and a loveable gang of whimsical stage performers. Now kicking off its third production, “Quest of the Caveman”, The GAP is beginning to show why it is the premier hotspot of fun in the growing Oro Valley community. “Quest of the Caveman” brings the audience back in time to an age when Man and Neanderthal shared the planet, the power of fire was absolute, and everyone ate 100 percent organic (yet still somehow only lived to be 30). The play begins with the theft of the Asher tribe’s fire at the hands of the Schmuck tribe. But things are not always as they seem. A larger plot begins to unfold, one that reveals an evil cave dweller, Ork (Michael Claridge), as a criminal mastermind who has hopes of burning Black Mountain, and gaining control of the entire tribe of Ashers. The play stars Jacinda Rose Swineheart as Nola - the tough and outspoken heroine, Nick Seivert as Rube - the tribe’s wise man, and Colleen Zandbergen as Bobo - the primitive muscle of the Asher tribe. Amy DeHaven, Jodi Darling, Jesus Limon, Randy McDonald, and Sean MacArthur complete The GAP’s ultra-talented team of players that possess an endless supply of boisterous energy. Showing exponential growth and improvement in the last eight months, The GAP’s cast has truly become top notch. The play’s acting, singing, and dancing is infectious, pouring out into the aisles and over the crowd, beckoning both audience and staff participation. The liveliness of the spectacle that takes place within the walls of The GAP’s building can surely be heard from the parking lot, as hoops and hollers, sing-a-longs, and laughter ring happily throughout the theater. The atmosphere is perfect, exuding a sense of family, community, and a certain warmness that welcomes all ages.
Catch the sun and surf with the colorful crew of Gaslight Theatre for a comedy stages in Surfside, California during the 1960's. There will be fun, romance and music for all.April 03, 2014 - June 08, 2014Event Location: 7010 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85710 Venue: Gaslight Theatre Time: check website for times Admission: Adults $18.50 plus tax, Students & Military $16.50 plus tax, Children (under 12) $8.50 plus tax
Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance presents the fourth annual Hilton Indoor Summer Fine Art Festival at Hilton El Conquistador, inside the air-conditioned resort, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 23 and 24, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.The festival's setting at the base of the majestic Pusch View Mountains brings the beautiful desert to life through the many artists inspired by the Southwest's landscapes and wildlife. The Hilton Indoor Summer Fine Art Festival features up to 50 fine artists from around the region as well as live strolling performances throughout the weekend. Festival-goers can enjoy handcrafted artisan displays.The fourth annual festival will attract thousands of attendees looking for an escape from the heat and some of the most elegant artwork in the region. Up to 50 artists will display their talents in pottery, jewelry, oil and watercolor on canvas, mixed media, leatherwork and more.Festival-goers can also find live music and free kids' activities in the cool, air-conditioned setting of the Hilton El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Resort, 10000 N. Oracle Road.Presented by Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance, the festival's setting at the base of the majestic Pusch View Mountains brings the beautiful desert to life through the many artists inspired by the Southwest's landscapes and wildlife.
Certain movies and directors challenge viewers’ intellect, daring to take the path less traveled on the cinematic screen in order to make audiences actually have to think. Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” (2010) about hijacking dreams and 2012’s survival challenges in “The Hunger Games” are two thought-provoking success stories. We can now add “The Giver” to the list of films requiring moviegoers to think outside the box and ponder the role of individuals in society. Based upon Lois Lowry’s 1993 novel by the same name, “The Giver” depicts a utopian world without individual freedoms or personal choice. A society of sameness, minus any differences amongst the populous, is required because we’re told “When people have freedom to choose, they choose wrong”. Absent in the community are the memories of its past and roots of disorder; times marked by anger, death, happiness and love. The community elders’ concerted effort to keep a lid on individualism and defiance results in only one person, The Giver (Jeff Bridges), having complete knowledge of history. When the elders need guidance, it’s The Giver who must provide them with the wisdom, using the memories of the past to sidestep current problems.Meryl Streep effortlessly plays the shrewd, calculating Chief Elder—a portrayal the record-nominated (18 times) Academy Award winner (won 3) has mastered over her 37-year film career. However, it’s Jeff Bridges’ performance that stands heads and shoulders above all others in this movie. The Oscar winning best actor (2009’s “Crazy Heart”) steals every scene he’s in and single-handedly takes “The Giver” from an interesting look at humans in a petri dish to a hugely successful movie on humanity’s individual liberties.At only one hour, 40 minutes in duration, “The Giver” missed a golden opportunity to showcase competing emotions in the characters after it had gained momentum from the film’s flawless start. The hasty end voided any chance to sharply delineate the colorless world from the colorful, or to glimpse reactions to newfound freedoms—the ultimate gift from The Giver. Australian director Phillip Noyce, though, deserves credit for sparking discussions on humanity’s role in balancing basic freedoms and individuality with society’s need for conformity and rule following. “The Giver” is not only about the way things look in society, but the way things are. Both themes are very different and give audiences plenty of food for thought. Jeff Bridges’ performance shines bright and carries the message and film throughout. He guides and teaches a young apprentice (Brenton Thwaites) and moviegoers on how our past impacts our future. “The Giver” makes the case that harmony comes with a very steep price—the loss of individual choice and emotion replaced by sameness and blandness. It’s the delicate balance between the rule of law and individual freedoms that Noyce captures brilliantly in the film—and that’s the greatest gift from “The Giver”. Grade: B+
The cinematic climate is changing in countless ways, but one in particular is affecting the world on a much broader scale. Viral marketing and distribution through avenues such as Netflix has fused with a public hunger for knowledge that is satiated through a surge in documentary filmmaking. The impact of this readily distributed knowledge and information is perhaps more powerful than ever. One company in particular has learned this lesson the hard way. After the release of the popular 2013 documentary “Blackfish”, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. has begun to feel the sting of public opinion.“Blackfish” criticizes SeaWorld’s methods and treatment of orca whales. The film highlights Tilikum, a captured whale who has been living and performing inside the SeaWorld Orlando amusement park since 1992. As explained in the documentary, Tilikum has been responsible for three deaths, a raging violence that is attributed to frustrations with captivity. The film goes on to explain that the quality of life for captivated whales such as Tilikum is damaged, and also suggests that their lifespan is shortened. Though SeaWorld insisted that the film’s release would have little to no impact on their attendance, it appears that is no longer a valid argument. “Blackfish” drew an enormous following from Netflix, was viewed by 21 million people during a CNN airing, and earned millions in the domestic box office. The film’s crusade spread rapidly, leading to public protests, celebrity chastisement, and concert cancelations by musical acts such as Heart and Willie Nelson. Southwest Airlines ended a long time partnership with the theme park company. One California politician proposed the “Orca Welfare Safety Act” after viewing the film. The piece of legislation would ban the use of orcas in public performances at theme parks all together. Even Pixar executives joined in the fray, meeting with “Blackfish” director Gabriela Cowperthwaite to alter the ending to “Finding Dory”, the sequel to “Finding Nemo”. “Finding Dory” originally had an ending that placed some characters in a SeaWorld-like theme park, but given the new light shed on animal conditions, executives felt it would no longer be appropriate. The end result of the fallout has been an undeniable dip of profits in the second quarter. Shares in SeaWorld dropped to 43 cents per share, falling short of the originally projected 60 cents per share. On the whole, stock in the company is down and alarming 31 percent this year.It seems that SeaWorld is feeling the pressure of the ever-advancing reach of informative cinema. Viral distribution from online providers, television, and social media has primed the cinematic climate to spark changes that are not confined to the entertainment industry, but also reach into business an politics. Movies, it would seem, are becoming a tool that keeps our society in check, informs the public, and brings about positive change in a capacity that has not yet reached its limit.
The Southern Arizona Salsa and Tequila Challenge has shaken up the summers in Tucson for three years, bringing the region’s cultural garden to modern day tastes buds. The culinary event brings up to 50 chefs and restaurants preparing unique salsa recipes and mixologists creating innovative tequila-based drinks along with sweet and savory menu pairings. Proceeds benefit the Food Bank of Southern Arizona and SAACA’s arts therapy and education programs.On Saturday, Aug. 16 at 6 p.m., the culinary competition will once again support Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA) and the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, two much-needed charitable causes raising money for hunger relief and the arts in our community.For the second year, the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation has added another ingredient to the charity mix with Viva Piñata!, raffling off sponsored decorative piñatas to raise money supporting scholarships to benefit Hispanic students seeking higher education.More than 20 piñatas will line the arches of La Encantada’s courtyard, each sponsored by a business and created by a local artist. Attendees will buy raffle tickets to use as a vote for their personal favorite piñata design.A taste of heritageStraight from the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico, the authentic tastes of premium tequila will travel to Tucson this August, giving hundreds of people the chance to indulge in this ancient agave beverage along with some of the best salsas and culinary cuisine in the region.