Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Gunmetal Blues @ Fountain Hills Theater

Created by Valley composer, Craig Bohmler
along with Marion Adler and Scott Wentworth.

On Sunday I saw the three person musical mystery spoof Gunmetal Blues at Fountain Hills Theater.  I didn't know anything about this musical other than what I read on their website, but I always TRUST Fountain Hills Theater for ALWAYS putting on the BEST shows.  And this musical turned out to be another gem.

One of the three characters is played by another of my favorite local actors, Michael Stewart, who I first saw in the Fountain Hills production of The Producers playing Leo Bloom...Matthew Broderick has nothing on this guy.   I've also enjoyed seeing him in other Fountain Hills productions over the years, but most recently in The 39 Steps where he played Clown 2, and had to masterfully change into eleven different characters throughout the entire show.   This time around he plays only one character, Sam Galahad, a singing detective, and he does it brilliantly. His other two cast members play a multitude of roles. 

Ashlee Poynter who I just recently saw at Desert Stages Theatre playing Cinderella in Into the Woods, and Betty Schaefer in Sunset Boulevard, plays four different "Blondes" in Gunmetal Blues. She has one of the most incredibly beautiful voices, and this musical really showcased her extraordinary talent.

The third cast member, Bill Moore plays the main character of Buddy Toupee, but he also plays several different characters with different accents, but most astonishing is that he plays the piano throughout this entire musical.  He acts, sings, and plays the piano too...very talented guy!

Gunmetal Blues plays on Fountain Hills Main Stage Two, which is much smaller and even more intimate than there Main Stage, and was a perfect venue for this musical.  So with a small venue, and a small cast, I can say in this case, "Smaller is Better."  But it was BIG on Entertainment Value, and I'm happy I got a chance to see this gem of a musical. 

On a side note: There was a nice write-up in Sunday's Arizona Republic about local composer Craig Bohmler.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Sound of Music @ Don Bluth Front Row Theatre

I saw The Sound of Music for the third time on Saturday at Don Bluth Front Row Theatre.  Since there were two casts, I wanted to see them both, and then I saw a third performance which combined performers from both casts.  I admit I'm a community theatre addict and can't get enough.  :-) All three performances I saw over this run were absolutely sensational, and all the cast members were extremely talented and terrific in their parts. 

My only disappointment is this is the last show that will be performed in Don Bluth's Scottsdale home.   He is turning his house back into a home, but hopefully he will be doing more productions at a new venue in Scottsdale very soon in the future.  Needless to say, it was such a unique experience seeing live theatre being performed in the intimate setting of his family room.  I am just happy that I found out about this theatre, and was able to see four shows there over the past year.

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night
  I hate to go and leave this pretty sight
So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

Monday, April 22, 2013

Boeing Boeing @ Fountain Hills Theater

I admit I am a community theatre junkie, also I am a groupie for many of the local actors here in the valley. So when two of my absolutely FAVORITE actors are in one play...Boeing Boeing...needless to say I am ecstatic. 

I first saw Scott Hyder and Terry Gadaire both together in the Fountain Hills production of The Producers, and I became a huge fan of them both.  Since then I have seen them each give extraordinary performances in other productions around the valley, but never together until this past Sunday.  Boeing Boeing was the perfect play for these two actors to star and showcase their enormous comedic talent.  They both were incredibly funny and gave the best ariZoni Award winning performances.  I only hope they will appear together many more times in the future.

Scott Hyder as Robert
Terry Gadaire as Bernard
The other four cast members were all women who also gave stellar performances, and added so much hilarity to the play.  These six cast members were a perfect combination and really made this play outrageously funny and entertaining. 

Urban Electra @ The Promenade

Friday, April 19th started the new season of concerts at the Promenade with Urban Electra performing.  Hubby likes to play Name That Tune when listening to this group.  Last year he was pretty good, but this year he sucked.  Hardly got any of them...but he always gets White Wedding in just a few notes.

Desert Botanical Garden

The lovely weather continued on Sunday, April 14th, and I went to one of my Meet-Up Group meetings that afternoon.  But in the morning I went over to the Desert Botanical Gardens to check out the Spring Butterfly Exhibit. 
I also checked out American artist and filmmaker Philip Haas’
monumental sculpture installation, The Four Seasons.
Also, scattered all around the garden are sculptures by Carolina Escobar. 
Oh look!...there is a nice chemtrail in this photo.
The best part of visiting the garden in the Spring is
The Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Loop Trail. 
This year it was exceptionally brilliant with all the
vibrant colors of the wildflowers.

The Great Arizona Picnic

I have not been to the Great Arizona Picnic in about 10 years. In the past we would always go with a bunch of friends, but stopped going because honestly it grew tiresome.  On Saturday, April 13th hubby and I had no plans at all, and made a very last minute decision to go over to the Great Picnic by ourselves.  We got there a little after 3:00 pm and stayed till after 8:00.  The weather was absolutely perfect, we had some good eats, drinks and heard some great music.  Now I know the key to enjoying the Great Picnic without it becoming tiresome...don't go with a bunch of people.  We had a fabulous time...just the two of us. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Foreigner @ Desert Stages Theatre

March Madness is over...no I don't mean the NCAA basketball tournament...there is one more day of that left...I mean no more out of town folks visiting us.  When you live in the Valley of the Sun and your friends and family live in Chicago...they come, and especially in March during Spring training.  So today I had a completely FREE day to myself...even hubby was busy doing his mother's taxes.  So what to do...what to do.  I had a few choices...I could have gone to 1) the Tempe Festival of Arts, 2) Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Origination: A Festival of Native Cultures, 3) the el Pedregal and heard the country band Desert Dixie, 4) Scottsdale Desert Stages to see the comedy The Foreigner, or 5) stay home and clean my house and do laundry.  Okay, #5 was never really a choice...that can wait. 

So this morning I made a last minute decision to go see The Foreigner at Desert Stages.  If I did not see this play today, I would have definitely seen it sometime during its nine week run...but today was the day. I was not familiar with this play, but just looking at the above photo of those seven wacky people...you know you are in for a very off the wall and zany good time.  The whole cast was sidesplittingly hilarious and gave stellar performances...I had a great time.

In February I saw The Elephant Man at Desert Stages and was not 100% sure, but I thought I was sitting next to Michelle Hoffman, Drama Critic for the Arizona Republic.  Today the same woman was sitting behind me at the theatre taking notes.  So at intermission I asked her if she was indeed Michelle Hoffman...and she was.  I'm glad I did because we had a nice chat about local community theatres here in the Valley. I recognized her from her picture in the newspaper...yes I still read the actual newspaper, and not the online edition.  :-)

On a side note:  I was one of the highest bidders for Desert Stages Pink, Black and Blonde Gala silent auction on Saturday.   Okay, I was really the only bidder for this particular item...but I got it!  I'll blog about what I won someday when I get a chance to use it.