Thursday, August 2, 2012

Phoenix's 30th opens with 'Bloody' premiere

Posted By on Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 4:28 PM

From the Studio Theatres production of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
  • From the Studio Theatre's production of 'Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson'
There's a bit less need to head to Chicago this season to see the latest Broadway (or close-to-Broadway) imports. The Phoenix Theatre's 2012-13 season, announced this morning, includes the Midwest premieres of a couple musicals of note — the drunken history lesson Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and chronicle of bi-polar disorder Next to Normal — along with one rolling world premiere, four more Midwest premieres and a holiday revue, all in celebration of the Phoenix's 30th anniversary.

Here's the lineup, accompanied by random quotes from reviews, because (believe it or not) we don't have the travel budget to check these out on the coasts. Not part of the official season is Seven, a collection of monologues about the lives of seven women devoted to promoting social justice throughout the world. Seven is being presented in collaboration with Butler University Theatre at Butler's Studio Theatre Sept. 5-8.

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
September 20—October 21, 2012
Music and lyrics written by Michael Friedman
Book by Alex Timbers
Livia and Steve Russell Theatre — Midwest Premiere

"...hardly a work of fine-grained naturalism, or a probing docudrama, or even a Crucible-style parable that elicits knowing nods about the parallels between then and now. It’s an anachronism-cluttered emo-rock musical, for heaven’s sake — that is, when it’s not being a smart-aleck collegiate revue or a folkie song fest with a furrowed brow." -Ben Brantley, The New York Times

Seminar
October 25—November 25, 2012
By Theresa Rebeck
Frank and Katrina Basile Theatre — Midwest Premiere

Teaching the young proves a treacherous business for both tutor and students in "Seminar," Theresa Rebeck's dark comedy about a literary lion and the young writers he eats for breakfast at his private seminars ... These clever youngsters know how to play this intellectual contact sport, and even though everyone stops short of drawing blood, the civilized games they play are enormously entertaining." -Marilyn Stasio, Variety

A Very Phoenix Xmas 7: Getting Figgy With It
November 29—December 23
By Various Artists
Livia and Steve Russell Theatre — Midwest Premiere

"The beauty of Phoenix's holiday show is its ability to seem both familiar and strange year after year. Each year, audiences know what's in store but are still able to delight at surprises. The 2011 edition presents a multi-denominational rumination on various celebrations - Pagan, Christian, Jewish, etc. - with a mixed bag of skits touching on topics such as Santa's elves (now on strike), the economy of Christmas, dancing sock-monkey dolls, inter-faith families and a horny reindeer." -Katelyn Coyne, NUVO

Guapa
January 3—20, 2013
By Caridad Svich
Frank and Katrina Basile Theatre — NNPN Rolling World Premiere

Description provided by the Phoenix: Single-mom Roly lives in a dusty Texas border town that everyone longs to escape. She’s never seen anything like Guapa, a natural-born athlete with a fiery ambition to become an international soccer star. When Guapa joins Roly’s family, everyone’s life is turned upside down. With only one shot to reach the big leagues from the barrio, how can Guapa convince the non-believers to let go of their doubts, spread their wings and fly?

Next To Normal
January 24—February 24, 2013
Book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Music by Tom Kitt
Livia and Steve Russell Theatre — Midwest Premiere

"The smiles it engenders are the marveling kind, etched in tears. The emotional rhythms of this exhilarating show, winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for drama, do not correspond to the frivolous fare that all but defines the modern American musical. It’s a work that sings from a bruised heart, not a contented one." -Peter Marks, The Washington Post

The Lyons
February 28—March 31, 2013
By Nicky Silver
Frank and Katrina Basile Theatre — Midwest Premiere

"If you stood in the Cort Theater lobby and listened to the laughter that rises in close and regular waves, you could easily pretend that the time was the 1960s, and that you had just dropped in on the latest hit by Neil Simon, directed by Mike Nichols. That’s because the laughter you hear there is cadenced, as if in some sort of call-and-response ritual. It’s the sound of New Yorkers reveling in target-hitting one-liners fired in high exasperation by urban neurotics." -Ben Brantley, The New York Times

4000 Miles
May 9—June 9, 2013
By Amy Herzog
Frank and Katrina Basile Theatre — Midwest Premiere

"One of theater's more irksome stock characters is the Naughty Granny. She's the wrinkled biddy with the potty mouth, the one who drops the f-bomb and can't repress R-rated comments about sex or messy bodily functions. It's a cheap comic trick that playwright Amy Herzog wisely avoids in her fine, deeply affecting dual character study 4000 Miles." -David Cole, Time Out New York

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