The big bad musical

Have you been turning to television rather than theater to get your forensics fix? Bones. CSI. Dexter. All feature some fascinating whodunits.

But the most intriguing case yet can’t be seen on any screen. It’s coming to the stage, right here in our own neck of the, well, woods.

It’s a case involving the “Big Bad Wolf,” who’s facing trial to determine whether he’s guilty of eating both “Little Red Riding Hood” and her grandmother.

How delightful to ponder a crime scene not riddled with bullets, crawling with clue-carrying bugs or taken over by high tech laser beam technology.

No Ford Bronco chases. No Nancy Grace commentary. No disturbing violence set to tacky pop tunes.

Just good old-fashioned fun…

Arizona Jewish Theatre Company presents the first of two summer camp productions by Curtain Call, their educational youth theater division for children and teens, on Thursday, July 1 at Greasepaint Youtheatre (formerly Stagebrush Theatre) in Scottsdale.

“The Big Bad Musical,” featuring the trial of the “Big Bad Wolf,” will be performed at 3pm and 7pm that day only, but matinee-goers need to stay mum lest evening patrons learn ahead of time of the jury’s verdict.

Admission is free, but donations—which go to the company’s scholarship fund—are always welcome.

Their second summer camp session (which runs July 6-30) also will present a final show (titled “Adventures of a Comic Book Artist”) and there’s still time for interested youth to enroll.

Janet Arnold, producing director for Arizona Jewish Theatre Company, recommends that folks check their website regularly for updates since they have plenty of other programs and performances in the works.

The tech-savvy among you can visit “AJTC Curtain Call” on Facebook to learn of upcoming auditions, productions and more.

Arizona Jewish Theatre Company will be doing youth productions Dec 11-12 and May 7-8 at their new performance venue, the John Paul Theatre at Phoenix College, though specific shows have yet to be announced.

Arnold describes the campus theater as “lovely” but also shared when asked that the group has just a single item on its “wish list” at this point—a theater home to call their very own.

I put this out there because you never know who might be reading, and it never ever hurts to ask.

Arizona Jewish Theatre Company will present three shows—all Arizona premieres—during their 2010-2011 season, which marks their 23rd season together. Here’s a sneak peek…

“Hard Love” by Motti Lerner, one of Israel’s foremost playwrights, tells the story of the brief marriage of a young ultra-orthodox couple and the decades of aftermath that follow the husband’s decision to abandon religion. Oct 28-Nov 7. Directed by Janet Arnold.

“The Last Schwartz” by Deborah Zoe Laufer is a “comedy on serious themes” that follows the Schwartz family as they gather for what may be the last time at the home of their recently deceased parents. Feb 3-13. Directed by Ben Tyler.

“My name is Asher Lev” by Aaron Posner, based on the Chaim Potok novel, considers the plight of a young Hassidic artist torn between his need to create and the traditions of his community. March 24-April 3. Directed by Layne Racowsky.

I’ve no doubt that many of you could easily make the leap from the title of this post to some of your most-hated musicals.

Go there if you must, but remember this too…

Arizona Jewish Theatre Company affords you the opportunity to discover some new best-loved plays.

Plus, being spotted at the theater can be an ever-so-convincing alibi.

–Lynn

Update: The Arizona Jewish Theatre Company’s “All Rights Reserved Teen Improv Troupe” is holding auditions on Thurs, Sept 16, 2010 in the Social Hall at Congregation Beth Israel (Shea & 56th St.). Auditions, for 13-18 years olds, begin at 7pm. To schedule an appointment time, please call 602-264-0402.

Note: You also can support Arizona Jewish Theatre Company by attending a “fun-raiser” on Thursday, July 1, at Sweet Tomatoes restaurant at The Pavilions in Scottsdale (9029 E. Indian Bend Rd.). 15% of proceeds from theater supporters who dine there between 4pm and 9pm that day will go to the theater.

Coming up: More fun with fairy tales as a community theater in the West Valley presents “Into the Woods” and more

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