Jennifer’s marching orders

THE MUSIC MAN marches onto a Mesa Arts Center stage on May 27

If you’ve ever parented a teen, you know that some days feel like an endless parade of marching orders. And you’re not the one giving them. You’re the one getting them.

So it was last week when Jennifer announced I needed to cover a certain musical theater production in one of my posts. Marching orders from Jennifer are nothing new, though typically they involve instructions for cooking or teen taxi runs.

Jennifer is about as interested in musical theater as I am in plane geometry. But she’d run into someone at ASU who got to telling her about auditions for an upcoming production of “The Music Man” — and she offered to pitch a post on the topic.

Clearly, Jennifer did a masterful job of trumpeting this tale of music meets con man — because you’re reading about it now. It wasn’t such a hard sell, really, since the work is a classic in the pantheon of American musical theater.

It even features that most quaint of characters in the digital age — a librarian who helps people find and read books the old-fashioned way. There’s a whole other post in there somewhere, but I’ll save that for another day.

“The Music Man” is being presented by Mesa Encore Theatre May 27-June 12 at the Mesa Arts Center, but folks who purchase their tickets between May 9 and May 18 can see the show for just $10 (Use the promo code “RIVERCITY” when ordering online or through the MAC box office).

Mesa Encore Theatre recently announced its 2011-2012 season — which features an eclectic mix of shows, including “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” one of my all-time favorites.

Other Mesa Encore Theatre offerings for 2011-2012 include “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” “Proof,” “A Christmas Story,” “TBA,” “Ragtime,” and “Hairspray.” I love this line-up, which feels like an overflowing buffet of all my favorite comfort foods with some spicy new dishes thrown into the mix.

Resident companies of Mesa Arts Center also include East Valley Children’s Theatre — which presents “The Adventures of Pinocchio” June 16-26. And Actor’s Youth Theatre brings “Les Miserables School Edition” to the MAC stage June 28-July 2.

Mesa is also home to Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre — which performs “Smoke on the Mountain” through May 14 and opens “Seussical” on May 18. “Seussical” is an energetic bundle of charm that features favorite Dr. Seuss characters playfully proferring pearls of wisdom for all ages.

Mesa Arts Center welcomes several touring Broadway productions each year. Upcoming Theater League shows coming to MAC include “The Wizard of Oz” (Dec 6 &7), “The Rat Pack is Back” (Jan 10 & 11, 2012), “My Fair Lady” (Jan 31 & Feb 1, 2012) and “Rock of Ages” (April 10 & 11, 2012).

Jennifer will be thrilled that I’ve shared news of “The Music Man” and other Mesa happenings, mostly because I’m now free to fix her a bowl of pasta — just the way she likes it. Though Jennifer moved from teen to young adult with her birthday in April, she still likes giving marching orders in the kitchen. And I’m still happy to take them.

— Lynn

Coming up: “Stage Mom” picks for the 2011/2012 season, Spotlight on Desert Stages, Celebrating “International Museum Day”

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