Tag Archives: L.A. theater

Scottsdale meets Dr. Strangelove

I’ve got L.A. on the brain this week as Lizabeth prepares for West Coast audition travels. While she’s readying for the trip, L.A. Theatre Works will be performing at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

They’ll present “The Real Dr. Strangelove: Edward Teller and the Battle for the H-Bomb” based on Peter Goodchild’s biography of Teller this Thursday (Feb 10) at 7:30pm.

Susan Albert Loewenberg is the producing director for this “classic black comedy” you may know from the 1964 film directed by Stanley Kubrick.

Teller was “a Hungarian-born physicist who believed in peace through strength.” His life and times, and his work on nuclear weapons, make for fascinating historical and theatrical fare.

Folks who register can learn acting tips from L.A. Theatre Works cast members Thursday afternoon. Lizabeth would love to attend, but I suspect the ASA theater teachers whose classes she’s missed while auditioning in NYC would rather see her smiling face over at Phoenix Theatre.

Happily, we own a radio — which means we can tune to broadcasts of L.A. Theatre Works productions.

Finally, something that doesn’t involve a chalkboard and little cut out figures strung together to form conspiracy theories and end of days scenarios.

Fond as I am of radio broadcasts, I’m delighted by the opportunity to see a live production featuring this non-profit media arts organization devoted to presenting, preserving and disseminating classic and contemporary plays.

Their distinguished company members are too numerous to name here. But think John Lithgow and Annette Benning. Hilary Swank and Ed Asner. Neil Patrick Harris and Hector Elizondo.

Cast members for this production include John Getz (Oppenheimer), who is featured in the film “The Social Network,” as well as John Vickery (Teller), who was the original Scar in “The Lion King” on Broadway.

There’s also Michael Canavan (“Bones,” “Big Love,” “Mad Men” and more) and Geoffrey Wade (“Law & Order,” “Bold and the Beautiful” and more).

L.A. Theatre Works’ outreach efforts benefit all sorts of audiences — from Americans living in rural communities to students studying in underfunded classrooms. They also house a huge collection of recorded plays.

Original docu-dramas produced by L.A. Theatre Works include “The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial” and “Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers.”

Recently I heard an education expert address the need to return science and art to equal footing with math and language in American classrooms.

This play, and other L.A. Theatre Works offerings, do a brilliant job of elevating both art and science — and demonstrating the natural connections between the two.

— Lynn

Note: Click here to learn more about American physicist Edward Teller (1908-2003) — and check back later today for a post on ASU’s “Dreaming Darwin.”

Coming up: Musings of a “negligent” stage mother, Fun with fruit, Artsy alternatives to those pesky “pajamagrams”


There’s an award for that!

A week ago Monday, protestors took to the Arizona state capitol to protest immigration-related legislation—but the governor wasn’t there to witness the gathering.

David and Sonja Faeroy Saar (center) attend 2010 Governor's Arts Awards

She was already scheduled to appear at the 28th annual Governor’s Arts Awards, held at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Phoenix—an event presented by Arizona Citizens for the Arts, the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Office of the Governor.

I spoke with a Valley artist attending the event that evening, who felt it a bit odd to be celebrating Arizona arts with the governor at a time when so many sectors of our community—including education, health care and the arts—feel ravaged by state budget cuts.

Still, it’s important to recognize the achievements of Valley artists and arts supporters. Now, more than ever, their work matters. I was especially proud that my 16-year old daughter Lizabeth was there, performing with Greasepaint Youtheatre.

She had strict orders to bring me a program and note names of the 2010 winners so I could pass the info along to you.

Dean Osborne performs at the Grand Canyon Music Festival

Here’s the happy news:

• Composer James DeMars of Tempe, a three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, received the Artist Award

• Preservationist Elisabeth Ruffner of Prescott, received the Individual Award

• Arts advocate Shirley Chann of Tucson, received the Shelley Arts Advocate Award

• The Grand Canyon Music Festival received the Education Award

Bank of America received the Business Award

The Drawing Studio in Tucson received the Community Award

Art for Kids Project at Webb Center

If you know of a deserving volunteer, artist, advocate, arts organization or business, there are plenty of other awards out there. Consider nominating/voting for the artists and arts lovers in your life if they’re eligible for the following…

• Arizona Central’s “Best” Poll. Vote on nominees online before tomorrow’s (April 28) deadline. Categories include art gallery, annual arts festival/event, regional arts center, theater company, live theater venue, museum, musical festival/event and more.

AriZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence. Nominations for two awards are being accepted through August 15, 2010. The “Outstanding Contribution Award” honors someone within the theater community and the “Distinguished Service Award” honors an individual, corporation or organization outside the theater community.

• Business in the Arts Awards. Nominations now being accepted for awards to be presented at the August 18, 2010 “New Artitude” event presented by Wells Fargo. Categories include large business partner, mid-size business partner, small business partner, arts organization, arts advocate, arts board member and special business volunteer.

Detour Company Theatre

Two other nifty bits of news in the arts award department…

Arizona Theatre Company’s own Latino Playwriting Award-Winner, “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” by Kristoffer Diaz, was honored as a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. (The Pulitzer was awarded to “Next to Normal” by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey—which will tour, beginning in November, with stops in Los Angeles and San Diego).

• Eight’s Third Annual Be More Awards™ will be announced at a May 20, 2010 luncheon and awards ceremony at Eight’s downtown Phoenix studios. Nominated arts organizations include the Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts, Rosie’s House and Valley Youth Theatre (for the “Be More Creative” award recognizing achievement in arts and culture) and Detour Company Theatre (for the “Be More Encouraged” judges’ choice award).

Rosie's House Music Academy

As always, I welcome your input if there are additional resources not included here. Please let me know of other award opportunities in the comment section below so our readers will have even more ways to recognize the artists, advocates and other arts leaders in our communities. There’s only one rule around here: Be nice.


NEW FEATURE! Watch for “Today’s Tidbits” at the end of Monday-Thursday posts so you’ll know of arts experiences you can enjoy during the week with your family or friends. Look for weekend arts events in Friday “Stage Mom” posts. More arts and other family-friendly activities are available every day at Raising Arizona Kids’ online calendar thanks to our amazing calendar editor Mala Blomquist.

Today’s Tidbits: ASU Theatre and Film presents their “5th Annual Student Film Fest” featuring both showcase and competitive formats at 7:30pm at Harkins Valley Art Theatre in Tempe (info at 480-965-6447 or www.theatrefilm.asu.edu) • Chandler-Gilbert Community College presents a free CGCC Community Choir and Orchestra Concert at 7pm (info at 480-732-7343) • Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe presents local author Tom Leveen with his debut teen novel “Party” at 7pm (info at www.changinghands.com) • Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts presents “Talk Cinema: Sneak Preview #7” featuring a film that “depicts the aspirations of all immigrants and the fulfillment of the American dream” followed by a moderated conversation with experts (tickets are $20; info at www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org). If you have a visual or performing arts event to share, please drop me a line at rakstagemom@gmail.com. Calendar items can be submitted online.