Tag Archives: Scottsdale theater

“Mad Men” in Scottsdale?

Cast members of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" -- which is being performed through May 12 at Desert Stages Theatre in Scottsdale

Feeling snazzy? Desert Stages Theatre in Scottsdale might have a “snazziest dresser” award with your name on it. Seems they’re doing a special “Mad Men” promo this Fri, April 27, complete with after-party where they’ll be recognizing the person whose ’60s business attire best rocks the “Mad Men” vibe of AMC’s hit TV series. No martinis or cigarettes required.

Jimmy Shoffman as J. Pierrepont Finch and Mallory Briancesco as Rosemary in DST's "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying"

Just head to the box office in your best “Mad Men” garb come Friday night and get a ticket to that evening’s performance of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” — for just $15. Then stay for the post-show party to strut your ’60s stuff. I sometimes wish I’d been a young advertising exec in NYC, so any chance to play ad agency dress up is a good thing.

Desert Stages Theatre is performing “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” through May 12, which is happy news for those of us who can’t get to NYC to see the show on Broadway — where my daughter Lizabeth has already seen both Daniel Radcliffe and Darren Criss rock the role of J. Pierrepont Finch.

Jimmy Shoffman portrays Finch, a man whose rise from mailroom to executive status wreaks havoc on his moral compass and office love interest, in the Desert Stages Theatre production. His current counterpart on Broadway is Nick Jonas — so I suspect it’s just a matter of time before Lizabeth spends a third evening enjoying the show.

Cast of "Altar Boyz" at Desert Stages Theatre in Scottsdale

On another stage, Desert Stages Theatre is presenting “Altar Boyz” — a musical that imagines the final concert of five youth from Ohio hoping their Christian boy band can make it big in NYC.

Shows in the works for DST include “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Rent.” Also two versions of “The Odd Couple” — one with a male cast, with a female cast — which’ll be performed on alternating weekends.

In the meantime, they’ll hold their annual gala on Sat, May 5. The “Fiesta Fling” — taking place at the Scottsdale Hilton — features dinner, drinks, entertainment and a silent auction perfectly timed for folks eager to find Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts. When you’ve got to shop, it’s nice to support a local arts organization in the process.

— Lynn

Note: Desert Stages Theatre offers theater classes and summer camps for youth — click here to learn more.

Coming up: Once upon a playwright, Images in motion

Update: Fans of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” can also see the musical during a 2012-2013 Greasepaint Youtheatre season that also includes “13,” “Sweeney Todd School Edition,” “Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.” and “Dear Edwina.” Click here for details. 5/1/12

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When golf meets musical theater…

Women’s issues have been front and center in discussions of national politics of late — in a way I don’t recall seeing since my time reading feminist authors like Mary Daly during doctoral studies in the philosophy of religion in the 1980s.

It seems the perfect time to revisit the lives of women who’ve challenged or changed American mores, especially while so much talk of insults hurled at Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke has failed to find fault with the term “feminazi” (an observation shared by my acutely astute husband).

Olympic medalist Babe Didrikson is the subject of a new musical opening in Scottsdale this month

Valley theatergoers can enjoy the tale of an incredibly accomplished athlete named Mildred “Babe” Didrikson as Theatre Artists Studio in Scottsdale presents “Babe: An Olympian Musical,” directed by Christy Welty, March 16-April 1.

It’s perfectly timed considering that the LPGA Founders Cup tournament takes place March 12-18 in Phoenix — and includes a special tribute to LPGA founders (including Didrikson and 12 other golfers).

“Babe: An Olympian Musical” features book and lyrics by Carolyn Gage and music by Andrea Jill Higgins. A sampling of songs with titles that include “No Next Time,” “The Fine Line,” “Olympic Gold” and “Watch Me Fly” is already available online.

The National Women’s History Museum, which supporters including Meryl Streep are working to take from online resource to brick and mortar museum, details Didrikson’s accomplishments in golf and other sports — also describing her struggles with the cancer that took her life.

Musical theater is full of women deemed ditsy or dumb, so folks eager to support those who elevate the stories of smart and capable women will find this work, and others from Theatre Artists Studio, intriguing.

— Lynn

Note: Click here to read a piece published by the Women’s Media Center about the development of the National Women’s History Museum, here to read the Babe Didrikson bio from the LPGA and here to read a “Broadway World” article about the show.

Coming up: Marketing Broadway

Revolution in Scottsdale?

Bjorn Eriksson as Enjolras in Les Miserables School Edition at Greasepaint Youtheatre

I saw the “Les Mis” story anew last week during opening night for Greasepaint Youtheatre’s production of “Les Miserables School Edition.” It was my first time experiencing a stage adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel since the advent of “Occupy Wall Street” — a movement that’s translating the lingo of “haves” and “have nots” into numerical terms.

I felt like part of the 1% Friday night — not because the house was packed with people of great means. But because I had a ticket. This is the first Greasepaint Youtheatre show to completely sell out its run before opening night, according to producing artistic director Maureen Dias Watson. So 99% of the people hoping to see the show won’t have the opportunity. It’s a shame, because “Les Mis” at Greasepaint is big, bold and beautiful.

Much of the production’s grandeur comes from music elegantly and energetically performed by a 12-piece orchestra, and ensemble vocals approached the quality I’ve enjoyed during several touring productions of “Les Mis.” Musical direction for this production is the work of Reynaldo Saenz.

Rebecca Woodbury, who studies vocal performance at ASU in Tempe, makes her Greasepaint Youtheatre debut as Cosette in this production. It’s easy to imagine Woodbury singing this and other roles on a much larger scale, so I hope her sights are set on auditioning soon for national touring productions of various musical theater works.

Tanner Van Parys as Javert in Les Miserables School Edition at Greasepaint Youtheatre

Greasepaint Youtheatre assembled a first-rate creative team for this production, which is directed by Sara Bernstein and features choreography by Molly Lajoie. “Les Miserables” is only as believable as its barricade, and set designer David Weiss nails it. Brick walls and various vignettes for other scenes round out his work — which gives an authentic feel to each setting, from tavern to courtyard.

Still, I found myself wishing for a somewhat grittier vibe. Both sets and costumes could have used an extra layer of grime, since it’s hard to imagine prisoners working with pristine feet and peasants sporting nearly spotless clothing. Nonetheless, costume design by Jean Aiken, which features great attention to detail, is lovely. Every element of the show transports viewers to mid-19th century France.

Lighting design by Dori Brown and sound design by Pete Bish are best appreciated during the barricade scene and sewer scene that follows. Both battle and sewer sounds feel eerily real. Sound equipment for the production was provided by Nearly Naked Theatre of Phoenix.

Other community organizations assisted with the production as well. Scottsdale Neighborhood Arts Place provided researsal space. Southwest Shakespeare Company of Mesa and Tesseract School of Phoenix helped with costuming, and Great Scott Productions provided props. The loveliest of the latter was a pair of silver candlesticks that shone for a time on a lone table sitting center stage.

Boston Scott as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables School Edition at Greasepaint Youtheatre

Boston Scott exhibits a rare blend of acting and vocal performance skills. Despite struggling with a few of the high notes, Scott brings real depth to Jean Valjean. A great Gavroche is a must and Casey Likes, another newcomer to Greasepaint, delivers smile and spunk with playful precision.

Other cast members include Jessica Arnold (Fantine), Cheyanne Ballou (Little Cosette), Ryan Beamon (Thenardier), Bjorn Eriksson (Enjolras), Luke Powell (Marius), Tasha Spear (Eponine), Tanner Van Parys (Javert), Johnna Watson (Young Eponine). The stellar cast of 39 makes it easy to forget at times that you’re watching young non-professional performers.

The power of “Les Miserables” stems from Hugo’s insight translated into strong storytelling. Program notes evidence Dias Watson’s grasp of Hugo’s inspiration and intent, and the show reflects direction well-grounded in the plight of poor living in despair amidst the decadence of the rich.

Tasha Spear, Boston Scott, Jessica Arnold, Luke Powell and Rebecca Woodbury in Les Miserables School Edition at Greasepaint Youtheatre

“The best theatre impacts both individuals and societies,” writes Dias Watson, “enabling them to see those who may have been invisible to them before.” The Greasepaint Youtheatre production of “Les Miserables School Edition” makes clear that the 99% have always been with us, and that revolution never ends.

— Lynn

Note: Greasepaint Youtheatre has added an additional performance Sun, Jan. 29 at 7pm. Click here for details.

Coming up: More French revolution tales

Photos: Barry Smith

Winter camps & workshops

Proof (from Greasepaint's Aladdin, Jr.) that the coolest kids do musical theater

Greasepaint Youtheatre of Scottsdale, home to ten young actors performing with Theater League’s “The Wizard of Oz” at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix through Sunday, recently announced the following winter workshops for youth:
 
Musical Theatre Dance
Featuring music from “The Muppets!”
For ages 6-12
Tues, Dec. 27 from 9am-3pm
Taught by Ariana Ziskin, who choreographed “Disney’s Aladdin, Jr.” for Greasepaint Youtheatre earlier this season. Participants will peform at 3pm for family and friends.
 
All Things Shakespeare
Featuring an adaptation of a well-known Shakespeare work
For ages 10 & up
Wed, Dec. 28 from 9am-3pm
Taught by Dawn Rochelle Tucker, education director for Southwest Shakespeare Company in Mesa. Participants will perform at 3pm for family and friends.
 
“A Chorus Line” Dance
Featuring the Broadway choreography from the musical “A Chorus Line”
For ages 12-18
Thurs, Dec. 29 from 9am-3pm
Taught by Anthony Toudjarov, who recently performed in “A Chorus Line” with Arizona Broadway Theatre in Peoria. Participants will perform at 3pm for family and friends.
 
Each Greasepaint Youtheatre workshop noted above costs $40. Call 602-889-7609 to learn more or click here to register.  
 

AJTC Curtain Call production of "Fiddler on the Roof, Jr." (Photo: Mark Gluckman)

Curtain Call Youtheatre with Arizona Jewish Theatre Company, which presents “Fiddler on the Roof, Jr.” through Sunday at Phoenix College, recently announced several winter workshops being held at Temple Chai in Phoenix:
 
Squeak and Meow
Featuring fairy tales about cats and mice put into musical theater form
For ages 4-7
Wed, Dec. 21 and Thurs, Dec. 22 from 9am-3pm
Taught by Elizabeth Peterson, performer with The Blue Bike Kids Show. Participants will perform at 3pm on Dec. 22 for family and friends.
 
A Bit of Glee
Featuring acting, singing and movement techniques
For ages 8 & up
Wed, Dec. 21 and Thurs, Dec. 22 from 9am-3pm
Taught by Ariana Ziskin, who directs the Bravo troupe at East Valley Children’s Theatre. Participants will perform at 3pm on Dec. 22 for family and friends.
 
The Great Flying Ship of Ivan the Impossible
Featuring song, dance and story based on a fairy tale about Ivan and his friends
For ages 4-7
Wed, Dec. 28 and Thurs, Dec. 29 from 9am-3pm
Taught by Elizabeth Peterson, performer with The Blue Bike Kids Show. Participants will perform at 3pm on Dec. 29 for family and friends.
 
Mythology Comes to Life
Featuring ways to build characters for the stage through voice and movement
For ages 8 & up
Wed, Dec. 28 and Thurs, Dec. 29 from 9am-3pm
Taught by Colin Ross, member of the 2011-12 acting company for Childsplay
 
Each Curtain Call Youtheatre workshop noted above costs $120 ($200 for one child taking two workshops). Click here to learn more.
 

Actors appearing in Annie, Jr. at Desert Stages Theatre

Desert Stages Theatre, which has a children’s theater performing “Annie, Jr.” through Dec. 18, recently announced three winter workshops taking place at their Scottsdale theater:
 
Music Theory Class – Musical Tools for Industry Success
Featuring a crash course in reading music and music theory
For ages 12 & up
Dec. 19-23 from 2-4pm
Taught by Mark 4man, DST mainstage music director.
 
A Little Bit of Broadway and Pop
Featuring song and dance to music participants help select
For ages 4-10
Dec. 26-30 from 10am-2pm
Taught by Desiree Vaughan, who performed in DST’s “Bye Bye Birdie” earlier this year. Participants will present a performance for family and friends.
 
Princess Parade
Featuring song, dance, arts & crafts and the opportunity to transform into your favorite prince or princess
For ages 3-12
Dec. 19-23 from 10am-2pm
Taught by DST instructors.
 
Prices for each Desert Stages Theatre camp noted above vary (from $100-$250). Click here for details.
 
— Lynn
 
Note: If your theater company or performing arts venue is offering winter break classes for children or teens, please comment below to let our readers know. Please note that workshops noted above may have minimum/maximum enrollment figures.
 
Coming up: Youth theater meets improv

They’re off to see the wizard…

Valley actors who are performing in The Wizard of Oz presented by Theater League

When the Theater League production of “The Wizard of Oz” rolls into town next week, ten Valley youth ages 8-12 will be joining the national touring cast for nine performances — taking place Dec. 6 & 7 at the Mesa Arts Center, and Dec. 8-11 at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix.

The youth were invited to participate through Greasepaint Youtheatre in Scottsdale, and have been learning their lovely Munchkin moves the past several weeks with choreographer Jodie Weiss. Andrea Parker-Swenson, whose daughter Olivia is one of the 10 Munchkins, has been serving as event coordinator. Maureen Dias is the company’s producing artistic director.

Mercedes Bischoff of Scottsdale, a 12-year-old 7th grader at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School, admits to being “a little bit nervous” given the size of the venues where they’ll be performing. She last performed in “Disney’s Aladdin, Jr.” on the Greasepaint Youtheatre stage. “It might be a bit intimidating,” says Bischoff.

An early gathering Munchkins with choreographer Jodie Weiss

Bischoff tells me they’ll be performing in the scene featuring the song “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead,” and marching across the stage during a scene in act two. The style of dance they’ll be performing, she says, is probably best described as lyrical or jazz.

Despite rehearsing together Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for three weeks, the Munchkins have never once been able to try their moves on the stages where they’ll soon perform with the touring cast. Their only dress rehearsal will take place the day the show opens in Mesa. Bischoff says they’re expected to arrive at 3:30pm for the 7pm performance.

Costume fittings also take place on opening day, but Bischoff isn’t worried. Careful measurements were sent ahead to “The Wizard of Oz” folks so there shouldn’t be any surprises. “The only thing we’ve heard about our costumes,” says Bischoff, “is that they’re big and flowing, some pants and some dresses.”

Munchkins trying a few poses during an early session with Jodie Weiss

“Ever since I was little,” shares Bischoff, “I’ve wanted to be an actress on Broadway.” Her first community theater experience was performing in “The King and I” at Desert Stages Theatre in Scottsdale when she was about five years old. The best part of being a Munchkin, she says, is learning all the steps — then getting to perform them with friends on the Orpheum and MAC stages.

This musical theater production of “The Wizard of Oz” is based on the Royal Shakespeare Company production inspired by the classic 1939 film — a movie Bischoff recalls watching often as a young child. But come next week, it’ll be her mom, dad and younger sister’s turn to watch. Because Mercedes and her friends are off to see the wizard….

— Lynn

Note: Greasepaint Youtheatre performs “Les Miserables” Jan. 20-29. Click here to learn more about their shows, workshops, camps, community outreach and more. Click here for “The Wizard of Oz” information and tickets. Mercedes Bischoff is in the center of the front/lower row in the top photo above (Photo by Andrea Parker-Swenson).

Coming up: Sticky fingers and snowy houses, Gallery welcomes young artists

Pig tales

Someone forgot to tell Fatilda to wear her birthday party attire

This little piggy was born on Sept. 21, so it’ll be a while before she enjoys a birthday party of her own. But she made an appearance — along with two older, plumper friends — between two performances of “If You Give a Pig a Party” in Scottsdale today.

These sisters, who attended the show with their grandmother, were patient and persistent as they worked to throw hula hoops over a mop and broom

“If You Give a Pig a Party,” based on a series of books written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond, is being performed by Phoenix Theatre’s Cookie Company through Nov. 27 at Greasepaint Youtheatre.

Lots of parents and children, including the mother and son pictured here, enjoyed taking photos with this pig cut-out and several wooden crates covered in hay

I started enjoying Cookie Company performances with my children when they were very young, and one of their favorite traditions still stands. After every Cookie Company performance, guests enjoy a chocolate chip cookie and a small carton of milk — and cast members come out in costume to meet and greet young fans.

A pair of sisters attended the show with their very own dressed-up pig

Often the fun actually begins before the performance, with pre-show activities. Today Phoenix Theatre presented several child-size carnival style games, set up a piggy photo-opp area and provided art supplies for those eager to pen a piggy picture or poem. A lively storyteller read to kids in the audience before the show, which runs just 45 minutes or so, got underway.

Lots of children enjoyed playing this carnival-style word game

“If You Give a Pig a Party” was adapted for the stage by Nancy Schaeffer. It features music and lyrics by B. Wolf, and was originally commissioned by Dallas Children’s Theatre. The Cookie Company production is directed by Robert Kolby Harper and recommended for grades K-3.

A mother and daughter enjoying some time with baby Fatilda and cast member Kate Haas

It’s a colorful, fast-paced musical with a charming theme — the best part of a birthday party is friends. The cast includes Rebecca Duckworth (Girl), Kate Haas (Pig), Krystal Pope (Moose), Isaac Wesley Wilson (Dog), Kate Kugler (Cat) and Devon Nickel (Mouse).

These girls enjoyed lobby activities like drawing and word games before the show

I love the set design by Robert Andrew Kovach, which features a center screen that’s often used for shadow work and two large side pieces with panels that flip like the pages of a book. They make transitions through various settings — an amusement park, an outdoor play area and various rooms inside a home — seamless.

Several children enjoyed easel time before taking their seats in the theater

For kids old enough to notice such things, it would be a fun technique to replicate at home on a smaller scale. A slumber party scene featuring tents made of blankets and one giant, colorful quilt should inspire plenty of homemade forts built with sheets thrown over dining room tables. 

Kate Kugler (Cat) enjoys baby Fatilda with two young fans after the show

The best children’s theater inspires imagination while reinforcing those things we all value for our children — manners, safety, cooperation and sharing. “If You Give a Pig a Party” does just that. When regular bike helmets don’t fit Moose and Snake, Girl makes sure no one rides until they get just what they need. Chores are done cheerfully. Words like “please” and “thank you” are plentiful.

A girl pig named Charlie meets one of her young fans after the show

I enjoyed the costume design by Carl S. Smith. Pig opens the show in a fabulously full tutu with fuzzy textured leg warmers. Come pajama time, Moose dons a funky pair of moose slippers.

One of many families who attended the show together

Properties designer Katie McNamara rocked the giant pancakes, cookie, muffin and more — even giving me a heads up on ideas for next Halloween. Who knew pink sprinkle donuts made such fetching headgear?

— Lynn

Note: A limited number of discount tickets for the Nov. 13 performances of “If You Give a Pig a Party” may still be available through showup.com. The three little piggies won’t be there, but you can still enjoy all the pre-show activities and time after the show with cast members rocking their “Party” clothes.

Coming up: Movie reviews — “Stage Mom” style

Harem tales

Enjoy a new twist on A Midsummer Night's Dream at SCC on Oct. 28 & 29

I attended two shows in Scottsdale this weekend — each with something of a harem theme. First, a community college production of a Shakespeare work. Next, a community youth theater production of a Disney tale. Those of you still searching for Halloween costume inspiration take note.

The Theatre Arts program at Scottsdale Community College is performing William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” through Sat, Oct. 29. It’s one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, but director Randy Messersmith brings a unique twist to the work – setting the comedic escapade about the follies of love in ancient India rather than Athens.

Sets, costumes, music and props convey an “Arabian Nights” feel that keeps the play fresh even for those who’ve seen it performed countless times. With a little time spent on the storyline and characters before attending, it makes for a fun introduction to Shakespeare for teen audiences or those not terribly familiar with Shakespeare’s work.

I attended Friday night’s performance, and was especially impressed by one actor in particular – a recent theater graduate from the University of Arizona. Andy Cahoon, who performs the role of Lysander, has a firm grasp of Shakespeare’s language, delivering his lines comfortably and convincingly.

Sasha Wordlaw shines in seductress mode as she performs the role of fairy queen Titania, and Ryan Wetter’s Nick Bottom is a brilliant bit of buffoonery. Much of this production’s humor derives from movement choreographed by Karryn Allen that’s well executed by the entire cast.

The real stars of this production are two members of the design team, whose work elevates the feel of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to something akin to opera. The combination of scenic design by Kimb Williamson and lighting design by Paul Black does justice to the play’s reputation as a visual feast.

The SCC theater production students who tackled scenery construction for this one, as well as the electrical crew, deserve high praise for bringing the designers’ visions to life. I’m in awe of you, one and all.

I enjoyed costume designer Elizabeth Peterson’s work, but got a bit nervous when a pair of harem pants seemed to hit closer to the bikini line than the belly button. Maybe that’s just the mother in me talking.

The “Midsummer” mask work by Maren Maclean Mascarelli adds much to the show. I’ve seen this woman paper maché, and mold the human medium — and she’s fierce. SCC theater students are fortunate to study with her, and with Williamson and Messersmith too.

Enjoy Disney's Aladdin Jr. performed by Greasepaint Youtheatre through Oct. 30

Greasepaint Youtheatre performs the kid-friendly musical “Disney’s Aladdin Jr.” through Sun, Oct. 30. Whether the Scottsdale theater venue they call home is dubbed “Greasepaint Youtheatre” or “Stagebrush Theatre” depends on who you ask — but no matter, it’s got a perfectly-sized stage for serious productions.

“Disney’s Aladdin Jr.” is directed by Jodie Weiss, events specialist with Childsplay in Tempe. The musical is based on the screenplay by Ron Clementsand, John Musker, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. Jim Luig adapted the musical’s book and wrote additional lyrics.

But it’s the contributions of Alan Menken (who wrote the music), plus Howard Ashman and Tim Rice (who wrote the lyrics) that fans of musical theater most fervently praise. Best loved songs from the show include “Arabian Nights,” “Friend Like Me” and “A Whole New World.”

I attended Sunday’s matinee performance, where the packed house included enthusiastic audience members of all ages. The cast delivered a high-energy performance full of dance, acrobatics, humor and song. Liz Grannis (Princess Jasmine) and Andrey Lull (Aladdin) are well matched as the romantic couple at the center of the story. Lull delivers both a strong vocal performance and a kiss complete with dip.

The script is full of humor — playing on words, adding new twists to songs well loved by the “yuppie generation” and sprinkling dialogue with fun expressions like “riff raff” some of us thought only our mothers were accustomed to using. Actors Jacob Stovall (Jafar), Amanda Rahaman (Genie) and Lexa Rose (Iago) are the perfect comedic trio.

Greasepaint’s production of “Aladdin Jr.” has the feel of a glorious piece of big musical theater — making good use of its large cast in the song and dance department, and adding a trio of live musicians whose performance on keyboard, drums, saxaphone and flute gets the joint jumpin’ with a jazzy big band vibe.

John Luke Osorio serves as musical director and Ariana Ziskin as choreographer. The artistic team boasts some impressive resumes. Josef Rahaman and Kris Rahaman did set and properties design. Nathalie Koyabe did costume design. Pete Bish did sound design. Andrea Williams serves as stage manager.

Lighting design is the work of Bob Nelson, who proves in the production that less can be more. His work is subtle, adding to the ambiance of Agrabah both day and night without screaming at the audience. Be prepared, when you attend, for moderate use of fog and strobe lights.

Part of this production’s charm is the number of very young cast members, who bring both talent and a serious dose of adorable. Two other actors deserve special mention — Thea Eigo in the role of Abu and Grace Elsie in the role of Magic carpet.

Still, the fun, fabulous feel of this show is a collective triumph for the entire cast and creative team. As I observed those involved in the show before, during and after Sunday’s performance — it was clear that Greasepaint Youtheatre understands the importance of theater as a team sport.

— Lynn

Note: Photos above feature (L to R) Andy Cahoon (Lysander), Paula Vasquez (Hermia), Kaylyn Riggs (Helena) and Chris Ellis (Demetrius) in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Scottsdale Community College — and Andrey Lull (Aladdin), Liz Grannis (Princess Jasmine) and Grace Elsie (Flying carpet) in “Disney’s Aladdin Jr.” at Greasepaint Youtheatre.

Coming up: Born to be blue?, Celebrating birthdays — theater style