Save the Drama for the Stage
“It’s showtime, folks!” Who spoke those famous words? If you are an avid performing arts fan, you may be raising your jazz hand(s) high, proclaiming, “It’s Joe Gideon in ‘All That Jazz!’” Which means you know your theater, and we are likely kindred spirits salivating over the myriad of live shows in the Valley. From Glendale to Gilbert, musicians, actors, comedians and more continue to grace Arizona stages, immersing us in the magic of live performance. The hot weeks and months ahead are no exception — the show must and does go on. Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of cool spaces while being swept away by expert(s) at their craft. We raise the curtain on a few upcoming shows.
On May 20, jazz pianist Joey Alexander will take the stage at Mesa Art Center. Performing since 2013, the 19-year-old child prodigy learned about jazz by listening to classic albums as a child in his hometown of Bali, Indonesia. By age 6, Alexander taught himself to play piano using a miniature electric keyboard, learning by ear compositions and songs from his father’s jazz collection. Mentored by Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock and Wynton Marsalis, Alexander will come to Mesa Arts Center with a one-night event showcasing music from his sixth album. Tickets start at $50. mesaartscenter.com
The Legend of Georgia McBride
Looking for a little Elvis in your life but not into Vegas, baby? Lucky you, Elvis will be shaking it up in Phoenix this summer — sort of. Arizona Theatre Company is selling tickets to “The Legend of Georgia McBride,” a music-filled comedy featuring an Elvis impersonator who hits hard times, pivots and finds playing a queen instead of The King has its perks. The entertaining story is currently on stages across the U.S. and ATC is bringing it to Arizona with runs in Phoenix and Tucson. Tickets range from $25-$90, with opening night in the Valley in late June. Directed by Meredith McDonough, the show is generally suited for older teens and adults. atc.org
The SpongeBob Musical
When my youngest told me he wanted to be Squidward Tentacles last Halloween, I had to ask what language he was speaking. I clearly wasn’t up on my “SpongeBob SquarePants” characters, much to my child’s dismay. But I’ve come a long way. So much so, I hope to be wearing with pride a #1 Mom ribbon when I redeem myself by taking him to see “The SpongeBob Musical,” based on the Nickelodeon animated television series, this summer. Presented by Valley Youth Theatre, Squidward, Patchy the Pirate, Gary and friends come together to save the town and citizens of Bikini Bottom after discovering a volcano threatens their home sweet home under the sea. Played by crème de la crème youth actors of the famed Valley Youth Theatre, the musical kicks off on the evening of June 9. The show is staged at the Herberger Theater Center, and tickets start at $17.50 for ages 2 and older. Hope to see you there! I’ll be with the kid in the Squidward costume. vyt.com