FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 1, 2022
MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Passey | [email protected] | 480-874-4626
Innovative theater comes to Scottsdale Arts
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — From recontextualizing a classic opera through a contemporary Black Lives Matter theme to a play set in a massive dress to the mystery of India’s vanishing vultures seasoned with a dash of Bollywood disco, an eclectic mix of theatrical offerings can be found at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts this spring.
“When we look for theater events to bring to to the center, we are looking for things that are truly special,” said Meribeth Reeves, managing director for Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. “There is such a great, vibrant and active theater community in the Valley, and we are not looking to provide something that can already be found here but to support the community and bring in artists from around the world who can inspire, share their world views with us and explore theater in new and innovative ways.”
On Feb. 22, the New York City-based Heartbeat Opera will bring its modern take on Beethoven’s only opera, “Fidelio,” but this accessible, 90-minute take on the classic has been reimagined as the story of a Black Lives Matter activist who is wrongly incarcerated. His wife, Leah, disguises herself to infiltrate the system and free him. Featuring the recorded voices of incarcerated people from prison choirs and new English dialogue, this daring adaptation pits corruption against courage, hate against hope.
With seven performances over four days, beginning Feb. 24, “Bedtime Stories,” by the artist collective URLAND, features actor Thomas Didkiewicz in a dark, one-person, coming-of-age live radio play that is an homage to the imagination, technology and the struggles of life itself. It tells the story of Lilly, a young girl descended from great storytellers, who — every night before bed — wanders off into an unexplored universe created solely for her.
Part musical theater, part concert, part dance performance, part party at your local pub, “The Choir of Man” features pop, classic rock, folk, Broadway and pub tunes from a multitalented cast of nine handsome guys. This wildly entertaining show has received rave reviews from Broadway World, The Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune and is in Scottsdale for one night only, Feb. 27, to bring hair-raising harmonies, foot-stomping singalongs, world-class tap dance and poetic meditations on the power of community. With a real working bar on stage, come ready to drink in the action.
Running for eight performances April 6–10, “The Other Mozart” is an award-winning play about the true, forgotten story of Nannerl Mozart, sister of Amadeus and a prodigy, keyboard virtuoso and composer who performed with her brother to equal acclaim, but whose work and story was lost to history. Created, written and performed by Sylvia Milo, “The Other Mozart” had a critically acclaimed Off-Broadway run and is set in a stunning 18-foot dress. Period-style movement will create a world of opulence and elegance — a multi-sensual experience that transports audiences to a world of outsized beauty and delight.
Indian Ink Theatre Company, coming to the Valley from New Zealand, has a reputation for offering “humanity and psychological insight in a package of good plain laughs, luminous performances and brilliant staging,” according New Zealand’s Dominion Post. The company’s “Paradise or the Impermanence of Ice Cream” is inspired by Ernest Becker’s Pulitzer prize-winning “Denial of Death” and the vibrant, life–filled chaos of India’s most cosmopolitan city, Mumbai. Jacob Rajan will deliver a dazzling solo performance as he channels seven characters, weaving the afterlife and a dash of Bollywood disco into the real-life mystery of India’s vanishing vultures.
And younger theatergoers might want to check out “B—The Underwater Bubble Show” on March 19 or the nonverbal “Balloonacy,” running for four performances April 29 through May 1. “B—The Underwater Bubble Show” is a modern fairy tale that blends drama, mime, dance, puppetry, juggling, contortionism, sand art and magic with the amazing beauty of soap bubbles for a truly visual spectacle. And “Balloonacy” is a tender, uplifting, laugh-out-loud comedy that explores the power of friendship and shows how, with a little imagination and acceptance, companionship is everywhere.
Each of these theater presentations shares a unique world view or perspective. And several of the artists will provide masterclasses and workshops to share their craft with other theater professionals and students.
“Whether it is the incredible storytelling, scenic/costume design of ‘The Other Mozart,’ the blending of western theatrical traditions with eastern flavors of Indian Ink, or the Dutch collaborative URLAND’s ‘Bedtime Stories,’ theater offerings at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts take audiences to new places and explore unique perspectives and themes with people from around the world,” Reeves said.
Experience the shows in person at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. 2nd St., Scottsdale, Arizona. Ticket prices vary, from $10 to $72, depending on the show. For more information, visit ScottsdalePerformingArts.org/events or call 480-499-TKTS (8587).
All guests age 12 and older must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test, taken within 72 hours of the performance date, along with photo ID to attend performances. As an alternative, guests may provide proof of full vaccination. Masks are highly encouraged to protect artists, staff and patrons. For full health and safety protocols, visit ScottsdalePerformingArts.org/covid-19-response.