Announcing the Cast of ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ ‘Off Broadway at the ENCORE’

The much-anticipated hit is on its way and the cast has begun rehearsals!

Here’s the cast!

Keilani Akagi (Marcy Park)

Pierre Brookins (Mitch Mahoney)

Cassie Chilton (Logainne “Schwartzy” Schwartzandgrubenierre)

Bennett Curran (Leaf Coneybear)

Alyssa Gardner (Olive Ostrovsky)

Kira Galindo (Rona Lisa Peretti)

Nicholas Hambruch (William Barfee)

Charlie Rabago (Charlito “Chip” Tolentino)

Tim Shawver (Vice Principal Douglas Panch)

Buy tickets HERE!

ABT’s Own Josh Condon and Lexy Romano to Perform at ‘Sunday Brunch at the ENCORE’

You may not know Josh Condon by looking at him, but you have definitely seen his talents in action! As Resident Music Director for Arizona Broadway Theatre, Josh Condon arranges and oversees all the music for ABT’s productions. Currently the conductor for Chicago: The Musical, he most recently conducted Elf: The Musical, My Way, and An American in Paris. Elsewhere in town, he is Music Director/Conductor for Xavier/Brophy College Preparatory’s Theatre Arts Department. A versatile jazz and classical pianist, Josh has performed everything from piano concertos with symphony orchestras to jazz piano of all styles. Last year, Josh premiered his own show, A Tribute to Oscar Peterson at Phoenix’s premier jazz club, The Nash.

Previous credits as Music Director include Scottsdale Arts (The World Goes ‘Round), Xavier/Brophy Theatre (Seussical, The Music Man), Arizona State University (Legally Blonde, Shrek), Cider Mill Playhouse (The Drowsy Chaperone), and Norwegian Cruise Line (Rock of Ages).  Josh’s career has taken him worldwide as a Music Director/Pianist with the Norwegian, Celebrity, and Princess Cruise Lines, where he collaborated with numerous West End and Broadway performers. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies from Ithaca College and a Master’s degree in Musical Theatre/Opera Music Direction from Arizona State University.

Lexy is a singer, actress, host and reporter who is originally from southern California. She has lived and worked in New York City, and has traveled the world singing on cruise ships and as a member of the USO show troupe. She has also performed off-Broadway in New York City and has opened for top-name artists such as Katy Perry and Tim McGraw. Lexy originated a lead role in Stephen Schwartz’s Magic to Do for Princess Cruises and Orchid the Show in Miami, and most recently performed as a lead in the ABBA MANIA national tour. Lexy also performs regularly for Steve Beyer Productions at all the Mastro’s Steakhouse locations in Scottsdale, and all over the country with the San Diego-based Liquid Blue Band. After initially having met on a Princess cruise ship, Lexy and Josh married in June 2018.  Collectively, the couple has visited over three dozen countries as performers, and were seen together most recently in Arizona and Florida performing in the roles of Agnetha and Benny for TAD Management’s AbbaFab show. Lexy is also the founder and host of Phoenix Finds​, a social media show exploring the best of Phoenix. Find her on Instagram: @phx_finds.

Josh and Lexy will come together to perform at ABT’s Sunday Brunch at the ENCORE on Sunday, March 29, 2020. What better way to spend a Sunday morning than with friends and family and the delicious aromas of freshly baked bread, an array of delicious entrées, and desserts all while enjoying lyrical songstress, Lexy Romano, and virtuoso pianist, Josh Condon? They will perform a concert of pop favorites and Jazz standards that engages audiences with the mind and heart, paying tribute to the songs and the artists that inspired them to pursue a life of performing.

Bar service starts at 10:00am featuring Mimosas and Bloody Marys and will be available throughout the event.

You can learn more about Josh Condon HERE and Lexy Romano HERE.

Reservations are required; please contact the Box Office by calling 623.776.8400 or ONLINE to book yours today.

Seth Tucker To Direct And Choreograph ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ At ABT

By Maddy Dowler

Seth as Jacob in ‘La Cage aux Folles’

If you haven’t yet seen Seth Tucker as Jacob, the butler, in ABT’s current production of La Cage aux Folles, you’re definitely missing out. Some of the best lines and gags are his and make the show that much more hilarious. You can still see La Cage aux Folles, by the way, in either Peoria until February 28 or at Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix March 6-22. FIND TICKETS HERE.

Seth is not new to ABT. His past acting credits include: Forever Plaid (Jinx), Lucky Stiff (Harry), and Pageant (Miss West Coast). His ABT directing credits include: Altar Boyz, and Pageant. Seth is a local entrepreneur, writer, and cabaret producer.

His next venture is as Director and Choreographer of the upcoming Off Broadway at the ENCORE offering, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He is also no stranger to this show as he has performed in it twice before. Once in 2009 at The Phoenix Theatre Company (PTC) playing Leaf Coneybear which won him an ‘ariZoni Theatre Award of Excellence.’ He also won two PTC ‘Encore Awards’ for Best Supporting Actor and Best Moment of the Season. It was the last show he did in Arizona and the first show he booked after moving to New York City in 2010/11 at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis, IN.

“I love these characters, the humor, the heart and the music. I’m a huge William Finn fan and got to meet him and chat with Carmel Dean a couple years back in Quisisana, Maine. Now, I’m very lucky to be given the opportunity by Arizona Broadway Theatre to direct and choreograph,” says Seth.

Seth as Leaf Coneybear

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will be fun for the whole family. It’s about an eclectic group of six “mid-pubescents” who spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Even the audience will participate in this delightful den of comedic genius.

BUY TICKETS HERE

From The Phoenix Theatre Co. 2009

From Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre 2010/11

From Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre 2010/11

 

I Learned All About ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ Just For You!

By Maddy Dowler

Well, here’s another show I’ve never heard of. But that’s not saying much as I am not well-versed in the language of theatre overall. But as the Communications Manager here at ABT, when I found out that The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was our feature ‘Off-Broadway at The ENCORE’ performance March 20 – 29, 2020, I knew I’d better study up.

So, I did what anyone would do which is to look it up on Wikipedia and here’s what I learned:

It’s a musical comedy with music and lyrics by William Finn, a book by Rachel Sheinkin, conceived by Rebecca Feldman with additional material by Jay Reiss which originally ran on Broadway in 2005. The show centers on a fictional spelling bee set at the geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky mid-pubescents compete in the Bee which is run by three equally quirky grown-ups. So far, so good – I like it. It turns out that it had great reviews on Broadway, box office success, and was also nominated for six Tony Awards, winning two, including best book.

The musical was based upon C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E, an original improvisational play created by Rebecca Feldman and performed by The Farm, a New-York-based improvisational comedy troupe. Sarah SaltzbergWendy Wasserstein‘s weekend nanny, was in the original production, and Wasserstein recommended that Finn see the show. Finn brought Rachel Sheinkin on board, and they worked together with Feldman to transform “C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E” into a scripted full-length musical.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

An unusual aspect of the show is that four real audience members are invited on stage to compete in the spelling bee alongside the six young characters. What?! In fact, during the 2005 Tony Awards, former Presidential candidate, Al Sharpton, competed. Another amusing aspect of the show is that the official ‘pronouncer,’ usually an improv comedian, provides ridiculous usage-in-a-sentence examples when asked to use words in a sentence.

Ok, you had me at improv…

So, about the music…The Broadway cast album was released on May 31, 2005, and was nominated for a Grammy Award. That’s all I know but I found a track from the original Broadway soundtrack so we can listen to it together (but keep reading after):

So, I think this is shaping up to be a really fun night out at Arizona Broadway Theatre!

“If you’re going to bee anywhere, why not bee here?!” – Maddy Dowler

Also, here’s some useful information:

Presented in ABT’S Encore Room. This is not a Mainstage dinner & show event. Food and beverage service is available for purchase before the show and at intermission.

BUY TICKETS HERE

Arizona Opera’s Own Katherine Beck and Pianist, Christopher Cano, Will Perform at ‘Sunday Brunch at the ENCORE’

On February 16, 2020, Arizona Broadway Theatre and the City of Peoria bring to the west valley another special Sunday Brunch at the ENCORE featuring Arizona Opera mezzo-soprano, Katherine Beck, and pianist, Christopher Cano.

Katherine Beck

Applauded for her “florid musicality” and “von Stade-like shimmer,” mezzo Katherine Beck has been recognized for her unique sound and honest performances throughout the United States. In 2018, Ms. Beck took First Prize at the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition and Third Place in the Metropolitan Opera National Council’s Western Regionals. A 2nd year member of the Marion Roose Pullin Studio at Arizona Opera, 2019 highlights for Beck include performances of Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro and Mary Johnson in Fellow Travelers. Beck recently created the role of Lisette in the world premiere of Gerald Cohen’s Steal a Pencil for Me at Opera Colorado in January 2018. This summer Beck performed the role of Karolka in Jenufa and covered Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte at Santa Fe Opera.

Christopher Cano

A seasoned recitalist, orchestra soloist and collaborative pianist, Mr. Cano has performed throughout the US, Mexico, Israel, Europe and the Far East.

Having maintained his private studio in New York City since 2002, Mr. Cano has prepared singers for appearances at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scalla, Chicago Lyric Opera, and orchestral appearances with the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic among others.

As a collaborative artist, he has played in the Master Classes of Licia Albanese, Fedora Barbieri, Anna Moffo, Lauren Flannigan, Martin Katz, Craig Rutenberg, and Suzanne Mentzer. Mr. Cano has also played for the master classes of Marilyn Horne in New York City at Carnegie Hall. As a studio pianist, Mr. Cano has had the distinct privilege of working with some of the great artists and teachers of singing including Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes, Luciano Pavarotti, Marni Nixon, Patricia McCaffrey, Joan Patenaude-Yarnell, Rita Shane and Diana Soviero.

Mr. Cano has been a member of the music staff at the Festival Lyrique en Mer in Belle Isle, France, Toledo Opera, San Diego Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Opera Company of North Carolina, Florida Grand Opera, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, among others.

Beginning with the 2017/18 season, Mr. Cano was appointed as the Head of Music and Director of the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio of Arizona Opera.

RESERVE NOW

Entertainment at Sunday Brunch at the ENCORE Sponsored by:

Meet The Mill Avenue Chamber Players Quintet – Playing Next At ‘Sunday Brunch at The ENCORE’

On Sunday, January 26, 2020, Mill Ave Chamber Players (MACP) will be performing during Sunday Brunch at The ENCORE.

MACP is a professional chamber music ensemble based in Phoenix, Arizona. Formed in 2007, MACP has received local and national recognition: City of Phoenix Mayor’s Arts Awards nominee (2016), Governor’s Arts Awards nominee (2017), and Chamber Music America recognition for work in community building at the 2017 national conference.

Embarking on its twelfth season, Mill Ave Chamber Players seeks to strengthen communities by presenting quality chamber music performances across the Valley. During the 2019-2020 season, MACP will celebrate its tenth season of concerts at the United Church of Sun City (Sun City, AZ), seventh season at the Glendale Public Library, sixth year as artists-in-residence at Cicero Preparatory Academy (Scottsdale, AZ), fourth year of working with the Phoenix Public Libraries, and second year as artists-in-residence at Changing Hands Book Store.

MACP will be the entertainment made possible by the City of Peoria at ABT’s Sunday Brunch on January 26, 2020.

Reserve tickets here

Let’s meet them…

Rose French

Rose French is the founder of the Mill Ave Chamber Players and residential faculty at Phoenix College. She has been a contributing artist at the International Horn Symposiums in Ithaca, Los Angeles, London, Natal (Brazil), Brisbane (Australia), and Cape Town (South Africa), where she also the won the Dorothy Frizelle International Horn Excerpt Competition. In the Southwest, Rose is principal horn of the West Valley Symphony and performs with the Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera, Tucson Symphony, Flagstaff Symphony, Orquestra Sinfonica de Monterrey, and Orquestra de Baja California. She’s toured China twice as principal horn of the American Festival Orchestra.

Rose has been a guest artist and chamber music coach at the Saarburg International Chamber Music Festival (Germany), Interlochen Center for the Arts, and the Arizona Chamber Music Experience. She serves as Exhibits and Advertising Coordinator for the International Horn Society, maintains a private studio, and teaches at Rosie’s House: a non-profit music academy that provides free instruction and instruments to under-served youth.

Thomas Breadon

Dr. Thomas Mark Breadon Jr. is an active educator, bassoonist, and composer living in Phoenix, Arizona. He is currently adjunct faculty at Glendale Community College where he teaches bassoon and composition lessons, chamber music, music theory, and humanities courses. He is also in his first year as Band Director at Arizona School for the Arts and maintains a private bassoon/composition studio in the greater Phoenix area. For the last three summers he has taught bassoon, chamber music, improvisation, and composition at the Mill Ave Chamber Players Summer Chamber Music Camp.

Dr. Breadon performs as a bassoonist with Mill Ave Chamber Players, West Valley Symphony, and a myriad of ensembles throughout the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. In addition to orchestral and chamber music, he performs as an improviser with many varying artists including Provisions DJ Collective, Oh My Ears, and Black Air.

 

Monica Sauer Anthony

Monica Sauer Anthony, flutist, enjoys a very versatile career – performing and educating in the Phoenix area. She performs with the Mill Ave Chamber Players and Symphony of the Southwest. Prior to performing with these ensembles, she was the founder of the Red Mountain Winds and Sonora Flute & Guitar Duo. Monica has been a frequent musician with the West Valley Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, Arizona Opera, Phoenix Opera, and Opera Southwest. As a lover of new music, she regularly performs with Crossing 32nd Street New Music Ensemble. Monica has been a guest recitalist all over the Southwest and Midwest.

Monica has been a faculty member at Arizona School for the Arts (ASA) since 2006. She developed a progressive approach to prepare young woodwind players to enter the performing and academic world beyond high school.

Nikolaus Flickinger

Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Nikolaus Flickinger is the owner-operator of OBONIK, a company that specializes in handmade oboe and English horn reeds, and a longtime member of Mill Ave Chamber Players. Nikolaus received his Master of Music degree in oboe performance from Arizona State University and is currently the principal oboe player of the West Valley Symphony. Prior to moving to Arizona, Nikolaus attended the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, where he received his Bachelor’s degree.

Katherine Palmer

Katherine Palmer, clarinetist and educator, enjoys a multifaceted musical career and works as a performing musician, educator, and arts administrator. Katherine plays with the Mill Ave Chamber Players and has appeared with a variety of musical groups throughout Phoenix and Arizona. She is the Curator of Education at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix where she oversees educational content. Additionally, Katherine is an adjunct instructor of clarinet and music humanities at Paradise Valley Community College, a Faculty Associate in the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts at ASU, and maintains a private teaching schedule.

Katherine is the Executive Director of Daraja Music Initiative (DMI), a non-profit organization that provides music and conservation education in Moshi, Tanzania during the summer months to primary and secondary students. Aiming to bridge the arts and sciences, DMI promotes sustainability of African Blackwood trees that clarinets – and other instruments – are constructed from.

We3 Trio Comes to Sunday Brunch at the ENCORE

We3 performed their very first concert together on October 1st, 2016 at the Nash in downtown Phoenix. An undeniable chemistry was recognized, and the group continued to perform sold out shows at the MIM and Phoenix Theatre along with recording their first full length CD – “We’ll Meet Again” – now available on Amazon, Spotify, CD
Baby and Itunes. These ladies are a powerhouse of talents combined; featuring vocalist Renee Grant Patrick (daughter to the late George Grant of the world famous Ink Spots), violinist Suzanne Lansford and pianist Nicole Pesce. They have appeared on AZTV’s Channel 7 as the “Best of the Daily Mix” and made special appearances at the Chandler Jazz Festival and AZ Classic Jazz Festival; paying tribute to timeless tunes with new and familiar interpretations of popular, jazz, swing, blues standards and so much more.

Coming up…

We3 are currently in the studio recording their 2nd full length CD featuring holiday favorites and will be returning to headline at the AZ Classic Jazz Festival in November. Exciting endeavors are on the horizon for 2020, including a 35th anniversary cruise to the Hawaiian Islands – Presented by Jazzdagen tours onboard the Ms. Eurodam from
March 18th – April 5th, 2020.

About the Artists…

Renee Grant Patrick

Renee has connected with individuals and crowds with her voice and music over the past 12 years in the Valley. Her music is shockingly honest and emotionally charged. Listeners find Renee’s sound somehow familiar, but one that is refreshingly original and inviting. Singing a variety of genres from Jazz Standards, to classic R&B, Renee’s music will capture you with her powerful voice combined with a passionate delivery. Born in Philadelphia PA, to now 31 years in Arizona, music has been a way of life for Renee. Her father was a member of the world-renowned Ink Spots, inducted in the Doo Wop Hall of Fame in 1997. Renee’s mother Teresa is a local legend, having recorded duets with Terry Johnson of the Flamingos in Detroit’s Motown Studios alongside greats such as Smokey Robinson & Marvin Gaye. It is safe to say that music runs in her family.

Suzanne Lansford

Suzanne’s Mom & Dad taught her all kinds of music before she could even walk. They also say it took a very long time before she begin to walk! Beginning with classical lessons and quitting them at 13 to play jazz at the Arizona Biltmore and other venues and radio shows across Phoenix and Scottsdale, Suzanne has always kept music high on the list. In Chicago, she was with Chicago’s eclectic classical/jazz/Latin group, the 3rd Coast String Quartet, and even today when visiting Chicago, she makes time to visit with and play Gypsy Jazz with Alfonso Ponticelli and Swing Gitan at the Green Mill. In rural Florida, she was immersed in bluegrass, twice winning the Yee-Haw Junction Bluegrass Fiddle Championship. Back home in Phoenix since 2011, she doesn’t have to pick a favorite genre, because everything gets cameos of Latin, Jazz, Classical… even Blues, Greek & Scottish flavors. It’s all fair play. During the day, Suzanne is a registered professional engineer (PE- electrical) for nuclear power & public infrastructure projects through her firm, REDD Inc.

Nicole Pesce

Nicole’s “Happy Birthday Variations” video has over five million views on YouTube and over seven million shares on Facebook. Recognized by the Arizona Republic as one of the “top ten musicians to hear in Phoenix”, Nicole has performed for Muhammad Ali, Ricky Martin, George Benson, Waylon Jennings, Shaquille O’Neal, Jimmy Carter, The Gypsy Kings, and Brian Setzer. Nicole enjoyed a residency as the house pianist at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Phoenix, AZ for over a decade…entertaining audiences with everything from Bach to Lady Gaga. With additional performances at such venues as the Tempe Center for the Arts, Herberger Theater, Desert Ridge Marriott, ASU Kerr
Cultural Center, Mesa Arts Center, Phoenician Resort, Wrigley Mansion, & The Princess Hotel. At age 14, Nicole played for Debbie Reynolds at Debbie’s Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. That same year, Nicole appeared on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon (which aired to over 65 million viewers) – and toured the USA with Jerry. Additional
appearances include performances with American Idol contestant David Hernandez, The Moscow Ballet, Zowie Bowie, The Cast of Mary Poppins, Young Frankenstein, Mamma Mia, and White Christmas.

Purchase tickets by CLICKING HERE.

A Broadway Christmas Carol At The ENCORE Features ABT Fan Favorites

You mean there is more holiday entertainment to be had at Arizona Broadway Theatre than just Elf the Musical?! Why yes, there is! A Broadway Christmas Carol, part of our Off-Broadway at the Encore series will premiere December 16 and run through December 24, 2019. A Broadway Christmas Carol is a delicious cross between the classic Dickens’ tale and uproarious song parodies of 33 of your favorite Broadway show tunes by Rodgers & Hammerstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim and many more! Great music, great fun, and a great redemptive message to share with family and friends this holiday season!

And, the all-star cast is made up of four very talented ABT alumni:

Jamie Parnell

Jamie Parnell is currently part of The Company in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and has also appeared as Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins, Gaylord Ravenal in Show Boat and Nicky Arnstein in Funny Girl on the ABT stage.

 

Stephen Hohendorf, also on the stage of Sweeney Todd has also been in other ABT shows such as Fiddler on the Roof, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Mary Poppins and Camelot. Stephen was on the national tours of The Full Monty, Sesame Street Live!, and Pinkalicious.

 

Liz Fallon most recently starred as Clio/Kira in ABT’s production of Xanadu. She’s had several other starring roles in ABT shows such as, Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, Princess Fiona in Shrek the Musical, and Charity Hope Valentine in Sweet Charity.

 

Kurtis Overby, Associate Artistic Director at ABT, will no doubt bring a winning performance to A Broadway Christmas Carol. He has an extensive list of choreography credits, having won ariZoni Awards for his work on Anything Goes and 42nd Street. His performance list is also strong, including ABT’s Singing in the Rain, The Drowsy Chaperone, Cabaret and received an ariZoni nomination for his role as Bud Frump in How to Succeed…

The talented quartet will, no doubt, have you in stitches throughout the performance.

CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets today.

The Story Goes On: A Solo Cabaret by Sarah Ambrose

Come enjoy an evening of musical theatre and pop music with singer Sarah Ambrose on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 from 6-10pm. It will be a night filled with incredible music, surprise guest singers, and loads of talent and passion to raise funds and support Sarah as she brings her talents to New York City. CLICK HERE for tickets.

A little about Sarah… She discovered her passion for musical theatre during her participation in the very first Academy for Young Performers at Arizona Broadway Theatre and has been performing ever since. Throughout high school and college, she performed in a variety of shows with ABT as well as around the country. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from the University of Arizona in 2016 and went on to perform all over the globe as a vocalist with Aida Cruise Lines and Princess Cruise Lines. This winter, Sarah plans to move to New York City to pursue her dream of performing on Broadway.

We sat down with Sarah to dig a little deeper…

Arizona Broadway Theatre: What particular songs might be people be expected to hear at your event?

SARAH AMBROSE: Well, not to give too much away, but there will be many Musical Theatre-style songs, from more contemporary shows such as Waitress, Dear Evan Hansen, Frozen, Bonnie and Clyde, and The Last Five Years. There will also be some more classic songs that people will recognize that are by Carole King. There will also be some pop songs by artists people might not know, so I will surprise them with those. I have chosen many “story” songs, since that is the theme of the concert, and stories are what we live for as humans, I mean, who doesn’t like a good story? But, to reveal one song that I will for sure, be singing is “The Story Goes On” from the amazing Broadway musical Baby.

ABT: What year was that first summer camp at ABT you attended?

SA: I believe it was 2006! That makes me feel very, very old but it was for The Jungle Book and I was proudly Wolf #1 and I totally rocked it. Ever since that camp, I did every summer camp possible at ABT and I never looked back. I caught the theatre bug and I am so fortunate I did!

ABT: What shows have you been in at ABT?

SA: I was in Footloose, Into The Woods, and Legally Blonde! All fun times.

ABT: What is one memory that stands out from your cruise line stint?

SA: One memory, or let’s say, destination, that sticks with me the most is when we visited Italy! We spent a lot of time in the Mediterranean while on my cruise ship contract and I was lucky to visit this one town called Lucca in the southern part of Italy. I instantly fell in love with that place. It felt like I was in a movie and I never wanted to leave. I also took the train on a whim one day to Florence to see Michelangelo’s Statue of David. That was incredible. Fingers crossed I get to go back to Italy sometime soon!

ABT: What made you decide to move to NYC?

SA: In my career, you have to move to New York to audition and be seen by the best casting directors and perform on the best stages, so it has always made sense for me to move to New York. I booked the cruise line jobs right after college and spent over two and half years traveling the world, so that delayed my move initially so I am ready now to take this next step in my journey. I also made it to the finals for a National Tour this past spring where many of the auditions took place in NYC, and that lit a fire in my heart and rekindled my love for Musical Theatre, and it inspired me to dive fully into it, which requires the move to the Big Apple!

ABT: Do you have a game plan for your new life in NYC?

SA: I do! I plan to take as many dance classes as I possibly can, work on getting an agent who will help me secure the auditions I would like to be seen for, and I will have a part time job at Walgreens since I already work for them part time out here and can transfer to New York. My dream shows that I hope to audition for are Frozen, Wicked, and any production of Big Fish or Light in the Piazza! I will also sublet a friend’s apartment and keep doing that once I get more comfortable with navigating such a big city.

ABT: What specifically will the fundraiser help you pay for?

SA: This will help pay for my acting/dance classes, voice lessons, new dance shoes, agent showcases, new sheet music for my repertoire book, my flight out there, and basically anything that will be going towards my career. Being an actor is expensive, so anything would help! It just means the world to me that I can put on an event like this and share my favorite songs with people I care about to raise money to chase my dreams — it really is awesome.

To buy tickets to the show, CLICK HERE!

Announcing 2019-2020 “Off-Broadway At The Encore” Series

It’s been years in the making, but the renovation of the Encore Room at Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT) is complete and has already hosted numerous community events, private parties, Sunday brunches, murder mystery dinners, and now an all-new series of shows entitled Off-Broadway at The ENCORE.

Completed in 2018, the Encore Room at ABT was achieved through an advantageous refinance of the building, making it possible for the nearly $1 Million, 6,000 square foot infrastructure expansion to become a reality. Adjacent to ABT’s lobby, the new space features two levels, balcony seating, luxurious wood floors, beautiful lighting, great acoustics, and complete privacy.  The room is available for public rental for events, with full food and beverage service if needed. The room can be set in a variety of ways to accommodate groups from 20 to 250 people.

Arizona Broadway Theatre has a full-service kitchen and bar with professional staff on hand to service events.  Food and beverage options range from a simple box lunch to elaborate formal dinners.  Custom menus, bar packages, linens, cakes, audiovisual, DJ, entertainers, photography, ticketing, and equipment services are available upon request. Event space rental can be requested on the website at azbroadway.org.

“We dreamed of this space for years until we were finally able to make it happen,” says Kiel Klaphake, Executive Producer and co-founder of Arizona Broadway Theatre. “We are very pleased with all of the use the Encore Room has been getting over the past year and are thrilled to be bringing more high-quality entertainment to another ‘venue’ in our own space with the upcoming Off-Broadway series.”

Off-Broadway at The ENCORE showcases amazing musical theatre works (both edgy and traditional) featuring smaller casts and intimate sets perfect for the more “chameleon” style of the Encore Room. Attendees can enjoy food and bar service available for purchase before the show and at intermission.

The upcoming line-up includes A Broadway Christmas Carol (December 16 – 24, 2019); Some Enchanted Evening (February 7 – 23, 2020); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (March 20 – 29, 2020); and Next To Normal (July 10 – 19, 2020). Tickets (ranging from $49-$59) may be purchased through the Box Office online, by phone, or in person.