The 7th Annual Broadway Ball Is Coming Together Nicely

On Saturday, February 29, 2020, 400 people will don their fancy attire and descend on Arizona Broadway Theatre to experience The 7th Annual Broadway Ball. And do we have great plans coming together! Our committee has been hard at work to create an unforgettable evening and it is sure to be one of the highlights of the year for the West Valley social scene.

Susan Casper, co-host of ABC15’s long time hit morning show Sonoran Living, will be our emcee once again for the elegant evening. Susan joined ABC15 News in 2008 as an anchor and reporter before moving to Sonoran Living, the longest-running television lifestyle show in Phoenix. Susan is an executive board member of Dress for Success, Phoenix and a founding member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Phoenix Metropolitan Chapter. You can catch Susan on Sonoran Living weekdays at 9 am on ABC15.

Brad York, Director of Marketing & Development will co-emcee the event.  Brad is thrilled to share the stage with the lovely and talented Susan Casper as co-emcee of the 7th Annual Broadway Ball! Originally from the beautiful Pacific Northwest and the great state of Oregon, Brad first came to Arizona in 1996 on a full-ride out-of-state tuition vocal scholarship to Arizona State University. He holds a BA in Music from Linfield College (Oregon) and an MM in Musical Theatre Performance from Arizona State University. Upon graduation, Brad moved to New York City where he lived and worked for ten years – marrying the life of an actor with steady jobs at an investment firm and as a waiter. He returned to Arizona full-time in 2010 to work on “the other side of the table” at ABT in Marketing and Development. You’ll likely also recognize Brad from his many appearances on the ABT stage over the years. His roles include Evelyn Oakleigh (Anything Goes), Hysterium (A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to The Forum), Man 1 (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change), Harold (The Full Monty), The Baker (Into the Woods), Igor (Young Frankenstein), and most recently Gomez Addams (The Addams Family).

The committee has confirmed four extravagant live auction items, including an eight-day Rhine River Cruise generously donated by Viking Cruises valued at $7,500, as well as numerous silent auction items from sports memorabilia to art to gift baskets and so much more.

Cases of wine have been generously donated by our ABT community for the very popular “Wine Pull” where participants pay to “pull” from 150 concealed bottles of great wines. “Bubbles and Barrels” is another fun activity happening at the Ball where participants pay a fee and choose to taste delicious sparkling wines or aged whiskeys. They will also get to take home their special customized glass!

Of course, there will be live musical performances, a gift card frenzy, and special surprises throughout the evening. Some tickets are still available. Tickets are $175 per person and can be purchased at the ABT Box Office by calling 623.776.8400 or online HERE.

Arizona Broadway Theatre Holds 7th Annual Broadway Ball

Black Tie Fundraiser Benefits Artistic, Educational, and Charitable Programs

Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT) will host the 7th Annual Broadway Ball on Saturday, February 29, 2020, at 5:30 pm. Proceeds from this vital fundraising event benefit the artistic, educational, and charitable programs at ABT.

The Broadway Ball features a cocktail hour with complimentary Champagne, a three-course dinner, silent and live auctions, the Broadway Ball Wine Pull, an all-new “Bubbles & Barrels” Whiskey Experience, and much more! Live entertainment includes performances from Mainstage shows and ABT’s teen performance troupe, HyRev. Tickets are $175 per person and can be purchased at the ABT Box Office by calling 623.776.8400 or online at

“The sole purpose of the Broadway Ball is to raise awareness within our community of our mission to bring the highest-quality production values to the stage in the Valley of the Sun as well as raise funds in support of the theatre’s educational programs and community engagement initiatives,” said Brad York, Director of Marketing & Development. “We have an amazing 16-member volunteer committee that prepares all year for this crucial event. I’m so incredibly thankful for their tireless efforts to make this year’s Broadway Ball the best yet!”

Kristin Wurr, Co-chair of the Ball, has strong convictions about why ABT and the Broadway Ball are important to her.

“Many people know that Arizona Broadway Theatre is a place you can experience the magic of professional live theater. I don’t think as many people know that ABT is an educational venue where children like my son learn not only dancing, voice, and acting skills, but life skills such as how to work with others, how to manage time, how to overcome obstacles – skills they need to succeed in whatever career they choose. When you attend the Broadway Ball, you help ABT continue to inspire patrons like me, as well as the stars of tomorrow. ABT is part of our community’s family. Please come be a part of it.”

To ensure the success of this festive yet critical fundraiser, ABT is also seeking sponsors to help defray the costs associated with the Ball to assure that all funds raised can be directed toward the organization’s artistic, educational, and charitable programs.

“Corporate, individual, and community partners will be the key to success,” says ABT CEO/Executive Producer Kiel Klaphake. “Sponsorships allow ABT to continue fulfilling its mission to enrich lives through the power of the performing arts.”

Portions of sponsorships are tax-deductible and range from $1,000 to $25,000. Those wishing to support this important event through a generous sponsorship should contact Sally Jane Kerschen-Sheppard at

“We have some incredible auction items this year,” says Jamie Boscardin, Co-Chair of this year’s gala. “From an eight-day Rhine River Cruise generously donated by Viking Cruises to a Phoenix Suns package for four including tickets, food, drinks, and parking, to a Sedona vacation package, we are working hard to secure highly-biddable items.”

For more information or to purchase tickets for the Arizona Broadway Theatre 7th Annual Broadway Ball, contact the Box Office at 623.776.8400 or online at

[Photos from 2019 Broadway Ball]

Gala Fundraiser Raises $135,000 to Benefit the Theatre and its Programs

Arizona Broadway Theatre hosts Sixth Annual Broadway Ball

On Saturday, March 2, 2019, the Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT) community gathered to celebrate The Sixth Annual Broadway Ball, raising more than $135,000 to benefit the nonprofit theatre and its artistic, educational, and charitable programs.  More than 250 guests turned out for the elegant event, co-chaired by Lisa Platt and Kristin Wurr.

The evening included a cocktail hour, three-course dinner, silent and live auctions, the Broadway Ball Wine Pull, and the popular Gift Card “Frenzy.”  From the stage, Kiel and Cassandra Klaphake, ABT’s co-founders, spoke about the power of the performing arts and the importance of accessible artistic opportunities for community members of all ages.

Since 2005, ABT has been delivering professional musical theatre entertainment through its Broadway-style Mainstage productions.  In addition, the theatre’s programs for children encourage all arts-minded area youth to take advantage of artistic opportunities and experiences at ABT, regardless of their ability to pay.

“Funding from community partners and individual donors allows Arizona Broadway Theatre to make all of our programs more accessible to community members while allowing ABT to maintain our very high standards of quality,” said Mr. Klaphake.  “This is what makes fundraising events like the Broadway Ball so important.”

ABT’s new teen performance troupe, HyRev, entertained the Broadway Ball audience with an emotional rendition of “You Will Be Found” from the Tony award-winning Broadway musical DEAR EVAN HANSEN.  Live entertainment also featured a performance of “I’ve Got Rhythm” from the Mainstage production of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS and a scene from ABT’s Theatre for Young Audiences production of THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA.

Guests ended the night dancing to the music of AbbaFab, courtesy of event sponsor TAD Management.  Other event sponsors included Arrowhead Cadillac, the Arizona Coyotes Foundation, TC Schuttler, Renew Dental, and Low Mountain Construction.  Table sponsors included Blondie Wolfe & Associates, Home Instead Senior Care of Surprise, City of Peoria Mayor Pro Tem Vicki Hunt, Senior Support Solutions, Setterberg Jewelers, Sysco Arizona, West Valley Symphony, West Valley Women, and several individual sponsors.

Arizona Broadway Theatre, Arizona’s leader in musical theatre and the Valley of the Sun’s highest attended live theatrical venue, opened its doors in 2005 and has grown to be a nationally recognized producer of Musical Theatre – drawing top talent to the Valley of the Sun from New York City and from the vast pool of exceptional talent here in Arizona. Through its Mainstage shows, Theatre for Young Audiences, and Academy for Young Performers programs, as well as through special events and banquet bookings, ABT has seen more than 900 thousand patrons pass through its doors.

For more information about the Arizona Broadway Theatre or The Broadway Ball, please call the Arizona Broadway Theatre Development Office at 623.707.8842.

Arizona Broadway Theatre Opens 6000sf Encore Room

Improved Encore Room Will Advance Programming, Community Accessibility, and Engagement

PEORIA, ARIZONA: Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT), Arizona’s Leader in Musical Theatre and the Valley of the Sun’s highest attended LIVE theatrical venue, cut the ribbon on the newly expanded Encore Room on March 23, 2018. The space went from a small 1,000sf meeting room to a 6,000sf hi-tech multi-media performance, banquet, and conference space. By more than doubling the existing footprint, ABT is able to offer Valley arts enthusiasts a more diverse and varied roster of shows, concerts, guest artists, and special events as well as provide much-needed banquet, conference, and seminar meeting space for West Valley businesses, associations, and organizations.

In the 12 years since opening its doors in the Phoenix market on November 5, 2005, ABT has grown to be a nationally recognized producer of Musical Theatre – drawing top talent to the Valley of The Sun from New York City and from the vast pool of exceptional talent here in Arizona. Through its Mainstage shows, Theatre for Young Audiences, and Academy for Young Performers programs, as well as through special events and banquet bookings, ABT has seen over 900 thousand patrons pass through its doors.

“Today was extremely special for all at ABT and for the entire ABT community, the city of Peoria, and the West Valley,” said Brad York, ABT’s director of marketing. “Perhaps most exciting are the opportunities this new space will provide. From much-needed banquet, conference and event space in the West Valley to an entirely new opportunity for a variety of programming at ABT, the new Encore Room is going to take what our patrons have come to call the ‘ABT Experience’ to a whole new level!”

The first ABT program to take advantage of the new space will be a concert and talkback with Tony Award-winning Broadway composer Jason Robert Brown on May 7. Jason’s appearance at ABT will coincide with ABT’s production of his 2013 Tony Award-winning Broadway hit, The Bridges of Madison County, on stage at the Theatre April 13 – May 13, 2018. The evening will include a performance of selections from Jason’s extensive repertoire, performances by members of ABT’s cast of The Bridges of Madison County, and a talk-back with the composer and audience moderated by the host of ABC15’s Sonoran Living, Susan Casper.

For more information about this performance, please contact ABT’s Box Office at 623-776-8400 x0. For information on rental of the Encore Room, please contact Diane Hetrick at 623-776-8400 x104 or

Ribbon Cutting

Co-Founders Kiel and Cassandra Klaphake cut the ribbon to the all-new Encore Room at Arizona Broadway Theatre

Jason Robert Brown

Jason Robert Brown


Tables set for elegant event

An evening of elegance awaits


Fourth annual event raises awareness of and funds for the performing arts at ABT

Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT), the Valley leader in musical theatre, hosted its Fourth Annual Broadway Ball on March 4, 2017, raising more than $100,000 for the nonprofit performing arts organization.

The formal event was attended by arts-minded donors and supporters and sponsored by some of the West Valley’s leading names in philanthropic support including Season 12 and “Times Square” level event sponsor Arrowhead Cadillac and “Tony Award” level sponsor TC Schuttler. Other sponsors included the Arizona Coyotes Foundation, Arrowhead Dermatology and the Honorable Cathy Carlat, Mayor of the City of Peoria.

“It is more important than ever that we continue to raise awareness about why arts funding is so crucial. Professional arts programs benefit artists, patrons, children, and everyone in the community,” said Ellen Versen, Development Director at Arizona Broadway Theatre. “We are extremely grateful to our community partners who stepped up this year to sponsor such an exquisite event in support of the arts at ABT.”

Ball guests enjoyed a cocktail hour in the theatre’s lobby followed by a three-course meal created by ABT Executive Chef Erik Angelo. Silent and live auctions, raffle opportunities and a wine pull offered friendly rivalry among guests. The live auction featured unique experiences including cooking classes in the ABT kitchen, a Disney’s Beauty and the Beast birthday party for 12 during ABT’s production of the show and a “Queen + Adam Lambert” rock ‘n’ roll experience for six. Members of the all-volunteer Broadway Ball committee, led by co-chairs Sharon Jarnagin and Michele Meewes, were on hand to welcome guests and oversee the successful event.

Kiel and Cassandra Klaphake, Producers and Co-founders of the Arizona Broadway Theatre, spoke on behalf of the organization and introduced live entertainment representative of ABT’s Mainstage and children’s programming including previews of Jesus Christ Superstar and Man of La Mancha. The evening brought attention to the impact ABT has had on residents and visitors to the Valley of the Sun for nearly 12 years as one of Arizona’s premiere performing arts destinations.

The date of the Fifth Annual Broadway Ball has been tentatively set for Saturday, March 3, 2018. For more information about ABT and The Broadway Ball, please call the ABT Development Office at (623) 707-8842 or visit

Broadway Ball Co-chairs Michele Meewes and Sharon Jarnagin

Fourth Annual Broadway Ball Committee

CEO & Executive Producer Kiel Klaphake

ABT and Herberger Theater Center Partner to Present A Christmas Carol This Holiday Season

Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT) and Herberger Theater Center (HTC) extend their partnership, announced earlier this year, by co-presenting A Christmas Carol on Center Stage at HTC  December 10 – 24. Valley audiences will delight in the opportunity to see this classic tale set to music at their favorite downtown venue by popular West Valley theatre company ABT. Tickets go on sale to the general public on July 16, 2016, at

Kiel Klaphake (l) and Mark Mettes (r) celebrate the partnership of ABT and HTC.

“We are excited and proud to partner with ABT to bring this spirited musical production to family audiences in downtown Phoenix during the holiday season,” says Mark Mettes, HTC’s President and CEO. “With ABT’s vast experience bringing quality musicals to life, this full-scale production made possible through our partnership is sure to delight theatergoers of all ages.”

ABT produced A Christmas Carol on stage in Peoria in 2015 and will bring this hugely successful version with an unexpected and uplifting twist to HTC for the enjoyment of Valley audiences. ABT CEO and Executive Producer Kiel Klaphake shares the excitement of Mettes, “As the leading musical theatre producer in the state, we are delighted to bring our bold approach to this premier venue. We have long sought a partnership with an arts organization that has the leadership of HTC and a respected position in the community for advancing performing arts in the Valley. We look forward to a long relationship.”