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Thanks To The Haars, Phoenix Children’s Hospital Families Attend ‘Elf The Musical’

By Maddy Dowler

❄️Elf The Musical is made possible through the generous support of Dr. Keith & Kim Haar of Epiphany Dermatology.

Dr. Keith Haar and his wife Kim are long-time Peoria residents, business owners, and friends of Arizona Broadway Theatre. The couple moved out of the snowy winters of Scott Air Force Base in O’Fallon, Illinois in 1996 to the beautiful weather of Arizona where Keith finished his military career in the Air National Guard and Reserves. He opened his dermatology practice, Arrowhead Dermatology, in 1999 and sold it to Epiphany just last year. Keith and Kim have three sons and two grandchildren.

The Haars have been coming to ABT for 12 years. Initially, their oldest son was interested in theatre so they got season tickets to ASU Gammage. They then discovered ABT in the West Valley and immediately loved not having to drive the long distance with traffic to and from Tempe, find a place to
eat dinner quickly, and then look for paid parking.

“ABT was perfect,” said Kim. “Nearby location, easy free parking, top-notch Broadway-quality performance in a small venue and fantastic food!”

Keith and Kim had attended a dinner theatre in the Minneapolis area which was known for being a fun evening of entertainment but had a mediocre buffet-style dinner. “ABT far surpasses in the quality of production and food! Keith has told everyone that we’ve never had a bad meal at ABT,” admits Kim.

Keith and Kim took their relationship with ABT to the next level when they started going on the “ABT Takes Manhattan” trip and got to know ABT Founders Kiel and Cassandra Klaphake and other staff better. After spending time with them and seeing a real live dance audition, they grew to appreciate the value of what ABT brings to our own backyard!

“What talent we have at ABT! Yet everyone makes you feel like family,” says Kim.

As regular donors to ABT, the couple has taken generosity a step further by sponsoring the run of Elf The Musical with a substantial donation that will benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital, another organization for which they are passionate. When asked why they give, they responded that they love to give people who may not be aware of ABT the opportunity to experience quality performances and delicious meals in their own community. Especially in today’s world, they believe few young people have the opportunity to see live theatre and are pleased to partner with ABT and Phoenix Children’s Hospital to bring quality family entertainment to the Valley, hopefully inspiring some future musicians and actors to the beauty and art of theatre-going.

Kim says the quote “Buddy is exposed to the realities of human nature, but is able to keep Christmas cheer alive, foster meaningful relationships, and eventually save Christmas,” is a good reminder for us all, not just at Christmas, but all year.

Why Madison Cichon (Jovie in ‘Elf The Musical’) Loves ABT!

PLANTING THE SEED

When Madison Cichon was 8 years old, her grandparents brought her to see H.M.S. Pinafore at Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT), and to say she was awestruck would be an understatement. “I had never experienced a show that was so beautiful at a venue that was so unique,” she said.

THE SPARK

Recognizing Madison’s interest in theatre, her parents soon enrolled her in ABT’s Summer Academy for Young Performers and its production of Disney’s The Jungle Book. From acting classes with ABT’s Teaching Artists to prop workshops with Mary Rooney, ABT’s Props Master, Madison got to experience an entirely new side of theatre that she had never seen before.

From ACADEMY to MAINSTAGE

The first Mainstage production Madison was cast in was A Christmas Carol in 2008 when she was just 10 years old. In the eleven years since, she has been on ABT’s Mainstage in productions of Sound of Music, Shrek, Hands on a Hardbody, Titanic, and this Christmas she will have the wonderful opportunity to portray Jovie in ELF the Musical. In addition to performing, Madison has worked various other jobs at ABT, and she says they “have helped me to understand just how much hard work and love is put into every production here.”

PERSONAL GROWTH

The impact of ABT, and the family it creates, has been monumental in Madison’s growth into the person she is today.

“ABT taught me how to be a professional (always arriving early, knowing my materials beforehand, doing my homework to come prepared the next day, etc.),” she says.

Working in live theatre gave Madison many important skills, including the ability to think quickly and problem solve. Whether it was a rip in a dress or a flubbed line on stage, Madison learned how to handle all possibilities with self-confidence and grace. She is now a better manager and faster thinker, and those are talents she can use in every situation.

Madison’s experiences with ABT came full circle when she started teaching at the Academy for Young Performers. She is now able to impact new performers in a positive way, just as the Academy’s Teaching Artists did when she was a kid.

LIFELONG IMPACT

Madison has created relationships and learned skills that she will carry throughout her life.

“I am forever grateful to everyone who has made my dreams come true for the past 15 years, and I hold them very near and dear to my heart,” she said.

ABT is grateful for Madison, too!

Announcing the cast of Arizona Broadway Theatre’s Production of ‘Elf The Musical’

It’s all happening! Elf The Musical is coming to Arizona Broadway Theatre and everyone’s a-buzz! We had a chance to meet the cast on Monday when they reported for their first rehearsal day. So, without further ado, here’s your cast of Elf The Musical:

Buddy………………………………… Tyler Pirrung
Walter Hobbs…………………….. Bill Saunders
Emily Hobbs……………………….. Carolyn McPhee
Jovie………………………………….. Madison Cichon
Mr. Greenway / Santa……….. Rob Watson
Michael Hobbs…………………… Tristan Klaphake / Dane Shepard
Deb……………………………………. Hannah Clarke Levine
Matthews…………………………… Jeff Tierney
Store Manager…………………… Justin Emmanuel Parker
Charlotte Dennon………………. Christie Dabreau
Ensemble…………… Blair Beasley, Halley Daigle, Danny Durr, Alyssa Ishihara, Scotty Jacobson, Tyler Pirrung, Delaney Spanko, Caleb Summers, Erika Wasko, Brody Wurr

Tickets are going very quickly for this extremely popular show so don’t wait.

Buy your tickets by CLICKING HERE or visit or call the Box Office at 623.776.8400 x0.

Arizona Broadway Theatre Rings In The Holiday Season With Elf The Musical, The Annual Community Tree-Lighting Ceremony and Toy Drive

Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT) kicks off the holidays in a big way with the wildly-popular, Elf The Musical and the Theatre’s annual Christmas tree lighting on November 22, 2019. Elf will continue to delight ABT audiences through December 29, 2019.

Based on the cherished 2003 holiday film, this hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity. Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised by Santa’s elves, unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Elf The Musical opened on Broadway during the Christmas season of 2012-2013 and has seen a number of national tours around the United States during the past five years, most notably last year’s national tour which featured ABT’s own Tristan Klaphake as Michael Hobbs. Tristan is the youngest son of ABT’s Executive & Artistic Producers, Kiel & Cassandra Klaphake, and will be reprising his role in the ABT production.

“It’s hard to believe that almost fifteen years ago in the fall of 2005 we learned we were pregnant with Tristan at the very same time we were working to open our very first production of Anything Goes,” said Tristan’s mom, Cassandra. “No doubt the little guy was hearing a ton of musical theatre from day one, but I don’t think I ever thought he would take to the craft and profession as he has. I’m a very proud mom!”

Elf The Musical has become a staple for theater-goers during the holidays, and Arizonans will be pleased to know that they can find the heartwarming yet hilarious Broadway musical right in their own backyard at Arizona Broadway Theatre.

“This holiday season is special because it marks ABT’s 15th season of bringing high-quality Broadway musical theatre entertainment to the Valley of the Sun. We always take a moment during this time of year to appreciate our community and all of the many volunteers, patrons, sponsors and donors who have made ABT what it is today,” says Kiel Klaphake, Co-founder and Executive Producer, Arizona Broadway Theatre. “It’s our hope that Elf The Musical will be a time for family & friends to gather together this holiday season!”

The annual Christmas tree lighting will take place in the lobby of Arizona Broadway Theatre at 7701 W Paradise Lane, Peoria at 5:00pm on November 22 and is open and free of charge to the public.  Not only will the community enjoy the dazzling lights of the tree and lobby decor but also a short performance of festive holiday tunes by ABT’s youth company, HyRev. HyRev is specifically for young performers ages 13-19 with some previous music theatre/dance /show choir experience, and they truly know how to share the holiday spirit. The annual toy drive also kicks off on November 22 and will run through December 29, 2019.  New, unwrapped toys are welcome and can be brought to the ABT lobby whenever the theatre is open. Toys will go to “Helping Hands For Freedom,” a 501(c)(3) dedicated to supporting the military families of the fallen, wounded, and deployed.

ABT’s production of Elf The Musical is made possible in part through the generous support of Dr. Keith & Kim Haar of Epiphany Dermatology. As part of the Haar’s generous support, members of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital community have been invited to attend opening weekend performances free of charge.

ABT’s Season 15 Broadway Series continues in 2020 with La Cage aux Folles (January 24 – February 28 (in Peoria) & March 6 – 22 (at Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix) and Chicago (March 13 – April 19, 2020). For more information about these and other upcoming productions presented at Arizona Broadway Theatre, visit azbroadway.org or call 623.776.8400.