Friday, March 2, 2012

 

THIS WEEKEND’S HIGHLIGHTS:

Friday, March 2

* One Man, Two Guvnors, starring Owain Arthur, opens at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket.

* Impro Theatre’s Jane Austen Unscripted opens at Pasadena Playhouse‘s Carrie Hamilton Theatre.

* The Adventures of Tom Sawyer opens at NYC’s New Victory Theatre.

* The Fox on the Fairway opens at Naples, FL’s Gulfshore Playhouse.

* Abigail’s Party, featuring Jill Halfpenny, Joe Absolom , Natalie Casey, Susannah Harker and Andy Nyman, begins previews at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory.

* A Room with a View, starring Karen Ziemba, begins previews at The Old Globe.

* Red begins previews at Houston’s Alley Theatre.

* Alchemy Theatre‘s Flight, starring Maddie Corman, Maria Tucci and Jonathan Walker, begins previews at NYC’s DR2.

* Latin Roots concert, starring Lucie Arnaz at 8 PM at Tucson’s Berger Performing Arts Center. (also March 4 at 3 PM).

* PaleyFest2012 begins, featuring panel discussions with the casts of television’s hottest shows.

* Room 16 reading, featuring Eric Anderson, Stephen Bogardus, Philip Hoffman, Lorna Luft and Patti Murin, at 2 PM at NYC’s Chelsea Studios. Information and reservations: Room16res@gmail.com.

* “Submissions Only,” Ep. 6, featuring guest stars Marc Kudish, Cass Morgan, Santino Fontana, Annaleigh Ashford, Max von Essen and Gavin Creel, airs here.

Saturday, March 3

* Rent opens at Ft. Worth’s Casa Manana Theatre.

* Antony and Cleopatra opens at Pasadena’s A Noise Within.

* Concealing Judy Holiday opens at LA’s Pacific Resident Theatre.

* Merrily We Roll Along, starring Malcolm Gets, Daniel Jenkins and Becky Ann Baker, begins previews at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.

* 8 benefit reading, starring Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Martin Sheen, Matthew Morrison, Matt Bomer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christine Lahti, Jane Lynch,  Jesse Tyler Ferguson,  Rory O’Malley, Kevin Bacon, Chris Colfer, John C. Reilly, Yeardley Smith and George Takei, at 7:30 PM at LA’s Wilshire Ebell Theater, 743 S. Lucerne Boulevard, LA 90005. The performance will be streamed live here, beginning at 7:45 PM PST (after a 7:30 PM pre-show).

* An Evening with Bernadette Peters concert, at 8 PM at Northridge’s Valley Performing Arts Center.

* Selected Shorts readings, featuring Tate Donovan, Jane Kaczmarek, Robert Sean Leonard, and Leonard Nimoy, at 3 and 7 PM at LA’s J. Paul Getty Museum (also March 4 at 3 PM).

* “Oscar Hammerstein II – Out of My Dreams,” hosted by Matthew Morrison, premieres on PBS (check local listings).

* Primary Stage‘s Rx, starring Stephen Kunken, Marylouise Burke and Marin Hinkle, closes at Off-Broadway’s 59e59 Theaters.

* Yosemite, featuring Kathryn Erbe, Seth Numrich, Noah Galvin and Libby Woodbridge, closes at Off-Broadway’s Rattlestick Theater.

Sunday, March 4

* Tribes, starring Mare Winningham and Jeff Perry, opens at Off-Broadway’s Barrow Street Theatre.

* In This House, starring Chuck Cooper, begins previews at NJ’s Two Rivers Theater Company.

* Film of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall airs in the NY metropolian area on PBS Thirteen‘s “Great Performances” at 7 PM (check local listings).

* Kritzerland at Sterling’s The Ira Gershwin Album concert, featuring Lauren Leigh Barker, Damon Kirsche, Melody Hollis, Jane Noseworth and Shannon Warne, with special guest Andrea Marcovicci, at 7 PM at Studio City’s Sterling’s at Vitellos. Reservations: 818-754-8700.

* Part of His World: An Evening with Alan Menken cabaret concert, at 7 PM at the New York Historical Society.

* WSC Avant Bard‘s An Evening of Shakespeare in Klingon II: The Wrath of (Michael) Kahn, a one-night fête, at 8 PM at Arlington, VA’s Rosslyn Spectrum.

* Shatner’s World: We Just Live in It closes on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre.

* Richard III, starring Kevin Spacey, closes at BAM.

* Multi-ethnic Oklahoma! closes at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre.

* The Seagull, starring Joise De Guzman, closes at Houston’s Alley Theatre.

* Spamalot closes at LA’s Pantages Theatre.

* The Car Plays: San Diego closes at La Jolla Playhouse.

* Traces closes at Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center.

* Two Gentlemen of Verona, starring Euan Morton and Nick Dillenburg, closes at DC’s Shakespeare Theatre.

* Theater for a New Audience‘s The Broken Heart closes at NYC’s Duke on 42nd St.

* Race closes at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.

* High, starring Kathleen Turner, closes at Ft. Lauderdale’s Parker Playhouse.

* The Mousetrap closes at Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre.

* Old Wicked Songs closes at Burbank’s Colony Theatre.

* Dissonance, starring Daniel Gerroll, closes at Burbank’s Falcon Theatre.

* Crashing the Party, starring Sally Wingert, closes at Minneapolis’ Mixed Blood Theatre.

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Reviews for MCC Theatre’s Off-Broadway revival of CARRIE:

NY Times (Ben Brantley):  “An air of suppression hangs over this MCC production, as if a phalanx of stern teachers were standing guard over a passel of unruly adolescents, on the watch for the least sign of disrespect…. Despite a beautifully sung performance from Ms. Mazzie (as Carrie’s demented mother) that brings out an unexpected emotional delicacy in her character’s numbers, this show mostly suggests that what lay beneath all that stage blood on Broadway was a bloodless, Identikit body.”

Hollywood Reporter (David Rooney):  “But the inescapable impression remains that Carrie was never meant to be a musical – certainly not one with this unmemorable score and literal-minded, on-the-nose lyrics. The Goth-chic black prom corsage bangles available at the merchandise stand suggest some element of subversiveness, but what’s onstage is merely innocuous. In an effort to make the show connect with awkward-age teens, it’s been watered down and robbed of all the distinctive qualities that made it ‘terrifyingly lyrical’ onscreen (in the words of Pauline Kael) and ludicrously lurid on Broadway. It’s prime exploitation material treated as intense psychodrama.”

Associated Press (Mark Kennedy):  “The MCC Theater’s re-imagined production of Carrie that opened Thursday at the Lucille Lortel Theatre on Christopher Street is an attempt to reclaim what must be assumed is a stirring work evidently lost in the 1988 original, one of Broadway’s most notorious failures.The result may be better, but it’s nowhere near good. Some lovely music is marred by a patronizing, out-of-touch book, an overwrought tone and characters that seem as light and insubstantial as an after-school TV special.”

Newsday (Linda Winer):  “The MCC Theater’s sincere and dead-serious production — reduced and rethought with strange dignity by director Stafford Arima — has just enough bubblegum pop and heartfelt shock appeal to be a sort of Grease for the post-Columbine generation. With its revenge-of-the-outcast message and its shriek-show gothic story, the former joke of a musical about a bullied teen with telekinetic powers now feels like a bonanza for the high-school thespian market.”

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Article:  Marin Mazzie and Molly Ranson discuss Carrie.

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The original Off-Broadway company of The Lyons will make the leap to Broadway. Performances begin April 5 prior to an April 23 opening at the Cort Theatre. Mark Brokaw again directs.

Reuniting following its fall 2011 world premiere by Vineyard Theatre will be Linda Lavin and Dick Latessa, along with Michael Esper, Kate Jennings Grant Brenda Pressley and Gregory Wooddell.

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Grace Gummer, Stephen Kunken, and Brian J. Smith are the latest additions to the Broadway cast of Manhattan Theatre Club’s world premiere of David Auburn’s The Columnist.  Daniel Sullivan will direct the production, which will begin previews on April 4 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, with an opening date set for April 25.

As previously reported, the show stars John Lithgow, Margaret Colin and Boyd Gaines.

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The Actors Fund presents Nothing Like a Dame: Their Favorite Things on March 26 at 7:30 PM at NYC’s Gerald Lynch Theatre, 524 West 59th Street.  Directed by Richard Roland, with musical direction by Glen Rovan.

Performers include Polly Bergen, Bobby Cannavale, Mario Cantone, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, Jackie Hoffman, Phyllis Newman and Alexandra Silber, with additional names to be announced soon.

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The Bonnie & Clyde Broadway cast album will be released on April 24.  Pre-order the CD here.

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Casting has been announced for Carnegie Hall‘s upcoming concert presentation of The Sound of Music, which is scheduled for April 24 at 8 PM.

Gary Griffin will direct the production, with Rob Fisher serving as musical director, conducting the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

The cast will feature Laura Osnes (Maria), Tony Goldwyn (Captain Georg von Trapp), Brooke Shields (Elsa Schraeder), Patrick Page (Max Detweiler), Stephanie Blythe (The Mother Abbess), Jake Montagnino (Friedrich von Trapp), Olivia Knutsen (Louisa von Trapp), Jacob Sutton (Kurt von Trapp), Grace Luckett (Brigitta von Trapp), Natalie Hawkins (Marta von Trapp), Charlotte Knutsen (Gretl von Trapp), Joy Hermalyn (Sister Berthe, Mistress of Novices), Linda Mugleston (Sister Margaretta, Mistress of Postulants), Faith Sherman (Sister Sophia), Veanne Cox (Frau Schmidt, the housekeeper) and Daniel Truhitte (Baron Elberfeld), along with Christine DiGiallonardo, Daniela DiGiallonardo, Nadia DiGiallonardo, Patty Goble, Amy Justman and the Women of the Mansfield University Concert Choir (Peggy Dettwiler, Director).

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Click here for a complete list of MAC Award nominations.

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The Denver Center Theatre Company is pleased to present the World Premiere of Great Wall Story by Lloyd Suh, which plays The Ricketson Theatre  March 16 – April 22 (opening March 22).  Art Manke directs.

“On a slow news day in 1899, three Denver reporters decide to dream up a hoax. Their story: the Great Wall of China is being torn down. Based on actual events, Lloyd Suh’s fast-paced, high spirited play is a timely examination of the power of the media.”

The cast includes Christopher Kelly, Gabe Koskinen-Sansone, Jacob Knoll, John Hutton, Mike Hartman and Larry Paulsen.

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Fiorello!, the next staged reading of Musical Theatre West‘s Reiner Reading Series will take place on March 11 at 7 PM at the University Theater on the CSU Long Beach campus at the 7th Street entrance.

Directed by Patrick Pearson, the cast will feature John Massey in the title role, along with David Coolidge as Floyd; Julie Dixon Jackson as Marie, Jason W. Webb as Neil, James W. Gruessing Jr. as Ben, Jeffrey Landman as Morris, Shannon Warne as Thea, Shanon Mills Habelow as Mitzi and Jennifer Strattan as Dora.

Rounding out the ensemble are Sam Cavanaugh, Elena Scarlett Murray, Louis Pardo, Jordan Sidfield, Daniel Wargo, Jessica Wilson and Christopher Van Etten.

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Video:  Highlights from Broadway Remembers Whitney.

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DC’s Shakespeare Theatre Company has announced casting for its two final productions of the 2011-12 season:

The Servant of Two Masters (May 15-June 24), directed by Christopher Bayes, features Danielle Brooks, Liam Craig, Steven Epp, Alan Gilmore, Andy Grotelueschen, Rachel Spencer Hewitt, Jesse Perez, Don Darryl Rivera, Liz Wisan, Paul Edward Hope and Paul Reisman. Click here for more information.

The Merry Wives of Windsor, directed by Stephen Rayne, features Bev Appleton, Jarlath Conroy, Veanne Cox, Michael Keyloun, Jimmy Kieffer, STC Affiliated Artist Floyd King, James Konicek, Caralyn Kozlowski, Michael Mastro, Hugh Nees, Kristine Nielsen, Kurt Rhoads, David Schramm, Tom Story, along with Remy Brettell, Aayush Chandan, Caroline Coleman, Alyssa Gagaran, Michael Gregory, Aaryn Kopp, Matthew McGee, Anne Page, Ian Pedersen, and Aidan White. Click here for more information.

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Seattle Rep‘s production of Red has been extended, now through March 24.

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Donny Osmond will participate in a question-and-answer session, live from Salt Lake City, as part of nationwide screenings of a sing-along film version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The broadcasts will be seen at select theaters in the U.S. on Mon. March 26 (8 PM ET/8 PM PT) and Wed. April 4 (7 PM local time). Click here to find a theater near you.

In addition to Osmond as the title character, the cast includes Maria Friedman as the Narrator, Joan Collins as Mrs. Potiphar, and Sir Richard Attenborough as Jacob. The musical follows the biblical story of Jacob and his 12 sons.

The pre-recorded version of this fully staged production, originally shot in 1999 at London’s Pinewood Studios and specially remastered for this in-theater event, will also feature an introduction by Osmond, plus an animated opening sequence which features an 80-piece orchestra.

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Rumor: A new musical inspired by the work of Tupac Shakur, Holler If You Hear Me, is aiming to open on Broadway in the near future. Kenny Leon will direct a developmental lab, which is set to take place April 23 – May 11 in New York City.

Set in the present day on the inner-city streets of a Midwestern industrial city, the musical tells the story of two childhood friends (John and Vertus) and their extended families as they struggle to reconcile the challenges and realities of their daily lives with their hopes, dreams and ambitions.

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San Francisco’s Rrazz Room will present Shoshana Bean, Sylvia Maccalla and Syesha Mercado in Heart and Soul: the Music of Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston April 14 at 7 and 9:30 PM. Musical direction by Davy Nathan.

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The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center (1125 N. McCadden Place in Hollywood)  presents the first Los Angeles production in 20 years of Deathtrap March 28 – May 6 (opening March 30). Net proceeds from the play will benefit the entire array of the Center’s free and low-cost programs and services.

Directed by Ken Sawyer, the cast includes Brian Foyster, Cynthia Gravinese, 
Burt Grinstead, Elizabeth Herron, Carl J. Johnson and Stephen Mendillo.

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Video: A Book of Mormon spoof, The Book of Purim.

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The New York Children’s Theater Festival has announced shows for Spring
2012 at NYC’s Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater.  Click here for more information.

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Hunter Foster (book) and Rick Crom’s (music and lyrics) Clyde ‘n Bonnie: A Folktale (originally known as Bonnie & Clyde: A Folktale) has announced casting for Lawrenceville, GA’s Aurora Theatre production, directed by Lonnie Price.  It begins performances March 15 for a run to April 8.

The cast stars JC Long as Clyde and Laura Floyd as Bonnie, along with Karen Howell as Martha, Bart Hansard as J Edgar Hoover, Bryant Smith as Buck Barrow, Caitlin Smith as Blanche Barrow, Tony Larkin as Ray Hamilton, Steve Hudson as Anderson/ Uncle Floyd, Googie Uterhardt as Ted Hinton, Greg Bosworth as Ennis Butz,  Rachel Miller as Emma Parker. The ensemble includes Jennifer Smiles, Corey Bradberry and Kevin Dougherty.

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Beyoncé has signed on to star in a new movie musical that will be directed by “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy.

The film, “One Hit Wonders,” will follow a group of characters who each had a hit song in the ’90s and attempt to join forces.

The cast will also include Cameron Diaz, Reese Witherspoon, Andy Samberg and Gwyneth Paltrow, who is also a producer on the film.

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Justin Long will co-star with Jeff Goldblum in the Broadway production of Theresa Rebeck’s play, Seminar. Both actors will begin performances April 3 at the Golden Theatre.

Long will be replacing Hamish Linklater in the role of Martin. Goldblum is taking over from Alan Rickman as Leonard. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

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Doubt will be presented at Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre March 27 – April 15, opening March 29.

The cast will featuure Jeffrey Coon (Father Flynn), Kaci M. Fannin (Mrs. Muller), Karen Peakes (Sister James) and Ellen Tobie (Sister Aloysius).

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Delia Ephron‘s new novel, “The Lion is In,” will be released March 29.  Order the hardcover here.  Order the Kindle edition here.

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Off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theater Company will present their annual Spring GalaBring It On Home, on March 5 at 6:30 PM at NYC’s Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers.

The event will feature special appearances by Larry Bryggman, Jez Butterworth, Norbert Leo Butz, Kathryn Erbe, Giancarlo Esposito, Amanda Green, James Monroe Iglehart, Peter Maloney, Eloise Mumford, Elizabeth Olsen, Joan Osborne, Mary Beth Peil, and Isiah Whitlock, Jr.

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Lynn Cohen and Jake Robards will star in the world premiere of Rivka Bekerman-Greenberg’s Eavesdropping on Dreams.  Barefoot Theatre Company will present the play Off-Broadway at NYC’s Cherry Lane Studio Theatre, April 20 – May 20, with an opening on April 27. Ronald Cohen will direct.

The cast will also feature Stephanie Roth Haberle, Aidan Koehler and Christopher Whalen.

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Upcoming at NYC’s Highline Ballroom:

* Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp (April 13). Click here for more information.

* Duncan Sheik and Suzanne Vega (April 25-26). Click here for more information.

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Article: A reminiscence of the former Daily News theater critic Howard Kissel, by Ben Brantley.

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Ana Gasteyer will perform her popular cabaret show, Elegant Songs From a Handsome Woman, at Joe’s Pub on April 2 at 7:30 and 9:30 PM.

The concert will feature a variety of popular songs in bold interpretations.

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Boston’s SpeakEasy Stage has extended it run of Next to Normal, now through April 15.

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Win a pair of tickets to Evita on Broadway plus a dinner for two at the Chimichurri Grill!

To enter, all you need to do is snap a photo of yourself posing with arms fully outstretched in the classic Evita pose and post it here.  Contest ends April 8.

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Video: Alan Menken on “CBS Sunday Morning.”

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Target Margin Theater returns to Brooklyn with its annual Laboratory,  0,2012: The Last Futurist Lab, which runs March 16 – April 7 at Brooklyn’s Bushwick Starr (207 Starr Street).  Click here for more information and the complete schedule.

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Roundabout‘s 2012 Spring gala, From Screen to Stage, will honor Rob Marshall, and feature performances by Christine Baranski, Boyd Gaines, Victor Garber, Donna Murphy and Kelli O’Hara, with musical direction and arrangements by David Krane.

The evening will begin at 7 PM at NYC’s Hammerstein Ballroom,  311 W. 34th Street .

Celebrity attendees include Jane Alexander, Alec Baldwin, Blair Brown, Matt Cavenaugh, Margaret Colin, Kristin Chenoweth, Jim Dale, Gordon Edelstein, Nora Ephron, Katie Finneran, Alexander Gemignani, Joanna Gleason, Sam Gold, Carla Gugino, Joel Grey, Jayne Houdyshell, Doug Hughes, Marin Ireland, Cherry Jones, John Kander, Steve Kazee, Jane Krakowski, LaChanze, Angela Lansbury, James Lapine, Michael McGrath, John McMartin, Debra Monk, Sarah Paulson, Martha Plimpton, Lily Rabe, Phylicia Rashad, Theresa Rebeck, Ron Rifkin, Sherie Rene Scott, John Slattery, Alex Timbers, Tony Walton, Vanessa Williams, Maury Yeston. All celebrity appearances are subject to change.

The benefit also features an on-line auction, which is now open and continues to 9 PM ET on March 13.  Check it out here.

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Oregon’s Portland Center Stage has announced its 2012-13 season:

Sweeney Todd, directed by Chris Coleman; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Penny Metropulos; I Love to Eat, about the life of celebrity chef James Beard, directed by Jessica Kubzansky; The Whipping Man, directed by Rose Riordan; Clybourne Park, directed by Chris Coleman; Ella: The Musical, directed by Rob Ruggiero; The Body of an American, directed by Bill Rauch; Lungs, directed by Nancy Keystone; The People’s Republic of Portland, directed by Rose Riordan; The Santaland Diaries, directed by Wendy Knox.

Dates and casting TBA.

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Arizona Theatre Company‘s 2012-13 season:

* Next to Normal (Sept. 15 – Oct. 6 in Tucson and Oct. 11-28 in Phoenix).

* Lombardi (Oct. 20 – Nov. 10 in Tucson and Nov. 15 – Dec. 2 in Phoenix).

* Emma (Paul Gordon’s musical) (Dec. 1-22 in Tucson  and Dec. 31- Jan. 20, 2013 in Phoenix).

* Freud’s Last Session (Jan. 19 – Feb. 9, 2013 in Tucson and Feb. 14 – March 3, 2013 in Phoenix).

* The Sunshine Boys (March 2-23, 2013 in Tucson and March 28-April 14, 2013 in Phoenix).

* Clybourne Park (April 6-27, 2013 in Tucson and May 2-19, 2013 in Phoenix).

Tucson performances: Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Avenue (box office: 520-622-2823).

Phoenix performances: Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe Street (box office: 602-256-6995).

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Steven Brinberg, in his alter ego as Simply Barbra — Streisand, that is — will celebrate Streisand’s upcoming 70th birthday with a series of concerts. Click here for the show’s schedule.

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