the 2018/19 performance schedule

text by Ron Jenkins  photos courtesy of Phoenix Theatre

The largest producing regional theater company in Arizona has scheduled its 99th season with memorable music, social engagement, side-splitting humor and mystery.

Above: West Side Story. Photo by Reg Madison.

West Side Story begins the season, September 5 – October 2: Set in New York City, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim provide the award-winning score for the ill-fated love story of Tony and Maria. More music follows with Fun Home, October 10 – December 2: This five-time Tony Award-winner tackles love, dysfunction and everything in between.

An all-time holiday favorite, Elf: The Musical, November 14 – December 30: The hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan who mistakenly crawled into Santa’s bag of gifts and wound up living at the North Pole, ventures out to find his birth father in madcap Manhattan.

An improvised romp into the dating scene, The Second City’s It’s Not You, It’s Me, is next: Exploring the age-old phenomenon that is falling in love, the show runs January 2 – 20.

The hits continue with Jersey Boys, January 23 – March 10: Featuring hits like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,”  “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “December, 1963” (aka., “Oh What A Night”), the musical tells the story of Brooklyn-born Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.

Fresh from the Humana Festival of New American Plays, Airness premieres at Phoenix Theatre, March 6 – 31: Nina, a newbie to the world of competitive air guitar, thinks it will be a cinch to take home a win.

Sisters-in-Law, April 3 – 28: The play features the relationship between polar opposites and legal eagle legends Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sandra Day O’Connor. Cookin’s a Drag, April 4 – May 19: Shining the spotlight on Betty D. Licious and her scrumptious back-up boys performing her fifth anniversary special, the cooking is on live TV.

The 18-time Tony Award-winning musical Once, May 2 – June 16: A delightful twist on the classic boy-meets-girl story while reminding us of the true power of music. And, closing the season: Guests will relive the 1956 impromptu jam session of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis in Million Dollar Quartet, June 12 – July 14. 

In addition, Phoenix Theatre also announces the 20th annual Festival of New American Theatre. Formerly known as the Caleb Reese Festival of New Plays and Musicals, The Festival runs January 25 through February 10. Rehearsed readings, with script in hand, of new, un-produced plays and musicals will be featured, as well as showcasing a Composer/Lyricist Cabaret.

For details, visit