Top plays, Broadway musicals, shows for 2022

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It’s a year of premier ballet, theater, musicals and concerts in the Valley. And there’s a show for anyone. 

Those itching for a night of Shakespeare can watch one of Southwest Shakespeare’s classic plays. Broadway is back in Phoenix for a 2022 season that includes “The Band’s Visit” and “The Lion King,” among others. 

“A Soldier’s Play” will be performed by the Black Theatre Troupe, and several dance shows will highlight the year, including Ballet Arizona’s “Romeo and Juliet” with the Phoenix Symphony and “An Evening in the Desert Botanical Gardens.” 

There are also shows making a comeback, including “Rent,” for its 25th year anniversary farewell tour, and Swiss masked theater troupe Mummenschanz will celebrate its 50-year run in Phoenix. 

Several theaters and venues have COVID-19 protocols in place. Make sure to check venue websites for mask or vaccine requirements and other safety measures before you go.

More to see and do: Top art exhibitions, shows in metro Phoenix in 2022

Southwest Shakespeare Company’s ‘The Tempest’

Southwest Shakespeare is back to live performances and its first show, “The Tempest” is a Shakespeare classic. Head to the Mesa Arts Center for a Shakespeare show with a twist. 

Other upcoming shows at Southwest Shakespeare include “Fairnelli and the King” and “Shall I Compare Thee: The Sonnets.”  

Details: Feb. 25 through March 19. Mesa Arts Center, Nesbitt/Elliott Playhouse Theater. 1  E. Main St., Mesa. swshakespeare.org

‘The Hello Girls’ and ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ at Phoenix Theatre Company 

With several shows scheduled for the new year, “The Hello Girls” and “Singin’ in the Rain” are first in the Phoenix Theatre Company lineup. 

“The Hello Girls” tells the story of America’s first female soldiers in World War I. A story of the unsung heroes and women who were part of the Signal Corps, this regional premiere performance invites audiences into a story of strength, determination and the fight for equality. 

A classic, “Singin’ in the Rain,” takes theatergoers back to Hollywood’s Golden Age where Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont star amid the perfect balance of comedy and musical. 

Other upcoming shows at the Phoenix Theatre Company include “The Color Purple,” “Something Rotten” and “Always Patsy Cline.” 

Details for “The Hello Girls”: Jan. 5-30. Tickets start at $64. Phoenix Theatre Company, 1825 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. 602-254-2151, phoenixtheatre.com/.

Details for “Singin’ in the Rain”: Feb. 2-April 3. Tickets start at $64. Phoenix Theatre Company, 1825 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. 602-254-2151, phoenixtheatre.com/.

‘A Soldier’s Play’ at Black Theatre Troupe

In a Pulitzer Prize-winning story told by Charles Fuller, “A Soldier’s Play” details the social issues and systemic racism in the U.S. Army throughout World War II. The story — set in 1944 at Fort Neal in Louisiana — chronicles a story of racism in an era of segregation. 

Details: Feb. 4-20. 1333 E. Washington St., Phoenix. Tickets start at $44. 602-258-8128, blacktheatretroupe.org/.

‘The Band’s Visit’ at ASU Gammage 

Award-winning Israeli actor Sasson Gabay, star of the original film and Broadway production, is coming to Tempe for “The Band’s Visit.” The musical is a 10-time Tony award winner, including for Best Musical. The show also won a Grammy award for Best Musical Theater Album. It’s the story of a musician who in a series of wanderings transforms a town through the gift of music. 

Details: Feb. 8-13. ASU Gammage Theater, 1200 S. Forest Ave, Tempe. 480-965-3434, asugammage.com.

Ballet Arizona’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ with the Phoenix Symphony

In a dynamic collaboration by Ballet Arizona and the Phoenix Symphony, enjoy Ib Andersen’s choreographed “Romeo and Juliet” alongside Prokofiev’s music score to the iconic story. 

Details: Feb. 10-13, Phoenix Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix. Tickets start at $35. 602-381-1096, balletaz.org/.

Scottsdale Philharmonic at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts 

The Scottsdale Philharmonic will perform three shows at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts this spring. In February, March and May, concertgoers can experience a wide array of classical music, from Beethoven to Chopin to Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Borodin. 

Details: Feb. 13, March 27 and May 15. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Stage 2. 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale. A donation of $15 is suggested. 480-499-8587, scottsdaleperformingarts.org/.

ZuZu Acrobats at Madison Center for Performing Arts 

A Tanzania-based acrobatics troupe will take audiences through more than 2,000 years of African traditions. The show, celebrating the troupe’s Dar Es Salaam culture, will feature live music, dancing, dish spinning and chair balancing, among more acrobatic and circus-like delights. Each troupe member has graduated from the Baba Watoto School of Performing Arts, an arts school that serves children and youth in the surrounding communities of Dar Es Salaam. 

Details: Feb. 18-20. Madison Center for the Performing Arts, 5601 N. 16th St., Phoenix. Tickets start at $19. 602-664-7777, themadison.org/.

‘Revolution: Music of the Beatles’ at Phoenix Symphony

It’s a show filled with more than 25 Beatles favorites, including “Ticket to Ride,” “Penny Lane,” All You Need is Love,” “Get Back,” Here Comes the Sun” and “Hey Jude.” In a symphonic tribute to the iconic band, the show will feature Grammy-winner Jeff Tyzik’s new arrangements from the original recordings at Abbey Road. While the music plays, audiences can enjoy photos from “The Beatles Book Monthly” — along with video animation.

Details: March 25-27. Phoenix Symphony Hall in the Phoenix Convention Center, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix. Tickets start at $34. 602-495-1999, phoenixsymphony.org/.

‘Sheepdog’ at the Stray Cat Theatre

In a new chamber drama, “Sheepdog” tells the story of two police officers in Cleveland. Amina is Black and Ryan is white. While the two fall in love, a police shooting tears them apart. A blend of mystery and love, “Sheepdog” examines police violence, interracial love and class tensions in the 21st century. 

Details: March 11-26. Tempe Center for the Arts Studio Theatre, 700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe. 480-227-1766, straycattheatre.org/

‘Rent: 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour’ at Madison Center for Performing Arts 

This March, theatergoers can see Jonathan Larson’s “Rent,” a Tony award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical. The show has traveled the country for the last 25 years. This is the show’s final tour. 

Details: March 31 through April 3. Madison Center for the Performing Arts, 5601 N. 16th St., Phoenix. Tickets start at $35. 602-664-7777, themadison.org/.

‘An Evening at Desert Botanical Garden’ with Ballet Arizona 

Enjoy ballet in the heart of the desert at Ballet Arizona’s “An Evening at Desert Botanical Garden.” The show — which will have performances at sunset — will highlight contemporary ballet that both embraces and showcases the desert backdrop. 

Details: May 17 through June 2. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix. Tickets start at $60. 602-381-1096, balletaz.org/.

‘The Other Mozart’ at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts 

This unconventional show tells the story of Nannerl Mozart — Mozart’s sister who also was a prodigy, keyboardist and composer. The play — based on facts, stories and lines from the Mozart family letters — is set in an 18-foot dress designed by Magdalena Dabrowska of the National Theatre of Poland. In a show that integrates ballet movement, music and elegance, a seemingly forgotten story is finally shared. 

Details: April 6-10. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Stage 2. 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale. $35. 480-499-8587, scottsdaleperformingarts.org/.

‘Jurassic Park’ at the Phoenix Symphony 

Watch the iconic “Jurassic Park”  like you’ve never seen before. The film — 65 million years in the making — will project in HD on screen with the Phoenix Symphony orchestra performing the music score as the movie plays. 

“Jurassic Park” is rated PG-13. 

Details: May 13-15. Phoenix Symphony Hall in the Phoenix Convention Center, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix. Tickets start at $34. 602-495-1999, phoenixsymphony.org/.

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at Phoenix Symphony

To close the 75th anniversary season, the Phoenix Symphony will perform two masterworks: Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Details: May 20-21. Phoenix Symphony Hall in the Phoenix Convention Center, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix. Tickets start at $34. 602-495-1999, phoenixsymphony.org/.

‘The Lion King’ at ASU Gammage

Tickets for Disney’s “The Lion King” are on sale now. The show will run for four weeks at Tempe’s ASU Gammage from July 5, 2022, through July 31, 2022. “The Lion King” — seen by some 20 million theatergoers — has played in more than 90 cities in the U.S. The show has won six Tony Awards and more than 70 major arts awards, including the 1998 N.Y. Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical and a Grammy award for Best Musical Show Album. This year is the show’s 24th anniversary. 

Details: July 5-23. ASU Gammage Theater, 1200 S. Forest Ave, Tempe. 480-965-3434, asugammage.com/

‘Mummenschanz 50 years’ at Madison Center for Performing Arts 

Mummenschanz — a Swiss masked theater troupe — will perform its 50th anniversary show in Phoenix for three nights only. The show will be a highlight reel of its most successful productions over the last five decades, including its famous characters the Clay Masks and Toilet Paper Faces. A blend of imagination and poetry, the show comes to Phoenix after three years on Broadway.. 

Details: Nov. 18-20. Madison Center for the Performing Arts, 5601 N. 16th St., Phoenix. Tickets start at $35. 602-664-7777, themadison.org.

Reach the reporter at [email protected] Follow her on Instagram @sofia.krusmark. 

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