As a slew of plays close, a few are opening. Here’s what’s on the boards over the next week:
Celia, A Slave — The Rogue Theatre. See review
Tigers Be Still — Tornabene Theatre, 1025 N. Olive Road in the University of Arizona Fine Arts complex. Life ain’t easy in this Kim Rosenstock play. It is packed with layers of grief and pain. But at its center is art teacher Sherry, who is committed to being upbeat. A tough commitment to keep: Her sister has taken over Sherry’s sofa clutching a whiskey bottle and watching TV. That’s what a cheating fiancé can do to you. Her recently-widowed boss spends way too much time in his office with a gun in his lap. He has made his son Sherry’s teaching assistant, and that’s a struggle, too: The poor teen thinks it’s his fault that his mother died in a car crash. Amidst all this turmoil comes the news that a tiger has escaped from the zoo. That could be the least of their problems. Rosenstock’s play, says The New York Times, “is so amply stocked with whimsy-tinted woes that the prevailing tone of naturalism threatens to warp into something more surreal. But her subtly funny dialogue and the vivid, truthful characters keep the play grounded in prickly emotional authenticity.” Brent Gibbs directs the UA students. The play is appropriate for ages 13 and up. Previews are 1:30 p.m. Sept. 17 and 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18; opening is 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20. Continues through Oct. 8. $15-$28. 621-1162. theatre.arizona.edu.
The Astronaut Farmworker — PCC Center for the Arts West Campus, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Most every year, Pima Community College’s Pima Theatre begins the season with a play for children and families. We love that. This year, it is José Cruz González’s “The Astronaut Farmworker.” It is loosely based on the true story of José Hernández, the son of migrant farm workers who dreamed big — to be an astronaut. And he achieved the dream. In the play, Pepito must overcome struggles with the language and balance work in the fields with his studies so that his starry-eyed goal can be achieved. His commitment to learning and the help and guidance of teachers and his family give him the tools that will one day send him to space. Mickey Nugent directs. Performances are 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 1. $8. 206-6986. pima.edu.
The Little Mermaid — Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. The Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale gets the Disney treatment with this musical. The story: a beautiful mermaid with an insatiable curiosity about humans falls in love with a handsome prince. Her evil aunt, Ursula, will help her trade her fins for legs, but oh the cost is high. Broadway in Tucson brings the roadshow here. Final performances are 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14; 8 p.m. Sept. 15; 2 and 8 p.m. Sept. 16, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17. $29-$115. 1-800-745-3000. Broadwayintucson.com.
Indoor/Outdoor — Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave. A curious cat, a nerdish owner and a tomcat on the prowl make for a delicious comedy, especially thanks to this fine IT production. The strong cast includes Jeanne Torres, Christopher Younggren, Bree Boyd and Stevan Matthew Miller. Susan Claassen directs. Final performances are 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14-16 and 3 p.m. Sept. 16 and 17; $34. 882-9721. Invisibletheatre.com.
Scarborough — Temple of Music and Art Cabaret, 330 S. Scott. This Fiona Evans play tackles love — forbidden love, actually. The first half finds us in a not-very-glamorous hotel room where Lauren and Daz have holed away for some uninterrupted lust time. Here’s the catch: She is older and his teacher. The second act finds us in the same situation, with almost the same dialogue, but this time the teacher is a man and the student is a female. The Something Something Theatre production is directed by Whitney Woodcock and the cast is made up of Lucas Giacalone, Callie Hutchison, Boz Lomasney and Kyleigh Sacco. There will be discussions after every performance. Final performances are 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15 and 16; 2 p.m. Sept. 17. Adult content. $18-$22. 468-6111. somethingsomethingtheatre.com.
You’ve Ruined a Perfectly Good Mystery — The Comedy Playhouse, 3620 N. First Ave. A famous investigator and an outlandish narrator draw the audience into this comedy by Christian Neuhaus and Rick Stemm. Literally draw them in— the audience gets to decide which clues should be followed. Final performances are 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15 and 16 and 2 p.m. Sept. 17. $16. 270-9310. thecomedyplayhouse.com.
The Rootin Tootin Tale of Little Red Riding Boots — Live Theatre Workshop, 5317 E. Speedway. Little Red Riding Boots sets out to bring some beef jerky to her Gran. Along the way she meets critters, vermin and outlaws. Stephen Frankenfield adapted the “Little Red Riding Hood” story and Richard Gremel wrote the music for this piece geared toward kids. The final performance is 12:30 p.m. Sept. 17. $7-$10. 327-4242. livetheatreworkshop.org.
Chapter Two — Temple of Music & Art, 333 S. Scott Ave. Arizona Theatre Company opens its season with the Neil Simon comedy, directed by his ex-wife, Marsha Mason. The comedy about a recently widowed writer, who is introduced by his press-agent brother to a soap opera actress, was inspired by Mason and Simon’s whirlwind romance. The final preview is 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14, and the opening is 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15. It continues at various times through Sept. 30. $25-$73. 622-2823. arizonatheatre.org.
Seminar — Live Theatre Workshop, 5317 E. Speedway. LTW does a riveting job with this smart, sometimes painful, often funny Theresa Rebeck play about four aspiring young novelists who sign up for private writing classes with a hotshot author. Insults, jealousies and seduction follow. Eva Tessler directs and the fine cast is made up of Steve Wood, Josh Parra, Brie Zepeda, Jonathan Northover and Samantha Cormier. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 23. $20. 327-4242. livetheatreworkshop.org.
The Curious Savage — Roadrunner Theater, 8892 E. Tanque Verde Road. Mrs. Savage is a widow and a rich woman — her husband left her $10 million. She would like to do good with it; her stepchildren want to get their greedy hands on it. So they have her committed, where she meets all sorts of misfits who could really use the help her millions can give. The John Patrick comedy is 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 1. Tickets are $20. 207-2491. Roadrunnertheatrecompany.org.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest — The Community Playhouse, 1881 N. Oracle Road. The adaptation of Ken Kesey’s riveting novel takes to the Community Players stage. An inmate is transferred to a prison for psychiatric evaluation. He’s expecting it to be a lightweight experience. But he doesn’t count on the mean-spirited Nurse Ratched. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 24. $15. 887-6239. communityplayerstucson.org.
Phantom of the Opera — The Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway. The Gaslight brings back its Peter Van Slyke version of the classic Gaston Leroux story about an opera singer, a stalking masked man and a famous opera house. Here’s what else the Gaslight is bringing back: Armen Dirtadian as the masked man. And David Fanning as the masked man. Yup the two, who have played the character multiple times on the Gaslight stage, are going to split the role: Dirtadian is the Phantom through Oct. 1; Fanning, who has also been the Gaslight’s Phantom several times, will do the role Oct. 3-Nov. 5. And this piece of news will put Gaslight fans in a frenzy: Joe Cooper is coming out of retirement to reprise the role of Madame Giry. We’re guessing it was just too hard for him to pass up the opportunity to put on a dress and a gray wig again. “Phantom” is at various times through Nov. 5. $19.95. 886-9428. thegaslighttheatre.com.
Jennifer Bond contributed to this story