Arizona Broadway Theatre is staging its 100th musical entertainment production this year, just as it also becomes the newest resident company of the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix. For its 2018-2019 season, the Peoria-based organization is joining HTC’s current resident companies—Arizona Theatre Company, Center Dance Ensemble, and iTheatre Collaborative—along with Arizona Opera and Childsplay.
“We know there is an audience in Central Phoenix and the East Valley for ABT’s brand of entertainment,” says Kiel Klaphake, ABT’s CEO and executive producer. “I am thrilled the Herberger Theater Center’s Board of Directors has accepted ABT as one of its newest resident companies.”
“I can’t wait to see their performances on our stages,” adds Mark Mettes, HTC’s president and CEO. “Together, the diverse offerings of the resident companies of the Herberger Theater Center will entertain and inspire audiences of all ages, providing more reasons than ever to live, work and play in downtown Phoenix.”
The 2018-2019 HTC season will include ABT co-productions that will move to HTC after debuting in Peoria on the Mainstage. The first ABT production in 2018 in the new venue will be Disney’s Mary Poppins, July 6 to July 22 after it hits the stage in Peoria in June. ABT is also opening a new 5,200-square-foot Encore Room next fall, which will offer expanded programming, including concerts, specialty acts and special events. It will also offer conference and banquet space.
Ball will raise funds
Before then, ABT has scheduled its fifth annual Broadway Ball for Saturday, March 3, with proceeds benefiting the organization’s artistic, educational and charitable programs. Last year, $70,000 was raised and the 2018 goal is to net $100,000. Tickets are $150.
“We have been so fortunate to attract a committee of very dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly to stage a fun and festive event,” says Ellen Versen, ABT’s development director. “Their goal every year is to host the most exquisite gala in the West Valley.”
The event features a cocktail hour with complimentary champagne, a three-course dinner, silent and live auctions, a Broadway Ball Wine Pull and a gift card “Frenzy.” Live entertainment includes performances of Mainstage shows and children’s programs at ABT. The evening ends with dancing to the music of Len King and the AZ Swing Kings.
“A popular item last year was ‘Dinner in Your Home for Eight,’ prepared and presented by ABT Executive Chef Erik Angelo. Also offered, in a ‘chicken auction,’ was a Mother Sauces and Knife Skills cooking class with the chef in the ABT kitchen,” Versen says.
There is always a rock ‘n’ roll experience In 2017, it was six tickets at the QUEEN + Adam Lambert concert, including a Brian May guitar and Queen in 3D book, both autographed to the winner by May.
The all-volunteer Broadway Ball committee, with 25 members, is co-chaired by ABT Board of Trustees Secretary Sharon Jarnagin and West Valley Women Chief Connections Officer Lisa Platt.
“Ticket sales comprise most of ABT’s revenue, and the ball revenue is only a portion of the theater’s development revenue. We are hopeful that the Broadway Ball will generate more as awareness of ABT is raised and as the theater and the fundraiser mature,” Versen says.
ABT, which has been producing live theater for 13 years, showcases professionals from across the country in locally produced musicals as well as internationally acclaimed concert artists and specialty acts. It also offers Theatre for Young Audiences programming and Academy for Young Performers arts education camps. It claims to have welcomed nearly 1 million patrons.
HTC opened in 1989 and has three theater venues, an art gallery, plaza and rentable event space for a variety of community uses. Proceeds from annual fundraising benefits its Youth Outreach Programs, designed to give Arizona children opportunities to excel, learn and heal through experience with the arts. During the last 28 years, 4.2 million patrons have seen more than 15,000 performances.
Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria, 623.776.8400, azbroadway.org and Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St. Phoenix, 800.840.9227, herbergertheatercenter.box-officetickets.com.