Les Mis bodes well for performing art season - East Valley Tribune: Performance

Les Mis bodes well for performing art season

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Stephanie Perrault writes arts, entertainment and lifestyle content for the Get Out section of the East Valley Tribune. Contact her at (480) 898-5629 or sperrault@evtrib.com

Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012 5:45 pm

Television is OK and movies are not bad, but when it comes to entertainment, there’s nothing better than a live show.

Getting to them is the biggest problem. Between babies, budgets and baseball (my husband played professionally for several years), I never made it to more than one or two performances a year. Some may find that laughable, but I bet I’m not the only one who chooses her entertainment carefully, planning out months in advance which show to see and what day to go. It could be a while before going again, so You can’t be flippant about it.

Unless you get this text message from your sister on Sunday afternoon: “Hey...I’m going to get tickets to Les Mis tonight. Wanna go?”

Whaaat? Of course I wanted to go. Les Misérables is one of my favorite Broadway shows and Sunday was the final performance.

But, I was two innings into the Diamondbacks game at Chase Field with my husband and kids and had no idea how I get everyone home and make it to ASU Gammage by 7 p.m.

Maybe I could make it work though.

We’d get home by 5 p.m., so I had an hour to come up with dinner, change into something appropriate for the theater (that didn’t need ironed) and do something with my scraggly Sunday afternoon hair. It would be a stretch, but what the heck. Carpe diem, right?

So I said “Yes!” and somehow managed to arrive on time.

Excitement was in the air as people of all ages, including many teenagers and young adults, streamed into Gammage. We climbed the stairs to the upper balcony and took our seats. The air is a bit thinner in the upper balcony, but the tickets are less expensive, giving those of us on a budget access to top notch entertainment.

And top notch it was. The acting was superb, the sets were fantastic and the multimedia effects stupendous. A live orchestra added the finishing touch to a beautiful performance of Victor Hugo’s time-tested story of grace and redemption.

As the final strains faded into the darkness, the packed theater erupted with applause, forcing the cast to take a second bow.

Bravo Gammage! What a way to kick-off the fall performing arts season.

That exciting evening inspired me to get out more and enjoy all the fantastic performances at my finger tips. My sister is already organizing an outing to Cole Porter’s musical “Anything Goes,” on stage Nov. 13-18 at Gammage, and I’m planning on trying the Lakeshore Music series at Tempe Center for the Arts, which starts Sept. 28. My kids would love “The American Girl Fashion Show” Nov. 2 at Chandler Center for the Arts, and I want to hear Symphony of the Southwest’s performance of “Amalh and the Night Visitors” Dec. 8 at Mesa Arts Center.

Come to think of it, there’s a lot of shows I’m want to see. Enter the Get Out Performing Arts 2012-2013 Season Preview. It’s online at evtnow.com/performance. Theater, dance, music and special events are all listed by venue, along with biographies of the various performing arts troupes across the Valley.

If, like me, you’re on a budget and want to increase your performing arts intake, consider joining our Get Out team as a guest reviewer and receive tickets to select shows throughout the year. If you’re interested, send a video review no longer than 2 minutes or a written review 250 words or less of a show, movie or restaurant to getoutaz@evtrib.com. You don’t have to be an expert. Just tell us what you think and you might find yourself in print.

Like I learned last week, it’s better to seize the day.

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