the night of a thousand stars. The graceful arches of the Georgia
Frontiere Pavilion glowed in the rays of the setting sun.
and Oscar winning dresses, stars from television and Broadway
- Sedona came together as a community that night.It
was a fantastical setting for a spectacular event. The long awaited
opening of Sedona's Cultural Park was here at last.
evening began, Phoenix Symphony Conductor Hermann Michael strode
confidently across the stage, raised his baton, and the familiar
strains of Aaron Copeland's Fanfare for the Common Man wafted
through the air.
It feels like home to me
The ampitheatre has
a surprisingly personal atmosphere. The full seating capacity
is 5,500, but there isn't a bad seat in the house. The genius
of the design is that you could be seated way in the back and
still feel like an intimate part of the action.
Hats off to Dan Schay
and his team at the Cultural Park, and Steve Thompson, for his
architectural devotion that will echo for lifetimes!
I urge you to walk
the paths of the Park, some morning in the cool. . .the trails,
the views, the future... it's a slice of heaven. If you listen,
you can hear the symphonies tuning up; take a close look, a dancer
is stretching before strutting her stuff across Sedona's grand
stage; Native Americans are circled in sacred prayer; a couple
is exchanging wedding vows.
'A Funny Thing'
at the Cultural Park
Next up at SCP is
the Shakespeare Sedona season opener, A Funny Thing Happened On
The Way To The Forum.
This Tony Award-winning
musical features a dynamite cast, directed by Jared Sakren, who
has given us the delightful A Comedy Of Errors and Much Ado About
Nothing over the past two summers.
Forum previews on June 16th, opens on the 17th, and runs through
July 2nd. The festival then moves to Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts
Village, to perform Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night in rotation
throughout the month of July.
Turn to our special
pullout in this section of The Red Rock Review, for the finest
Shakespeare Sedona season preview available.
Also at the Cultural
Park this summer, The Sons of The Pioneers, legends in Western
music. In fact, they have been declared a "National Treasure"
by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.
The Sons Of the Pioneers
will perform on July 1. Tickets for The Sons Of The Pioneers or
Shakespeare Sedona can by purchased by calling Sedona Cultural
Park at 203-4TIX or 1-800 780-ARTS.
Theatre lovers are
There is a bevy of
theatre in Northern Arizona this summer. The Actors Repertory
Theatre of Sedona's production of The Amorous Flea continues at
Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village through June 24.The show features
a Broadway star, an hilarious script, and a delightful night at
For more details,
check out Liz Warren's column on page 3 of this issue of The Red
Then the company heads
west to the gorgeous El Rojo Grand Ranch for its second production
of the season, How the West Was Fun!
This show was written
in 1984 by Michael Peach, a very talented local actor/writer/
director/you name it.
He first wrote the
piece as an entry into a playwrighting contest sponsored by Black
Bart's Restaurant, in Flagstaff. It was first performed for the
Sedona Melodrama Festival, a 10-year tradition of steaks and skits,
which were performed in the courtyard behind what is now the Canyon
was last held in 1985, the year Peach's hit play ran. How the
West Was Fun! has gone on to be produced by theatre companies
from as far away as Illinois.
Peach has written 22 plays. His ingenious Scams of Scapin was
one of the big hits of the Sedona theatre season last summer.
He has won grants from the Arizona Commission on the Arts for
his writing. Seven of his plays have seen production.
How the West Was
Fun! is a parody on the musical western genre. It is directed
by Tobias Hardy a Vancouver, B.C. native.
The cast includes
Garrison Bailey, Jason Gerau, Roberta Lairson, Ron Richie, and
Bill Frank. Peach has revised the script since 1985, and if Scams
of Scapin is any indication it should be charmingly hilarious.
performance space, the work barn at El Rojo Grande Ranch, will
provide a marvelous ambiance.
How the West Was Fun! opens on July 6 and runs for 12 performance
through the 29th. Tickets can be purchased by calling ARTS at
NAU Summer Arts
NAU Summer Arts 2000
kicks off its season June 22 with its production of Galileo.
Written by Bertold Brecht, Galileo tells the story of historic
figure Galileo Galilei, with California actor Matt Henerson portraying
the legendary renaissance man.
Other cast members
include Clifford E. White, Bob Yowell, Richard Brandt, and Nancy
Noble. It will be directed by Summer Arts 2000 Artistic Director
Galileo is followed
by Atomic Bombers, which is written by Russell Vandenbroucke.
Atomic Bombers presents a comic look at the men and women behind
the H Bomb. Chicago actor Rod Gnapp plays the lead character,
Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman. Atomic Bombers
will be directed by its creator, playwright Russell Vandenbroucke.
Galileo previews on
June 22 and 23, opens on the 24th, and runs through July 9th.
Atomic Bombers previews on July 14, opens on the 15 and will run
through July 23. Tickets can be purchased through the NAU central
ticket Office 520-523-5661 or 1-800-520-7214.
Fourth of July
The July 4th holiday weekend brings us the premiere of Brent Michael
Davids' Guardians of the Canyon, a piece written especially for
The Grand Canyon Music
Festival was chosen from many organizations to represent the state
of Arizona as the recipient of the Continental Harmony Award for
the millennium. There is one piece being written for each of the
50 states, all of which are set to premiere on July 4, 2000.
The American Composers
Forum and the National Endowment for the Arts launched the historic
initiative, with Continental Harmony, to link rural and under-served
communities with composers, to celebrate the millennium with new
musical works. This Award, which is underwritten by the Rockefeller
and Knight Foundations, is an official White House millennium
Brent Michael Davids
was selected to create an original piece of music to represent
the state of Arizona. A member of the Mohican Nation, he is a
classically trained composer who combines that training with the
philosophies and music of his and other indigenous cultures.
He composed a piece
for four flutes; crystal, metal, clay and wood. "My initial idea
is to create a work that evokes the cultures currently living
within the Grand Canyon, both human and non human; and to create
a spatial sense of being inside the canyon listening to the music,"
Guardians of the
Canyon will be accompanied by Havasupai dancers and will be
performed as a concert of music, dance, and words inspired by
the environment and diverse cultures of the Grand Canyon.
Grand Theatre at The Canyon
There will also be a performance of The Tramp and the Roughrider
at the Grand Canyon on July 3rd. This meeting of the minds relives
the meeting between conservationist John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt
at Yosemite National Park in May, 1903.
Lee Stetson will portray
John Muir and Doug Brennan plays Theodore Roosevelt. The performance
takes place at the Shrine of the Ages auditorium at 7:30 pm. Tickets
for either of these events can be purchased through the Grand
Canyon Music Festival at 520-638-9215.