Singer, actor, and sure-footed dancer Chris Brown continues his stratospheric rise in popularity, gathering a star-studded legion of hip-hop heroes and R & B impresarios for The F.A.M.E. Tour. A consummate entertainer known for his sultry voice and charismatic tonsils, Chris Brown has beguiled audiences since the age of 16 and is currently traversing the country’s party-starved terrain while his latest hit record, F.A.M.E., is still hot off the griddle.
A Peoria fixture since 2004, Arizona Broadway Theatre combines performances with fine dining, a marriage that helped garner the title of Best Playhouse from PHOENIX magazine in 2010. Curtains open to a cast of talented performers, who were culled from auditions in New York and the Valley of the Sun, and have belted out Broadway staples such as Grease, Fiddler on the Roof, and Singin' in the Rain. Servers glide through the tiered theater hall prior to performances, peppering white tablecloths with platefuls of American fare. Previous show's menus have included such dishes as steak diane's sliced tenderloin paired with sautéed shallots and lyonnaise potatoes, which entertain patrons' stomachs without forcing them to eat the show's program.
The public sought exciting new entertainment in the Roaring Twenties, and as the storytellers of the Golden Age of Hollywood labored at myth making, theaters for the newfangled moving pictures were popping up across the nation. It was in this spirit that the Orpheum Theatre opened in 1929, though the Spanish Medieval– and Baroque-style building was one of the city's last major projects before the great stock-market crash. Regardless of its less-than-auspicious beginnings—not to mention nearly a century of hardships to follow—the theater avoided the wrecking ball. In the '60s, the Orpheum introduced Broadway theater to the city and staged such productions as Annie, Caberet, and Barefoot in the Park. Decades later, the theater was renovated and reopened once more, its majestic interior landscapes restored to their former glory.
The trained thespians at the Actors Theatre stoke cultural conversation through innovative and risk-taking theatrical programming. The theater’s 2011–12 season features six critically-acclaimed works, including Donald Margulies’ Tony-nominated Time Stands Still, where a photojournalist and foreign correspondent seek happiness through adventure and trials. The season also includes last year's off-Broadway hit about unconditional love and faith, Next Fall, as well as the darkly comic Dead Man's Cell Phone, by celebrated scribe and MacArthur Fellow Sarah Ruhl. A full listing of shows can be viewed online.
The Men of Soul Tour brings together three legendary R & B and soul singers who electrify audiences with an evening of velvety vocals. With a storied career stretching back to 1969, former L.T.D. frontman Jeffrey Osborne uses his sleek baritone to croon such ear-tickling classics as "You Should Be Mine" and "Stay With Me Tonight." Also, Freddie Jackson, holder of 16 Billboard R & B top-10 hits, such as "Have You Ever Loved Somebody," sets hearts aflutter with his seductive falsetto. Howard Hewett, meanwhile, offers up his own soulful tribute to broken hearts and frustratingly illegible candy hearts with "Can U Feel Me."