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Don Bluth Front Row Theatre “A BENCH IN THE SUN”

August 10 @ 8:00 pm - September 18 @ 8:00 pm MST

Don Bluth Front Row Theatre Presents a Sunny Comedy, A BENCH IN THE SUN on August 12- September 18, 2021

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. — Don Bluth Front Row Theatre will present a remount of the beloved and hilarious comedy, A BENCH IN THE SUN! The show will run August 12th through September 18th, 2021, and is directed by ariZoni award-winning director, Cheryl Schaar.

About the play: DBFRT brings back favorites Lee Cooley, Jim Coates, and Donna Kaufman to reprise their roles in a remount of this comedy (originally produced at DBFRT in 2017). Harold and Burt, longtime friends joined at their arthritic hips by the bonds of time, live in a retirement home and spend their days on a bench in the garden bickering. A once-famous actress has just moved in, whose flirtatious ways catch the eyes and hearts of the pair, giving them something new to argue over in this wise, moving, but most of all very funny and sunny comedy.

A BENCH IN THE SUN brings back Valley-favorite performers. Lee Cooley was last seen on the Don Bluth Front Row Theatre stage as Matt Drayton in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, and Jim Coates has previously performed on the theatre’s stage as Sidney Bruhl in Deathtrap. Mr. Coates has reprised the role of Mr. Potter multiple times in DBFRT’s annual holiday play, It’s a Wonderful Life. Both actors are thrilled to be reunited and to once again embrace their grumpy, yet highly amusing, characters.

Here’s what reviewers said about the theatre’s 2017 production of A BENCH IN THE SUN:

“Cooley, Coates, and Kaufman deliver an uproarious and endearing tribute to the joys and tribulations of aging.”

“An entirely delightful gem of a production.”

“Part ‘Grumpy Old Men,’ part ‘The Odd Couple, the script is rich with one liners, tender moments…”

Reserved Seating Ticket Prices:
General Public- $28
Seniors/Students/Military- $25
Youth- $23

Tickets are available online at https://www.donbluthfrontrowtheatre.com or by calling the theatre at (480) 314- 0841.

Don Bluth Front Row Theatre’s new venue is located at 8989 E Via Linda, Ste 118, Scottsdale, AZ 85258, and can be conveniently found at the southwest corner of Via Linda and 90th Street.


Cheryl Schaar (Director) –

Co-Artistic Director at Don Bluth Front Row Theatre, Cheryl Schaar has been directing at the theatre for over seven years. Her most recent directing credits at DBFRT include Kill Socrates, A Comedy earlier this year and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner in 2019. Her 2017 production of It’s A Wonderful Life won an ariZoni Award for Best Director and Best Production. Cheryl was the first female director at DBFRT in 2015 with the production of Charley’s Aunt. And she’s not only familiar with directing- she’s an experienced actress as well, having performed in a number of shows at theatres across Arizona, including DBFRT. Her most recent Bluth stage performance was in the 2019 Gala production, written by Don Bluth himself and starring famed Hollywood actress Loni Anderson, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Don’s animated film. She has also served as a Drama/Improv teacher at a charter school in Chandler for 15 years.

Lee Cooley (Harold) –

In this A Bench in the Sun remount, Lee Cooley marks his seventh project for Don Bluth. His recent stage credits include directing the one-person play Orson Welles in 2021 and portraying Matt Drayton in DBFRT’s 2019 production of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, which was also directed by Cheryl Schaar. Cooley has previously collaborated with Jim Coates (Burt in Bench) on DBFRT shows Beau Jest and Deathtrap– which won an ariZoni Award for Best Director. He serves as director of marketing and communications for the Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS®.

Jim “Doc” Coates (Burt) –

Jim “Doc” Coates, a professional non-union character actor since 1979, is thrilled to be back on stage at the new Don Bluth Front Row Theatre in this remounted production of A Bench in the Sun. A DBFRT audience favorite, he is known for his award-winning performance of Sidney Bruhl in Deathtrap and his annual portrayal of Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life. Throughout his entire storied career, Jim’s greatest claim to fame is playing Old Jimmy in the 2014 Dorito’s Superbowl Commercial. He hopes his performance can live up to the magnificent standards set by that landmark artistic endeavor.

Donna Kaufman (Adrienne) –

Donna Kaufman is thrilled to once again be performing at Don Bluth Front Row Theatre as Adrienne Bliss in A Bench in the Sun! Donna has appeared around the Valley in DST’s Jake’s Women, Death of a Salesman, Velveteen Rabbit, Rumors, Harvey, Diary of Ann Frank, Mousetrap, and Odd Couple, MET’s Dixie Swim Club, FHT’s Runner Stumbles, Boeing Boeing, DFT’s Dixie Swim Club, and Eleanor in MCC’s Lion in Winter. Donna’s dream roles have been Death of a Salesman, Runner Stumbles, Boeing Boeing, Dixie Swim Club, and Lion in Winter.


Play: “A Bench in the Sun” by Ron Clark
Production Run: August 12th through September 18th

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Evenings at 7 p.m. on August 12th, 13th, 14th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 26th, 27th, 28th, September 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 17th, and 18th

Saturday Matinees at 2 p.m. on August 14th, 21st, 28th, September 4th, 11th, and 18th
No performance on Thursday, September 16th in observance of Yom Kippur

Where: Don Bluth Front Row Theatre, 8989 E Via Linda, Ste 118, Scottsdale, AZ 85258, conveniently located at the southwest corner of Via Linda and 90th Street.

Admission: $28 general adult, $25 seniors/students/military, $23 youth

Tickets: Call the box office at 480-314-0841 or purchase online at www.donbluthfrontrowtheatre.com

About Don Bluth
Don Bluth, one of the most acclaimed directors, producers and artists in the industry, helped contribute to many of our favorite childhood memories with the animated films such as All Dogs Go To Heaven, The Secret Of Nimh, The Land Before Time and Anastasia. Young Don Bluth began his incredible journey, inspiring millions of artists both young and old, by drawing his favorite Disney characters after watching them at the local theater as often as he could. Don made many major accomplishments in his animation career but never forgot his love for the theatrical arts, so in the 90’s Don decided to bless us with another piece of magic to fill our hearts and began hosting his first productions in his own living room. As interest in his productions increased, so too did his audience and in 2012 Don moved his theatrical family to a new location. Since then audiences have been treated to performances such as the Wizard of Oz, Fiddler on the Roof, The Producers, Oklahoma, She Loves Me, Oliver, It’s a Wonderful Life, and many more. Full Biography.

About the Don Bluth Front Row Theatre
The Don Bluth Front Row Theatre was founded in 2004 to share with the Valley Don’s vision of providing a family friendly intimate theater. Mr. Bluth believes that theatre arts are an integral part of a well-rounded community environment. The theatre’s average audience is well educated and ranges between 30-70 years in age. The theatre has 75 seats, with 25 performances over the span of each production run. Shows are held every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, as well as most Saturday matinees. During each production run approximately 2,000 patrons pass through the theatre doors; serving around 10,000 patrons annually. The theatre is frequently cited with Zonie Awards and nominations. Don Bluth Front Row Theatre is located in Scottsdale, Arizona and is a nonprofit 501(c)3 community theatre.


August 10 @ 8:00 pm MST
September 18 @ 8:00 pm MST
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Don Bluth Front Row Theatre
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Don Bluth Front Row Theatre
8989 E Via Linda, Ste 118
Scottsdale, AZ 85258 United States
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