Two men with Arizona ties are finalists for a $1 million cash prize and the chance to have their homemade Doritos commercials aired during the Super Bowl.
Jake Chapman is Billy Baker/Spider Guy and Tarreyn Van Slyke is Mary Lou Peterson in The Gaslight Theatre's "The Incredible Spider-Guy."
It was 108 degrees outside on a recent Sunday. Inside The Gaslight Theatre, the air is cool as the band warms up the audience with "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini." Really now, how could you refuse such an event?
Todd Thompson, left, as evil Colonel Heimlich and Mike Yarema in the title role of the Gaslight Theatre's "Arizona Smith & the Relic of Doom."
Mike Yarema, right, who plays stagehand Buquet and the mysterious Persian in the Gaslight Theatre's current show, "The Phantom of the Opera," finishes his stage makeup backstage before a recent performance.
Rodolfo Perez, left, and Israel Morales, churn out burgers, fries and other malt-shop favorites at Little Anthony's Diner, which is next to the Gaslight Theatre.
Claude Davis of the Gaslight Print Shop flips through a stack of tabletop ads. The shop got its start as a way to cut the cost of printing menus and programs.
Tony Terry, in his office in the Gaslight Theatre, sought to start a theater and make people laugh. Thirty-five years later, the often sold-out theater is filled with audience laughter.
General manager Becky Gilmour lowers a curtain before a performance of "The Phantom of the Opera." "I come to work with a smile. I honestly can't wait to come to work," she says.
Gaslight Theatre was supposed to be a simple dream based on a simple premise: Start a theater, make people laugh. And founder Tony Terry did that, first in a circus tent in the summer of 1977 in faraway Skagway, Alaska, then back home in Tucson.
There were parts for all the 60 youngsters ages 6 to 16 who took part in the Gaslight Youth Theatre eight-performance production of "Aladdin and His Wonderful Magical Lamp."
Costume designer Maria Fontana helps her son Bryce, who played Chop Chop, with his costume. Fontana was responsible for all the costuming for the show and made many of the costumes herself.
Makeup is an important part of any theatrical production, and "Aladdin and His Wonderful Magical Lamp," with its Arabian setting, is no exception.
Gino Cocchi shows the magic lamp to, from left, Maria Nelson as Lela, Jessica Ryan as Mother and Hana Hayes as Neela.
Maggie Schepelmann as Princess Jasmine watches Jacob Walters as Jaffar, who has taken Aladdin's lamp from her in "Aladdin and His Wonderful Magical Lamp."
Director Melody David-Baker had the daunting task of coordinating two casts and staging eight performances of the classic story.
Perhaps the most remarkable magic in the lamp of "Aladdin" is
the very fact of the production itself.
Heather Dispensa, left, Sarah Vanek and Katherine Byrnes sing a number during the "You've Got Talent" olio dress rehearsal at the Gaslight Theatre. The olio follows the feature "The Son of the Sheik."