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Holiday Events Abound

In The Phoenix Metro

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The Unlimited Arts Calendar is published biweekly and provides selected events for the proceeding two weeks. Send calendar submissions for consideration to: generalcontact@moderntimesmagazine.com.
Unlimited Arts Calendar Dec. 10 to 23: Featured Is The Mega-Plethora Of Holiday Events, But Also Notable Is Judith Hill At The Crescent Ballroom, Mesa And Jackalope Arts Festivals And Much, Much More

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By Staff Report
Modern Times Magazine

Dec. 10, 2015 — Well, the weather outside might not be so frightful, because the weather here is so delightful, but nevertheless, it is the holiday season.

That means gifts, the prerequisite shopping and holiday parties, but it also means there are a mega-plethora of musical and dramatic events to help you celebrate the season.

For example, there are three chances to see The Nutcracker: Dec. 11 at Ballet Arizona, 3645 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix;  Dec. 18 to 20 at the Orpheum Theatre, 100 N. Third Street, Phoenix, as the Phoenix Ballet presents its rendition; and Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker on Dec. 16 at Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix.

While there will not be an Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding Show in 2015 — he’s too busy touring with Mötley Crüe — there will be the Brian Setzer Orchestra at Celebrity Theater, 440 N. 32nd Street, Phoenix, on Dec. 15.

And there are many, many more events in the Valley this holiday season. See below or check the Unlimited Arts lineup by venue by clicking here for more events.

Friday, Dec. 11

Indie rock band Fine China will return to the stage for the first time in nearly a decade at the Rebel Lounge, 2303 E. Indian School Rd., to commemorate an expanded 10th anniversary 180-gram black vinyl reissue of the 2005 album The Jaws of Life. Featuring singer/songwriter/guitarist Rob Withem, bassist Greg Markov, keyboardist Josh Block and drummer Thom Walsh, the show will mark the first time Fine China has performed since 2006. For more information, visit The Rebel Lounge.

Dec. 12 and 13

The 2015 Mesa Arts Festival at the Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, is back and will once again feature original works of art for sale from local, regional and national artists in various mediums; live entertainment showcasing local and national talent on two stages; live artist demonstrations; a Family Activity Area and an array of culinary delights. This year, attendees can take the Light Rail in. As always, admission and parking are free. For more information, visit Mesa Arts Center.

The Jackalope Art & Craft Fair will bring workshops and 200 artisan booths to Steele Indian School Park, Indian School Road and Central Avenue, Phoenix. Workshops include creative collage holiday cards, felting, mini monoprint masterpieces, dream pillows and more.  For more information, visit www.jackalopeartfair.com/phoenixworkshops

Dec. 10 through Saturday, Dec. 26

Actors Ron May and Katie McFadzen are set to star in holiday season, limited engagement, one-person performances of Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday classic A Christmas Carol (McFadzen) and David Sedaris’ Santaland Diaries (May). Both shows will play in an intimate custom-built 250-seat stage-within-a-stage located in the Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. For more information, visit Herberger Theater Center.

Friday, Dec. 11

The Mexico City-based performance group Opera Joven will present a special musical tribute to La Virgen de Guadalupe on Dec. 11 at St. Mary’s Basilica in downtown Phoenix. For more information, visit www.newcarpa.org or contact info@newcarpa.org or 623-252-2772. For more information about Opera Joven visit www.operajoven.mx.

Wednesday, Dec. 16

Really, who doesn’t like some cracked nuts over the holidays? Well, the Russians are coming to crack some nuts at 7 p.m. at Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix, with Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker. But seriously, with more than 40 world-class Russian dancers, 10-foot-tall puppets and more than 200 costumes, it is no wonder why they bring this show to more than 80 cities. For more information, visit Comerica Theatre.

Friday, Dec. 18

Escape the commercialism of the holidays by viewing artists and their toy creations. The Firehouse Gallery, 1015 N. First St., Phoenix, will open Toy Art Show 6 on Dec. 18 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. The exhibition will run through Jan. 9 and feature work from more than 20 local artists who have played with their art and made a variety of toy-themed wonders, from stuffed animals, puppets and photographs to toy collage and much more. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/178889729127073/


There’s something about a singer with soul belting out tunes that can change a day, a minute or an hour. If you agree, give Judith Hill a listen and maybe make it out to the Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Ave., Phoenix, at 7 p.m. Oh, and did we mention she is somewhat of musical royalty? Her mother is a classical pianist from Japan, and her father is a funk bass player who played with Sly Stone, Chaka Khan, Rufus and others. For more information, visit Crescent Ballroom.

Dec. 19

Mötley Crüe is once again saying goodbye, and this time it is for good ... well, maybe. Is that contract they signed really worth the paper it's written on? What’s more, they’ll be joined by special guest Alice Cooper. To get your head-banging on, head over to Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. Oh, and one more thing, the press release specifically states that even infants need a ticket, so if you are bringing your newborn, please take note. For more information, visit http://www.talkingstickresortarena.com/events/detail/motley-crue-the-final-tour

Until Dec. 20

Poet and raconteur Langston Hughes was a paragon of literature and the Harlem Renaissance, and the Black Theatre Troupe is bringing his work, Black Nativity, to the Helen Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 E. Washington St., Phoenix. The production will feature the company of singers, actors, dancers and musicians and a message of joy, hope, victory and liberation. For more information, visit Black Theatre Troupe.

Dec. 21

There’s nothing like spending some time with a senile old man during the holiday season...wait, what? No really, The Forgotten Carols is the story of a rigid nurse too practical to be bothered by Christmas who is assigned to care for an aged gentleman with alleged psychiatric tendencies over the holiday season. But the patient is actually the sane person. Anyway, it's good for a giggle, we’d guess. For more information on the show, which will be held at ASU’s Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe, visit ASU Gammage.

Dec. 23 to Jan. 4

Forget about your fat for a few hours as you laugh at other’s struggles at Waist Watchers The Musical! The 90-minute musical, set in Cook’s Women’s Gym, follows four women as they go through the ups and downs of survival in a weight-and-beauty obsessed world. Seriously, women dressed as candy bars and donuts? It’s funny just looking at it. It is running most days from Dec. 23 to Jan. 4 at The Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. For more information, visit Herberger Theater Center.

Dec. 31

The beats will once again be thumping at Rawhide Western Town, 5700 W. North Loop Rd., Chandler, on New Year’s Eve as the Decadence NYE festival is preparing for a big-time celebration. The lineup includes Above & Beyond, Jack Ü, Pretty Lights, Tommy Trash, ODESZA and more. Tickets will be available online at www.relentlessbeats.com.

To Jan. 17

Some may not know, but Tucson hosts a spectacular folk-music festival every spring. Applications for volunteer performers for the 31st Annual Tucson Folk Festival — April 30 and May 1 — will be open until Jan. 17. Regular performers, songwriting contestants and young artists (under 18 at festival time) can all apply at http://tucsonfolkfest.org/applications/index.html. There is not an application fee for regular performers who complete their application by the end of December. The fee to apply for the songwriting contest is $25. There is no fee to apply as a young artist.

To Jan. 29

Some say the West side of the Phoenix metro is boring. Haaardly. It’s just that East-siders don’t know what goes on over there. Prove it right, West-siders, and nominate someone for the 2016 Champion of the Arts recognition, sponsored by The West Valley Arts Council. Awards will be presented in two categories, with nominees being accepted for business leaders, organizations, companies and individuals. Nomination forms are due by noon Jan. 29 to the WVAC office, 13243 N Founders Park Blvd, Surprise, AZ 85379, or emailed to bmills@westvalleyarts.org. Nomination forms are available online at www.westvalleyarts.org. The 2016 winners and their nominator will each receive a ticket to be recognized at this year’s 23rd annual Diamond Ball Gala to be held March 5 at the Wigwam Hotel and Resort in Litchfield Park.

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