Larry Wilson, Phoenix Art
By Staff Report
Modern Times Magazine
Feb. 17, 2016 — Some may complain that the Phoenix metro contains no one who cares, and few who try to expand the arts.
Larry Wilson was one man who cared deeply about the arts for more than 40 years. He unfortunately passed in 2013 but he will be memorialized from Feb. 19 to March 17 at the Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 N. Third Street. Wilson was instrumental in establishing some of the best traditions that we have right now in the Phoenix metro. He was born in Phoenix and was a third-generation resident. After attending Arizona State University, he began a career with the city of Phoenix as a visual arts coordinator. He was a founding member of Art Link, TRI-ART, Art Detour, and First Friday.
He was also a member of the Consortium of Black Artists and founder of the Artist of the Black Community, or ABC. Two annual exhibitions created by Wilson for Latino and African American artists, "Arte Latino en la Ciudad" and "African Vibes of the City" have grown to be some of the largest in the Phoenix metro.
The month-long show at the Phoenix Center for the Arts will feature Wilson's artwork, with print-sales contributing to the Larry Wilson Scholarship Fund. The Feb. 19 opening night events will begin at 6 p.m. and will include live music by Milt Cannon, world renowned Jazz saxophonist. Admission is free. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/
Friday, Feb. 19
Acrobatics and symphonic tunes go together like peas and carrots (or a Rolls Royce and Grey Poupon) but rarely are they performed together live. Well, one of those times will happen beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Mesa Arts Center, with a performance by Cirque de la Symphonie and The Phoenix Symphony. The acrobatics will include hula hoops, strong men, contortionists and gravity defying aerialists and jugglers. For more information, visit http://tickets.phoenixsymphony.org/single/eventDetail.aspx?p=8961
So, if contortionists and aerialists are a little too exciting, how about some ballet? Not, your grandfathers’ (or grandmothers’) ballet, mind you, but, “one of the most cheekily original and innovative forces in modern dance.” Their name? Ballet Boyz. Catch them beginning at 8 p.m. at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia G. Piper Theater, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale. For more information, visit http://www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org/event/balletboyz/
Although most residents of the Phoenix metro might not think of travelling to Flagstaff until summer rolls around, an evening of Charlie Chaplin might make a February trip worth it. Dan Kamin will play the Little Tramp and will battle Flagstaff Symphony Conductor Elizabeth Schulze for control of the orchestra at the Ardrey Memorial Auditorium, 1115 S. Knoles Drive, Flagstaff at 7:20 p.m. Afterwards, Kamin will introduce two timeless Chaplin comedies, Easy Street and The Immigrant, accompanied by new symphonic scores by Grant Cooper. For more information, visit http://flagstaffsymphony.org/
Dueling pianists Amy Lynn and Randy Keith will headline an evening of music, laughter, mystery boxes and silent and live auctions to benefit the East Valley Women’s League at Villa Siena, 890 W. Elliot Rd., suite 104, Gilbert. Auction items include tickets and “green room” passes to Jimmy Kimmel Live, a trip to a 5-bedroom villa in Spain and even a gently used car. For more information, visit www.EVWL.org
Feb. 19 to March 5
Go back 20 or more years for a timeless tale of high school and the problems that never seem to go out of style and catch Heathers: The Musical at the Stagebrush Theatre, 7020 E. Second St., Scottsdale. For more information, visit http://greasepaint.org/index.php/on-stage
To Feb. 20
Do you have a “blue streak?” Do you think fart jokes define “culture?” Or more importantly, can you laugh when people say curse words? If you answered “yes” to any of the previous questions, then All Puppet Players’ sarcastically classy offering of "Nicholas Farts Presents: The Notebook Has No Legs” is for you. Catch All Puppet Players Feb. 5 to 20 at Playhouse On The Park at The Central Arts Plaza, 1850 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. Performance times? Shut the #*$#! up. Call 602-254-2151 for tickets. For more information, visit http://www.allpuppetplayers.com/#!upcoming-shows/c19zv
Saturday, Feb. 20
Missed Avenue Q on Broadway? No worries. The Broadway back Together Series continues at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia G. Piper Theater, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale, with a reunion of original cast members at 8 p.m. Performers John Tartaglia, Ann Harada, Stephanie D’Abruzzo and Alex Gemignani will discuss the production. For more information, visit http://www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org/event/broadway-back-together-avenue-q/
Saturday nights are made for the Blues and Phoenix’ premier blues club, The Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, will host a Birthday party for Sugar Ray Rayford beginning at 8 p.m. There will also be food in the parking lot by Taste Rite-Street Po'boys, so bring ‘yer appetite. Some say Rayford can sing like Muddy Waters and dance like James Brown, so there’s that. For more information, visit http://www.rhythmroom.com/
To Feb. 21
The Butler will come to the Black Theatre Troupe stage, 1333 E. Washington St., Phoenix, as Walter Belcher stars in the one-man show, “Looking Over the President’s Shoulder” by James Still from Feb. 5 to 21. For more information, visit http://new-wp.blacktheatretroupe.org/looking-over-the-presidents-shoulder/
Sunday, Feb. 21
For some newer sounds from an emerging artist, head on over to Valley Bar, 130 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, for an appearance by Griffin House. He is an up-and-comer with mentions on some big stages and appearances throughout the country. His new album So On and So Forth will be released March 4. For more information, visit http://www.valleybarphx.com/event/1007883-griffin-house-phoenix/ or www.griffinhousemusic.com
Monday, Feb. 22 and Feb. 29
A night at the theater doesn’t have to be stuffy or expensive. It can simply be great music done intimately and with a dash of the sublime. Monday Feb. 22 and 29 ASU Concerts at the Center, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia G. Piper Theater, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale, will bring audiences international treats and homegrown talents: all for only $10. Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. Caio Pagano/Avanti Chamber Music Festival will hit the stage featuring: Caio Pagano, piano; Albor Rosenfeld, violin; and Carlos Alves, clarinet. Feb. 29 at 7:30 p.m. is a saxophone treat as the faculty and students of the Arizona State University Herberger Institute School of Music feature the instrument in a multitude of musical styles and ensemble combinations.
Feb. 24 to Feb. 29
Don’t cry for me, Argentina! The Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice classic Evita will invade the Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Rd Phoenix, Feb. 24 to Feb. 29. For more information, visit http://phoenixtheatre.com/
Feb. 26 and 27
Space 55 is going there again. This time, the play is called Titanic and it is, in the words of those avant garde devils at the theater, “the heartwarming story of a family on vacation... on a doomed ship... with lots of incest... mistaken identities... cross-dressing.... vaginal zoos... and ship captains who wear strange "things" on their heads.” The Christopher Durang penned and Jen Michelson directed work will be performed two nights only at Space 55 Theater, 636 E. Pierce St., Phoenix. Starring Dennis Frederick, Margo Brookover, Marcella Grassa, Nathan Evangelista, Ashley Naftule and Jesse Abraham. For more information, visit
Feb. 26 to April 9
The Play Me, I’m Yours exhibition — where 24 pianos are assigned to artists and local community groups who transform them into works of art that engage the public in playing, dancing, making music and gathering near community landmarks is coming. From Feb. 26 to 29, Play Me, I’m Yours will be in the heart of downtown Mesa. Feb. 26 is the Mesa Arts Center Foundation Annual Gala at the Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, and the event will include a world premiere of a musical composition for 25 pianos. Feb. 27 will be a “kickoff event” where all 24 pianos are together for one day only at Mesa Arts Center. For more information, visit www.streetpianosmesa.com
Saturday, Feb. 27
With a tagline of, “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” Michael Feinstein must be doing something right. Sure, he does Gershwin —George and Ira — as well as Irving Berlin and Duke Ellington, but he is bringing his Frank Sinatra to the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia G. Piper Theater, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale, at 2 and 8 p.m. For mroe information, visit http://www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org/event/michael-feinstein/
Indradhanush, a cross-cultural dance festival, will once again attempt to, “contrast yet synergize Indian Classical with Western dance,” at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, AZ 85281, beginning at 4 p.m. Four Indian Classical dance forms – Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Odissi, and Kuchipudi — will portray a poem set to music paired with Flamenco. In the backdrop, poems will be brought to life by live performance painter who will blend the theme, the poems and the dances on canvas. For more information, visit http://www.tempe.gov/Home/Components/News/News/5819/4100
Those revolutionaries with musical instruments, The Haymarket Squares, are releasing a new album, Light It Upand will celebrate with a show at Last Exit Live, 717 S. Central Ave., Phoenix, Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show should start at about 9 p.m. Front Country and The Pubes will also make appearances. For more information, visit http://www.lastexitlive.com/
Sunday, Feb. 28
He already knows if you are coming, so don’t worry if you get a flat tire — he knows you tried. Who? Renowned psychic medium James Van Praagh, of course. But seriously, for some real theater of the absurd, catch his act beginning at 4 p.m. at Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix. For more information, visit www.celebritytheatre.com
To April 3
Your Sunday schedule just filled up. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts will host its 29th annual Sunday A’Fair series starting Jan. 10. The event will run most Sundays throughout the first quarter of this year, ending on April 3. In addition to live outdoor music from over 20 Scottsdale acts ranging in genre from jazz and blues to country and R&B, Sunday A’Fair will have arts and crafts, activities for children and families, and guided tours of sculptures in the park. The free event runs from noon to 4 p.m outdoors at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale. For more information about the schedule and performers, visit Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.
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