Celebrating Life And Death
In The Phoenix Metro
By Staff Report
Modern Times Magazine
Oct. 26, 2017 — In William S. Burroughs’ Ah Pook Is Here, he wrote, “Death needs time for what it kills to grow in.”
Well, over the next two weeks, there is both death and life to celebrate and relish in both traditional and non-traditional (at least in the U.S.) ways.
While some might equate Halloween and death, Halloween isn’t the only major supernatural-related celebration happening this month: There’s also Dia De Los Muertos, or “day of the dead.”
Originating in Mexico thousands of years ago, the holiday has long been marked by Mexican-American communities.
Now, it has gained a major foothold in our popular culture (the 2014 hit film Book of Life as one example).
The holiday involves family and friends remembering their departed loved ones with prayers. They also celebrate by decorating graves with colorful flowers and special artifacts, eating foods like pan de muerto and donning calaveras make-up.
The tradition has become so important that UNESCO lists it in its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Not surprisingly, many in Arizona are also marking Dia De Los Muertos: The Mesa Arts Center is hosting a two-day, free event featuring live entertainment, children’s activities, traditional face painting, various food options and Mexican arts and crafts from over 30 local artisans and vendors. To learn more, go to http://www.mesaartscenter.com/index.php/events/dia-de-los-muertos-festival
But after a week of Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos, life looks pretty good and that is covered, too.
Sure, life is a challenge, but it can be embraced and revered.
Fushicho Daiko, a Phoenix institution celebrating its 20th year, will perform Zanchin, The Challenge & Celebration of Life ... Through Taiko at 2 p.m. at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado. Admission to the high-energy drumming event starts at $12. For more details, go to http://www.tempe.gov/Home/Components/News/News/8929/4100
Death is a part of life and life is beautiful. One cannot have one without the other.
Thursday, Oct. 26
Peter Tchaikovsky’s timeless classic Swan Lake will be brought to life by Ballet Arizona through Oct. 29 at Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix. For showtimes, ticket prices or other details, visit http://balletaz.org/performance/swan-lake-2017/
Friday, Oct. 27
The Black Theatre Troupe is presenting Seven Guitars -- the decade-by-decade exploration of the African-American experience by the late playwright August Wilson -- through Nov. 12. The play focuses on friends who gather in 1948 to remember a blues guitarist. The theater is located at 1333 E. Washington St., Phoenix. For showtimes and ticket prices, go to http://new-wp.blacktheatretroupe.org/
The Apache Lake Music Festival is a two-day event, held at the “resort” of the same name, featuring Arizona bands. Some of the artists participating include Adero, Brothers Gow, Las Chollas Peligrosas, Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, The and Sugar Thieves. A single-day pass is $30, while the weekend pass is $50. To learn more, visit http://www.apachelakemusicfestival.com/
Saturday, Oct. 28
The hit family movie is now live: Madagascar - A Musical Adventure will be staged at Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. Ticket prices start at $17.50; showtimes vary. To learn more, visit http://www.herbergertheater.org/calendar/madagascar-a-musical-adventure/
Halloween isn’t the only major celebration happening in October: There’s also Dia De Los Muertos. The Mesa Arts Center, 1 E Main St., is hosting a two-day, free event featuring live entertainment, children’s activities, traditional face painting, various food options and Mexican arts and crafts from over 30 local artisans and vendors. To learn more, go to http://www.mesaartscenter.com/index.php/events/dia-de-los-muertos-festival
Now in its ninth year, the Radio Phoenix Celebration will be held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Evans on Van Buren, 1714 W. Van Buren Ave., Phoenix. There will be live performances by Jonathan Thomas & the Little Room Band, RareZona and Carol Pacey & The Honey Shakers. Tickets range from $10 to $15. For more details, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/radio-phoenix-talk-sing-connect-9th-anniversary-event-tickets-38008905660
Tuesday, Oct. 31
The Tony-nominated Something Rotten! will be staged through Nov. 5 at the ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe. The musical tells the story of two brothers desperate to write their own hit play before some obscure playwright named William Shakespeare does. To learn more or purchase tickets, check out https://www.asugammage.com/shows-events/something-rotten
Oct. 31 to Nov. 5
The thriller The Woman in Black will be staged at the Playhouse on the Park, 1850 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. Based on Susan Hill’s horror novella, set on a lonely English moor, a traumatized man recruits an actor to help him exorcise the ghost of the Woman in Black. Showtimes and ticket prices vary; the Box Office at 602-734-5734 or visit http://www.womaninblackphx.com for more information.
Friday, Nov. 3
A poetry reading featuring Layli Long Soldier and Timothy Yu is set for 7 p.m. at the Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave. Soldier is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe who served as editor of the magazine Drunken Boat, while Yu is an award-winning poet whose debut book is 100 Chinese Soldiers. To reserve a free ticket or learn more, go to http://www.phxart.org/event/08124eaa-c2b1-99f7-8872-5f7478438d27
A groundbreaking rap artist who is one-half of the biggest showbiz couple on earth (his wife is none other than Beyonce), Jay-Z is bringing his 4:44 Tour to Phoenix. He’ll play the Talking Stick Resort Arena, with Vic Mensa as the special guest. The show starts at 8 p.m. at the arena, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. For ticket prices or other info, check out http://www.talkingstickresortarena.com/events/detail/jay-z
Saturday, Nov. 4
Lead by conductor Pavel Kogan, the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra will perform at 8 p.m. in the Virginia G. Piper Theater at the Scottsdale Theater for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St. Admission starts at $69; for more details, visit https://scottsdaleperformingarts.org/event/moscow-state-symphony-orchestrapavel-kogan-conductordmitry-masleev-piano/
Sunday, Nov. 5
Veteran folk band Donna The Buffalo will play at 7 p.m. at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. Tickets range from $33.50 to $45.50; to learn more, go to https://mim.org/events/donna-the-buffalo/
Fushicho Daiko will perform Zanchin, The Challenge & Celebration of Life ... Through Taiko at 2 p.m. at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado. Admission to the high-energy drumming event starts at $12. For more details, go to http://www.tempe.gov/Home/Components/News/News/8929/4100
Thursday, Nov. 9
They started with “Siberian surf rock” in the 1990s, and now Russian band Igor & The Red Elvises feature musicians from places like Bulgaria, Israel and the United States. They’ll play The Rhythm Room, 1019 Indian School Road, Phoenix. The show will start at 8 p.m., and tickets are $10. For more details, visit https://www.rhythmroom.com/event/1568383-igor-red-elvises-phoenix/
Down The Rabbit Hole -- featuring Mythbusters alumni Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara -- will be presented at 7:30 p.m. at the Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main St. As part of their Netflix White Rabbit Project, the three will use their scientific skills to investigate “weird and wonderful” events from pop culture, science and history. Admission starts at $33; get more details at https://mesaartscenter.com/index.php/shows/performing-live/down-the-rabbit-hole
Friday, Nov. 10
He’s won Grammys, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and made 100 albums: acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma will perform at 8 p.m. at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St., Phoenix. Pianist Kathryn Scott will join Ma on stage. Tickets start at $59; to learn more or buy tickets, visit https://www.phoenixconventioncenter.com/orpheum-theatre
The Phoenix Symphony will perform Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony through Nov. 12. The program will also include words by Ginastera and Ravel. To learn more details or ticket prices, go to http://tickets.phoenixsymphony.org/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=10193
Sunday, Nov. 12
Now in their 40th year, popular country music band Alabama is playing the Talking Stick Resort Arena, 9800 E. Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale. Named “Country Group of the Century” by the Recording Industry Association of America, the band has 43 No. 1 singles. For ticket info, check out https://www.talkingstickresort.com/phoenix-scottsdale-concerts-entertainment/entertainment-listing/the-pool-at-talking-stick-resort/alabama/
Wednesday, Nov. 15
Newsies, the hit musical based on the Newsboys Strike 1899, will be staged through Dec. 31 at the Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Road. Learn more details by visiting http://www.phoenixtheatre.com/newsies
Thursday, Nov. 16
The Arizona Theatre Company is staging The River Bride, a play about sisters struggling to find their “happily-ever-after” in an Amazonian fishing village, through Dec. 3 at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. For more information about the play or ticket prices, visit http://www.arizonatheatre.org/show/the-river-bride/
Dietary Restructure A family man decides to get a consultation from a nutritionist. But when he realizes that losing weight will mean cutting out food items like cheddar fries, he obfuscates: all in good taste, of course.