Phoenix Metro's Arty Side
By Staff Report
Modern Times Magazine
Dec. 7, 2017 —Entertainment during the year’s biggest holiday season — from Hanukkah to Christmas to New Year’s Eve — takes many forms: Musicals, movies and more than a few parties, too.
Those looking for a change of pace might want to visit The Phoenix Festival Of The Arts, happening through Dec. 8 through 10 at Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 N. Third St.
The sixth annual event will feature more than 130 local art vendors and cultural organizations. There will be food, entertainment, a Family Zone, the Phoenix Mural Project and more.
The event’s newest element takes the form of a 80-by-40-foot entertainment pavilion, located within the center of the festival grounds.
In addition to dozens of live music and dance performances, there will be live artist demonstrations. There are numerous opportunities for adults and kids to enjoy art activities. The Phoenix Mural Project, a hands-on project organized by acclaimed local muralist Hugo Medina, allows community members to paint and create alongside professional local artists. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Dogs are allowed. For more details on this free event, call 602-254-3100 or visit https://phoenixcenterforthearts.org
Those on the East side of the metro can catch the Mesa Arts Festival, Dec. 9 and 10 at the Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main St. The annual festival will 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 plenty food choices. Admission is free. For further details, check out https://www.mesaartscenter.com/index.php/events/mesa-arts-festival
Thursday, Dec. 7
The one and only Tony Bennett will perform at the Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix. Antonia Bennett, his daughter, will be the special guest. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., and tickets start at $78. For more info, go to https://celebritytheatre.ticketforce.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=1805
Friday, Dec. 8
The Nutcracker is synonymous with the Christmas holidays, and Ballet Arizona is staging a production of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s classic tale of Clara and her dream. The Phoenix Symphony is providing the music. This production runs through Dec. 24 at Symphony Hall in Phoenix. For more details or ticket info, check out http://balletaz.org/performance/the-nutcracker-2017/
Saturday, Dec. 9
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the musical version, is coming to Herberger Theater, 222 E. Monroe, Phoenix. The audience can follow Ebenezer Scrooge as he journeys through his past, present and future to find the importance of family, friendship and love. Tickets range from $38 to $78. The show runs through Dec. 28; to learn more, go to https://herbergertheater.ticketforce.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=596
Last Exit Live will host the Rock For Tots Benefit Show at 7 p.m. The Sara Robinson Band, Vintage Wednesday, The School of Rock Sugar Skulls and Haley Green will perform. Admission is $10; the venue is located at 717 S. Central Ave. For more details, visit https://www.lastexitlive.com/event/1591107-rock-for-tots-benefit-show-phoenix
Dec. 9 and 10
The Mesa Arts Festival gets underway at 10 a.m. at the Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main St. The annual festival will 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 plenty food choices. Admission is free. For further details, check out https://www.mesaartscenter.com/index.php/events/mesa-arts-festival
Monday, Dec. 11
In the Christmas Mood: A Holiday Music Spectacular , in the style of Andy Williams yuletide shows, will feature numerous performers and a seven-piece band. It will be staged at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria. Classics like Sleigh Ride, Happy Holidays, Jingle Bells, The Christmas Song, and others will be performed. For ticket prices and other information, visit http://azbroadway.org/event/in-the-christmas-mood/
Thursday, Dec. 14
Now, in its 70th year, the Phoenix Boys Choir will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Musical Instrument Theater, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. The choir will pay tribute to to Johann Sebastian Bach, with excerpts from his Christmas Oratory, along with classics such as Silent Night. Ticket prices range from $28.50 to $33.50; for more details, check out https://mim.org/events/phoenix-boys-choir/
Dec. 14 to 23
In the late 1990s, writer David Sedaris made a name for himself with his tale of working as a Christmas elf in a New York City Macy’s. Now, Santaland Diaries will be performed at the Phoenix Theatre’s Hardes Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix. Directed by Toby Yatso, it stars Louis Farber and is recommended for mature audiences. Showtimes are 7 p.m. (and 10 p.m. the 22nd and 23rd); tickets start at $24. Find out more by visiting https://www.davissonentertainment.com/current-events
Friday, Dec. 15
The Phoenix Ballet will perform The Nutcracker through Dec. 24 in the Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St., Phoenix. Acclaimed dancers Madison Penney, Juliet Doherty, Avery Gay and Zherlin Ndudi will be part of this production. For more details, visit https://phoenix.ticketforce.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=374
It seems the Cirque du Soleil can even take revered holiday classic and it make it their own: A Cirque Nutcracker, presented by Troupe Vertigo, will run through Dec. 24 at The Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main St. The performance will also feature The Phoenix Symphony, aerial artists, jugglers and contortionists. Tickets start at $32; to learn more, go to https://mesaartscenter.com/index.php/shows/other-presenters/a-cirque-nutcracker
This year’s Holiday Cabaret, at the Phoenix Theatre, will feature performers Brian Sweis, Adam Vargas and Lisa Fogel, with Jay Melberg on piano and Daniel Ybarra on drums. The theater is located at 100 E. McDowell Road; for ticket prices or showtimes, check out http://www.phoenixtheatre.com/holiday
Dec. 15 to 23
The comedic play A Tuna Christmas, written by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears, and Ed Howard, focuses on a tiny Texas tune and a Christmas yard competition that heats up. It is being staged at Phoenix Theatre’s Hardes Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix. For showtimes and ticket info, visit https://www.davissonentertainment.com/current-events
Friday, Dec. 15
Hailing from The Lone Star State, synth band Night Drive will play Valley Bar, 130 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. Bogan Via will serve as the opening act. Tickets range from $12 to $15. For more details, go to https://www.valleybarphx.com/event/1569206-night-drive-bogan-via-phoenix/
Saturday, Dec. 16
Called “the master of hillbilly swing,” Wayne “The Train” Hancock, will take the stage at The Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. Performing since his teens, Hancock’s latest album is Slingin’ Rhythm. Tickets range from $12 to $15. Find out more at https://www.rhythmroom.com/event/1557562-wayne-train-hancock-phoenix/
Spark After Dark will take place from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Mesa Arts Center. This “Hip Hop Holiday” event invites people of all ages to explore live art, live music, food and other treats. Admission is free; to learn more, check out https://www.mesaartscenter.com/sparkafterdark
Sunday, Dec. 17
What does it mean to have a penthouse in poverty-stricken Brazil? The film High-Rise explores that. It’s part of The Phoenix Art Museum’s Past/Future/Present Film Series and will be screened at 2 p.m. To learn more or buy tickets, go to http://www.phxart.org/event/15ae89e5-b30f-aacf-a1b0-839b5935f1fb
Tuesday, Dec. 19
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Broadway classic Cinderella will be staged through Dec. 24 at the Arizona State University Gammage. For showtimes and ticket prices, visit https://www.asugammage.com/shows-events/rodgers-hammersteins-cinderella
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