See 'Miracle' As The
Holiday Season Begins
By Staff Report
Modern Times Magazine
Nov. 21, 2018 — Thanksgiving weekend is the run-up to the year’s biggest holidays including Christmas (for those who celebrate it). After you add up gifting, food, entertainment and merriment, Americans will spend billions.
The celebration includes classic entertainment, and Miracle on 34th Street is no exception. First released in 1947, the beloved classic film tells the tale of last-minute Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Santa-replacement Kris Kringle — who may or may not be the actual Santa Claus — and the people who take him in. The film features Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood and Edmund Gwenn.
The film was warmly received on its release: According to the New York Times: “For all those blasé skeptics who do not believe in Santa Claus — and likewise for all those natives who have grown cynical about New York — but most especially for all those patrons who have grown weary of the monotonies of the screen, let us heartily recommend the Roxy's new picture, Miracle on 34th Street. As a matter of fact, let's go further: let's catch its spirit and heartily proclaim that it is the freshest little picture in a long time, and maybe even the best comedy of this year.”
Miracle on 34th Street won three Academy Awards: Gwenn for best actor, Valentine Davies for best writing (original story) and George Seaton for best screenplay.
In 2005, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” Along with It’s A Wonderful Life, it’s considered required viewing.
Now, the film will be live on stage, as a musical running Nov. 23 through Dec. 29 at Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria. Admission (which includes dinner) is $86.99. To buy tickets or learn more, check out https://azbroadway.org/event/miracle-on-34th-street/
There are also many more classics being performed live in the Phoenix metro, including A Christmas Carol, Black Nativity, Holiday Pops, A Christmas Story, Snow Queen and much more. Read on for more holiday-inspired events, and a few that are entertaining regardless of the time of year.
Now To Dec. 20
Arizona Citizens for the Arts is looking for artwork, created in the last two years, to be considered for use as the official artwork for the 38th annual Governor’s Arts Awards’ program and formal invitations. Awards will be presented on March 7, 2019. To learn more, visit http://azcitizensforthearts.org/governors-arts-awards/call-artwork/
Wednesday, Nov. 21
Western swing band Big Sandy & His Fly Riots will perform at 8 p.m. at The Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. Southwest Musical Arts Foundation is sponsoring this Thanksgiving Eve party. Second Hand Sam & His Country Gentlemen are the opening act. Admission ranges from $12 to $15; for more details, go to https://www.rhythmroom.com/event/1713155-big-sandy-his-fly-rite-boys-phoenix/
Saturday, Nov. 23
The Phoenix Symphony is performing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert through Nov. 25 at Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St. For showtimes and ticket prices, visit https://tickets.phoenixsymphony.org/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=11222
Sunday, Nov. 25
Rural Route Film Festival Shorts Program will begin at 1 p.m. at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St. Films topics range from UFOs to the slow food movement. A single ticket is $12. For more details, go to https://www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org/event/art-house-cinema-9-18/
Tuesday, Nov. 27
Evan Hansen is a high school senior with severe social anxiety which doesn’t allows him to make friends. After another classmate named Connor commits suicide, Hansen inadvertently gets caught in a lie that brings him closer to Connor’s family. Such is the premise of Dear Evan Hansen, a musical that debuted on Broadway in December 2016. Arizonans can now see what critics have been raving about: Dear Evan Hansen is running Nov. 27 through Dec. 2 at the ASU Gammage in Tempe. (Please note tickets are limited.) To learn more, go to https://www.asugammage.com/shows-events/dear-evan-hansen
Wednesday, Nov. 28
Lindsey Buckingham won’t be on stage, legendary rock band Fleetwood Mac is still going strong — some 51 years later! — and playing Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. The show will start at 8 p.m. To buy tickets or learn more about this Grammy-winning band, go to http://www.talkingstickresortarena.com/events/detail/fleetwood-mac-2
The veteran, Grammy-winning Emerson String Quartet will perform at 7:30 p.m. in the Piper Theater of the Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main St. Admission starts at $38; for more details, check out https://www.mesaartscenter.com/index.php/shows/performing-live/emerson-string-quartet
Thursday, Nov. 29
The Documentary Video Art Festival will start at 7 p.m. at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale. For more details on this free event, visit https://smoca.org/event/documentary-video-art-festival-2018/
Friday, Nov. 30
Written by the venerated American poet Langston Hughes, the popular holiday production Black Nativity will run through Dec. 16 at the Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 E. Washington St., Phoenix. The Black Theatre Troupe is presenting this event. Showtimes vary; admission is $38. To learn more, check out http://new-wp.blacktheatretroupe.org/black-nativity-2018/
The American Theatre Guild will present a concert version of Singin’ in the Rain through Dec. 2 at The Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams, Phoenix. A stage orchestra and cast wearing silent-movie era costumes will perform to the 1952 classic film. For showtimes and ticket prices, visit https://phoenix.ticketforce.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=452
The Phoenix Symphony will perform seasonal favorites during Holiday Pops, running through Dec. 2 at Symphony Hall in Phoenix. To learn more or buy tickets, visit https://tickets.phoenixsymphony.org/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=10992
Ever since its 1983 release, the film A Christmas Story has been a holiday favorite — and not just because it features a leg lamp. Now, it’s on stage at Desert Stages Theatre, 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale. Showtimes are 2 and 7:30 p.m. For more info on A Christmas Story: The Play, or ticket prices, check out https://www.desertstages.org/the-christmas-story-the-play/
Nov. 30 to Dec. 23
Visit the world of A.A. Milne and Christopher Robin, Tigger, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga, Baby Roo and, of course, Winnie-the-Pooh in Valley Youth Theatre's 23rd Winnie The Pooh's Christmas Tail, 525 N. First St., Phoenix. This musical presentation promises an adventure of sharing, caring, friendship and joy. Showtimes vary. For more information, visit
Dec. 1 to 16
For a dance-based holiday event, catch Snow Queen based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic wintery fairy tale and set to a score from Sergei Prokofiev at the Herberger Theater, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. The story features a mystical world of sprites, gypsies and ice maidens while young Gerda seeks to rescue Kai from the evil crystal palace. Showtimes vary. For more information, visit https://www.herbergertheater.org/calendar/16206/
Saturday, Dec. 1
It's December and that means it is time for the 2018 Scottsdale Arts Gala, 7380 E. Second St. This annual event is an evening of cutting-edge, immersive art experiences, culinary presentations, an auction of unique objects and live performance. This year, attendees will witness an exclusive preview of a re-imagined Scottsdale Arts campus, including improvements to the Dayton Fowler Grafman Atrium, Stage 2 and more. The headlining performer is Matthew Morrison. He starred on Broadway as J.M Barrie in the musical Finding Neverland, receiving two Drama Desk nominations for his role. He also appeared in a continuing role on the CBS television hit show The Good Wife, where he played U.S. Attorney Connor Fox through the series finale. Tickets range from $500 for full food and wine to $75 for just the concert. Activities begin at 5 p.m. For more information, visit https://www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org/event/gala-2018/
Many musicians are disposable. But some are indispensable to a scene and musical progress. At 7:30 p.m., Horace Silver, the indispensable piano man of hard-bop and bebop will be the subject of a tribute from longtime Phoenix metro favorite Frank Smith and a specially constructed All-Star band at The Nash, 110 E. Roosevelt Road, Phoenix. For more information, visit https://thenash.org/tribe-events/frank-smith-friends/
Sunday, Dec. 2
Bluesman Mike & The Blues Review Band will grace the stage at the Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix at 6 p.m. Neither legendary — yet — or having deep connections, these folks just play and have Blues Fever: That’s one contagion that is beneficial. For more information, visit https://www.rhythmroom.com/event/1719500-bluesman-mike-blues-review-phoenix/
Tuesday, Dec. 4
If you’ve got a sweet tooth for some singer-songwriter performances, you’re in luck as Ryan Montaleau with Jay Allan and Dominick Provenzo will be at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Scottsdale, at 7 p.m. For more information, visit https://mim.org/events/ryan-montbleau-with-jay-allan-and-dominick-provenzano/
Dec. 6 to 23
The Broadway musical version of Charles Dickens’ holiday classic A Christmas Carol will be presented throughout December at the Tempe Center for the Arts, a co-presentation with Scottsdale Musical Theater Company. In this production, Charles Shaughnessy is Ebenezer Scrooge. The audience may recognize Shaughnessy as Mr. Sheffield from The Nanny with Fran Drescher. Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado, Tempe. Showtimes vary. For more information, visit https://www.tempecenterforthearts.com/events/tca-presents-2018-19-season/tca-presents-a-co-production-with-scottsdale-musical-theater-company-a-christmas-carol
Dec. 7 to 16
Take a thespian hosted trip to Middle East — as interpreted by Disney and others — with <I>Aladdin Jr. at the Greasepaint for Youth Theater, 7020 E. Second St., Scottsdale. The young performers take on a new adaptation of the beloved story featuring expanded characters and new songs. Showtimes vary. For more information, visit https://greasepaint.org/product/shows/aladdin-jr/
Dec. 8 and 9
The Sonoran Desert Chorale is bringing its traditional holiday concert — this is the 25th year — to Mesa and Scottsdale for an evening of choral selections. Of course, the traditional audience sing-along is back. “Sing Me Now of Christmas” will be presented at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 8 at First United Methodist Church, 15 E. First Ave., Mesa. A follow-up performance will be Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. in La Casa De Cristo Lutheran Church, 6300 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale. Tickets are under $18 when purchased in advance of show. For more information visit https://sonorandesertchorale.org/events/
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.