Theater Offering Comedic
Spin On Hanukkah
By Staff Report
Modern Times Magazine
Dec. 5, 2018 — We all know that memorable Adam Sandler song from the early 1990s, and may have seen his 2002 movie Eight Crazy Nights. Of course, Hanukkah (or Festival of Lights)
is an ancient holiday celebrated by Jewish people all over the world.
Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev, according to the Hebrew calendar.
It commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire.
Adherents observe the festival is observed by lighting the candles of a candelabrum with nine branches, called a menorah. One branch is placed above or below the others, with its candle used to light the other eight candles.
Other festivities include playing the game of dreidel and eating oil-based foods, such as latkes and sufganiyot, and dairy products.
Since the 1970s, the worldwide Chabad Hasidic movement has initiated public menorah lightings in public places in the United States and elsewhere. For those looking for a twist on this important religious festival, there’s Ha Ha Hanukkah: The Festival of Laughs, an improv show presented Dec. 7 and 8 at the National Comedy Theatre, 214 W. Main St., Mesa. Along with enjoying the humor, audience members will have a chance to take home “eight crazy prizes.” For ticket prices, showtimes or other details, visit http://nctphoenix.com/special-events/
Now to Dec. 30
BLK BOX PHX is presenting S#!tfaced Shakespeare through Dec. 30 at the Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Road. Based on the title, parental guidance is advised. For showtimes, other info or tickets, go to https://www.blkboxphx.com/
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/
The Mesa Arts Festival is happening from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9 at the Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main St. The free, annual event will feature original works of art for sale, live entertainment on three stages, artist demonstrations, roaming performers and plenty of food. For a full schedule, go to https://www.mesaartscenter.com/mesaartsfestival
Saturday, Dec. 8
One of Arizona’s more interesting residents is ready to celebrate the holidays: Alice Cooper’s 17th Annual Christmas Pudding will happen at 7 p.m. at The Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix. Along with the legendary shock rocker, the concert is an all-star lineup, featuring Johnny Depp, Joe Perry, Blue Öyster Cult's Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom, Sebastian Bach, Beasto Blanco, Larry The Cable Guy and Gretchen Wilson. Admission starts at $120; for more details, check out https://celebritytheatre.ticketforce.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=1970
Wagons West, a family fun day, will be held from noon to 2 p.m. at Desert Caballeros Western Museum, 21 N. Frontier St., Wickenburg. Entry is free with paid museum admission or free for members. To learn more, check out https://westernmuseum.org/event/family-fun-day-wagons-west/
Sunday, Dec. 9
The Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame will host a holiday party starting at 4 p.m. at Flicka’s Baja Cantina, 2003 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. The no cover-charge event will include live music, food and drinks. Learn more at https://mailchi.mp/85375734c9c3/amehof-newsletter-august-1560145?e=c4758c6ec9
A 90-year institution, Orpheus Male Chorus is presenting Holidays with Orpheus at 3 p.m. at The Church at Litchfield Park, 300 N. Old Litchfield Road. Admission is $15 or $20. For more details, go to https://orpheus.org/performance/holidays-with-orpheus-at-church-at-litchfield-park/
Monday, Dec. 10
Tony award-winning Scottish actor Alan Cumming is bring his Alan Cumming: Legal Immigrant show to the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St. In the cabaret-style show, which starts at 7:30 p.m., Cumming will muse on his “10 years as a U.S. citizen, growing older and what it feels like to be an immigrant in today’s America.” Admission starts at $65; for more details, visit https://www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org/event/alan-cumming-legal-immigrant-2018/
Tuesday, Dec. 11
Noted pianist Jeffrey Siegel will perform as part of Keyboard Conversations at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St. Siegel will focus on the music of Ludwig van Beethoven. The performance will start at 7:30 p.m. Admission prices range from $29 to $40; members are $41. Learn more at https://www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org/event/the-joyous-music-of-beethoven/
Wednesday, Dec. 12
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker will be held at 7 p.m. at Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix. For ticket prices, go to http://www.comericatheatre.com/EventDetail?tmeventid=1900550AE484676E&offerid=88353
Thursday, Dec. 13
Ballet Arizona is presenting its version of The Nutcracker through Dec. 24 at Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix. The Phoenix Symphony is also performing. For showtimes, other information or ticket prices, visit https://balletaz.org/performance/the-nutcracker-2018/
Friday, Dec. 14
Rock band Daughtry will perform at 8 p.m. in Talking Stick Resort’s Salt River Grand Ballroom. For ticket prices or other details, check out
Billy Idol tribute band Idol X will perform at 8:15 p.m. at BLK Live, 7301 Butherus Drive, Scottsdale. Admission starts at $15; to learn more, check out http://blkliveaz.com/calendar/8824715/idol-x-billy-idol-tribute/
Saturday, Dec. 15
The Harmonica Band Showcase, happening at The Rhythm Room, will feature Harpdog Brown, Sistah’s Too and Smokestack Lightning. The show will start at 8 p.m., and admission ranges between $10 and $12. The venue is located at 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. For more info, go to https://www.rhythmroom.com/event/1790805-harmonica-band-showcase-phoenix/
Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas, featuring the The Crotty & O’Neill Sextet, will be held at The Nash, 110 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix. Showtime is at 7:30 p.m.; admission ranges from $8 to $25. To learn more, go to https://thenash.org/event/have-yourself-a-jazzy-little-christmas-the-crotty-oneill-sextet/
Sunday, Dec. 16
The Phoenix Art Museum will present a telecast of the National Theatre’s Julius Caesar, featuring Ben Whishaw, at 1 p.m. Admission is $15 or $18. Other notable cast members include Michelle Fairley, David Calder and David Morrissey. The museum is located at 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. For more details, go to http://www.phxart.org/event/7e732ac3-e4c7-8dfc-e26d-b802d30abd6f
Award-winning group Téada, is presenting Irish Christmas In America in two shows today and on Dec. 17 at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. This family-friendly performance features Irish ballads,instrumental tunes and dancing, while photos provide a backdrop to some of the rich historical traditions. Admission starts at $35.50; for showtimes or other info, visit https://mim.org/events/irish-christmas-in-america/2018-12-16/
Sunday, Dec. 18
Rapper and songwriter Travis Scott is bringing his Astroworld tour to The Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. Special guests include Sheck Wes, Gunna and Triple Redd. To learn more or for ticket prices, check out http://www.talkingstickresortarena.com/events/detail/travis-scott-astroworld-tour
Arizona native and tenor James Gish is performing A Merry Gishmas at 7:30 p.m. at the Peoria Center for The Performing Arts, 10580 N. 83rd Drive. Admission is $15 or $20. For ADA seating or other details, call the box office at 623-815-7930, or visit http://theaterworks.org/calendar/james-gish-a-merry-gishmas/
Wednesday, Dec. 19
My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m In Therapy, a one-man show created by Steve Solomon, will run through Jan. 20 at Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. Admission starts at $54; for showtimes, to buy tickets or other details, go to
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.