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Play Examines U.S. Hostage
Crisis, Family Turmoil

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The Unlimited Arts Calendar is published biweekly and provides selected events for the proceeding two weeks. Send calendar submissions for consideration to:
Unlimited Arts Jan. 17 To 31: Along With History, January Events Feature ‘Songbirds,’ Frankie Valli, Beethoven and Funny Ladies


By Staff Report
Modern Times Magazine

Jan. 17, 2019 — Forty years ago, the nation of Iran was in turmoil. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, also known as the Shah, was on his way out in the face of massive protests against his kleptocratic and repressive government.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeni returned to Iran to lead a radical Islamic movement that would soon install him as leader.

By the end of February, the once-secular nation became an Islamic republic, one that would sharply curtail rights for women and declare the United States — which sadly, played a role in installing the Shah — an enemy. Relations between the two nations grew worse, culminating with Iranian militants taking over 60 Americans in the U.S. embassy hostage on Nov. 4, 1979. The Americans would be held for 444 days. One attempt to rescue them in April 1980 failed, while another — as seen in the 2012 movie Argo — was successful.

The crisis most likely caused President Jimmy Carter a second term in office. Iran released the hostages just hours after newly elected President Ronald Reagan gave his inaugural address. (Six years later, the nation would debate whether the Reagan administration traded arms to Iran in return for the hostages’ freedom).

Hostage, a play based on true events, is being staged starting this Friday (Jan. 18) through Feb. 2 at the Herberger Theater Center. Written by Michelle Kholos Brooks, the story focuses mother of the youngest hostage, a 19 year-old Marine, who flew to Tehran in the hope of being allowed to see him. The play imagines what happened when she and her son were reunited, and the consequences the mother faced when she returned home and was suddenly suspect in her own country. The theater is located at 222 E. Monroe St. in Phoenix. For showtimes and tickets prices, visit

Friday, Jan. 18

Angels and Carnivorous Flowers, an exhibition featuring paintings by Carrie Ann Baade, opens today and will run through April 14 the Mesa Community College Art Gallery, 1833 W. Southern Ave. Baade will also give a talk at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 7 at the museum. To learn more, check out

Tolton: From Slave to Priest will be performed at 7 p.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 13720 W. Thomas Road in Avondale. Jim Coleman plays Fr. Augustus Tolton, the first African-American priest. The Black Theatre Troupe and Office of the Black Catholic Ministry are presenting this production. Tickets are $5 for youth, $10 for adults. To learn more, visit

Saturday, Jan. 19

Judy Roberts and Rebecca Kilgore will perform as part of Songbirds Forever, at 7:30 p.m. at The Nash, 110 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix. The noted singers will be joined by Greg Fishman on saxophone and Tom Wakeling on bass. Admission ranges from $11 to $49; for more details, go to

Jan. 19 and 20

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons will perform at 8 p.m. Jan. 19 and 7 p.m. on Jan. 20 at the Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix. Tickets are $66 or $126. Other info can be found at

Sunday, Jan. 20

There will be a fundraiser and induction ceremony for The Arizona Blues Hall of Fame at 4 p.m. at The Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. Freddie Cisneros, Tom McMillian and Delmar Stewart will be inducted. There will also be numerous artists and bands performing, including the Bad News Blues Band, Diane Van Deurzen & Lisa Otey, The Rocket 88s and more. Admission is $10; check out for more info.

Tuesday, Jan. 22

Tyler Perry is bringing his Madea’s Farewell Play Tour to the Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St. The show starts at 7 p.m. For ticket prices or other information, visit

Jan. 23 to Feb. 24

The Secret Comedy of Women will run through part of next month at Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. The two-women show is suggested for those 12 and older; tickets start at $54. Learn more at

Wednesday, Jan. 23

Filmmaker Bertie Gregory will speak on “A Wild Life” at 7:30 p.m. in the Ikeda Theater at the Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main St. Gregory will discuss his experiences filming animals such as leopards and falcons. Admission to this National Geographic Live event starts at $27. More details are available at

Friday, Jan. 25

Marking 40 years of pioneering alternative band Bauhaus, Peter Murphy and David J will perform at 8 p.m. at The Van Buren, 401 W. Van Buren St., Phoenix. Admission starts $40; go to for more details.

Multi-genre recording artist Damien Sneed will perform We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr at 7:30 p.m. Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main St. This year marks the 35th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which was signed into law and made a federal holiday in 1983. Admission is $41; to learn more, go to

Beatles tribute band Fab Four will perform at 8 p.m. in the Ikeda Theater at the Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main St. Admission starts at $29.50; to purchase tickets or for more details, visit

Kris Kristofferson & The Strangers will play the Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix. Tickets for this 8 p.m. show start at $30; learn more at

Black Sabbitch, an all-female Black Sabbath tribute band, will perform at 7 p.m. at the Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe. Admission is $15; visit for more information.

Jan. 25 to March 1

The musical An American in Paris will run through March 1 at the Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria. For ticket prices or showtimes, call 623-776-8400 or go to

Saturday, Jan. 26

A Hamilton Music Revue — based on the insanely popular musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda — will be performed at 2 p.m. at The Van Buren, 401 W. Van Buren St. in Phoenix. Admission to this all-ages show starts at $20. Get more details at

Mega-popular The Wild Kratts will be live on stage at 1 p.m. at the Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix. For ticket prices or show info, check out

Get your Glee on: The International Championship of Collegiate A Capella will be held at 7 p.m. at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St. Admission starts at $20; for more info, check out

Sunday, Jan. 27

The Carvin Jones Band is performing a benefit, in conjunction with the American Cancer Society, to raise awareness the disease (which has affected numerous members of Jones’ family). His band will play at 5 p.m. at The Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. Admission is a $20 donation; learn more details at

Through Jan, 27

Entertaining audiences for 61 years, Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man is being staged through Jan. 27 at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 E Monroe St., Phoenix. Admission starts at $45; for showtimes or other info, visit

Thursday, Jan. 31

Sublime tribute band Badfish is bringing the Stand By Your Van tour to the Van Buren, 401 W. Van Buren St., Phoenix. Local band Fayuca is the opening act. The show starts at 8 p.m., and admission ranges between $18 and $20. Visit for more details.

Jan. 31 to Feb. 3

The sixth annual Oh My Ears New Music Festival is happening in venues around Phoenix. This year’s event will feature works by guest composer Sarah Gibson, performed by Departure Duo, the OME House Band, and Gibson’s own award-winning piano duo, HOCKET. For a full line up, ticket prices and venue locations, visit

Jan. 31 to Feb. 17

Aladdin, the musical version of Disney’s 1992 hit animated film, will run through Feb. 17 at the Arizona State University Gammage. Showtimes and ticket prices vary; to learn more, check out

Friday, Feb. 1

All Puppet Players are staging Waiting for Henson, running through Feb. 23 at Playhouse On The Park, 1850 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. Described as “the play Beckett might've written had he taken a wrong turn onto ‘Sesame Street,’” the show is recommended for adult audiences. Admission starts at $26. For more details, check out

The Phoenix Blues Women Showcase is taking place at The Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. Hosted by Bill Tarsha and The Rocket 88s, the showcase will feature Susie Tarsha, Lila Sherman, Blaise Lantana and other noted performers. Admission is $10; learn more at

Saturday, Feb. 2

Legendary U.K. rock/jazz band Soft Machine will perform at at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St. Levin Brothers will serve as the opening act. Tickets start at $40; to purchase one or learn more, check out

The Phoenix Symphony and violinist Jennifer Koh will perform works from Beethoven and Haydn 7:30 p.m. today and Sunday (Feb. 2) in Symphony Hall, 75 N. 2nd St. For ticket prices or other details, visit

Now through Feb. 21

The Arizona Bach Festival brings internationally renowned artists to perform Johann Sebastian Bach's great masterpieces in venues across the Valley from Jan. 13 to Feb. 21. Led by Music Director Scott Youngs, musicians featured in the 2019 Festival include two celebrated Arizona State University professors, violinist Katherine McLin and oboist Martin Schuring, joined by violinist Stephen Redfield from the faculty of University of Southern Mississippi. Events will be held throughout the state. Tickets start at $21. For more information, visit

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