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Play Peels Cassius Clay’s
Youth From Muhammad Ali

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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 Feb. 13 To 27: Exploring Youth Experiences Of The Boxing Legend Through Dramatic Theatre; Along With Ballet, Bach, Crush AZ EDM, And A Russian Party Rock Band


By Staff Report
Modern Times Magazine

Feb. 14, 2019 — Nearly three years after his death, Muhammad Ali’s legacy continues to grow. The former Cassius Clay of Kentucky was an Olympic boxing champion, a convert to Islam, a Vietnam War opponent, a heavyweight champion and all-around pop culture icon for decades.

“I am America,” he once said. “I am the part you won't recognize. But get used to me – black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own. Get used to me.”

Ali’s career was more than just boxing: He released a spoken-word album in the ‘60s (which influenced hip-hop artists) was the subject of 1970s pop hit, had a cartoon series and even did a little acting himself. DC Comics paid tribute to Ali in 1978, by having him box Superman.

He met presidents, world leaders, the Beatles and celebrities of all stripes.

In November 2005, President George W. Bush awarded him the Medal of Freedom. When Ali died on June 3, 2016, President Barack Obama said, “Muhammad Ali shook up the world. And the world is better for it.”

Parkinson’s disease slowed Ali physically — but not his spirit. The world watched in awe as he lit the torch during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

As February is Black History Month, it seems timely for a play about this legendary American. And In This Corner: Cassius Clay, running through March 3 at The Black Theatre Troupe venue, 1333 E. Washington St., Phoenix. Written by Idris Goodwin, the play focuses on a 12-year-old Ali “navigating friendships, family and learning to fight for himself and his community in the segregated South of the 1950s.”

Tickets start at $25; showtimes vary. For more details, visit

(Note: Other plays either by African-American writers or about the African-American experiences can be found further down in the calendar.)

Now through Feb. 21

The Arizona Bach Festival brings internationally renowned artists to perform Johann Sebastian Bach's 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

Thursday, Feb. 14

August Wilson’s play Two Trains Running will be held through March 3 at The Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. For showtimes or ticket prices, visit

Ballet Arizona will perform The Firebird and La Sylphide at Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix through Feb. 17. The Phoenix Symphony will provide the music. For showtimes and ticket prices, visit

Friday, Feb. 15

Tony Award-winning play Urinetown is running through Feb. 24 at the Stagebrush Theatre, 7020 E. 2nd St., Scottsdale. This musical satire spoofs the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism and municipal politics. Tickets are $17, and showtimes vary. To learn more, check out

JazzmeetsPoetry, an all-woman showcase, will be held at 7:30 p.m. at The Nash, 110 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix. Tickets are $8 (for students) or $15 in advance, and $10 (for students) or $20 at the door. For more details, go to

Actress, author and comedian Paula Poundstone will be on stage in the Ikeda Theater at the Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. Showtime is 8 p.m., and tickets are $35. For more details, check out

Feb. 15 and 16

Crush AZ, the state’s largest EDM festival,  will run for two days at the Rawhide Event Center, 5700 W. North Loop Road, Chandler. Some of the artists taking the stage include 3lau, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Joyride, Seven Lions, Slander and more. The festival is open to those 18 and older, and admission starts at $69. For a full schedule or other info, check out

Saturday, Feb. 16

The exhibit Video 1999-2019 runs through May 19 at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 E. Second St. It features works by 11 international artists, including Candice Breitz,  Petra Cortright and Shirin Neshat. The survey marks the importance of video in contemporary art, and the social and political concerns that artists have addressed over the last two decades. Visit for more information.

Hot Dogs & Jazz, a family friendly event, will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at The Nash, 110 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix. Musicians will demonstrate different instruments and styles of jazz, and give kids a chance to move and sing to the music. Following the show, families will have a chance to meet the band and have free hot dogs. Admission is $3 or $1 for children under 12. Go to to learn more.

Sunday, Feb. 17

The Phoenix Art Museum will show a live telecast of the National Theatre’s production of King Lear, starring Ian McKellen, at 1 p.m. Admission is $15 for members, $18 for non-members. The museum is located at 1625 N. Central Ave.; check out for more details.

Monday, Feb. 18

Singer-songwriter Y La Bamba will perform at 7:30 p.m. at The Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. Opening acts are Kera and Willeta.  Admission ranges from $12 to $15; learn more at

Tuesday, Feb. 19

Extreme Acoustic Guitar will be held at 7 p.m. at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. Noted musicians Bill Dutcher, Adam Armijo, and Mark Miracle will perform.  Admission is $23.50; to learn more, go to

Thursday, Feb. 21

Russian party rock band Igor and the Red Devils will perform at The Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. Tickets are $10; learn all about the band at

Friday, Feb. 22

The Black Theatre Troupe is presenting the play Detroit ‘67 through March 17 the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado. Written by Dominique Morisseau, the play focuses on a brother and sister during an explosive time in the Motor City. Showtimes vary; for ticket prices or other details, go to

Travel back to 1959 and say “grease is the word” by seeing  Grease School Edition through March 24 at Desert Stages Theatre, 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale. The production features classic tunes like Summer Nights. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. on weekdays, and 2 p.m. on weekends.

Jazz band The Stakes will play The Nash,  110 E. Roosevelt St. in Phoenix. Admission is $10 for students, $20 for all others; showtime is 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 22 to 24

The Phoenix Chorale is performing Pathways of Devotion at three different locations. Featuring music from composers Purcell, Pärt, Mendelssohn and Larsen, the program concludes with five “musical valentines” folk songs from Britain and the Americas, originally arranged for The King’s Singers. Christopher Gabbitas is handling conducting duties. For admission prices, addresses and showtimes, visit

Saturday, Feb. 23

Featuring a rare collection of restored instruments from the Holocaust, Violins of Hope will feature world-renowned violinist Gil Shaham. He  will perform work by Brahms, Theme from Schindler’s List by John Williams,  Beethoven’s Leonore Overture, Gustav Mahler’s Totenfeier and Allan Naplan’s Schlof Main Kind, A Yiddish Lullaby. The show starts at 8 p.m. Admission prices vary. For more details, go to

Feb. 23 to March 3

Now in its 25th year, the Sedona Film Festival includes 2019 Academy Award-nominated short films, Vincent Van Gogh and cinema from around the world. For a full schedule, ticket prices and other important details, visit

Sunday, Feb. 24

Noted blues and jazz singer Francine Reed, formerly of Phoenix, will take the stage at 3 p.m. at The Nash,  110 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix. Tickets range from $16 to $36. Go to for more details.

The U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West/Commanders Jazz Ensemble will perform at 3 p.m. in the Ikeda Theater at the Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St.The ensemble will play music by legends such as Duke Ellington and Count Basie, along with contemporary big band leaders. To learn more, go to

Monday, Feb. 25

A musical version of Little Red Riding Hood will be staged through March 2 at Baker Performing Arts, 2035 S. Alma School Road, Mesa. For ticket prices or showtimes, visit

Tuesday, Feb. 26

British rock band Muse will play the Talking Stick Arena, as part of their Simulation world tour. Admission starts at $44.25; to buy one or learn more, check out

Thursday, Feb. 28

The Center Dance Ensemble will perform Worlds Of Wonder featuring Rite of Spring through March 3 at Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. except for 2 p.m on March 3. Admission ranges from $14 to $28. Visit to learn more.

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