Valley museums celebrate International Museum Day

Central Arizona is home to nearly 100 diverse museums in the Gila, Maricopa, Pinal and Yavapai county area. Each year, the Central Arizona Museum Association and Valley museums celebrate International Museum Day on May 18 with special promotions, programs and discounts.

International Museum Day aims at raising public awareness about the vital role museums play in their communities. Many museums offer programming for adults and children ranging from lectures to coffee and tea social hours, free events, workshops, demonstrations, van trips to other destinations and more.

Although International Museum Day is typically celebrated on May 18, this year local museums have chosen different days and times around the 18th to have special offers in observance International Museum Day. A list of all celebrations in observance of International Museum Day is at

For a listing of nearby museums, visit and click on "By Name" or "By Location."


Sonoran Desert Chorale sets auditions for upcoming season

The Sonoran Desert Chorale invites area singers to its 2010/11 auditions on May 20. Singers from all voice parts are encouraged to audition for the 60-member chorus, whose season runs from October through May.  Auditions are scheduled by appointment only, and interested singers are asked to call (480) 540-2352 or e-mail auditions@sonorandesertchorale.or to reserve their audition time.  For general information about the Sonoran Desert Chorale, visit


Mid-season auditions open for the Phoenix Boys Choir

Due to ongoing demand, the Phoenix Boys Choir is open for auditions mid-season for the first time in its history. Auditions are being scheduled for boys from seven to 14 years old for three levels of the Boys Choir – the Training (located in Tempe, Peoria, Scottsdale and Phoenix), Cadet and Town choirs.

Auditions are being scheduled on May 22 at the Phoenix Boys Choir building, 1131 E. Missouri Ave. Interested parents should call (602) 264-5328, ext. 21 to schedule a time.

For more information, visit


Spring sale at MAC Store

MAC Store at Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., is having a sale through May 30 on its entire inventory. MAC Store will be closing for the summer season.

For more information, call (480) 644-6515 or visit


Pre-sale tickets available for Vans Warped Tour

The 2010 incarnation of the Vans Warped Tour - affectionately known as "punk rock summer camp" - will host a distinct and diverse lineup of the hottest artists on the scene, as well as a full concourse of lifestyle attractions and vendors. Even better, it all comes at a traditionally affordable ticket price. More interactive and fan-friendly than ever, check out the newly re-vamped for a full list of bands performing and more.

The 43-date tour comes to Cricket Wireless Pavilion (2121 N. 83rdAve.) on Tuesday, June 29. Doors open at 11 a.m.

An Internet presale is ongoing where fans may purchase tickets early. To keep the festival affordable for all concertgoers, presale prices are approximately $25. All pre-sale ticket holders have access to a separate line that allows them into the venue at 11 a.m. sharp. That exclusive pre-sale price gives fans a concert ticket, a free copy of the Vans Warped Tour 2010 compilation CD (SideOneDummy), a 25-cent donation to the Unite the United charity and all service fees. Only a limited amount of pre-sale tickets are available.


ACT announces new division

For more than a decade, Ahwatukee Children’s Theatre (ACT) has provided kids with opportunities to participate in all aspects of the performing arts, but what happens when kids grow up and their tastes become more teen-like?

ACT announces, ACT Up!, a new division of the theater company designed specifically for teens who want their performing arts experience to grow up with them. ACT Up! will focus on shows for teens and adults. With a growing student base of teens, the theater was already producing more shows with PG-13 type content, according to Executive Director Michele Rubino. This included last year’s Rent, Jr. and Dracula, Baby! This fall, ACT Up! will produce Reefer Madness – The Musical.

ACT Up! will produce Fame this summer as part of the theater’s summer camp series, and registration is now open. Interested teens may visit or call (480) 705-9319 for more information. 


Burns it Up offers summer workshops

Burns it Up, a musical theatre group at The Studios of Ocotillo, 2625 W. Queen Creek Road, Chandler, is offering summer workshops on Fridays in June.

"Musical Theatre" for ages five to eight will meet from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and features singing, dancing and acting to current Broadway music with a showcase on the final day.

 In "Write Your Own Play," students ages 10 to 14 will create and act in their own original play which will showcase at the end of the session. The group will meet from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

The cost is $60 per class or $100 for both.

For more information, call instructor Karen Burns at (480) 332-7914 or visit


Museums offer innovative series for adults with Alzheimer’s

The Arts Engagement Program offers Valley residents with mild to moderate stages of Alzheimer’s and their care partners an opportunity to engage in the benefits of visual arts. Phoenix Art Museum and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) have begun enrollment for the summer session, offering community members the chance to participate in this beneficial and rewarding program.

The program offers a unique opportunity for Valley residents to participate in community events at Phoenix Art Museum or SMoCA. Participants meet six times over a three-month period for interactive tours of special exhibitions or collections at each venue. Tours are followed by thought-provoking in-gallery or creative and engaging hands-on activities. Arts Engagement Program sessions are held three times a year, with the next scheduled to begin in early June. The two arts venues host events year-round for past participants to encourage them to remain involved and stay active outside of the program.

Events take place June 10 through Aug. 19 at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave. SMoCA, 7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale, will host events June 3 through Aug. 19.

Enrollment is limited and fees apply.  Participants must pre-register with the venue of their choice.  For more information, contact Phoenix Art Museum at (602) 307-2032 or SMoCA at (480) 874-4641.


Scottsdale Artists’ School targets beginners

The Scottsdale Artists’ School has unveiled a new series of summer classes designed specifically for beginners. More than 20 daytime and evening classes will be available from June 7 to Aug. 28 offering the perfect opportunity for anyone who has ever considered dabbling in the arts.

Summer programs will be led by professional artists teaching everything from beginning drawing and pastels to the basics of oil painting and botanicals.

Some classes directed at budding beginners include:

Summer Fine Art Camp. Students ages six to high school will learn drawing, painting, sculpting, mixed media and for the first time, cartooning will be available.

Art for Amateurs. Students sample three art mediums - drawing, painting and sculpture - during three separate three-hour sessions for just $45.

Instructor of the Week. Classes provide a unique opportunity for working adults to get a quick creative fix without making a huge commitment. Three-hour classes are available each week for six weeks, giving students the chance to experience the styles of a variety of teachers in a casual studio setting.

The Scottsdale Artists’ School summer catalog is available online at


Watch the 64th annual Tony Awards live at ASU Gammage

Arizona State University Gammage and Tony Award Productions will host an official Tony Awards Viewing Party, a live Tony Award simulcast from Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Sunday, June 13.  The black-tie event, which will take place at ASU Gammage (1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe), will feature an advance telecast of the 2010 Tony Awards allowing guests to see the ceremony and the winners prior to the local airing on CBS 5.  Red carpet activities begin at 4 p.m. and the live simulcast begins at 5 p.m.

Partygoers will enjoy a red carpet arrival complete with local celebrities, paparazzi and more.  Each guest will receive the official Tony Playbill (the same Playbill that will be handed out to guests inside Radio City Music Hall). 

Reserved-seating tickets to the Tony Award Viewing Party are $20 to $35 and are available at the ASU Gammage box office and through Ticketmaster. Tickets for the Tony Awards Viewing Party and a VIP post-show dinner are $150 and are available through the box office or by calling (480) 965-3434 only. For more information on the event, call (480) 965-5062.

The Tony Awards, presented by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will be broadcast from Radio City Music Hall on the local CBS station from 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday, June 13.


Renovations under way at Herberger Theater Center

The Herberger Theater Center will be closed May 17 to Sept. 30 for the second and final phase of renovations as a result of the 2006 voter-approved bond. The theater will undergo much-needed improvements to enhance all public spaces, including the theaters and lobby.

The theater will re-open with a weekend of festivities. A Grand Re-Opening Celebration kicks off on Friday, Oct. 1, featuring a re-dedication ceremony, entertainment, cuisine, a champagne toast, music, tours of the newly renovated theater and a few surprises.

The inaugural Herberger Festival of the Arts is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, featuring theater and dance performances, food, art, live music, film festival shorts and an interactive children’s activity area.

For more information, visit or call (602) 254-7399, ext. 105.


Childsplay offers school tours for upcoming year

Childsplay is a professional theater company for young audiences that performs publicly at the Tempe Center for the Arts. In addition to public performances, Childsplay has been touring all across the state to Arizona’s schools since 1977, and the school tour program remains a cornerstone of the company today. Each year, Childsplay creates productions that are specifically designed to be performed in schools, libraries, community centers and other indoor spaces. Schools do not need to have a stage, lighting instruments or other theatrical requirements. Sets and costumes, sound equipment and actors pack into a van and come to your school.

An in-depth resource guide is also developed for each play to be used by teachers with students or parents with their children to deepen their appreciation of the theatre experience and to promote literacy and learning. Resource guides contain a plot outline, booklist for further reading, discussion ideas, puzzles and games related to the shows and curriculum-related pre- and post-show activities. They also provide ways to fulfill the Arizona Arts Standards in the classroom.

Two touring shows, New Kid and The Imaginators, are available for the 2010-11 season. New Kid is available October to December, and The Imaginators is offered February to March. Both shows are appropriate for grades K to six.

For more information on booking a school tour show, contact Jaime at or (480) 921-5751 or visit


Pueblo Grande earns rare distinction for the 2nd time

Phoenix’s Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park has, for the second time, earned a rare distinction from the American Association of Museums.

The honor from the association recognizes Pueblo Grande Museum’s success in achieving its mission and goals as well as using best practices and meeting or exceeding museum standards. The museum first earned accreditation in 1999.

Pueblo Grande Museum is located at 4619 E. Washington St., the site of a 1,500 year-old Hohokam village.

More information is available online at or by calling (602) 495-0901.


Childsplay unleashes a season of hits for 2010-11

Childsplay, Arizona’s award-winning theater company for young audiences, announces a season filled with unsurpassed crowd-pleasers, including a Tony-nominated musical, brilliant adaptations of classic children’s stories, original work and the return of that sell-out star, Junie B. Jones!

The season schedule includes: A Year With Frog and Toad in September, Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! in November and December, Go, Dog. Go! January through March, The Imaginators in April and The Borrowers in May.

Childsplay is keeping ticket prices at the same level for the third year in a row. Play passes (flexible, cost-saving ticket packages for families) are available at Single tickets will be on sale at the theater box office starting in early August.  Play passes cost between $15 and $18 each depending on quantity and date purchased.  Single tickets cost $25 for adults and $20 for children, students and seniors, plus applicable box office charges. Each production will have one discounted preview performance with a general admission ticket price of $12.

All performances will take place at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe. For tickets, call (480) 350-2822 or visit office. For more information, visit


Phoenix Comicon runs Memorial Day weekend

Phoenix Comicon is the signature pop culture event of the southwest, presenting guests and programming for hobbyists and fans by attracting the top segments of the comics, anime, sci-fi, film, TV and gaming industries. Entering its ninth year, Phoenix Comicon is expected to draw more than 10,000 attendees to its convention May 27 to 30 at the Phoenix Convention Center and Hyatt Regency.

For more information, visit


Jazz concerts return to Desert Botanical Garden

The annual Jazz in the Garden Concert Series is under way and runs Friday evenings through June 25 at the Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway.

Concerts are scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Fridays through May 29 and 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Fridays June 4 to 25.

The cost is $14 for members and $20 for non-members (includes Garden admission). Guests must be 21 or over to attend.

Tickets may be purchased online at, by calling (480) 481-8188 or visiting the admissions box office. For groups of 10 or more, call (480) 481-8104 to learn about discounted group tickets.


SMoCA announces three new exhibitions for summer

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art at 7380 E. Second St. in Scottsdale will have three new exhibitions this summer: Spy Hopping: Adventures with Sue Chenoweth and the permanent collection (May 22 to Sept. 19), the new "Architecture + Art" series launches with an exhibition titled 90 Days Over 100° with Phoenix architects Atherton | Keener (May 22 to Sept. 19) and Re-imagining the West: selections from the permanent collection (June 12 to Aug. 22).

For details, visit


Phoenix Boys Choir offers St. Lawrence Seaway Tour Concert Preview

Before the members of the Phoenix Boys Choir’s top choir embark on their summer tour to St. Lawrence Seaway, the Tour Choir will perform a Tour Concert Preview on May 23 at the Steele Indian School Park Memorial Hall, 300 E. Indian School Road. A cocktail reception will begin at 4 p.m., followed by the concert at 5 p.m.

Audiences will have the chance to preview the unique repertoire that will be sung on the nine-city tour through northern New York and southern Canada and say farewell to the departing 32-member choir before they set off on June 3.

 A recording of the 2010 St. Lawrence Seaway Tour Concert will be available for purchase at the Preview Concert.

 Tickets to the reception and concert are $50. Concert-only tickets are $15. Tickets go on sale April 26 and are available through or by calling (602) 264-5328, ext. 21.


Sesame Street Live at Mesa Arts Center

VEE Corporation is raising the curtain for the 30th season of its world renowned Sesame Street Live touring productions. As the live stage show licensee of Sesame Workshop (the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street), VEE will present its 100th tour in Mesa and Glendale when the stage lights come up on "1-2-3 Imagine! with Elmo & Friends."

Show times are 7 p.m. June 22, 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. June 23 and 10:30 a.m. June 24 at Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. For details or tickets, call (480) 644-6500 or visit

The curtain will rise at 7 p.m. June 25, 10:30 a.m., 2 and 5:30 p.m. June 26 and 1 and 4:30 p.m. June 27 at Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale. For details or tickets, call (623) 772-3800, (800) 745-3000 or visit

Like television’s Sesame Street, each Sesame Street Live production features timeless lessons for all ages. The universal appeal of each Broadway-quality musical production continues long after preschool. Adults will appreciate the high-tech stagecraft, cleverly written script and music they’ll recognize and enjoy sharing with children, such as "I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon," "She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain" and "Surfin’ Safari."

For more information on the show, visit


ASU Gammage announces 2010-11 Broadway season

Arizona State University Gammage has secured its lineup for the 2010-11 Progressive Broadway Across America – Arizona series.

The full series includes Young Frankenstein, Sept. 27 to Oct. 3; NETworks presents Disney’s Beauty And The Beast, Oct 19 to 24; How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Nov. 16 to 21; Hair, Dec 7. to 12; Shrek the Musical, Jan. 4 to 9, 2011; 9 to 5: The Musical, Feb. 22 to 27; Fiddler on the Roof, March 29 to April 3; Billy Elliot the Musical, April 27 to May 8; Mamma Mia!, May 17 to 22; and Les Misérables, June 7 to 12.

New subscription orders will begin June 7. Season subscribers are assured priority seating, the same great seats for every show and priority ticket offers for special Broadway engagements. Additional benefits include ticket exchange privileges and lost ticket insurance. Season subscriptions start at $124.

Single tickets will go on sale Aug. 9. Groups may order tickets now. Visit for policies, pricing and to order.


CleanComedyClub offers shows first Saturdays

Comedians with CleanComedyClub will take the stage on the first Saturday of each month at Midtown Manhattan Actors Studio, 209 E. Baseline Road, Suite E-107, Tempe (between Rural Road and Mill Avenue on the south side of Baseline Road, just behind the Baseline Bar).

Some of Phoenix’s funniest working comedians will provide fun and clean entertainment for both young and old. Laughter is 100% guaranteed! Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts about 7:30ish.

This venue does not serve food or beverages. Feel free to bring your own bottle of refreshment.

For information or tickets, visit


Painted holiday wine glass contest under way

The fourth annual painted holiday wine glass contest has begun, and those interested in participating are invited to visit di Sciacca in Historic Downtown Chandler, 81 W. Boston St. Register, get the glass, paint it with a Christmas or winter theme and have it back by May 31. Then customers will vote on the entries during June. The winner gets $500.

For more information, call (480) 855-9888.


Red Rocks Music Festival

The Red Rocks Music Festival will kick off with "Classical Meets Jazz," at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1, at Steinway of Phoenix, 14418 N. Scottsdale Road. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 children 12 and under.

The festival then moves to Sedona and the schedule includes a 50th Celebration Concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 2 (call (602) 955-8200 for tickets); J. S. Bach, A. Vivaldi and H. Villa Lobos at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3; A. Vivaldi, Four Seasons at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4; and Classical Meets Latin Jazz at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5.

For more information, visit or call (877) 733-7257.


Arizona Fall Frenzy returns to Tempe Beach Park

The highly anticipated Arizona Fall Frenzy returns to Tempe Beach Park on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 17 and 18, brought to you by Lucky Man Concerts.

Last year’s inaugural event drew over 30,000 music fans to downtown Tempe to enjoy the sights and sounds of some of today’s hottest musical artists.

The you-won’t-want-to-miss 2010 edition promises to be another blockbuster event with the newly reunited Stone Temple Pilots, The Cult, Weezer, Sublime with Rome, Primus, Devo, Blue October and others.

Single day tickets (prices vary per day) are available at,, Bookman’s locations, Marquee Theatre box office and the Headquarters Smoke Shop in Tempe. To charge by phone, call (480) 829-1300.

For additional information or a schedule, visit

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