at Mad Chef

Comedians Keith Ellis, Jim Holland, Jodi Weisberg and Keith Curtis will take the stage during’s comedy event starting at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 22, at Mad Chef, 3941 E. Chandler Blvd. (southwest corner of 40th Street and Chandler Boulevard in the Fry’s Shopping Center).

Tickets are available at or at the door. For more information, call (480) 759-5120 or (602) 369-8906


Willy Wonka (and the Chocolate Factory) extends run

Due to popular demand, Valley Youth Theatre has added five additional performances of its hit production of Willy Wonka.

The show is currently running through May 23 at 525 N. First St. Additional performances will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 5, and Sunday, June 6; noon and 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 12; and 12:30 and 4 p.m. Sunday, June 13.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $14.40 for groups of 20 or more.

For more information or tickets, call (602) 253-8188, ext. 4 or visit


Deadline approaching for painted holiday wine glass contest

The 2010 di Sciacca Painted Holiday Wine Glass contest is under way, and the last chance to enter is May 31.

To enter, visit di Sciacca at 81 W. Boston St. in historic downtown Chandler to pick up a glass, paint it with a Christmas or winter theme and return it by May 31. Customers will then vote on the entries during June.  The winner gets $500, and the top four will get reproduced for sale in di Sciacca this Christmas.


Arizona Biltmore sets the stage for Shakespeare series

The Arizona Biltmore is partnering with Southwest Shakespeare Company to present two classic productions at the resort (2400 E. Missouri Ave.) – The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare and Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward.

The theater series is a highlight of a summer-long blockbuster festival at the resort called “Hollywood & Wine.” The fun begins Memorial Day and lasts through Labor Day weekend. The series will include celebrity bands in concert, celebrity winemakers uncorking their best, Hollywood professionals revealing their creative secrets, synchronized swimmers, movie screenings and more.

June will feature “Hollywood - Live On Stage” – a full schedule of concerts, stand-up comics and other live events on stage at the resort, including the theater series by Southwest Shakespeare Company.  The theater series will be held in two venues, Cottage Court and the Aztec Room, both of which will be transformed into theaters. Performances by Southwest Shakespeare Company will take place on June 3, 4, 5 and June 10, 11 and 12.

Tickets are $30 per person, or $50 for a “Festival Ticket” to both shows. Dinner and a show packages are also available. To purchase tickets, visit  and click on the Shakespeare at the Biltmore link. For more information, call (602) 955-6600.


Comedy show, wine tasting to benefit Packages From Home

This year’s Marty Berk’s Hilarious Musical Comedy Show, the inaugural comedy show to benefit Packages From Home, will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 5, at the MadCap Theater, 730 S. Mill Ave., Tempe.

This side-splitting, family-friendly show will include a musical comedy performance by Marty Berk, a relaxed wine tasting and the opportunity to take home one of several exciting raffle prizes. Wine will be provided by Kokopelli Winery.

Tickets may be purchased in advance for $25 at or at the door for $30. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit Packages From Home, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to send care and comfort packages to deployed American military heroes stationed in active duty theaters around the world, as well as to facilitate activities that elevate morale of all veterans.

Guests are also encouraged to bring donation items listed on Packages From Home’s “Things To Donate” list (see for a complete list). 

This year’s event is sponsored by CIPHER abc, a local group of individual business professionals helping elevate relationships in the arts and business communities. The group assists with the facilitation of fundraising events for non-profit organizations and also showcases local artists. 


Open Call for art for People’s Biennial

SMoCA is one of five American art institutions presenting and participating in the People’s Biennial, an experiment in exhibition making and a fresh approach to thinking about art. The exhibition will include works by five artists from each of the participating communities and will travel to the five venues across the nation. The People’s Biennial will be on view at SMoCA in the fall of 2011.

The organizers of this exhibition seek remarkable, under-appreciated creative endeavors by anyone and everyone, especially work done by people who do not consider themselves part of the art world. The open call will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 5, in the Atrium at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale. Bring pictures of your work or the real thing! All those interested are welcome. Sign up for your meeting time starting at 1:30 p.m.

For questions, e-mail

For more information about the exhibition, see


MAC Foundation continues free-rent theater program for local arts groups

The Mesa Arts Center Foundation, in cooperation with the Mesa Arts Center, is continuing to offer a limited number of “free-rent” dates in the Mesa Arts Center’s theaters. The dates will be available for use by local non-profit organizations who want to present arts and cultural education programs during the 2010/11 season. Not-for-profit educational institutions are also eligible for this offering.

The Foundation is currently soliciting proposals from local arts groups for its Arts and Cultural Education Sponsorship (“ACES”) Program. Priority will be given to applications received by Aug. 1.  An application is available at or by e-mailing

Sponsorships will be available for a single presentation on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday next season. The Foundation will underwrite the theater rental costs and facility restoration fees that are normally charged for groups performing at the Mesa Arts Center. Technical and Front-of-House staff service fees will be the responsibility of the successful applicants.

The selection of sponsorship recipients for next season will be made solely by the Mesa Arts Center Foundation.


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.


Ahwatukee Foothills Concert Band offers free summer concert

Mark your calendar to extend your Independence Day celebration week with the Ahwatukee Foothills Concert band on Thursday, July 8, at 7:30 p.m.  The concert will take place at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center (5001 East Cheyenne Drive) and, as usual, the seats will fill up quickly!

The band will take you on a tour into the greatest music of the American West, from film to the concert halls, with beloved folk tunes, Copland’s Rodeo and Hoe-Down, music from classic song-writers and much more. The band will also celebrate music from the stages of Broadway.

Then, celebrate our nation’s birthday (as well as the birthday of the band’s founder, Crawford McClue) by singing and clapping along with your favorite patriotic songs and marches celebrating our country and the men and women in uniform who so selflessly serve it.

The evening will be a monumental musical celebration that only a 60-piece ensemble of shimmering brass, winds and percussion can bring.


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.


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


Culture, creativity and cool activities fill Sizzlin’ Summer Saturdays

From exciting music and dance performances to an extravaganza of hands-on activities, artist demonstrations and free goody bags, Sizzlin’ Summer Saturdays gives kids and families a cool and creative way to spend Saturdays in July. Events will run from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 at the Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave. Everyone gets in free on Target Free Sizzlin’ Summer Saturdays, thanks to a grant from Target.

The official launching of a new book by Jana Mashonee, one of the biggest names in the Native music world, will take place at 2 p.m. July 24. Mashonee is a Grammy nominee and eight-time Native American Music Award winner in every major category including Artist of the Year. Her young adult book, American Indian Story – The Adventures of Sha’kona, is based on her bestselling album of the same name. After a short musical performance and discussion, she will sign copies of the book, which will be on sale as a book or book/CD combination.

For more information, call (602) 252-8848 or visit’.


Sheraton Wild Horse Pass, Heard Museum form unique partnership

The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa and the Heard Museum have forged a long-term partnership that will enhance both organizations and open the door for Arizona guests and residents looking to gain a distinct perspective about the cultures of Native People of the American Southwest. In the months ahead, the organizations will work hand-in-hand to offer several new elements of programming.

Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa will become the presenting sponsor for the Heard Museum’s Second Sunday programming through April 2011. This program began as a way for the Heard Museum to thank the community for 75 years of support and has remained as an ongoing tribute to the dynamic partnership between the museum and local residents. Nearly all Second Sundays of the month offer free admission to Arizona residents at both Heard Museum locations and, as a result of this partnership, will be free to all Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa guests when they show their resort room key.

Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa will join NU (Native + You) series presenter Chase to co-sponsor the July event. The evening series takes place on the third Friday of each month from 5:30 to 9 p.m., where visitors can enjoy free museum admission, outdoor courtyards, Heard Museum Café, the Berlin Gallery and Shop. There is also a cash bar and comfortable IKEA lounge. Local bands, salons with contemporary artists, DJs, artist demonstrators, activities, special speakers, authors and films are all a part of NU.

The two attractions will also partner to host a Native culinary celebration at the Heard Museum.

For more information, 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


Actors Theatre sets 2010/11 schedule

Actors Theatre will celebrate its 25th season at the Herberger Theater Center this year with the following schedule: In The Next Room (Or The Vibrator Play), Oct. 29 to Nov. 19; A Christmas Carol, Dec. 4 to 24; This, Jan. 21 to Feb. 6; Andy Warhol:  Good for the Jews?, March 4 to 20; and An Enemy of the People, April 22 to May 8.

Season tickets are on sale now. Single tickets are $25 each or $125 for the five-show package. Flex-pass packages also are available for three and four shows at $75 and $100.

For more information, call (602) 253-6701, Ext. 108 or visit

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