YouTube Karaoke with the Symphony

Phoenix Symphony patrons are invited to participate in the Symphony’s first “YouTube Karaoke” contest by videotaping themselves singing their favorite Billy Joel or Elton John songs, then posting their video on YouTube as a video response to the “Piano Men II starring Jim Witter” video.

The fan video that gets the highest ratings will receive a grand prize at The Phoenix Symphony’s Piano Men II concert, including four VIP tickets to the show on Oct. 9 at Symphony Hall, a meet and greet backstage with “Piano Man” Jim Witter and an autographed CD. The deadline to post videos is Oct. 7.


FastFrame hosting kid’s art contest

FastFrame stores are accepting artwork now through Nov. 14 for their inaugural art contest for kids. The theme is “My Favorite Place,” and the contest is open to children ages 6 to 10.

A first and second place winner will be chosen from each participating store. All first and second place winners will receive their artwork back custom framed, for free, with donated framing materials from Nielsen Bainbridge and the local store owner. One national winning artist will receive a $250 gift card for art supplies, with an additional $250 gift card for his/her school.

The nearest location is at 4232 E. Chandler Blvd.

For details, call (480) 759-7500 or e-mail


Pop sensations Jonnie and Brookie giving local concert

Radio Disney’s “Next Big Thing” pop sensations Jonnie and Brookie will hold a benefit concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, at Mountain View Lutheran Church to help raise funds for the Music Ministry. The annual Chili Cook-Off will also be held.

Jonnie and Brookie are local girls who have made it big. Their music has a fun pop feel. Both play electric, acoustic and bass guitars while filling in with piano and drums. They have been performing across the country since they were 3 and 5 years old, and their mission is to be good role models for our youth and to show them that it’s cool to help others, have good character and to make a difference. This year they were voted Radio Disney’s Next Big Thing. They’ve released seven CDs and are working on a new release for 2009. To learn more about them, visit

Tickets to the concert are $5 and include dinner. Tickets are available at the church office at 11002 S. 48th St., before and after weekend services and at the door the day of the concert.

For information or reservations, call Jennifer Sheldon at (480) 893-2579 or e-mail


Concert series to rock the Arizona State Fair

The 2009 Arizona State Fair Concert Series will be held in the Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the state fairgrounds at 19th Avenue and McDowell Road in Phoenix.

On the schedule are Bob Dylan, Oct. 17; Stone Temple Pilots, Oct. 18; Lady Antebellum, Oct. 21; The Black Crowes, Oct. 22; ABBA: THE MUSIC, Oct. 23; John Michael Montgomery & The Honky Tonk Tailgate Party 2009, featuring Mark Wills, Jeff Bates and Trent Willmon, Oct. 24; NWA Wrestling Showcase, Oct. 25; Raven-Symone, Oct. 28; Old School Jam Presents Freestyle Explosion, featuring Stevie B., Lisa Lisa, Debbie Deb, Shannon and Trinere, Oct. 30; Creation Festival: The Tour, featuring Jars of Clay & Thousand Foot Krutch, Oct. 31; Rodney Atkins with Julianne Hough, Nov. 1; David Cook, Nov. 3; Arizona Derby Dames all girl roller derby, Nov. 5 (all seats free); Little Big Town & Billy Currington, Nov. 6; and Kelly Clarkson, Nov. 7.

General admission seating at the concerts is free with fair admission on a first-come, first-served basis the day of the show. Reserved seat tickets are available at the Coliseum box office (walk-up only) and through Ticketmaster at (480) 784-4444, or through Ticketmaster outlets. Reserved seat tickets do require the purchase of a separate Fair admission.

For information, visit


‘The President’s Own’ U.S. Marine Band offers free concert at MAC

“The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band, America’s oldest professional musical organization, will present a free performance filled with tradition and fanfare at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, at Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa.

The performance is free, but tickets are required by calling (480) 644-6500 or visiting


110 local artisans showcase original artwork

Mesa Contemporary Arts will host its first Benefit Show & Sale from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, at Mesa Arts Center, One East Main St., Mesa. Admission is $10, free for Mesa Contemporary Arts members. To become a member, call Tiffany at (480) 644-6562.



Progressive Insurance named title sponsor of Broadway Across America-Arizona

Broadway Across America-Arizona has announced that Progressive Insurance is the title sponsor for the 2009-10 Broadway Season at Arizona State University’s Gammage Auditorium. The season opened last week with the smash-hit Legally Blonde The Musical.

This season features some of Broadway’s most recent Tony Award-winning shows combined with Broadway smash hits including Mary Poppins, In The Heights, August Osage County, Phantom and Avenue Q.

Mini-subscriptions include four shows and start at just $61.40. Mini-subscribers are assured priority seating, great seats for every show, priority ticket offers for special Broadway engagements, plus additional benefits, ticket exchange privileges and lost ticket insurance.

To purchase tickets, call 1-800-982-ARTS (2787) or visit


Heard Museum continues Community Second Sundays

The Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., is offering free admission to Arizona residents on the second Sunday of most months, beginning in October. In addition, the Heard is partnering with local Valley nonprofit organizations and charities to give back to the community. Visitors to the museum, whether free or paid admission, who bring an item will receive a coupon for 2-for-1 admission when they next visit.

This fall, the Heard is asking the public to aid three very special organizations:

• Sunday, Oct. 11: Bring a household item or non-perishable food item for Ronald McDonald House. This organization provides housing for families of children who are patients at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Visit for a list of needs.

• Sunday, Nov. 8: Bring a personal item (such as grooming items) or a household item to aid veterans and their families. The donations will assist veterans who are hospitalized or in other need and to their families who are staying in apartments nearby the Phoenix Veterans’ Hospital.

• Sunday, Dec. 13: Bring an unwrapped toy to help provide a merry holiday for underprivileged American Indian children in the Valley.

For additional information, call (602) 252-8840 or visit


ASU Día de los Muertos celebration

The 10th Annual Día de los Muertos Festival Exhibit will run Oct. 12 to Jan. 8 at the Arizona State University Museum of Anthropology, SHESC Building, on the Tempe campus. The gallery will be filled with traditional altars, cajitas (small traveling altars) and artwork celebrating this unique holiday and its 10th anniversary. Admission is free.

An opening reception will be held 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 29, in which Dr. Carmen King will present “Searching for Origins: Day of the Dead in Colonial Mexico” at 6 p.m., followed by music, food and a performance. The event is free and open to the public.

Día de los Muertos: An Ancient Tradition in the 21st Century: A Panel Discussion will take place from 4 to 5:15 p.m. Oct. 24 at Xico, Inc., 44 S. San Marcos Place, Chandler. A panel of artists and scholars will discuss issues related to the holiday. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit


Lisa Williams presents ‘Messages From Beyond’

Lisa Williams is an internationally acclaimed medium and clairvoyant who has an amazing ability to communicate with loved ones and friends whom have passed on to the “other side.” She is appearing at Mesa Arts Center’s Ikeda Theater on Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, $35 to $60, are available by calling (480) 644-6500 or online at


International Horror & Sci Fi Film Festival at MADCAP Theaters

Arizona’s Premier Genre Film Festival, the International Horror and Sci Fi Film Festival 2009, will take place Oct. 15 to 18 at MADCAP Theaters, 730 S. Mill Avenue, Tempe.

The Festival will kick off on Thursday with an Opening Night Event featuring a screening of Starship Troopers with a special guest appearance by the film’s star Casper Van Dien (Johnny Rico).

Then on Friday three screens will feature some of the best in independent horror and sci-fi flicks, including the original Night of the Living Dead that night with a special guest appearance from Judith O’Dea (Barbra). Films will continue into the night, featuring retro and late night fare. The Friday Night Bash will feature the Gore Girl Competition.

On Saturday the finest will be continue to be screened as the competition films take center stage. Marilyn Burns will be inducted into the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival Hall of Fame that night and there will be a screening her classic film, Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Later that night will be the Saturday Night Costume Party featuring a cash prize costume contest. Bring out your best costumes.

On Sunday the films continue to roll on three screens. More indie and retro titles will be scattered throughout the day. The Closing Night Film will be followed by the Closing Night Party with awards.

Call (602) 955-6444 for more information.


Out to Lunch free fall concert series at MAC

Enjoy the beautiful fall weather and local music during Mesa Arts Center’s free outdoor concerts from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Thursdays Oct. 22 to Dec. 17 in the Wells Fargo Garden, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. Chairs and lawn seating are available, but guests are encouraged to bring stadium cushions and blankets. Brown bags and picnic baskets are welcome. All Out to Lunch concerts are free and open to the public.

Performers include Sandy Oglesby + Friend (storytelling), Oct. 22; Nosotrosound (traditional music from Latin America), Oct. 29; Paul McDermand (steel drum), Nov. 5; That Kool Band (rock and pop favorites from the 50s, 60s and 70s), Nov. 12; Chris and Lena Jacome (Flamenco guitar and dance), Nov. 19; Pete Pancrazi Trio, Dec. 3; Carolyn Sills and the Poor Man’s Roses (music of Patsy Cline), Dec. 10; and Salt River Brass Quintet (classic and pop favorites), Dec. 17.

Guests may combine their lunchtime visit with a free visit to Mesa Contemporary Arts, the five visual arts galleries at Mesa Arts Center.

For more information, call (480) 644-6500 or visit


Duo to present Shanks for the Memories”

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Bob Pasch and Lynn “Win” Roberts will present “Shanks for the Memories,” a golf tribute to Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, on Friday, Oct. 23, at the Foothills Golf Club, 2201 E. Clubhouse Drive.

Pasch is known as the most outstanding bing Crosby Tribute Artist in the industry. He has won multiple awards and delighted audiences throughout the United States and Australia with his good, clean humor and remarkable likeness in sound, appearance and mannerisms of the great master, Bing Crosby.

Roberts is recognized as the most outstanding Bob Hope impersonator in the industry. He developed a variety show in 1964 and began to impersonate not only Hope but also Red Skelton, Jack Benny and Jimmy Durante. He also has won numerous awards and has performed throughout the country as well as in commercials, on radio, television and industry programs.

The evening tees off with a cash bar from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by a Front Nine dinner at 7 p.m. and the Back Nine show. The show centers around golf, music and humor. Door prizes will also be given away.

Tickets are $38 each, and reservations are required. To purchase tickets, stop by the golf pro shop or call (480) 460-5350. For more information, pictures and video clips, visit


Mesa Storytelling Festival Oct. 23 and 24

The seventh annual Mesa Storytelling Festival will be held at the Mesa Arts Center, One East Main St., Mesa.

The schedule includes “Tried and True” at 3 p.m. and “Best of the West” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and “Humor Us” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. In addition to these main concerts, the festival includes a free storytelling festival starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, which features vendor booths and storytelling concerts.

Headed by well-known storytellers from around the nation, the festival also includes Arizona and youth tellers.

To purchase tickets or for more information, call (480) 644-6500 or visit


Talk Cinema Film Series opens Oct. 27

The popular Talk Cinema film series will present its first screening of the 2009-10 season at 7 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale. The “surprise” film will be an award-winning entry from the Sundance Film Festival.

Future screenings will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 17, Dec. 14, Jan. 19, Feb. 9, March 16, April 27 and May 11.

Single tickets are available for $20 ($18 for members, $10 for students with current ID) through the box office at (480) 994-ARTS (2787) or online at


Viesturs kicks off National Geographic at MAC Oct. 28

America’s most acclaimed mountaineer, Ed Viesturs, will kick off the 2009-10 National Geographic Live Arizona speaker series at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, at Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. Called “the ultimate climbing machine” by Men’s Journal, preeminent alpinist Ed Viesturs has successfully ascended Mount Everest seven times, mostly recently in May 2008. Join him as he shares his awe-inspiring experiences and stories of determination and accomplishment.

Tickets - $26 to $38 - are available at or by calling (480) 644-6500.

A free student program will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, at the same location. Seating is limited, and registration is required at


Grand Canyon State Games hosting annual art contest

The Grand Canyon State Games Art Contest promotes creativity through art as an effective method for artists across the nation to express their dreams and ideas for a successful life and a better community.

Draw, paint, decoupage, be innovative artistically as the challenge is on to use creativity and imaginations to put this year’s themes into art. Themes range from topics on Character Education, being Tobacco and Alcohol free, to the importance of taking care of your bodies in a healthy manner and the importance of practicing peace in your everyday life.

The contest is free, and entries will be judged on originality, theme interpretation and use of media. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded to the top winners from each grade, kindergarten to 12, and two adult categories (ages 19 to 49, and 50 and up). Brochures are available by calling the Grand Canyon State Games office at (480) 517-9700 or online at The deadline to submit entries is Oct. 30.


Storytelling at the ‘Buzz

The South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute will host the next storytelling event from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, at The CoffeeBuzz, 4804 E. Chandler Blvd., Suite 110. The story theme this month is A Cornucopia of Tales. The next event will be held Dec. 7 (Happy Holidays).

Even though these sessions are called “Stories for Grownups,” everyone is welcome. Coffee and good food are available, and there is no cover charge.

For more information, or if you would like to participate, e-mail Kelly Davis at or visit


Chandler Center for the Arts announces 2009-10 season

The Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave., is celebrating its 20th Anniversary Season with the following line up this season:

• The magnificent Zoppé An Italian Family Circus Since 1842 will take place under the Big Top on the west lawn at various times Dec. 26 to Jan. 3, 2010. The New Year’s Eve show will be a celebration and includes party favors.  

• Sprinkled throughout the season will be the Rhythms of LIFE series - a unique collection of powerful and personal stories of the most celebrated artists in history. The series begins at 3 p.m. and includes “Pardon My English” Gershwin By Ira Jan. 10, “Love Letters: From Beethoven to Bernstein” Feb. 14 and “Copland and Me” April 11.

• Family entertainment continues with Red Grammer who will perform at 4 p.m. Feb. 6.  

• If you who love renowned artists like Andrea Bocelli, Il Divo or Josh Groban, then you will love the Canadian “popera” sensation Destino, who will perform at 8 p.m. Feb. 19.

• Magician Richard Steele will give performances at 2 and 5 p.m. Feb. 28.

• Ellen Snortland’s Now That She’s Gone will be on stage March 10 to 14.

Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding will run March 23 to 28, and members of the audience will play the roles of family and friends. The all-inclusive evening features eating, drinking and conversation.

• Yu Wei will perform at 7 p.m. April 17. Yu Wei’s dance art features music and costumes from China and around the world.

For complete details, visit


Fall at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., is offering a variety of programs this fall, including ongoing performances of Late Nite Catechism III: ’Til Death Do Us Part (8 p.m. Saturdays) and Late Nite Catechism (8 p.m. Fridays).

Other events: 8 p.m. Oct. 24, ARTrageous, featuring Kristin Chenoweth; 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25, 2009-10 Virginia G. Piper Concert Series: Haochen Zhang, Gold Medalist – 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (2009); Talk Cinema, 7 p.m. Oct. 27, Nov. 17, Dec. 14, Jan. 19, Feb. 9, March 16, April 27 and May 11; and 8 p.m. Oct. 30, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble.

For details, call the box office at (480) 994-ARTS (2787), ext. 2 or visit


MAC events

Events at the Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa: Out to Lunch, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 29; Dia De Los Muertos Celebration, 10 5 p.m. Oct. 31, noon to 5 p.m. Nov. 1; FOMA Collects, through Nov. 15 (the exhibit showcases the best in Mexican folk art from the private collections of Friends of Mexican Art members); and Conexiones, Contemporary Works by Mexican Artists, through Jan. 3 (this exhibition demonstrates the kind of artwork being produced today by Mexico’s foremost emerging and established artists).

For information, visit


VYT auditioning for A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail and 13

Valley Youth Theatre, 525 N. First St., will hold auditions for A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail and 13 starting at 4 p.m. Oct. 20 and 22.

Based on the beloved stories by A.A. Milne, A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail has become a holiday tradition at VYT, now in its 14th season. 13, a new musical with an unforgettable rock score from Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown, is a hilarious, high energy musical for all ages about discovering that cool is where you find it … and sometimes where you least expect it.

There is no fee to participate in main stage productions, but parents and families are asked to help with set construction, costumes and front of house during rehearsals and the run of the show.

Winnie the Pooh performance dates are Dec. 4 to 23, and performances of 13 are Jan. 29 to Feb. 14 at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St.

For audition details, a schedule of show dates and times or ticket information, call (602) 253-8188, ext. 4, or visit


Sonoran Desert Chorale announces upcoming season

Inspired with optimism, the Sonoran Desert Chorale has themed its new season “How Can I Keep From Singing”? and features a year of heart-lifting, infectious songs designed to entertain audiences.

Saturday evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 15 E. First Ave., Mesa, and Sunday afternoon performances will be at 3 p.m. at Paradise Valley Methodist Church, 4455 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley.

The schedule includes: How Can I Keep From Singing?, Oct. 10 and 11; Singing Together – A Holiday Tradition, Dec. 12 and 13; Song, Go On!  A Tribute to the Music of Canada, Feb. 27 and 28; and Music of Fame and Fortune – the Stage and Screen, May 1 and 2.

Tickets are available by calling (480) 305-4538 and will also be available 30 minutes prior to each concert at the door. Visit for more information.


Upcoming theater season at MCC

The Theatre Arts & Film Department at Mesa Community College will present the following performances at Theatre Outback, 1833 W. Southern Ave., Mesa: The Overcoat, Oct. 8 to 11; Blood Wedding, Dec. 3 to 6; The Great White Hope, Feb. 25 to 28; and To Gillian on her 37th Birthday, April 29 to May 2.

Tickets are $15 for the public; $12 for faculty, staff and alumni; and $10 for students and seniors. For information or tickets, call the box office at (480) 461-7170 from noon to 5 p.m. weekdays.


Set a “PlayDate with Chrysalis” and see Childsplay’s Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!

Chrysalis, together with Childsplay will host the exclusive Valley debut of Childsplay’s Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! on Dec. 5 at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe. The unique “fun-raising” event includes a day at Tempe Center for the Arts, the performance, a concession treat, interactive activities and a silent auction with proceeds going to the Chrysalis shelter. The reception will begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by a 1 p.m. performance.

Tickets are $25 per person, with proceeds going to support Chrysalis’ array of services to families and individuals affected by domestic violence. Services include crisis shelter, transitional housing, outpatient counseling, offender treatment, victim advocacy and lay-legal support.

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