Ahwatukee Foothills’ The Nutcracker

This year marks the 10th anniversary production of Ahwatukee Foothills’ The Nutcracker Ballet, and performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19 in the Desert Vista High School Fine Arts Theater, 16440 S. 32nd St.

The sets will come to life as the theater is filled with falling snow, angels dancing on clouds and a Christmas tree that grows through the roof of the theater.

Santa Claus will make a special visit following the 2 p.m. Saturday performance. The audience will also be invited on stage for an opportunity to take photographs on Clara’s Throne in the Land of Sweets and to meet and get autographs from the cast.

This holiday classic is for the entire family and features young dancers ages 3 to 22 from around the Valley.

Tickets are currently on sale at Kimberly Lewis School of Dance, 3820 E. Ray Road, Suite 8, or by calling (480) 706-6040 or e-mailing ahwatukeenutcracker@yahoo.com.

For more information, visit http://afnutcracker.com.


ACT presenting  A Christmas Carol

Ahwatukee Children’s Theatre will present A Christmas Carol Dec. 11 to 20, featuring great music and a heart-warming tale. This version is based on the Muppets A Christmas Carol and includes original songs by ACT Executive Director Michele Rubino.

The show is suitable for all kids and their families and will take place at the theater, located at 5051 E. Elliot Road. Curtain times are 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12; 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13; 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20.

Tickets, $15, go on sale Nov. 15 and will be available at the theater or by calling (480) 705-9319. For more information, visit www.azact.org.


Human Collage at MADCAP

Artists and musicians from all parts of the Phoenix and as far as Austin, Texas, have united through the Human Collage to concentrate their creativity into a social mixer event of live music, art and performance fusion called Human Collage – Can you Feel Me? The event will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, at MADCAP Theaters, 730 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, and feature artists Access Zero, Hardwire, Tobie Milford, Mr. Meeble, Fuego, Metacoustiq, The Whisperlights, V-Machine and many more. 

Tickets – $10 pre-sale, $12 at the door – are available at humancollage.org and madcaptheaters.com. All proceeds from the Human Collage events will go to benefit a local charity, project or foundation focused in bringing a positive impact to our community through the arts. For the first event, the local charity selected is Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Foundation.


Fall recitals for Music Maker Workshops open to all

Music Maker Workshops, LLC is having its annual fall recitals from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, at Mountain Park Community Church, 2408 E. Pecos Road.

More than 350 local talented musicians will participate. There will be 12 recitals total, each approximately one hour in length, starting on the hour. All participants take local weekly lessons with instruments ranging from piano, voice, guitar or string instruments.

No tickets are required, and the recitals are free and open to the public.

For more information on recitals, lessons, kindermusik or weekly Rockstar classes, call (480) 706-1224 or visit www.musicmakerworkshops.com.


Calling past ‘Annie’ performers

Arizona State University Gammage and the national touring company of Annie is looking for any past cast members from the Broadway production of Annie that played in New York from 1977 to 1997. The Annie tour will be returning to ASU Gammage Dec. 29 through Jan. 3.

The current cast of Annie is extending an invitation to all former cast members to join them for a special reunion event here in Arizona this December.

If you were a part of the cast, contact ASU Gammage at (480) 965-1884 or press@asugammage.com by Dec. 20.


Ornament Marketplace at the Heard Museum

The Heard Museum Shop at Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., will host its annual Ornament Marketplace and holiday shopping event Nov. 27 to 29.

More than 20 talented Native artists have crafted ornaments featuring carved wood, miniature baskets, pottery and beads just for this event. Enjoy live music, book signings and hot cider.

Grammy nominated musician and Canyon Records recording artist Aaron White, Navajo/Ute, will perform and sign his many CD titles from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday. Writer and academy award winning film-maker Tom Van Dyke will sign his book, A Cowboy Christmas: An American Tale, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Friday. From noon to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dr. George Blue Spruce, Laguna/Ohkay Owingeh, will sign his autobiography, Searching for My Des tiny.

Admission to the marketplace is free. For more information, call (602) 252-8344 or visit www.heard.org/Ornaments.


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, and the December lineup includes: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1, Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel: Chopin for Lovers; Dec. 1 to 27 (7:30 p.m. Tuesdays to Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays), Sister’s Christmas Catechism; 8 p.m. Dec. 4, Yo-Yo Ma; 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 5, The Golden Dragon Acrobats; 8 p.m. Dec. 12, Kenny Barron Trio; and 8 p.m. Dec. 19, Windham Hill’s Winter Solstice: Night Sky Essays.

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


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: 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.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Jodie Weisenberg at (602) 955-9059.


Phoenix Children’s Chorus announces 2009-10 season

The renowned Phoenix Children’s Chorus has announced its 25th Anniversary Season. The chorus is comprised young singers from second to 12 grades in four distinct choirs.

The upcoming season includes: 25th Anniversary Holiday Concert, Dec. 5, 2 and 7 p.m., St. Agnes Church; Phoenix Children’s Chorus Dinner Gala, April 24, Memorial Hall at Indian Steele Park; 25th Anniversary Celebration Concert, May 22, 7 p.m., Ikeda Theater at Mesa Center for the Arts; and 25th Anniversary Tour to China, June 2010, Shanghai, Zhengzhou and Beijing.

Season tickets are on sale now by calling (602) 534-3788. Individual performance tickets will go on sale Nov. 10 by calling the number above or through Ticketmaster. For more information, visit www.phoenixchildrenschorus.org.


Phoenix Suns Charities announces 2010 Suns & Stars Gala 

Phoenix Suns Charities invites Valley residents to rub elbows with Phoenix Suns players, coaches and alumni at the annual Suns & Stars gala on Saturday, March 13, at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, 340 N. Third St. Guests will also enjoy entertainment, dinner and much more.

Tickets are now on sale. All proceeds will benefit Phoenix Suns Charities, which works to improve the lives of Arizona youth and families. Other sponsorship table options are available as well as limited individual tickets.

For more information, call (602) 379-7767 or e-mail sburgus@suns.com.


Jazz Cabaret Series to feature top Valley vocalists

The Jazz Cabaret Series is under way and will continue every Monday night through December at Monti’s La Casa Vieja, 100 S. Mill Ave., Tempe.

All performances run from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Show up early for good seats to see and hear the following: Dec. 7, Dennis Rowland and the Jazz Experience; Dec. 14, “Tribute to Chet Baker” featuring trumpet greats Fred Forney, Dmitri Matheny & Denny Monce; and Dec. 21, Judy Roberts and Friends Celebrate the Holidays.

Tickets are $8 (cash only) at the door. Student discount tickets are $5. For more information, call (480) 966-0812 or visit www.SouthwestArtistManagement.com/TempeJazz.html.


Phoenix Children’s Chorus hosting auditions

On Tuesday, Dec. 8, the Phoenix Children’s Chorus will hold auditions for boys and girls, second through 8th grades, for the 2009-10 season. Auditions will begin at 6 p.m. at the Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 N. Third St.

No prior choral training is required – applicants need only possess a clear, pleasant singing voice and the desire to learn. There is no fee to audition.

The choir has over 200 children in two training choirs and two touring choirs. This award winning chorus has performed throughout Europe and Russian and has taken top honors at the World Choral Olympics. The touring choirs will be traveling to China for a three-city tour in June 2010.

For more information or to schedule an audition, visit www.phoenixchildrenschorus.org  or call (602) 534-3788.


Sonoran Desert Chorale

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: 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 www.sonorandesertchorale.org for more information.


Music & Music Business Seminar coming up

Vocalists, instrumentalists and those interested in the music industry are invited to participate in the Music & Music Business Seminar set for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 18 and 19 at the Phoenix Mesa Marriott, 200 N. Centennial Way in Mesa. The seminar also includes a concert Saturday evening, as well as personal auditions and individualized feedback with renowned artists Marvin Goldstein and Randy Kartchner. The cost is $160 per attendee for those who sign up before Nov. 30 and $200 after that date. Participants will learn about the various aspects of the music business from industry professionals in a values-based, family atmosphere. 

The event is sponsored by Adelaide Music Group. Registraion is available online at www.theadelaidemusicgroup.com or by calling (480) 766-0381.

The “You’re All I Want for Christmas” concert starring Goldstein, as well as actor and songwriter Kirby Heyborne and classical vocalist Sarah Morgann will begin at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 and 18 at the Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main St. in Mesa. Tickets are $25 and $35 and are available at the MAC box office, online at www.mesaartscenter.com or by calling (480) 644-6500.


2009 PacTour features Saosin, P.O.S. and Innerpartysystem

PacSun, the clothing store inspired by the California lifestyle, has kicked off is 2009 tour featuring Saosin, P.O.S. and Innerpartysystem with opening act Eye Alaska, and will make a stop on Friday, Dec. 18, at The Marquee Theater, 730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe.

PacSun stores near each tour stop will play host to PacTour bands each day of the tour for free. Innerpartysystem is scheduled to perform at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at the Chandler Fashion Center store at 3499 W. Chandler Blvd. in Chandler. Not only can fans show up for the performance and meet and greet, but this year Ernie Ball will be giving away a free guitar at every in-store performance.

For more information on the PacTour, visit pacsun.com/pactour.


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 www.chandlercenter.org.


ACT hosting free golf event

The Ahwatukee Children’s Theatre will hold its annual golf event on Saturday, Jan. 30, at the Foothills Golf Club.

Golfers must raise a minimum of $300 to golf for free. Golfers/fundraisers with $500 to $999 in donations will be awarded a $50 gift card, and a $100 gift card will be awarded for every $1,000 raised. Prizes will also be awarded for “longest drive” and “closest to the pin” winners. Each golfer will also be treated to lunch.

Now is the time to register as it will take time to gather donations. Golfers may register at http://miraclegolfconcepts.com, then click “I am playing in a golf tournament.” Remember that your event is “Ahwatukee Children’s Theatre.”

For more information, call (480) 705-9319 or e-mail actregister@yahoo.com.


Phoenix Opera begins 3rd season

Phoenix Opera will present two of the world’s best-loved operas, Bizet’s Carmen Nov. 6 and 8 and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly Feb. 12 and 14, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St.

Tickets are available at Ticketmaster or by calling (602) 262-7272.


Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival expands

After a year of negotiations, the 13-year-old Phoenix Jewish Film Festival and the five-year-old East Valley Jewish Film Festival have merged.

This year’s festival gets under way Feb. 20, with a total of 10 films being shown at two geographically spaced venues - Harkins Chandler Crossroads off Route 202 and the Harkins Camelview 5 in Scottsdale.

For further information, visit www.gpjff.org.


Amateur film-makers invited to enter contest

A new collaboration between the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival and the New Israel Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix has resulted in the creation of the Scholastic Film Contest.

The contest is open to all amateur scholastic film-makers in the United States. Film-makers do not have to be Jewish to enter the contest, but must fall into the following two grade levels for which one winner will be selected for each level – Level 1, high school students grades 9 to 12; and Level 2, undergraduate or graduate students at any college or university.

Submitted films must be no longer than 10 minutes and of obvious Jewish content or reflect issues related to any cultural, political historical, religious, geographical or any other aspects of Jewish life.

The deadline for submissions is Feb. 15.

For complete details, e-mail Roni Zee at Ronizee@cox.net.


Indian Market continues to combine innovation with tradition

The 52nd Annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market, “Where Art Meets Entertainment,” will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 6 and 7 at the Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave.

The world-acclaimed festival draws nearly 20,000 visitors and more than 700 of the nation’s most outstanding and successful American Indian artists.

The Fair is the perfect place for families wishing to enjoy a cultural and inexpensive weekend of music, entertainment and food. Festival goers can enjoy an array of American Indian music and dance performances in the museum’s outdoor amphitheater throughout the weekend. A variety of foods including American Indian favorites like fry bread, posole stew, piki bread and Hopi stew as well as Mexican and American fare tempt the tastebuds. There’s even gelato available to satisfy every sweet tooth.

This year’s Fair honors the clans, tribes and arts of the Apache peoples.

For information, visit www.heard.org/fair or call (602) 252-8848.

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