Who knew Scrooge was such a great dancer?
As the curmudgeonly character from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” actor Robert Kolby Harper does the running man, the cabbage patch, the dab, and even twerks. It’s hilarious – as it’s meant to be in this shake-and-bake parody of the classic from improv comedy enterprise Second City – but it’s also impressive, because the dude has some seriously sweet moves.
#1: “Mamma Mia!” at ASU Gammage, December 6-11
Experience all the audio magic of ABBA -- from “Dancing Queen” to “Super Trouper” -- interwoven into a humorous and heartwarming story of friendship when this Broadway hit’s “farewell tour” takes a final run in Tempe. $15-$225. Visit website for show times. December 6-11 at ASU Gammage. asugammage.com/shows/2016-17-special-engagements/mamma-mia
Since emerging from the punk underground with Black Flag in the 1980s, Henry Rollins has been a pop culture super force; aside from musician, he can list writer, DJ, and actor on his packed resume. Currently, he’s in the midst of a 13 month spoken word tour, which hits Crescent Ballroom on December 3rd and 4th, and finds the outspoken punk icon speaking his mind each night.
PHOENIX Magazine interviewed Rollins before the 2016 election but that didn’t stop the conversation from getting political.
Award winning writer and Phoenix native Stella Pope Duarte’s new book, Raul H. Yzaguirre: Seated at the Table of Power, is the adventure tale we've loved reading since our first chapterbooks as kids... except hers is a nonfiction account of Raul Yzaguirre, prominent civil rights activist, former U.S. ambassador to the Domincan Republic, and presidential professor of practice in community development and civil rights at ASU. We spoke with Duarte ahead of her book signing, tomorrow, Dec. 1, in Mesa.
#1: Marilyn Szabo’s “Life & Death: Portraits” exhibition at monOrchid, December 2
For more than 25 years, Marilyn Szabo captured with her camera portraits of luminaries like Allen Ginsberg, Mohammad Ali, and Ray Manzarek, along with photographing people in her artistic and familial life, including sculptor Klaus Ihlenfeld and her mother and friends. Several of Szabo’s most striking and revealing images are featured in the exhibition “Life & Death: Portraits.” Free. Opening reception at 6 p.m., December 2 at monOrchid. The exhibition runs through December 26. monorchid.com
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There are few things I enjoy more in this world than copious amounts of comfort food and day drinking. And (I feel you reading this, Mom) quality family time, of course.
I like that it's the only holiday I can recall that feels distinctly American. Tangent: 10 years ago, I was studying abroad in England over the holiday and my host university attempted to cook us homesick Americans Thanksgiving dinner. It was a lovely gesture but no amount of dried out turkey breast and typically British, flavorless sweet potato pie could replace the epic meals we'd grown up with.
I suppose part of that is because Thanksgiving often falls close after Election Day, forcing far flung relatives of differing political persuasions into perilously cramped kitchens, paving the way for an innocent gravy burning to morph into a familial battle royale over who voted for who. Ahhh, the sweet smell of Democracy.
But most of all, I love that it's the everyman's holiday – about nothing more than friends and family coming together and sharing a really good meal. No required gift giving, no obnoxious music and nary a jingle bell in sight.
The PHOENIX Magazine offices are closed Thursday and Friday so we can recover from that third helping of pumpkin pie. In lieu of regularly scheduled blogs, we're instead giving you this round-up of Thanksgiving odds and ends from around the Valley.
From all of us here at PHOENIX, happy Thanksgiving!
#1: John Cleese & Eric Idle at Mesa Arts Center, November 21
The “Monty Python” icons will mix scripted scenes and improv with musical numbers, storytelling and “aquatic juggling” for a night of hilarious and brilliant British comedy. $63.50-$103.50. 7:30 p.m. November 21 at Mesa Arts Center. mesaartscenter.com
She's taken the form of Paige Davis, Broadway performer and former host of TLC's Trading Spaces, and is here (along with a couple of Her angels) to answer some of the biggest questions known to man, including the big papa: Why is masturbation a sin?
From Arizona Theatre Company, the first female production of the Broadway hit An Act of God debuts at Phoenix's Herberger Theater this weekend after a successful three week run in Tucson. Directed by four-time Academy Award nominee and two-time Golden Globe winner Marsha Mason, An Act of God is adapted from former The Daily Show with Jon Stewart writer and executive producer David Javerbaum's book The Last Testament: A Memoir By God. We caught up with Mason over the phone to talk shop.*
#1: Ringo Starr at Celebrity Theatre, November 15
The former Fab Four drummer brings his solo songs and some Beatles hits to Celebrity Theatre, with his All Starr Band on backup. This tour’s lineup includes Todd Rundgren, Steve Lukather (Toto), Gregg Rolie (Santana), Richard Page (Mr. Mister), and Gregg Bissonette (David Lee Roth’s band). Fans can expect to hear a spectrum of hits from “Africa” to “Black Magic Woman” to “Yellow Submarine” in the intimate setting at Celebrity Theatre, where no seat is farther than 70 feet from the stage. $67-$127. 7:30 p.m. November 15 at Celebrity Theatre. celebritytheatre.com
Though Mindy Tarquini’s debut novel Hindsight has nothing to do with hospitals, it was in a children’s hospital in Philadelphia where she realized her desire to write it. Tarquini was working as an ultrasound technician when she noticed a patient’s mother – who, considering the circumstances, hardly ever smiled – reading Peter Mayle’s “A Year in Provence” and bursting with laughter. She wondered what it would be like to write something so cheerful it could help someone transcend their current circumstances, as grim as they may be, for even a few moments. That thought guided her while writing Hindsight. Tarquini describes her novel as “a layered contemporary fable” about a woman from a tight-knit Italian American family who has the ability to remember all of her past lives and how the lessons learned therein dictate how she lives in the present.
Hindsight, released Tuesday, has already received high praise. Tarquini is originally a native of Philadelphia but now resides in the Valley. She will be hosting her first-ever book signing and reading at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix this evening (Wednesday) at 7 p.m. We chatted with the author about her inspirations for the novel.
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