Arts & Culture Preview

Editorial StaffSeptember 22, 2020
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Following an abrupt pandemic shutdown last spring, performing arts companies and museums are raising the curtain on a dynamic new season.

Due to concerns regarding the coronavirus we recommend that you confirm information before making plans by calling the listed phone number or checking the website.

Kodo at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts; Photo by Takashi Okamoto
Kodo at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts; Photo by Takashi Okamoto

The coronavirus pandemic brought traditional arts to a screeching halt last spring as theaters and museums dimmed the lights for an unexpected and l-o-n-g intermission. Before the dominoes started to fall, all of these venues were in the throes of events, rehearsals, set design and full-scale productions. Exhibitions closed abruptly, performances were postponed and concerts were canceled.

However, as P.T. Barnum famously said, “The show must go on.” And for most, the show will go on, just maybe not right now. Arizona Theatre Company, Ballet Arizona and ASU Gammage will remain dark until the new year. The Phoenix Symphony has pushed its season to the fall of 2021. Virtual productions have become commonplace. Some venues have adapted to courtyard settings, drive-in performances and other creative solutions.

Although plans are up in the air for many in this age of COVID-19, arts companies and museums are pushing forward, determined to raise the curtain. They are doing what it takes to make sure that once the coronavirus crisis is over, the house lights will turn on, thought-provoking works of art will be displayed and your ticket will be waiting for you.

Here’s a preview of events to mark on your calendar:

Musical Instrument Museum

4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix
An enduring source of inspiration, the 200,000-square-foot MIM invites guests to experience the joy of music making with a wealth of exhibits featuring more than 7,000 instruments and artifacts from around the world. New displays debuted when the museum reopened in August, including a 14-foot pipe organ recently installed in the Orientation Gallery and a 1922 Steinway piano and stage outfit owned by Grammy Award-winning singer and musical icon Roberta Flack added to the Artist Gallery.

Photo courtesy MIM
Photo courtesy MIM

Congo Masks and Music: Masterpieces from Central Africa, which provides a glimpse into the dramatic and lively masquerade traditions of Central Africa with a collection of more than 150 striking and rare masks, instruments and costumes from the late 1800s to early 1900s, has been extended through Sept. 30, 2021.

Virtual programs include Mini Music Makers online classes that allow little ones to explore music from around the globe through song, dance and play; virtual field trips guided by MIM’s education team; and Creative Aging sessions for people living with memory loss.

Music aficionadas will be happy to learn that while concerts are currently in a holding pattern at MIM, tentative plans are in the works for a superb lineup of renowned and emerging artists to grace the stage soon. One of the city’s best-sounding auditoriums, the cozy but plush 300-seat MIM Music Theater entices visitors with its distinctive architecture and dazzles with spacious seating and state-of-the-art acoustics. Approximately 200 artists appear each year, including many who have rarely, if ever, been seen in Phoenix.

Phoenix Art Museum

1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-257-1222
A vibrant destination for the visual arts and the largest museum in the southwestern United States, Phoenix Art Museum reopens for members on Oct. 1
and the general public, Oct. 14. Top national and international exhibitions are shown alongside the museum’s collection of more than 20,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, photography and fashion design spanning many cultures, media and periods. Here is a preview of exhibits gracing the walls:

-> India: Fashion’s Muse, through Oct. 25

-> Philip C. Curtis and the Landscapes of Arizona, through Dec. 31

-> Joseph Cornell: Things Unseen, through Dec. 31

-> Color Vibrations, through Dec. 31

-> Sweet Land of Funk, through Dec. 31

-> American Abstraction from the ’30s and ’40s, through Dec. 31

-> Still Life: Ordinary Pleasures, through Dec. 31

-> American Scenes/Americas Seen, through Dec. 31

-> Ansel Adams: Performing the Print, through March 28

-> Clay and Bamboo: Japanese Ceramics and Flower Baskets, through April 4

-> Teresita Fernández: Elemental, Oct. 1-Jan. 3

-> Stories of Abstraction: Contemporary Latin American Art in the Global Context, Oct. 1-Jan. 31

-> Seeking Immortality: Ancient Artifacts, Oct. 1-April 4

-> Colors of Sky and Clouds: Chinese Blue and White Porcelain, Oct. 1-April 4

-> Mountains and Rivers, Flowers and Birds: Gifts from the Papp Family Collection, Oct. 1-April 4

-> Emily Eden: Portraits of the Princes and Peoples of India, Oct. 1-April 4

Photo courtesy Phoenix Art Museum
Photo courtesy Phoenix Art Museum

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale
Celebrated artists, local creatives, fan favorites and new discoveries grace the stages as the center presents a star-studded season featuring legends of world music, acclaimed dance companies, renowned classical musicians, family entertainment and more. Seating options in varying sized groups are physically spaced in the theater. Here’s a sneak peak of some of the high notes:

-> Flamenco Intimo, Oct. 3-17

-> ariZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence Youth Celebration, Oct. 5

-> Flamenco por la Familia, Oct. 18

-> Film screening: Sustainable Nation, Oct. 28

-> Broadway Fright Night, Oct. 30

-> Mavis Staples, Nov. 8

-> A Life Filled with Stevie (Wonder), Nov. 13

-> Jake Shimabukuro, Nov. 14

-> With a Song in My Heart, a Tribute to Doris Day, Nov. 15

-> Charles Lewis Quartet and Alice Tatum, Nov. 29

-> Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel: Celebrating Beethoven, Dec. 1

-> Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: Holiday Swingin’ Party, Dec. 2

-> Assisted Living: The Musical – The Home… for the Holidays, Dec. 3-6

-> Conrad Tao: American Rage, Dec. 18

-> Mariachi Sol de México de José Hernández: A Merry-Achi Christmas, Dec. 19

-> Pianist Alexander Malofeev, Jan. 15

-> Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel: The Soulful and the Sublime, Jan. 19

-> Eva Noblezada with Seth Rudetsky, Jan. 23

-> Cactus Flower Story Hour, Jan. 30-31

-> Broadway Perspectives: A Concert Celebrating Diversity, Feb. 6

-> Scottsdale Philharmonic, Feb. 7, March 21, May 2

-> Kodo, Feb. 10-11

-> René Marie Quintet, Feb. 14

-> Merz Trio with Jordan Bak, viola, Feb. 16

-> Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel: Chopin – Torment and Triumph, Feb. 23

-> Jeremy Jordan with Seth Rudetsky, Feb. 27

-> LA Theatre Works: Lucy Loves Desi – A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom, March 6

-> Momix, March 7

-> Yotam Ottolenghi, March 10

-> Atlan with special guests from Donegal, March 13

-> Violinist Gil Shaham and pianist Akira Eguchi, March 20

-> OperaTunity, March 20-21

-> Pianist Rachel Cheung, March 24

-> Mandy Gonzalez and Javier Muñoz: Hitting New Heights, March 26

-> Bessie, Billie & Nina – Pioneering Women in Jazz, March 27

-> Sandra Bernhard: A Decade of Madness and Mayhem, April 8

-> Marc Cohn, April 14

-> Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, April 16

-> The Capitol Steps, April 17-18

-> Lea Salonga, April 24

-> Balloonacy, May 14-16

-> Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars featuring Paquito D’Rivera, May 21

Theater Works

Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, 10580 N. 83rd Dr., Peoria,
With its regular season of musicals, comedies and dramatic plays currently in limbo, this northwest Valley community theater company has reinvented how audience members can experience live theater with the debut of Curiouser & Curiouser, a multisensory experience where every room, alcove and space in the venue transports guests into a world inspired by Lewis Carroll.

The Alice-like encounter allows up to 10 audience members per performance to explore and flow through various rooms as they discover scenes, meet the inhabitants of Wonderland, solve puzzles, have a drink, enjoy performances and immerse themselves in a new way to experience theater through the classic tale of Alice in Wonderland. The 100-minute one-of-a-kind adventure showcases visual art, music, puppetry, dance, theater and multimedia design.

Curiouser & Curiouser at Theater Works; Photo by DeAndrea Vaughn
Curiouser & Curiouser at Theater Works; Photo by DeAndrea Vaughn

Multiple performances take place Thursday through Sunday through Oct. 18, with advance ticket purchase required. The Mad Hatter loves guests, so the more people in your party (up to 10), the lower the entrance price. Comfortable shoes are recommended, cameras and phones are not allowed and don’t forget your face covering. The queen is watching!

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