This Week's Day-by–Day Picks

Thursday, December 25
In the hunt for a holiday miracle? Look no further than Chandler's Madstone Theaters, which salutes Santa on his big day by screening Miracle on 34th Street. Starring Edmund Gwenn as Kriss Kringle, a Macy's Santa Claus who claims to be the man himself, the 1947 St. Nick flick rolls at 4 p.m. Thursday, December 25. The theater is located at 5835 West Ray. Tickets are $6 before 6 p.m., $8 after 6 p.m. See www.madstonetheaters.com or call 480-785-SHOW for showtimes.

Friday, December 26
Celebrate Grease on Earth this Friday, December 26, when one of Broadway's longest-running musicals slides onto the stage at the Orpheum Theatre. Audiences continue to be hopelessly devoted to the story of a bad boy and his Pink Lady love. The Theater League presentation continues through January 4; showtimes are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Visit www.tickets.com, call 602-262-7272, or stop by the Orpheum box office, 203 West Adams, for tickets: $33.50 to $39.50.

As the spirit of Christmas vacates the Valley, "The Spirit of Being" is fast on its heels. The three-artist exhibition ends its run at downtown's Paulina Miller Gallery, 817 North First Street, on Friday, December 26. From 1 to 5 p.m., art lovers can take their last look at Jeff Juhlin's "Guardian Series" sculptures, which fuse found and fabricated steel to form "a series of human scale abstractions"; local artist Kyllan Maney's oil paintings on canvas, which rise from drawings "inspired from observations of plant life, sea life and the human form"; and Robin Urton's oil paintings on layered glass set in shadow-box frames. See www.paulinamillerstudiogallery.com for a preview; call 602-307-9643 for more information.

Saturday, December 27
Queens drama and drag come together Saturday, December 27, for a royally raucous night at the movies. Hedwig & the Angry Inch and The Rocky Horror Picture Show hit the screen for a cross-dressing, toast-tossing, rock 'n' roll double feature, courtesy of Broadway Bound & Gagged. The Valley's only Rocky Horror shadow cast, BB&G promises flashy festivities, including live stage performers, virgin initiation, audience participation, and a Lingerie & Fetish contest. The gender bender gets rolling at 8:30 p.m. inside Spectrum Mall, 19th Avenue and Bethany Home. Tickets are $5 for Hedwig and $6 for Rocky Horror. See www.azrocky.com for details.

Sunday, December 28
They've got legs, they know how to use them -- and audiences sure get a kick out of it. The legendary, leggy Radio City Rockettes put the gam in Gammage with The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, an encore presentation of their popular holiday show that boasts several dazzling new numbers. The family-friendly, 90-minute production is a colorful showcase for all things holiday, from Santa's whimsical world of reindeer and elves, to an inspirational classic, "The Living Nativity." And, of course, the high-stepping Rockettes strut their skills to Christmas songs old and new. Performances continue through Wednesday, December 31, at ASU's Gammage Auditorium, located at the intersection of Mill and Apache in Tempe. Tickets, $19.75 to $58.50, are available through Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.com or 480-784-4444. To find out more, visit www.asugammage.com.

Monday, December 29
This year, the Phoenix Coyotes have a new home for the holidays -- the just-opened Glendale Arena. And to start things off with plenty of excitement, the team is treating fans to a trio of home games this week. They'll take on the Nashville Predators (a sold-out showdown) on Saturday, December 27; the New York Rangers at 7 p.m. Monday, December 29; and the Los Angeles Kings at 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 31. To make the housewarming especially entertaining, the Coyotes also introduce "CoyoteVision," the first full-time in-arena studio show in the NHL. With pre-game coverage and intermission highlights screened on the scoreboard, the broadcast gives fans the same kind of replays, interviews and stats they'd get while watching the game at home. Ticket prices start at $15; to purchase, visit www.phoenixcoyotes.com or call 480-563-PUCK (7825). The Glendale Arena is located at 6520 North 91st Avenue in Glendale.

Tuesday, December 30
Arizona Theatre Company searches deep down into its musical soul for its latest production, It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues. A passionate exploration of the blues' history, from its early roots in traditional African song to its evolution into an endearing American genre, the show was nominated for four Tony Awards after its 1999 Broadway debut. Now the show's original director, Randal Myler, teams up with co-creator "Mississippi" Charles Bevel and other original Broadway cast members to put a spell on Arizona audiences with performances at the Herberger Theater Center through January 18. Tickets for the first preview, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, December 30, are $32 to $50. A special 8 p.m. New Year's Eve performance is also scheduled; tickets are $40 to $65. For more information, visit www.arizonatheatre.org or call the box office, 602-256-6995.

Wednesday, December 31
Andre the Giant must be rolling in his grave, because he's not the only one with a posse these days. Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham has a posse, too -- a puppetposse -- and that makes him quite a comedic force to be reckoned with. But don't call his witty characters dummies, because they're too clever. In fact, sometimes grumpy old Walter, spastic Peanut and wisecracking Jose Jalapeño upstage Dunham himself. Dunham performs two special New Year's Eve shows at the Tempe Improv, on Wednesday, December 31, at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. For details on packages for each performance, call 480-921-9877. After a New Year's Day hiatus, Dunham and his puppet entourage resume shows through January 4 at the Improv, 930 East University in Tempe.

 
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