Between appearances in magazines around the globe, art auctions abroad, and exhibitions across the country, including the upcoming Art Basel in Miami, Gabriel and Isaac Fortoul are finding themselves more and more in the cultural spotlight. Hard to believe that it was only 2002 when these two brothers left their home of Union City, New Jersey, to pursue their creative endeavors in Phoenix, Arizona, of all places.
While they don't permanently reside here, the Fortoul brother still hold a special place in their hearts for the city that helped take their careers to the next level. Which is why they're brining their nomadic gallery, 40 Owls, to downtown for an inaugural solo exhibition, and incidentally their first Phoenix area exhibition in seven years.
For the "Fortoul Brothers Solo Exhibition," duality will be key, with Gabriel curating and Isaac providing the art, represented both aesthetically and physically throughout multiple media. The free opening reception for this show will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. on Friday, November 14, at 815 North Central Avenue. RSVP at www.40owls.com/fortoul-brothers-exhibition-rsvp. The show will be on view through December 12. Katie Johnson
We love to follow the development of new works by local playwrights, starting with workshopped readings and continuing through critiques and rewrites and . . . okay, we don't always love it. We frequently crave a nice fully-mounted show: production values, design concepts, and a clutch of artistic egos in riotous bloom. So we're excited about Love Disorder, the latest entry in iTheatre Collaborative's season.
It's a new full-length from playwright Joe Bardin, a member of Theatre Artists Studio, and it's directed by Michael Traylor. Bardin's been blogging about the joys of production meetings and working collaboratively on a full production of the show. He seems excited, too.
The play follows three couples who face the stress of decision-making -- whether to break up, to get married, to have a baby. Oh, and it's a comedy. The opening night performance is Friday, November 14, at 8 p.m. Love Disorder continues through Saturday, November 29, on the Kax Stage at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Tickets are $20 at www.itheatrecollaborative.org or 602-347-1071. Julie Peterson
It's no secret that Alice's Adventures in Wonderland were pretty much terrifying. Being trapped in an alternate universe accessed by rabbit hole and full of rude caterpillars and murderous queens sounds like the premise of one trippy nightmare. That's the idea behind choreographer Angel Castro's Underland:White Nightmare.
His evening-length piece reinterprets the Lewis Carroll classic as a twisted contemporary and athletic dance work. Castro's Halo Movement Collective will present two performances of the work, each complemented by visual art and fashion. This year's performance promises the same eerie setting as last year's debut but, thanks to some dough raised through Kickstarter, Halo has expanded the cast, created new costumes, and will feature fresh art installations.
See a new side of Alice at 7 and 9 p.m. at Studio 3D, 1625 East Jefferson Street, on Saturday, November 15. Tickets are $10 in advance via halomovement.wix.com/danceartfashion#!lifestyle/c14ak, $12 at the door, and an extra $5 for VIP seats. Becky Bartkowski
A lot of people mistakenly think Nick Swardson is gay. It's understandable. He played Terry Bernadino, a gay, roller-blading male prostitute, in Reno 911. And Hector, an obsessive fan who stalks a male figure skater, in Blades of Glory. And a gay robot in the made-for-TV movie, Gay Robot. Plenty of people think he's a stoner, too. This is also understandable. A good portion of Swardson's stand-up is about the dopeness of weed, and in the movie Grandma's Boy he plays Jeff, a pot-smoking computer programmer who lives with his parents and sleeps in a race car bed. He may also be a booze hound -- the top two tracks from Swardson's comedy albums on Spotify are titled "Booze is Magic" and "Booze is Amazing." He may be a little bit of all these things. But taken together, what is Nick Swardson, really? Funny.
Catch comedian Nick Swardson 8 p.m. Saturday, November 15, at Talking Stick Resort, 9800 East Indian Bend Road in Scottsdale. Tickets start at $30. Visit www.talkingstickresort.com or call 480-850-7734 for more. Zachary Fowle
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We can't be the only people bored by the Real Housewives shows, right? After nearly a decade, the duplicitous deeds and squawk-filled squabbles seem so half-hearted. If you're ready to significantly upgrade your level of drama, the Arizona Opera's take on Giuseppe Verdi's 1851 masterpiece Rigoletto is playing Friday, November 14.
Unlike the cable reality shows that barely perk up our glazed eyes, the intrigue in Rigoletto has stood the test of time. The namesake of the opera, the gnarled and hunchbacked jester of the Duke of Mantua's court has long delighted in humiliating the Duke's other underlings. The Duke, meanwhile, is quite the player, bedding the city's available young ladies until Count Monterone curses him and Rigoletto for seducing his daughter. The Duke shrugs it off but his jester's fear sets off treachery that will change everyone's life forever.
Arizona Opera's production of Rigoletto is at Phoenix Symphony Hall, 75 North Second Street, and continues through Sunday. Admission ranges from $25 to $135. For more information, visit www.azopera.org. Jose Gonzalez