Great Arizona Puppet Theater's remount of Dragons, Ladies, and Tigers, a series of three stories adapted from traditional Chinese folktales, features shadow puppets inspired by Chinese artwork. Originally commissioned to accompany an exhibition of Chinese art at the Phoenix Art Museum, Dragons has proven to be one of GAPT's most popular productions of the past two decades. While the show is recommended for kids in kindergarten and up, it has at times been performed exclusively for adult audiences. "Whenever we've done it for adults, they really liked it, " says Nancy Smith, GAPT director and co-founder. "And they're stories not everyone knows."
Shows are preceded by a demonstration of puppetry traditions from various parts of Asia. The production continues through February 1 at the theater, 302 West Latham. To order tickets -- $7 for adults, $5 for children -- call 602-262-2050 or visit www.azpuppets.org. - Justin Guleserian
Land of the Freed
Off-Broadway hit explores the lives of exonerated inmates
In the summer of 2000, 89 former U.S. death row inmates were navigating life in the free world. Jessica Bland and Erik Jensen interviewed 40 of them, each of whom had served between two and 22 years before being found innocent and released. Bland and Jensen wove their stories into The Exonerated, an off-Broadway hit that hits Tempe on Tuesday, January 27, as part of the M&I Bank Broadway in Arizona series. Starring Mia Farrow and John Savage, the production continues through February 1 at ASU's Gammage Auditorium. Call 480-784-4444 or see www.ticketmaster.com for tickets, $17.50 to $47.50. - Jill Koch
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Celebrate the Hispanic heritage of the Valley with music
We built this city on rock 'n' roll, but we celebrate it with a symphonic score. The Valley of the Sun Symphony premières this Sunday, January 25, hailing our hometown through the talents of local composers, conductors, musicians, dancers and singers. Maestro Hermann Michael is joined by guest conductor Joseph Curiale, who composed the music as part of the Continental Harmony composer residency program of the American Composers Forum. Mariachi Alegre, Primavera Folklorico Dance Company, Phoenix Children's Chorus and Native Spirit Productions take the stage for individual performances -- solo or accompanied by the Phoenix Symphony -- before pooling their creative juices for the grand finale.
Showtime is 3 p.m. at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Free tickets are available at any Phoenix public library or at the Civic Plaza box office (limit four per person). Call 602-262-4627 for more information. - Jill Koch