Is there a better way to spend the weekend than dancing your wig off, cheering on the Arizona Cardinals, or checking out a twisted version of A Christmas Carol? We don't think so. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.
You know the phrase “less is more”? Shelly Sazdanoff’s exhibition at the Shortcut Gallery is the perfect example.
Sazdanoff utilizes everyday materials, like linen and concrete, that are woven together to create a three-dimensional texture across her canvas. Her minimalist, mixed-media work aims to create a tangible balance of fluidity and contrast.
Check out Sazdanoff’s pieces at the opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, December 22, at 5538 North Seventh Street, #120. For more information, visit the Phoenix General website. Lindsay Roberts
After graduating from Arizona School for the Arts, David Hallberg went on to become a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre in New York City. Hallberg was the first American to be named a principal dancer with Russia’s renowned Bolshoi Ballet, and he’s a guest artist this season with the Royal Opera House in London.
Hallberg grew up in Phoenix, where he began formal ballet training in his early teens. You can hear him talk about his many adventures, in dance and beyond, when he comes to Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road, at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 22. The event is co-presented by Ballet Arizona.
Hallberg will be discussing his new memoir, titled A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back, in conversation with Ib Andersen, artistic director for Ballet Arizona. For $28, you get two tickets and a copy of Hallberg’s book. Visit the Changing Hands website. Lynn Trimble
Those who can distinguish between wizards and Muggles, this is the holiday party for you. The Yule Ball re-creates the event from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in which Potter and his magical pals got gussied up to dance and toss back Butterbeer. That signature drink is on this evening’s special menu, along with others like Polyjuice Potion and Unforgiveable Curse shots.
Waiting for a chance to slip into your magical robes? Good — because it’s a costume party, with a contest for those who really want to do it up. While you’re feeling competitive, show off your Harry Potter knowledge, as the fun includes rounds of trivia. Order of the Phoenix performs live music and a special guest DJ will keep the Great Hall rocking.
This Hogwarts-inspired happening starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 22, at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. Admission is $10 for 18 and older. See details at the Van Buren website. Amy Young
A Christmas Carol
For decades, Charles Dickens traveled from town to town, performing A Christmas Carol for enthusiastic audiences. (As in a good bedtime story, he did all the voices.) Dickens’ fame as an author meshed nicely with contemporaneous widespread illiteracy — a little something for everyone.
Stage versions of the story have been around even longer. This year, as Dickens did, Arizona Broadway Theatre hits the road, transporting Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens’ epic musical mounting from Peoria to downtown Phoenix through Thursday, December 28. The feeling’s traditional, despite zazzy effects, tap dancing, and chorus girls. Chuck would approve.
Tickets are $38 to $73 for performances at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Showtime on Friday, December 22, is 7 p.m. Visit the Herberger Theater website or call 602-252-8497. Julie Peterson
If you’re a cat person, interacting with the furry creatures can be a great way to unwind. At La Gattara Cat Lounge and Boutique, 1301 East University, #136, you can practice yoga in the same room with 20 adoptable cats and kittens. Lauren Doyle from Bodhi Building will lead you through different poses on the mat before reading from The Tao of Meow, a story of wisdom told from a cat’s point of view.
Caturday Yoga class starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 23. It runs for 75 minutes and costs $15 per person. For more information, call 480-717-8056 or go to the La Gattara website. Laura Latzko
Spielraum 122: Art Meets Industry
Couple the German words for play (spiel) and room (raum), and you’ve got the name for the newest exhibition at the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center: “Spielraum 122: Art Meets Industry.” It’s a playful take on porcelain’s complex composition, historical uses, and cultural relevance. You probably associate porcelain with your grandmother’s china cabinet. But the five artists in this exhibition see porcelain’s broader possibilities.
Visit the Brickyard, 699 South Mill Avenue in Tempe, between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 23, to see how these artists pushed the boundaries of the medium during time spent at a porcelain factory in Triptis, Germany. One was inspired by hubcaps, and another by ocean life. The free exhibition continues through February 3, 2018. See the ASU Art Museum website. Lynn Trimble
Go, Dog. Go!
P.D. Eastman was not Dr. Seuss. The two served together in the Army’s film unit, and Eastman’s fun, simple books for little kids are published under the Cat in the Hat’s umbrella, so people who are confused about the whole thing should be cut some slack.
Eastman’s Go, Dog. Go! is the gripping tale of six pooches who can’t sit still, are obsessed with vehicles, and really just want to party. There’s also a dog who’s quite picky about hats. The closing performance of Childsplay’s production of the rollicking stage version starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday, December 23, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. It’s meant for audiences 3 and older. Tickets are $15 to $26 at the Childsplay website or 480-350-2822. Julie Peterson
Rhymes With Equality
You Racist, Sexist, Bigot is a film directed by Matty Steinkamp and Pita Juarez, host of the podcast Mira Listen. It features stories of Americans overcoming discrimination. Rhymes With Equality is a benefit event for the documentary, which will make its way around the festival circuit next year. Poet and performer Melissa Dunmore of Mujeres del Sol will host a night of poetry from Yovani Flores and Rashaad Thomas and young poets from the School of Hip-Hop Phoenix. Additionally, The Stakes will perform, and they plan to debut the video for their latest single, “Prophecy.”
The event starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 23, at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. Admission is $10. For more information, visit the Valley Bar website. Jason Keil
Obscura Dance Night Winter is Glamorous (WIG) Party
Get your wigs, kids, because after a hiatus, the Obscura Dance Night Winter is Glamorous (WIG) Party is back.
Rips Ales & Cocktails, 3045 North 16th Street, will host the hairpiece-themed party. DJ Court will soundtrack the evening with synthpop, Britpop,New Wave, and indie. In the spirit of holiday giving, there will be ticket giveaways for upcoming concerts like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Real Estate, and STFKR.
The 21-and-up event will kick off at 8:30 p.m. and run until 2 a.m. on Saturday, December 23. There is no cover charge before 9 p.m., and it’s $5 after. For more information, visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts
Arizona Cardinals v. New York Giants
There’s nothing more American than football and cheeseburgers. And when it comes to the NFL, if the Dallas Cowboys are the Big Mac, then the New York Giants are the Whopper, as enduring and iconic a team as any the league has to offer. So when first-time head coach Ben McAdoo benched the team’s most respected member, quarterback Eli Manning, in favor of mercurial and unproven backup Geno Smith, he caused quite a stir in the national sports community.
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Not surprisingly, when the Giants visit Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive, on at 2:25 p.m. on Sunday, December 24, Eli will be on the field and Coach Ben will be on the bench — make that the couch. Tickets are $18 and up. Visit the Cardinals website or call 623-433–7101 for details. Rob Kroehler
Scrooge in Rouge
Stage comedy teems with meta-situations in which characters who are actors (keep up, here) must go on in place of other actors (that is, characters) who’ve fallen ill and/or died or something. “Unplanned” cross-dressing and quick changes fail humorously (on purpose — keep up, here). Other shows showcase the virtuosity of players who officially depict 50 people each.
For the second year now, Mesa Encore Theatre presents Scrooge in Rouge, a rowdy English-music-hall homage in which three plucky actor-characters suddenly have to portray everybody in A Christmas Carol. The humor’s naughty, the songs are astonishing, and it’s partly inspired by real-life male impersonator Vesta Tilley. Sunday, December 24’s showtime is 2:30 p.m. at MET’s Black Box, 933 East Main Street. For tickets, $15, visit the Mesa Encore Theatre website or call 480-834-9500. Julie Peterson