Other Desert Cities at Herberger Theater Center Despite wealth, fame, and success, the Wyeths' chief concern at Christmas 2004 in Palm Springs is daughter Brooke's upcoming memoir (her folks had hoped for a novel -- oh, and Brooke's fresh from what's called a "mental breakdown"). The fictional family featured in Other Desert Cities isn't the Reagans but has a lot in common with them: specifically, a conservative actor-turned-politician dad and that troublesome aging-hippie offspring.
The Tony-nominated, 2012 Pulitzer-finalist play by Jon Robin Baitz (creator of TV's Brothers & Sisters) gets its Arizona première production from Arizona Theatre Company through Sunday, March 2, at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Critics and audiences hail Baitz's witty dialogue and the micro-domestic parallels of personal history to the wars and terrorism playing out alongside. While Brooke derives some comfort and support from her literally trippy aunt Silda, her brother Trip (yes, really) blithely produces reality TV, and mom Polly tries to hold everything together.
Friday, February 21's curtain is at 8 p.m. and tickets, ranging from $40.50 to $72, are selling super-well at www.ticketmaster.com and 602-256-6995. -- Julie Peterson
Joe Dobrow Book-Signing at Changing Hands Bookstore When a new Whole Foods opened its doors on Camelback Road and 20th Street in September 2013, the Valley buzzed about it for weeks. Facebook posts and newspaper ink were dedicated to the occasion -- despite the fact that there were already a few locations in the Valley.
The excitement was a testament to consumers' desire for organic products on the dinner table, a "fad" that has existed since co-ops of the late 1960s and became mainstream thanks to an $88 billion natural food retail industry. Author Joe Dobrow, a former executive at Whole Foods and Sprouts Farmers Market, explores this in Natural Prophets: From Health Foods to Whole Foods -- How the Pioneers of the Industry Changed the Way We Eat and Reshaped America.
Meet the author at 7 p.m. Friday, February 21, at Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 South McClintock Drive in Tempe. Copies of the hardcover are $27.99. Call 480-730-0205 or visit www.changinghands.com. -- Janessa Hilliard
Trio Gala at Symphony Hall As cool as some athletes from the Suns, D-backs, and Cardinals are, it'd be a rare occasion that we'd see them engage in some cross-discipline collaboration. The Arizona Opera, Ballet Arizona, and the Phoenix Symphony, on the other hand, are coming together on one stage for one night for the Trio Gala on Saturday, February 22.
Subtitled "Noche de Amor," the second annual Trio Gala will see three of the state's top cultural institutions perform with a Latin twist. Each collection of artists will perform selections from their respective repertoires, and the night will culminate with all three organization sharing the stage for a sense-delighting finale. Prepare to be generous with your "bravos."
Trio Gala 2014 will take place at Phoenix Symphony Hall, 75 North Second Street. Admission to the gala, which includes dinner at 6 p.m., starts at $500. Performance-only tickets for the 7 p.m. show start at $25. Visit www.trioevent.org or call 602-495-1999 for more details. -- Jose Gonzalez
30th Annual Matsuri: A Festival of Japan at Historic Heritage Square Do you think you're turning Japanese? Do you think you're turning Japanese? Do you really think so?
Well then grab your kimonos and katanas and bring them to Heritage Square on Saturday, February 22, for Arizona Matsuri. This 30th annual festival -- matsuri is actually Japanese for "festival" -- is a celebration of everything the land of the rising sun has given us, from sushi to sake, karate to karaoke, Bonsai trees and sumo to mahjong and George Takei. The festival kicks off at 10 a.m. with the Matsuri Parade -- in which anyone wearing Japanese attire can participate -- and continues throughout the day with showcases of Japanese food and drink, art displays, live music, and martial arts demonstrations.
Say konnichiwa to Matsuri 2014 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, February 22 and 23, at Heritage and Science Park, 115 North Sixth Street. Admission is free. Visit www.azmatsuri.org for more. -- Zachary Fowle
Yoga Rocks the Park at Steele Indian School Park Time to breathe in and rock out as the national outdoor community event, Yoga Rocks the Park, returns for another four-week season. The outdoor yogi gathering will feature instructors Max and Lisa Cohen, Anton Mackey, Desiree Lapre, Mary Bruce, Will Glass, Alex Austin, Jenn Chiarelli, Rebecca Lammersen, and Tara Martell. There will also be musical guests h3lla, Reynaldo Moreno, Kirtan, DJ Drez, and Eric Stanley as well as a special yogi camp just for the kids.
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Yoga Rocks the Park returns Sundays, February 23 through March 30, at Steele Indian School Park, 300 East Indian School Road. The all-levels flow class will begin at 2 p.m., with registration opening at 1.
Adult tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the event. Children's tickets range from $7 to $10. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Shine Project. Admission is free on March 9. For more details, visit yogarocksthepark.com. -- Katie Johnson