Theater, festivals, and shopping round out this weekend's must-attend events in and around Phoenix.
Prodigy @ Brelby Studio Now that Brelby Theatre Company's in its official venue, the troupe's wasted no time scheduling not just a mainstage season but a Studio Series of new, relatively obscure plays. Through Saturday, November 16, it's Prodigy, about a musician's conflicting loyalties. Indiana-based actor/playwright Ben Abbott, whose Questions of the Heart: Gay Mormons and the Search for Identity was just awarded Producer's Pick of the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, describes Prodigy's origins: "I had a roommate who's a composer. We thought we were going to write a musical. I decided to go home for a while, and our two projects spun off in different directions; his became a musical and mine became Prodigy."
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After time away from the script, Abbot says, "It felt a little bit like going back and editing journal entries to remember what mindset I was in and what I was thinking about at the time. What is genius worth? Does art have any intrinsic value?"
"Swedish Fish" @ MonOrchid Nude photography all too often borders on pornography. Pictures of pretty girls in suggestive poses are all the rage (thanks, DeviantArt), but so many photographers have lost sight of taking nude photos that are artistic and tasteful. Jen Deveroux's upcoming nude photography exhibition, "Swedish Fish," sets out to do just that by carefully selecting artists that go beyond the expected.
The show has two rules: no pornography, and black-and-white photos only. The idea is to give the show's lengthy roster of photographers opportunities to portray the elegance, vulnerability, and sensuality of the human form. There are no restrictions on age, gender, or body shape, so expect a few surprises as Valley such photographers as Tate Hemlock, Daveed Benito, and John Covington push the envelope.
Strip down at "Swedish Fish," whichis on view for one night only starting at 8 p.m. Friday, November 8, at MonOrchid, 214 East Roosevelt Street. Admission to the 18-and-over event is $10. Call 602-253-0339 or visit www.monorchid.com. -- Melissa Fossum
Certified Local Fall Festival @ Portland Parkway If you're buying products not made by local businesses, you're pretty much handing your money straight to The Man. And you really have no excuse for that, when the Certified Local Fall Festival brings more than 100 local vendors together for a day of shopping, eating, and dining.
On Saturday, November 9, local vendors, restaurants and food trucks in downtown Phoenix will celebrate all things Arizona-made. Expect live entertainment from Arizona musicians, as well as performance artists, crafts and activities for kids, a raffle and silent auction. Participating businesses include Frances boutique, Le Grande Orange Grocery, The Parlor Pizzeria, and Zia Records.
Celebrate local businesses at 10 West Portland Street, between Third and Central avenues, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the festival is free and food samples will be available for $1 tickets, while beer and wine tastings will cost $2 each. For more information, visit www.localfirstaz.com/fall-festival. -- Lauren Saria
Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts: "Weird, Wild West" @ Roosevelt A.R.T.S. Market Time to put on your psychedelic cowboy hat and march through the streets of Phoenix, the Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts is making its eighth lap around Downtown and this year the theme is "Weird, Wild West." This community event which celebrates the arts and culture of Phoenix is a smorgasbord of creative endeavors built on the collaborations of Valley natives and artists. This event will feature a procession of elaborately dressed pedestrians, bikers, and non-motorized floats weaving their way in and around the metro area. On top of that there will also be plenty of stationary activities including local performances from bands, dancers, circus acts, street artists, and the Tucson stilt dancing troupe, Flam Chen.
Be sure to also check out the temporary public arts in progress, food trucks, and vendors, as well as the face painting and crafts for the kiddos. The Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts returns Saturday, November 9, at the A.R.T.S. Market, 408 East Roosevelt. The event starts at 5 p.m., with the parade marching out at 6. This is a family-friendly event and admission is free. Visit www.phoenixannualparadeofthearts.com. -- Katie Johnson
12th Annual Spanish Market @ Heard Museum Halloween is over, and you know what that means. It's time to get your holiday shop on. Rather than wait for the Black Friday rush, get your gift recipients something truly unique at the 12th Annual Heard Museum Spanish Market.
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This cultural collaboration of artists and vendors offers a diverse selection of traditional Hispanic goods and services, including embroidery, furniture, painting, printmaking, santos, pottery, tinwork, and silver creations from this year's featured artist, master jeweler Ralph Sena. Alongside more than 75 artists, there will also be live performances from mariachis and folklórico dancers, as well as festive menu options from the museum's Courtyard Café.
The 12th Annual Spanish Market: Mercado de las Artes returns to Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue, on Saturday and Sunday, November 9 and 10. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with free admission for museum members and a $10 suggested donation from non-members. Visit www.heard.org or call 602-252-8848. -- Katie Johnson