Ready or not, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Whether you're single or attached, go ahead and tell Tuesday, February 14, to hang it up. Why? Because we’re celebrating the weekend before V-Day with these 10 cultural events and activities in metro Phoenix.
Matilda The Musical
Everyone’s favorite little telekinetic bookworm, Matilda, has found a new platform for Valentine’s weekend in the Valley. ASU Gammage is hosting Matilda The Musical from February 7 to 12, and all Roald Dahl fans are welcome to see who’s taking on one of Mara Wilson’s most iconic roles. Showtimes vary throughout the weekend, and tickets range from $72 to $177. Visit the ASU Gammage website for more information.
Romeo & Juliet
This one is a little on the nose, but it goes along with the theme. Ballet Arizona is putting on six performances of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet over Valentine’s Day weekend, February 9 to 12. Choreographed by Ballet Arizona artistic director Ib Andersen, the show will soundtracked by the Phoenix Symphony and held in Symphony Hall. There will also be pre- and post-performance talks from the artistic staff covering the show’s choreography, design, and story. Tickets begin at $25. Call 602-381-1096 or visit the Ballet Arizona website for showtimes and tickets.
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum Opening Reception
Part of the Mesa Arts Center, the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum is a collection of five galleries displaying curated and juried exhibitions and works of contemporary artists. From 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, February 10, the museum is holding an opening reception that is free and open to the public. The night promises fresh exhibitions, attending artists, live music, and a cash bar. For details, call 480-644-6560 or visit the MCA Museum website.
Whether you call him Darryl Philbin or Ray Heyworth or the “I Seen’t It” guy, Craig Robinson will be performing stand-up at five shows from February 10 through 12 at Stand Up Live. Tickets are $30 for general admission, and there’s a two-drink minimum for this 21-and-over event. Visit the Stand Up Live website for more information, or call 480-719-6100.
Me, My Quantified Self, and I
At 7:30 p.m. nightly from Friday, February 10, to Sunday, February 12, Unexpected Gallery is hosting Me, My Quantified Self, and I – a new dance production from Arizona State University professor Jessica Rajko. The show’s objective is to “reimagine our digital world as the messy, cluttered, complicated ecosystem it is.” An interactive pre-show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Visit the Jessica Rajko website for more information.
2017 Chinese Culture & Cuisine Festival
Everyone in and around Margaret T. Hance Park will know it’s the Year of the Rooster when the 27th annual Phoenix Chinese Week’s Culture and Cuisine Festival kicks off. The free festival promises a schedule of dragon and lion dances, traditional folk dances, musical performances, martial arts demonstrations, and a Chinese culture and history booth. Expect all that, along with shopping and, of course, Chinese fare. Friday’s hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the festival continues Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit the Chinese Culture & Cuisine Festival website for more.
“Beauty Speaks for Us”
The new Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Grand Gallery at the Heard Museum opens to the public on February 10 with the exhibition, "Beauty Speaks for Us." The exhibition is a display of 200 rare pieces from private Phoenix collections alongside works from the museum’s own collection, including pottery, jewelry and beadwork, paintings, basketry, and much more. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, and entrance is $18 for adults. Visit the Heard website for more details.
2017 VNSA Used Book Sale
The people behind the 2017 Volunteer Nonprofit Service Association Used Book Sale are asking if you’re ready for "The Next Chapter." The VNSA has been collecting used books, sheet music, and other forms of media for their annual sale at the Arizona State Fairgrounds‘ exhibit building. Admission is free, and book sale proceeds go to local charities. The 61st annual VNSA book sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 11, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 12. Visit the VNSA website for more details.
Closing of Margarita Cabrera's “Space in Between”
Since October, Mexico-born artist Margarita Cabrera has presented her project “Space in Between” – along with the ASU Art Museum – at the Desert Botanical Garden. Project participants have been creating desert plant sculptures out of Border Patrol uniforms and embroidering details from their own personal immigration story. Held in the Ottosen Gallery at Dorrance Hall, the project runs till Sunday, February 12. Hours for Sunday are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and entrance is included with membership or paid entry ($22 for adults). Call 480-941-1225 or visit the DBG website.
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2017 Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival
The 21st annual Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival offers a glimpse into historic and contemporary Jewish life through cinema. The festival starts on Sunday, February 12, and runs through the 26th. Held at various locations throughout the Valley, opening day films are On the Map at 3 p.m. and Fever at Dawn at 7 p.m. at Shea 14, and Rosenwald at 3 p.m. at Chandler Fashion 20. Tickets are $11 per film. For more information, visit the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival website.