Caffeine explains a lot in Non-Fat Soy Peppermint Mocha Latte . . . with Sprinkles: A Tale of Christmas Spirit.
Caffeine explains a lot in Non-Fat Soy Peppermint Mocha Latte . . . with Sprinkles: A Tale of Christmas Spirit. Shelby Maticic
The time for holiday cheer is here. Get jolly with a screening of The Star Wars Holiday Special , see red (and green) at the Santarchy bar crawl, and catch a renowned version of The Nutcracker. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

Non-Fat Soy Peppermint Mocha Latte ... with Sprinkles: A Tale of Christmas Spirit

A local holiday performance favorite is Non-Fat Soy Peppermint Mocha Latte ... with Sprinkles: A Tale of Christmas Spirit, presented by Brelby Theatre Company at Herberger Lunch Time Theater through Thursday, December 14. The story features Spirit, a barista who’d seem suspiciously perky if we hadn’t embraced the Dutch Bros. experience. She’s working some magic on Darren and Trish, a potential couple whose Yule-o-meters register at opposite ends of the spectrum. Because party-poopers deserve love, too!

Showtime’s 12:10 p.m. on Thursday, December 7, at 222 East Monroe Street. Admission is $7. A preordered lunch is optional, or bring your own. Visit the Herberger Theater website or call 602-252-8497. Julie Peterson

Phoenix Suns vs. Washington Wizards
Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough has made plenty of questionable decisions during his tenure helming the Valley’s storied franchise — trading away Isaiah Thomas springs to mind — but offloading disgruntled forward Markieff Morris wasn’t one of them. Late last season, the Suns shipped Morris to Washington for two players you’ve probably never heard of and, you guessed it, a draft pick.

Considering the burden that Morris’ presence had become, however, the Suns probably made out like bandits in the deal. The only thing sweeter than seeing the former Sun in a different uniform would be seeing him lose upon returning. But don’t bet on it when the superior Washington Wizards visit Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street, on Thursday, December 7. Tickets are $9 and up. Visit the Suns website or call 602-379-2000 for details. Rob Kroehler


click to enlarge AIRI KATSUTA
Airi Katsuta
Phoenix Poetry Slam
The 2017 Phoenix Poetry Slam, hosted by Lawn Gnome Publishing, will pit 10 of the Valley’s best versifiers against each other to represent our metropolis at the All-Arizona Poetry Slam Championship in Maricopa early next year. Five judges will be pulled randomly from the audience to score each performance through three rounds of competition. Spectators are encouraged to get wrapped up in the rhyme as the wordsmiths energetically pour their hearts out.

Experience the power of the spoken word at 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 7, at Megaphone PHX, 4700 North Central Avenue. Tickets are $10 the day of the show. For more information, visit Lawn Gnome Publishing website. Jason Keil

click to enlarge One of many performances during last year’s Phoenix Festival of the Arts. - LYNN TRIMBLE
One of many performances during last year’s Phoenix Festival of the Arts.
Lynn Trimble
Phoenix Festival of the Arts
Picture outdoor holiday shopping amid palm trees and green grass. That’s what you’ll find at Phoenix Festival of the Arts, when more than 100 artisans and cultural organizations fill booths with original art, handmade wares, and information about cultural resources in the Valley. It’s a relaxing way to cross more names of your gift list while catching some rays, mingling with fellow art lovers, learning more about the city, and supporting local arts and culture.

The free fest will run from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday, December 8, and continue through Sunday, December 10, at Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 North Third Street. It’s a chance to explore fresh art, diverse performances, food trucks, and live mural painting. You’ll have plenty of great choices, as featured artists work in ceramics, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, painting, and textiles. Get details at the Phoenix Festival of the Arts website. Lynn Trimble


Keep your arms inside the vehicle in general, including for The Light Rail Plays. - COURTESY OF RISING YOUTH THEATRE
Keep your arms inside the vehicle in general, including for The Light Rail Plays.
Courtesy of Rising Youth Theatre
The Light Rail Plays
About once a year, Rising Youth Theatre introduces itself to new audiences and expands the definition of public art with The Light Rail Plays, a collaboration between adult professional theater artists and young artists from Valley schools. Metro passengers are taken by surprise as short original plays in diverse genres burst onto the scene. Meanwhile, other audiences have planned ahead to witness the offbeatness and those witnessing it.

Performances will take place on selected light rail platforms in Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa through Sunday, December 10. The timetable for Friday, December 8, indicates scheduled arrivals at the Central Avenue and Roosevelt Street stop at 6 p.m. and again at 7. Admission is free, but you can reserve a spot and get more info at the Rising Youth Theatre website. Julie Peterson

click to enlarge Bea Arthur, Carrie Fisher, Lumpy the Wookie ... what's better than the Star Wars Holiday Special during the holidays? - COURTESY OF FILMBAR
Bea Arthur, Carrie Fisher, Lumpy the Wookie ... what's better than the Star Wars Holiday Special during the holidays?
Courtesy of FilmBar
The Star Wars Holiday Special
Dan Stone, the man behind The Unfathomable Film Freakout, continues his annual tradition of showing the greatest bootleg video of all time: The Star Wars Holiday Special. It aired just once in November 1978.

“It does work as a time capsule of the brief period of time before the sequels expanded the Star Wars mythology, where any of the characters and settings created by George Lucas could have gone in any direction,” Stone says. “It just so happens, where it went was a variety show centered on a Wookiee space holiday featuring Harvey Korman and Jefferson Starship.”

Feel the force at 8 and 10 p.m. on Friday, December 8, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Admission is $7. For more information, visit the FilmBar website. Jason Keil

click to enlarge COURTESY OF FIRESTAGE
courtesy of Firestage
Firestage Presents: Ladies On Fire
Firestage Presents: Ladies On Fire was inspired by an epiphany that Ernesto Moncada, the show’s host, had at an open mic.

“We were like, ‘Where are the artistic ladies? We know they are out there,’” he recalls. “So we dedicated an entire [show] to showcase only female performers with the clause that any male performer involved in the show had to be dressed lady-like on stage.”

It became Firestage’s most successful event. Though that venue shuttered, Moncada is keeping the flame going with a fresh mix of musicians, dancers, and poets.

Ladies On Fire Nine starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, December 8, at Alwun House, 1204 East Roosevelt Street. Admission is $10 in advance and $15 at the door. For more information, visit the Alwun House website. Jason Keil

Libcon West 2017
Pop culture fiends already might have Libcon West 2017 marked on their calendars. The all-ages library and comics convention at the Glendale Public Library, 5959 West Brown Street, will have vendors, panels, and of course, cosplay.

The second annual edition of the event will offer a slate of things to do, including the Author Chat (a panel of graphic novel and science fiction writers, including Nate Evans, Amy K. Nichols, Beth Cato, and more) and the interactive show, Syndicate Saber Presents: The Jedi Trials. Other to-dos include Storytime with the (Drag) Queen, the Retro Trivia Challenge, and a DIY Cosplay Cape Demo with the Southwest Costumers Guild. There will also be food trucks, cosplay photo ops with Phoenix Ghostbusters, and plenty of shopping.

The free con runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 9. For more information, call 623-930-3537 or see the Libcon West website. Lauren Cusimano

click to enlarge Kyllan Maney poses in front of her "Bio-Empowerment" pieces at {9} The Gallery. - JIM LOUVAU
Kyllan Maney poses in front of her "Bio-Empowerment" pieces at {9} The Gallery.
Jim Louvau
How to Create Silk Screens
Silk screening isn’t as complicated as you might think. Get the D.L. during an interactive class on how to create silk screens using organza fabric, an embroidery needle, and acrylic paint. Mixed-media artist and muralist Kyllan Maney will give a demonstration of the process and provide samples of screen prints. Beginners or professional artists can bring drawings and prints to the course, or use images provided. The class takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 9, at Practical Art, 5070 North Central Avenue, and costs $20 per person. For more information, call 602-264-1414 or see the Practical Art website. Laura Latzko

click to enlarge Scene from Ib Andersen’s The Nutcracker, performed by Ballet Arizona. - ROSALIE O’CONNOR.
Scene from Ib Andersen’s The Nutcracker, performed by Ballet Arizona.
Rosalie O’Connor.
The Nutcracker
Clara dreams of toy soldiers and dancing sweets in The Nutcracker, a classic Christmas tale that’s fueled many a young girl’s hopes of becoming a ballerina. It’s performed throughout the country, but only a handful of ballet companies have the distinction of being deemed one of the nation’s very best productions by New York Times dance critic Alastair Macauley.

Ballet Arizona is one such company. With magical snowfall, giant sparring rats, and pirouettes galore, it’s a must-see for dance aficionados and Christmas traditionalists, the troupe will perform The Nutcracker, choreographed by artistic director Ib Andersen, with Tchaikovsky’s dramatic score performed live by the Phoenix Symphony, at Symphony Hall, 75 North Second Street. On Saturday, December 9, performances happen at 2 and 7:30 p.m. The Nutcracker continues through Sunday, December 24. Tickets are $25 and up. Visit the Ballet Arizona website. Lynn Trimble

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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Rob is a Phoenix native, husband, dad, and an active member in the local music scene. He's written original songs for feature films.
Contact: Rob Kroehler
Laura Latzko
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson
Michael runs the Sci-Fridays Book Club at the Poisoned Pen, and volunteers at local pop-culture conventions. He can be found at the occasional prog-rock concert.
Contact: Michael Senft
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young