Here Comes Santa Claus: He might be a bit pressed for time, but magic--like being in more than one place at once--is one of the jolly old elf's strong suits. Saint Nick takes up residence for the season at 9 a.m. Friday, November 29, at Tri-City Mall, Dobson and Main in Mesa (call 969-2261); and at 9:30 a.m. Friday at Christown Mall, 19th Avenue and Bethany Home (call 242-9074).
Here Comes Santa "Claws": The elf's also fond of animals. He arrives at area PetsMart locations at 10 a.m. Saturday, November 30, and sticks around through Sunday, December 15. All proceeds from sales of photos with Santa go to various pet-related charities. For details call 944-7070 or 1-800-785-0557.
Holiday Fun Factory: Several Tempe organizations join forces for this celebration, scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 3, at Tempe Community Center, 3500 South Rural. Santa's Workshop will be open for business, and the U.S. Postal Service will be on hand to collect North Pole-bound letters. Admission is free, but donations of canned goods for the needy are accepted. Call 350-5200.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Desert Stages, Inc., presents a musical version of Dr. Seuss' seasonal tale. This week's performances are at 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday, November 30; and the same times Sunday, December 1, at the theater, 8473 East McDonald in Scottsdale. The production continues through Sunday, December 15. Tickets are $6 in advance, $9 at the door. For details call 483-1664.
The Velveteen Rabbit: Childsplay presents its annual, "24-carrot" holiday gift to the Valley. Performances of the all-ages production of Brian Burgess Clark's adaptation of Margery Williams' touching tale about the strong bond between a boy and his stuffed bunny are at 2 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, December 1; and 11 a.m. and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 7, at Paul V. Galvin Playhouse in ASU's Nelson Fine Arts Center, Tenth Street and Mill in Tempe. Tickets are $12.25, $9.25 for students and seniors; call 965-6447.
Holiday Extra: For information about other Yuletide doings, see Pic Hits or the "Holiday Highlights" guide following page 82.
nights at the opera
The Candy Tale and L'enfant et les sortileges: Arizona State University's Lyric Opera Theatre presents this double bill of fantastical tales. The first, written by Dimitrije Buzarovski and William Reber and performed in English, has similarities to Pinocchio; it's based on a Macedonian folktale about a candy boy who wants to be human. The second, written by Ravel and Colette and performed in French, has more in common with Toy Story; it's about a boy who receives a badly needed lesson, thanks to his animate playthings. A performance is planned at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 4, at ASU Music Theatre, Mill and Gammage Parkway in Tempe. More shows are scheduled on Friday, December 6; and Saturday, December 7. Tickets are $14, with discounts available for ASU students, faculty and staff, available at ASU Fine Arts Box Office; call 965-6447.
The Firebird: Michigan's PuppetArt American-Russian Theater presents this production, adapted by Lyudmila Mikheyenko from an ancient Russian folktale. Performances are at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday, November 29; 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, November 30; 2 p.m. Sunday, December 1; 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday, December 2; and 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesday, December 3, at Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 3302 North Seventh Street. Admission is $5.50. Call 262-2050.
at the museum
Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting: The traveling exhibit "Happy Birthday, Smokey," celebrating the history and future of 52-year-old fire-prevention spokesbruin Smokey Bear and providing illumination about fire and firefighting, continues through Saturday, November 30, at the museum, 6101 East Van Buren. Admission: $5, $4 for seniors, $3 for children ages 6 to 17, free for those younger. For details call 275-3473.
on the stage
Greasepaint Scottsdale Youtheatre: The troupe performs scenes from Mary Poppins and croons a few Christmas carols at noon Saturday, November 30, and each Saturday, through December 21, on the patio at the Scottsdale Seville shopping center, 7001 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. For details call 967-8714.
Phoenix Theatre's Cookie Company: The cast of the troupe's upcoming production of Christmas at Pooh Corner (opening Friday, December 6) hosts a Pooh storytelling session at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, November 30, at Borders Books & Music at Biltmore Fashion Park, 24th Street and Camelback, Suite 200. Admission is free; call 957-6660.