Tag Archives: Phoenix Theatre

Photo by Rose Torres

‘A Vampire Tale’ comes to Phoenix Theatre October 1-10

This fall, October 1-10, 2015, Scorpius Dance Theatre is bringing back its popular production, A Vampire Tale to Phoenix Theatre’s Hormel Theatre. Dubbed ‘The ‘Nutcracker’ of Halloween,’ this yearly haunt will celebrate its 12th consecutive season. A Vampire Tale indulges audiences with all the trimmings: dark and sexy drama, quirky and comedic episodes, and visually stunning dance and aerial feats. This popular, sell-out production pre-dates all of the current pop-culture vampire phenomena and evolves annually to keep fans coming back for more.

Every year, Choreographer, Lisa Starry modifies the production to provide a fresh take on this cult classic. This year’s production features a variety of notable changes, such as new scenes, a revamped show order, a darker, more dramatic plotline and all new costumes. According to Lisa Starry, “As A Vampire Tale has evolved over the years, I’ve incorporated more-and-more humor into the show. This season, I decided to scale back on the humor and revive the darkness and drama of the underworld that originally inspired my creation of A Vampire Tale.”

In the plot line of A Vampire Tale, a young woman is drawn to the dark side and finds herself lured into an assorted band of bloodsuckers. Frightened yet fascinated by their shadowy showmanship and seductive transactions, the girl struggles to avoid becoming part of their underworld when she becomes infatuated with the King vampire. A Vampire Tale showcases 24 dancers, with the lead roles performed by Gavin Sisson and Nicole Olson as the King and Queen Vampires and Ashley Zarr as the Innocent. Guaranteed to keep audiences entertained until curtain call, the narrator role of Strange Man is played by Damon Dering of Nearly Naked Theatre. The all-original soundtrack, created by local composer Kristofer Hill, features new music, and the entire production has received a facelift with sexy new costumes designed by George Johnson.

A Vampire Tale runs for two weekends: October 1-3 at 7:30 p.m. and 8-10 at 7:30 p.m. The show is at Phoenix Theatre’s Hormel Theatre: 100 E. McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ, 85004. Tickets start at $25 (plus surcharge).

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This week’s all about the drama

“One Man, Two Guvnors
Catch the seven-time Tony Award nominated British show “One Man, Two Guvnors” at the Phoenix Theatre this week. Set in the 1960s, this comedy show tells the story of a man who becomes the guardian of two small-time criminals in Brighton. His attempt to keep the two men apart results in hilarious physical comedy, witty dialogue and slapstick humor. This fun event at the historic Phoenix Theatre is sure to leave you laughing.
Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, June 2-7, 7:30pm, $30-$80.

Brad Paisley at Ak-Chin Pavilion
Catch Brad Paisley on his Crushin’ It World Tour this Thursday at Ak-Chin Pavilion. Paisley kicked off his tour on May 15th in Philadelphia, and is set to play 35 shows in the United States and Canada. Paisley is an award-winning country singer with West Virginia roots. He has had 18 number one singles, sold 12 million records worldwide, and was inducted as the youngest member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2001. Paisley is touring in support of his latest album, Moonshine in the Trunk, which was #1 on Billboard’s country music chart. Paisley will be supported by country newcomers Justin Moore and Mickey Guyton.
Ak-Chin Pavilion, 2121 N. 83rd Ave., Phoenix, June 4, 7:30pm, $30-60.

Glendale Summer Band Concert Series
Settle in for an evening of great music as the Glendale Summer Band kicks off its 49th season this Thursday. This community concert band of over 100 members will play each Thursday for eight weeks in June and July, with a different musical theme each week. This week you can hear some of your favorite songs from traditional music to popular hits that fit into the “something for everyone” theme. This is a family friendly event and a great way to enjoy the summer evenings in an outdoor amphitheater, so bring a picnic blanket or lawn chairs, grab some refreshments that are for sale at the show, and have a great time with your family, friends, and neighbors!
Murphy Park Amphitheater, 7010 N. 58th Ave., Glendale, June 4, 8:00pm, free.

40th Annual Mighty Mud Mania
Scottsdale’s dirtiest event of the year is this Saturday! The Mighty Mud Mania, a mud obstacle course event, was started in 1976 as a promotion for “Shout” pre-wash spray. Since then, the city of Scottsdale has taken over the event and transformed it into an exciting, not-so-clean family event. With obstacle courses for kids 6 and under, 7-12, and 13 and up, there’s something fun to do for everyone. Older kids and adults will love the new Extreme Course, which features more challenging obstacles. Entry into this course is $10 for adults, with proceeds going to support youth programs in Scottsdale.  After you get good and muddy, be sure to grab a bite to eat from one of the food vendors that will be on-site for the event. Closed-toe lace-up shoes and shirts are required for all obstacle courses. All activities are free for children, but kids are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food donation for the Vista Del Camino Food Bank.
Chaparral Park, 5401 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale, June 6, 8:00am-1:00pm, free ($10 for Extreme Course).

Twilight Art Walk at Queen Creek Olive Mill
The Queen Creek Olive Mill will be hosting its first ever twilight art walk boutique this Saturday from 5:00-8:00pm. The boutique will feature art from members of the San Tan Artist Group, an artist collective from the Southeast valley who work to promote the visual arts. Works will range from paintings and watercolor to jewelry and metal art. While you’re perusing the artwork, grab a bite to eat at the Eatery, with happy hour from 4:00-7:00pm. Local musician Kyle Sorrel, a local acoustic alternative singer/songwriter, will play live music from 5:30-7:30pm.
Queen Creek Olive Mill, 25062 S. Meridian Rd., Queen Creek, June 6, 5:00pm.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton at Art d'Core Gala at Crescent Ballroom.

Stanton lauds downtown Phoenix for creativity, growth at Art d’Core Gala

Crescent Ballroom played host to the second annual Art d’Core Gala Saturday night.

Art d’Core Gala was presented by Artlink, Downtown Phoenix Inc. and the City of Phoenix’s Office of the Mayor. The event celebrated the arts and culture of downtown Phoenix and kicked off the festive season that will occur over the coming weeks.

Attendees were encouraged to dress in creative formal attire and each guest did not disappoint. From bright cocktail dresses to decorative suits, Crescent Ballroom was adorned with sea of creatively styled outfits.

The Phoenix Theatre opened the gala with a musical number. The tap routine was pulled from its current show Anything Goes, which premiered over the weekend.

Artlink President Catrina Kahler delivered opening remarks, followed by Downtown Phoenix Inc. CEO David Krietor. He expressed that downtown Phoenix is becoming more like the model downtown cities that Phoenix has aimed to become.

“If you want urban, and you want diverse, and you want interesting, downtown Phoenix and the core part of Phoenix have never been stronger than they are now,” Krietor said.

Mayor Greg Stanton then addressed the crowd for his annual “Celebrate Downtown Address,” which had the crowd cheering for all the things the city has accomplished.

Stanton highlighted the recent Super Bowl success as well as the landscape changes the city has been working toward. Last year, the city broke ground on more than one million square feet of commercial space.

“I have made it my No. 1 priority as mayor of this city to build an innovation based export economy that lifts everybody up and that starts right here in our downtown,” Stanton said.

He also lauded the universities in downtown Phoenix that are working together to bring a greater change.

Through partnerships with Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University, the city is able to build and produce tech startups, medical advancements and other innovations downtown. As for the arts, Stanton thanked ASU for making an investment in the warehouse district that opened up more spaces for artists.

Music in the city has also bloomed including the upcoming Viva Phoenix festival as well as Crescent Ballroom, which plays host to a variety of shows every week.

Current construction on Roosevelt Row is aiming to make the area more walk able for pedestrians and more shaded than ever before. In downtown, the new Complete Streets policy has made the streets more accessible to pedestrians and bicycles, including the new Grid Bike Share.

In addition, he toasted the growth in events, the arts community, those who make downtown what it is and the overall improvement of downtown Phoenix.

The remainder of the night was filled with music, dancing, and mingling as well as a raffle.

Although the kickoff celebration is over, the main event is still to come. Art Detour 27 takes place in downtown Phoenix March 7 and 8. Over the weekend, this self-guided tour will allow people from all over the Valley to experience the arts and culture that downtown has to offer.

Spouse Whisperer, WEB

The Spouse Whisperer Shares Sweet Somethings About Love

Comedian Mark Cordes, aka The Spouse Whisperer, knows a thing or two about making a relationship work. Turns out the secret to love is the secret to living a long life: laughter! Though you may not live longer after seeing Cordes perform, your relationship might! After all the rose petals dry up and the chocolate is devoured, treat your significant other to a night with The Spouse Whisperer at Phoenix Theatre and maybe learn a thing or two about keeping your perspective light!

When did you realize you were a “spouse whisperer” — were you in a relationship at the time?
Around 2004 I noticed that all the jokes I wrote and really enjoyed performing centered around relationships. My wife and I married in 1998, and she is an incredible source of material …. sometimes unwittingly. She is very funny, and we share the ability to laugh through the good times and the bad. This is when I really started to perform a lot of relationship material …. and people not only laughed, but they told me later that it really made them think about their relationships. And The Spouse Whisperer was born!

Best thing about marriage is:
I think that is a question that has to be answered on an individual basis. To some it may be physical or financial security. To others, it might mean that they no longer feel alone. Some people might see it as a way to start a family. I can only speak for myself…I feel blessed to share my life with my best friend, the one person that I can always count on to be there for me. I’ve been single, married, divorced, single again…and married again. And I know that this is as good as it gets for me.

One thing about marriage that mystifies you:
That people tend to want to compare their marriage to others. You never know what is going on behind closed doors. Don’t buy into the drama. Invest in your own marriage. Most people spend more time checking in on Facebook or watching reality television crap than they do on their own real life.

What do you do when you’ve run out of “firsts” with someone and want to keep it new — without going base-jumping or to extremes?
You can keep the spark alive in your relationship without having to come up with the latest and greatest. One of the best things for us is that we just feel comfortable together. There are times when it’s great to dress up, go out for an awesome dinner, go to a crazy party with tons of people, etc. And there are times when it’s even better to lounge on the couch with some popcorn and watch a movie. About the only thing that’s universally recognized as the perfect night out: catch a session with The Spouse Whisperer at The Phoenix Theatre! It’s like a tune up for your relationship.

What’s some of the feedback you’ve received after shows? Has anyone credited you for “helping” a marriage out?
After every show I can count on someone saying something along the lines of: “Thanks for talking about (fill in the blank). I thought we were the only couple that had that issue in our lives.” I know that laughter is an incredibly powerful force of nature. I heard a great quote, “people fall in love by smiling at each other, but people stay in love by laughing with each other.”

Reader Questions:
I’ve done eight Valentine’s Days with my wife. Kind of running out of ideas — where the line between being cliche and classic?
Don’t worry about being cliché or classic. What women want more than anything is to know that you took the time to do something special. It doesn’t have to be extravagant…just give it some thought and go with what you know she likes.

Am I supposed to do something romantic for my guy for Valentine’s Day?
Something romantic for your guy? That’s so easy…men are very visual creatures. A man’s idea of a romantic evening is you. In the same room. Breathing.

Out of many Valentine’s Days, of what gift/night out are you most proud?
The best Valentine’s Day we celebrated was six years ago. We had just moved into our dream home and spent an evening alone, with a quiet meal at home, as we realized the accomplishment of a goal we had shared together and worked for. Pretty sweet.

In a hypothetical “Battle of the Sexes: The Video Game” — who’s the boss level overlord to be defeated and what is the story behind the level?
I don’t accept the premise of the question. Sorry. I don’t think there should be a “battle.” That’s just setting it up to fail. And I don’t think it should be put into a game situation, because that means, by definition, that there will be a winner and a loser. Hard to see how it can be a long-term success. If you want to frame it that way, treat it more like you’re a team and you’re competing against the foes of boredom, infidelity, etc. Have fun! Remember, no one gets out of this thing alive!

Black Box Series, Phoenix Theatre, 602.254.2151, phoenixtheatre.com, Feb. 20 to March 2, times vary, $35 to $60

Joel Hiller

Hiller Elected President of Arizona Citizens for the Arts

Joel Hiller, President of the Yavapai Indian Cultural Center, has been elected president of the Arizona Citizens for the Arts Board of Directors.

Hiller will be joined on the executive committee by Vice President: Robert Knight, Tucson Museum of Art; Secretary: Phillip C. Jones, community volunteer and former executive director of the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture; Treasurer: Dawn Brown, Arizona Business Consulting; Directors at Large: Rick Pfannensteil, Pfocus LLC, and Jeff Rich, Rich-Gillis Law Group.  Also elected to the executive committee were Tom Chapman, retired educator, Advocacy Committee chair; and Lynn Tuttle, Arizona Department of Education, Finance Committee chair.

The following new board members were elected to three-year terms:  Laurie Goldstein, Freescale Semiconductor; Charles Goldstein, Emcare; Anne Kleindienst, Polsinelli P.C.; Bernadette Mills, West Valley Arts Council; Maureen O’Brien, Musical Instrument Museum; Vincent VanVleet, Phoenix Theatre; and Michael Vargas, Arizona Public Service.

Four board members were re-elected to serve another three-year term including Chapman; Jennifer Burns, Public Affairs Consulting; Sen. Steve Farley, Arizona State Senate; and Steve Martin, Childsplay.

For more information about Arizona Citizens for the Arts, visit www.azcitizensforthearts.org.

Jennifer Lopez2

Celebrity Fight Night Brings Stars to the Valley for a Night of Giving Back

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Celebrity Fight Night brought high-profile names to the Valley on Saturday in support of the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center (MAPC) and Movement Disorder Clinic at Barrow Neurological Institute.

Held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort, stars and guests rallied around raising money for life-changing causes with Muhammad Ali as the guest of honor.

Red carpet names for the 2013 event included Reba McEntire, Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Rita Wilson, Mario Lopez and Evander Holyfield, among others, with Jennifer Lopez as this year’s featured performer.

Before the night began, stars posed on the red carpet, mingled and signed some of the event’s auction items. Guests were able to bid on a dinner with Reba McEntire at her home in Beverly Hills, VIP concert tickets for Paul McCartney, dinner in Italy with Andrea Bocelli and other once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Celebrity Fight Night has raised over $80 million in its last 18 years. In addition to MAPC, other benefiting organizations for the 2013 event included: Andrea Bocelli Foundation, Barrow Neurological Foundation, David Foster Foundation, First Things First Foundation, Jenesse Center, Muhammad Ali Center, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix Symphony, Phoenix Theatre, Salvation Army, Solid Rock Foundation, St. Vincent de Paul, Starkey Hearing Foundation, Texoma Health Foundation.


The 2013 Celebrity Fight Night raised a total of $7.2 million, bringing the 19-year total to $87 million. The night’s highlights included performances by Steve Martin, Billy Ray Cyrus, Haley Reinhart, Rita Wilson, Tate Stevens, Andrea Bocelli and Jennifer Lopez, with Reba McEntire as emcee. The auctioned dinner with Reba McEntire and special guests Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and David Foster went to two bidders paying a total of $800,000.
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Photos by Lillian Reid

Pamela Overton Risoleo

Greenberg Traurig Shareholder Honored

Pamela Overton Risoleo, a shareholder and co-chair of the Phoenix litigation practice of the international law firm Greenberg Traurig, will be honored Feb. 23 by YWCA Maricopa County as its “2013 Tribute to Leadership – Community Service Corporate Leader.” Overton’s recognition is for her many years dedicated to philanthropic causes and for her passion for serving the Phoenix community including her pivotal role as co-founder of the nonprofit Fresh Start Women’s Foundation. Established in 1992, the organization has supported a full-service women’s resource center serving more than 2,500 women in need each month in Phoenix.

In addition to decades of fundraising and leadership positions, Overton Risoleo also supports a broad range of philanthropic causes, having raised millions for Phoenix-based charities, including The American Heart Association, Liberty Wildlife and Trends Charitable Fund. In 2008, AZ Woman named her “Woman of the Year.” She is also an active fundraiser for the Phoenix Theatre and was recognized with the organization’s “Women Who Care” award in 2011.

“Not only has Pam been a leader and mentor for many within our Phoenix office, she has also served as a role model in serving the community,” said John E. Cummerford, Greenberg Traurig’s co-managing shareholder in Phoenix. “We are pleased and proud she is being recognized for her outstanding work.”

Overton Risoleo and 10 honorees in other leadership categories will be recognized at the YWCA Tribute to Leadership dinner event at the Phoenix Ritz-Carlton on Feb. 23. Others to be recognized include community leaders from PetSmart, Banner Health, Phoenix Theatre, Helios Education Foundation, Maricopa Medical Center, the U.S. Army Reserve, ONE Community Media, the Phoenix Mercury, the Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation and the International Foundation for Education & Self-Help.

“To be recognized among this outstanding group is truly an honor,” said Overton Risoleo. “I continue to be inspired by those who make a difference, but even more so by those who are determined to make the most of what they have for themselves and their families. I will always assist and encourage those in need and challenge my colleagues, family and friends to do the same. The rewards are so much greater than the effort required.”

For the past 18 years YWCA Maricopa County, part of the oldest and largest multicultural organization in the world, has been honoring individuals who strive to eliminate discrimination against women in the community. Community service leader honorees were selected in areas of nonprofit, corporate, education, creative arts, advocacy, health and science, military, sports and racial justice. For more information on YWCA Maricopa County and the Tribute to Leadership event, visit ywcaaz.org or call (602) 258-0990.

Desert Schools - community service and leadership award

YWCA Hosts 2013 Tribute To Leadership Gala

YWCA Maricopa County will Host its 20th annual Tribute To Leadership Gala on February 23, 2013, at the Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix at 6:00pm. Guests will be provided an elegant setting to dine and dance to the wonderful Upper East Side Big Band.

Tribute To Leadership, our largest event of the year, will honor those who have made substantial contributions to eliminating discrimination, empowering women, and serving as champions to our community. The gala provides funding to support YWCA programs throughout the year; including financial education, advocacy and awareness programs, and essential services for seniors. Please join us on February 23rd to celebrate these amazing honorees. For more information, visit www.ywcaaz.org or call 602-258-0990.

2013 Tribute to Leadership Honorees:

Jaye Perricone, PetSmart, Advocacy Leader

Pamela Overton Risoleo, Greenberg Traurig, Community Service Corporate Leader

Andy Kramer, Banner Health Foundation, Community Service Nonprofit Leader

Michael Barnard, Phoenix Theatre, Creative Arts Leader

Paul Luna, Helios Education Foundation, Education Leader

Dean Victor Coonrod, MD-MPH, Maricopa Medical Center, Health & Science Leader

Patricia Little-Upah, retired, US Army Reserve, Military or Armed Service Leader

Angela Hughey, ONE Community Media, Public Service Leader

Karen Churchard, Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation, Centennial Leader

Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury, Sports Leader

Julie Sullivan, International Foundation for Education & Self-Help, Racial Justice Leader