Mesa Arts Center curates artistic goings-on inside a sleek structure filled with four theaters, five art galleries, and 14 art studios. Graced by the likes of Yo-Yo Ma and Bill Cosby, the stages of the facility's theaters showcase a cultural cocktail of live music, Broadway, dance, and comedy performances. Grooming the next generation of artisans with the help of advanced equipment, seasoned instructors teach everything from acting and beading to woodworking and welding during art classes tailored to both kids and adults.
For inspiration, students and visitors can stroll through the galleries of the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum for glimpses at a revolving selection of contemporary art from international artists. Speckled with gardens, shapely architecture, and colorful lighting, the facility?s modern grounds welcome guests for everyday visits or annual events and festivals.
Beloved boy bands New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys rev the engines of adoration among droves of fans with their poptastic summer tour. New Kids on the Block has been plucking heartstrings and handcrafting harmonies since 1986, combining a collection of international hits such as "Hangin' Tough" and "Step by Step" with five-part choreography and fashionable duds. Following in their footsteps, the Backstreet Boys began blowing up charts in the '90s, producing a songbook replete with favorites such as "I Want It That Way," "All I Have to Give," and "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)." The NKOTBSB Tour brings both acts together for a songful extravaganza, forming the more perfect union prophesied nearly 50 years ago by the Constitution. The May 25 concert also includes the vocal virtuosity of special guest and American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, adding to an ear-pleasing stew of dulcet melodies sure to soothe the most savage beast or most irascible mail carrier.
Constructed in 1934 in the Spanish-mission style, the San Jose Civic has played host to a star-studded lineup of performers—including The Who, who kicked off its first U.S. tour on the Civic's venerable stage. The building's elegant, dual-level exterior and softy lit tower recall bygone days of conquistadors, and the remodeled auditorium's armrests and cup holders keep chalices of gold comfortably upright.
A becalming late afternoon awaits music fans as they mosey along the trail of Phoenix Symphony Allegro's second annual Symphony Stroll, absorbing cuisine, drinks, and euphony at a sextet of Phoenix eateries. The journey begins at My Big Fat Greek Restaurant, where jazz guitarist Pete Pancrazi soothes insoles with his smooth, sure-footed melodies. Here, guests pick up their stroll pass, along with three complimentary alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverage tickets to be redeemed in tandem with three appetizers or desserts over the course of a progressive stroll to five other downtown venues. The toasty aromas of baked goods mingle with quarter notes from the tickled ivories of pianist Ed Madden at Corner Bakery Café, and harpist Paula Provo plucks ethereal melodies amid gourmet pub fare and sharp-lined, monolithic columns at Hanny's. Strollers can then swing by Kincaid’s for classic American cuisine and the spirited plucking of Stan Sorenson, whose ax attack delivers a fusion of genres such as Latin, reggae, and rock, all anchored by traditional jazz. Loiter as saxophonist Paul Brewer blows his horn surrounded by vintage Guinness posters at Tilted Kilt, and dilly-dally as pianist Beth Lederman inflates Copper Blues with boisterous Brazilian jazz.
• For $36, you get a seat in section 201–203 or 213–230 (a $54.20 value before fees, or up to a $71.50 value online, including all ticketing fees). • For $56, you get a seat in section 113–120 (a $94.20 value before fees, or up to a $112.90 value online, including all ticketing fees).