A Peoria fixture since 2004, Arizona Broadway Theatre combines performances with fine dining, a marriage that helped garner the title of Best Playhouse from PHOENIX magazine in 2010. Curtains open to a cast of talented performers, who were culled from auditions in New York and the Valley of the Sun, and have belted out Broadway staples such as Grease, Fiddler on the Roof, and Singin' in the Rain. Servers glide through the tiered theater hall prior to performances, peppering white tablecloths with platefuls of American fare. Previous show's menus have included such dishes as steak diane's sliced tenderloin paired with sautéed shallots and lyonnaise potatoes, which entertain patrons' stomachs without forcing them to eat the show's program.
Since its founding in 1934 by archetypal cowboy Roy Rogers and a group of like-minded cowpeople, the Sons of the Pioneers have sung classic compositions chronicling life in the Old West to audiences worldwide—earning them entry into the Country Music Hall of Fame and National Cowboy Hall of Fame. A veritable Supreme Court of country music, the sextet's rotating lineup of members perform for several decades before retiring, and a mandatory majority vote from the Senate is required for new cowboy singers. The venerable current roster still burns through fiddle and guitar strings like undomesticated flames fanned by the mellifluous breeze of six-part harmonies. In keeping with the authentic music and Western themes, the Sons of the Pioneers encourages audiences to applaud the performance with hearty "yee-haws," but asks them to refrain from firing six-shooters wildly into the air.
A kaleidoscope of multichromatic blossoms and emerald leaves bursts from the soil, blanketing 65 acres of desert landscape at Desert Botanical Garden. Diverse walkways flanked by more than 1,200 types of cacti, succulents, and wildflowers educate visitors on the importance of protecting the environment and not hugging every plant they see. In addition to the garden's more stationary organisms, some of which go home with local green thumbs during biannual plant sales, numerous avian and insect species make their homes amid the thriving greenery.
The spirit of Tchaikovsky guides Moscow Ballet’s professional ballerinas as they leap and pirouette against nine handpainted backgrounds that invigorate his spirited score in time for the holiday season. The Great Russian Nutcracker reintroduces audiences of all ages to young Masha, whose taste for adventure rivals her magical wooden doll’s legendary aversion to chestnuts. Dancers fling themselves across the stage in grand jetés as the curtain opens on Moscow’s iconic skyline, which gives way to a spooky dreamland as the Mouse King rears his fuzzy head to stir up mischief. Audiences gasp as legions of mice capture Masha’s strong-jawed companion and carry him away in front of a lavishly decorated Christmas tree that grows to a height of more than 60 feet and a population of more than 600 squirrels. Live orchestral accompaniment blares during the ensuing battle and ushers the action into the enchanted land of the Sugar Plum Fairy in the ballet's second act.