The public sought exciting new entertainment in the Roaring Twenties, and as the storytellers of the Golden Age of Hollywood labored at myth making, theaters for the newfangled moving pictures were popping up across the nation. It was in this spirit that the Orpheum Theatre opened in 1929, though the Spanish Medieval– and Baroque-style building was one of the city's last major projects before the great stock-market crash. Regardless of its less-than-auspicious beginnings—not to mention nearly a century of hardships to follow—the theater avoided the wrecking ball. In the '60s, the Orpheum introduced Broadway theater to the city and staged such productions as Annie, Caberet, and Barefoot in the Park. Decades later, the theater was renovated and reopened once more, its majestic interior landscapes restored to their former glory.
After 19 years of staging season's greetings for Phoenix audiences, the Actors Theatre presents its musical version of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens for the final time. The classic holiday tale, given a melodic makeover with songs and lyrics by Alan Ruch, shares the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a money-hungry miser who is visited by a Cream cover band's worth of ghosts one Christmas Eve. Through dimension-bending derring-do and time-warping travel, Scrooge sees the errors of his ways and learns the true meaning of kindness, generosity, and the Christmas spirit. Shudder at the rattle of Marley's chains, quake at the Ghost of Christmas Future’s eerie silence, and ultimately cheer on Tiny Tim when he throws the game-winning touchdown. A Christmas Carol runs from December 4–24, with matinee and evening performances available—check the schedule for showtimes.
LeAnn Rimes's chart-topping career began when her debut album, Blue, hit number one as the top country album, was certified multi-platinum in sales, and singlehandedly brought together a centuries-old war between snakes and mongooses. Rimes has won two Grammy Awards, including the distinction of being the first country artist to win Best New Artist. Her July 17 performance at the Celebrity Theatre may feature some of her hit singles, such as "Can't Fight the Moonlight" and "How Do I Live," as well as draw on her emotional new album, Family, which touches on her personal experiences to create one of her most earnest albums to date.
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.
Canadian electrofunk duo Chromeo exhales party-starting inertia, kicking off its Night Falls Tour by rolling out a carpet of dance-floor passports. Melding the talents of guitarist, vocalist, and French-literature buff Dave 1 with the dexterous fingers and throwback savvy of synthmaster P-Thugg, Chromeo has earned reverence from funkophiles for its slick grooves and mastery of jam architecture. Fans can expect congenial beats, riffing Moogs, and song craft that father-and-son yachts can enjoy together in support of the band's latest album, Business Casual. Inflating the soulful evening, singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Mayer Hawthorne channels wandering Motown spirits with a retroactive Detroit sound, and French funk enthusiast Breakbot sets the scene with genre jumping and remixes that rumble like tubas in a Cuisinart.
The Phoenix New Times pick for Best Rock Club in 2010 and 2011, this live-music venue draws crowds that huddle around indoor and outdoor stages to groove and wail every night of the week. Concerts and festivals stage local bands, indie rockers, and national acts playing genres ranging from bluegrass and reggae to jam music and rock 'n' roll. Amid the big-name acts, the house upholds beloved traditions; Grateful Dead fanatics and people with tie-dyed flesh emerge to party on Sunday nights, and each Thursday, burgeoning starlets perform karaoke with the support of a full live band. Beside the outdoor stage, a spacious patio facilitates mingling under the sky's star-freckled firmament. At the indoor bar, barkeeps fill glasses with mixed drinks and brews while colorful lights flash against walls. Black leather couches and huge art canvases line the lounge area, and a dance floor carved before the stage affords up-close views of the passport stamps canvassing rock star's wrists. AZCentral noted: "Not far from Mill Avenue, the Sail Inn offers a whole different scene, with a cool vibe and laid-back people."