As toes twinkle onstage, visitors can bask in the renovated scenery of Symphony Hall, which couples hand-blown glass chandeliers with a quartet of designer tapestries. One of the largest machine-made draperies known to man, the theater’s colorful Grand Drape symbolizes the renewal of generations, creativity, and library books discovered during fossil digs.
Called one of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals by MovieMaker magazine, the Phoenix Film Festival screens more than 150 feature films and shorts in a variety of genres. With the VIP pass, festival-goers get a complimentary T-shirt, priority seating, and front-of-line bragging rights, and can see any of their choice of films (except the opening-night gala) throughout the festival. VIPs can also attend any of the events from April 1 through April 7, such as the Friday-night or Saturday-night parties and the festival's awards party, during which the winners of the prestigious Copper Wing Awards will be announced and this year's Best Director will sit on a dunk tank filled with scalding popcorn butter.
Amid the bright lights and engaging attractions of the Arizona State Fair, Beerfest fills mouths with local brews, craft beers, and traditional American favorites. Quaff local bounty as Arizona brewers Sleepy Dog, Mogollon, and Mudshark serve three specialties each, or refresh palates with Anheuser-Busch mainstays—such as Stella, Beck's, and Bud Light—hewn from wheat, laced with lime, or crammed with beer. Inventive craft brews tickle tongues as pairs jointly gulp from a roster boasting brews including Deschutes’s Mirror Pond pale ale, Odell’s 90 Shilling, and Kona's Pipeline Porter. Between knocking back fermented fare and brainstorming plans to construct a home beer moat, fair-goers can gawk at events and attractions at the fair, such as the Phoenix Police Department's K-9 competition or roller-skating battles by the Arizona Derby Dames, both on October 30.
David Gray's soothing folk-rock sounds and heartfelt lyrics have serenaded fans for nearly 20 years, earning the artist accolades and chart-topping hits in the United States and U.K. Gravelly voiced Gray mixes poetic introspection with ethereal guitar melodies to create songs that plumb soulful depths like existential octopuses. On his successful Lost and Found tour, Gray will supercharge his signature acoustics with live-performance electricity, performing a bevy of songs including numbers from his recent album Foundling. Groupon-holding spectators will sate aural appetites from level 3 seats—located in the outer banks of the orchestra and loge levels and in parts of the balcony—of the historical Orpheum Theater, with quadruple tier seating that provides ample views of every note as they flutter away from the stage and into the embrace of a nearby eardrums.
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 its 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 Thursday, June 30 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.
Every year, more than 100 amateur and professional cooks prepare fresh salsas for My Nana's Best Tasting Salsa Challenge. Proceeds from the daylong salsa competition and festival benefit the Arizona Hemophilia Association, which aims to enhance the life of sufferers and advocate for bleeding disorders. Now in its 30th year, the fest brings in more than 20,000 people annually. In addition to the salsa challenge, the Patron Margarita Mix-Off, which takes place from 12:30?3:30 p.m., challenges local bartenders to compete for the title of Best Margarita and a $500 cash prize. Outside of competitions, margaritas and cold beers wash down unlimited chips and salsa, and the rhythms of live bands keep crowds chewing in unison. Parents can accompany their children into a fun zone with multiple bounce houses, interactive games, and a bungee run.