Arts & Culture Featured Fara Illich September 5, 2012

Throw on your good jeans, culture is back.
marriage-figaroAs the calendar tells us it’s fall (thanks so much, Labor Day) it’s time to welcome our theater, symphony and opera back and pretend, just for a moment, that it’s really the third quarter of the year season-wise. To get you in the spirit, and excited about the fall-to-spring season of music and plays, here’s a little rundown of what to expect from our bastions of the arts and culture Downtown.
Herberger Theater Center
The Herberger season officially kicked off Aug. 10 with the Valley Youth Theatre production of Legally Blonde. The season rolls on with performances from Center Dance Ensemble, Arizona Theatre Company, iTheatre Collaborative, Actors Theatre and Taylor Circus Stars among other groups. While the holiday schedule is always impressive – look for Circus Americana to join the winter season’s offerings – we’re looking forward to the musical version of Jane Austen’s Emma running during January and Lombardi, which tells the story of the famed Green Bay Packers coach mid-November through Dec. 2. For a taste of all that Herberger – and the arts Downtown – have to offer, check out the third annual Herberger Theater Festival of the Arts for performances, dance, food, art, live music, wine and kid friendly activities on Oct. 6.
Phoenix Symphony
The 2012-13 season begins Sept. 20 with two women: guest conductor Sarah Hicks and Elena Urioste on violin performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major. The packed season continues with a mix of pops – including Wicked Divas Sept. 28-30 – classics and specials. While a trip to the symphony can seem daunting, the Phoenix Symphony is approachable and enjoyable whether you show up in jeans and cowboy boots or an evening dress (you’ll likely see both at any show). We’re looking all the way forward to January (ok, and the holidays, too) for Rex Allen Jr. in An Arizona Tribute. Allen Jr. is the guy who penned the alternate State Song of Arizona as well as being the voice behind hundreds of Disney characters and voice behind chart-topping songs.
Arizona Opera
Performing out of Symphony Hall, the Arizona Opera returns Oct. 12. With all five performances in the 2012-13 season centered around the price of passion, the opera is bringing innovation to its repertoire. Puccini’s Tosca in January is a great way to get your feet wet with opera while the season opener Lucia di Lammermoor will satisfy all your blood and guts (or singing about gore) needs. Similar to the Symphony, cocktail dress is suggested but you’ll see everything from sandals to tuxedos.
(Photo of the Marriage of Figaro from the Arizona Opera)