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Arts & Culture Bars & Nightlife Deal Family Featured Food, Restaurants & Dining Music & Events Travel, Shopping & Leisure Fara Illich February 22, 2011

There’s so much fun to be had in Downtown Phoenix this week it oughta be illegal. Here are just a few of the highlights:
This Saturday and Sunday  from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Downtown Phoenix will host the 27th Annual Matsuri: A Festival of Japan, at Heritage and Science Park.
matsuriA showcase for the sights, sounds and tastes of Japanese culture, Matsuri includes food vendors, martial arts exhibits, dancing, drumming, crafts, children’s activities, and bazaar-style shopping. There will be live performances on three stages plus competitive Kendama, a traditional Japanese game of skill that involves scooping up a wooden ball and catching it in a cup.
This year’s event offers two new wrinkles: A beer garden, sponsored by Asahi beer, and Yo Matsuri, a night festival. Yo Matsuri will feature Taiko (Japanese drums), an Awa Odori dance performance and Karaoke, which is in fact Japanese.
Nobuo at Teeter House, one of Downtown’s hottest restaurants and the home of James Beard Award-winning chef Nobuo Fukuda, will be joining the fun, offering a wide selection of Japanese craft brews and sakes. They’ll be serving their regular lunch menu, plus special sashimi plates and Nobuo’s signature spoon tastes.
Admission to Matsuri is free and for more information visit azmatsuri.org
Arrogant Butcher Opens
Sam Fox’s first restaurant concept in Downtown Phoenix opened at CityScape on Monday. The reviews have been very strong and you can read Arizona Republic food critic Howard Seftel’s initial thoughts here. Located at 2 East Jefferson St., The Arrogant Butcher is open for lunch and dinner 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday; Brunch, lunch and dinner, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday.
Lewis Black Returns
You know what makes our country great? Only in America can a screaming middle-aged man become a world-famous comedian simply by ranting and raving about the state of our society. Black is definitely a tour de force and the tour is stopping at the Orpheum Theatre for two shows Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m.
Ten Chimneys
This play within a play is set at a Wisconsin mansion and provides an equally funny and sad look at the private lives of actors who are always on stage. Check out blogger Liz Fichera’s review here. Feb. 24-Mar. 6 at Herberger Theatre Center. Call 602-256-6995 for tickets.
Gold’s Spin-a-thon
Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to noon Gold’s Gym Elite at CityScape will be hosting a spectacular outdoor spinning event to benefit the American Diabetes Association. This high-energy affair costs $10/hour with all proceeds going to the ADA. Every hour purchased includes a raffle ticket. Get the weekend off to a healthy start and meet some new friends all for a great cause! Call 602-368-1221 to reserve your spot.
Have a great week!