My Herberger happy dance

Go ahead — give a twirl. You know you want to. Because today marks the grand re-opening ceremony of the Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix. It’s newly renovated and I’m doing my happy dance.

Tomorrow I can dance during the Herberger Theater Center’s Festival for the Arts, though I may let others do it for me. Get ready for a collective community arts party of sorts as longime lovers of the Herberger join newer fans for a day of play.

The festival features food, performances, art, live music, film festival shorts and a children’s activity area. Tickets are just $5 for the 13 & up set (ages 12 & under are free).

At some point, I’ll need to hang up my dancing shoes and slide into my running shoes so I can also get to some of the other arts events around the Valley this weekend. Here’s a rundown…


CONDER/dance presents “Dance Downtown” on Fri, Oct 1. It features “dance, film and art on the grounds of the majestic Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix.


Century Arts Foundation presents the 10th annual “Scottsdale International Film Festival” for five days starting Fri, Oct 1. Features films that “foster a meaningful understanding of the world’s cultures, lifestyles, religions, and ethnicities.” Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts (opening ceremony) and Harkins Camelview 5 Theatre in Scottsdale.


The Deer Valley Rock Art Center presents a free lecture by Reba Wells Grandrud titled “Historical Graffiti: Arizona’s Own ‘Independence Rock.'” Features information on an Arizona bluff where several people well-known in the history of the Southwest carved their names or initials. DVRAC in Glendale.

The Heard Museum presents their 7th annual “Spirit of the Heard” award ceremony on Fri, Oct 1. The 2010 ceremony will honor revered Taos Pueblo elder, Tony Ryena — and kick off their “2010 Native American Recognition Days.” Heard Museum in Phoenix.


The Heard Museum presents members of the Arizona Opera performing “Little Warrior Comes Home” on Sun, Oct 3. Features work written by Navajo scholar Evangeline Parsons-Yazzie of Northern Arizona University. Heard Museum in Phoenix.

The Phoenix Symphony presents “Pops Adventures Around the World” Fri/Sat/Sun, Oct 1-3. The two-hour concert, conducted by Jack Everly, features music of Australia, the UK, the USA and Italy. Symphony Hall in Phoenix.


ASU Lyric Opera Theatre presents “Tartuffe” on Fri/Sat, Oct 1-2 (and Fri/Sat, Oct 8-9). Features the contemporary comedic opera (opera is only rumored to be old and stuffy) based on Molere’s 17th century French comedy. Evelyn Smith Music Theatre at ASU in Tempe.

Great Arizona Puppet Theater presents “For Adults: Puppet Slam” (for the 18+ set) on Fri/Sat, Oct 1-2. Features “quirky edgy puppet shows by Arizona’s leading quirky edgy puppeteers.” GAPT in Phoenix.


Changing Hands Bookstore presents “Costume Storytime: Wild Thing” on Sat, Oct 2. Family event features a storyteller reading Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are” while a “Wild Thing” visits and poses for photos (bring your camera). CHB in Tempe.

South Mountain Community College presents “Stories for Hispanic Heritage Month” on Fri, Oct 1. Features stories from the SMCC Storytelling Institute. SMCC in Phoenix.

Visual Arts

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum presents “Art Institute Student Show” Sat., Oct 2 through Sun., Dec 5. Features “a variety of media and a multitude of Sonoran Desert subject matter.” ASDM in Tucson.

Artlink Phoenix presents “First Friday” on Fri, Oct 1. The “nation’s largest, self-guided art walk” features access to “more than 70 galleries, venues and art-related spaces” in Phoenix. Trollies leave from the Phoenix Art Museum starting at 6pm. (Museums open during the walk include the Children’s Museum of Phoenix and others.)

Check the online calendar for Raising Arizona Kids magazine for daily listing of family-friendly events including performing arts, exhibits and much more. It’s a great place to find storytimes, arts and crafts, outdoor/nature experiences and more. (Always call ahead to confirm event details, ticket prices and such.)

If, like me, you get all your family’s dancing shoes at Barry’s Capezio in Scottsdale, give my regards to Barry and family — and warn them that I may be the one doing the happy dance this weekend. Those who don’t dart out the door with dread will give a good giggle.


Note: The Herberger Theater Center is home to three resident companies — Actors Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company and Center Dance Ensemble. Other companies who use the Herberger Theater Center include Valley Youth Theater and iTheatre Collaborative. The center also features a youth outreach program and the Steele Pavilion Art Gallery.

Coming up: Theater musings from Diamond Head, Dance performance to benefit domestic violence prevention, Theater by and for youth, Fall break arts camps