Allegra, Mozart & African drums

Yes, Virginia. There is a Santa Claus. But there’s so much more. If you’re seeking non-holiday fare this week, you have plenty of options. Allegra. Mozart. African Drums. And more.

Allegra” is a new play tackling family ties and tough decisions It’s written by Asher Wyndham, an MFA playwriting candidate at ASU in Tempe.

Allegra is a TV news reporter charged with caring for a younger brother with Down syndrome, who discovers after getting pregnant that her own child will likely have the same condition. How, and what, does she decide? And how does she explain the choice to those around her?

“Allegra,” directed by ASU School of Theatre and Film professor William Partian, will be performed in workshop form Dec 2-5 at ASU’s Lyceum Theatre. Tickets are just $8. (Please note that this play has adult, mature-theme content.)

On the child-friendly front, there’s “The Magic Flute” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It’s being performed at the Orpheum Theatre Fri, Dec 3, and Sun, Dec 5, by Phoenix Opera.

Tickets to “The Magic Flute” are normally $60-$95 each, but those who purchase tickets today (Mon, Nov 29) can enjoy a “2 for 1” special as part of “Cyber Monday.”

The Paradise Valley Community College Dance Department presents their “Fall Dance Collection” Fri, Dec 3, and Sat, Dec 4, at 7:30pm at the PVCC Center for the Performing Arts. The evening features visiting artists, guest choreographers and student dancers. Tickets are $12 for adults (less for students, staff, seniors and children).

Finally, there’s the ASU African Drum Ensemble, performing at the Evelyn Smith Music Theatre on the ASU Tempe campus Sun, Dec 5, at 7:30pm. This event is free, and promises a rich menu of African performance art.

The ASU African Drum Ensemble has invited the ASU African Dance class, an Eastlake Park African Dance class, the South Mountain Community College African Storytelling class, and members of the Kawambe Omowale African Drum and Dance Theater to join them in bringing the “African Experience” to those who attend.

Consider treating a friend to one or more of these performances as a unique holiday gift — remembering that the gifts of time and shared memories transcend the value of material possessions.

Some seek a thrill in shopping, but I still find what’s happening on Valley stages infinitely more intriguing and enriching. I’ll trade the crowds for creativity any time of year…

— Lynn

Note: For news of additional events and activities, please consult prior posts and the online calendar from Raising Arizona Kids magazine.

Coming up: Hannukah happenings, Theater for grown-ups, Valley student goes Cirque, Art adventures: The Phoenix Zoo