Celebrate Ben Affleck's 36th birthday with a movie marathon featuring the actor, celebrate the '80s with a concert, movie and new threads, or experience the full moon with a night hike, dinner date or at the sports bar 'Half Moon'.
All Affleck, all weekend
By Albert Ching
Today marks one of the most festive and cherished of all events in a year: Ben Affleck’s birthday (he’s 36). To celebrate, here are some activities happening around the East Valley this weekend with loose connections to the films of the faded movie megastar (turned critically acclaimed director with last year’s “Gone Baby Gone”).
|THE ASSOCIATED PRESS|
Affleck’s critically savaged 2001 vehicle “Pearl Harbor” fictionalized the infamous 1941 attack on the Hawaii naval base by the Japanese navy. Truly, a dark day in the state’s history, but Valley-based musical group Mikioi reflects much happier times in Hawaii. The band, originally from the 50th state, combines Hawaiian music with reggae, pop and rhythm and blues and is performing Saturday at Chandler Center for the Arts.
>> Mikioi performs 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave. Free. (480) 782-2680 or chandlercenter.org.
After bombs like “Gigli” and “Surviving Christmas,” the Oscar winner (for the “Good Will Hunting” screenplay, co-written with pal Matt Damon) regained some credibility with his turn as 1950s “Superman” actor George Reeves in 2006’s “Hollywoodland.” Reeves had been acting since the 1930s, when jazz music still reigned supreme. Noted alto saxophonist David Sanborn keeps that tradition alive with his contemporary jazz, and he’s in concert tonight at Mesa Arts Center.
>> David Sanborn performs 8 p.m. today at Piper Repertory Theater, Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. $35 to $47.50. (480) 644-6500 or mesaartscenter.com.
'SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE’
In 1998’s best-picture winner, “Shakespeare in Love” (in which Ben Affleck played a memorable supporting role as egotistical Elizabethan actor Ned Alleyn), Shakespeare (played by Joseph Fiennes) writes Sonnet 18 to Viola (Gwyneth Paltrow). The poem famously begins, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,” and there are few better ways to spend a summer’s day than at a swimming pool. Chandler’s latest “aquatic center,” Mesquite Groves, is now open with amenities including two water slides; a dedication ceremony is slated for Saturday morning.
>> The dedication ceremony of Mesquite Groves Aquatic Center takes place
9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at 5901 S. Hillcrest Drive, Chandler. Free. (480) 782-2635 or chandleraz.gov/aquatics.
’80S IN AUGUST: HAIR BANDS AND HEAD KICKS
By Craig Outhier
Sluggish economy, superpower tensions, Great White at the Marquee Theatre … truly, it’s like the 1980s all over again. Why fight it? Indulge your nostalgia for a kinder, simpler, more Reagan-y time by following our weekend recipe for ’80s bliss. Acid washed denim shorts optional.
|THE ASSOCIATED PRESS|
Sure, Def Leppard rocked on with a one-armed drummer, but Great White lost an entire guitarist (not to mention 100 fans) when a deadly fire tore through a 2003 concert in Rhode Island. As such, the band best known for the 1988 party anthem “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” wins the gold medal for durable ’80s has-been rock outfits. See them this Friday at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe. And don’t forget your flame-resistant Carhartt work shirt (SRP: $62) from Ace Hardware. You can tear the sleeves off.
>> Tickets are $25. Showtime is 6:30 p.m. Information: (480) 829-0607 or luckymanonline.com.
New in town? Tired of getting hassled by the spoiled, corn-blond bully at school? Maybe you are a spoiled, corn-blond bully and you need a dose of humility. Daniel-san, it’s time to take a karate class. Mountain View Karate (8445 E. McDonald Drive) offers Saturday classes and monthly rates of $135. Premier Martial Arts (7267 E. Adobe) also offers Saturday introductory classes for children and families. You’ll be doing crane kicks and singing Survivor tunes in no time.
>> Mountain View Karate, (480) 905-9404; Premier Martial Arts, (602) 909-0840.
No rational human being would don Day-Glo in the swinging 2000s, but certain elements of 1980s fashion are making a comeback. “We’re seeing a lot of stuff with puffier sleeves, skinnier jeans and patent leather shoes,” says Devy Walker, owner of About Face boutique in Scottsdale. “Oh, and a lot of leggings.” Get Olivia Newton-John physical in jeans by Super Fine ($134), strike a Madonna pose with leggings by S-12 ($28) or look tubular in shiny kicks by Due Farina ($148).
>> About Face (7000 E. Shea Blvd.) is open Monday through Saturday. abface.com.
FULL MOON FEVER
By Martin Cizmar
The full moon rises Saturday over the San Tan Mountains. Here are a few ways to celebrate the climax of the lunar cycle this weekend.
With its newest location in Tempe, Half Moon Sports Grill is a bit of a hike. But this sports bar is worth the drive. Appointed with hardwood and frosted glass, it has top-notch Buffalo wings and enough TVs, facing in enough directions, to make it hard not to be looking at one while you dine.
>> Half Moon Sports Grill. 325 W. Elliot Road, Tempe. (480) 456-9400.
|THE ASSOCIATED PRESS|
Take some water, but feel free to leave behind your flashlight, as the San Tan Mountain Regional Park hosts a three-mile night hike Saturday from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Along the way you’ll hear the sounds of the desert at night and maybe see some nocturnal desert wildlife. Park entry fee is $6 per vehicle; hike is free.
>> San Tan Mountain Regional Park Nature Center, 6533 W. Phillips Road, Queen Creek. (480) 655-5554 or www.maricopa.gov/parks/santan.
Perhaps full moon fever will inspire you to seek out a romantic dinner date. Tonight Schnepf Farms offers a “Date Night” menu that has you covered. Drop by for beef vegetable soup, country meatloaf, mashed sweet potatoes, garden fresh vegetables and a dessert made with warm brownies, ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate syrup for $24.95.
>> Schnepf Farms, 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek. www.schnepffarms.com. (480) 987-8398.