Take in Second Friday festivities in Mesa, a play in Tempe, musical events and concerts in Queen Creek, or some Cardinals-themed things to do in Scottsdale. Tribune provides all the details for making your weekend plans.
A weekend of firsts
By Albert Ching
On this date 13 years ago, the Harlem Globetrotters had their 24-year winning streak ended by an all-star team headed up by basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in a game in Vienna, Austria. But instead of concerning ourselves with things that ended over a decade ago many countries away, let’s focus on things that are fresh and beginning here in the East Valley.
This month, Second Friday in downtown Mesa will be tying in to the new “Beneath the Skin: Artwork Inspired by Tattoos” and “Low and Slow: The 'Art’ of the Lowrider” exhibitions at Mesa Contemporary Arts. Fittingly, the theme is “Urban Art,” with a tattoo contest, a canvas for visitors to “graffiti,” skateboard art and appearances from the Arizona Derby Dames (all-female roller derby league), along with the usual fare of merchants and vendors.
>> Second Friday takes place 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. today at Main Street in downtown Mesa. Free. (480) 890-2613 or downtownmesa.com.
Downtown Mesa is hopping tonight, with Second Friday and also an open house event at Mesa Arts Center. Several of the MAC’s affiliate groups will have an open house with free preview performances, to give interested folks an idea of what to expect from their coming seasons. Those participating include Metropolitan Youth Symphony, Sonoran Desert Chorale, Symphony of the Southwest and Southwest Shakespeare.
>> The open house at Mesa Arts Center takes place 7 p.m. at the Ikeda Theater, Piper Repertory Theater and Nesbitt/Elliot Playhouse at Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. Free. (480) 644-6500 or mesaartscenter.com.
Tempe-based professional theater troupe Childsplay has been entertaining kids and families since 1977, and their latest season starts this weekend with “Miss Nelson Is Missing,” based on a children’s book by Harry Allard and James Marshall. It depicts a young student’s worst nightmare: a beloved elementary school teacher getting replaced by a much stricter substitute.
>> “Miss Nelson Is Missing” opens 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway. $20-$25. (480) 921-5700 or childsplayaz.org.
The weekend promises music in the air
By Martin Cizmar
Music in the Santan area isn’t always easy to find, but this weekend you’ve got lots of options — from thumping electronica to old-timey country. Here are three ways to get an earful this weekend.
Earth Dance, a simultaneous event held in over 60 countries and 300 locations across the globe, will host its local incarnation in Queen Creek this year. Phunk Junkeez (pictured), and Mike Dearborn headline the 15-hour event, featuring three stages of music, Buddhist monks, a laser light show and a drum circle. Allowed by organizers: purses, backpacks, musical instruments, one sealed bottle of liquid, good vibes, friends, family and an open mind. Prohibited: violence, drugs, alcohol, gum, whistles, markers, crayons, bad attitudes, inappropriate clothing and prejudice of any kind.
>> Schnepf Farms, 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek. Event starts at 2 p.m. $35. (602) 234-5715 or www.earthdance.org/phoenix.
BATTLE OF THE BANDS
Just down the road Saturday, the Arizona Optimist Club will host a battle of the bands. Each band gets to perform two or three songs each to compete for cash prizes. The Optimist Club, which works to promote optimism as a life philosophy, is a group for Santan residents who want to work together to bring out the best in the youth of the area.
>> Queen Creek Center for the Performing Arts, 22149 E. Ocotillo Road. Noon. $10. www.qcpac.com or (480) 987-7469.
If you’re looking for some country music this weekend, stop by Norton’s Country Corner Friday or Saturday night to hear SureFire. They’re sure to get your boots scooting with lively old-time country covers. Norton’s has a great jukebox, too, if you’re looking for more tunes.
>> Norton’s Country Corner, 20835 E. Ocotillo Road, Queen Creek. (480) 882-1231.
Playing your Cards well in Scottsdale
By Craig Outhier
The vaunted Arizona Cardinals football squad — now 1-0! — opens its home schedule this Sunday, but if you’re unwilling or incapable of making the 756-mile journey to western Arizona to see the game, there are other ways to pay your respects, Scottsdale-style.
Cardinals history isn’t one of pure futility. The club actually won a pair of NFL championships in the pre-Super Bowl era. The last was waaaaaay back in 1947, during the Harry S. Truman administration. To get a taste of what life was like back then, visit the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park (7301 E. Indian Bend Road) and check out the park’s crown jewel: a Roald Amundsen luxury Pullman car used by Truman himself (along with Hoover, Roosevelt and Eisenhower). None of them Cards fans, unfortunately.
>> Open 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily. Tours of the Pullman car are free. Visit therailroadpark.com for more information.
Founded in 1897, the Cardinals can lay claim to at least one nondubious distinction in the NFL: They are football’s oldest continually operated franchise. So why not catch Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins at the city’s oldest continually operated bar? Opened in 1959, the Coach House has wet whistles on the same nongentrified Old Town lot for dang near 50 years. Who knows? If owner Jim Brower, whose parents founded the bar, continues to successfully defend the land from developers, it could sling beers for 50 more. Maybe in time to see a Cardinals Super Bowl.
>> 7011 E. Indian School Road. Call (480) 990-3433 for more information.
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Even casual sports fans know the team moved to Arizona from St. Louis in 1988, but do they know that the Cardinals originally played in Chicago? That’s right — the Cardinals are Midwest transplants, too, just like so many famous Scottsdaleans. One of them, architect David Hovey — creator of Optima Camelview Village (pictured) — has a new book out: “The Nature of Dwellings: The Architecture of David Hovey” ($50). At least one of our native Chicagoans knows how to design a winner.
>> Visit optimaweb.com for more information on Hovey and his Optima projects.