December is a month filled with holiday parties, tree lightings and seasonal events. If you feel like taking some time for yourself and doing something a little different, consider one of these events during the weekend of December 2 and 3.
Musical: Experience Scandinavia
Different customs have shaped Scandinavia, an area in Northern Europe made up of Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The Musical Instrument Museum’s Experience Scandinavia event on Saturday and Sunday, December 2 and 3, lets guests learn more about the region’s music and dance traditions. On both days, the Scandinavian Folkdancers of Phoenix will perform folk dances in traditional garb and lead an interactive dance workshop, and Gladamusik will play traditional music from Finland, Sweden and Norway on instrument such as the nyckelharpa string instrument. Visitors can also see the Union 32 Jazz All-Stars, a performance group made up of Paradise Valley Community College faculty, perform more modern Nordic jazz music. Musical Instrument Museum Volunteer Per Schelde will give a talk on the diverse music of Denmark, his home country, and Storyteller Harriet Cole will share Icelandic tales of dragons and strong women. The museum will also have a lur craft activity, a photo booth and face-painting activity. Throughout both days, Café Allegro will serve themed dishes such as potato soup, Swedish meatballs, pork and potato sausage and lefse flatbread.
Saturday and Sunday, December 2 and 3
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Scottsdale.
$20 general admission, $15 for teens 13 to 19, $10 for children 4 to 12, free children 3 and under.
Theatrical: The Bodyguard the Musical
A whole generation grew up loving the 1992 film The Bodyguard because of the music of Whitney Houston. The Bodyguard The Musical brings the beloved story of a bodyguard and a pop superstar falling in love, all while he is protecting her from a crazed stalker, back to life for fans and new audiences. The national tour will visit ASU Gammage from through Sunday, December 3. Updated to the modern day, the show puts a focus on the music of Whitney Houston and offers a pseudo-concert experience, complete with backup dancers and props. The production features popular Whitney Houston songs such as I Will Always Love You, Queen of the Night, How Will I Know and Run to You. Written by Lawrence Kasdan and Alexander Dinelaris, the production stars Deborah Cox as Superstar Rachel Marrow, Judson Mills as Bodyguard Frank Farmer, Sebastian Maynard-Palmer as Rachel’s son Fletcher and Jasmin Richardson as Rachel’s sister Nicki.
Tuesday, November 28, through Sunday, December 3
7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday
ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe
Tickets start at $30
Artistic: Marking the Infinite
Sometimes artists are more than just creators of art. In their tribes, many contemporary Aboriginal female artists are matriarchal figures. As part of the exhibition Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is displaying work from nine artists from Aboriginal villages in Australia. The exhibition runs through Sunday, January 21, and features 68 different styles of paintings and sculptures. The artwork explores contemporary and traditional themes, and the exhibition as a whole shares the story of the sisterhood that exists between Aboriginal female artists. Through the exhibit, audiences can learn more about how human themes of existence are explored in Australia’s contemporary Aboriginal art.
Through Sunday, January 21
Noon-5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays. Noon-9 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7380 E. Second Street, Scottsdale.
$10 general admission, $7 for students, free 15 and under, free on Thursdays and after 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Educational: Pompeii the Exhibition at Arizona Science Center
Pompeii is known as the Roman city disseminated in 79 A.D. when Mount Vesuvius erupted, but before this, it served as a popular resort destination and a center for military, artisan and trading activities. Pompeii: The Exhibition looks deeper into the city’s history prior to and after the famous eruption. The exhibit runs through Monday, May 28, at the Arizona Science Center. Museumgoers will have a chance to see artifacts from the time, including a silver coin, a bronze fountain sculpture, mosaics, a male bust, jewelry and statues of Apollo and Roman Emperor Caligula. For adults, the exhibition offers a replica of a Pompeii brothel decorated with erotic artwork, which was often displayed near brothels and slave quarters and in private residences in Pompeii. A 4D movie experience let viewers see the impact of the volcanic eruption on the city, and body casts offer a look into the impact of gases and heat on human forms. Visitors will also learn more about how people in Pompeii lived during the time from structures such as a villa, a theater, a market and baths.
Through Monday, May 28
10 .m.-5 p.m. daily.
Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix
$18 general admission to museum, $13 admission for children 3 to 17, $11.95 adult admission to exhibition, $9.95 admission for children 3 to 17, museum and exhibition admission required to view exhibit.
Cultural: Arizona Asian American Festival
Chinese cultural traditions aren’t the same as those of the Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Malaysian, Indian, Korean or Cambodian cultures. During the Arizona Asian Festival on Saturday and Sunday, December 2 and 3, Valley residents and out-of-state visitors can experience different Asian cultures, all the in the same place. Put on by the Arizona Asian American Association, the event will have a variety of authentic cuisine, tea ceremonies, music and dance performances, martial arts demonstrations and interactive crafts and games. This year, the event will highlight Vietnamese culture with a special booth and music and dance performances. Reika Gumi, a female dance group from Tokyo, will give a special guest performance each day. On Sunday, models in traditional clothing will take part in the Pan-Asian Fashion Show. Inside the Avenue of Cultures, guests can learn about 17 different Asian Asian cultures.
Saturday and Sunday, December 2 and 3
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, 3939 N. 75th St., Scottsdale.
Free Admission and parking.
Seasonal: A Bloody Mary Christmas
Christmas isn’t just for young people. Folks in Sun City have their own holiday traditions, as evidenced in Space 55’s annual production A Bloody Mary Christmas. In its 8th year, the show will run through Saturday, December 30. In the comedic musical, Bertha, Mabel and Blanche, three friends in Sun City, are spending the holidays together and trying to keep their homeowner’s association from evicting them from their shared home. The show is filled with funny moments and likeable characters and designed for people who prefer raunchier humor during the holidays. The double-casted show stars Lidia Lei Koelbel and Riva Figueroa as Bertha, Julie Silverstein and RC Contreras as Mabel, Anne Sanford and Sasha Wordlaw as Blanche and Brian Flesher and Doug Waldo as Mr. Vanderhoff. This year, the R-rated musical, written by Denny Guge, Jacque Arend, Shawna Franks and Stacey Reed, moves to Space 55’s new location on 18th Avenue.
Through December 30
8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays.
Space 55, 1524 N. 18th Ave., Phoenix.
Tickets start at $15, special $10 discounted tickets for Sun City residents on December 10 and ASU students on December 15. Anyone who wears an ugly sweater on December 17 receives $5 off tickets.
For more fun events in Arizona, please visit our event calendar here: http://www.azculture.com/events/