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2016 Holiday Event Guide

The Heist

Local photographer steals the drag spotlight. Again.


This special solo performance will offer a glimpse of a restless spirit who continues to push forward into exciting new musical terrain

Mariachi Sol de México® de José Hernández Presents

A Merry-Achi Christmas Saturday, Dec. 17

Maestro José Hernández and his platinum-selling Sol de México perform treasured holiday classics and favorites from the mariachi songbook.

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More Jolly ... Tig Notaro

Thursday, Dec. 8

David Benoit

Sister’s Christmas Catechism

The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold Dec. 9–18 Hilarious holiday fun with the best habit in town!

Christmas Tribute to Charlie Brown with Special Guest Sara Gazarek Sunday, Dec. 18

The Hot Sardines

Live & Local Holidays Santa’s Helpers Friday, Dec. 9

Pete Pancrazi Quartet Friday, Dec. 16

David Britton Christmas Friday, Dec. 23

Holiday Stomp

Sunday, Dec. 18 Mesa Arts Center

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inside this issue Issue 687 | Vol. 28, #3 | December 2016

features NEWS 8 Letter From The Editor 12 News Briefs 16 Datebook 18 GPGLCC presents eighth annual Festival of Trees 23 Miss Gay Western States America Suzy Wong earns national crown in Memphis 28 Phoenix Gay Flag Football League brings competition and camaraderie to the field again this fall PREVIEWS AND REVIEWS


52 Without Reservations

The Heist Local photographer Scotty Kirby steals the drag spotlight, again, with KIRBYGIRLS 2016.


“Emphatics” Phoenix Art Museum scores sartorial sensation with exhibit that celebrates avantgarde fashion from 1963 to 2013.

55 At The Box Office 60 Recordings 62 Opening Nights 66 Between The Covers COMMUNITY 68 Talking Bodies 70 All Over The Map 72 Money Talks ON THE COVER Clockwise: Gia Demilo, Scotty Kirby, Piper M’Shay and Holly Peña Popper at CULT Hair Studio & Spa. Photo by Scotty Kirby.


“A New Republic” Contemporary portraiture artist Kehinde Wiley makes Arizona debut with Phoenix Art Museum exhibit.


‘Tis The Season We’ve got 22 reasons to mark your calendars for an evening of holiday cheer this month.

The Heist

Local photographer steals the drag spotlight. Again.





inside this issue web exclusives PHOTO GALLERIES Did the Echo cameras catch you out and about at this month’s events? Find out at gallery/2016-photos. COMMUNITY CALENDAR From pageants to advocacy, this is where the community goes to find out what’s going on in the gayborhood. community-calendar

Photo courtesy of

MusEffect Arizona natives bring LA-based dance company to the Valley to raise social consciousness through the arts.

World AIDS Day 2016 Our listing of World AIDS Day events and observances in Phoenix and Tucson.

COMMUNITY DIRECTORY Looking for a local group to join? Have a group that’s seeking new members? Either way, this is the place to connect. community-directory MARKETING SOLUTIONS Find out why Echo is the publication your future clients are already reading. marketing-solutions

At the Art of the Community Local artists, performers and exhibitors converge at the fifth annual Phoenix Festival of the Arts.

online now

Hit Me With Your Best Shot For all the Out & About photos in this issue – and more – visit Echo’s online photo gallery.





letter from the editor By KJ Philp



appy holidays! I’m positive this seasonal salutation might seem a bit premature to some of you, but it’s only appropriate for our last issue of 2016! What we didn’t realize until we were compiling this festive issue, is that it’s actually a comprehensive holiday event guide. So, whether you prefer to spread holiday cheer at functions for a good cause or celebrate the magic of the season at a concert of carolers, we have so much in store for you. Up first are community happenings. This year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance observances, honoring the lives of our brothers and sisters we’ve lost this year lost in acts of anti-transgender violence, will take place Nov. 20 in Phoenix and Tucson. For times and locations, visit In honor of World AIDS Day, both Phoenix and Tucson will host a multitude of community events Dec. 1 to pay respect to those living with HIV/AIDS and to commemorate the 35 million individuals who have died from the disease. For additional details, visit world-aids-day-2016. Before we get into the pages of this issue, we have to backtrack to the cover – a Scotty Kirby Echo exclusive inspired by the photos he’ll be revealing Dec. 2 at KIRBYGIRLS 2016. The only thing better than working with this talented photographer, is watching him direct his queens and bring a storyline to life from behind the lens (don’t take my word for it, just go to his show and you’ll see for yourself). Thank you to Gia Demilo, Piper M’Shay and Holly Peña Popper, everyone at CULT Hair Studio & Spa and, of course, Scotty. For more information on KIRBYGIRLS 2016, flip to “The Heist” on page 36. While we’re on the subject of art exhibits, the Phoenix Art Museum is hosting two must-see collections

through the New Year. “Emphatics: Avant-Garde Fashion 19632013,” the intact archive of visionary U.S. retailers James and Karin Legato, which includes pieces by Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier and others. We have details on the sartorial sensation in “Emphatics” on page 40. “A New Republic,” 15 years of Kehinde Wiley’s signature portraits, which continue to make powerful statements about race, class and gender. Find out more about this artist’s work and his Arizona debut in “A New Republic” on page 44. Now on to the holiday festivities. What better way to kick off the season of giving than the Greater Phoenix Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s annual Festival of Trees fundraiser? Find out why this year’s event, benefiting GLSEN Phoenix, is expected to be one of the biggest and best yet in “Fiercely Festive” on page 18. Don’t miss your opportunity to do some holiday shopping locally at the fifth annual Phoenix Festival of the Arts, which will take place Dec. 9-11 at Margaret T. Hance Park. We have more information for you in “At the Art of the Community” at festival-of-the-arts. Also, don’t forget to come by the Echo booth and say hi. And if you’re still looking for additional ways to spend a festive night on the town, we have 22 reasons to mark your calendars for an evening of holiday cheer in “‘Tis the Season” on page 47. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we hope to catch you out and about a few more times before 2016 comes to a close. Team Echo is wishing all of you a safe and happy holiday season.




MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 16630 Phoenix, AZ 85011-6630 PHONE: 602-266-0550 NON-PHOENIX METRO: 888-echomag EMAIL:


KJ Philp is the managing editor of Echo Magazine. He can be reached at

Have a job to advertise? Need to rent a property? Looking to build your client base? Post an ad in Echo at DECEMBER 2016

MANAGING EDITOR: KJ Philp CONTRIBUTORS: Tony Contini Tia Norris Anthony Costello Hans Pedersen Laura Latzko Terri Schlichenmeyer Art Martori Richard Schultz Michael J. Tucker Liz Massey Devin Millington Rachel Verbits Melissa Myers Megan Wadding David-Elijah Nahmod Danika Worthington

Copyright © 2016 • ISSN #1045-2346

Echo Magazine now has free online classified advertising!



Echo Magazine is pub­lished by ACE Publish­ing, Inc. Echo is a registered trademark of ACE Publishing, Inc. All rights re­served. Written permis­sion must be obtained in advance for par­tial or com­plete re­production of any advertising ma­terial contained therein. Opin­ions ex­pressed therein are not necessar­ily those of the pub­lisher or staff. ACE Publishing, Inc. does not as­sume re­sponsibility for claims by its ad­vertis­ers. Publication of a name, photograph of an individual or or­ganiza­tion in ar­ticles, ad­ver­tisements or list­ings is not to be con­strued as an in­dication of the sexual ori­en­ta­tion, unless such ori­entation is specifically stat­ed. Manuscripts or other ma­te­ri­als submit­ted re­main the property of ACE Publishing, Inc.


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news briefs

Arizona’s 2016 Election Results President Candidate


Donald J. Trump (Rep) Hilary Clinton (Dem) Gary Johnson (Lib) Jill Stein (Green) 100% Reporting

1,151,073 1,059,391 94,545 30,247

U.S. House

Percent 49.29% 45.37% 4.05% 1.30%



John McCain (Rep) Ann Kirkpatrick (Dem) Gary Swing (Green) 100% Reporting

1,241,083 944,914 126,387

Percent 53.67% 40.86% 5.47%



Yes No 100% reporting

1,117,858 1,200,689

Percent 48.21% 51.79%

Proposition 206: Increase Minimum Wage Corporation Commissioner

(Dem. 4, Rep. 5)

District Leaders 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Ballot Measures Proposition 205: Legalize Marijuana

U.S. Senate

51.05% O’Halleran (Dem) 56.86% McSally* (Rep) Grijalva* (Dem, uncontested) 71.47% Gosar* (Rep) 63.64% Biggs (Rep) 61.98% Schweikert* (Rep) 74.98% Gallego* (Dem) 68.68% Franks* (Rep) 61.05% Sinema* (Dem)



Boyd Dunn (Rep) Robert Burns* (Rep) Andy Tobin* (Rep) Tom Chabin (Dem) William Mundell (Dem) 100% reporting

978,693 1,115,977 1,036,005 912,302 944,122

Percent 19.62% 22.38% 20.77% 18.29% 18.93%



Yes No 100% reporting

1,231,267 371,192

Percent 76.84% 23.16%



Paul Penzone (Dem) Joe Arpaio* (Rep) 100% reporting

777,486 609,533


Yes No 100% reporting

1,344,848 955,424

Percent 58.46% 41.54%

* Indicates incumbent Source: Arizona Secretary of State.


Maricopa County Sheriff † Supreme Court Retain Ann Timmer


Percent 56.05% 43.95%

For a complete listing of Arizona’s 2016 election results, visit results.arizona. vote/2016/general/n1591/resultsstate.html.

Source: Maricopa County Recorder.

90-90-90 Phoenix joins national effort to end AIDS as public health threat The Phoenix City Council voted Oct. 25 to join the Fast-Track Cities Initiative aimed at ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. The initiative – approved by a 7 to 0 vote – will build upon, strengthen and leverage existing HIV-related programs and resources. The City Council also approved the creation of a new management assistant position to oversee this initiative and another related to age-friendly cities. Phoenix is the 11th Fast-Track City in the United States. “There does not need to be one new AIDS infection in Phoenix, it’s a public health crisis that our community can and will eradicate,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “We have had tremendous success with treatment, therapies and education, but this is no time for complacency. This is a time to redouble our efforts to educate the public – without stigma – on how HIV is spread and educate those who have contracted on how to get treatment and stay in treatment.” Mayor Stanton has appointed Councilmembers Laura Pastor and Daniel Valenzuela to co-chair the initiative in 12



Phoenix, which is framed around a fiveelement implementation plan to reach the following “90-90-90” targets: 90 percent of people living with HIV know their status; 90 percent of HIV positive people are on antiretroviral therapy and 90 percent are achieving viral suppression. As a step toward the 2030 milestone to end AIDS as a public health threat, FastTrack Cities agree to meet the 90-90-90 goals by 2020. According to, an online database of state and county data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013, 289 of every 100,000 people in Maricopa County were living with diagnosed HIV. “This initiative holds out the hope of ending AIDS as a public health threat in Phoenix,” Councilwoman Pastor said. “It also shows our commitment to serve all our residents and make Phoenix a place where all feel welcome and all are safe from discrimination.”

 The initiative addresses key aspects necessary for a robust city-wide AIDS

response that promotes a continuum of care from HIV diagnosis to viral suppression including process and oversight; monitoring and evaluation; program and interventions; communications and resource mobilization. “By taking a global lead on this initiative the city of Phoenix is not only setting an ambitious goal to significantly reduce the AIDS epidemic, but also reduce to zero the negative impact of discrimination and stigma associated with HIV and AIDS,” Councilman Valenzuela said. The baseline assessment and creation of the plan would require the coordination and collaboration of multiple community stakeholders. There are a number of public agencies currently providing primary medical care and essential support services for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in Maricopa County, which include the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, Maricopa Integrated Health System, Maricopa Health Foundation, Aunt Rita’s Foundation, Ryan White Planning Council, HIVAZ and HIV Care Directions. – Courtesy of Phoenix City Council. news

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OUT & ABOUT Kyrsten Sinema Election Party Nov. 8 at Ocotillo, Phoenix. Photos by Fernando Hernández.

For more Echo photos visit

OUT & ABOUT Joshua Tree’s Masquerade Gala Nov. 11 at the Four Points by Sheraton Phoenix North. Photos by Bill Gemmill.

For more Echo photos visit





In honor of World AIDS Day ... Dec. 1

nov. 27

Joshua Tree Feeding Program invites you to “American Songs in the Age of AIDS,” a benefit concert featuring selections from the AIDS Quilt Songbook, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church’s Kendall Fellowship Hall, 1875 N. Central Ave. nov. 29 – Dec. 8

In observance of World AIDS Day, community members and local agencies will come together to remember the lives lost to this disease at the annual Phoenix candlelight vigil from 5 to 8 p.m. at The Parsons Center for Health and Wellness, 1101 N. Central Ave., in Phoenix. dec. 1

dec. 10

Fifteen panels from the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display from 9 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily at The Parsons Center for Health and Wellness, 1101 N. Central Ave., in Phoenix. (The names of the individuals that appear on the quilt panels will be read beginning at 6 p.m.)

In observance of Worlds AIDS Day, Tucson will host a block party, featuring live music from around the world, interactive art booths, speakers, food trucks and more, from 4:30 to 8 p.m. in Tucson’s Lost Barrio, 110 S. Park Ave.

nov. 17

dec. 2

GLSEN Phoenix presents Sparkle, Glitter, GLSEN, its annual award ceremony and silent auction fundraiser, at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel, 50 E. Adams St., in Phoenix. nov. 19

The 28th annual Jerôme Beillard Festival For Life, a live and silent auction benefiting the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, will take place from 5:30 to 9:45 p.m. at the Desert Diamond Casino, 7350 S. Nogales Highway, in Tucson. nov. 20




Afeelya Bunz will host a cast of community members in A Very Queermas Show, a turnabout drag show benefiting one n ten’s annual Queermas Tree Drive from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Rock. dec. 9 & 10 dec. 1

Jonathan Adler will meet with the customers at his Biltmore retail store from 6 to 8 p.m. as part of a Shop For a Cause event benefiting Colleen’s Dream Foundation, at his Biltmore Fashion Square store, 2502 E. Camelback Road, #196, in Phoenix.

dec. 3

dec. 4

On the (high) heels of his debut event, drag photographer Scotty Kirby is back with a new cast of girls and two new photo series concepts. – just add a runway for their live performances and you have KIRBYGIRLS 2016 at Live on Central, 702. N. Central Ave., in Phoenix. (See story, page 36.)


In honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance, Phoenix and Tucson communities will honor the lives of transgender individuals lost this year at vigils. Check back with Echo for event updates as they become available.

Aunt Rita’s Foundation presents the fifth annual Red Brunch, including a silent auction, cocktail reception, brunch and award presentation, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix, 340 N. Third St., Phoenix.

The Greater Phoenix Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce presents its eighth annual Festival of Trees, an evening of art, appetizers, cocktails, music, holiday décor and fundraising, from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, 215 N. Seventh St. (See story, page 18.)

MuseEffect dance company, led by Phoenix natives Jessica Starr and Nik Gravelle, returns to the Valley with their stage show “The Divine Direction,” from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Phoenix Center for the Arts. (See story at dec. 9-11

The fifth annual Phoenix Festival of the Arts will unite more than 125 art vendors, cultural organizations and vendors Dec. 9 (noon-5 p.m.), Dec. 10 (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) and Dec. 11 (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) at Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 N. Third St., in Phoenix. mark our calendars To have your event considered for Echo’s print and online calendars, submit your event details to community-calendar. All submissions are subject to Echo’s discretion. events

Fiercely Festive GPGLCC presents eighth annual holiday fundraiser By Megan Wadding


he season of holiday traditions is upon us. And what better way to informally kick things off than the eighth annual Festival of Trees, presented by the Greater Phoenix Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (GPGLCC). This annual holiday tradition, which started in 2008 under Joseph Gesullo’s leadership, will take place Dec. 3 at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. “The eight annual Festival of Trees is meant to bring the community together around a time when everyone has open hearts and giving is on the mind,” said Deanna Jordon, GPGLCC chair. “The Chamber has used this event to bring joy, laughter and financial support to deserving nonprofits and this year is no exception. It is an event where you come for the fun and you leave knowing you made a difference.” Each year, proceeds from the event benefit a local organization. This year the chamber selected the Phoenix chapter of GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network). “… GLSEN, which is a national network that has local footprints with Phoenix is a big one, for helping to support the K-12 Gay/Straight Alliances,” said Bobby Gordon, event committee chair. “They really support anti-bullying efforts and LGBTQ educational resources …” The Festival of Trees event kicks off with the VIP reception, which goes from 5-6 p.m. Attendees who have purchased tickets for this will be given a few extra appetizers, a complimentary drink and the ability to interact with the special guests and tree designers, according to Gordon. “We’ve got some great folks lined up for the VIP reception. We’ll have some local




and federal folks who will attend, such as [Arizona State Representative] Katie Hobbs,” said Gordon. Hobbs first attended last year and was invited to attend again this year. “[The Festival of Trees] is a fabulous and festive way to kick off December and the holiday season. I’ve been asked to speak at the VIP reception,” Hobbs said. “This year’s beneficiary is particularly meaningful to me because of the work GLSEN does to create safe schools for all students. I have worked throughout my legislative career to strengthen state laws in the area of bullying policy, and GLSEN has been a great partner in that.” The evening will include light hors d’oeuvres, cash bars managed by Kobalt and holiday music from both a DJ and live choruses. “This year, we have the Phoenix Men’s Chorus and the Phoenix Women’s Chorus and Voices of the Desert who will have small ensembles wandering through as holiday carolers,” Gordon said. The live auction of the “super designerquality trees,” wreaths and menorahs, Gordon said, will take place throughout the evening. Gordon said he is expecting more than 15 trees, about 10 wreaths and two menorahs. Brad Speck, a two-time HGTV House Hunters star and local realtor, will be the event’s live auctioneer and Brandon Lee, Emmy award-winning journalist from 3TV / CBS7, will serves as the evening’s emcee. This year, the chamber reached out to the community for tree designers and donations. “I think you’ll see a lot of the local LGBTQ community come out in ways we haven’t seen in years because of all of

the local organizations that are doing trees,” said Gordon. “I think we’re in for a treat and for quite a show when it comes to showing off the creativity of the local LGBTQ community.” Some of the tentative tree themes include an HIV/AIDS awareness tree and a wine tree celebrating each of the twelve days of Christmas, according to Gordon. This year, anyone who purchases a tree will be able to have it delivered to their home by Two Men and a Truck, who have donated their services to this event. The night will also feature a silent raffle, which will include many donated items such as spa packages. The event finishes up with the grandprize drawing of the Travel Tree package, which according to Gordon, includes an expertly-designed tree as well as a trip for two to Australia, including airfare and hotel. Only 100 tickets are being sold for the Travel Tree package raffle. Because the chamber is expecting 300-400 attendees, which would make this their largest event to date, Gordon is encouraging attendees to purchase their tickets in advance. Festival of Trees Dec. 3 5-6 p.m., VIP reception 6-9 p.m., main event The Children’s Museum of Phoenix 215 N. Seventh Ave., Phoenix Megan Wadding is a freelance writer and travel addict with a degree in journalism. Follow her on Twitter at @MeganWadding.

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out & about Spotlight on Success Local Hero Awards Oct. 28 at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix. Photos by

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out & about Phoenix Fashion Week Oct. 13 & 15 at Talking Stick Resort. Photos by Bill Gemmill.

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Photo by Scotty Kirby.

Meet Suzy Wong

Miss Gay Western States America earns national crown in Memphis By Laura Latzko


rnold Myint’s experiences as a figure skater, “Food Network Star” cast member and restaurateur have all shaped who he is. In early October, he added Miss Gay America to his resume. Suzy Wong, Myint's drag persona, was crowned Miss Gay Western States America in Phoenix in May, went on to compete in for the national title in Memphis for her fourth time and won. Echo caught up with Wong following her appearance at AIDS Walk Arizona to find out more about her and her eclectic resume. Echo: Congratulations! What was the journey to Miss Gay America like? Wong: For me, my family is a big support. I know not everybody has the same blessings

as I’ve had, having such an unconditionally supportive family. They were all there when I won. The last time my whole family was there was 20 years ago when I was at U.S. Nationals in my hometown of Nashville, and I got a standing ovation after skating in the big arena for the first time … It was a great climatic moment for all of us, and to be able to share that with them personally, on an intimate level, in such a non-intimate setting, was quite surreal. I could hear my mom the whole time I was competing, over the crowd ... Echo: How would you describe your persona Suzy Wong? Wong: Suzy Wong was first developed as a spokesperson for my restaurant

in Nashville called Suzy Wong’s House of Yum. I’m a chef by financial trade. I became Suzy Wong a few months after we opened … I rediscovered a love of being onstage through her … I love doing a lot of community outreach. I love fundraising and advocating for charities. Suzy Wong is just an extension of that, not much different from me as Arnold, other than the fact that she’s in beautiful hair, gowns and heels. I was talking to one of my friends that I’ve kept in touch with after being on the Food Network, and she was saying how Suzy Wong is the softer side of Arnold and affords me that little heartfelt voice that oftentimes men or people in a masculine setting … don’t get to have. Echo: What first drew you to the spotlight? Wong: Ever since I was 5 years old, I’ve been onstage. I always loved the spotlight. I went to a really progressive school in Nashville that really advocated for the arts. Throughout my youth, I performed. I toured. I was always in talent shows. I was always auditioning. The love of that is already built in. It has to have been sparked by my parents, who drove me to ballet class. It started with them, and I feel lucky that I rediscovered it through a profession that you wouldn’t expect. Echo: What can you tell us about your culinary calling? Wong: My mother is a restaurateur and chef herself. I was raised in this, and my father is a professor. He kept the same hours as me and was an amazing cook, even though my mom was the chef. He was the one who would wake me up in the morning to the smell of food … I always had a relationship with food in a way that was very comforting and warming … I’ve been pretty much everywhere through my skating travels, and all of my journals have been about food. If you ask me about a city, I can tell you what I ate [and] what I drank. Echo: What are your plans for your reign? Wong: The new owners this year, Michael Dutzer and Rob Mansman, took over a legacy, and I’m the 46th Miss Gay America. I feel that there’s an opportunity here to refresh the pageant system in the eyes of sister pageant systems and within the LGBTQ community … I just want us to build the recognition and make us relevant in our own community as well as in the straight community … I want to establish and reinstate a sense of community, family and support among each other.

READ THE REST For Echo’s full interview with Miss Gay America Suzy Wong, visit

Laura Latzko is a Phoenix-area freelance writer, originally from Michigan, who holds a bachelor’s degree in English and communication studies from Hollins University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.




Did the Echo cameras catch you out and about? Visit to see more from the current issue.

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photo feature

Friday Night Lights

Phoenix Gay Flag Football League brings competition and camaraderie to the field again this fall Story and photos by Tony Contini


he Phoenix Gay Flag Football League (PGFFL), part of the National Gay Flag Football League, has formally united athletes and the sport they love since 2008. For years, teams would turn out on Saturdays from January to April for 7-on-7 spring league play, which included tactical plays, blocking and contact. As an alternative, as well as a supplement, the league introduced Friday Night Lights. In only its second season, the fall league offers 4-on-4 games that give players a chance to gather for competition and camaraderie from September to November. The 4-on-4 games consist of two 15-minute halves where the offense has four downs to move the chains to the 50-yard line, then four downs to score. The quarterback has seven seconds to throw, except when inside a no-rush zone (five yards of first down and five yards of end zone). Inside those zones their time is cut to five seconds. One defender can rush immediately from seven yards from scrimmage. In only it’s second season, Friday Night Lights boasts six teams and nine sponsors – and, due to the increasing popularity, there was a waiting list to sign up. That popularity is evident on Friday nights, as family, friends and dogs file in along the sidelines to spectate and cheer. There are active referees keeping time, spotting progress and calling fouls. Quarterbacks draw up hidden plays on teammates' chests. Players yell hilarious pep talks to their teammates, like "he's a steak and you haven't ate in a week." And there are ecstatic team chants, like the Orange Trumps – "3 2 1 – grab that pussy" or "build that wall!" Phoenix's commissioner Joel Horton said he loves watching new players take to the game. "Some are right off the street, some have played college ball – everyone comes together in a supportive environment, and we try," Horton said. The league offers an environment where people can fail, do their best, have fun and get better. Jared Garduno, the NGFFL commissioner,

For more photos of Friday Night Lights, visit 28



has been involved since the first season. Apart from the release of playing hard and getting a workout, Garduno said the football field is a great way to meet and learn about people. "When you step on the field, you can learn more about a person in an hour than you could in years of being someone's friend," he said. Depending on others to reach a common goal helps you read people. Garduno said that during a game you can almost instantly sense how someone handles adversity, their willpower and if they're cocky or humble. "Over years it becomes trust," Garduno said. "You build a bond, especially when you're traveling and playing as a team – when you're on the field you automatically know this guy's got me." Ian Johnston is a third-time national champion, captain and father. He played 7-on-7 back in the day and said Friday Nights Lights is more his speed now. "It offers an outlet for those who can't dedicate a whole Saturday to coming out and getting sweaty then celebrating with their team," Johnston said. Another captain, Howard Whipple, started playing on the tournament league. His team, Phoenix Blasts, were in the B division, went to nationals in Washington DC and won the Pride Cup. "It was really neat," Whipple said. "Being all together in one place with all these guys that have one thing in common was the best thing about it." The league is diverse and represents all genders, both gay and straight athletes, from professions ranging from doctors and real estate agents to bartenders and lawyers. "The sports are obviously fun, football is great, but the best part is hanging out afterward," Whipple said. "It's getting to know everyone and becoming a family – we are a football family." For more information on the Phoenix Gay Flag Football League, visit Tony Contini is a photographer, writer and graduate from The University of Nevada, Reno’s Reynolds School of Journalism who specializes in wedding, concert and sport coverage. He can be reached at photo feature




out & about Local First Arizona’s Certified Local Fall Festival Nov. 5 at Margaret T. Hance Park, Phoenix. Photos by KJ Philp.

For more Echo photos visit




out & about AIDS Walk Arizona Oct. 23 in downtown Phoenix. Photos by Marcus Farell.

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Aunt Rita’s Foundation thanks all of our

AMAZING SUPERHERO sponsors who helped us raise

$270,000 at this year’s AIDS Walk Arizona & 5K Run, to support our 16 partner agencies and the critical HIV services they provide in our community.

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Matching Grant Sponsors

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Thank You

270,000 times!


feature story

The Heist

Local photographer steals the drag spotlight. Again. By Anthony Costello


f there’s anything local drag photographer Scotty Kirby excels at, it’s serving glam and high fashion with natural talent, collaboration and a little DIY attitude.

Much like mama Ru of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Kirby is all about perfecting an idea and pushing his Arizona girls to the next level.

Make no mistake though, this is the winning combination that kept gals and gays gagging last year at his first-ever drag photo exhibition spectacle KIRBYGIRLS 2015, and it’s a combination that Kirby plans on bringing back and expanding upon at KIRBYGIRLS 2016 by taking drag theatrics, culture, performance and photography to the next level.

“All these photos are full-on concept shots,” Kirby said. “This year is going to be more high-fashion driven and I gave each girl an assignment to pull off.”

“This year is going to be a lot bigger [with] more production value. I’m doing full wall projectors for the queens to perform in front of,” Kirby said. “Last year I didn’t have a solidified concept or theme for the photos. This year is more honed in on a theme for each photo collection.” Fourteen queens will perform on stage as Kirby debuts a new series of photos on the giant screens as well as the venue’s walls. “I learned a lot from the last one … I over prepared too much last year, otherwise it went seamless,” said Kirby. “The biggest part of preparing for [this year] was shooting 14 girls – two photos each – and deciding what looks they’ll wear, what song they’re choosing, that sort of thing,” 36



Kirby expressed that he wants his show to be an equal focus on his work as well as the natural talent of the queens and the performances they deliver. “My biggest pet peeve in a lot of shows similar to this is the hosting and talking in between, which can slow down the energy of performances sometimes,” Kirby said. “This event is just about keeping the energy going with the performances … It’ll be kind of like BS West’s ‘Elements’ show, but on steroids with a 20-foot runway and spiral staircase the queens will descend from.” Kirby broke into mainstream drag by shooting Drag Race alum and current Tucson resident Tempest DuJour for LRI Talent and Management, a company founded by “Drag Race” veteran Latrice Royale after a chance meeting in 2015 with LRI’s Senior Booking Agent and General Manager Mike Tafoya in Chicago. “After shooting DuJour I just sort of

“All these photos are full-on concept shots. This year is going to be more highfashion driven and I gave each girl an assignment to pull off.” Scotty Kirby

started meeting girls from the show in other cities, and they became more familiar with my work,” Kirby said. “I developed a really close relationship with Coco Montrese and working with her opened up even more opportunities with other girls and with more assignments from LRI.” Kirby’s work with LRI and longtime friendship with the owners of CULT Hair Studio & Spa, conveniently located in Phoenix’s Melrose District paved the way for him to finally open his own studio space – where Kirby proudly houses all of his equipment and personally hand-stitched backdrops. “My original goal of opening a studio was simply to have my own stuff, leave it set up for convenience reasons, but it’s also been a life goal of mine,” Kirby said. “With it, I feature story

Photos by Scotty Kirby.

hope to be part of the gayborhood and help contribute more to the LGBTQ scene.” Despite Kirby’s growing portfolio and increasing demand in the drag world, he still remains accessible to local drag queens, kings and regular folks, too. “There are so many queens here that are underestimated or under looked,” he said. “I feel like doing solid, impactful photography puts them in a light for how creative they are. Like, ‘Check out this girl she’s from Arizona, she’s doing this cool, unique thing with her drag.’ It’s cool to be a part of someone’s art and helping them out with it.” Kirby feels that his accessibility and collaborative nature while working with his subjects is what strengthens his craft. “A lot of photographers know what they want to do and execute it, but my creativity is better enhanced by the collaboration aspect,” he said. “I’ll always be the first to say I don’t like an idea, or a particular concept the minute I feel it and the queen, king or model will say the same back to me when they feel that way.” Close friend and burgeoning Arizona drag queen Piper M’Shay, who Kirby shot for an Ariana Grande/1980s Katy Perry-like photoshoot to help properly break in his new studio, personally attested to Kirby’s feature story

work ethic. “Working with Scotty forced me to become more aware of my style, what I contribute to the Arizona community and what makes me … Piper,” M’Shay said. “When I come up with a new photo idea, whether it’s a specific look or conceptually, or just an era of my drag I want to set in stone, Scotty works with me to get it and we nail it every time.”

TAKE IT ONLINE For more on how one queen’s perspective on how Scotty Kirby’s work is bridging the gap between local queens and celebrity drag culture, visit

For M’Shay, who performed at KIRBYGIRLS 2015, it makes a world of difference. “I loved being a part of the first [event] because it was a creative endeavor. It was Scotty’s baby, but he would still come to all of us and ask us for thoughts and opinions on what we wanted, the flow of the show, what the audience might want to see,” M’Shay said. “We all get along, respect each other and work together creatively. Hopefully that’s something that is communicated in our performances.”

Kirby Girls 2016 9 p.m. Dec. 2 Club Palazzo 710 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

Anthony Costello is an award-winning writer, a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a fraternity brother of Sigma Phi Beta, a gay, straight, bisexual and transgender fraternity.




out & about PHX Zine Fest 2016 Oct. 23 at The Ice House Gallery, Phoenix. Photos by Jose Romero.

For more Echo photos visit





“Most people begin to show aging around their eyes by the age of forty.”


An Interview with Shaun Parson, MD by The Plastic Surgery Channel

To give an impression of youthful vibrance in

the face, there’s nowhere more important than the eyes. As with any facial procedure, plastic surgeons strive for results that appear “natural” and “healthy,” words Dr. Shaun Parson of Scottsdale, Arizona says are not mutually exclusive. THE AGE OF THE EYES According to Dr. Parson, “Most people begin to show aging around their eyes by the age of forty. People begin to look tired, with dark circles that won’t seem to go away.” The first thing people use to combat the appearance of aging is cosmetics. After a while, however, that just isn’t enough and then they begin to contemplate a surgical response to aging.

makes the eye look beautiful and natural, giving the patient a very rested, and refreshed look.” Even fat-grafting can be employed between the lower lid and upper cheek to restore a healthy, smooth fullness that can make patients look much younger. Recovery is usually about 5-10 days. “Eyelid surgery fundamentally resets the clock on how you look and feel about yourself.” ACTUAL PATIENT RESULTS

THE SURGERY Dr. Parson often gets asked by patients, “What can I do to improve my face?” “I tell my patients the main thing they can do, that is both simple and has a quick recovery, is their eyes” says Dr. Parson. Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty doesn’t leave patients looking overdone, it doesn’t change your look entirely, it’s just you looking a few years younger. “What we’re doing in eyelid surgery is re-draping the skin, contouring the fat, and often tightening the corner of the eye in a way that

Dr. Shaun Parson

Plastic Surgery and Skin Center 8901 E Mountain View Road Suite 118 Scottsdale, AZ 85258


Feature story

“Emphatics” Phoenix Art Museum scores sartorial sensation with exhibit that celebrates avant-garde fashion By Richard Schultz


hoenix Art Museum’s latest fashion exhibit, “Emphatics: Avant-Garde Fashion 1963-2013,” represents a major tour de force by securing the entire contents of an influential boutique from Pittsburgh.

The exhibit, “Emphatics: Avant-Garde Fashion 1963-2013,” picks up at this point to celebrate their long-term joint commitment to runway style and ends with the store’s closure in 2013.

The Museum acquired the entire, intact archive of visionary U.S. retailers James and Karin Legato, which includes selected works from more than 400 pieces of clothing and accessories by Alexander McQueen, Issey Miyake, Thierry Mugler, John Galliano, Romeo Gigli, Christian Lacroix, Alaïa, Claude Montana, Jean Paul Gaultier and others.

“We’ve always considered and appreciated fashion as art and seeing this exhibition materialize at Phoenix Art Museum has proven to be the most authentic expression of our commitment to the art of fashion,” Karin said about finding the right fit for the archive after James passed away in 2015.

The story of “Emphatics” began in 1963, when James founded an upscale hair salon in Pittsburgh. Six years later, he expanded into designer women’s wear to service his clients with head-to-toe looks. With wife and business partner, Karin, on board, the couple’s chic oasis in the Steel City relocated to One Oxford Centre downtown in the early 1980s. The white plaster and Italian marble setting crowned with a 15-foot, vaulted dome ceiling resembled a theater of fashion.

Though located far from Paris, London and Milan, Emphatics was at the forefront of European fashion. The store was the first point of sale in the U.S. for Jean Paul Gaultier and Maud Frizon.




“The Legatos have supported me since the very beginning. Emphatics was just one of a handful of retailers in the United States to embrace and support emerging avantgarde designers in the 1970s and 1980s,” Gaultier said, acknowledging Emphatics as

a stateside pioneer for a new movement in fashion design. “Their taste was exceptional, and their loyalty was unwavering. Working with the Legatos was a rare and treasured experience in my career, and I am delighted to learn that Phoenix Art Museum is celebrating the legacy of Emphatics and the visionaries behind it.” Of the approximately 100 ensembles in the exhibit, there are a flaming bustier from Mugler’s Fall/Winter 1987 collection; velvet and lace ensembles from Gigli’s Fall 1989 collection inspired by Byzantine mosaics, and Miyake’s “A Piece of Cloth” (A-POC), an innovative technical process that eliminated pattern makers and decreased fabric waste in 1998. “It really was a landmark to acquire this collection,” said Dennita Sewell, the Jacquie Dorrance Curator of Fashion Design for Phoenix Art Museum. “These are a group of designers who are change makers in fashion and what they did ranges from being avantgarde to classic. Their designs are smaller in circulation and didn’t have as wide of feature story

a distribution. It’s much [more] difficult to get such fashion forward apparel that was fewer and less available than other designers.” The exhibit contains much more than just these designs, however. Sewell explained that the ephemera preserved by the Legatos are just as rare. “The owners had a business for 50 years and went to all the fashion shows in Paris,” she said. “They brought back and saved all the brochures and videos because they appreciated their value as art.” Designed like a reverse runway, the exhibit’s mannequins flank related, multimedia ephemera including personal photographs often taken in showrooms and at fashion shows by the Legatos from three decades of attending fashion weeks worldwide. “It’s a very dynamic multimedia installation by exhibit designer Richard Jensen who has put the ephemera center stage,” Sewell added. Sewell emphasized that prior to the 1960s, couture led the way. “In the late 1970s and early 1980s, ready-to-wear blossomed and that generation led to the rise of the celebrity designer. These forward designers were pushing boundaries.

The hippie presence in the late ‘70s gave way to designers like Gaultier who were edgy and streetwise. Those all black designs lead to a harder core look for the ‘80s.” The Emphatics archive also includes rare, limited-edition accessories such as Alaïa belts, Gaultier corset collar neckpieces and Mugler satellite-shaped brooches and earrings. For the LGBTQ community, this exhibit chronicles an important change in fashion and the world. “These designers, like McQueen, Mugler and Gaultier, were allowed to be the first to be openly gay,” Sewell said. “They were edgy and out there especially Gaultier who embraces everything from gender bender skirts on guys to pants on girls. These designers embrace life and brought forth influences from other cultures as well. They caught the moment and reflected the period.” Additionally, Sewell said she hopes the show may eventually tour to other museums in the future. “Emphatics: Avant-Garde Fashion 1963-2013” Is on display in the Phoenix Art Museum’s Steele Gallery through Jan. 16.

“Emphatics: Avant-Garde Fashion 1963-2013” Thru Jan. 16 Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave. 602-257-1880; Photo captions, clockwise from top left: • John Galliano, British, born 1960 Gibraltar, Britain. Fan and gloves, FW 2007. Printed paper, wood and leather. Museum purchase of Emphatics Archive with funds provided by: Barbara Anderson, Arizona Costume Institute, Milena and Tony Astorga, Jacquie Dorrance, The Ellman Foundation, Michael and Heather Greenbaum, Diane and Bruce Halle, Nancy R. Hanley, Ellen and Howard Katz, Miriam Sukhman. • Azzedine Alaïa, Tunisian, born 1940 Tunis, Tunisia. Jacket, FW 1989. Wool Gabardine. Museum purchase of Emphatics Archive with funds provided by: Barbara Anderson, Arizona Costume Institute, Milena and Tony Astorga, Jacquie Dorrance, The Ellman Foundation, Michael and Heather Greenbaum, Diane and Bruce Halle, Nancy R. Hanley, Ellen and Howard Katz, Miriam Sukhman.

feature story

Richard Schultz is a playwright, actor, director and freelance writer based in Phoenix.

• Thierry Mugler, French, born 1948 Strasbourg, France. Museum purchase of Emphatics Archive with funds provided by: Barbara Anderson, Arizona Costume Institute, Milena and Tony Astorga, Jacquie Dorrance, The Ellman Foundation, Michael and Heather Greenbaum, Diane and Bruce Halle, Nancy R. Hanley, Ellen and Howard Katz, Miriam Sukhman. • Thierry Mugler, French, born 1948 Strasbourg, France. Bustier, FW 1987. Silk Satin. Museum purchase of Emphatics Archive with funds provided by: Barbara Anderson, Arizona Costume Institute, Milena and Tony Astorga, Jacquie Dorrance, The Ellman Foundation, Michael and Heather Greenbaum, Diane and Bruce Halle, Nancy R. Hanley, Ellen and Howard Katz, Miriam Sukhman. Photos by Ken Howie.




museums around the world and on the hit TV show “Empire.” In 2015, he received the U.S. State Department Medal of Arts.

The Power of Portraiture In his paintings, Wiley often depicts African American men in modern-day clothing in poses similar to old masters from the 17th through 19th centuries, such as Peter Paul Rubens, Jean-AugusteDominique Ingres, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, Edouard Manet and Jacques-Louis David. “You have somebody who is dressed in streetwear, very contemporary clothing, but presented in this incredibly traditional and rarified way,” Vicario told Echo during a phone interview. Through history, Vicario explained, patrons from European churches and courts have commissioned portraits to show off their wealth and power. “In Western art history, the people that were always represented were either very high-ranking political figures or somehow related to church. For the most part, the peasants or the common people, these things weren’t even available for them to see, aside from the religious icons or the stained glass windows,” Vicario said. “They were very much excluded from that tradition and that history.” Wiley’s portraits draw attention to the lack of black subjects in art as well as conventions inherent in traditional European artwork.

Kehinde Wiley, Mrs. Waldorf Astoria, 2012. Oil on linen. Private Collection, Los Angeles, courtesy of Sean Kelly, New York.© Kehinde Wiley. Photo: Jason Wyche.

“A New Republic”

Kehinde Wiley makes Arizona premiere at Phoenix Art Museum By Laura Latzko


n bringing African American men and women into paintings resembling traditional European portraits, artist Kehinde Wiley makes powerful statements about race, class and gender. The Phoenix Art Museum will display stained glass pieces, paintings and sculptures from Wiley’s traveling “A New Republic” exhibit in the Marley Gallery through Jan. 8. According to Gilbert Vicario, Selig Family chief curator, the exhibit provides a glimpse into the evolution of Wiley’s work over the course of a 15-year period, beginning in 2001. Wiley, who grew up in South Central Los




Angeles, attended the San Francisco Art Institute and went on to graduated from Yale University. In his first series of portraits, which he did in the early 2000s during an artist residency with the Studio Museum in Harlem, he set out to photograph and recast assertive and self-empowered young men from the neighborhood in the style and manner of traditional history painting. Since then he has also painted rap and sports stars, but for the most part his attention has focused on ordinary men of color in their everyday clothes. Wiley’s work has been featured in

“The fact that he uses everyday people in that context creates that friction between what we know about European portraiture and its connotations of class and privilege,” Vicario said. “That’s why these [paintings] have gotten some much attention and why they are so engaging.”

Addressing Diversity When Wiley took an interest in art as a child, he noticed a lack of diversity in museums and art galleries. As he got older, he set out to change that. “I fell in love with painting at a very early age, and I knew there were referees keeping the gates safe,” Wiley said during a press preview of the exhibit. “All of these wonderful pictures that I saw when I was 10 and 11 years old, powered through gentry, lapdogs and pearls, were part of the official narrative. You want to see yourself in them, and I think that’s what we have here. We have a type of art that says yes to standards of conceptualism but also yes to inclusiveness, yes to people who happen to look like me being on the walls.” Although his work isn’t politically motivated, Wiley said it often draws attention to larger political issues. “You can’t paint a bowl of fruit without being political. You’re black man painting feature story

“You can’t paint a bowl of fruit without being political. You’re black man painting said bowl of fruit. You’re a queer painting a bowl of fruit. There’s a rubric through which we view everything ... I know that’s part of the story, so I don’t have to break my back to try to politicize a moment.” Kehinde Wiley

said bowl of fruit. You’re a queer painting a bowl of fruit,” Wiley said. “There’s a rubric through which we view everything. I know that exists there. I know that’s part of the story, so I don’t have to break my back to try to politicize a moment.” Rather than fight this, Wiley said he harnesses it for inspiration. “What I try to do is keep eyes on that white glowing state of grace that got me into this game from the beginning, which is the curiosity about the world, the curiosity about mixing paint and making things happen, about confronting things that scare the shit out of me,” Wiley said. “As opposed to running away from it, I’m that kind of guy that really wants to run towards it and create something that has some sort of social or artistic merit.”

A Woman’s World In his An Economy of Grace series, the artist represented black women in custom-made Givenchy gowns, in regal poses similar to high-society women. “You’ll notice these long, flowy gowns, but they have these kind of wide, leather belts that distinguish them. It brings it more into a contemporary context,” Vicario said, adding that the visual aesthetics of the series makes it appealing to people from different backgrounds.

Kehinde Wiley, Anthony of Padua, 2013. Oil on canvas. Seattle Art Museum; gift of the Contemporary Collectors Forum. © Kehinde Wiley. Photo: Max Yawney, courtesy of Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, California.

be queer, but there’s a male/female sexualized thing that happens in the street when you are asking someone to engage,” Wiley said. “It’s been an interesting project for me because it sort of lays bare foundation rules that have nothing to do with you. It’s not about the you that you occupy. It’s the world that you inherit.”

An International Palette

“It’s so cinematic. It’s so incredibly beautiful, and it really sticks with you,” Vicario said.

With his series The World Stage, Wiley expanded his dialogue by working with subjects in such countries as China, Israel, Jamaica, Haiti and Brazil.

Wiley uses a process called “street casting,” in which he invites strangers to sit for portraits. As part of this process, subjects a painting from a book and reenacts the pose of the painting’s figure. By inviting the subjects to select a work of art, Wiley gives them a measure of control over the way they’re portrayed.

“Up until then, he was only focused on African-American men and women. He began to think about representation on a global scale and in a global context,” Vicario explained. “Those are really wonderful because they broaden the conversation about multiculturalism in a nice way.”

Approaching female subjects on the street, Wiley said, poses a different set of challenges than approaching male subjects.

For his international series, Wiley drew from different artistic styles and cultural traditions from around the world. This is especially evident in the colorful geometric and floral patterns used in the

“There’s a different dynamic. I might feature story

backgrounds of his paintings. Wiley said while working with subjects in China, who appear in the same poses as Chinese socialist paintings, it was difficult to get them to smile. “I decided to have them smile for an hour,” Wiley said. “They are being asked to hold that smile. It’s like this prison of the body, the desire to please perhaps. It starts with a Maoist notion of Cultural Revolution but then it starts to fold back into American notions of identity and the performance of docility.” “A New Republic” Through Jan. 8 Phoenix Art Museum’s Marley Gallery 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix 602-257-1880 Laura Latzko is a Phoenix-area freelance writer, originally from Michigan, who holds a bachelor’s degree in English and communication studies from Hollins University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.




Feature story

‘Tis the Season 22 reasons to mark your calendars for an evening of holiday cheer By Richard Schultz In a season filled with so many entertainment options, there’s a holiday performance to suit every taste from classical to contemporary and humorous to heartfelt. What better way to share in the theatrical tidings and musical musings of the season than a night on the town with tickets to the most festive local productions.

THEATER A Christmas Story Nov. 25-Dec. 28 | Arizona Broadway Theatre Based on the perennial holiday movie favorite, the musical takes place in 1940’s Indiana, where a bespectacled boy named Ralphie wants only one thing for Christmas: an official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle! A kooky leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a cranky department store Santa, and a triple-dog dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the obstacles that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas dream. Twist Your Dickens Nov. 30-Dec. 24 | Phoenix Theatre Unwrap The Second City’s holiday hit with amped-up improvisation and the funniest interpretation of a classic tale! This twisted take on Charles Dickens’ classic skewers Scrooge, Tiny Tim and pop culture’s most beloved holiday specials with yuletide yuks and hilarious audience participation. Featuring nods to beloved yuletide specials, Twist Your Dickens is written by Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort, the Emmy Award-winning writers of The Colbert Report. La Pastorela Dec. 1-11 | Borderlands Theater This Tucson holiday tradition by an feature story

award-winning local theatre company is a family favorite. It’s a nativity story as shepherds make the harrowing journey to find the baby Jesus. Set in the American Southwest, this spirited production is filled with farcical satire lampooning 2016’s biggest political and pop cultural events, written by Milta Ortiz and the Ghosts Writers. A Christmas Carol Dec. 1-24 | Hale Centre Theatre Now in its 14th year, the Hale’s heartwarming version of Dickens’ classic tale of redemption is magically brought to life with traditional carols, stunning costumes and memorable characters. Look for Scrooge to be alternately played by favorite local actor Mark Kleinman and Fox 10 weatherman Cory McCloskey.

Scrooge-like villain, Mr. Potter. This heartwarming story celebrates the faith of the season and the American philosophy of life: hard work, fair play and the love and support of one’s family and community will be rewarded. Black Nativity Dec. 2-18 | Black Theatre Troupe Last season’s sold-out, legendary holiday event by Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes, returns in a new production. Based on the Gospel of St. Luke, combined with Hughes’ poetry, this is jubilant account of an historic event that occurred 2,000 years ago. It’s a celebration that tells the original story of the Nativity in scripture, verse, music and dance with a joyous company of singers, actors, dancers and musicians that delivers its powerful message of hope, victory and liberation.

It’s a Wonderful Life Dec. 1-30 | Don Bluth Front Row Theatre

Scrooge in Rouge

Based on the holiday favorite film directed by Frank Capra, George Bailey comes from the small town of Bedford Falls. His dreams of escape and adventure have been quashed by family obligation and civic duty. George’s guardian angel descends on Christmas Eve to save him from despair and to show him what the world would have been like had he never been born. All the beloved characters are there: George and Mary Hatch, Clarence, Uncle Billy, Violet, and, of course, the

Dec. 2-18 | Mesa Encore Theatre It’s just not the holidays without some irreverence. This zany comedy is set in a raggedy theatre in England where the 20-member cast of “A Christmas Carol” has fallen victim to food poisoning the night before their performance. But “the show must go on,” so the three remaining cast members unaffected by illness work hard to deliver a stellar show. The actors master a variety of gender roles while tackling more than 20 characters.




A Christmas Carol, The Musical Dec. 2-18 | Fountain Hills Theater This new musical is an original adaptation written by Fountain Hills Artistic Director Peter J. Hill, with music and lyrics by Hill and Jay Melberg based on the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. It tells the tale of curmudgeonly miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future hoping to change his destiny and save his soul as he ultimately discovers the true spirit of the holiday season. A Christmas Story Dec. 2-18 | Theatrikos Theatre Company, Flagstaff Humorist Jean Shepherd’s memoir of growing up in the Midwest in the 1940s follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Ralphie pleads his case before his mother, his teacher, and even Santa himself. All the elements from the beloved motion picture are here in this stage play by Philip Grecian, including the leg-shaped lamp, school bully Scut Farkas, the Little Orphan Annie decoder pin and the boys’ experiment with a wet tongue on a cold lamppost. Frances Smith Cohen’s Snow Queen Dec. 3-18 | Center Dance Ensemble at Herberger Theater Center INow in its 25th year, this popular holiday 48



production has become a “don’t miss” Valley tradition. One of the Valley’s leading dance companies stages this classic story by Hans Christian Andersen which is set to music by Sergei Prokofiev. The Quiltmaker’s Gift Dec. 3-17 | Theater Works This heartwarming tale of mysterious old woman who lives in the misty mountains, making beautiful quilts for the poor. Meanwhile, the greedy king is desperate to find happiness, assuming it will come from one of the many presents he has demanded from his subjects. When the old woman refuses to give the king a quilt, she starts him on a journey of self-discovery that takes them both on a whimsical adventure. Based on a beloved book by Jeff Brumbeau, this musical play that captures the spirit of the season for audiences of all ages. Handel’s Messiah Dec. 7-11 | Phoenix Symphony at various locations Handel’s massive oratorio makes a profound musical statement of the Christian faith, celebrating the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The acclaimed and popular “Hallelujah” chorus highlights this spiritual concert. Music Director Tito Muñoz leads The Phoenix Symphony, The Phoenix Symphony Chorus and soloists who

perform Handel’s Messiah in churches and venues throughout the Valley. A Christmas Carol Dec. 8-18 | Prescott Center for the Arts A ridiculous, but surprisingly faithful rendition of the Dickens classic in which Ebenezer Scrooge is haunted by the ghosts of his late partner, Jacob Marley, Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and the Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come. Faced with his own mortality, and the evil results of his misanthropic, miserly ways, Scrooge is redeemed, reconciled with his nephew and his neighbors, and becomes a second father to his assistant’s son, Tiny Tim. Playwright Charles Ludlam finds the humor as well as the pathos in this Victorian melodrama. The Nutcracker 2016 Dec. 9-24 | Ballet Arizona at Symphony Hall Surrender to the grand sweep of Tchaikovsky’s score and the wonders of childhood. Join Clara and her Nutcracker Prince as they embark on a thrilling adventure of dancing toys, mischievous mice, waltzing flowers, and sparkling snowflakes. Give Me Christmas! A Holiday Cabaret Dec. 9-18 | iTheatre Collaborative at the Herberger Theater Center Jeff Kennedy returns for his annual feature story

salute to the holidays with some of the Valley’s most talented singers and artists. With cabaret-style seating, this has become a seasonal favorite with its tune-filled celebration in the distinctive style of iTheatre Collaborative. Sister’s Christmas Catechism The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold Dec. 9-18 | Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts In an unusually jolly mood, Sister, the tart-tongued, ruler-wielding nun, teaches her students the story of the Nativity and asks for their help to solve the greatest Christmas caper ever – who swiped the gold that those three wise men gave to Baby Jesus? Using the latest forensic technology and her uncanny ability to detect guilt in an interactive performance, Sister creates an unforgettable living Nativity with her students to expose the culprit.

MUSIC: TUCSON Home Alone in Concert Nov. 26-27 | Tucson Music Hall Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s tradition of screening a movie with a live symphony continues this year with the beloved holiday classic, Home Alone in Concert. Vinay Parameswaran will make his TSO debut conducting the performances Nov. 26 at 4 p.m. and Nov. 27 at 2 p.m. at the Tucson Music Hall. For more information, visit Making Spirits Bright Dec. 2, 3 & 4 | Leo Rich Theater, Tucson

A Christmas Carol – The Musical

As part of its 22th season, Reveille Men’s Chorus presents its annual holiday spectacular Making Spirits Bright Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 3 at 3 and 7 p.m., and Dec. 3 at 3 p.m. For more information, call 520-304-1758 or visit

Dec. 10-24 | Arizona Broadway Theatre at Herberger Theater Center

Hope For The Holidays

Selfish Ebenezer Scrooge must face his ways when three ghostly visitors lead him through his past, present and future. This Broadway adaptation of Charles Dickens’ popular story breathes new life into this heartwarming tale with lively tunes by Disney composer Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens. feature story

Dec. 9-11 | St. Marks Presbyterian Church, Tucson As part of its 28th season, Desert Voices presents its annual holiday show Hope For the Holidays Dec. 9-10 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. Desert Voices is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing Arizona beautiful music and to forging a positive and resolute LGBTQA

presence in the community. For more information, call 520-791-9662 or visit

MUSIC: PHOENIX Home For The Holidays Dec. 16-18 | John Paul Theatre, Phoenix College Winner of “Best of Phoenix - Best Christmas Show 2015,” the Phoenix Metropolitan Men’s Chorus presents a new holiday show “Home for the Holidays,” complete with a live orchestra Dec. 16 at 8 p.m., Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. For more information, call 1-844-688-GCPA x5 or visit A Chorale Christmas: Silent Night Dec. 16-20 | Phoenix Chorale at the American Lutheran Church First penned in 1816 for a small pilgrimage church in Austria, Stille Nacht has become the iconic carol for the holiday season. Commemorating this 200th anniversary, this Christmas program will be filled with unique arrangements of this evocative hymn, conjuring peaceful images, as well as familiar favorites like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”

Richard Schultz is a playwright, actor, director and freelance writer based in Phoenix.





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without reservations

Pomelo Story and photos by Rachel Verbits


t the risk of sounding biased, we’re adamant that Arizona has some of the best outdoor dining in the country – and, now that the temperatures have cooled, the seasonal migration from the element-proof eateries to Arizona’s best al fresco dining destinations is in full swing. The first stop on our list was The Orchard Phx, a 2-acre restaurant and retail complex just north Glendale Avenue on 12th Street that’s most recognizable by its signature water tower commemorating the canal that first irrigated central Phoenix farms (and still runs behind the property today). Created by the same team that brought us Luci’s Healthy Marketplace, The Orchard Phx is an outdoor dining oasis that embodies the five Cs that Arizona is known for: cotton, copper, citrus, cattle and climate (and we’d argue that cuisine is Arizona’s honorary sixth C). The property, which built on one of Phoenix’s original citrus farms, is currently home to three unique dining experiences that are all intimately connected by the outdoor patio. Just like its sister location, Luci’s at the Orchard ( offers breakfast, salads, sandwiches, specialty coffee drinks and select ready-to-go items. A few steps away, housed in the same space, Splurge ( serves up creamy, fresh gelato. Go simple with a

couple scoops, blend it up for a milkshake or even grab an “adults-only” root beer to enjoy outside on the picturesque patio. If you’re in the mood for something a little more filling, make your way through the whimsical splash pad and tree-lined courtyard to Pomelo for an upscale, yet easygoing dining experience. Upon entering Pomelo, my dining companion and I were immediately transported a century back in time. The overstuffed leather and velvet couches, ornate chandeliers and the warm, rich color scheme reflect the style of the 1900s, and era when The Orchard Phx was, well, just an orchard. And it doesn’t just feel vintage, it truly is. The structure is the very same Southwestern Territorial house that was built in the 1920s. And, while it’s been updated since then, original touches, such as the fireplaces and ceilings, offer a glimpse at its history. Described as classic American food with an Arizona twist, Pomelo’s menu was carefully crafted to highlight the fresh, local ingredients the restaurant uses to create their elegant meals. For example, take Pomelo’s spinach dip, a blend of spinach, cheese, cream and artichokes served with crispy corn tortilla chips. I was skeptical to order an item that I had previously ordered in a countless number of restaurants. You try one spinach dip, you’ve tried them all, right?

Wrong. This appetizer was light, flavorful and bore no resemblance to most spinach dips that are heavy from too much cream and oil. Stuffed with ribbons of spinach and incredibly fresh artichokes, the ingredients weren’t masked by the creamy cheese, only complimented by it. The crispy chicken sandwich was another delight for our palates. This sandwich, available on the lunch and brunch menus only, boasts a tender, golden buttermilk and cornmeal encrusted fried chicken breast on a toasted brioche bun. Offsetting the salty, crispy chicken was creamy homemade coleslaw and a thick slice of rich Gruyère cheese. Trust us, this is better than your mom’s fried chicken! The menu showcases a wide range of selections without offering an overwhelming number of choices, which is great for indecisive foodies. Along with several simple, yet elegant salads, the tantalizing specialties are all classically elevated American dishes. From a burger made with brisket and locally grown beef and a spicy fettuccine featuring Spanish chorizo to pan roasted cod over paella rice and barbecue ribs, there’s something to please every palate at the table. The main menu attraction, however, is the wood-fired pizzas. Local meats from Schreiner’s Fine Sausage and locally grown veggies make this pizza one of the best we’ve had in Phoenix. The house pizza,

Left to right: spinach dip, crispy chicken sandwich and the House Pizza.

dining out

recommendation is taking advantage of the $20 pizza and bottle of wine deal all day on Mondays and Tuesdays)! On the other hand, if you find yourself at The Orchard on a weekend, which is highly likely (let’s be honest), Pomelo’s brunch menu is available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. It features a number of brunch favorites, such as omelets and benedicts, as well as Pomelo’s signature dishes – and, of course, Bloody Mary and mimosa specials. While the food is the most obvious reason to visit The Orchard Phx, but the atmosphere and history are the reasons to stay.

which comes loaded with spicy smoked Tasso and roasted Fresno chilies, seemed like an appropriate selection. We all know the true mark of a great pizza is the crust, and Pomelo’s crust delivers. The dough here is made with Caputo flour, filtered water, sea salt and fresh yeast. When cooked in the woodfired oven, the crust develops the perfect consistency, char and flavor as it cooks. For anyone looking to pair wine with their pizza, Pomelo’s private wine cellar is stocked with a variety of vintages – just ask for pairing recommendations (my

Pomelo (at The Orchard PHX) 7100 N. 12th St., Phoenix 602-633-2600 Hours: 11a.m.-9 p.m., Mon-Wed 11a.m.-10 p.m., Thurs-Fri 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun

Rachel Verbits is a published writer and a selfproclaimed foodie who spends her time exploring all the amazing eats Arizona has to offer.

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out & about Out@SMoCA Oct. 27 at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Photos by Bill Gemmill.

For more Echo photos visit




at the box office

By Hans Pedersen

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story In theaters Dec. 16 | 133 minutes

Fire Song Now Playing on DVD/iTunes | 96 minutes

Shane (Andrew Martin) is a gay Anishinaabe teen living in Ontario, whose family is reeling from shock and grief after his sister’s suicide. The fallout leaves him wondering if running off to college with his secret boyfriend is still a good idea. Caught between a sense of duty to his family and a desire to live his life, Shane must decide where his future lies. The director, Adam Garnet Jones, is a gay Cree/Metis filmmaker who has earned rave reviews as well as film festival awards for this emotionally gripping indie.

Our hero, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), is a Rebellion soldier saddled with a criminal history and a risky mission: she and a group of brave cohorts must steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s greatest weapon. Diego Luna (Milk) and Forest Whitaker (narrator of Dope) co-star in the first stand-alone Star Wars film, which serves as a prequel to the first blockbuster that started it all. Reprising their roles from Episode III: Revenge of the Sith are Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma, who assigns the dangerous task, and Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa, Princess Leia’s adoptive father. And of course, the legendary James Earl Jones returns as the voice of Darth Vader from the original trilogy.

No Pay, Nudity In theaters Dec. 9 | R | 92 minutes

Shared Rooms Now Playing on DVD/iTunes

From Rob Williams, director of Make the Yuletide Gay, comes this new holiday family (and we do mean family) comedy featuring three interrelated stories that play out during that magical week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Julian and Dylan are roommates who are forced to share a bed for a week, stoking the secret crush that one has on the other; Cal and Laslo take in a teen who has been kicked out of his home for being gay; and Gray and Sid meet up online for a casual fling, but then discover a much more intimate connection. The characters’ adventures all culminate with a “Steve Not Eve” themed New Year’s party in this charmer that won a couple of awards at LGBTQ film festivals. movies

In this upbeat tale of an actor’s woes, Lester Rosenthal (Golden Globe winner Gabriel Byrne) is feeling over-the-hill and hoping to recapture a bit of his youth. He has lost sight of his ambition and he’s losing his connection to his ailing father, ultimately relying on friends like Andrea (Golden Globe winner Frances Conroy) and Herschel, played by out actor Tony and Emmy Award-winner Nathan Lane (The Birdcage). Lester soon returns to his hometown to audition for a production of Shakespeare’s King Lear – as the Fool. This inspirational story of friendship, finding one’ way in life and embracing it, warts and all, co-stars Donna Murphy and Boyd Gaines.

Hans Pedersen is a freelance writer based in Phoenix.




Spa Night Director focuses on realism and authenticity in debut feature film By Hans Pedersen


pa Night unveils the collision between two worlds when an Asian-American teenager on the brink of manhood witnesses same-sex hookups among guys who frequent a Korean spa in Los Angeles. Sexy, homoerotic shots fill the opening scenes of this movie, but audiences who are looking for explicit action will not find it here. While sensual moments in the spa are erotic, the movie is actually about family connections and being true to oneself amidst sexual self-discovery. Director Andrew Ahn aims for an honest depiction of a young man grappling with his sexual orientation in this breakout indie feature. And, while the director achieves his goal with this downbeat drama, he also excels at expressing the normalcy of everyday struggles, from making bad business decisions to doing well on the SATs. David (Joe Seo) is a Korean high school senior who is facing the dreaded college test, but his father’s inventory foul-up winds up sinking the family business. Only adding to his pressures, David must now help his family make ends meet

by accepting a job at a Korean spa. The culturally specific locale is not the kind of place designed for guys to make out, but the Korean bathhouse seems to attract a gay clientele. While David’s job is to police the activity and make sure guys don’t have any intimate body contact, he winds up feeling drawn to the steamy action instead. As a part of a Korean lifestyle, the ritual washing at the bathhouse – making the unwashed clean – is the perfect kind of backdrop to explore themes of pleasure and shame that are associated with sexuality. The director explores such themes vividly with an eye for evoking the erotic but tense, disquieting mood inside a steam bath environment. That’s crystallized in one scene where David is scrubbing himself as if he’s trying to shed his own skin. Yet it’s not necessarily about scouring away something that’s dirty, but rather, about shedding the old and conveying growth. Body language becomes a fundamental means of communication in the story, with small gestures playing a pivotal role,

like the effort not to ogle your pals in the shower or to sneak the casual glance at a shirtless man. In either case, the role of the body remains central to the story. The stress his character is under to help support his parents is enormous, and David seems to be in a huge quandary about whether coming out is an option. The director aspires for realism instead of artifice here – even if that means avoiding a conclusion that’s a triumphant affirmation. And any expectations of a typical coming out narrative are subverted. But, as a result of staying true to the story, there’s nothing very overtly positive about our main character’s sexuality. David is never affirmed for who he is, and must find that affirmation for himself. A monochromatic wash gives the spa scenes a warm, enveloping feeling. And skilled audio choices play a crucial role in making this a standout film: sounds like trickling fluids and heavy breathing contribute to the bathhouse eroticism. Performances are stunning across the board, and each enhances the realism of this slow-burning character study. In fact, Seo earned awards at both Sundance and Outfest for his performance. The director’s devotion to realism means audiences don’t get off that easily. Ahn credits his influences, Japanese auteur Yasujirō Ozu and master of improvisational realism director/actor John Cassevetes – not to mention comedian Margaret Cho. She was “the only queer Korean person I knew until I was like, 20,” Ahn told Echo. The result is a film that could easily resonate with both the LGBTQ crowd as well as the Korean community. Spa Night is set for DVD/iTunes release Dec. 6.





Ethnicity and sexual orientation converge in award-winning coming-of-age-film Spa Night shares the story of a KoreanAmerican teenager on the cusp on manhood, who’s trying to finish high school and help his family out financially. But his job at a Korean spa turns out to be the place where his burgeoning sexuality can find an outlet. The result is a movie that’s earned top honors: at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, director Andrew Ahn was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize and actor Joe Seo, who plays David, won a Special Jury Prize. Ahn and Seo also earned Grand Jury Prize Awards at Outfest 2016. At Sundance 2016, Echo spoke with Ahn and Seo, as well as actress Haerry Kim (“Law and Order”), who plays David’s mother, Soyoung. Echo: How did the project first originate? Ahn: The inspiration for Spa Night was – I was out for some drinks in West Hollywood and a friend told me had a hot hookup in the steam room of a Korean spa. And it kind of boggled my mind because the Korean spa is where I went with my dad as a kid. You go and scrub and it’s a very cultural place, and so to hear it was used as a space for gay men to hook up was totally like sacrilegious to me. I was thinking a lot as a gay Korean-American man these two parts of my identity are often kind of separate. And in the Korean spa I realized they were kind of clashing and that was something I wanted to explore in this movie. Echo: Do you think there’s been progress in terms of roles for Asian Americans? Seo: Even though there are more roles

for Asian Americans, way more than in the past, I just feel like progress-wise, not really. The content itself is not too deep. There aren’t layers, or those nuances that make it real. Kim: I think we need more writers and directors so we have enough of a pool of people to create the stories that still need to be told. So people can watch and engage and open their hearts. I really think there should be more writers, filmmakers … Ahn: I agree with what [Seo] says. There are more roles but the quality isn’t necessarily better. You still see a lot of casting calls where it’s a waitress or … Seo: Or a Kung Fu guy. Ahn: Yes, or a Kung Fu guy. Oh my God so my times. Seo: With an accent. Ahn: And I think [Kim] is right, there need to be more content creators. There need to be people behind the scenes to help provide the roles for people in front of the camera. … Echo: Can you talk more about how your background informed the work and helped to bring out those nuances? Ahn: What I wanted to accomplish in my first film was to show my abilities as a director, and part of that is to show [my] ability to observe life and capture life … I think what people respond to in filmmaking often is a sense of authenticity, and what culture do I know better than the one that I live in or the one I’m a part of. So it’s either lived experience or intense amounts of research ... For me it’s so much

“What I wanted to accomplish in my first film was to show my abilites as a director, and part of that is to show [my] ability to observe life and capture life.” Andrew Ahn

fun to see my culture on-screen and I hope it resonates with other Korean Americans. And I hope it’s a fun entre into a world that non-Korean Americans can experience. Kim: Also it’s a family story so there is a lot of struggle, adjusting to a new life and trying to make ends meet, doing their best in their environment. I think anyone can relate to that story. And then growing up and coming out in the world as who you are. Seo: It really is, as Andrew always says, it is a western … Everyone does come from another country, except Native Americans of course. And we’re all here struggling trying to create an identity for ourselves, trying to be accepted by everyone else also. That duality [is what] this film depicts and I think it does a remarkable job.

READ THE REST For Echo’s full Spa Night interview, visit

Hans Pedersen is a freelance writer based in Phoenix.

Left to right: Haerry Kim, Andrew Ahn and Joe Seo. Photo courtesy of

Andrew Ahn. Photo courtesy of movies




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Christmas with Clay Aiken Idol turned activist returns to the stage for one festive evening By Richard Schultz


s part of its Classic Entertainment Series the Chandler Center for the Arts presents Christmas with Clay Aiken – an Arizona exclusive. While the American Idol finalist has not performed in a concert setting since 2013, he said “Why not?” when approached with the opportunity. As a result, Aiken will sing holiday classics accompanied by a 22-piece orchestra. In a recent interview with Echo, Aiken, 38, acknowledgement that he has been selective in his performances the past few years. So much so that he’s encouraging local fans to catch his Dec.16 show because it may be a very long time before he tours again – if ever. “I toured in the past. It was lots of fun and work,” he said. “ … I so love performing Christmas songs, especially ‘O Come O Come Emmanuel.’ I have all sorts of sheet music in storage, but didn’t have that one. We looked around and found it. It’s by far my favorite carol especially when backed by such a great orchestra.” Since placing second, runner-up to Ruben Studdard, during the second season of American Idol in 2003, Aiken’s journey has been truly diverse. His first single made him the first artist in history to debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. He’s sold six million albums and sold out 11 nationwide concert tours. His 2004 memoir, Learning To Sing: Hearing The Music in Your Life was a New York Times Best Seller, and his run on Broadway in Monty Python’s Spamalot was a critical and




box office success. Yet, his greatest impact has often been off the stage. Aiken started the National Inclusion Project, which is now recognized nationwide as the leading voice in the social inclusion of children with disabilities. He served for nine years as UNICEF Ambassador for education and child protection, traveling the world to educate Americans on the plight of children in Indonesia, Uganda, Afghanistan and Somalia. He’s advocated for LGBTQ rights and teamed up with such organizations as GLSEN, who work to curb the negative effects of discrimination against LGBTQ youth. In 2014, Aiken ran against U.S. Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, a Republican who was the incumbent in North Carolina’s second district. Aiken knew what he was up against and recognized that he was running in a Republican stronghold. Yet, he was disenchanted with Ellmers not doing her job and representing her constituency fully. “I expected to lose [but] I wanted the voters to look at Renee Ellmers who was terrible at representing her district,” he said. “She may have won that election, but lost her recent primary this year. I believe my campaign played a role in that. So, in a way, I did win in the long run.” Regarding the strides made by the LGBTQ community, Aiken is equally concerned. “Since we attained marriage equality, change has not always been beneficial. Let’s face it; we got our dessert first

with marriage equality. It was the flashy goal. It was the marquee,” he said. “Yet, there are a lot of other issues out there. Since we got the marque, people stopped paying attention to the other issues like discrimination in housing and employment. There are 22 states where you can be fired for being LGBT[Q].” Today, Aiken insists that the greatest challenge facing the LGBTQ community is rampant complacency. “The struggle for LGBT[Q] rights continues,” he said. “For our community, we need to realize how much is going on out there. Our advocates need to see that there are still obstacles to overcome … ” As for returning to Phoenix, Aiken said he’s looking forward to the concert since it is the only one he is performing this holiday season. “You might want to come now and strike when the iron is hot,” was his message to his fans. “Who knows when I will be back?” Christmas with Clay Aiken 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 Chandler Center for the Arts 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler Tickets: $52-$72; 480-782-2680

Richard Schultz is a playwright, actor, director and freelance writer based in Phoenix. music

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opening nights

An Act of God Paige Davis takes the helm in ATC’s latest production By Richard Schultz


he Broadway smash comedy An Act of God is coming to Phoenix with a twist. Rather than a male actor playing the lead role, Paige Davis, well known as the effervescent star of TV’s design-reality show “Trading Spaces,” makes her Arizona Theater Company debut and takes on the role of the deity. Davis has appeared on Broadway in Boeing-Boeing as Gloria and Chicago as Roxie Hart; she has toured in productions of Sweet Charity, The Vagina Monologues and Beauty and the Beast; she’s the Emmy Award-nominated host of “Home Made Simple” on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN); and her book, Paige by Paige: A Year of Trading Spaces, landed at the top of the New York Times Bestseller list. Directed by four-time Oscar nominee Marsha Mason, this outrageous comedy details how God and Her angels answer some of the deepest questions that have plagued humankind since creation. Written by 13-time Emmy Award winner David

Photo courtesy of 62



Javerbaum of the “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” the cast also includes two loyal angels, played by James Gleason, who has appeared on “Modern Family” and “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd,” and Max Lawrence who has extensive stage experience in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Echo: How did you get cast in this show? Davis: I know my agent submitted me, but I also know I had some sweet friends at Arizona Theatre Company vying for me and speaking highly of me to Marsha Mason. I put my audition on tape, but Marsha and I met in person in New York before she made the offer. I skipped all the way home! I couldn’t believe I had even met her, let alone was going to work with her! Echo: Since the role was played by male actors on Broadway, how does it translate when portrayed by a female? Davis: It’s been played by two actors on Broadway, Jim Parsons and Sean Hayes. So, I’m thrilled that An Act of God has put a woman at the helm much faster than, oh let’s say, the White House. But the script was surprisingly immune to many necessary changes. We found God as an entity rather gender neutral. The messages professed in the play are universal, so it matters little whether it is a feminine or masculine voice communicating them. Echo: What themes are throughout the show and which speaks to you? Davis: That’s a doozy of a question. The show hits on many topics and themes. The main thing I want people to take away is that the world and how we treat it, and each other is our responsibility. We can’t blame God, the Bible or religion. We cannot continue to interpret the vastness of the written word to fit our own narrow construct of what we prefer. There are so

many religions, so many beliefs, so many faiths. None are superior. That which you choose to do in your life or to influence others peoples’ lives is on you. You have to take responsibility for what you unleash on the world. I’d prefer if people would stop unleashing hatred and judgment over love and tolerance. Echo: How will this play appeal to the LGBTQ audience? Davis: The LGBT[Q] audience will absolutely love this show. It is fully embracing of the community. In fact, God clears up any misunderstanding and misinterpretations about what the bible says, or rather does not say, regarding sexual orientation. The LGBT[Q] community will feel particularly welcome and satisfied. Echo: What drew you to the theater? Davis: Ha! That’s easy. When I was 13, I listened to my mom’s West Side Story album and I was hooked. A life in musical theater would be all I’d ever need. When I finally made my Broadway debut in Chicago, I knew I’d made it. Everything else, the other roles, straight plays, hosting television, etc., has been icing on the cake.

An Act of God Thru Dec. 4 Arizona Theatre Company Herberger Theater Center 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix Tickets: $25-$100; 602-256-6995

Richard Schultz is a playwright, actor, director and freelance writer based in Phoenix.

THE NUTCRACKER December 9 – 24, 2016 with recorded music at Symphony Hall The New York Times critic favorite from Phoenix’s only professional ballet company. Dancing toys, mischievous mice and sparkling snowflakes bring the magic of the holidays to life.

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TICKETS: | 602.381.1096

Photo by Rosalie O’Connor.

Mamma Mia!

Left to right: Marc Cornes, Shai Yammanee, Andrew Tebo in the Mamma Mia! Farewell Tour. Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia, 2016.

Actor lands dream role in iconic show’s final tour By Richard Schultz


lthough Andrew Tebo was a latecomer to pop culture phenomenon of ABBA, he’s now a fan of the music and its impact on audiences. In what he considers his dream role, Tebo will portray Harry in the national farewell tour of Mamma Mia!, which hits the stage at ASU Gammage Dec. 6-11. “I actually grew up without ABBA, but once I got to college and discovered the musical, I really fell in love with this energetic show,” he said. As the tour crisscrosses the country, ABBA fans are afforded the chance to reconnect with the story and the music of this global smash hit that has been seen by an estimated audience of over 60 million people. This sunny, funny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise on the eve of a wedding. The bride’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men

Andrew Tebo. Photo courtesy of 64



from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. The musical score combines ABBA’s greatest hits, including “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” “Super Trouper,” “Take A Chance on Me” and “The Winner Takes It All,” with an enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. For Tebo, it’s the pinnacle of his theatre career to date. “I’m living the dream. That’s all I can say,” he shared. “I currently make my living traveling the world performing and making people laugh. What more could I want? Yeah, sometimes the migrant life is hard, but I look around at my tour family and friends and think about how fortunate I am to be doing what I love!” Having grown up in the small town of Wentzville, Mo., (about 50 minutes west of St. Louis), Tebo’s high school had a thriving music and theater program where he first appeared in the chorus of “State Fair.” From that point on, Tebo was hooked. From there he attended college at Southeast Missouri State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting/directing. Since graduation, he has traveled the country performing in shows such as The Fantasticks and A Christmas Carol. As Harry, the English banker formerly known as “head banger,” he’s one of three suspected fathers to the bride-to-be Sophie. Tebo describes Harry as an uptight banker who’s back to relive his wild side and has a secret that he needs to get “out” in the open. As the musical progresses, Harry reveals that he is gay and in a relationship with Nigel. When asked about the status of Sophie’s

father, Tebo observed, “I believe the father is different for everyone! That’s what’s so great about this show. It has something for everyone. Every audience member has a different perspective on who they like best and think is the father. We’re all a little bit her father.” For Tebo, the finale is his favorite moment of the show. “We mash up three of ABBA’s hits and rock out the last eight minutes of the show,” he said. “The audience goes wild. You actually feel like a rock star!” When asked about the show’s appeal to the LGBTQ community, Tebo said he believes that show has a universal message. “Mamma Mia! Is all about finding out who you really are and what makes you happy,” he said. “I think everyone has a little coming out and coming of age story within the musical.” For him, touring with the show has been the greatest quest. “I love adventuring around in new cities,” he said. “Tempe, we’re coming for you!” Mamma Mia! Dec. 6-11 ASU Gammage 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe Tickets: $20-$190; 480-965-3434

Richard Schultz is a playwright, actor, director and freelance writer based in Phoenix.



ar t s








between the covers

The Essential RuPaul By Terri Schlichenmeyer


he Queen has spoken. Everyone listens because, well, how can they not? Her bearing, her stature, her very demeanor demand attention from all her subjects and in the new book The Essential RuPaul: Herstory, Philosophy & Her Fiercest Queens by John Davis, with illustrations by Libby Vanderploeg, these queens have a lot to say. When RuPaul Andre Charles was a little boy, his mother told him that he would be a star someday, and she’d given him an unusual name, just so he’d stand out. That’s what he did, starting in his teens when he dropped out of the North Atlanta School of Performing Arts and began to “find his calling.” On his way, he was a member of a punk rock band, he performed as a go-go dancer, hosted a talk show, and “hosted numerous local events” in Atlanta. Later, he moved to New York and acted in films. By 1989, after a few pauses in his fabulosity, he became “RuPaul the glamazon” and went on to even bigger fame in fashion, modeling, music, TV, and cosmetics. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, RuPaul briefly and “quietly” stepped back from show biz to “take a break,” but he couldn’t stay away long: in 2009, he launched “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” a television show that featured snarky judges and competitors in performance, sewing,




comedy and, of course, drag. In this book, we meet some of them. There’s Santino Rice, a “Drag Race” judge whose comments cut like a razor blade. Adore Delano, whose lastminute debut came on YouTube after her creator, Danny Noriega, appeared on “American Idol.” Alaska, a “Tacky Blonde Bombshell” who hailed from the state she was named after. There’s Cameroon native BeBe Zahara Benet, who arrived following a modeling gig from “an unexpected no-show of a female model.” Drag housewife BedDeLaCreme has created her own cosmetics line, featuring cruelty-free products. Following her taping of “Drag Race” in 2010, Carmen Carrera is now a trans TV star. Cher impersonator Chad Michaels has been fortunate to perform with Cher herself. Manila Luzon’s first appearance was as Cruella de Vil, and performer Nina Flowers enjoys her own “day” in the Denver LGBTQ community. The Essential RuPaul is one really quirky book. Despite that its subtitle promises “Herstory” and more, there’s really very little here about RuPaul; four pages, to be exact, and one of those is essentially just an illustration by artist Libby Vanderploeg. The rest of this book, alas, only has tentative relevance to RuPaul, through the drag queens that appeared on the show.

“The Essential RuPaul: Herstory, Philosophy & Her Fiercest Queens” by John Davis and illustrated by Libby Vanderploeg. Smith Street Books | 2016 | $14.95.

And that’s fine, if that narrow subject is what you want. Author John Davis does a good job in bringing together a bedazzle of performers in this book, but the list is frustrating in its incompleteness and the mini-chapters with mini-biographies are woefully short and quite repetitious. That, plus the misleading title may frustrate some readers but yet, fans of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” known as #RuPaulBOTS, will probably enjoy this book regardless. If that’s you, then “Shantay you stay.” Otherwise, “sashay away.” And long live the queens. Terri Schlichenmeyer, The Bookworm, lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 13,000 books. She’s been reading since age 3 and, to this day, she never goes anywhere without a book. books

Christmas with Clay Aiken Friday, December 16 · 7:30pm

Golden Dragon Acrobats Sunday, March 5 · 6pm

Rhythm of the Dance Sunday, February 12 · 3pm

Stormy Weather: The Story of Lena Horne Saturday, March 25 · 7:30pm

Pump Boys and Dinettes

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talking bodies

Six tips for savoring holiday flavors while staying festively fit this season

By Tia Norris


or the overwhelming majority of the year, I am very strict on clients’ diet plans, with very few exceptions. But let’s be real, the holiday season is upon us, and wining and dining is always at the center of it all. So, how can you be a fitness superstar while still enjoying every celebration from Thanksgiving to New Years Day brunch? Here are my no-so-secret trainer tips to for successfully savoring the holiday season. 1. Know The Numbers, Release The Fear Remember that it takes 3,500 extra calories to gain one pound of fat. That’s a lot of calories to gain just one pound. It’s tough to hit that number, multiple times, in one sitting. Most weight gain experienced around Thanksgiving is actually caused by stress, water retention or longstanding metabolic issues – not by a caloric surplus. So just relax. 2. Don’t Skip Meals If you’re headed to Aunt Gertrude’s house for a dinner that actually looks more like an all-you can-eat buffet, it might be best to skip lunch and save all those calories for later, right? WRONG! Skipping lunch will most likely leave you showing up to Auntie G’s feeling starved – and will likely result in overeating. Instead, eat a small lunch so that you can maintain impulse control over the temptations that you would have overindulged in had you showed up famished. 3. Work Out On Thanksgiving Day Before you feast, activate the beast – mode, that is!. Schedule in a workout on




Thanksgiving morning and make it count. Set your metabolism up to succeed for the big feast. As a result, you’ll be able to enjoy things with less guilt and your body will burn through more of the junk faster. Either hit the gym, do a local 5k race (there are always a number of these going on) or look for a holiday boot camp with your favorite local trainer. 4. Don’t Be A Lush When it comes to fitness, here’s the only thing you need to know: alcohol generally does nothing good. It has very little, if any, benefit to most fitness goals (there are a few exceptions but these do not apply to the general population). Look, you all get it. Alcohol is bad for the body, bad for fitness, bad for judgment, bad for sleep, bad for lots of things. It’s common sense. If you need a few drinks to have fun and forget about family drama, fine. Moderate yourself. Don’t get completely wasted and derail yourself from your progress or goals. The keys here are to first, realize that alcohol is almost always detrimental to your fitness program and, second, if you must drink it, keep it in moderation and be an adult. 5. Get Outside (If Weather Permits) Hanging around the house watching football, playing card games, eating and drinking is a great way to spend time with your family and friends throughout the holiday season, but try to encourage those around you to get out and about for a change. We do live in the desert after

all, and the weather is perfect this time of year! Get out and have a picnic at a park, walk the dog, play Frisbee or whatever your prefer. Being outside will make you want to get off your butt and move at least a little bit, which is 100 percent better than nothing, especially this time of year. An added bonus: Getting Vitamin D will stimulate the release of serotonin to help keep you feeling good and happy through this festive, but frantic time of year. 6. Enjoy Yourself I believe that we should all be striving for perfection. I also understand that all things in life require balance, especially our lifestyle choices. Ultimately, we want to live a healthy lifestyle that is enjoyable and sustainable over the long term without letting our select few unhealthy choices tip the scales out of our favor. Learn to pick your battles, and your concessions … life is about balance! Generally, the worst thing you can do going this holiday season is to not have a plan. So, plan to work out the morning of, plan to eat the morning of, plan to walk or do an activity after dinner, plan your indulgences … just plan, plan, plan! I always say that I plan everything, including my spontaneity. I’m here to help you plan your holiday season too, just ask!

Tia Norris is the president and head trainer at FitPro, LLC, a local fitness company. Find out more at health & fitness


Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them By Liz Massey


e’ve just experienced one of the most polarized, uncivil election cycles in modern times, much less in my adult lifetime. Scandals, namecalling and projection escalated into threats and accusations of conspiracies before it was all over. In the wake of all this, it’s worth pondering how we might return truthfulness to the center of civic life. Cynics may suggest that such an effort is doomed to fail, but my response is that we have to attempt to move the needle of public discourse back in the direction of honesty, or our country may head down a catastrophic path from which it will be difficult to recover. One unique aspect of this year’s presidential race was an interest in real-time fact checking. Audiences don’t want to wait 24 or 48 hours to see if a candidate is telling the truth; they want to know now. And this isn’t without reason: an article published prior to the presidential primaries in late 2015 by the New York Times that utilized Politifact fact-checking analysis indicated that almost all politicians being evaluated lied some of the time. Some lied a lot (Donald Trump, 76 percent of the time), and some lied relatively infrequently (Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, tied at 28 percent). But whether their mendacity is due to rhetorical flourishes, bad research by support staff, or fantasy-driven ego trips, it’s a bad idea to take every statement by a candidate at face value. It’s tempting to retreat into apathetic passivity when we read statistics like that, washing our hands of political involvement and proclaiming that all politicians are equally bad. But there’s at least one huge flaw with that approach: when it comes to governing and setting policy that potentially impacts millions of people,

steering by opinion and bias instead of verified facts can lead to disaster. Consider the case of anti-LGBTQ statutes, nearly all of which are based on stereotypes and lies about queer people. Every time such a law is passed, our community spends precious time and resources on removing the law and repairing the damage it has caused. Another place in which it is vital to stay reality-based is environmental law; our planet is simply running out of time in which we can pretend our actions do not have profound ecological consequences. While our community must join with other Americans to demand better accountability from our elected officials, there’s a lot we can do in our own lives to get a clearer view of the truth, as presented to us through the media. Dan Gillmor, an ASU professor and author of the book “Mediactive,” offers several principles to help sort out political fact from fiction. (The titles and interpretations of his basic principles are my own.) 1. Be skeptical. Like a good journalist, don’t accept anything you see or hear or read from a candidate without questioning it. Seek out media sources that ask hard questions, and that verify or dispute a politician’s claim with substantive data or expert consultation. 2. But don’t be ridiculously skeptical. This is the other side of the first principle. Sometimes, government really does work, and things function well. Not everything is a conspiracy! If a candidate has a track record that seems to indicate he or she can make things happen that help his or her constituents, that’s worth noting – and trusting.

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3. Let curiosity replace comfort. This one is especially difficult to follow through on, because the polarity in politics has devolved into such intense nastiness, especially when it comes to LGBTQ issues. It can be easier (and feel like good selfcare) to only seek out sources that reflect our own political philosophies. However, when we do that, we miss out on a chance to discover the underpinnings of the opposition’s policy positions. 4. Ask more questions. As we follow an election, with its candidates for office and ballot initiatives, it’s important to put at least as much effort into researching what’s being voted on as we would into the purchase of a car, computer or dishwasher. 5. Learn how media is made. In the 21st century, it’s crucial that media consumers following political campaigns understand the basics of how videos, podcasts, televised debates and print/ online articles are put together. Many of us are dipping in our toes in the digital waters by making our own media, and that’s good: it removes some of the mystery about what’s being presented, and allows us to be more critical voters and constituents. While it is certainly not the only system that humans have developed for getting at the truth, the scientific method is one good model for how to determine what can be verified about a particular situation. Scientists ask big questions and conduct experiments to draw out the answers, but never regard what they’ve discovered as the final word on the topic. Someone will always come along to advance our understanding even further, which provides a seeker with a hearty dose of humility. As poet Walt Whitman observed, “I like the scientific spirit – the holding off, the being sure but not too sure, the willingness to surrender ideas when the evidence is against them: this is ultimately fine – it always keeps the way beyond open – always gives life, thought, affection, the whole man, a chance to try over again after a mistake – after a wrong guess.”

Liz Massey has been involved in LGBTQ community-building activities in Kansas City and the Valley of the Sun, and is a former managing editor of Echo Magazine. She can be reached at COMMUNITY




money talks

Sustainable Investing:

Do Your Decisions Reflect Your Personal Values? By Melissa Myers and Michael J. Tucker

Melissa Myers: People are asking more and more about sustainable investing. Michael J. Tucker: Is that what we used to call Socially Responsible Investing? Myers: That’s right. It’s also known as ESG Investing. That acronym stands for environment, social and governance. Tucker: Has SRI changed over the years? What’s up with the name changes? Myers: Actually, it has evolved considerably. Sustainable investing has been a growing trend for many years. Assets managed sustainably have grown to $6.6 trillion in 2014, from $2.1 trillion in 2003, according to the “Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.” Tucker: What has changed in the philosophy of sustainable investing? Myers: As assets have grown, the approach has evolved. In the mid-1980s,

socially responsible investing emerged and took an exclusionary approach. Tucker: So the investment policy was “No guns. No alcohol. No tobacco.” Myers: Exactly. But gradually, the focus changed to become more “what companies should do” as opposed to “what companies shouldn’t do.” Now, impact investing is focused on major initiatives such as climate change, gender equality, agricultural sustainability and the war on global poverty. Tucker: So, it’s more than a gauge of simply how “green” a company is. It’s a broader measure of how well a company handles important environmental, social and governance challenges compared to other companies in similar industries. Myers: Yes. Social factors could include a company’s labor standards or how it treats its employees. Tucker: I suppose governance refers to issues such as how a company pays its executives or what kinds of political contributions it makes. Myers: Right. Many investors are excited to be able to invest for their retirement or other financial goals in instruments that actually reflect their personal values. Tucker: You mentioned the returns on this type of investing. How do the returns of a pooled investment of companies (mutual funds) that pass the sustainability standards stack up to other investments in similar industries? Myers: Research on performance of Financial Planner sustainable investment Consultant strategies has found little evidence that this type of investing hurts performance. Most 6232 N. 7th Street • Suite 110 • Phoenix, Arizona 85014 studies show either (602) 264-9331 • Fax (602) 279-1766 • Cell (602) 541-3477 a neutral or positive Email • Website effect. By looking at the sustainability • of a company, you


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can identify companies that may offer competitive advantages in the long run. Tucker: And on the other hand, you can avoid companies that present greater risk as a result of unsustainable choices. Myers: It is now commonplace for global, well-known companies such as Coca-Cola, Apple, BMW and Adidas, to name a few, to consider sustainability in their corporate strategies. Tucker: So this investing style has evolved from appealing mostly to “do-gooders” to investors who feel it makes good business sense as well. Myers: Yes. The philosophy that “doing good leads to doing well” is in full force here. Tucker: How would an interested investor pursue this in their portfolio? Myers: Someone already working with a financial advisor could ask the advisor about their familiarity with the concept of sustainable investing. Some advisors make this investment style a focus of their practice. More often, an advisor will have tools to help their client choose from a growing variety of pooled investments (mutual funds) in this category. Tucker: Many 401(k) providers will offer one or two investment options in the category. Myers: It is important to diversify across many asset classes, so if only one or two sustainable investment options are offered in their 401(k) or other workplace retirement plans, investors should take into consideration that this may not provide adequate diversification. Tucker: Investors should seek professional advice when considering this or any other type of investment.

Melissa Myers is a certified financial planner with Camelback Retirement Planners, in Phoenix, a registered representative with Commonwealth Financial Network and a registered investment adviser. Michael J. Tucker is an attorney with Michael J. Tucker, P.C., in Phoenix, and is a certified specialist in estate and trust law. For more information, see their ads in this issue. This material has been provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute either tax or legal advice. Investors should consult a tax or legal professional regarding their individual situation. Neither Camelback nor Commonwealth offers tax or legal advice.

ON YOUR OWN TERMS Hospice care is all about quality of life…and making the most of the time you have left. For the most compassionate care… choose Hospice of the Valley. Proudly serving the LGBT community. CALL 602.530.6900 OR VISIT HOV.ORG

2016 Celebrate the year with us! Join us for awards, food, fun, prizes, and performances by local artists.  Keep an eye on our social media for details!

N OT F O R P R O F I T. F O R CO M F O RT. Lin Sue Cooney, director of community engagement Funding provided by donations designated for marketing.





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ANVIL 2424 E. Thomas Road

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LOS DIABLOS 1028 E. Indian School Road

MF, R, N 602-795-7881


AQUA NIGHT CLUB 1730 E. McDowell Road

F, N, E, D 602-253-0689


NUTOWNE SALOON 5002 E. Van Buren St.

M, N, L 602-267-9959


BAR 1 3702 N. 16th St.

M, N, E 602-266-9001


OFF CHUTE TOO 4111 N. Seventh Ave

M, A 602-274-1429


BLISS REBAR 901 N. Fourth St.

N, R 602-795-1792


OZ BAR 1804 W. Bethany Home Road

MF, N 602-242-5114


BS WEST 7125 E. Fifth Ave.

MF, D, E 602-200-9154


PLAZMA 1560 E. Osborn Road

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BUNKHOUSE 4428 N. Seventh Ave.

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F, N, E 602-265-3233


CASH INN COUNTRY 2140 E. McDowell Road

F, C, D 602-244-9943


ROSCOES ON SEVENTH 4531 N. Seventh St.

M, N, G 602-285-0833


CHARLIE’S 727 W. Camelback Road

M, C, E, D 602-265-0224


ROYAL VILLA INN 4312 N. 12th St.

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3702 N. Seventh St.


THE CHUTE 1440 E. Indian School Road

M, AO 602-234-1654


DICK’S CABARET 3432 E. Illini St.

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MF, D, N 602-264-1700


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OUT & ABOUT Fierce Friends – A Fierce Night Out Nov. 9 at The Clarendon Hotel. Photos by KJ Philp.

For more Echo photos visit




bar photos Pussy LeHoot’s Patio Show Nov. 12 at Charlie’s, Phoenix. Photos by Bill Gemmill.

For more Echo photos visit







lambda directory Please support our advertisers who help keep Echo free. To find out more about advertising in Echo, call 602-266-0550.

ACCOUNTANTS/TAX PREPARATION Jeffrey J. Quatrone PLLC p. 61 Robert F. Hockensmith, CPA, PC p. 72


Steve Price, CPA


p. 76

ADULT ENTERTAINMENT/ RETAIL Flex Spas Phoenix p. 81 The Chute p. 80 AIR CONDITIONING & HEATING Valdez Refrigeration APARTMENTS Aura at Midtown East and West Apartments Baron Properties, Illuminate Skyline Lofts The Trend

p. 76 p. 67 p. 74 p. 34, 35 p. 21 p. 13

ART GALLERIES Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art p. 74

James Kelly D.D.S My Dentist Open Wide Dental

Aunt Rita’s Foundation Red Brunch p. 33 Ballet Arizona p. 63 Chandler Center for the Arts p. 67 Desperado Film Festival p. 42 Festival of Trees p. 27 Local First AZ p. 46 Phoenix Center for the Arts p. 65 Scottsdale Center for the Arts p. 2 Southwest Shakespeare Company p. 71


p. 54 p. 5 p. 15 p. 71

Don’s Painting Service Lyons Roofing Rainbow Bug Studio Z The Mattress Man

AUTO SERVICES Community Tire Pros

p. 50


p. 77 p. 9 p. 79


COUNSELING SERVICES People Empowering People of AZ, Inc. p. 61 82



Hospice of the Valley

p. 75

p. 74 p. 61 p. 75 p. 76 p. 73

p. 73

Benefits Arizona p. 61 Edward Vasquez, Allstate p. 3 Health Markets Insurance p. 51 Lysa Garcia, Farmers Insurance p. 75


MORTGAGES Jeremy Schachter, Pinnacle Capital Mortgage p. 3 MOVERS p. 76

CVS Specialty Pharmacy p. 70 Fairmont Pharmacy p. 73 Metier Pharmacy p. 71 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Sedona Marketing Retreats

Community Church of Hope First Congregational UCC

p. 74 p. 75

RESTAURANTS China Chili Hula’s Modern Tiki

p. 53 p. 53



p. 61

REAL ESTATE Portland on the Park p. 75, 84 SOHO Scottsdale p. 59 REALTORS


p. 58

Rainbow Massage Therapy

Two Men and a Truck


ATTORNEYS Hartman Titus PLC Jackson WhiteAttorneys At Law Phillips Law Group Tyler Allen Law Firm Zielinski Law Firm, PLLC

Bunkhouse Charlie’s Stacy’s @ Melrose

p. 71 p. 61 p. 31

Maricopa County Community College District p. 51

JW Advisors Inc.



Arizona Gay Realtors Alliance p. 3 Berney Streed, Re/Max Excalibur p. 76 Bradley B. Brauer, HomeSmart p. 3 David Oesterle, ReMax p. 3 Fred Delgado Team, Keller Williams p. 3 Jan Dahl, HomeSmart p. 3 Matthew Hoedt, Realty One p. 3 Nicholas Yale, Realty Executives p. 3 Rob Gaetano, HomeSmart p. 75 Shawn Hertzog, West USA p. 3 Stephanie Fourie, Home Smart Elite Group p. 75

Easley’s Fun Shop Off Chute Too

p. 74 p. 78

RETIREMENT PLANNING Calvin Goetz, Strategy Financial Group p. 3 Camelback Retirement Planners p. 74 SALONS Salon Exodus

p. 76

WELLNESS Avenger Fitness, LCC p. 74 Banner Health p. 59 Dr. Shaun Parson Plastic Surgery & Skin Center p. 39 Dr. Wilson & Associates p. 19 Enhanced Image Medspa p. 74 FitPro, LLC p. 75 Gilead p. 83 p. 4 SIZEmatters CoolSculpting p. 43 Skinny Bus - Mobile Cool Sculpting p. 17 Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS p. 10, 11 Spectrum Medical Group p. 19 TERROS Health-LGBTQ Consortium p. 73 Total Rejuvination p. 76 Triumeq p. 24-27 Willo Medi Spa p. 76 lambda directory



Ask your doctor if a medicine made by Gilead is right for you. © 2015 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. UNBC1849 03/15

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ECHO 687


VOL. 28, ISSUE 3


Echo Magazine December 2016  

Echo Magazine – Arizona's leading media outlet dedicated to serving the LGBTQ community in news, views and entertainment. December issue. Le...

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