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UltraStar Multi-tainment Center rolls out the red carpet for Oscars BY LYNETTE CARRINGTON

Hollywood’s biggest and most glamorous night is right around the corner. That’s right, it’s time for the Oscars, and UltraStar Multi-tainment will be hosting its first event celebrating the illustrious golden acting statue on March 2. “Hollywood’s Oscar Night in Maricopa” will be a ticketed viewing event and will usher in what UltraStar plans to be ongoing years of Oscar celebrations held at its venue. “We showed the Oscars last year, but we had just opened and we weren’t really sure what we wanted to do,” says Vice President of Operations and General Manager Adam Saks. “UltraStar has a long history of doing great Oscar events. It’s obviously the night of our industry and what we want to focus on, so we’re going to bring some of Hollywood to Maricopa on Oscar night.” The 21-and-over event will feature a red carpet and searchlight. The $14.95 admission for “Hollywood’s Oscar Night in Maricopa” includes a red carpet walk, a seat in the theater, a glass of champagne, an appetizer buffet and the fabulous party (full bar service will also be available). Tickets for the Oscars event can be purchased at the UltraStar Ak-Chin box office.

OSCAR NIGHT AT ULTRASTAR: Guests are invited to a red carpet viewing party with champagne, hors d’oeuvres and more on March 2. Submitted photo

“We’ll have a great party inside one of the theaters,” he says. “We’re going to get everybody into one of the largest state-of-the-art digital theaters, have full bar service, an hors d’oeuvre buffet for everybody and hopefully get everybody to dress up.” There will also be giveaways throughout the night. What would any Oscar night be without special treatment? Readers can enter to win a VIP package that will include two passes to “Hollywood’s Oscar Night in Maricopa” at UltraStar, roundtrip transportation via limo to

the event and a swag bag filled with UltraStar goodies and passes. (Must be 21 or older to enter. Details and entry at www.ultrastarakchin.com. Contest closes Feb. 26 and winner will be announced on Ultrastar’s Facebook page. Stay up-to-date at www.facebook.com/ UltraStarMultitainmentCenter.) At the event, there will be a VIP movie experience giveaway in a private movie suite, plus lots of goodies and surprises from UltraStar and its vendors and partners. “We will also be giving everyone a ballot so they’ll be able to play along

and vote for their Oscar hopefuls,” Saks notes. The party kicks off at 5 p.m. and lasts until Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres cracks her last joke of the night. What film does Saks hope to see receive an Oscar on March 2? “The frontrunners are probably ‘12 Years a Slave’ and ‘American Hustle,’” Saks says. “It was a tremendous year for movies overall. We’re excited to hold our first Oscar event at UltraStar.” Come to Hollywood Oscar Night in Maricopa and cast your own vote. UltraStar Multi-tainment Center features bowling, dining at the 347 Grill, Luxe Lounge and Cones Café, laser tag, arcade games and the 21-and-over Luxe Lounge. Its upscale theater offers 2-D and 3-D films and StarClass balconies (ages 21 and over only) offer a luxurious environment that include in-theater dining, beer, wine and full bar service and reserved seating. Grab your dress, suit and tie and your acceptance speech and head out to Hollywood’s Oscar Night at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at 16000 Maricopa Rd., Maricopa. Call (520) 5683456 for additional information. Lynette Carrington is a freelancer for the San Tan Sun News. She can be reached at lynette@santansun.com.


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‘Unsinkable’ Reynolds to entertain at CCA BY LYNETTE CARRINGTON

It’s not every day that a grand dame of Hollywood performs in the Valley. On March 1, an American entertainment legend will make a rare appearance at the Chandler Center for the Arts—the “Unsinkable” Debbie Reynolds. “This will be my second visit,” Reynolds says. “I’m looking forward to it. I had a wonderful time the first time and I hope the audience did, too, so I’m coming back.” The 81-year-old REYNOLDS IS mother of actress/ ‘UNSINKABLE’: Debbie Reynolds will author Carrie Fisher entertain and recount and entertainer some of her many Todd Fisher only show business stories at Chandler Center for does a handful of shows each year. the Arts on March 1. Submitted photo The performance will include singing, dancing, storytelling and yes, you’ll hear about some of the scandals, too, relayed in the tongue-in-cheek, yet charming manner for which Reynolds is known. For those not in the know, Reynolds’ first marriage, to singer Eddie Fisher, ended in divorce in 1959 when Fisher fell in love with Reynolds’ former friend Elizabeth Taylor.

“I do a variety show which is a little bit of everything, so I’m bound to please somebody, sometime,” Reynolds muses. “I sing and I dance and I do the things that I’ve done for 65 or 70 years, I forget the years, there’s so many of them now. To use a line, I’m like George Burns—I’m never going to retire until I drop dead, then I’ll have myself stuffed like Trigger,” she laughs.

Reynolds has been ‘Unsinkable’ Although Reynolds’ iconic films include “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Tammy and the Bachelor,” “How the West Was Won” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” she is known to a newer generation of fans for performances in “In & Out,” “Will and Grace” and the much-lauded HBO movie “Behind the Candelabra,” for which she portrayed Liberace’s mother, Frances. Barely recognizable to fans thanks to expertly placed prosthetics, Reynolds portrayed Frances with Liberace–also known as Lee–never far from her mind. “ I was pleased to be asked because Liberace was a very dear friend of mine and we hung out together in nightclubs because that’s what Lee did,” she explains. The film won 17 awards from various organizations and outlets, including a Golden Globe and 11 Emmys. Reynolds did not have enough dialogue in the film to garner a nomination. “I knew Lee really well and after the

shows we would hang out together and he would cook breakfast and we’d stay up. (For) breakfast he would make scrambled eggs and I would always send his friend at the time, named Scotty (Thorson), I’d just say, ‘Send him out with the dogs...’” With Thorson out walking the dogs, Liberace would play piano and Reynolds would sing along. Many of Reynolds’ stories are recounted in her memoir “Unsinkable,” which was released in 2013. Reynolds has also become known for her extensive collection of Hollywood costumes and props, including many classic items from films like “Cleopatra” and “The Seven Year Itch.” It is the end of an era, though, as Reynolds is selling off the remainder of her collection in May. For more information, visit www. debbiereynolds.com. Tickets, which range in price from $38 to $48, for Reynolds’ 7:30 p.m. show can be purchased at www.chandlercenter.org or by calling (480) 782-2680. The theater is located at 250 N. Arizona Ave. “I’ve been in the business now since 1949 and still going ... while I can,” she says. “I love to perform and I like people to come in to see the show and forget their troubles for a while and have a little visit.” Lynette Carrington is a freelancer for the San Tan Sun News. She can be reached at lynette@santansun.com

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East Valley Children’s Theatre brings fairy tales to life East Valley Children’s Theatre is performing “Cap O’ Rushes,” an original play based on an English fairytale, weekends and select days through Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main St., Mesa. The rags-toriches story is filled with dance, terrific characters, a wonderful story and, of course, a fairy tale ending. The play is based on an English fairytale by Joseph Jacobs. Family trials, magical creatures, grand balls and true love all feature in this happily-ever-after tale. Tickets are $15 for adults, $11 for 17 and younger. Thursday and Friday performances will begin at 7 p.m., Saturdays will have 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. performances and there will be a special ASL interpretation performance at 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 16. For tickets and information call (480) 644-6500 or visit www.evct.org.


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Smith’s work familiar sight in Chandler BY KATHRYN BECK

The work of local graphic designer and artist Tad Smith can be seen throughout the East Valley. However, most people probably don’t realize it’s his. A Gilbert resident, Smith is the designer behind the downtown Chandler’s historic lamp post logo and many of the city’s visitors’ guides and brochures. “He is very familiar with the city and is very involved with the art community,” says Kimberly Janes, Chandler’s tourism development coordinator. “He knows the different businesses and what they are looking for.” Smith, who has also done work for Mesa and Fountain Hills, is the owner of The Design Idea, a company that he and his wife, Heather, founded 18 years ago. His love for art started at a young age. Then it turned into a passion for graphic design. Soon, Smith realized this was something he wanted to pursue. “I’ve always been into art and it was in high school when I got into graphic design and wanted to become a graphic artist,” Smith says. He worked for Tieken Design until he had the urge to start his own business. “I had some contacts and they continued to encourage me to start my own business,” says Smith, who collaborated on the 2012 children’s book, “Tales of a Tombstone, Arizona, Tortoise” with his wife.

Honoring Chandler But Smith’s work goes beyond graphic

design. His exhibition, “The Chandler Portraits,” is on display at Vision Gallery in downtown Chandler through Saturday, March 8. It features 20 pop art-style portraits of people who have made an impact on Chandler. The portraits include Chandler founder Dr. A.J. Chandler, Bashas’ late CEO Eddie Basha, former SanTan Sun News owner/publisher Laurie Fagen and Chandler Unified School District superintendent Dr. Camille Casteel. “I started doing this type of art way back in college. It wasn’t on computer so I would have to draw them out by hand,” Smith says. These days Smith works off a photograph of the person then might adjust the image and scan the photo. Afterward, he prints the image on canvas and finally applies paint. He will even do custom portraits that can take a few weeks to complete. Smith has shown his well-known Glamour Girl collection around the Valley for a several years, including First Friday events in downtown Phoenix. It showcases portraits of women—celebrities and noncelebrities—who are redheads, blondes and brunettes. He said after pitching his Glamour Girl collection to local galleries he decided he wanted to create portraits that honored important people in Chandler. “The portraits are very lively and modern,” says Eric Fulhaber, visual arts coordinator for Vision Gallery. “He uses simplistic lines and when you look at it you know who it is.”

SERVING THE CITIZENS OF CHANDLER: The mayor and council from 2013 to 2014: front row, from left, Councilwoman Trinity Donovan, Mayor Jay Tibshraeny, Councilwoman Nora Ellen; back row, from left, Councilman Jeff Weninger, Councilman Jack Sellers, Councilman Kevin Hartke and Vice Mayor Rick Heumann. Submitted photo

Smith said he gets his inspiration from artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Patrick Nagel. Fulhaber says the community nominated 47 people for Smith’s Chandler Portraits. There are plans to continue the collection next year. For Smith, seeing the finished product gives him great joy. “It feels great to get a task done. It’s a sense of elation to get the process done,” Smith says. “With the Chandler Portraits I got to know these people and at the opening exhibit I felt like I’ve known them.” When he is working with clients the key for him is to listen and be personable. “I have different styles and I listen to the client because what they do is important, too,” Smith says.

He continues to stay connected to Chandler and has a strong affinity for the city. “The City of Chandler is like a friend,” he says. Vision Gallery is located at 10 E. Chicago St., Chandler. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call (480) 782-2695 or visit www.visiongallery.org. Kathryn Beck is a student at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She can be reached at news@santansun. com.

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Osmonds, tribute bands at Palms Theatre Classic rock groups, awardwinning singers and songwriters and more will be honored this month as The Palms Theatre Concert Series continues its series of tribute concerts honoring numerous genres of music. Upcoming performances include The Piano Man: The Music of Billy Joel and Elton John, performed by British entertainer Terry Davies, Feb. 16; One of These Nights: America’s Finest Eagles Tribute, Feb. 21, and 1950s Rock ‘n’ Roll, Feb. 22. The legendary Osmonds are also slated to perform on Feb. 26. Tickets are $45 for dinner and show, $30 for show-only seating or $35 for premium show-only seating. The theater is located at 5247 E. Brown Rd., Mesa. Information is available at www. thepalmstheatre.com, (480) 9246260.

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Chandler High puts on ‘Technicolor Dreamcoat’ Chandler High School’s performing arts department will perform “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoatâ€? at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, through Friday, Feb. 28. The play tells the Biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors. Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, is resented by his siblings for the attention Jacob gives him. Joseph’s brothers sell him into slavery and eventually Joseph ďŹ nds himself in jail. However, his favorable interpretation of the dreams of the Pharaoh win him the admiration of the all-powerful leader, and soon Joseph is one of the most powerful men in Egypt. “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor

Dreamcoat� features more than 60 students from the performing arts departments of Chandler High School, Arizona College Prep–Oakland Campus and Knox Elementary School, who will perform everything from acting to singing and dancing.

PAL members take in performances Dance troupes, Betty Buckley and a presentation of “Xanaduâ€? are just a few shows the Southeast Valley Performing Arts League has attended lately—and the group is continuing to offer round trips to performances and shows for members. Members park their cars at the agpole at the Cottonwood Country Club, 25630 S Brentwood Dr., Sun Lakes, and take a bus or private car round trip from there to the performance. Round trips are $20 for members; membership is $10 each for singles or $15 a couple, payable by check to PAL at P.O. Box 13051,

Chandler, AZ 85248. The league takes members from Sun Lakes to Mesa, Scottsdale and Phoenix. Members visit venues like Symphony Hall and several other theaters to take in performances including the opera, ballet, coffee classics (symphony performances), Broadway musicals, comedies and one-time events. For more information about opera, call Vera at (480) 895-9679; ballet or coffee classics, Lynn at (480) 8830671; theater, Pat at (480) 339-0283 or Mary at (480) 802-9354.

Tickets are $11 for preferred seating and $9 for general seating, available in advance through the Chandler High Bookstore or at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Call (480) 812-7745 for more information.

Gilbert Visual Art League calls for art The Gilbert Visual Art League will showcase a wide variety of artwork at its 11th annual Juried Fine Art Show and Sale March 1 through March 29 at the Gilbert Historical Museum, 10 S. Gilbert Rd., Gilbert. The show is open to all artists, who must submit original art created in the last two years. Art may be in any media and in 2-D or 3-D. Judges will award cash prizes and ribbons to several winners, and a people’s choice winner will also be named. Contact jeanaes@aol.com or visit www.gval.org for more information.

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ON STAGE VENUE INDEX

ON STAGE

ASUG – ASU Gammage 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe Tickets: www.asugammage.com/shows

ST–Sagebrush Theatre 7020 E. Second St., Scottsdale Tickets: (480) 949-7529, www.greasepaint.org

HTC – Herberger Theater Center 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix Tickets: (602) 252-8497, www. herbergertheater.ticketforce.com

SUL – Stand Up Live 50 W. Jefferson St., Suite 200, Phoenix Tickets: (480) 719-6100, www.standuplive. com

MAC – Mesa Arts Center One E. Main St., Mesa Tickets: (480) 644-6500, www. mesaartscenter.com

TAS – Theatre Artists Studio 4848 E. Cactus Rd., Suite 406, Scottsdale Tickets: (602) 765-0120, www.thestudiophx. org/tickets.html

CHERISH THE LADIES: The group performs Tuesday, March 11, at the Mesa Arts Center. Submitted photo

OT– Orpheum Theater 203 W. Adams St., Phoenix Tickets: www.orpheum-theater.com

playing on a sandy beach when Capt. Braid Beard and his mates recruit him to help find the perfect digging spot for their treasure. On the ship, the captain introduces the boy to his rowdy pirate crew and teaches him the ways of a pirate’s life at sea. Jeremy learns pirate talk and etiquette (or the lack thereof). In turn, Jeremy shares with them what a typical kid’s day is like. Greasepaint Youtheatre presents this story of exploring the seas to and finding one’s own heart.

SCPA – Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale Tickets: (480) 499-8587, www. scottsdaleperformingarts.org

TCA – Tempe Center for the Arts 700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe Tickets: (480) 350-2822, www.tca.ticketforce. com

“La Bayadère,” through Sun., Feb. 16, SH. Gorgeous costumes, lavish sets, a passionate love triangle and breathtaking dancing transport the audience to India in this 19th century classic presented by Ballet Arizona. Dr. Seuss Birthday Party, Sat., Feb. 15, TCA. Activities, a show and a grand time, celebrating Seuss, the master of rhyme. Party includes crafts, games, snacks, photo opportunities and a birthday cake. Children must be accompanied by an adult. “TRIO,” Sat., Feb. 22, SH. Ballet Arizona, Arizona Opera and The Phoenix Symphony feature excerpts from beloved classics as well as new work at this joint gala and performance, including highlights from “West Side Story,” “Carmen” and “La Bayadère.” “The Jungle Book,” through Sun., Feb. 23, VYT. This play is adapted from Rudyard Kipling’s story about Mowgli the man-cub who grew up with wolves but discovers he’s human and must choose between the jungle and civilization. “How I Became a Pirate,” through Sun., Feb. 23, ST. Young Jeremy Jacob is

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“The Magic Flute,” Thurs., Feb. 27, through Sat., March 1, SH. Full of charming, magical melodies and fantastic creatures, Mozart’s beloved

VPC – Valley Presbyterian Church 6947 E. McDonald Dr., Paradise Valley Tickets: (480) 305-4538, www. sonorandesertchorale.org VYT – Valley Youth Theatre 525 N. First St., Phoenix Tickets: (602) 253-8188, www.vyt.com

SH – Symphony Hall 75 N. Second St., Phoenix Tickets: www.phoenixsymphony.org

tale follows Prince Tamino and bird-catcher Papageno on an adventure to rescue Princess Pamina. As they face unexpected trials and challenges on their journey, audiences will delight as the genius and imagination of the composer unfolds before their eyes. Mozart’s final masterpiece

is a light-hearted but profound look at man’s search for love and his struggle to attain wisdom. We Are One presents “Salute to the Silver Screen,” Sun., March 2, OT. This special concert features a special showtunes sing-

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along accompanied by Lew Williams on the Orpheum Theatre’s mighty Wurlitzer. Proceeds from this concert will go to support the continued efforts of LGBT performing arts organizations. Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Fri., March 7, MAC. The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra is co-led by John Clayton, his brother, saxophonist, Jeff Clayton and drummer, Jeff Hamilton. CHJO has recorded with Queen Latifah, John Pizzarelli, Diana Krall and Gladys Knight and has been named best big band in past readers polls in both Jazz Times and Downbeat. “The Submission,” Fri., March 7, through Sat., March 22, HTC. A playwright uses a pseudonym when submitting a play and has to keep up the ruse, dragging others along for the ride. A fiercely funny and intelligent new comic drama about the words we use to describe each other and the things we’ll do to get what we want. Mark Russell, Sat., March 8, MAC. Long before Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, Mark Russell dared to joke and sing about our often absurd political process. Performing new and old favorites with impeccable timing, twinkling eyes and piercing political insights, Russell draws merriment from the pomposity of public life.

Arts “Voices of Freedom,” Sat., March 8, and Sun., March 9, VPC. The freedoms we enjoy every day have been secured through the vision and sacrifice of many. In this third concert of its 20th anniversary season, “Voices of Freedom,” the Sonoran Desert Chorale salutes the pursuit of freedom in America and the lofty tenets of democracy. “La Traviata,” Sat., March 8, and Sun., March 9, SH. In this heart-wrenching love story, opera’s original pretty woman throws a gala party at her Paris apartment and meets the young man who will forever change her life. Soar through memorable melodies, raise a glass and toast young love, as this lush, opulent production comes to Arizona. Cherish the Ladies, Tue., March 11, MAC. The world-renowned, all-female Celtic ensemble performs its special blend of masterful instrumentals, beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements and stunning step dancing. “Disorderly Conduct,” Fri., March 14, UAC. Jeff Dunham, popular comic and star of Comedy Central’s highest-rated specials, drops by with his lively cast of characters. Dunham is best known for the famed “sidekicks” he creates for the stage: Walter the Grumpy Retiree, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, the beer-fueled redneck

Bubba J, the manic purple creature Peanut, the spicy pepper from south of the border José Jalapeño and Peanut’s own ventriloquist dummy Little Jeff, a miniversion of the ringmaster himself. spark! Mesa’s Festival of Creativity, Wed., March 19, through Sun., March 23, MAC. An immersive environment to celebrate the work of amazing, creative people and to discover the creative thinker inside every visitor. Held during spring break, spark! features participatory activities, music, original performances, art and more. The Portland Cello Project, Sat., March 22, MAC. This string group has built a reputation mixing genres and blurring musical lines and perceptions wherever they go. William Close and The Earth Harp Collective, Fri., March 28, MAC. After a successful run on “America’s Got Talent” in 2012, William Close and the Earth Harp Collective return to Mesa Arts Center as a featured artist. This performance features aerial dance, percussive sounds and the largest string instrument on the planet, the Earth Harp, turning the Ikeda Theater into a musical instrument. John Legend, Fri., April 4, MAC. Singersongwriter John Legend won his first Grammy Award with 2004’s “Get Lifted.”

February 15 - 28, 2014

The album went platinum, thanks in part to the hit single “Ordinary People.” Now Legend, one of the industry’s most innovative artists, returns after five years with his much-anticipated fourth solo album, “Love in the Future.” Diana Krall, Tues., April 8, MAC. Diana Krall performs from her new album “Glad Rag Doll,” an exhilarating and adventurous exploration of new sounds, new instrumentation and new musicians. It stars a singer and piano player, filled with mischief, humor and a renewed sense of tenderness and intimacy. “The Emerald Tour,” Tue., April 8, ASUG. An elaborate new stage presentation will celebrate the Emerald Isles’ spellbinding musical and cultural heritage and combines longtime fan favorites with new musical gems written specifically for Celtic Woman, under the direction of Emmynominated music producer David Downes. Cameron Carpenter, Wed., April 16, MAC. The 2012 recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award and a superstar of the organ, Cameron Carpenter is smashing stereotypes for both organists and organ music, generating a level of acclaim, exposure and controversy unprecedented for an organist. He is the first organist nominated for a Grammy Award for a solo album.

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