Tempe Tourism Blog

Tempe events – Childsplay presents Charlotte’s Web

Tempe Center for the Arts
September 2, 2014

As the song says, “it’s a long long while from May to September” and don’t we know it here in the Valley of the Sun!  September has finally arrived and with it the opening of Tempe’s theatre season. Childsplay opens its season on Sunday with one of its most beloved productions, Charlotte’s Web, the E.B. White classic with a cast of unforgettable characters. The stars of the show are Charlotte, the wise and winsome spider who befriends Wilbur, an endearing piglet in grave danger of ending up as pork chops.  Rounding out the cast of this beautiful production is a menagerie of other barnyard animals and  folks in a variety of supporting roles. Charlotte’s Web is truly a favorite of all generations and a great choice for Childsplay’s season opener.  And, given that this is a Childsplay production, we know that everything from the sets to the costumes to the actors will be top notch and a great beginning to another wonderful season of professional theatre for children. All Childsplay performances take place at the Tempe Center for the Arts. For more information and a behind the scenes peek at Charlotte’s Web, visit www.childsplayaz.org.  To purchase tickets, visit www.tempe.gov/TCA  or call Tempe Center for the Arts Box Office (480) 350-2822. For more arts, culture and entertainment events check out this week’s list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. September 3: ASU School of Music: Catalin Rotaru, Double Bass, ASU Katzen Concert Hall  September […]

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Exciting Tempe fall events

tour de fat 244 x 163
August 28, 2014

Fall is one of my favorite times of year. It’s usually around now that I’m tired of the summer heat and I know that cooler temperatures are right around the corner. Soon, all things pumpkin flavored will be on restaurant menus around town, which is something I’ve been anxiously waiting for. But what else do we have to look forward to in Tempe this fall? Obviously, we all know about ASU football but there are some other fun Tempe fall events happening in the coming weeks and months.  Here are a few things to get start getting excited about right now. New Season at ASU Gammage Every year, ASU Gammage brings no shortage of incredible shows to Tempe and this upcoming season is no different. The first show of the new year is KINKY BOOTS (September 16th-21st). The Broadway classic PIPPIN will also be there this fall (December 2nd-7th). Show and tickets information can be found here. New Belgium’s Tour de Fat Sponsored by New Belgium, Tour de Fat (October 4th) is nothing but fun. You are encouraged to dress up in a costume and participate in the bike parade, watch live entertainment and drink New Belgium’s best beers down by Tempe Town Lake. But most importantly, proceeds from beer sales benefit local non-profits. Tempe Oktoberfest This event is every beer lover’s dream. Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake (October 10-12) at Tempe Town Lake is a three day festival with food, music, dancing, carnival rides and lots of beer. Admission is free but […]

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ASU Gammage turns 50 and celebrates with Broadway shows

ASU Gammage
August 27, 2014

This is an exciting time for Tempe, ASU Gammage and for all of us who love attending the many great performances held in this beautiful theater, including the brand new Desert Schools Broadway Across America—Arizona series. The opening of a new Broadway season is plenty exciting all by itself. But the other cause for excitement is that ASU Gammage is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! For me, each new Broadway show season is reason enough to celebrate. After all, as one of the top touring Broadway markets in the country, ASU Gammage consistently brings the best of the best Broadway shows to Arizona. There’s just nothing quite like watching a great production in the beautiful surroundings of this Frank Lloyd Wright-designed theater. And what a season it will be! ASU Gammage kicks off its exciting Broadway show series with KINKY BOOTS, winner of six Tony Awards® including Best Musical, September 16-21. This heartwarming and hilarious show features a joyous Tony Award-winning score by Cyndi Lauper. KINKY BOOTS is just the beginning of what promises to be the most fantastic yearlong series that will include: PIPPIN, December 2-7, 2014 JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, January 13-18, 2014 DIRTY DANCING THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE, February 17-22, 2015 RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA, March 10-15, 2015 CHICAGO, March 27-29, 2015 MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, April 21-26, 2015 THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA May 27-June 7, 2015 WICKED, August 26-October 4, 2015 This year there’s even more to look forward to because it’s […]

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Tempe events this week – Jamie Kennedy at the Tempe Improv

Tempe Improv
August 25, 2014

To say that Jamie Kennedy keeps busy is a colossal understatement. The multi-talented comedian-actor-writer-producer has an elaborate resume. He’s known for taking on a number of personas and characters, which are hilarious. But there’s a lot more going on in the wide wide world of Jamie Kennedy. The number and variety of his movie roles alone is impressive and  include Scream and Scream 2, Romeo and Juliet, As Good as It Gets, Enemy of the State, Three Kings and dozens of others. Then there are all of his appearances in television shows, including “The Ghost Whisperer” and his own “Jamie Kennedy Experiment.” Plus he wrote and produced the highly acclaimed documentary, Heckler and he authored his autobiography, Wannabe: A Hollywood Experiment.   Jamie Kennedy is also a very funny stand-up comic and you can see him in action at t the Tempe Improv this weekend. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://tempeimprov.com. For more arts, culture and entertainment events check out this week’s list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. August 26: Sharonah Fredrick, Changing Hands Bookstore August 27: ASU School of Music Student Jazz Composition Competition ,  ASU Recital Hall August 27: Jaleo Band & Havana Salsa, Tempe Marketplace District Stage August 27: New Faces of Comedy, Tempe Improv, August 29:  Finally Friday: Tom Bertling; August 29: Tempe Comedy Concert Series: Armon Williams, Tempe Center for the Arts August 29: Beretta Sun; August 30: Knee Deep Experience, Tempe Marketplace District […]

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Fun Things To Do in Downtown Tempe

Tempe Town Lake and Tempe Beach Park
August 22, 2014

Fall is a great time to explore all the fun things to do in Downtown Tempe. With all the options, there’s no better place to enjoy your free time than on Mill Avenue. In addition to great shopping and dining, Downtown Tempe offers hiking, biking, movie watching, museums and a variety of theater performances. Here’s my short list of fun things to do when you’re out and about in Downtown Tempe: 1) Go for a hike: At the north end of Downtown Tempe lies “A” Mountain. This quick, although fairly rigorous, hike provides panoramic views of the ASU Tempe Campus and the surrounding areas of Tempe. Just gorgeous! 2) See a movie: AMC Centerpoint 11 is located in the heart of Downtown Tempe and offers luxury movie-going. The seats are fancy recliners so you can watch your movie in style. The food here is yummy, or you can grab a bite before or after the show at one of the many delicious nearby restaurants. 3) Take a bike ride: Grab a bike and head downtown for a fun bike ride. There are hundreds of bike paths in Tempe winding through the city. Explore nearby Tempe Town Lake  or head north to the Crosscut Canal Multiuse Path that goes through lovely Papago Park. Either bring your own two wheeler or rent a bike at The Bicycle Cellar, just steps from Mill Avenue. 4) See a theater performance: Between the smart and edgy performances that can be seen at Stray Cat Theatre, to the blockbuster Broadway shows at ASU […]

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The future starts now for ASU football

ASU Sparky
August 19, 2014

One of the reasons I love August is that football is just around the corner. Training camps are underway, rosters and depth charts are set and new uniforms are unveiled. As fans, we read and re-read upcoming season schedules, we predict the outcomes of games months in advance and we look forward to spending our weekends during the next few months at games or at our favorite sports bars with friends. There’s really nothing better than football season. The Sun Devils are playing their first game of the season, at home, next Thursday against Weber State. Safe to say, we can chalk this one up as a win. If you love football, you’ll be impressed with ASU’s schedule this season. They’ll be on the road this year when they play USC, Washington, Oregon State and some college down in Tucson nobody has ever heard of. But no shortage of big name college football programs will be visiting us in Tempe this year. If they can continue to build upon the success of last season, 2014 will be one of the most memorable years in ASU football history. Without dissecting every upcoming game, here are a few I’m really looking forward to this year. First up, UCLA. The Bruins will be in Tempe on Thursday, September 25th. In addition to them being a Pac-12 rival, UCLA has a big time QB in Brett Hundley. He’s a top-5 college football quarterback and a candidate to be a Heisman Trophy finalist. UCLA is also bringing […]

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Tempe events this week-TCA Fall Arts Kickoff

Tempe Center for the Arts
August 18, 2014

The summer is winding down, at least in some parts of the world. We have a ways to go, but can feel comfort when our arts and culture organizations start rolling out their fall seasons. At least that verifies the existence of a fall and that  it’s coming soon to our area. I was understandably very happy to see that on August 22, the TCA Fall Arts Kickoff will preview its partner organization fall seasons. The TCA’s partners, Childsplay, Tempe Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Desert Dance Theater, Arizona Wind Symphony, Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts, Tempe Community Chorus, Friends of TCA and CONDER/dance, will all be on hand to provide information on their new seasons. You’ll get a taste of what’s coming up along with ticket giveaways, art and free catered nibbles to create an event to be enjoyed by the whole family. Yes, Tempe Center for the Arts and its partner organizations have verified that there will be fall with lots of great performing arts to invigorate us. Thus, we can also be reassured that the desert version of brisk autumn temperatures in the 70s and 80s will ensue.  For more information on all of the TCA’s programs, visit www.tempe.gov/tca For more arts, culture and entertainment events check out this week’s list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. August 20: Doug Benson, Tempe Improv August 20: Tony Duncan and Darrin Yazzie: Singing Lights; August 21: Dr. Emil Faithe: You Are Sensitive, Changing […]

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Hungry? Here’s the best ASU student dining

Original Chop Shop Co.
August 15, 2014

I think a lot of college students get creative when it comes to eating. Between classes, homework, term papers and studying, there’s barely enough time to breathe, let alone eat. When I was in school, I survived on a steady diet of Tostino’s pizza (10 for $10, how could you go wrong?).  If I could go back and do it all over again, I would eat a lot healthier and more complete meals instead of taking the easy way out. The great thing about being a student at ASU in Tempe is that there are a ton of great dining options to choose from. Whether you have a lot of time to just sit down, relax and enjoy some great food or you’re in a rush and need a really quick meal, the area around the ASU Tempe Campus has lots to offer.  Here are some of the places we think serve some of the best ASU student dining options. Memorial Union Considered to be the “living room of campus”, Memorial Union offers ASU students everything from information about joining student organizations to food. Engrained, one of the most popular restaurants on campus, is found here. Located on the second floor, Engrained has a good selection of healthy food for reasonable prices. They partner with local farms and producers and incorporate their food into the menu. It’s a great place to stop by if you don’t have time to leave campus. Umami Tempe Last year, Umami was recognized as one of the hottest ramen shops […]

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Tempe Rocks at the TCA

Tempe Center for the Arts
August 14, 2014

For years, Tempe has been a bastion of great live music of all genres. Major bands like the Gin Blossoms, The Refreshments, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Jimmy Eat World and the Meat Puppets have roots in Tempe. And, from the time it opened in 2007, Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA) has showcased and supported the local music scene with outstanding programs like Walk-in Wednesday Open Mic Night, In the Spotlight, the award-winning Songwriters’ Showcase and Finally Friday. On August 23, TCA continues its support of local talent with the premiere of a new series, Tempe Rocks: Live, Local, Legendary sponsored by the College Times. Each Tempe Rocks concert will feature currently popular talent and noteworthy bands that have been instrumental in the history of music development in Tempe.  The debut show on August 23 promises to be a doozie with a terrific lineup including The Pistoleros, Banana Gun, Teneia and the Maybees and Old Jack City. The Pistoleros co-founders Mark and Lawrence Zubia have been entrenched in the Tempe music scene since 1992 when they co-founded (with Doug Hopkins formerly of the Gin Blossoms) the Chimeras, which later became the Pistoleros. The band recently signed with Fervor Records and is preparing to release a new collection of songs in late 2014. Banana Gun has a diverse sound ranging from 70s rock to Bluegrass, funk and R&B.  They reach a broad audience that loves to dance and sing along with the music. The band has released several CDs, including […]

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Tempe Event This Week- Chill out at the Tempe Improv

Tempe Improv audience
August 12, 2014

The Tempe Improv has two terrific comics this week. The always mesmerizing Flip Orley will be here to entertain and amaze with his unique act that combines comedy and hypnotism. Both events are fundraisers for two great Phoenix area organizations. On Wednesday, Flip will perform for the annual Workshops for Youth and Families. This organization is devoted to fostering personal leadership in youth and families through programs that inspire positive growth and change. On Thursday, Flip will headline the Ace Hardware Fundraiser to benefit the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. On Friday and Saturday the hilarious Gina Brillon will keep the audience in stitches.  To say that Gina Brillon is talented is a bit of an understatement. She’s an actress, comedian, published writer, poet and singer. Brillon has been a standup comic since she was 17. She has a featured role in Gabriel Iglesias’ upcoming theatrical film, The Fluffy Movie. She’s made appearances on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham,” E!’s “Chelsea Lately,” AXS’ ” Gotham Comedy Live,” “The View,” and is the first (and only) Latina winner of NBC’s 2012 Stand up for Diversity Showcase. So, take a break from your usual routine and chill at the Tempe Improv. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.tempeimprov.com  or call 480-921-9877. For more arts, culture and entertainment events check out this week’s list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. August 12: The Head and the Heart with James Supercave,  Marquee Theatre August 13 & […]

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