Leonard Nimoy Dead at 83

Categories: Film and TV, News

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Courtesy of NBC
Leonard Nimoy, who lived long and prospered, has died.

Leonard Nimoy has died, according to a report from The New York Times.

The actor, musician, photographer, and pop culture icon was 83.

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Eye Lounge's 15-Year Retrospective at Vision Gallery Highlights Phoenix's Visual Art Diversity

Categories: Review, Visual Art

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Mikey Estes
Cole Robertson's America's Next Hot Mug Shot #1 and #2 examine the still image in our culture.

Eye Lounge has been kicking off 2015 with exhibitions that highlight where they've been, where they are, and where they may be going. The most expansive of these is "Self Made: 15 Years of Eye Lounge," currently on view at Vision Gallery in Chandler until March 8, 2015. Bringing together the works of over 60 artists, of Eye Lounge both past and present, the exhibition shows just how diverse visual art in Phoenix is. At times, the exhibition may seem overloaded within the walls of the gallery, but as a whole the exhibition excellently illustrates how influential Eye Lounge has been over the past 15 years.

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Artist Saskia Jordá Creates Migration for Canal Convergence in Scottsdale

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Saskia Jordá
Saskia Jordá's Migration is part of this weekend's Canal Convergence in Scottsdale.
We headed to the Scottsdale Waterfront at Marshall Way Bridge a couple of days ago, eager to catch Saskia Jordá in the act of art-making. We'd heard installation was well underway for her large-scale piece called Migration, which is one of several temporary art works featured in the four-day Canal Convergence event presented by Scottsdale Public Art. It started Thursday, February 26, and continues through Sunday, March 1.

We'd made plans to meet the artist at one of two bridges where most of the wooden birds comprising Migration were being installed. While walking towards the Marshall Way Bridge, we spotted a couple sitting with several cardboard boxes filled with the birds. Turns out they were Jordá's parents, who were lacing together pairs of flat wooden bird shapes to create the three-dimensional pieces on view during the event.


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5 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Categories: Events

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Wade Moran
Krystal Pope, Chanel Bragg, and Jacqueline Rushing in Dreamgirls.

Dreamgirls

If you don't know anything else about the Tony-winning musical Dreamgirls, you've probably heard that song "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." When you contemplate Desert Foothills Theatre's production, however, which closes Sunday, March 1, you might want to change the soundtrack in your head to "Maybe I Should Go After All." It's a who's who of the local musical theater scene, directed by Damon Bolling, choreographed by Lynzee 4Man, and starring Chanel Bragg.


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ASU's Native Now Festival Returns to Deer Valley Rock Art Center April 11

Categories: Events

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Image courtesy Native Now
Shining Soul will be returning to the second annual Native Now.
UPDATE: Native Now has been rescheduled due to rain. The event has been moved to Saturday, April 11.

Indigenous culture gets the multi-media treatment as Native Now, a celebration of Native American traditions and artistic trailblazers, returns for its second year to the Deer Valley Rock Art Center. The all-day festival intended to fuse history with the contemporary will offer everything from music and film to food and visual art to give the community an up-close and personal look at Native American identity as it stands today.

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Maysoon Zayid on Turning to Comedy, Loving Bob's Burgers, and Returning to ASU

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

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Image courtesy Maysoon Zayid.
Maysoon Zayid comes to ASU's Galvin Playhouse this Friday, February 27.

Maysoon Zayid is becoming a master a getting the last laugh.

As a woman of Palestinian descent with cerebral palsy who lives in New Jersey and works in show business, Zayid has managed to spin day-to-day challenges into comedic material on her own terms. Since earning a BFA in acting at Arizona State University, the writer, performer, and activist has landed appearances on major television networks, including MSNBC as a once regular contributor to Countdown Keith Olbermann, and co-founded the New York Arab-American Comedy Festival, now in its 12th year. Perhaps her most recognizable role to date however is her 2013 TedWomen talk, "I Got 99 Problems and Cerebral Palsy is Just One," which currently has over six million views.

Zayid talked with Jackalope Ranch via e-mail about comedy, mentors, and returning to her alma mater for a special performance on Friday, February 27.

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10 Rules for Vacation Hookups

Categories: Fun, Travel

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Luke Ma/Flickr
Vacation hookups are bound to happen. Here's your guide to etiquette.

It doesn't matter if you're headed for a weekend road trip an hour away or backpacking through Europe for a month, going on a vacation can be an awesome time.

Sometimes, if you play your cards right, that vacation can be made even better by finding romance while you're away from home, but that night/week/month of fun can turn into problems that follow you back home if you aren't careful.

It doesn't matter if you're the one on vacation or the one who meets someone else who happens to be traveling, there are certain things you can to ensure the best possible experience. To make sure everyone has a good time, here are 10 vacation hookup dos and don'ts.

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Roosevelt Row: The Fight to Keep Downtown Phoenix "Authentic" Is a Fight to Let It Become Something It's Never Been

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Ben Voldman
Jimbo Reid is pissed off.

He's mad that there aren't any "cute chicks" today in Jobot, a coffee shop in an old house on Fifth Street. He's angry that the guy he's talking to on Jobot's cracked front porch keeps asking him about gentrification. He's fuming because the latte he ordered didn't come topped with a cute drawing made out of steamed milk, "like they always used to do at this fucking place."

Mostly, though, Reid is angry because the downtown Phoenix he knows and loves is, he says, about to go away.

"Come back here in five years," Reid barks, waving a heavily tattooed arm out at Fifth Street, "and I'll be sitting here at a Starbuck's, and she--" and here he jabs a tattooed thumb at a young woman with fuchsia hair wearing mismatched leggings and what looks to be a bustier, "will be some tight-ass lawyer on her way to an office."

He offers this last word as a vulgarity. Reid does not like offices. He doesn't like national chains. And he really hates that "the suits," as he calls them, are about to bulldoze the thing about Phoenix he loves the most: Roosevelt Row, the hip, scruffy arts district that has helped transform downtown Phoenix from a bombed-out also-ran feared by suburbanites to a destination for many of those same suburbanites -- and in a relatively short time, too.


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Stray Cat Theatre's Pluto Is a Splendid, Surreal Production in Tempe

Categories: Review, Theater

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John Groseclose
Gabrielle Van Buren and Cole Brackney in Pluto at Tempe's Stray Cat Theatre.

Elizabeth, a youngish suburban mother, is determined to have a normal day. But there's a tree growing, upside down, in her kitchen. Her three-headed talking dog is acting churlishly. The announcer on her radio, which keeps turning itself on, is speaking directly to her. And someone keeps trying to climb out from inside her refrigerator.

Elizabeth is a character in a Steve Yockey play. A normal day doesn't seem likely.
If Pluto, now on stage at Stray Cat Theatre, comes across as one long fever dream, that's deliberate. The point of Yockey's surrealist story is that life isn't always neat and tidy; in fact, it can be downright scary and quite awful. Director Ron May and his impressive company of players find each and every comic moment in Elizabeth's dreadful day, and make the most of what little subtlety there is in his dramatic message, besides. This is a splendid production of a noteworthy play.


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Artist Samantha Lyn Aasen on Vajazzling, the Absurd Expectations of Womanhood (NSFW)

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Mikey Estes
Samantha Lyn Aasen wearing her princess crown in her Phoenix studio

What happens in the studio shouldn't always stay in the studio. Studio Visit is a weekly series that profiles artists in their studios. We ask them questions, they provide answers, and then we have a nice discussion about their work. This week: Samantha Lyn Aasen, current MFA candidate in the Intermedia program at ASU.

The studio of Samantha Lyn Aasen may resemble the messy room of an adolescent girl, but rest assured there's more going on here than just that. Aasen is about to wrap up her studies at ASU with "Sparkle Baby," her MFA thesis show at Step Gallery in April. The photographs that she is currently producing use cheap craft and beauty supplies along with her own body in order to examine girlhood and womanhood. We sat own with Aasen in her studio and chatted about girlhood and womanhood, the cultural phenomenon known as vajazzling, and aspiration resulting in failure.

Editor's note: Images that follow are NSFW.

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