Five Must-See Arts and Culture Events This Week in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Events
Tuesday, January 15: "Catherine the Great and The Theater of Power" @ Changing Hands Bookstore
Too often discussions of history revolve around the prettiest, richest, and Frenchest. Case in point: Marie Antoinette gets a helluva lot more airtime than Catherine the Great. Never mind that Antoinette totally sucked at queening, and German-born Russian Empress Catherine had drama (and successes) aplenty.

Mark Cruse and Hilde Hoogenboom will give ol' Cath her due during their talk "Catherine the Great and The Theater of Power." The lecture will focus on how the ruler put up a strong front for her people, in spite of tumultuous events including, but not limited to, her hubby's assassination by her baby daddy's brother. Where's her Sofia Coppola adaptation? Price: Free; RSVP encouraged as seating is limited. -- Becky Bartkowski

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Tim Fuller
Dani Marcus and Anneliese van der Pol, from left, play Harriet Smith and Emma Woodhouse in Jane Austen's Emma.
Thursday, January 17: Arizona Theatre Company: Jane Austen's Emma @ Herberger Theater Center
Mere months before the BBC's Colin Firth-adorned Pride and Prejudice and Ang Lee's charming Sense and Sensibility launched an as-yet-unabated Jane Austen craze on our shores, there was 1995's Clueless, which was, we learned, Austen's Emma retold in contemporary Beverly Hills.

Emma's fabulosity is now a stage musical that gilds the Regency stuffiness and historical panache with the spirit and humor of writer-composer Paul Gordon (Daddy Long Legs). Arizona Theatre Company's Phoenix run of Jane Austen's Emma continues through January 20, and fans of hilarious, overconfident matchmaking mistakes played out through witty banter, gossip, fancy-dress balls, and picnics will flock to Herberger Theater Center in droves. Some of them may even be accompanied by men. (Kidding!) Price: $27.50-$78.50-- Julie Peterson

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