To find out what's happening in the Valley, call the Visitor Information Line (602/252-5588). Newspapers, especially the free weekly New Times (www.phoenixnewtimes.com), the Rep (www.azcentral.com), and Get Out (www.getoutaz.com), review the entertainment scene.
AMC (602/956-4262) has a—count 'em—30-screen theater in the Deer Valley area at the southwest corner of I-17 and Loop 101, as well as 24-screen theaters downtown at Arizona Center and at Awatukee (I-10 and Ray Rd.), and 14 screens in Phoenix (Esplanade at 24th St. and Camelback Rd.) and in Glendale (75th Ave. and Bell Rd).
Giant-screen movies, some in 3D, play at Arizona Mills Imax (Arizona Mills in Tempe, near the junction of I-10 and Superstition Fwy., 480/897-4629, www.imax.com/tempe and at Arizona Science Center (600 E. Washington St. in Heritage and Science Park, downtown Phoenix, 602/716-2000, www.azscience.org).
Arizona Theatre Company (Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., 602/256-6995 Arizona Theatre Company box office or 602/252-8497 Herberger Theater box office, www.arizonatheatre.org) performs classic and contemporary plays and some musicals from September to May.
Phoenix Theatre (100 E. McDowell Rd., 602/254-2151, www.phxtheatre.org) opened in 1920 and has run continuously, longer than any other theater in the country. The Main Stage hosts large-scale productions while the Cookie Company entertains children at the neighboring Little Theatre. Both venues form a courtyard with the Phoenix Art Museum on the northeast corner of Central Avenue and McDowell Road.
Phoenix Symphony (225 E. Adams St., 602/495-1999 or 800/776-9080, www.phoenixsymphony.org) offers a variety of concerts during its Sept.-May season, when the music resounds at Symphony Hall in downtown Phoenix and at Scottsdale Center for the Arts. Ballet Arizona (602/381-1096 or 888/322-5538 box office, 602/381-0184 office, www.balletaz.org) productions run from October to May downtown at the Orpheum and at Symphony Hall. Arizona Opera (602/266-7464, www.azopera.com) presents productions October to April at Symphony Hall.
Herberger Theater Center (222 E. Monroe St., 602/254-7399, www.herbergertheater.org) hosts many Broadway- and off-Broadway-style events; the Lunch-Time Theater one-act plays usually take place midday Tues.-Thurs. year-round.
The Orpheum Theatre (203 W. Adams St., 602/262-7272) opened in 1929 to great acclaim with an ornate sandstone facade and luxurious interior. It's now restored and hosts a variety of cultural events. You can tour the theatre on Mondays unless there's an event; call 602/534-4874 for times.
Comerica Theatre (400 W. Washington St., 602/379-2800, http://www.comericatheatre.com) offers Broadway shows, big-name entertainers, and other events downtown.
The Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion, also known as Cricket Pavilion, (2121 N. 83rd Ave., 602/254-7200, www.livenation.com/Cricket-Wireless-Pavilion-tickets-Phoenix/venue/204806) hosts major music events in an open-air 20,000-seat amphitheater in far western Phoenix, one-half mile north of I-10 on 83rd Avenue.
Celebrity Theatre (440 N. 32nd St., 602/267-1600, www.celebritytheatre.com) brings in top names performing a wide spectrum of popular music.
The city of Phoenix, 602/261-8993 or 261-8991, presents free Coffeehouse Concerts on Wednesday evenings year-round at the clubhouse in Encanto Park.
Scottsdale Center for the Arts (7380 E. 2nd St., 480/994-2787, www.scottsdalearts.org) sponsors diverse musical and theatrical offerings and contemporary art exhibits; the Center is one block south of Indian School Road and two blocks east of Scottsdale Road. Kerr Cultural Center (near Rose Lane off 6110 N. Scottsdale Rd., south of the Borgata, 480/596-2660, www.asukerr.com) offers musical ensembles and theatrical productions all year in a charming adobe recital hall; art exhibits (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.) change each month.
On the ASU campus, Gammage Center for the Performing Arts (480/965-3434, www.asugammage.com) presents a varied program of theater, concerts, and dance in a distinctive rotunda.
Mesa Arts Center (1 E. Main St. at SE corner of Main and Center Sts., 480/644-6560 gallery info, 480/644-6500 box office, www.mesaartscenter.com) presents Broadway-style theater, classical and pop music, dance, and family entertainment from local and visiting companies in one of the four theaters or at an outside performance area.
Organ Stop Pizza (1149 E. Southern Ave., 480/813-5700, www.organstoppizza.com) has good pizza, but it's the sounds of the mighty Wurlitzer that draws the crowds. This amazing instrument has four manuals, 276 keys, and 798 stops and controls and over 5500 pipes! The tallest one measures 36 feet and weighs nearly a ton. The organ includes two pianos, a variety of percussion, and some amusing special effects. Organists play requests, which can include anything from a Scott Joplin rag to a Bach cantata. The theater-like interior offers seating on a balcony as well as on the main floor. Admission is free and the pizza and pasta inexpensive. Open nightly for dinner. From Superstition Freeway Exit 181, turn north one long block on Stapley Drive, turn left on Southern Avenue, then left to the parking.
Sun City and Peoria
Arizona Broadway Theatre (7701 W. Paradise Lane in Peoria, 623/776-8400 www.azbroadwaytheatre.com) offers professional dinner theatre in the northwestern part of the greater Phoenix area. It's at the intersection of 77th Avenue and Paradise Lane and adjacent to Arrowhead Towne Center.
The Valley moves to many different beats. Check out the free weekly papers for what's playing: New Times (www.phoenixnewtimes.com), the Rep (www.azcentral.com), and Get Out (www.getoutaz.com).
The music gets enthusiastic couples onto the dance floors of Mr. Lucky's (in Phoenix at 3660 Grand Ave., two blocks north of Indian School Rd., 602/246-0686, www.mrluckys.com).
Tempe Improv (in Tempe at 930 E. University Dr., 480/921-9877, www.tempeimprov.com) showcases top talent.
Swing to the music at A League of Our Own (in Phoenix at 455 North Third St. in the Arizona Center), 602/252-2131), a jazz supper club with fine dining and live music.
Hear cool sounds in Phoenix at The Rhythm Room (1019 E. Indian School Rd., 602/265-4842, www.rhythmroom.com/) and Char's Has the Blues (4631 N. 7th Ave., 602/230-0205, www.charshastheblues.com. Also contact the Phoenix Blues Society (602/252-0599, www.phoenixblues.org)
Latin and Flamenco
Move to the beat at Pepin (in Scottsdale at 7363 Scottsdale Mall, 480/990-9026, www.pepinrestaurant.com).
For alternative and unusual performances in Phoenix, check out Modified Arts (407 E. Roosevelt St., 602/462-5516, www.modified.org).
Majerle's Sports Grill (in Phoenix at 24 N. 2nd St., 602/253-9004) attracts the downtown crowd.
George & Dragon English Restaurant & Pub (in Phoenix at 4240 N. Central Ave., two blocks north of Indian School Rd., 602/241-0018, daily for lunch and dinner) creates authentic English pub food such as steak and kidney pie, fish and chips, and Cornish pasties, and keeps more than a dozen brews on tap.
Seamus McCaffrey's Irish Pub & Restaurant (in downtown Phoenix at 18 W. Monroe St., 602/253-6081, daily for lunch and dinner) serves Guinness and traditional foods. Irish musicians often perform on Friday and Saturday. It's next door to the San Carlos Hotel.
Fort McDowell Casino (800/843-3678, www.fortmcdowellcasino.com) is in the northeastern part of the Valley at AZ 87 and Fort McDowell Road. Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino Resort (480/802-5000, 800/427-7247, www.harrahsakchin.com/) is 25 miles south of Phoenix near the town of Maricopa; take I-10 Queen Creek Road Exit 164 and head southeast 17 miles.
On to Valley of the Sun Shopping