Getting out of the House: Concerts, performances return to fill fall schedule

By Laura Latzko

There is nothing quite as special as going to see a favorite band in concert or experiencing a beloved or new theatrical show in person. Sharing it with others, who are on the same journey, makes it even more impactful.

After a long pandemic absence of live performances, local venues and theater companies around the Valley will offer a chance to see favorite artists, classical compositions and theatrical productions live this fall.

Check out these local concerts and productions in the next few months.


Phoenix Chamber Music Society, Central United Methodist Church, 1875 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, 602-252-0095,

September 25: The Orion String Quartet, known for diverse programs with classic works and pieces from the 20th and 21st centuries, will perform music by Joseph Haydn, Bela Bartok and Ludwig van Beethoven.

October 4: The Faure Piano Quartet, known for its distinctive approach to mainstream chamber music, will perform works by Johannes Brahms and Modest Mussorgsky.

October 30: The Academy of St. Martins in the Fields Chamber Ensemble started in 1967 and is composed of members of the renowned chamber orchestra the Academy of St. Martins in the Fields. During its Phoenix concert, the ensemble will play pieces by Henry Purcell, Howard Ferguson and Franz Schubert.

Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd Street, Phoenix, 602-267-1600,

September 8-9: Styx has been going strong since the 1970s. The group, which has released a mix of ballads, powerful rock tunes and conceptual songs, is known for hits such as “Come Sail Away,” “Renegade,” “Too Much Time on My Hands” and “Mr. Roboto.”

September 10: Over a career that spans over three decades, country singer Wynonna Judd has sold over 30 million albums. She is known for songs like “She is His Only Need,” “No One Else on Earth,” “Tell Me Why,” “Only Love,” “Is It Over Yet” and “Girls with Guitars.” As part of the Judds, a duo with her mother Naomi, she won five Grammy Awards and eight CMA awards. She will be  joined in Phoenix by her band the Big Noise.

September 17: A prominent figure in the music industry since the 1970s, singer-songwriter, pianist and guitarist Jackson Browne is known for personal, introspective lyrics. He is an inductee into the Rock & Roll and Songwriters halls of fame and was a major figure in the 1970s singer-songwriter movement. Browne, who is known for his hit songs “The Pretender” and “Running on Empty,” has sold over 18 million albums throughout his career.

October 1: Chaka Khan has built a career in the music business that spans more than four decades. The singer, actress, philanthropist, entrepreneur and activist has won 10 Grammy Awards. Her music crosses different genres, including R&B, gospel, rock, pop, country and classical. Khan is best known for hit songs such as “I’m Every Woman,” “Tell Me Something Good,” “What ‘Cha Gonna Do for Me,” “I Feel for You,” “Do You Love What You Feel,” “Everlasting Love” and “Ain’t Nobody.”

October 17: Known as the “Empress of Soul,” Gladys Knight is an iconic singer, entrepreneur, actress and author who has won seven Grammy Awards. The R&B and soul singer, who has crossed into other genres such as pop, is best known for iconic songs she recorded with Gladys Knight & the Pips like “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.” She is an inductee into the Rock and Vocal Group halls of fame.

Footprint Center, 201 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 602-379-2000,

August 30: One of the best-selling rock groups of all time, Guns N’ Roses has topped the charts with songs like “Welcome the Jungle,” “Paradise City” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” The band will be joined in Phoenix by Mammoth WVH, featuring Wolfgang Van Halen.

September 24-25: Formed in the 1970s in California, the Eagles needs no introduction, with hits including “Take It Easy,” “Desperado,” “Witchy Woman,” and “Hotel California.” Six-time Grammy Award winners and 1998 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, the Eagles will perform the full “Hotel California” album as part of this tour.

October 31: Puerto Rican singer and actor Marc Anthony has made his mark on the music industry, solidifying his status as one of the most influential Latin artists of all time. The winner of three Grammys and six Latin Grammys, Anthony is best known for hits such as “You Sang to Me,” “I Need to Know,” “Vivir Mi Vida” and “Flor Palida.” 

Arizona Federal Theatre, 400 W. Washington Street, Phoenix,


September 11: Trailblazer Pat Benatar, a four-time Grammy Award winner, created a path for the female rockers who came after her. She topped the charts with hits like “Love Is a Battlefield,” “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” Invincible” and “We Belong,” while 10 of her albums have hit multi-platinum, platinum or gold status. She will be joined in Phoenix by husban and collaborator Neil Giraldo, a producer, musician and songwriter who has produced and arranged songs for Benatar as well as Rick Springfield, Kenny Loggins and John Waite.

September 12: The Counting Crows have sold over 20 million albums worldwide and been nominated for Grammy and Academy awards. They are best known for their hit songs “Mr. Jones,” “Round Here” and “A Long December,” as well as the song “Accidentally in Love” from the film “Shrek 2.” 

September 25: A singer, songwriter, record and film producer, actor, philanthropist and coach on the TV show “The Voice,” John Legend could be called a jack-of-all-trades. One of the hottest artists in the music industry, his varied endeavors have earned him 12 Grammy Awards, an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony Award. He is best known for his hit songs “All of Me,” “Glory” and “Ordinary People.”

October 7: Formed in Texas in the 2010s, the trio Midland brings a distinctive brand of country music inspired by 1970s and ’80s country sounds. The band has charted with the songs “Drinkin’ Problem,” “Burn Out,” “Mr. Lonely” and “Cheatin’ Songs,” and it also won the 2018 Academy of Country Music Award for New Vocal Duo/Group of the Year.

Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix,


September 7: A master of the resonator guitar, Jerry Douglas has won 14 Grammy Awards and three CMA Awards for Musician of the Year. His style of country music blends bluegrass, Celtic, rock, jazz and blues.

September 9-10: A native of Southern California, Karla Bonoff has built a singing career that has lasted three decades, writing hits for the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt and Wynonna Judd. She will be joined in Phoenix by guitarist Nina Gerber.

September 11: Over the last five decades, singer-songwriter Peter Rowan has established himself as one of the top bluegrass artists in the music industry. The Grammy Award winner started his career learning from Bill Monroe, known as the “Father of Bluegrass Music,” and went on to establish his own style and gain an international following for his music. Among Rowan’s talents are playing the guitar and mandolin, singing and yodeling.

September 18: Austin blues artist Ruthie Foster has developed a reputation nationally for her unique voice, which she lends to R&B, soul, folk and blues music. Along with three Grammy Award nominations for Best Blues Album, she has won seven Blues Music Awards and three Austin Music Awards, as well as performed with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi and the Allman Brothers.

September 25: Rickie Lee Jones may be best known for her 1979 song “Chuck E.’s in Love,” but the two-time Grammy Award winner has built a career that spans five decades and 15 albums. Her musical repertoire spans different genres of music, including pop, R&B, jazz, rock and soul.

October 8: Regarded as one of the top jazz singers on the scene, Diane Schuur has won two Grammy Awards. The Tacoma native has overcome challenges in her life to succeed, the biggest being that she was born blind and learned to play the piano by ear.

October 14-15: Known for his musical prowess, trumpet player and producer Chris Botti has achieved crossover success as a jazz/pop musician. The Grammy Award winner has had four No. 1 jazz albums. During his three-decade career, he has worked or performed with artists such as Barbra Streisand, Sting, Lady Gaga, Yo-Yo Mama, Michael Buble, Steven Tyler and Frank Sinatra.

October 29: Max Weinberg played for many years with Bruce Springsteen as part of the E Street Band and went on to serve as the bandleader for talk show host Conan O’Brien. For “Max Weinberg’s Jukebox,” he brings an interactive show where the audience develops the set list for his four-person band from a list of over 200 songs.

Ak-Chin Pavilion, 2121 N. 83rd Avenue, Phoenix, 602-254-7200,

September 16: Started in 2006, the country trio Lady A has its roots in Nashville. The group, which recently changed its name, is known for hit songs such as “Need You Now” and “Bartender.” Group member Hillary Scott is following in the footsteps of her mother, country singer Linda Davis. 

September 24: Country star Luke Bryan began writing songs for other artists, including Travis Tritt, before launching his own singing career. The singer, who served as a judge on “American Idol,” has also won Academy of Country Music and CMA awards for Entertainer of the Year. He is known for songs such as “Country Girl (Shake It For Me), “Drink a Beer,” “Play It Again,” “Drunk On You,” “That’s My Kind of Night,” “Crash My Party” and “Kick the Dust Up.”

September 26: Nearly 50 years in, Kiss is still performing and engaging crowds with its wild blood-spitting, fire-breathing and rock-shooting antics, as well as pyrotechnic effects. The band is famous for songs like “Rock and Roll All Nite,” “Detroit Rock City,” “I Love It Loud” and “I Was Made for Loving You.”

October 1: Led by Adam Levine, Maroon 5 is behind some of the biggest Billboard hits in recent years, such as “Payphone,” “One More Night,” “Moves Like Jagger,” “Sugar,” “Girls Like You,” “Animals”  “She Will Be Loved” and “Memories.”

October 3: Canadian-American singer, songwriter and actress Alanis Morissette burst onto the scene in the 1990s with her album “Jagged Little Pill,” which featured hits like “You Oughta Know,” “Hand In My Pocket” and “Ironic.” She won four Grammy Awards in 1996, including Album of the Year, which she eventually adapted for the stage. In Phoenix, she will be joined by Garbage, known for the hit songs “Stupid Girl” and “Only Happy When it Rains.”

October 16: With a career spanning five decades, the Doobie Brothers are revered for layered music that spans different genres, their three-part harmonies and reflective lyrical style. The group has reached the top of the charts with songs like “What a Fool Believes,” “Long Train Runnin’,” Black Water”  and “Real Love,” while selling 50 million albums worldwide, winning multiple Grammy Awards, as well as being inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

The Nash, 110 E. Roosevelt Street, Phoenix, 602-795-0464,

August 7: Local vocalist Sherry Roberson will pay tribute to the music of Billie Holiday with a night dedicated to the iconic singer’s music.

August 9: Led by guitarist and vocalist Pascal Bokar Thiam, the 11-piece Pascal Bokar Afro Blue Grazz Band plays a style of blues music with West African and African-American influences, known as “AfroBlueGrazz.” During the performance, audience members will play instruments such as the sabar drum and the balafon, along with a banjo and fiddle.

August 21: Made up of a drummer, pianist and bass player, the Arsen Nalbandian Trio will pay tribute to famed jazz pianist Oscar Peterson with a night of music from the Great American Songbook.

August 22: Phoenix-based singer Francine Reed, who comes from a musical family, has performed with Lyle Lovett and His Large Band and recorded with artists such as Delbert McClinton, Willie Nelson and Roy Orbison. The artist, who has found success in the Phoenix and Atlanta scenes during her career, is an inductee of the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame.

The Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, 602-265-4842,

September 5: Known as the “King of Strings,” Carvin Jones is renowned for his skills as a blues guitarist. He has performed around the world during a career that spans over two decades.

September 16: Actor Billy Bob Thornton, best known for the hit film “Sling Blade,” will showcase his musical talents when he performs with his band the Boxmasters at the Rhythm Room. Local roots/rockabilly group Pat Roberts and the Heymakers will open.

Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main Street, Mesa, 480-644-6500,

October 3: Pat Metheny reimagined the traditional jazz guitar sound, often blending contemporary and Latin jazz with jazz fusion music. The musician, who has worked with Herbie Hancock, David Bowie, Ornette Coleman and Milton Nascimento, has won 20 Grammy Awards. He offers opportunities for emerging musicians to perform alongside him as part of his “Side-Eye” playing environment and will be joined in Tucson by keyboard/piano player James Francies and drummer Joe Dyson.

October 7: Emmylou Harris, a 14-time Grammy Award winner and recipient of the Billboard Century Award, has built a career that spans four decades. Known for her expressive and often autobiographical style of reimagined classic country, Harris was recognized for her contributions to country music with her 2008 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

October 23: The Fab Four has developed a reputation as one of the top Beatles tribute groups in the world. The group gives viewers a Beatles concert experience with music and costumes from different eras of the Beatles. Fans will hear some of their favorites, including “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Hey Jude” and “Here Comes the Sun.”

Mesa Amphitheatre, 263 N. Center Street, Mesa, 480-644-2560,

October 6: An iconic all-female R&B group formed in the ’90s, TLC is known for a slew of hit songs, including “No Scrubs,” “Waterfalls,” “Red Light Special” and “Creep.” Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes may have passed, but Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas are still keeping the music alive. The group, which has had four multi-platinum albums, has won four Grammy Awards. TLC will be joined in Mesa by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (“Tha Crossroads”).

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second Street, Scottsdale, 480-499-8587,

September 14: A civil rights leader; Grammy Award winner; and R&B, soul and gospel singer, Mavis Staples has made an impact with her work and her music. She was honored with a National Arts Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award for her lengthy career, during which she has topped the charts singing as part of the Staples Sisters (an inductee into the Rock & Roll Roll Hall of Fame), performed at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration and President Barack Obama and marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr.

Scottsdale Philharmonic, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts,

7380 E. Second Street, Scottsdale,


October 10: The Scottsdale Philharmonic will open its 10th season with a concert featuring works by classical composers Felix Mendelssohn, John Scott, Maurice Ravel and Daniel Auber.

Talking Stick Resort and Casino,

9800 E. Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale, 480-850-7777,

August 14: Cheap Trick, which was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2016, is known for songs like “I Want You to Want Me” and “Surrender.”

August 20: Over three decades in, the Mavericks continue to engage audiences with their signature country-rock style, known for songs such as “What a Crying Shame” and “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down.” They will be joined by Los Lobos, the famed Los Angeles group that blends Tejano, soul, R&B, punk rock, country and folk music. 

September 24: Known for his song “Wicked Game,” Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and actor Chris Isaak has built a career upon his 1950s-rock/crooner sound and falsetto style.

October 9: Formed by three friends in Paw Paw, West Virginia, in 1970, Asleep at the Wheel has continued for the last 50 years. The group, which draws inspiration from honky-tonk and Western swing styles, has won 10 Grammy Awards and released 31 albums.

October 10: Despite the recent passing of Dusty Hill, ZZ Top has retained the rest of its original lineup throughout the years. And the show goes on. The band, which was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, is known for its hit songs “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Gimme All Your Lovin’” as well as its members’ signature beards.

Chandler Center for the Arts,

250 N. Arizona Avenue, Chandler,


October 23: A native of Nashville and crossover pop/Christian contemporary artist, Amy Grant has been a force in the music industry over the last three decades. The singer, TV host, author and speaker is known for hit songs such as “Baby Baby,” “Every Heartbeat,” “I Will Remember You,” “Takes A Little Time” and “That’s What Love is For.” She is the first Christian contemporary artist to have a platinum record and to reach No. 1 on the pop charts. She has sold over 30 million albums worldwide and won six Grammys.

Vista Center for the Arts,

15660 N. Parkview Place, Surprise, 855-321-6724,

October 31: During its “Brandenberg and Beyond” concert, the Arizona Philharmonic will present pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach, Benedetto Marcello, Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Igor Stravinsky and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The concert is part of the “Baroque and Beyond” series.

North Canyon High School Auditorium, 1700 E. Union Hills Drive, Phoenix, 623-980-4628,

October 16: To open its 10th season, the North Valley Symphony Orchestra will present “Re-Opening Overtures,” a concert featuring works by Aaron Copland, Gioachino Rossini, Samuel Barber, Gustav Holst, Richard Strauss and Joachim Raff.


Phoenix Theatre Company, 1825 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix,


September 15 to October 24: “Lerner and Loewe’s Camelot” reimagines the classic story of King Arthur and his love triangle with his wife, Guinevere, and Sir Lancelot. The theater company will present the smaller cast version of the show, which was developed by Alan Lerner and Frederick Loewe and based on a T.H. White novel. The show won four Tony Awards and inspired a 1967 film version.

October 6 to December 5: This adaptation by Richard O’Brien of the 1975 cult classic film “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” follows newly engaged couple Brad and Janet as they enter a world where nothing is off limits and explore their deepest desires. They are led and joined in sin by Frank-N-Furter, Rocky, Columbia, Magenta, Riff Raff and Eddie. The show is filled with classic songs, including “Science Fiction-Double Feature,” “Hot Patootie (Bless My Soul)” “Sweet Transvestite” and “Time Warp.”

ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Avenue, Tempe, 480-965-3434,

September 8 to October 10: Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the musical “Hamilton” tells the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton and his foe Aaron Burr with hip-hop, R&B,  jazz music and a diverse cast. The show has won multiple Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy, along with revolutionizing theater in different ways. The national touring version of the hit musical will visit ASU Gammage.

Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria, 623-776-8400,

August 13 to September 5: James Valcq’s and Fred Alley’s  show “The Spitfire Grill” tells the story of Percy Talbot, a woman who has recently been released from prison and finds a new life working in a small-town diner called the Spitfire Grill. The musical is based on a 1996 film and won the Richard Rodgers Production Award.

September 19-30: An iconic musical that won six Tony Awards for its revival, “Chicago” highlights the pomp and circumstance of the criminal justice system through Roxie Hart, a housewife and aspiring performer trying to get the public on her side after killing her boyfriend. She is helped along the way by slick lawyer Billy Flynn. The musical, which was created by Fred Ebb, Bob Fosse and John Kander and based on a play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, is filled with big production numbers like “All That Jazz,” “Cell Block Tango” and “When You’re Good to Mama.”

Mesa Encore Theatre, Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main Street, Mesa,


September 3-19: With its show “The Best of Broadway-Live in Concert,” the Mesa Encore Theatre will raise money while also bringing music from composers like Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Stephen Schwartz. Each night, the theater will bring in special guest performers.

Hale Centre Theatre, 50 W. Page Avenue, Gilbert, 480-497-1181,

August 24-25: As part of the Hale Summer Concert Series, musician/actor Ben Hale and other performers will present this Roy Orbison, Everly Brothers and Johnny Cash tribute concert. The musical revue will share music and stories from their lives.

August 20 to October 2: Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice and Andrew Lippa’s “The Addams Family” brings audiences into the creepy and campy world of the Addams Family. In the show, Wednesday Addams has found love and brings her “normal” boyfriend and his parents to meet her family.

September 21 to November 16: Written by Mary Chase, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Harvey” follows Elwood D. Dowd, a man with an imaginary rabbit friend named Harvey. He causes embarrassment to his upward socially climbing sister Veta when he introduces others to his imaginary friend. When she tries to commit him to a sanitarium, unintended consequences result.

October 7 to November 20: Based on the iconic 1964 film and a children’s book by P.L. Travers, “Mary Poppins” tells the story of a nanny who shows up when a family needs her and changes their lives forever. Developed by Richard and Robert Sherman, Julian Fellowes, Anthony Drewe and George Stiles, the musical features well-known songs such as “A Spoonful of Sugar” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” as well as new music and lyrics.

Arizona Theatre Company, Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe Street, Phoenix, 602-256-6995,

October 21 to November 7: Developed by Charissa Bertels, Christian Duhamel and Edward Bell, “My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend” is based on Bertel’s real-life experience. The musical looks at the growing friendship between a 20-year-old actress and an 80-year-old millionaire and highlights what people of different backgrounds and generations can learn from each other. 

Ballet Arizona, Dorrance Theatre, 2835 E. Washington Street, Phoenix, 602-381-1096,

October 29-31: With “Contemporary Moves: An Evening of Three Ballets,” Arizona Ballet will present three ballet pieces by more established and contemporary choreographers, including Nayon Iovino, Sir Frederick Ashton and Philip Glass.

Desert Stages Theatre, Scottsdale Fashion Square, 7014 E. Camelback Road, Suite 0586, Scottsdale,


September 10-19: A musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, “Into the Woods” is the winner of three Tony Awards. The show follows a number of different characters from Brothers Grimm tales, including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Rapunzel.

October 1-10: Based on the 1985 movie and the classic Hasboro board game, “Clue” is a farcical murder mystery revolving around familiar characters, including Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, the butler and Professor Plumb. When they get together for dinner, murder ensues. The musical was created by Peter Depietro, Galen Blum, Wayne Baker, Vince Martucci and Tom Chiodo. 

October 22-31: “Carrie the Musical” was inspired by the book by Stephen King and adapted into a musical by Lawrence Cohen, Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore. The show follows socially awkward Carrie, a girl who is bullied at school and is mistreated at home by her religiously zealous mother. A teacher and two classmates seek to help Carrie, but when a bully sabotages their efforts, Carrie shows the world how powerful she is.

Great Arizona Puppet Theater,

302 W. Latham Street, Phoenix,


September 1-12: In “The Three Wishes,” a wood elf causes mischief in the lives of a woodcutter and his wife when he grants them wishes with unexpected consequences. The family-friendly show uses hand puppets.

September 22 to October 3: Performed with rod puppets, original music and projected scenery, “The Frog Prince” teaches morality lessons on friendship and the importance of staying true to one’s word.

October 6-31: In “Old McDonald’s Pumpkin Patch,” animals at Old McDonald’s farm are scrambling around, trying to find costumes for Halloween. The show, which uses hand puppets, offers a singalong opportunities for the young and young at heart.

Don Bluth Front Row Theatre, 8989 E. Via Linda, Suite 118, Scottsdale,


August 12 to September 18: In Ron Clark’s “A Bench in the Sun,” two good friends at a retirement home get entangled in a love triangle when a once-famous actress moves in and captures their eye. Actors Jim Coates, Lee Coley and Donna Kaufman are returning to reprise roles they previously played in the show.

September 30 to November 6: Written by John Van Druten, “Bell, Book and Candle” follows Gillian, an attractive witch in New York who finds herself in trouble when she casts a spell on her upstairs neighbor Shep, making him fall in love with her. She must keep her heart in check because she could lose her magic if she returns his feelings.

All Puppet Players, 1850 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, 602-254-2151,

Oct 1-30: The All Puppet Players will kick off their 10th season with a puppet version of “Creature from the Black Lagoon.” The show follows a research team that finds a prehistoric creature during a journey to the jungles of South America. Audiences can expect irreverent adult humor and some unscripted, improvisational moments. 

Madison Center for the Arts, 5601 N. 16th Street, Phoenix, 602-664-7777,

September 16-18: In the musical comedy “Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville,” tourists flock to the Margaritaville Hotel and Bar to get a respite from their everyday lives and sometimes find something they weren’t anticipating: romance. Written by Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley, the show features popular Jimmy Buffett songs like “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Fins.”