Everything you've ever wanted to know about Chandler Center for the Arts

Monday Mashup

Monday Mashup: It still feels like summer

Once our Summer Concert series ends, it won’t though!

Our last Free Summer Concert is this Friday at 7:30 pm, and we’re partying with Sugar Thieves.  If you haven’t seen or heard them, you’re really missing out. I heard them during Mardi Gras and it was electrifying. I wandered around until I could find them and then just hung out there.  And, it’s a free concert. Holla if you love free.

Don’t forget, come to Downtown Chandler before the concert (aim for sometime between 5:30-6 pm) and participate in #CHANDLERHUNT. We’re giving out awesome prizes, and some of the participating locations are giving some away too, so no matter what, you’ll walk away with some #swag.  You can grab some friends and split the prize or ditch them and keep the glory to yourself. But it’ll be fun. So tell as many people as you can, and I’ll see ya’ll on Friday.

Speaking of #ChandlerHunt, have you seen the clues? Look through the blog, and look around at some of the Downtown establishments, they might look a little familiar.

Monday Mashup: Salty Edition

Q: How do you make Mondays awesome?

A: Combine International Talk Like A Pirate Day with a Monday Mashup.  Yarrrrr.

(I believe I be havin’ too much merriment wif’ a holiday such as this).

The rest of this post with be in non-pirate speak, but if the sound of that doesn’t put the wind in your sails, feel free to translate it with this. And then send me the results, because I know they’re going to be hilarious.

Who came by the Raices Community Reception? Pics, or it didn’t happen.

A quick shout out to the performers of the Intel Variety Show, who raised $30K for the Girls Leadership Academy of Arizona. You guys are amazing and did such a wonderful job for a great cause. High fives to each and every one of you.

This weekend we’re continuing the CALA Festival celebration with the 12th Annual Chandler C3HR Mariachi Festival, and if you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, get on that. I know for a fact that one of the price ranges has sold out, and the others are right behind it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to practice my pirate-y laugh. I tried it earlier this morning and instead of sounding like Capt. Barbossa I sounded like a chinchilla screaming. Oy.

Monday Mashup: Ask and you shall receive

Another case of the weekend gone missing.

Chandler Symphony’s Pops Concert was a HUGE success on Friday. They not only packed the house, but the packed the lobby too. Thank you guys so much. It’s a great feeling to see such an amazing support base in the community. ❤ you.

The Get Out Expo went really well, and a big thanks to everyone who came out, and those who came out and either said the secret phrases or did the not-so-secret High Five. The looks from the other booths cracked me up. If you couldn’t find us, or weren’t able to make it out, all the information that we had at the Get Out Expo can be found here, here and here.

Don’t forget to sign up for #ChandlerHunt. You don’t want to be left out of the fun, do you?

Also, groups can now buy tickets (minimum of 10) to Awesome 80’s Prom. It’s at least 10 kinds of awesome and really fun and different way to spend the evening.

Since there isn’t a Free Concert this weekend at CCA, you could spend your weekend checking out #ChandlerHunt and Awesome 80s. Just sayin’.

(Ps. Those of you at the Get Out Expo that said you got to the Pops Concert early because of my warnings on Facebook and Twitter made my weekend. High fives all around!)

Tuesday’s Mashup: Back after a long weekend

Boy, did we need the long weekend here at the Center.

Not because we needed that extra day to recover from the sunburns we got while floating down Salt River or because we wanted to sleep in just one more time, but because we needed that day to make sure everything is going to go as planned and send the summer off with a bang. Here we go.

Scavenger Hunt:
This won’t be the first time you’ll hear me talk about the scavenger hunt( or #ChandlerHunt), and you may have already heard me drop some hints. Well, here’s the skinny. 

September 30 we’re having our last Free Summer Concert with Sugar Thieves, and we in Downtown wanted to make it a memorable experience. I’ve been working with a handful of Downtown Chandler locations to set up a scavenger hunt on September 30 before the concert. The end of September is usually nice (but that may be 23 years of living in Arizona talking) and it’s a good excuse to get out and explore Downtown Chandler, maybe find something new, and win some awesome swag. You can find out more information and register here. As always, feel free to send me any and all questions and I’ll be happy to answer them.

Chandler Symphony Pops Concert
The Chandler Symphony is  always an awesome show, and this Friday they’re putting a little “pop” into their performance. They’ll be giving summer a great send off by performing some of their and their audiences favorite symphonic songs. If you have been to a Chandler Symphony Pops concert before, you know these things pack the house, so get here early. Show starts Friday night at 7:30, doors open at 6:30, and as with all the Summer Concerts, it’s free but we do ask for a donation.

Get Out Expo
After you hang out with us on Friday, join us at the Mesa Arts Center for the Get Out Expo from 10 am-2 pm, where the Valley’s best artists and performing arts venues will be hanging out for the day showcasing what we all have to offer you. And since you are all loyal blog readers, Facebook friends or Twitter followers, you probably already know most of what we have to offer. However, you know me, and you know how I love giving you guys stuff, so show up and you’ll be in for a treat.

Wow, that was a lot. I think I need a cookie to take my mind off my aching wrists. Or you could show up at the Pops Concert, Get Out Expo and #ChandlerHunt and that would make everything all better.

Monday Mashup: Songs that make you feel all warm and fuzzy

On Friday, love was definitely in the air.

Rusty and Kristen were amazing. They sung duets and solos about all aspects of love, from meeting someone for the first time, to looking back on memories of a person and being able to smile. It was a wonderful concert, and one thing I noticed was that the music really hit home with our audience. Our already nice and wonderful audience was nicer (if that’s possible) and couples who came in together left holding hands and smiling at each other. Really, a great thing to see.

But don’t take my word for it, here are a few clips from the show to make your Monday morning a little better.

Kristen’s solo from Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Rusty’s solo Starting Here, Starting Now (Which I think is also a name of a musical, in addition to being a Barbra Streisand song)

And another Streisand song on the cello. I could listen to this performance all morning, and I just might.

Happy Monday, ya’ll!

Monday Mashup: Weekend? What Weekend?

This past weekend was an absolute blast, even though it flew by.

We had an amazing turnout for Rachel on Friday, and she didn’t disappoint. It definitely wasn’t a “stuffy” jazz show, and was actually fun for some non-jazz enthusiasts who went on Friday. Win number 1.

Party on the Patio rocked, and it’s because you guys showed up in droves and nailed it. Thank you so much for coming out in the heat and getting your lunch from us. We had so much fun and even though I couldn’t hear out of my right ear for the rest of the day, that was the most fun that we had in a long time. Plus, Christopher Robin Band was awesome! Hands up if you think we should have them at the Center. Win number 2

Also, if you have any photos from the concert or the party, feel free to share them on our Facebook.

This weekend we’re having some awesome local talent in the form of Kristen Drathman, Rusty Ferracane and Craig Bohmler in “Funny Valentines and Broken Hearts” on Friday at 7:30 pm. Their performance features classic and contemporary pop songs that celebrate love in all its forms. Now, I’m not a real “lovey dovey” gal, but I’m looking forward to their performance. Kristin and Rusty (who you may know from our kid’s camps) are amazing to listen to and crack me up. I missed their performance last year (for shame!) so I need to make it up to myself and see them this year.

Plus it will be so dang hot out, I won’t want to do anything else but sit in an air-conditioned theatre and laugh. Sounds like a fun Friday to me.

Monday Mashup: Rachel Eckroth

Phoenix native Rachel Eckroth has an interest in many forms of music, but her true love is, and has been, jazz.

“I’ve been drawn to jazz because it’s music you could create on the spot,” she said. Coming from a musical family, Rachel was surrounded by different types of music and instruments and was singing and playing piano by age 6. When she was 14, she started playing jazz and was drawn to artists such as Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald.

Rachel got her start in Phoenix, but her talents soon took her to Las Vegas and New York. Now she spends her time between Phoenix and New York, and her music has taken a turn back to her roots.

“Now, we’re going to be doing a mix of jazz, plus some singer/songwriter stuff,” she said, the “we” referring to drummer and bassist who will be joining her for Friday night’s show. 

“On Friday, the audience can expect my energy with some jazz songs, a couple of tunes we’ll covering. Just a bunch of great music with some bass and drum solos,” she said, adding that people may recognize a Burt Bacharach song or two.

“Basically, we’re looking to create something on stage with the band that people can connect to. We don’t always plan it out, we just go with it,” she said.

If you want to catch Rachel live and see for yourself how great she sounds, you can catch her FREE show this Friday night at 7:30 at CCA.

Monday Mashup: We Like To Party

I hope your weekend was wonderful and that you’re happy to get back to work this Monday morning. If either one (or both) isn’t the case, then a little Monday Mashup should be the cure for what ails you.

Bad Cactus Brass Band rocked on Friday night, and even brought a little surprise with them. In addition to their marching brass band, they had a gentleman by the name of Chris Pena on piano who was drop dead amazing.

Hot dang. Makes me wish that I stuck with my dream of playing piano, but moving on. If you didn’t catch Bad Cactus then here’s a clip of what you missed. (Also, I want to see a doctor’s note)

This weekend we don’t have a free summer show, but next weekend we’re really going to party. We have Rachel Eckroth coming on August 19th and then on August 20th with The Christopher Robin Band at Chester’s Harley-Davidson where yours truly will try not to catch on fire and help grill up all sorts of tasty goodness. Keep your eyes out for some more details as we get closer to August 20th.

Monday Mashup (A Day Late But Not A Dollar Short)

I’m not sure if it was because WordPress was down yesterday, or if my computer hates me, but the return of Monday Mashup had to be postponed until Tuesday. Apologies to all who were looking forward to it.

This weekend things are really starting to heat up at CCA. Friday kicks off our Free Summer Concert Series, and getting things started right is Bad Cactus Brass Band. Take a minute and check them out, I’ll be here when you get back.

Talk about talent, and you get to see them for free! They’re a wonderful New Orleans style party jazz band all wrapped up in Cajun spices, and they are going to bring the house down this weekend. Anyone who can get through a Bad Cactus Brass Band show without dancing must not be listening properly. I mean, how can you sit down when you’ll want to get up and move music coming at you? Any video I get of them might be a little shaky, just because I’ll be dancing around the whole time (which is worth coming out to see itself).

As if free amazing party music isn’t enough to get you to come out, I have a few other surprises up my sleeve. You’ll have a chance to get some fantastic (and discounted) tickets to an upcoming show, and even a chance to win tickets!

I might have said too much. Oh well. Just make sure you’re following us on Twitter and have Liked us on Facebook. I’ll have more details there about what, when and how you can win tickets, as well as information on the discounts. 

On Friday, come over and say hi. It’s always nice to meet online friends in real life (and you might walk away with tickets…)

Monday Mashup: Sleeping Beauty and a food drive.

I am constantly surprised at the inherent goodness in people. With only a few days heads up, people were more than willing to donate food to help their neighbors in Chandler. I’m not talking about a three year old can of strained peas, but cases and cases of food that people were willing to give up to help someone they may not know.

You guys are amazing. If I could, I’d high-five every one of you that helped out (but that might take days).

Sleeping Beauty was wonderful, but what else could you expect from Ballet Etudes? They were able to turn a timeless classic into a modern masterpiece, all with local talent. Plus, it didn’t feel like a traditional ballet, in the sense that it was a formal event. It was fun, even for people who would rather watch something other than dancing.

The next Ballet Etudes performance at CCA will be The Nutcracker, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait six months before you can see them again. Check out their website and see if they are doing any performances that you might be interested.

And thank you.

Monday Mashup: Ballet Etudes and Sleeping Beauty

When I was younger, my mom got it into her head that I should take ballet classes even though I was (and lets face it, still am) the least graceful thing to ever don a leotard and ballet flats. Even though I can’t do a proper plie to save my life I still enjoy watching others execute one perfectly, and I’ll get my chance when Ballet Etudes presents Sleeping Beauty this week.

If you’re only familiar with the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty, you’re in luck. It’s the same story done in 4 acts with 4 performances from May 13-15. If you haven’t seen Sleeping Beauty, then I suggest that you break that curse and come watch them this weekend.  Pytor Tchaikovsky wrote it, and if you’re a fan of what he did in The Nutcracker, then you’ll love Sleeping Beauty.

That means this week I’ll be focusing on all things Sleeping Beauty. If I can tack Kevin down, I’ll show everyone what it’s like to be the production manager for a large ballet performance. Plus there are some fun things in the works that could lead to free tickets. So stay tuned, Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter, because you won’t want to miss it!

Monday Mashup: Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars

Saturday night was the last show of our 2010-2011 season, and we went out with a bang with Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars. I didn’t get any video during the performance, but here is a clip and some photos of the band during the sound check.

The best part about the sound check? (other than learning what the boards do) It was hanging out with the members of the band.  They were all very friendly, but I’ll talk about that more during tomorrow’s Tech Tuesday.

Well, now what? If the season is over with, does that mean that we won’t have Caitie’s awesome posts to look forward to anymore? Will she go away forever?

Nah. I like this place too much to pick up and take off. Sure, Monday Mashups and Weekend Previews will change just a bit, but we will still have tons of amazing performances, including Swan Lake. So go watch Black Swan and then come see it live! Hopefully with less psychosis, but we’ll see.

Monday Mashup: Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars

In the mood for some amazing and inspirational music? Have a taste for international songs that tell a story? Looking for something to do on Saturday? Do you want to give me a cookie?

The answer to those questions should be yes, by the way (and I’ll take a chocolate chip cookie, thanks).

This weekend is our last musical performance until our summer concert series, so if you miss it, you’re out of luck for the next few months! I’ve already talked about Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars a few times, but that’s because what they had to go through and how they dealt with their trauma makes for an amazing story.  So watch the documentary, read the NPR articles  , take a listen and come see them this weekend.

Monday Mashup: Hotel California and Spencers Theatre of Illusion

I don’t know if it’s because I love The Eagles, or if I still have a crush on Don Henley, but I was really looking forward to Hotel California performing here over the weekend. And boy, was I not disapointed. It was like I was actually at an Eagles concert, because the lead singers sounded just like Don and Glenn Frey. But nothing I can say will do Hotel California justice, so just watch the clip and you’ll see what I mean.

On Sunday, we had Spencers Theatre of Illusion, and they were a blast. There are magic tricks that everyone can pull off, and then there were illusions that the Spencers did, including one that Hodini did in the 1920s once, and then never did again. I don’t have any clips from their show, but that just means that you’ll have to catch ’em next time they’re in town.

At this point in my Monday Mashup, I usually give everyone a preview of what we have coming for the weekend, but this weekend is Easter, so we don’t have anything scheduled. Instead, I’d like you folks to do something for me (if you have Netflix this will be a piece of cake).

Beg, borrow, rent or bribe, but get your hands on a copy of the documentary Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars. It’s the documentary about the band that will be here on April 30. If you watch the documentary, you’ll see what this group went through, and it’ll make watching them live even better. 

 I bawled through the whole documentary though, just as a warning.

Monday Mashup: Street Beat, Hotel California and Spencers Theatre of Illusion

With Street Beat here this past weekend, the band nerd* in me was in heaven. The best way I can describe it for someone who missed it this weekend, was that you got two shows for one. It was Stomp meets Blue Man Group with less face paint and more dreadlocks flying around (watch the video, you’ll see what I mean).  Before you watch it though, make sure your speaker volume is set at something reasonable.  I don’t want comments about how watching the video made you lose your hearing for a day.

Two videos this week? Hot Dog! This one is more about the dance aspect of Street Beat, which is awesome in its own right.

Want to know something funny? Everyone who owns a car in my family has at least one Eagles CD in their glove compartment, myself included (no shame.) That’s why I’m glad I’ll be around for Hotel California this weekend. They’re a tribute band that doesn’t sound like one, and they use all band members to create their sound, just like the Eagles did. This is one of CCA’s last shows of the season, and it really is a case of saving the best for last.


Not in the mood for music, but still want to come down for something to do? We also have Spencers Theatre of Illusion making a stop here on Sunday afternoon, and this isn’t your average magic show. People from the audience take part in all aspects of the show, so make sure you check them out and maybe you can be a part of it! Although if the Spencers make you disappear, can you tell me where they send you? I’ve always been curious about that.

*I mean no disrespect, but if you could have seen me in high school, you would agree.  For four years, I lived and breathed marching band. I spent every spare moment in the band room, walked in step around campus, conducted music in my truck and found the expression “tooting your horn” to be especially hilarious.

Oh who am I kidding, I still do.

Monday Mashup: Steve Wariner and Firefly and Street Beat, Oh My!

If you missed Steve Wariner and Firefly, then you missed a really awesome show. But, I got you covered with a sweet clip of Steve jamming out. Unfortunatly, we couldn’t get one with Firefly, but you can catch those ladies opening for Carolina Liars on April 16 in Scottsdale.

Sorry for the shaky video, we’re currently tripod-less, but I’m working on that!

This weekend we’re switching gears a bit with Street Beat. If you’ve ever seen Stop, Street Beat is similar, only better because they’re playing here this weekend. They combine drumming on everyday items with martial arts and parkour. Just watching their YouTube videos makes me want to get up and move, so can you image what they’re going to be like live? I dare anyone at the show not to get up and dance, because I know I’ll be around shakin’ what my mama gave me.

Monday Mashup: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, and Steve Warnier.

By the length of that title, it looks like we have a ton going on, which we do!

Last weekend Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder paid us a visit, and it was awesome! Bluegrass can be hard for people to play, because you have to play with such passion; either you love something or loathe its existance, there’s no middle ground.  I have to say, Ricky NAILED it. Here’s a clip if you missed it, or if you just want to relive the great music!

Wow. The man can pick a mandolin.

This Saturday we have Steve Warnier with Firefly as his opening act.  That means you get two shows for the price of one, because we love you like that.  You don’t even have to buy us dinner (but if you want to buy ME dinner, well…I don’t say no to free food).  

Steve has been playing since he was a teenager in the 1970s, and has had many top 10 hits since then, like “Your Memory”, “I Should Be With You,” “I Got Dreams” and “Baby I’m Yours.”  And Firefly is made up of Gilbert natives Melanie, McKenzie, and Madelyn, so you should come out and support them! They’re often featured on KMLE, so if you haven’t heard of them yet, call the station and request a song!

Monday Mashup: Frank Sinatra Jr. and Ricky Skaggs

What better way to wake up on this cloudy Monday than with a little big band music? Here’s what you missed at Chandler Center for the Arts over the weekend:

Videos can never do a live performance justice, but that’s just one girl’s opinion.


This weekend, we have Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder gracing our stage.  Ricky has been a master at his art since he was 21, and is a can’t-miss for anyone with a passion for bluegrass or country music.  He’s been nominated for Grammys, GMA Dove Awards, and CMT Awards, so it’s safe to say this guy knows his stuff.

Oh! I can’t forget, if you stop by this week, you’ll be sure to hear a group of great kids singing their hearts out.  I’ll give you a little taste of that as the week goes on.

Monday Mashup: Riders in the Sky and Frank Sinatra Jr.

At Chandler Center for the Arts, we’re going to give you a reason to love Mondays (finally!).  Every Monday I’ll include any photos or video of what happened over the weekend as well as give you a preview of what we’re working on this week.

In case you missed Riders in the Sky yesterday, you can still enjoy their music on their website here.  Their upbeat attitude and fun songs will turn any Monday into a good day.

Saturday night we have Frank Sinatra Jr. paying us a visit, which I couldn’t be more excited about!! I’m a giant fan of Mr. Sinatra’s dad’s classic songs (no joke, my lullaby was “The Way You Look Tonight”) as well as his originals, so I am not missing his performance this weekend. Make sure you come back often because I’m going to be posting any and all behind the scenes content that I can get my hands on. He’s bringing a 20 piece band with him too, so this is something that you won’t want to miss.

Also, I’m going to work on showing you just what makes performances at CCA work so smoothly, but I want that to be a surprise!