Enjoy the last weekend of summer and several mystery-themed events around the valley. Tribune has all the details for making your weekend plans.
Warm up with the last of a red hot summer
By Albert Ching
The calendar says that the autumnal equinox — the official first day of fall — happens Monday, meaning that this is the last weekend of summer (yes, even though we’ll still be hovering around 100 degrees for at least another week). So enjoy Arizona’s infamous signature season while you still can with these weekend East Valley events.
Chinese New Year celebrations are popular all over America, but not as many people know about the next most important holiday on the Chinese calendar — Mid-Autumn Festival, alternately known as the Moon Festival. It’ll be celebrated this weekend at Chandler Center for the Arts, with performances from local and out-of-area Chinese artists.
>> The Arizona Chinese United Association Mid-Autumn Moon Festival performance will be 7 p.m. Saturday at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave. $15. (480) 782-2680 or chandlercenter.org.
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|Photos courtesy of City of Chandler / Ocotillo Tribune|
DIVE RIGHT IN
There is perhaps nothing more emblematic of the summer than the swimming pool, and believe it or not, it will eventually be too cool to comfortably spend much time in the things. So keep in mind Dive-In Movie Night, when families can hang out in or around the pool and watch the 2003 Pixar hit “Finding Nemo.” Since the movie takes place underwater, it should only add to the cool, refreshing atmosphere.
>> Dive-In Movie Night will take place 8 p.m. Saturday at Mesquite Groves Aquatic Center, 5901 S. Hillcrest Drive, Chandler. $1.50 for adults and 50 cents for children. (480) 782-2635 or chandleraz.gov.
PLAY’S THE THING
Summer in the East Valley is hot. This is known. The heat alluded to in the play “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” (being staged by Tempe Little Theatre) is of the metaphorical kind, but like summer, it’s ending this weekend. The comedy, written by the legendary Neil Simon and adapted into a 1972 film, is about a middle-aged man who tries (and fails) to engage in a series of extramarital affairs.
>> “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” will be 8 p.m. today, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway. $20. (480) 350-2822 or tempe.gov/tca.
Mystery is in the air
By Craig Outhier
There are a thousand mysteries in the naked city, and Scottsdale is no exception. To wit: How did the bar-back next door manage to finance his new Mercedes-Benz CL600? And what’s the deal with that woman’s lips? Collagen, or anaphylactic shock? Inquiring minds want to know.
It gets even more deliciously perplexing this weekend, when make-believe murder and mayhem turns our fair Valley into a haven for mystery fans. So grab your magnifying glass and get sleuthin’.
“THE MALTESE FALCON”
Writer and scholar Richard Layman will be at Poisoned Pen (4014 N. Goldwater Blvd.) tonight to lead a discussion of the jagged Dashiell Hammett potboiler — first published in 1930, later adapted into the vice-spackled film noir classic starring Humphrey Bogart as gumshoe Sam Spade. Layman’s credentials as a “Maltese” expert are pretty sound — he’s written six books about Hammett alone. If you want to make the drive, there’s also a screening of the movie at South Mountain Community College (7050 S. 24th St., Phoenix). Both events are affiliated with the National Endowment for the Arts’ “Big Read” project.
>> The book discussion begins at 7 p.m. Visit poisonedpen.com for more information.
|Mystery Mansion Dinner Theater|
MYSTERY MANSION DINNER THEATER
If you want some homicide with your home fries, there’s always this one-stop Scottsdale theater haunt, now going on 20 years of gastronomically-friendly whodunits. Owner Kim Foster once brought rock acts such as the Beach Boys to his native Australia, but found that the job required him to be in the States more often than not. “So we started the theater, and it took off,” says the Aussie ex-pat, who runs the business with brother Glenn. Currently, the program includes two long-running shows — “Murder at Bedside Manor” and “Murder at Magic Manor” — but Foster promises an all-new show later in the fall.
>> 2200 N. Scottsdale Road. All shows start at 7:30 p.m. Call (480) 994-1520 or visit mysterymansion.com for more information.
“THE VIRGIN MURDERS”
Not to be confused with Sofia Coppola’s lilting “The Virgin Suicides,” this mongo-bloody throwback to the low-budget horror heyday of “2,000 Maniacs” and “I Spit on Your Grave” is the handiwork of Valley filmmaker Tina Randolph McCulloch, who shot the movie on weekends with an all-volunteer cast and crew. The plot is pure “giallo,” the pulp-horror-mystery genre pioneered by Italian filmmaker Dario Argento. (Which is to say, it features an alcoholic reporter, a supernatural serial killer and more carnage than a Predator missile strike.) Catch the movie when it debuts Saturday at Chandler Cinemas (2140 N. Arizona Ave.).
>> Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $10. Visit myspace.com/chandlercinemas for more information.