The Celebrity Theatre is known for its outstanding concerts and shows and this December is no exception. There are at least 4 shows coming that I believe are truly outstanding. They range from comedy, to classic singers, to parties and finally a rockabilly Christmas concert. The Celebrity Theatre is a unique venue. It has a round stage that rotates during the performance. The audience sits right up to the stage and no seat is more than 100ft from the stage. The current owner, Rich Hazelwood bought the Celebrity Theatre back at the beginning of the century (2000ish) and renovated the facility. It now has a fantastic sound and lighting system. The theatre is centrally located in Phoenix at 32nd Street and East Fillmore Street (1/2 mile north of Van Buren) and just 1.5 miles south of the 202. Additional info on the Celebrity Theatre and its upcoming events are available on their website: www.celebritytheatre.com/ . Additional information about each of the shows can be found at www.dannyzeliskopresents.com .
Jim Jefferies, The Unusual Punishment Tour, December 2nd
The month starts with an outrageous comedian from down under. Jim Jefferies has been touring for over 15 years and has been on TV and has a couple of comedy shows on DVD and Netflix. His 2014 ‘Bare’ and 2016 ‘Freedumb’ tours were recorded and are available on Netflix. For a lot of people, myself included, I first saw Jim on his recent Comedy Central TV show. It is a ½ hour “news” show (similar to Daily Show, but with a satirical twist) where Jim comments on events of the day using his worldly experience, Aussie wit and satire. Jim is known for his biting humor and at times a little over the top social commentaries. However, be prepared because Jim has a tendency to use some language in his comedy shows which might be offensive to some people. Once Jim has recorded one of his skits, he does not do it again, but sometimes references it or reworks it differently. So, be prepared to see all new material.
Tony Bennett, December 7th
What can I say about this living legend. Tony is one of the greatest singers of the last 60 years and has performed with other greats include Count Basie, Clive Davis, Christina Aguilera, and Lady Gaga. For the older generation, Tony is best known for his great hits, “The Best Is Yet To Come”, “The Good Life” and his signature song (and my personal favorite), “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”. For the younger crowd, Tony has teamed up with both Christina and Lady Gaga to perform duets of classic songs which have been seen on MTV and Saturday Night Live. Over the years Tony has won numerous awards and honors include, 19 Grammys, 2 Emmys, Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award, Kennedy Center Honoree and doctorates from many schools including Berklee College of Music and the Juilliard School. If you love outstanding singing from one of the truly great performers, then this is a show you do not want to miss.
Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding, December 9th
This is Alice’s 16th Annual Christmas Pudding show where all of the proceeds go directly to Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Center, an arts-based teen center that serves as a creative sanctuary for troubled teens. Each year Alice brings in a number of his personal friends to help perform. This year Alice has enlisted the help of fellow performers, Slash (Guns and Roses), Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Ace Frehley (Kiss), Edgar Winter, David Ellefson (Megadeth), Filter, Gary Mule Deer, and Nita Strauss. Probably the best part of the show is when Alice gets on stage and performs with everyone. It is a fun evening for all and the money goes to a worthwhile cause. Act fast, because tickets go fast and it is always a soldout show.
Brian Setzer Orchestra, December 15th
Just 1 week later we get another annual treat, Brian Setzer’s 14th Annual Christmas Rock’s Tour party. I saw the show last year and it was outstanding. Most people might remember Brian as one of the driving members of the 80s rock band, Stray Cats. They were known for their “50s Rockabilly” style of music. Brian and his new band bring a mixture of modernized Christmas classics and some of his Stray Cats songs to the show. Brian is known for slinging his huge hollow body Gretsch as he struts around the stage. Brian is joined by a full swing style orchestra (think Count Basie) that includes a very large horn section, backup singers along with his usual bassist, keyboardist and drummer. I can truly say that I enjoyed last years show and thought it was a great mixture of Christmas tunes and rock songs.
You can read my review from last year’s show here: