On Saturday, December 7th, 2013, Beyoncé made another stop for her tour, The Mrs. Carter Show, in Phoenix, Arizona.
People of every ethnicity and age came out to the long awaited concert. Lines stretched out from U.S. Airways Center, exceeding the maximum capacity, and requiring the security to create alternate entrances for the ticket-holders.
JohnJay and Rich had a red carped laid out outside of the arena to make every guest feel like a celebrity. They made it an entertaining wait for the thousands of people waiting outside.
Luke James opened the show with his passionate and seductive music. While he isn’t a household name yet, he did not disappoint his audience.
While concerts’ main goal is usually to entertain, Beyoncé made it so much more than that. She shared clips about how important it is to give back to the community. Something we recently talked about in Oscar De Las Salas’ article.
She also educated her audience throughout the concert. “We fight to find who we are,” she said. A quote that fits every single individual in their journey in trying to find themselves through life.
The Mrs. Carter Show was one for the books. From the stage setup, to every dance number, the concert had everyone on their feet.
B remains the Queen.
Christmas came a little early this year thanks to Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding event. The Solid Rock Foundation puts on a Christmas show yearly to benefit The Solid Rock Teen Center. The show is always a little different and this year was no exception. This year’s event was hosted this past Saturday December 7th at the Comerica Theatre. It was amazing to see all the rock stars of my childhood come together under one roof to aid Sheryl and Alice Cooper in their quest for keeping teens safe.
This year’s line-up included: Alice Cooper, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer of Kiss, Vince Neil of Motley Crue, Stephen Pearcy of Ratt, Tom Keifer of Cinderella, Kip Winger of Winger and Joan Jett. Seinfeld Star John O’Hurley hosted the show, and Bill Engvall was a special guest comedian.
This year’s event was very special as Rock Demarco, the world’s fastest painter enlisted the help of Alice and Sheryl Cooper to help him propose on stage to girlfriend Olivia Haine. Demarco comes out to paint some of the celebrities every year for Christmas Pudding to serve as auction items. This year he painted legendary rocker Joan Jett, and the man himself, Alice Cooper.
It is fun to work with people who are passionate about what they do and give a hundred percent every time. That is one of the things that endear me personally to Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock in addition to Alice and Sheryl Cooper and the entire Solid Rock Team.
The Cooper’s are a very community-minded and gracious couple, and that is why celebrities donate their time to Christmas Pudding every year!
I would also like to publically acknowledge Coye Pointer of Scottsdale Airpark Dodge and Cherylanne DeVita of DeVita International who have been generous Solid Rock sponsors for years, and who I have the honor and privilege of working with on SmartFem.com.
Christmas is a very special time of the year; help Alice and his friends keep teens safe by giving them the gift of music, dance, self-esteem and a sense of belonging. To find out more go to www.alicecoopersolidrock.com.
Also to see more photos of this fabulous event check out our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/smartfem.az
Photos courtesy of Surrealsister Photography
If someone asked you to name the city with the world’s largest gingerbread village, chances are you wouldn’t guess a city in Arizona. But Prescott, Arizona is exactly where that village resides! Just one of the many reasons to head up to “Arizona’s Christmas City,” you and your grandchildren will be dazzled by the 100+ gingerbread creations that make up this one-of-a-kind village.
Organizations in the community, as well as families and individuals, create unique entries. These entries will be judged, then viewed by as many as 50,000 visitors to this display at the Prescott Resort and Conference Center. This year, there is a tribute to the 19 firefighters lost from this community. The village, which is free of charge to view, will be available until Jan. 1, and your little ones will be wide-eyed at this charming snow-covered village, complete with trains running through it!
There are so many events going on in Prescott during the next few weeks that I am resorting to a list to fit most of them in.
Dec. 1-21: Santa Clause Express at the Verde Canyon Railroad in nearby Clarkdale on the weekends
Dec. 4-8: Walk through Bethlehem
Dec. 7: Breakfast with Santa from 8-10 a.m., 31st annual Christmas Parade from 1-3 p.m. and Courthouse Lighting at 6 p.m.
Dec. 8: Santa with the Animals from 1-3 p.m. at Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary – Santa will bring presents for the animals & will be available for photos
Dec. 13: Acker Musical Showcase from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at downtown locations – see over 100 musicians performing everything from steel drum bands to classical music (a ‘must see’ according to one of the Prescott locals)
Dec. 14: Wildnights at Night from 6-9 p.m. at Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary (every Friday & Saturday night in December).
Since there are more than enough activities to keep you in Prescott for several hours, please support the many wonderful eating and drinking establishments while there, and check the websites listed below for a complete calendar of events.
In addition to the above festive activities, you may even be able to see some white stuff on the ground, which is such a treat at this time of year. Regardless of whether there is snow, be sure to bundle up your little ones so that you can stay longer and take in all that Prescott has to offer in terms of holiday sparkle.
The amazing lights of Courthouse Square is reason enough to make the trip north, but there is so much more to savor. A visit to our own ‘Christmas City’ will leave you all with that warm, cozy feeling of small town Christmases of long ago…
To get there:
Drive north on I-17 to the 69 turnoff (be sure to keep a lookout for the decorated Mystery Christmas Tree in the median near Sunset Point at milepost 254, follow signs to downtown Prescott.
For over 3 decades this Mystery Christmas Tree has mysteriously been decorated at night on Thanksgiving Weekend (Psst…We saw some of those decorators at work, but we wouldn’t DARE post the photos!)
You will pass the Prescott Resort and Conference Center on the left as you are entering Prescott, 1500 Highway 69, 928.776.1666. Continue on to Courthouse Square.
The much anticipated 2013 American Music Awards not only brought together talented performers to the stage, but standout fashion to the red carpet as well. While most of last night’s looks are surely to be forgotten, a few stars got it right in memorable ensembles. In fact, these fashionista celebrities all had one thing in common: the cut-out.
Singer Christina Aguilera channeled Marilyn Monroe with curly gold locks and a white long-sleeved silk dress that hugged her in all the right places. In addition to the plunging neckline, the Maria Lucia Hohan gown featured cutouts drawing her waist inward. She topped off the look with sparkling accessories.
Glee star Naya Rivera put a spin on the effortless black dress in a Michael Kors look at the 2013 American Music Awards. The dress also featured long sleeves, ending in gold cuffs to accessorize. The cutout in this ensemble showed the actress’ cleavage, but the high neckline kept it from looking too revealing.
Celeb Nicole Richie also opted for a white cut-out gown, accentuating the mom of two’s killer body. The short-sleeved number showed off her arms while a gold statement necklace made for the perfect accessory. A fringed-chain clutch only added to the fierce look.
Singer Taylor Swift continued to wow in shimmering gold looks at almost every award show this year. The metallic minidress showed off her amazing legs, while a sheer fabric triangle cutout on the singer’s chest added intrigue to the overall look. The strapless dress was definitely a stunner paired with an easy tousled hairdo at the 2013 American Music Awards.
The dynamic duo, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, hit the carpet in matching looks that showed just enough skin for the young beauties. Kendall (left) wore a white strapless minidress with interesting angles and an uneven cutout along the waistline, while Kylie (right) chose tight black pants and a white crop top to go along with her new “banged” do.
All photos from the 2013 American Music Awards courtesy of E! Online
Debbie Gaby’s Celebrity Catwalk was a complete success. Hundreds of fabulous people showed up to the event that showed all of its guests that it is possible to have fun, and help the community at the same time.
Suits, ties, dresses and heels… Catwalk’s guests were ready to have an amazing time as soon as they walked to the door. The event was hosted at the Montelucia Resort in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
Guests were greeted with a glass of champagne at the door. There were local celebrities at arms reach, and the entertainment put smiles on everyone’s faces throughout the event. Everyone enjoyed a five-course meal while enjoying all that the event had to offer.
Letitia Frye helped raise tens of thousands of dollars with her amazing auctioneer talents and charisma. She made sure that her audience was well entertained while raising money. There were smiles, laughs, and happy faces all throughout the crowd.
Tara Hitchcock emceed the fashion show where local celebrities took the time to show off their chosen look from Dillard’s. Everyone from Catherine Anaya, to Johnjay and Rich, and even Joe Arpaio cat walked down the runway.
Some of the most significant donations in the history of catwalk were made by SmartFem experts, Volvo of Phoenix and Evans Furs of Scottsdale. One lucky winner walked away with a two year lease on a new Volvo, while another left the event wearing a gorgeous full length mink coat.
The afternoon ended with a small award ceremony honoring those who helped make Catwalk such a huge success. SmartFem’s very own Lea Haben received the MVP award for all her hard work and contributions to the event. A very well deserved recognition… Bravo Lea!
Mark Fearey started learning to play the piano when he was four-years-old.
At age 12, he decided to play professionally and eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the D’Angelo School of Music at Mercyhurst College and his masters in Piano Performance with an emphasis in Accompanying from Arizona State University.
Today, “Mr. Mark”, as he known to his students, has a musical career that includes church, school and children’s theatre.
“I was playing for a church near the end of my graduate studies,” said Fearey, “when a lady approached me at the end of a service and encouraged me to check out Valley Youth Theatre.”
His first interview with VYT’s founder and board chair in 1996 was actually very uncomfortable. While Hope Ozer asked questions, Fearey could only focus on the cats roaming around the theatre, which was then located in the basement of Tower Plaza Mall.
“I was tearing up like crazy, my eyes were swollen, and I couldn’t breathe because I’m so allergic to cats,” he laughed. A year later, Fearey helped organize the theatre’s first youth orchestra and to this day continues working with young, talented musicians.
On top of being musical director for Abiding Savior Community Church and Valley Youth Theatre, he is the faculty coach/accompanist at Grand Canyon University and busy working with three choirs, coaching the opera, and music directing the spring musical.
“I like this job because it’s what’s getting me back into classical music,” Fearey said.
“Mark is tremendous…very approachable, very caring and takes great pride in what he does,” said Claude Pensis, the Dean at Grand Canyon’s College of Fine Arts and Production.
Fearey admits to always striving for excellence and finding joy in working with all different ages.
“For me, the sky’s the limit with what kids can accomplish,” said Fearey. “They haven’t constructed a wall of limits. They know anything is possible if they believe in themselves.”
This time of year brings memories of childhood days with a nip in the air, and porches adorned with pumpkins and cornstalks; that is, it does for those of us who grew up in the Midwest, or just about any rural American town. If you think that you can’t have a similar fall experience right here in Arizona then you haven’t been to Tolmachoff Farms in Glendale!
Open to the public daily, you will find a little something for everyone. I discovered this little gem several years ago, taking the grandkids from ages 2 and up. Their favorite activities were grinding the corn to feed the chickens and picking out pumpkins to take home.
Adding to the charm, Tolmachoff Farms is a family-run operation that has been in existence in one form or another since the 1970’s. Just like all educational facilities, they are constantly improving the ‘farm experience’ and adding new, fun activities. Right now they are celebrating Pumpkin Days and Corn Maze with a 6 acre corn maze and even a mini corn maze for the youngest visitors. To keep people coming back, the theme is changed each year, and the newly added 20 x 20 spider web for climbing is a great example of how the Tolmachoffs keep enhancing the farm. They host school field trips that are often the first exposure to a real working farm; these ‘Classrooms-in-the-corn’ take the students out into the fields and let them select and take home some of the u-pick veggies.
Certain activities are only available on the weekends; for example the bounce house and train rides (additional $2. per ride for the train). General admission includes the current corn mazes, petting zoo, play areas, and jumping pillow, feeding the chickens, and shopping in the produce stand. The produce stand will reopen from November 4- Dec 24th with winter veggies- including carrots, turnips, beets, radishes, onions, greens, Swiss chard, and honey. They also sell several preserved goodies such as salsas and pickled items. I have purchased some of these & I highly recommend them! Coming soon are the Christmas tree sales (Nov 30-Dec 24, 9am to 9pm daily) and Pictures with Santa on Dec 14th and 21st from noon – 4pm, which is all part of ‘Christmas at the Farm’.
Remember that there is always something fun going on at Tolmachoff Farms, so be sure to check their website for their calendar of events and hours. Trust me, your little ones will not want to leave, so slather them with sunblock and allow at least 2 hours for your visit.Tolmachoff Farms 5726 N 75th Ave, Glendale, AZ 85303 Facebook.com/Tolmachoff.Farms www.tolmachoff-farms.com phone 623 999 3276
Admission: $9.00 ages 2 and up
New Attendance Record Achieved at Scottsdale Ferrari-Maserati Polo Championships: Horses & Horsepower
Largest Polo Event in U.S. (or Europe!) Gets Even Bigger
12,442 Polo Watchers and Partygoers From All Over The World Soak In The 2-Day Polo Party Experience
(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) They came from New York. They came from Nevada. They came from the United Kingdom. They came from Ohio. They came from Tucson. And they came to party, and party they did at the 2013 Scottsdale Ferrari-Maserati Polo Championships.
Some 12,442 polo fans, exotic car aficionados, horse lovers and fashionistas descended on the Penfolds Polo Field at WestWorld over the weekend, boosting the year-over-year gate attendance by a substantial margin for what is now the largest polo event in the United States (or Europe), according to The 2013 Molina Cup champions from Wales.
There was runway strutting at the Phoenix Fashion Week preview, champagne glass clinking in the tents, divot stomping at halftime and thrilling polo action with some of the best players in the country mixing it up.
It all started on Friday when the best of the best were on display at what was the highest goal polo match in the past 30 years in the Valley. Fans who watched the All-Star match witnessed some great polo play by the likes of Work to Ride’s Kareem Rosser, Erik Wright of Wright Way Polo, Peter Webb of the Clogau Wales Polo Team and Santiago Marulanda of the University of Virginia as they played to a tie an All-Star Team consisting of Jeff Hall, considered one of the best players in the U.S., Ricky Cooper of the Clogau Wales Polo Team, Sunny Hale, considered the best female player in the U.S. and Andres Camacho of the Arizona Polo Club.
On Saturday, the first match pitted America’s high school champions,Work to Ride, against the country’s 2012 college champions, theUniversity of Virginia, with UVA defeating the younger team in an exciting match. In the “Battle of the Sexes” match, which featured a women’s team led by Sunny Hale against the Arizona Polo Club Men,ended in a 7-7 tie. For the main event, the Clogau Wales Polo Team triumphed over the U.S. Military Polo Team 9-8. The U.S team was captained by Jeff Hall. Afterwards, the Wales players drank from the sought-after Molina Cup and flew back to the United Kingdom as proud victors. Before the final match Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane issued a formal invitation to Prince William and Prince Harry via the Wales team Chairman Harry Legge-Bourke for the 4th Annual Scottsdale Polo Championships: Horses and Horsepower next year.
Last October, the Scottsdale Polo Championships drew the biggest crowd in the country for a polo event with approximately 9,188 fans enjoying the three-match showdown at the annual Polo Party. This year, with an expanded event schedule and an amped-up polo lineup including the sport’s top players, more vendors, more sponsors and the 2013 Arizona Porsche Concours d’Elegance car show, the Polo Party drew even more polo fans and revelers to WestWorld.
Attendees also enjoyed a sneak preview of the 2014 Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show and saw some serious horsepower with a preview of the world-famous Barrett-Jackson 2014 Collector Car Auction along with local Ferrari and Lamborghini car clubs lining the field.
Next year’s event, which will take place in conjunction with the United States Polo Association’s Annual Meeting, is currently slated for October 24-25, 2014. Upcoming details, teams and players will be announced in the coming months. For more information please go to www.thepoloparty.com.
My favorite part of being Publisher at SmartFem Magazine is that I get to meet amazing people who do a lot for the community. I have worked with Phoenix Arizona’s Channel 3 throughout the years but never formally had a chance to work with or interview Tara Hitchcock up until now.
As many of you know Tara Hitchcock left Channel 3 about two years ago and, like many of you, I’ve had heard a few rumors so I decided to check in with Tara and find out for myself. I had the chance to interview her and found her to be the way we all know her as perky, funny, candid and passionate. She is also quite the philanthropist.
Tara: Ironic that you asked me that because I will be starting a new weekly segment on CBS5 on Thursday mornings called, Tara’s Reel Travels. The show airs on Oct 31st from 6-7am and will feature all the things I love; travel, sports and entertainment. We will be kicking off the show with Harrison Ford, star of the upcoming movie Enders Game. I have some other projects in the works such as She Knows.
SmartFem: Do you miss getting up early with Channel 3?
Tara: I missed the original show and the fun and friends I worked with. I enjoyed my time on the news but it got tough constantly reporting on all the tragedy’s and horrific things going on and being sad all the time. I was really ready for a change. Sometimes things happen for a reason which is revealed later on. About 3 months after my departure my step-son Dylan suffered a frightening brain injury and I just felt grateful that I was afforded the time to be there for him and my family.
SmartFem: Tara, Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to SmartFem. Can you tell us about some of the challenges you have faced throughout the years being in front of the camera and what message would you like to convey to our readers?
Tara: You are very welcome, and I like the positive messages you try to convey to women [through SmartFem]. It has been my experience that women need to be nicer to each other and support one another. My worst critics over the years have been women talking about the way I dress or my big Texas hair. I would love to see us move away from all the pettiness and embrace and support each other despite our differences.
SmartFem: So true Tara. I understand that you will be participating in Debbie Gaby’s Celebrity Catwalk. Can you tell us about that?
Tara: I am thrilled that Debbie has invited me to emcee this year. I have been one of the models in the past years but have never really been comfortable in that role so I am thrilled that I can highlight all the other models this year. It is going to be a great event as working with Debbie always is. I am looking forward to the fashion, the fun; and knowing that it all goes to a good cause just makes it that much better.
SmartFem: Tara you have had your hand in philanthropy for a number of years, what started that?
Tara: It stems from my grandparents who were always heavily involved with the Salvation Army. I feel that as a TV personality it gave me a chance to show my support when my checkbook couldn’t.
SmartFem: You seem to have it all Tara, a family and a career. Do you have any words of advice?
Tara: Yes it’s very important make time for family, and to enjoy the time with them as much as you can. I believe it’s also important to have something of your own. Find what you love and try to make a living out of it. Despite the fact that my husband is well to do I have always maintained my own bank accounts and had my own identity. Sometimes marriages fall apart. We hope they don’t but sometimes they do so you should always know that you can take care of yourself.
SmartFem: Tara what a pleasure. Thank you for opening up to us and I look forward to seeing you again at Catwalk. I know we are all excited to see you again.
Be sure to mark your calendars for Thursday, November 21, 2013. Tara Hitchcock will be emcee for Debbie Gaby’s Celebrity Catwalk presented by Sleep America Charities. Celebrity Catwalk is an entertaining fashion show where each model is a local celebrity competing for the attention of an adoring audience. Follow the event on Facebook.
Also be sure to check out Tara’s Reel Travels on CBS5 Thursday mornings starting October 31.
BRAVO to Fountain Hills Community Theater for presenting a mystery that wasn’t penned by Agatha Christie! Sherlock’s Last Case is a cleverly written treat from American-born critic Charles Marowitz.
No offense to Ag-fans, but if The Mousetrap or And Then There Were None remount in any of a half-dozen familiar haunts anytime soon, I’m going to turn in my Hercule Poirot “tussy-mussy” lapel pin.
In Sherlock’s Last Case, Peter J. Hill (Sherlock Holmes) gives a precision performance with less than a week to prepare after the former lead dropped out. He shines during Act II in a scene that cannot be shared without disclosing one of the playwright’s many plot twists that makes Lombard Street look like a straightaway.
“In addition to being (Fountain Hills Community Theater’s) artistic director, Peter reluctantly steps in on occasion to fill vacated roles,” said the show’s director Bob Feugate. “He’s a quick study and fortunately fit the costumes.”
Speaking of costumes, a tip of the handmade deerstalker to designer Mickey Courtney! The green dress he created for Amy Serafin (Liza Moriarty) and the housekeeper’s outfit worn by Donna Georgette (Mrs. Hudson) look as if they leaped off the period page of a Charles Gibson illustration.
Playing the daughter of Holmes’ arch-nemesis, Serafin does a remarkable job of balancing lines that are both eloquently reserved and effusively openhearted when appropriate.
Georgette confidently walks a tightrope by antagonizing the detective while manipulating his sidekick. As Holmes says, “Watson, your innate gullibility is quite the match for Mrs. Hudson’s Celtic guile.”
Bruce Heskett (Dr. Watson) so effortlessly embodies the character of the bumbling doctor that local adjudicators will have a tough time finding a better nominee for best supporting actor.
Just as every well-balanced ensemble needs a comic foil, Herb Paine (Inspector Lestrade) brings an innocence and benevolent charm to his well-intended Scotland Yard character.
The set itself is a scene stealer; elaborately decorated to reflect decades of sleuthing memorabilia.
Does Sherlock’s Last Case have something for everyone? Its complex plot, occasionally burdensome British vernacular, infrequent sexual innuendo and implied drug use may be too much for younger audiences to appreciate, but it is fair game for more mature mystery mavens.
The show runs through November 10 and tickets are available at FHCT.org or by calling 480.837.9661 x3.
Photos by Patti Torrilhon.
Full disclosure: I was originally cast as Holmes, but bowed out when it became evident that my mental bandwidth was too narrow to master Sherlock’s verbosity and misplaced modifiers. Sic vita est.