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Pick of the Week

Picks of the Week

Musical Instrument Museum
3/12 - Mavis Staples
3/27 - "I Am AZ Music" presents "Live From Laurel Canyon"
4/3 - Joshua Redman
4/5 - David Broza
3/27 - "I Am AZ Music" presents "AZ Songwriters in the Round"

3/27 - 3/29 - Mark Twain's
"Is He Dead?"
Scottsdale Community College Theater

3/28 - 3/30 - McDowell Mountain Music Festival Hance Park Phoenix

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DON’T MISS: Our upcoming review and exclusive Interview with Shawn Colvin, who appeared in two sold out shows at MIM January 22nd and 23rd

Little Known Mark Twain Comedy "Is He Dead?"

Coming to Scottsdale

By Mariah Fleming

Is He Dead? promo pic

On March 27, 28 and 29, Scottsdale Community College kicks off Spring 2014 with its production of "Is He Dead?" a comic play written by Mark Twain in 1898 and first published in print in 2003. The play is free to the public and takes place on the main stage of the SCC Performing Arts Center in Scottsdale. Show times are March 27, 28 and 29th at 7pm with a matinee at 2pm on March 29th.

In this rollicking farce, a destitute artist fakes his own death, dons a dress and reappears as his long lost imaginary twin sister, all in hopes of increasing the value of his paintings. The play features Eric Mitchell in the dual roles of widow Daisy Tillou and artist Jean-Francois Millet. Featuring student actors from SCC's Theatre Arts program and scenic design by Amanda Embry, the play is free and open to the public. Reservations are strongly recommended.

Ben Tyler, highly regarded Arizona playwright and director, is Guest Director for this fairly straightforward farce, long known to scholars, but given little attention until it was published in book form in 2003. Contemporary American Playwright David Ives adapted "Is He Dead?" for the modern stage and its inaugural stage performance took place in 2007.

Tickets are free with reserved seating. Donations will gratefully be accepted. Call 480 423 6356 to reserve tickets or go to

How Much for Art?

By Ben Tyler

Mark Twain was fascinated by human mortality. To witness our own funeral, as his literary character Tom Sawyer did, is a fantasy that most of us would kill to experience. Why? Because of the opportunity to see and hear unbridled praise heaped upon us. Ben TylerWe would never admit this desire in life, nor would any of us open such spigots of praise on the living. In 1897 when the false rumor of Twain’s demise was widely circulated, he famously responded, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” It can be no coincidence then that his one and only stage play is titled, “Is He Dead?”

Ironically this comes from an artist who became a literal living legend. He was a member of one of the most exclusive clubs on Earth: artists who live long enough to make a fortune from their art. In addition to wealth, he personally witnessed those spigots of praise and adulation, wide open and running full throttle. He was born shortly after Haley’s Comet appeared, and brashly declared he would go out with it. He died 74 years later, the day following the comet’s return in 1910. To this day, the least literate amongst us know the name Mark Twain.

Read more . . . .

An Interview with David Wilcox

By Mariah Fleming

David Wilcox

David Wilcox is returning to the Musical Instrument Museum for a solo show Saturday, January 25 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are going fast but good seats are still available at Having seen Wilcox in concert, I have no doubt that his concert will be an entertaining and enlightening affair. Over nearly three decades, Wilcox has earned exceptionally devoted fans. Admired by his peers as well as his fans, Wilcox is regarded as a "songwriter's songwriter." He’s got 17 albums under his belt, and his new one, “Blaze” will be released later this year. His songs are lyrically wondrous, his guitar work is exceptional, and his attitude about life is seasoned with a strong sprinkling of wit. I talked to David from his home in North Carolina last week. He said he enjoyed it, and so did I. I hope you will too.

Read more . . . .