Costumes take center stage

I’m not a fashion designer but an artist who works in fashion-an engineer of color and form — Giorgio di Sant’ Angelo

So begins a recent e-mail from the Phoenix Art Museum alerting olks to a Sept 17-Feb 12 exhibit of di Sant’ Angelo’s works spanning the late ’60s to the early ’90s.  The exhibit includes dozens of ensembles and accessories — plus “never-released, original footage of runway shows and interviews, photographs and sketch books.”

The Florence-born artist, raised in Argentina and Brazil, moved to New York City after a brief stint with Walt Disney Studios in California. The museum touts his “pioneering use of stretch fabrics,” though I doubt di Sant’ Angelo expected they’d one day find their way into “mom jeans” sold by big box retailers.

Jennifer, age 10, rocking her hippie Halloween costume. This year savvy girls will be dressed as Edith Head.

Folks with a fondness for fashion can head to the Herberger Theater Center Wed, Sept 28 for a 7pm “pay-what-you-wish” performance of “A Conversation with Edith Head,” an Actors Theatre production about the costume designer to the stars whose work spanned six decades and garnered eight Academy Awards.

“A Conversation with Edith Head” is the work of playwrights Paddy Calistro and Susan Claassen. Claassen, managing artistic director for Invisible Theatre in Tucson, performs the role of Edith Head — a woman who worked on 1,131 films featuring the likes of Mae West, Audrey Hepburn, Bette David, Robert Redford and Paul Newman.

Those of you readying to sew those darling Halloween costumes for your children may be seeking simpler inspirations — from ghosts and goblins to fairy princesses and forest animals. Perhaps this rundown of Halloween theater offerings will inspire you to new heights.

    • Fountain Hills Theater Youth Theater presents “Legends in the Attic” Oct 7-23.
    • Creative Stage Youth Theatre presents “Doctor of the Dead” (a student written and directed work) Oct 27-30.
    • Grand Canyon University presents “Dracula” Oct 21-30.
    • Great Arizona Puppet Theater presents “Little Bunny’s Halloween” Oct 5-30.
    • Scorpius Dance Theatre presents “Lisa Starry’s A Vampire Tale VIII” Oct 13-22 (plus Oct 27-Nov 1 in Whitby, England).
    • Theater Works Puppet Works presents “Trick or Treat! A Halloween Puppet Show” Oct 8-29.

Once those costumes are ready to roll, take them for a spin at the “Hallowe’en and Zombie Walk” being presented Sat, Oct 29 by Rosson House Museum at historic Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix (also home to the Arizona Science Center — and close to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix).

Lizabeth, age 8, doing her corpse bride thing. Early signs of an acting bent, perhaps?

The 2-10pm event — which benefits the Rosson House Museum — features live music, children’s activities, costume contests, historic Hallowe’en games, food court and more. The walk itself, a wonderful alternative to traditonal “trick or treat” jaunts, begins at 6pm.

With three kids in college now, my days of sewing Halloween costumes are long gone. But I never tire of seeing what other children, who clamor eagerly at my front door for candy, come up with.

Jennifer, by the way, is still rocking the hippie vibe today.

— Lynn

Note: “Pay-what-you-wish” tickets for “A Conversation with Edith Head” are limited. Visit the Actors Theatre website at for details. Learn more about the show at Find the Phoenix Art Museum online at And learn more about Invisible Theatre Company in Tucson at Reach the Rosson House Museum at

Coming up: Audition tales


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