Wings & things

Wing It! opens next month at the Arizona Museum for Youth

Inspired by Childsplay’s upcoming world premiere of “With Two Wings,” I went in search of other fare with a “wings & things” twist.

My first fun find was an exhibit coming to the Arizona Museum for Youth in Mesa next month for a Feb. 5-May 6 run. It’s called “Wing It! All Things That Fly” — and it’ll feature “artwork that showcases our collective fascination with the creatures, inventions and fantasies” that allow us to fly. My money is on the espresso machine.

Also “Rulers of the Prehistoric Skies,” coming to the Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa this month for a Jan. 21-Dec. 30 run as part of the city’s overall “Mesa Takes Flight” centennial theme. The exhibit, which is currently being built in-house, focuses on flying reptiles — but it will also explore “the evolution of flight from insects, the true first fliers, to birds and bats.”

The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix presents several events and exhibits featuring winged creatures. There’s the “Spring Butterfly Exhibit” in the Marshall Butterfly Pavilion March 3-May 13, “Mariposa Monarca” Sept. 29-Nov. 25, and “Birds in the Garden” Mondays and second Saturdays (7am May-Sept. and 8am Oct.-April).

Arizona Opera performs Madama Butterfly this month

For an altogether different sort of butterfly fix, head to Symphony Hall in Phoenix for the Jan. 27-29 performance of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” by Arizona Opera. It features Shu-Ying Li, and will be sung in Italian with English subtitles. There’s a 1pm matinee on Saturday for those who prefer daytime outings.

The “Imago Theatre: ZooZoo” performance at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts takes place that same afternoon, Jan. 28, at 2pm. It’s described as “a fun-filled cross between a circus, vaudeville and zoo.” Think leaping frogs, acrobatic worms, prancing hippos, playful polar bears and mischievous penguins. Talk about typecasting.

Folks who do the “ZooZoo” can stay after the show for a 3:30pm post-show workshop — a collaboration with the Phoenix Zoo that’s “free and fun for the whole family.” The “Mask & Movement” workshop, part of the center’s Arts-Connect program, will be held in the venue’s Dayton Fowler Grafman Atrium.

Imago Theatre performs ZooZoo in Scottsdale this month

Boyce Thompson Arboretum near Superior presents a “Bird Sit” with Rick Wright on Jan. 12 at 8:30am. Guided birdwalks resume Feb. 4 with the Arizona Audubon’s Cathy Wise as well as John Ray. Bird walks are scheduled for Feb. 26; March 3, 11, 17 & 25; and April 7, 8, 21 & 22.

There’s even a little something for the grown-ups who like a bit of beer with their bird FAQs — every third Thursday of the month at the Rio Salado Audubon Center in Phoenix. Talk about wings & things…

— Lynn

Coming up: Shakespeare meets the Middle Ages, Museum “sneak peek,” Trauma transformed by imagination

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