The NFL Experience is up and running and a Super Bowl street fair commences in downtown Phoenix; the Waste Management Phoenix Open tees off in Scottsdale. Kevin Hart gets funny at Comerica Theatre, and there are a slew of concerts by country singers, rappers and pop stars. Meanwhile, Valley chocoholics converge on downtown Glendale and an exhibit of Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leicester continues at the Phoenix Art Museum.
Here's information on those and our other picks for the week's top events. For more, check out events.azcentral.com.
1/26-2/1: Waste Management Phoenix Open
The PGA's largest (and rowdiest) tournament bills itself as "the greatest show on grass." Even if you don't care for golf, there's plenty to do and see.
Details: Monday, Jan. 26, through Sunday, Feb. 1. Tickets start at $30 a day; available at the gate or ticketmaster.com.
1/28-2/1: Verizon Super Bowl Central
This family-friendly five-day street fair spanning 12 blocks of downtown Phoenix is an affordable way to embrace Super Bowl excitement. It includes free football-themed activities, live music, autographs from NFL alumni, beer gardens and nightly fireworks displays. But the main event is the Grand Canyon Experience, a 30- by 100-foot climbing wall with an 18-foot waterfall flowing down the middle. For $5, fans 6 or older can climb the Grand Canyon Experience starting at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28. Super Bowl Central also will be TV central for many of the TV networks in the lead-up to Super Bowl XLIX.
Details: Jan. 28-Feb. 1. 2-10 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Free. The area is bounded Jefferson and Monroe streets, Central Avenue to about Third Street. azsuperbowl.com.
'Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame'
This traveling exhibit by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, includes more than 200 artifacts from the game and looks at the science behind football. In addition to interactive activities, "Gridiron Glory" offers historical documents, photos and gear, showing how the game as evolved over the decades.
Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through Sunday, May 3. Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix. $28.95; $23.95 for ages 3-17; $8 for members. Membership is $95 for two adults and $115 for a family of four. 602-716-2000, azscience.org.
1/30: Superfest 2K15
This is one serious old-school hip-hop lineup with Big Daddy Kane, Rakim and KRS-One. Kane topped the rap charts with "Smooth Operator" in 1989, following through with "Cause I Can Do It Right" and "Groove With It." Rakim's debut with DJ Eric B, "Paid in Full," was named the greatest hip-hop album of all time by MTV. KRS-One rose to fame with Boogie Down Productions, whose first album was "Criminal Minded."
Details: 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30. Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix. $53-$68. 602-267-1600, celebritytheatre.com.
1/30-31: Kevin Hart
The comedian and actor is bringing his What Now comedy tour to Phoenix for three shows on Super Bowl weekend. He's a hot commodity right now, starring with Josh Gad in the bromance "The Wedding Ringer" and with Chris Rock, Adam Sandler and Jerry Seinfeld in Rock's "Take Five." Hart also has two other comedies slated to open in 2015. His Laugh at My Pain tour in 2011 made Hart the No. 1 comedian of that year on Ticketmaster.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30; 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31. Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix. $59.50-$135. ticketmaster.com, livenation.com.
1/30-31: Glendale Chocolate Affaire
Chocolate connoisseurs will melt for the festival that celebrates all things chocolate, romance and the arts. Enjoy chocolate truffles, deep-fried chocolate bars and more during the two-day event. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how chocolate is made as local candymaker Cerreta Candy Co. offers tours.
Details: Noon-10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31. Historic Downtown Glendale, 58th and Glendale avenues. Free. 623-930-2299, visitglendale.com.
1/31: 'Cirque de la Symphonie'
The Phoenix Symphony again hosts this popular touring show that uses classical music's greatest hits as a backdrop for aerial acrobatics and other astonishing feats of strength and agility.
Details: 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. $21-$81. 480-644-6500, mesaartscenter.com.
1/31: CBS Radio's the Night Before
Country superstars Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Florida Georgia Line have been tapped by CBS Radio to play the Night Before — as in the night before the Super Bowl. Bentley says, "I'm excited to be part of a huge night in country music the night before the biggest event in sports ... in my hometown. We're about to take tailgating in Phoenix to a whole new level."
Details: 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31. US Airways Center, Second and Jefferson streets, Phoenix. $69-$269. 602-379-7878, usairwayscenter.com.
Through 2/1: NFL Experience
This NFL theme park of sorts will take over the Phoenix Convention Center starting Saturday, Jan. 24. The family-friendly event will feature more than 50 interactive activities, including football clinics, free autographs from current and former players, photo opportunities with the Vince Lombardi Trophy and skills games. When the Super Bowl last was in town, the NFL Experience drew 200,000 people.
Details: Saturday, Jan. 24, through Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1. Phoenix Convention Center, Third and Washington streets. $35; $20 for age 12 or younger. Family-package and military discounts are available. 866-849-4635, ticketmaster.com, superbowl.com.
Through 4/19: 'Afghan War Rugs'
This exhibit uses a traditional art form to confront contemporary realities with intricately woven images of tanks, soldiers, helicopters, world maps and political portraits.
Details: Saturday, Jan. 24, through Sunday, April 19. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 E. Second St. $7; $5 for students; free for age 15 or younger. Free to all on Thursdays and after 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 480-874-4666, smoca.org.
Through 4/12: 'Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leicester and the Power of Observation'
A 72-page manuscript hand-written by the original "Renaissance man" is the centerpiece of an exhibit exploring the themes of curiosity and observation. The show draws connections between da Vinci and works ranging from the Impressionism of Claude Monet and the photography of Ansel Adams to contemporary video art by Bill Viola.
Details: Saturday, Jan. 24, through Sunday, April 12. Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave. $15 (discounts for seniors, students and children). 602-257-1222, phxart.org.
Through 2/1: '2 Pianos, 4 Hands'
Mark Anders and Michael Kary star as friends who dream of fame as concert pianists in this intimate musical comedy that features virtuosic musical duels ranging from Bach to rock.
Details: Wednesday, Jan. 14, through Sunday, Feb. 1. Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Road. $30-$75. 602-254-2151, phoenixtheatre.com.
Through 1/31: Southwest Shakespeare's Winterfest Repertory
Arizona's only professional classical theater presents two favorite titles from the Bard of Avon: the comedy "As You Like It," reset in colonial Salem, Mass., and the tragedy "King Lear," updated to the Siege of Sarejevo in the 1990s.
Details: Through Saturday, Jan. 31. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. $10-$44. 480-644-6500, mesaartscenter.com, swshakespeare.org.
Through 1/31: 'Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical'
The cheesy '70s porn flick gets the campy-musical treatment from Nearly Naked Theatre Company. There is no actual nudity, but this raunchy comedy about Texas cheerleaders going the extra mile in a fundraising drive is still for (immature) adults only.
Details: Through Saturday, Jan. 31. Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Road. $22-$28 (subject to demand pricing). 602-254-2151, nearlynakedtheatre.org.
Through 2/15: 'The King and I'
The king of Siam and an English governess each learn to see life in a new way in this classical Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. Featuring the tunes "Getting to Know You" and "Shall We Dance?," it premiered on Broadway in 1951 and won Tony Awards for best musical and for its lead actors, Yul Brynner and Gertrude Lawrence.
Details: Friday, Jan. 9, through Sunday, Feb. 15. Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria. Tickets start at $65 ($45 show only) and are subject to demand pricing. 623-776-8400, azbroadway.org.
The Republic | azcentral.com 4:29 p.m. MST January 26, 2015