Happy new (arts) year!

I look forward to the end of summer for so many reasons (most of which have to do with my aversion to living in a oven approximately five months a year), but the halfway mark in September is also a typical starting point to the arts and culture season.

The 2013-14 season has a number of events of Jewish interest, starting with Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre’s production of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” which opens tomorrow in their intimate Actors Café performance space. Desert Stages will also do “Fiddler on the Roof” in January 2014. Visit desertstages.org.

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is bringing the man behind George Costanza to Phoenix for one night only: “An Evening with Jason Alexander and His Hair” comes to town on Oct. 26. Also at SCPA, Dec. 3 marks the season premiere of “Keyboard Conversations” with Jeffrey Siegel; the piano-and-commentary series will take on Beethoven and Schubert this season, among other topics. Visit scottsdaleperformingarts.org.

If comedy is more your thing, you can catch a number of Jewish comics at local clubs in the coming months: Pauly Shore (yes, he’s Jewish) will be at the Tempe Improv Oct. 17-20, as will Comedy Central roaster extraordinaire Jeff Ross (Nov. 8-10). Visit tempeimprov.com. “30 Rock” alum Judah Friedlander will be at StandUp Live! in Phoenix Nov. 14-16. Visit standuplive.com.

Finally, for movie buffs with deep pockets, there are still a limited number of tickets available for what will undoubtedly one of the coolest events in recent memory: composer John Williams’ benefit concert with the Phoenix Symphony. Williams will take the stage to conduct the orchestra in some of his famous film scores — “Star Wars,” the Indiana Jones movies, “Jaws” and “Schindler’s List” are a just a few of them — while scenes from the films play in the background. The other special guest of the evening is Steven Spielberg, nice Jewish boy, former Valley resident and Williams’ constant collaborator. The $500 price tag is a small price to pay to watch two Hollywood legends work their magic, right? Visit phoenixsymphony.org.
And for the trivia-minded among you, here’s a question: Williams has scored every Spielberg film since 1974 except for one — which one?


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