Rose Mofford's birthday can be celebrated with "The Rose" at Valley Bar in downtown Phoenix.

Rose Mofford’s birthday can be celebrated with “The Rose” at Valley Bar in downtown Phoenix.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright

Happy Change of Venue Friday. And happy birthday wishes to two people who have left their mark in Arizona.

First, props to former Arizona Governor Rose Mofford, who turns 94 today (1922-present). In honor of that great lady’s day, the marvelous Valley Bar (yes, the one in a downtown Phoenix basement) is offering a Rose-named drink special:

“Join us in celebrating Rose Mofford’s 94th Birthday. ‘The Rose’ cocktail will be on special for just $5 from 4pm til 8pm. We are going to play her favorite music and raise a toast to Rose at 7:00pm. If we are lucky, she might even stop by.”

All of the detail is here. And if you’re reading this, Rose, we look forward to seeing you.

And yesterday was Frank Lloyd Wright’s birthday, as friend and journalist Jon Talton reminded us all on Facebook. Of course, Wright (1867-1959) established Taliesin West, “when he famously declared he would move the first time he could see another light in the distance.”

Optimistic fellow, that Frank.

Frank Lloyd Wright–designed living room from the Little House, Wayzata, Minnesota (1912–14)

Frank Lloyd Wright–designed living room from the Little House, Wayzata, Minnesota (1912–14).

Jon also reminded me that the Wright-designed ASU Grady Gammage Theatre was originally designed as the Baghdad Opera House.

I had forgotten that, and it led me back to a piece I had written in 2008. As the Middle East continues to be in turmoil, I still wonder about Wright’s stalled legacy there and the positive impact it might have meant to U.S. foreign relations.

Enough foreign policy chatter. Enjoy Rose Mofford’s birthday, especially—with or without a cocktail. And be sure to visit the David and Gladys Wright House the next time you’re in Phoenix.

Frank Lloyd Wright's David and Gladys Wright House, Phoenix, Ariz.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s David and Gladys Wright House, Phoenix, Ariz.

It came to my attention just the other day that December is well afoot, and that what many call “The Holidays” are near upon us.

Distressed at the disappearance of October and November, and aghast that what I call “The Troubles” are rising into view, I suspect that at least a few of you share those non-sentimental sentiments. But today is Change of Venue Friday, so let’s take those lemons and make a blog post out of it, shall we?

Therefore, here are three only quasi-random things to occupy you as The Troubles bear down on us like an out-of-control sleigh:

1. Gawk at cakes you cannot eat.

The Arizona Make-A-Wish Foundation does great work, and until December 19, you can view some amazing gingerbread houses in the Arizona Biltmore lobby. The cakes will be silent-auctioned to support the foundation’s work, so if you’ve always wanted a confectionary Gammage Auditorium or Guggenheim Museum or Fallingwater, hie thee to the Biltmore, a Frank Lloyd Wright jewel in its own right.

(More cake photos are at the Arizona Attorney Magazine Facebook page.)

2. Buy some “lawyer gifts” that may be ridiculous, but by purchasing them you’ll help the economy, or something.

Yearn for a Lincoln bobblehead (see above)? Can’t exist without some red-tape cufflinks? Obtaining both items may be some kind of cry for help, but they’re destined to generate a chuckle or, among lawyers, a guffaw.

3. Tread on the boards that actors have trod.

Granted, this may seem like a time-waster in the busy month of December, but a backstage tour of Phoenix’s Orpheum Theatre could be just the ticket to alleviate a law-filled month. Here’s some info on next week’s (free!) tours:

The Friends of the Orpheum Theatre invite you to enjoy the holidays with a free tour of the historic Orpheum Theatre.

Originally opened in 1929, the Orpheum Theatre premiered as a much sought-after venue for vaudeville acts. The theatre changed ownership and became a deluxe movie palace prior to being purchased by the city of Phoenix in 1984. The city registered the site as a national historic landmark in 1985 and embarked upon a massive restoration project.

Orpheum interior by (my brother-in-law) Keith Taylor. More great work at

Visit the Orpheum to learn more about how the restoration project became a reality and what production premiered when the theatre reopened in 1997.  Tour reservations are not required, but encouraged. For more information please contact Patty McMahon at 602.495.7139 or

WHAT: FREE Orpheum Theatre Public Tours

WHEN: 12 – 1 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 20; Thursday, Dec. 22; Monday, Dec. 26; and Friday, Dec. 30

WHERE: Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St., Phoenix, AZ 85003 (Meet under the marquee)

Have a great weekend.

Orpheum Theatre from the actors' view