Friday, October 31
At a loss for how to dress up for Halloween? Whether you're a guy or a gal, don't dream it; be it. Just pull on a pair of fishnets, lace up that corset and get out the black eyeliner to attend a showing of the notorious Rocky Horror Picture Show on Friday, October 31. Theatrical troupe Broadway Bound and Gagged hosts two special screenings at 8 and 11 p.m., with a debut performance of a musical number based on The Nightmare Before Christmas, games, special guests and costume contests. At the 8 p.m. show, two dedicated Broadway Bound cast members have their very own Hallo-wedding as they exchange vows Rocky-style. The troupe's regular Saturday show follows the next night, November 1, at 11 p.m. Admission is $6, and early arrival is suggested. The Time Warp takes place at the Spectrum Mall Cinemas, located inside the mall at the intersection of 15th Avenue and Bethany Home Road. Call 602-201-1817 or visit www.azrocky.com to find out more.
Meet Mitch Albom, whose new book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, is told from the perspective of an old man who passed away during an act of heroism. The tome is currently ranked number one on The New York Times' best-seller list for hardcover nonfiction, but Albom already knows what it's like to be at the top; his 1997 work Tuesdays With Morrie was a best seller for four straight years. The author conducts a reading and signing at 7 p.m. Friday, October 31, at Tempe Cinemas, 1825 East Elliot in Tempe. The appearance is presented by Changing Hands Bookstore. For details call 480-730-0205.
Saturday, November 1
Día de los Muertos is the Valley's best adopted Mexican holiday, uniting people of all backgrounds to honor lost loved ones through colorful art, dance, music and food. In the face of mortality, it's a whimsical, creative celebration of life. This weekend, Phoenix has two events for Day of the Dead. First is the second annual Día de los Muertos Celebration at the Desert Botanical Garden on Saturday, November 1, and Sunday, November 2. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, visitors can browse artwork from local artists, take in performances such as ballet folklorico, flamenco and mariachi, sample Mexican foods and enjoy family-friendly crafts and demonstrations. Activities are free with regular admission at the garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway. Call 480-941-1225 for details. Festivities continue on Sunday, November 2, with La Procesión: Día de los Muertos Festival, at Patriots Square, located at the intersection of Central and Jefferson. A noon parade proceeds to the park from Genesis Academy, 640 North First Avenue, followed by arts displays and live entertainment that run until 5 p.m. For more information on the free festival, call 480-834-5731.
Sunday, November 2
Move over, Hollywood -- short films and videos by local and national directors get their due time onscreen at No Festival Required, a showcase of cutting-edge work held the first Sunday of every month. On Sunday, November 2, highlights include Umeboshi (Pickled Plum) and Shades of Grey, two award-winning films by University of Arizona assistant professor Yuri Makino, plus creations by Jae and Kai Staats, Susie Aminian and Elizabeth Rowin. Doors open 15 minutes prior to showings at 6 and 8 p.m. at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt. Admission for mature viewers is $5. To find out more, visit www.modified.org or call 602-462-5516.
Monday, November 3
Drawing on real experiences with their own disabilities, the performers of the Improbable Theatre Company worked together to create a stage piece called Actual Lives, Candid Snapshots. The troupe gives a special one-night performance of the work at 7 p.m. Monday, November 3, at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Arizona Avenue. Tickets, $5, are available in advance from the Chandler Senior Center, 202 East Boston, or at the door one hour before the performance. For further information, call 480-782-2709.
Tuesday, November 4
As part of its weeklong Verbal Arts Festival, the Department of Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance at ASU West presents "The Beckett Project," a collaborative installation from performance specialist Rob Taylor, digital artists Dennis Marsollier and Patricia Clark, digital performance pioneer Lance Gharavi, and painter and sculptor Brian Cook. Inspired by the works of legendary Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, the multimedia exhibition explores key concepts such as "time and place, circularity and oppositional forces." A reception for the artists on Tuesday, November 4, opens the exhibition, which continues through December 1 at the IAP Gallery, located on the second floor of the University Center Building on the campus at ASU West, 4701 West Thunderbird. Admission is free. For more information, call 602-543-ARTS (2787).
Wednesday, November 5
Wednesday, November 5, is the last day to see "Caras y Máscaras," an exhibition of more than 60 haunting, beautiful and wearable masks created by local artist Zarco Guerrero for dance and theater companies around the Valley and the world. Guerrero is an expert sculptor who works with ceramic, cast paper, fiber glass, wood and paper clay, and his devotion to international mask-masking traditions has taken him to Mexico, Brazil, Japan and Bali to study with master artisans. The exhibition is on display from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Phoenix College Art Gallery, located in the F Building on the college campus, 1201 West Thomas. Admission is free. Call 602-285-7277 for further details.