New Times picks the best arts and culture events in metro Phoenix this weekend.
Pop culture keeps shoving in our faces the idea that people of refinement go to a show and then have dinner afterward. Come on! Dinner at 8 is bad enough (as the song goes), but dinner at 11:30 had better be second dinner and consist of tacos and gin. That’s why we’re quite grateful to ASU Tempe’s school of Film, Dance, and Theatre for scheduling a performance of Transition Projects at the civilized hour of 6:30 p.m. on Friday, February 19.
The production is choreographed by Bachelor of Fine Arts undergrads who are wrapping up their college years with dance pieces in postmodern, urban, and hybrid styles. (We recognize that middle one.) The program continues at various times through Sunday, February 21, in the Margaret Gisolo Dance Studio, PEBE 132 (the PE building on the east side of campus).
For tickets, $8 to $16, call 480-965-6447 or visit www.filmdancetheatre.asu.edu/events/transition-projects. Julie Peterson
The Erotic Poetry & Music Festivus
The Erotic Poetry & Music Festivus returns with its 2016 edition for a night of lust and love under the stars.
More than 35 artists with backgrounds in everything from storytelling to dance take to two garden stages for a night of spoken word and performance art. Performers include Crimson Phoenix, a fire dancer known for sensual shows that flaunt her curves, comedians Matt Storrs and Hattie Jean Hayes, the duo behind the popular Pep Rally storytelling night, and more than a dozen poets, from undergrads to the published to the Juilliard-trained (like storyteller Isadora O'Boto).
The annual night of passionate poetry and prose runs from 8 to 11 p.m. on Friday, February 19, at Alwun House, 1204 East Roosevelt Street. Pre-sale tickets are $10, day-of costs $15. Light refreshments will be available. For details, visit www.alwunhouse.org. Janessa Hilliard
7 Minutes in Love
Seven minutes sounds like an acceptable average duration for love. If that’s not long enough, one can always rinse and repeat. But, innuendo-packed as that idea is, it’s not the inspiration for Space 55’s annual 7 Minutes in Love, the Valentine-season iteration of the company’s fresh and surprising, adults-only 7 Minutes . . . series. Several different performers/ensembles get just seven minutes each (which can be a good thing). Only they know what they’re going to do! There are no guidelines! (So you really know already whether this is your cup of chowder.)
Brace yourself for possible tap-dancing, spoken word, music, sketch comedy, and/or competitive eating. Start the stopwatch at 8 p.m. Friday, February 19, at 636 East Pierce Street. For tickets, $10, visit www.space55.org. Julie Peterson
The America Play
A contemporary commentary on how the past informs the present, The America Play makes its ASU debut. Written by Suzan-Lori Parks and directed by Nia Witherspoon, the play follows “The Foundling Father,” an African-American gravedigger turned carnival worker with a stark resemblance to Abraham Lincoln. Like any keen American capitalist, he turns this likeness into a profit, creating an attraction that allows people to re-enact Honest Abe’s assassination, as they play the role of John Wilkes Booth.
Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 19, at Nelson Fine Arts Center, 51 East 10th Street on the ASU Tempe Campus. Additional weekend performances run through Sunday, February 28. General admission tickets are $10, while seniors and students pay $5. Contact the box office at 480-965-6447 or see www.filmdancetheatre.asu.edu. Janessa Hilliard
International Motorcycle Show
Perhaps it’s that iconic Easy Rider image of Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda carving up the interstate, nothing but a bleak desert wasteland to be seen. Or maybe it’s visions of James Dean in a leather jacket, with a cigarette draping from his mouth. Whatever the reason, the motorcycle feels distinctly American. So what if its roots can be traced to Paris? Big deal. No one has built a cooler culture around hitting the open road than ‘Merica. Whether you’re a casual admirer or a grizzled vet, you’ll find plenty to appreciate at the International Motorcycle Show on Saturday, February 20. The event boasts an impressive list of vendors, giveaways, and just about anything else you could imagine strapping across your engines. Doors open at 9 a.m. at Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium, One Cardinals Drive. Admission is $12. Visit www.motorcycleshows.com or call 623-266-5563 for details. Rob Kroehler
The Blue Comedy Show
Blue really is the best color of comedy. While red, green, or even black can be occasionally fun, blue humor’s the shade in which you find the good stuff: sex stories, drug binge memories, profanity, tales of the borderline indelicate to grotesquely inappropriate. The Blue Comedy Show, produced monthly by local comedians Ernesto Ortiz and Gene Moore, delivers risqué, politically incorrect and uncensored jokes each month. February 20’s show is dedicated to Arizona’s comedy divas—gay, straight, drag and otherwise—and will be hosted by the hilarious Afeelya Bunz.
Prepare yourself for off-color humor at The Blue Comedy Show: Diva Edition at 8 p.m. on Saturday at Cruisin’ 7th, 3702 North Seventh Street. Tickets are $5. Call 602-845-9744 or visit workinitoutcomedy.com for more. Zach Fowle
It’s not just the chance to nab some Pool Dust zines that has us excited to ollie down Memory Lane at the Phoenix SkaterCon. In addition to a vintage gallery and an artist & vendor marketplace, legends like artist and skater John Grigley and Patti McGee, the first woman inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame, will be in attendance. Music will be an integral part of the experience with locals playings during the day and the evening ramping up with bands like McRad, Powerflex 5, and the first Arizona performance by Johnny Rad & The Eggplants from the 1987 skateboarding film classic The Search for Animal Chin.
This Saturday, February 20, the Phoenix SkaterCon International gleams The Pressroom, 441 West Madison Street, from noon until midnight, with the concert starting at 6 p.m. General admission is $20, and a VIP package, including a limited edition skate deck, shirt, and other swag, is $100. For more details, visit www.phxskatercon.com. Jose Gonzalez
15th Annual Self-Guided Ceramics Tour
If you’re a natural born explorer who cringes at the word “tour” because you immediately picture a bossy guide cramming you back on a bus while you’re still soaking up the scenery, get ready for a jaunt.
Take the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center’s 15th Annual Self-Guided Ceramics Studio Tour and move at your own pace. Grab a map from the ASU Art Museum or download a copy and see the studios and living spaces of more than 50 Valley-based professional ceramic artists, including Constance McBride, Julius Forzano, Halldor Hjalmarson, and Magda Gluszek. Not only will you see what they make, it’s an opportunity to see how they do it, through demonstrations of wheel-throwing, hand-building and, glazing techniques. Look, learn, and purchase, just be careful to not break anything between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, February 20 and February 21. Admission is free. Call 480-965-7092 or visit www.asuartmuseum.asu.edu/studiotour. Amy Young
Street Car Takeover
We see you speed demons revving your engine at stoplights and leaving tire squeals and acrid smoke in your wake. If you’d like to put your money where your mouth is and your pedal to the metal, the 2016 Street Car Takeover Phoenix is gathering valley auto enthusiasts to face off. Local leadfeet can buy in and test their street-legal whips in all stripes of races for cash prizes on an actual track. Spectators content with watching can also spy the blingy eye cand of the chariots in the Show & Shine car show.
The Takeover goes down Saturday, February 20, at Wild Horse Motorsports Park, 20000 Maricopa Road in Chandler, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. It’s $20 to watch races and $25 for entry to the car show. Children 12 and younger get in free. Visit www.streetcar-takeover.com for more information. Jose Gonzalez
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Arizona Killer Queen State Championship
Most classic video games aren’t known for their realism and Killer Queen, the current indie arcade hit, is no exception. In the half old-school platformer/half real-time strategy, dual-screen quarter cruncher, players are bees that collect nectar, drop bombs, and ride a giant snail who can devour opposing players. The Arizona Killer Queen State Championship tournament awaits your team of five, dangling not only a cash prize in front of contestants but the chance to hoist the cheekily named Edward Malthus Memorial Cup.
The Arizona Killer Queen State Championship gets buzzing this Sunday, February 21, at The Grid: Games & Growlers, 525 South Gilbert Road in Mesa. Registration is from noon to 1 p.m. and costs $5 per player. Bracket seeding is from 1 to 1:30 p.m., with battles starting promptly thereafter. Visit www.facebook.com/thegridbararcade for more info. Jose Gonzalez