New Times picks the best things to do in metro Phoenix from Friday, May 27, through Sunday, May 29. For more options, see our online curated calendar of events.
Think back to the Homeric epics studied (or Sparknote-d) in high school and you may remember that history’s longest-winded writer was not entirely responsible for his prose.
Instead, he called upon The Muses: Zeus’ daughters and the nine divine spirits of imagination. Space 55’s own 9 Muses brings them to life onstage in an homage to artistic inspiration.
Nine performers will channel their chosen muse into original pieces featuring everything from poetry to burlesque. Clio (history) is matched with with Yarnball storyteller Chloe Brooks; Urania (astronomy) with former Trunk Space co-owner JRC; and Calliope (epic poetry) with comedian Leslie Barton. The other muses represent love and religious poetry, music, dance, comedy, and tragedy — a given when it comes to ancient Greece.
Now in its third year, the two-day tribute begins on Friday, May 27, at 636 East Pierce Street. Curtain is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10; available online at www.space55.org. Janessa Hilliard
Bar Flies Featuring The Senators
Just like in superhero flicks, The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s awesome when multiple forces join together for the greater good.
In this case, that goodness comes in the form of a special edition of New Times’ monthly Bar Flies storytelling event, propelled to life by Jesse Teer, singer and guitarist of folk rock outfit the Senators when he reached out to the Musical Instrument Museum to do a local showcase. “Instead of having a lineup of multiple bands, we wanted to bring musicians and writers together,” he says. “We reached out to Bar Flies to share the bill.” The Senators perform throughout the night, and readers Becky Bartkowski, Katie Johnson, Lauren Gilger, R. Bradley Snyder, and Jason P. Woodbury explore the theme, “The Desert is a Mix Tape,” via true stories. Tunes and talking begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 27, at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard. Tickets are $18.50 to $25.50. Call 480-478-6000 or visit www.mim.org. Amy Young
Phoenix Caribbean Carnival
Just because landlocked Arizona lacks sea breezes doesn’t mean we can’t get our island vibes on. The Phoenix Caribbean Carnival is a three-day celebration of the music, food, and culture of the nearly 30 countries of the Caribbean Sea. Friday starts with the International Flag Party where attendees are encouraged to don the colors of their favorite nations while dancing to soca, zouk, and dancehall riddims. Saturday’s All White Affair at Monach Theatre and Sunday’s Masquerade Street Parade and Carnival Village at Steele Indian School Park provide further opportunity to soak up the West Indies.
Phoenix Caribbean Carnival starts at 9 p.m. on Friday, May 27, with the International Flag Party at Club Palazzo, 710 North Central Avenue. Admission is $10. For more info, visit www.phoenixcarnival.com. Jose Gonzalez
"The Catacombs of Professor McGee!"
Can you dig it? Phoenix artist Nathaniel Lewis just turned the gallery at Scottsdale’s Civic Center Library, located at 3839 North Drinkwater Boulevard, into the home of a fictional 19th century professor – complete with secret passageways and fantastical creatures.
A free opening reception for his exhibition “Nathaniel Lewis Presents: The Catacombs of Professor McGee!” takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. It’s a chance to don the identity of explorer, complete with library-provided field guide, while upping your local history, science, and art game.
Enter through a house-style façade, then make your way through different rooms until you reach catacombs filled with stuffed rocks and hidden creatures. But remember the wee crowd wants to have some playtime, too. So don’t hog the faux fossils, and don’t be surprised if you find a fake hot dog or two.
The exhibition continues through Wednesday, August 31. Visit www.scottsdalepublicart.org. Lynn Trimble
Short Shorts with Short Leash 2016
An outdoor multimedia experience, or just Short Shorts With Short Leash 2016? Let’s go with the non-pretentious one.
Hosted by Theater13, the sixth annual edition of Short Shorts is Saturday, May 28, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Stinkweeds, 12 West Camelback Road. The Medlock Plaza – better known as that parking lot back there – will act as the summer block party venue, complete with food, music (TBA as of this writing), and of course, short films. This event is free and welcomes all ages, though parking may be a little crazy.
Filmmakers had to follow only tow rules when submitting: They had to be an “Arizona native or Arizona-based filmmakers,” and the short content had to be less than 15 minutes, and “narrative, music video, documentary, experimental, commercial, etc.” So yeah, it’s going to be good.
Little Free Libraries
Little Free Libraries are the adorable boxes on posts you’ve possibly seen at the edges of people’s yards. (Phoenix sports about 30 of ’em.) Southwest Human Development decided to add 100 new LFLs to get more books in the hands of Arizona kids in low-income neighborhoods. So Mark Stephens of Woodworkers Source stores announced the Little Free Libraries competition, and more than 20 Ron Swanson wannabes donated their entries to the initiative.
When the folks at Burton Barr Central Library found out, they pulled 14 of the LFLs into a free exhibit. This perfect storm of literate kindness continues through Monday, May 30, at 1221 North Central Avenue. Hours on Saturday, May 28, are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Find info at 602-262-4636 or www.phoenixpubliclibrary.org. Julie Peterson
Back the Badge Bull Riding Event
Did you know bull riding also happens outside of western-themed bars — with real bulls? Take a moment to collect yourself, and then make plans to attend the 2016 Back The Badge Bull Riding event.
This third annual installment is held at WestWorld, 16601 North Pima Road in Scottsdale, on Saturday, May 28, from 1 to 11:30 p.m. Events include mutton bustin' and two rounds of bull riding, plus a kids zone, a silent and live auction, and an awards ceremony. Fans of country western can check out and a concert put on by Western Bred.
Every cent of the proceeds go to the 100 Club of Arizona – a Phoenix-based organization supporting public safety officers, firefighters, and their families since 1965.
Tickets for this rain-or-shine event are $10 for adults, $5 for children, and free for those 4 and under. Seating is general admission. For more information, call 480-332-0803 or visit www.backthebadgeaz.org. Lauren Cusimano
Third Anniversary Weekend
The camera phone’s dream that is Butterfly Wonderland is having its three-year anniversary. Celebrate this with actual butterflies on Saturday, May 28, through Monday, May 30, at 9500 East Via de Ventura in Scottsdale.
Festivities run each day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and include food trucks and live music in the conservatory starting at 11 a.m. Performers include Native American flutist Aaron White, progressive ambient stylist Scott Schaefer, and Mark Bensette Aux Bois, who’ll be performing the wood flute, didgeridoo, guitar, and harp.
Tickets are $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for students, seniors, and military with ID, $12.95 for kids 3 to 11, and free for children 2 and younger. For more information, call 480-800-3000, or visit www.butterflywonderland.com. Lauren Cusimano
Hostages & Other Plays
The current slot in iTheatre Collaborative’s season was to be filled by The Velocity of Autumn. However, the velocity of the lead actress led to a broken ankle and the postponement of the show until fall. In the meantime, iTC presents Yussef El Guindi’s Hostages & other plays, a group of one-acts that incorporate terror and war, though they’re less specific and more personal than you might expect such stories to be.
A playwright and teacher who’s plied his trade on both coasts, El Guindi is known for illuminating the experiences of Arab-Americans in a way that affects all humans. Catch the final performance at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 29, at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Tickets are $20 at www.itheatreaz.org or 602-252-8497. Julie Peterson
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Unwine-d Adult Coloring Night
The noble alchemy of turning grapes into wine goes back thousands of years, which means relaxing with sips of vino goes back just as far. In contrast, grown-ups using coloring books as a way to chill has only taken off in the past few years. The geniuses of the First Draft Book Bar at Changing Hands Phoenix have mashed up the old school and new school methods of de-stressing with their Unwine-d Adult Coloring Night, which is at 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 29. With a $5 admission fee, participants get plenty of utensils to turn coloring book pages into vibrant evidence of their moments of zen at 300 West Camelback Road. You can visit www.changinghands.com for more information. Jose Gonzalez