13 Best Events in Metro Phoenix, December 5 to 11

Sci-fi meets sci-fact.EXPAND
Sci-fi meets sci-fact.
Arizona Science Center

The bustle of constant holiday parties and the last-minute scramble to find presents for those hard-to-shop-fors are nigh. But this week? You've got things to do besides try to find washi tape that'll perfectly match the wrapping paper you just stocked up on. From pop culture and hard science to fashion, art, and, yes, wrestling, there's plenty to keep you busy — and entertained. More events await on New Times' curated calendar, if you're looking to really jam-pack that schedule.

"Alien Worlds and Androids"
The truth is out there. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. To boldly go … Such catchphrases draw our imaginations beyond the atmosphere. Indeed, the question “Are we alone in the universe?” has yielded more literature, art, and entertainment than any other question on earth. With each passing year, astronomers discover an increasingly distant corner of the universe, affirming the likelihood that we are not alone. The conversation is as salient as ever, and the Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington Street, is chiming in with “Alien Worlds and Androids.” The 5,000-square-foot exhibit is devoted entirely to humanity’s most enduring question — and how we’re trying to answer it. Stop in on Monday, December 5, between 10 a.m. and 5 pm. Admission is $24. Visit azscience.org or call 602-716-2000 for details. Rob Kroehler

Mamma Mia!: We called them the ’70s.EXPAND
Mamma Mia!: We called them the ’70s.
Kevin Thomas Garcia

Mamma Mia!
Determining who a character’s father is = great way to get more people on stage. Nowhere is this more blatantly obvious than in Mamma Mia!, a musical that wedges not 22 but 23 ABBA hits into its running time while floating multiple weddings and a showbiz reunion. And it all takes place on a Greek island, to make it that much yummier.

The show ran 14 years on Broadway, and is now in the middle of its Farewell Tour (moniker not legally binding). Thank them for the music on opening night of the run at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 6, at ASU Gammage, 1200 South Forest Avenue in Tempe. Tickets are $20 to $125 at ticketmaster.com or 480-965-3434, and performances continue through Sunday, December 11. Julie Peterson

Work by Jeff Slim being featured in his solo exhibition at Appaloosa Library.EXPAND
Work by Jeff Slim being featured in his solo exhibition at Appaloosa Library.
Jeff Slim

"Third World Beings: Prelude to Bilá Ashdlá’ (Five Fingered People)”
Lately, Phoenix artist Jeff Slim (Diné) has been giving a new medium a try inside his Grand Avenue studio — painting swirling white lines on nude models, then photographing the designs to create somewhat abstracted black-and-white images.

It’s a departure from Slim’s larger body of work, which comprises mostly brightly colored paintings and murals with figures reflecting his interests in both pop culture and his Navajo heritage. In both his paintings on canvas and these paintings on the human form, Slim creates the appearance of energy lines.
See “Third World Beings: Prelude to Bilá Ashdlá’ (Five Fingered People)” presented by Scottsdale Public Art between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 6, in The Gallery @ Appaloosa Library, 7377 East Silverstone Drive. Visit www.scottsdalepublicart.org. Lynn Trimble

Prolific Valley author Gini Koch.
Prolific Valley author Gini Koch.
Nancee Lewis Photography

Gini Koch Book-Signing
Valley sci-fi author Gini Koch is nothing if not prolific. The red-haired and pink-hatted Koch returns to the Poisoned Pen, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard in Scottsdale, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 7, to meet fans and sign copies of the 14th entry (and second this year) in her Alien/“Kitty” Katt series of comic sci-fi romances, Alien Nation.

Becoming First Lady hasn’t made Kitty’s life easier. The titular character and her husband, the Alpha Centaurian President of the United States, have to face an old nemesis when a xenophobic group starts attacking Centaurian bases. And a fleet of alien ships is converging on Earth as well. Alien Nation is available in paperback for $7.99. For more information, call 480-947-2974 or visit poisonedpen.com. Michael Senft

Notaro performs in Scottsdale this December.EXPAND
Notaro performs in Scottsdale this December.
Bob Chamberlin

Tig Notaro
With a New York Times best-selling book (I’m Just a Person), a handful of comedy specials, a few more guest appearances on shows you already like such as IFC’s Maron and an Amazon-released series on the way titled One Mississippi, it’s no doubt that the past few years have been really busy for comedian and storyteller Tig Notaro. Maybe it’s her proclivity for intense honesty — even when it hurts — that keeps her in demand, or maybe it’s her biting, dry wit and spot-on deadpan. In any case, you won’t want to miss all the realness Notaro brings to her live performance at Scottsdale Center of the Performing Arts’ Virginia G. Piper Auditorium, 7380 East Second Street, on Thursday, December 8. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $30. You can get yours and find more information about this event at scottsdaleperformingarts.org. Heather Hoch

See works by Kelsey Dake at the Shortcut Gallery.EXPAND
See works by Kelsey Dake at the Shortcut Gallery.
Kelsey Dake

Kelsey Dake's Monkeys
Art is popping up in all sorts of places, including a new exhibition space shared by Phoenix General and Framed Ewe, 5538 North Seventh Street. It’s called the Shortcut Gallery, because savvy shoppers know to park out back, then walk through the art-filled hallway to get to the goods.

Hit the gallery between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 8, to see works by Kelsey Dake, a local artist who has drawn for the New York Times, Nike, Variety, BBDO, McSweeney’s, and HarperCollins.
Dake is showing screen prints of various monkeys she created as a color study. It’s the first time they’ve been shown publicly. Like the rest of her work, they’re weird in a wonderful way. Visit www.facebook.com/FramedEwe or www.facebook.com/PhoenixGeneral. Lynn Trimble

Read on for more events this week, including Bar Flies and an ugly sweater party.

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