We know, we know. Valentine's Day is nearly here. And the damn holiday falls on a Tuesday. Lucky for Phoenicians, there's something to do every day of the week — whether it's an artsy, booze-fueled hangout, a behind-the-scenes look at the Arizona Opera, a gay rodeo, or a romantic comedy throwdown. Here are our picks for the best ways to spend your week, and you can find more options on the New Times' curated calendar
Drink and Draw
Sometimes it takes a cocktail, or three, to get comfortable enough to whip out your tool in a crowd. Get your mind out of the gutter, kids. We mean your preferred drawing instrument.
Drink and Draw
is a regular event that gives you a chance to put the pen, crayon, pencil, or whatever writing device you like best to the pad, as you congregate with others to observe and draw a live model. And you can enjoy some adult beverages while you do, if that helps loosen up those hands. Grab your supplies and head to the First Draft Book Bar in Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road, at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, February 13. Admission is $8. Register in the Phoenix store or call 602-274-0067. Visit the Changing Hands website
for more information. Amy Young
Behind the Opera: Riders of the Purple Sage
Work by Phoenix artist Ed Mell is featured in Riders of the Purple Sage at Arizona Opera.
Courtesy of Arizona Opera
Word of advice: Forgo the purple-dyed carnations and mauve-frosted cupcakes on Valentine’s Day. No need to go lowbrow, especially when you’ve got such a classy option over at Arizona Opera — where the creative team for a new Riders of the Purple Sage
opera developed right here in Arizona will share the backstory of how it came to be during “Behind the Opera: Riders of the Purple Sage
The free event happens at Arizona Opera, 1636 North Central Avenue, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 14. Bring your sweetie if you have one, or just get to know some fellow art lovers. Years from now, you might be recounting the tale of how you met over opera. Because hey, stranger things have happened. Visit Arizona Opera's website
. Lynn Trimble
Phoenix Urban Design Week
Phoenix may get a lot of flak for being a sprawling metropolis, but our city’s urban design is nothing to poke fun at. From the award-winning Sky Harbor International Airport to the increasing number of bike lanes popping up, Phoenix is not the way it is by accident. Of course, the city isn't without flaws. That’s where Phoenix Urban Design Week
comes in. From February 10 through 18, everyone from urban planners and landscape architects to policymakers and artists will converge to work on making Phoenix the best city it can be. On Wednesday, February 15, you can look forward to a day filled with a Rad Real Estate Developers Panel Discussion, an event highlighting young professionals, and the #yesphx Happy Hour Mixer at the Found:RE, 1100 North Central Avenue. For the full schedule of events, aiming to make this “a city we all want to live in,” see Phoenix Urban Design Week's online schedule
. Evie Carpenter
"Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience"
Spring training is just around the corner.
slgckgc/Flickr Creative Commons
Two words: spring training. It’s the subject of an exhibition called “Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience
,” which features images and artifacts exploring the history of spring training in Arizona from 1947 to the present. We’ve come a long way, baby.
It turns out that baseball memorabilia spanning seven decades reveals a lot about the communities where baseball is a big deal, and the ways team sports tend to reflect issues facing society at large.
See the exhibition inside the Gallery @ The Library, located at Civic Center Library, 3839 North Drinkwater Boulevard in Scottsdale. The exhibit, which also includes a Cactus League Hall of Fame, is free. And it continues through Tuesday, April 4. Visit Scottsdale Library online
. Lynn Trimble
Raphael Hamilton, Melvina Jones, Mike Traylor, and Christopher Dozier star in Broke-ology.
Any new work by playwright Nathan Louis Jackson gets butts into some of the most prestigious seats in New York, a tradition begun with 2009’s Broke-ology
. The play centers on two brothers who’ve returned home to care for their father, whose health is declining. Though Ennis and Malcolm have taken different paths as adults, they’re able to come together and focus on what’s important while you, the audience, laugh and/or cry.
When not penning scripts about the death penalty, gun rights, protests at funerals, et cetera, as resident playwright at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Jackson brings his gritty, barbecue-drenched KC life experience to bear as a member of the writing staff for Netflix’s Luke Cage
Black Theatre Troupe presents Broke-ology
through Sunday, February 26, at the Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 East Washington Street. Tickets are $36. Showtime on Thursday, February 16, is 8 p.m. Visit Black Theatre Troup's website
or call 602-258-8129. Julie Peterson
Battle of the Rom Coms
We are not gonna let you finish, because You’ve Got Mail
is the greatest romantic comedy of all time
(in our not even remotely humble opinion). The folks at National Comedy Theatre, however, will entertain your arguments for Pretty Woman
or whatever during Battle of the Rom Coms Uncensored on Thursday, February 16. That’s when the Mesa improv spot will host a panel of comedians to debate the swoon-worthy merits of Meg Ryan, Hugh Grant, and Julia Roberts — with help from the audience. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. at 1111 South Longmore, and admission is free, though reservations are encouraged. Save your spot through National Comedy Theatre's website
. Becky Bartkowski
Read on for an outer space confab, a throwback bar crawl, and a downtown bike ride.