This week you can celebrate your freedom to dance at the Make America Dance Again party, stretch it out with a goat yoga PJ party, or cheer on your favorite wrestlers when the WWE hits Phoenix. For more things to do, visit our curated calendar of events.
“Pipe Brothers: Tom and James Franco”
What will they think of next? This summer, you can see human hair exhibited at Phoenix Art Museum, chewed gum on display at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and sewer pipes at ASU Art Museum’s Ceramics Research Center.
The pipes are included in an exhibition called “Pipe Brothers: Tom and James Franco,” featuring column-style sculptures created by the brothers using pipes from the Mission Clay Products factory in Phoenix. Tom is an Oakland, California artist who works primarily in mixed-media sculpture. And yes, James is James Franco, the actor who also works in visual art, sometimes collaborating with his brother and sometimes with internationally renowned artist Marina Abramovic.
See the free exhibition from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 29, at 699 South Mill Avenue in Tempe. It continues through Saturday, September 23.
Visit the ASU Art Museum website. Lynn Trimble
29 Years for 13 Seconds: The Injustices of Justice
Snitches get stitches. Oh, yeah? That’s if they’re lucky. As a 17-year-old, Vance Webster witnessed a crime and refused to testify, and he was sentenced to life in prison. Why did he make that choice? How wrong was his act? He took a path any of us might and paid the price (though he was eventually released).
29 Years for 13 Seconds: The Injustices of Justice, a play by Alexus Rhone that shares Webster’s perception of the experience, wraps up its run as part of the Herberger Lunch Time Theater series at 12:10 p.m. on Thursday, June 29. Webster will be present for a Q&A following the show at 222 East Monroe Street. Admission is $6. A preordered lunch is optional. Visit the Herberger Theater website or call 602-252-8497. Julie Peterson
In the span of a month and a half, author Nora McInerny had a miscarriage and lost both her husband and her father to cancer. She documented her heartache with humor and grace in her book, It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool Too). When friends would ask her how she was doing, she began to reply honestly instead of with the dismissive “Fine” and spoke openly about the grief we all share. These conversations became the basis of her critically acclaimed public radio podcast, Terrible, Thanks for Asking.
Bring some tissues and give yourself permission to cry when McInerny brings her book to Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 29. Admission is free. For more information,
For more information, visit the Changing Hands website. Jason Keil
Pong isn’t just a drinking game played at parties with red cups, beer, and tiny balls. The weekly pong tournament at the Blasted Barley Beer Company, 404 South Mill Avenue in Tempe, is a fairly serious competition in which you and a partner can test your hand-eye coordination while aiming to win prizes. First place gets you $50, and there’s a second-place prize of $25. The game, which attracts anywhere from eight to 16 teams of two each Thursday, follows similar rules as the national tournament in Las Vegas. But here, you’re competing with water instead of beer. The event starts at 10 p.m. and is free to enter. For more information, call 480-967-5887 or go to the Blasted Barley Beer Co. Facebook page. Laura Latzko
Landscapes get a new twist at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt Street, where Jeff Chabot curated the current “Turbulent Landscape” exhibition. For Chabot, landscapes include topographical, personal, social, and political environments. And sometimes, they’re not pretty.
Explore landscape-related works by eight local and regional artists, including William LeGoullon and Lauren Strohacker, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, June 30. Strohacker’s work documents her recent art installation along the U.S.-Mexico border.
While you’re there, take a look at Hugo Medina’s new mural on the east-facing exterior wall. It’s a compelling take on recent changes to Roosevelt Row and the impact on the local arts scene. “Turbulent Landscape” runs through Saturday, July 15. Admission is free. Visit the Modified Arts website. Lynn Trimble
It’s been 50 years since the Summer of Love, and it shows. This one is more like the Summer of Crankiness, but there’s hope. Fountain Hills Theater’s in that same headspace through Sunday, July 30, as it revives the poppy, trippy Midsummer Dreamin’, a transformation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to a 1967 forest full of lovers, fairies, and hilarious amateur actors who are characters played by good actors. Got it? Peter J. Hill filled the script with beloved psychedelic songs, and the plot includes an “herb” that messes with one’s mind, just as it did in 1605.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 30, at 11445 North Saguaro Boulevard. Tickets are $23 to $30 at 480-837-9661, extension 3, or the Fountain Hills Theater website. Julie Peterson
Goat Yoga PJ Party
Isn’t it about time you tried goat yoga with a pajama theme? Your chance is the Goat Yoga PJ Party hosted by AZ Goat Yoga, a group that’s all about pairing everyone’s favorite farm animal with acroyoga poses, which involve mixing traditional yoga with acrobatics.
These little guys are trained and certified to jump, cuddle, and play with participants while they bend and stretch at Welcome Home Ranch, 26601 South Val Vista Drive in Gilbert. You can get in on the action from 8 to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 30. Tickets are $12 before tax through Eventbrite.
Those hoping to join are asked to check the FAQ at azgoatyoga.com. For more information, call 480-269-4144 or
see the Facebook event page. Lauren Cusimano
Lasers and Liquor
There are plenty of imaginable scenarios in which Lasers and Liquor would make for a decidedly bad combo. Performing LASIK eye surgery, for example, or mounting an attack on the Death Star. But there’s a time and a place for every haphazardly alliterative combo, as they say. And, lucky for you, this one is happening downtown.
Lasers and Liquor is a grown-ups-only event hosted at the Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington Street, that features multicolored laser light shows, booze, and plenty of rambunctious music. If drinking, listening to Alice Cooper, and watching an immersive laser show titled Attack of the Radioactive Hamsters isn’t the most effective legal means of hallucinating in town, then we’re not sure what is. Freak out from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, June 30. General admission is $10. Visit the Arizona Science Center website or call 602-716-2000 for details. Rob Kroehler
Nerds take note: This weekend’s WesterCon 70 in Tempe is a little different from your average comics convention or geek gathering. And that’s not a slight by any means. WesterCon happens to be one of the more esteemed and long-running geek events in the world, as it’s taken place annually since the late 1940s in cities throughout the western U.S. It’s also less flashy and more low-key than the cons you’re used to attending, and the focus is more on science fiction and fantasy.
So when this year’s edition beams down into the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, 60 East Fifth Street, from Saturday, July 1, through Tuesday, July 4, expect close encounters with such guests of honor as award-winning sci-fi scribe Connie Willis, local writer Gini Koch, acclaimed artists Julie Dillon and Larry Elmore, and folk musician Tim Griffin. An art show, film festival, cosplay masquerade, and gaming rooms are also planned. Hours vary. Admission is $85 for adults, $55 for military and teens, $35 for children 7 to 12, and free for kids younger than 7. See the Wester Con website. Benjamin Leatherman
Near Dark Screening
Gone-too-soon Bill Paxton’s breakthrough can be traced back three decades to his manic turn as Severen, one of the members of a vampire gang in Kathryn Bigelow’s horror-Western hybrid Near Dark. This slick-looking masterpiece tells the story of a farmer’s son (Adrian Pasdar) who reluctantly becomes a bloodsucker after falling in love with a fang-toothed drifter. Those expecting a sweet young adult romance will find themselves covering their eyes in terror. The movie nearly was awarded an X rating for its excessive violence.
Trivia and a taping of the BS Movies podcast will follow this screening at 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 1, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Admission is $9. Visit the Film Bar website. Jason Keil
Read on for more of Phoenix's best events this week.
Splashing is certainly a summertime activity. And even though that kind of fun inspires visions of H20, there doesn’t have to be a body of water involved. Not necessarily.
For instance, there’s Sound Splash. This beach-themed indoor hip-hop concert and dance party isn’t a sand-and-surf adventure, but it does feature a fun lineup of acts. First of all, Bow Wow is the event’s host and a performer. Also hitting the stage that night are Ty Dolla Sign, Raven Felix, Chanel West Coast, and DJ Drama, who will spin tunes and perform some of his original music. Beach lovers will find an outdoor area for related fun. There is also a dance competition, door prizes, and raffle giveaways.
Have fun away from the sun starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 1, at The Pressroom, 441 West Madison Street. General admission is $50. VIP packages start at $100. Call 602-919-9217 or visit the Facebook event page. Amy Young
Make America Dance Again
What’s almost as American as apple pie and fireworks on the Fourth of July? Dancing, that’s what.
During Tongue Tied’s Make America Dance Again party on Saturday, July 1, DJs Funkfinger and Roya will play an eclectic mix of patriotic tunes from David Bowie, Miley Cyrus, James Brown, LCD Soundsystem, Madonna, Big Country, and Kim Wilde. An “alternative facts” photo booth with Trump and Hillary masks will encourage tongue-in-cheek fun. To really show your American spirit, you can dress up in traditional red, white, and blue for a chance to win a $50 gift card.
The 21-and-over event runs from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Linger Longer Lounge, 6522 North 16th Street. Admission is free before 9 p.m. and $5 after. To find out more, go to the Tongue Tied Facebook page. Laura Latzko
Pulling anything off for a decade straight seems like a good reason to throw down.
It’s local comedy troupe Bully Mammoth’s birthday, and their 10-Year Anniversary Show is the celebratory event. They’ve performed at several area theaters and festivals and even made a movie. (It’s called #SantaScandal.) Member Ryan Gaumont tells New Times that even though it’s a party honoring their time spent together, it’s not a trip down memory lane. “This is all freshly written material,” he says. “See original members and hear some original music, too.”
Catch “a best-kept secret in town” at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 1, at Playhouse on the Park, 1850 North Central Avenue. Tickets are $12. Visit the Facebook event page. Amy Young
“Freedom Now: Jazz and the Civil Rights Movement"
This summer, Roosevelt Row jazz hub The Nash is hosting an array of classes and workshops, including the one-off lecture “Freedom Now: Jazz and the Civil Rights Movement.” Led by Chris Wells, the talk focuses on the 1960 album We Insist!: Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite and how jazz musicians got involved with the civil rights movement.
Wells will cover the history of the famed Suite and guide attendees in listening to the work at 110 East Roosevelt Street on Sunday, July 2. Admission for the event, which runs from 9 a.m. to noon, is $30. For more information and to register, visit the Nash website. Lindsay Roberts
Florida-native Trinity Taylor is one of the highlights of the ninth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. The self-proclaimed “mother-tucker of the world” is notorious for her excessive use of Botox and her impressive lip-sync performance in Episode 4. And she’s becoming an icon outside the hit VH1 reality show. Taylor was recently name-dropped on Saturday Night Live and, at the time of this writing, is one of the four finalists for the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar.” Which is why you need to see her headline Ali L’aveau’s Drag Race Pit Stop before she takes “winner place.”
The sashaying begins at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 2, at Empire Nightclub, 5030 West McDowell Road. Admission is $15. Visit the L'aveau Entertainment website for more details. Jason Keil
Raw and SmackDown Live
Colorful pyrotechnic displays will be pretty much everywhere over the Fourth of July holiday, from rockets streaking through the skies to firecrackers being set off in backyards. You can even see ’em going off inside Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street, where pyro will be used to accentuate the action and pro wrestling spectacle of the WWE.
Vince McMahon’s one-ring circus will broadcast its two biggest weekly television programs, Raw and SmackDown Live, at the venue on back-to-back nights. First up is Raw on Monday, July 3, which kicks off at 4:30 p.m. and features the latest exploits of such superstars as Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, and the fearsome Brock Lesnar, the current WWE Universal Champion.
SmackDown Live will follow on Tuesday, July 4, and include the long-awaited return of John Cena, as well as appearances by AJ Styles, Randy Orton, and WWE champ Jinder Mahal. The action starts at 4:45 p.m. Admission to both events is $20 to $115. See Ticketmaster. Benjamin Leatherman
Fourth of Zooly
When you get to gaze at a bunch of animals hanging out in their zoo digs, do you even care about fireworks?
If you do, great, because at the Fourth of Zooly evening event, you get to see both animals and colorful explosions. This holiday party includes a barbecue dinner, live entertainment, and special animal appearances. Guests gather at the back of the zoo for the last hour to take in a special viewing of the Tempe Town Lake Fireworks Spectacular.
The family-friendly fun goes from 7 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4, at the Phoenix Zoo, 455 North Galvin Parkway. Admission is $45 for adults 13 and older, $35 for kids 3 to 12, and free for those 2 and younger. Registration is needed for all ages. Call 602-273-1341 or visit the Phoenix Zoo website. Amy Young
“Border Crossings: Mexico and the American Southwest”
Once, the American Southwest was part of colonial Spain, and then Mexico. The fact’s not lost on Phoenix Art Museum, which is showing more than a dozen works that represent “a cultural conversation” between Mexico and the United States. See the institution’s “Border Crossings: Mexico and the American Southwest” exhibition from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4, at 1625 North Central Avenue.
The exhibition, which primarily includes oil paintings created between 1915 and 1960, is organized around four broad themes: women artists, landscape, indigenous subjects, and portraits.
Featured artists include Georgia O’Keefe and Diego Rivera. The show continues through May 25, 2018. It’s free with museum admission, which is $18 for adults. Visit the Phoenix Art Museum website. Lynn Trimble
Friends of Tempe Center for the Arts Fourth of July Celebration
The city of Tempe hosts an annual, lakeside Fourth of July party with a massive fireworks show. You don’t have to go there to enjoy it. Catch it from a shindig nearby.
The Friends of Tempe Center for the Arts Fourth of July Celebration offers low temperatures and gives general and VIP access to different parts of the artsy venue. The lobby and ground floor rooms are granted for the former, and the same access plus rooftop entry for the latter. Food trucks provide dining options. Guests can also purchase drinks from the cash bar.
Celebrate independence from 7 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4, at 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. General admission is $15, and VIP is $25. Call 480-350-2822 or visit the city of Tempe website. Amy Young
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Phoenix Mercury vs. Washington Mystics
It’s hard to cast a shadow over Brittney Griner, especially with the type of season the 6-foot-8 Phoenix Mercury center is having. But that’s what happens when your teammate is Diana Taurasi.
If the Mercury can finish the season with a winning record, Griner will be a serious contender for this year’s MVP honors. Meanwhile, Taurasi — never to be outdone — became the league’s all-time leading scorer this season. The feat, while rightfully galvanizing her Greatest of All Time status, has stolen some headlines from her towering teammate’s breakout year. Nevertheless, Griner and Taurasi will pack a formidable postseason punch for the Merc, should they make it there. First, they’ll have to take care of the Washington Mystics when they visit Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 5. Tickets are $7 and up. Visit the Mercury website or call 602-379-7800 for details. Rob Kroehler