When you aren't bingeing on candy, watching scary movies, and visiting haunted houses this Halloweek, there are plenty more options for things to do in and around Phoenix. From ballet to bike riding, here are our recommendations.
It's not hard to get into the Halloween spirit this year. Even if you're not a fan of donning a costume and gorging yourself on candy, all you really need to do is head to FilmBar, because they're screening a series of spooky movies and 1994's Interview with the Vampire is up to bat.
The all-star cast, including Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst, and Christian Slater, is just one reason to love this movie. However, in a time of glittery, pout-y Twilight vampires, it's nice to go back to the time when the blood-sucking devils were actually scary -- even if they're dressed like rich dandies in period costume.
Interview with the Vampire is screening at 7:20 p.m. Monday, October 27, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. The screening is 21-and-over. For tickets ($9) and more information, visit www.thefilmbarphx.com. Heather Hoch
Books sometimes feel like the forgotten middle child. Squished between the renown of the authors and eye-catching covers, books in-and-of themselves are too often overlooked as pieces of art. But A Buncha Book Authors is once again shining a light on this underrated art form with their 14th annual members show "Strat-o-graphic: Charting, layering and revealing the artist's book."
Juried by Scottsdale Public Art director Donna Isaac, "Strat-o-graphic" will involve Arizona State University undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, independent artists, and guest students from the University of Illinois showing off their books and the potential that books have to be art, starting Monday, October 27, at the Harry Wood Gallery, 900 South Forest Mall, at ASU's School of Art Building in Tempe. Gallery hours on Tuesday, October 28, are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is free. For more information, call 913-710-1934 or visit abunchabookartists.weebly.com. Evie Carpenter
The smell of funnel cakes is in the air and circular lights are spinning in the sky. That can only mean one of two things: Aliens are here and they're throwing a hoe-down or the Arizona State Fair is back up and running. We're going to go with the latter.
The annual event is offering up its usual assortment of rides, fried food, games, and oversized prizes as well as a wine tasting, pie-eating contest, boxing match, comic convention, and a new lineup of performances by animals, acrobats, musicians, rodeo cowboys, arm wrestling masters, monster trucks, native spirit dancers, and hypnotists. The Arizona State Fair is open Wednesdays through Sundays, now through November 2 at 1826 West McDowell Road. Friday hours of operation are noon to 10 p.m.General admission is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors ages 55 and older and children between the ages of 5 and 13, and free for children under the age of 5. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.azstatefair.com or call 602-252-6771. Katie Johnson
Russians sure know how to bum an audience out. You've got your Tolstoy, who kind of argued that happiness isn't an attainable thing, your Dostoyevsky, who kind of invented existentialism in literature, your Tchaikovsky, who created some triumphant and beautiful works but, being from Russia, led a fairly sad life, despite his success. One of the latter's most memorable works is his score to Swan Lake, which, no surprise, is a pretty sad ballet endeavor.
Based on (here we go again) Russian folk tales, Swan Lake tells the story of a flighty prince and a woman under an evil spell that, Animorphs-style, makes her a swan by day and a pretty lady by night. As with all good fairy tales, there's a way to break the evil spell, and it requires a proclamation of undying love. The prince falls for the part-time swan, but can he resist her lookalike? Take a guess, or rather a gander, as Ballet Arizona presents the classic work for the first time since 2009.
As the company's season première, Swan Lake opens at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 30, at Symphony Hall, 75 North Second Street. Performances continue through Sunday, November 2. Tickets are $25 and up via www.balletaz.org or 602-381-1096. Becky Bartkowski
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Put on your most ghoulish Halloween costume, strap on a helmet, and get on your bike, because the Life After Death Race is hitting the mean streets of downtown Phoenix and pitting racers against each other for the glory of a race win.
The second annual solo scavenger hunt and alley cat race costs $5 to enter, but you'll have eight different chances to earn a title and the prizes that go along with it. Best costume, hardest partier, and first place out-of-towner are just some of the ways to win. Since the street race takes place at night, organizers recommend participants bring bike lights and a flashlight, as well as a backpack, to complete the race and hunt safely.
The Life After Death race will be terrorizing the streets of downtown Phoenix beginning at 8 p.m. Friday, October 31. The race kicks off at Margaret T. Hance Park,1202 North Third Street, and will finish at the race's after party spot, which will be announced via the Life After Death Race II Facebook event page. Get details at www.facebook.com/theheavypedal. Heather Hoch