Suppose some smartypants decided to conduct a study aimed at determining the hierarchy of the days of the week, best to worst. Does anyone have to wonder where Monday would fall on that list? Easily the most reviled day of the week, Monday is defined as “fun’s over, back to work.” Fortunately, Phoenix’s hippest haunt, Valley Bar, is doing its part to give Monday a makeover with some Friday-style flair. The basement hangout has turned the most mundane day of the week into Free Game Night. Free pool, skee ball, darts, and shuffle board plus dollar-off drafts equals no excuses. The event is 21 and over. Visit www.valleybarphx.com for details. Rob Kroehler
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. New York Yankees
There’s an old saying we’re trying to recall as we look back on the Arizona Diamondbacks’ performance last month ... something about April showers? It’ll come to us. But what brought it up is the dismal showing the boys in red and black had in the month following opening day, going 12-14 against some pretty mediocre squads, mostly because they’ve been pitching as if they were in a 40-and-over softball league. Luckily the May 16 game kicks off a three-game home series against the Yankees, bottom-dwellers of the AL East, so all those April showers should lead to something nice.
See the Diamondbacks’ May flowers bloom 6:40 p.m. Monday, May 16, at Chase Field, 401 East Jefferson Street. Tickets start at $20. Visit dbacks.com for more. Zach Fowle
Variety is the spice of life, especially in the dance world. After two successful seasons performing Topia at Desert Botanical Garden, located at 1201 North Galvin Parkway, Ballet Arizona is mixing it up with a new site-specific work choreographed by artistic director Ib Andersen.
Titled Round, it’s not your garden-variety dance. Because instead of being performed on a rectangular stage, it’s been staged as a performance in-the-round – with dancers performing on a round stage, surrounded by audience members. From every angle, an illuminated desert landscape serves as backdrop.
The 1-hour performance, which starts at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17, features Andersen’s “modern ballet choreography” set to composers including Thomas Ades, J.S. Bach, Claude Debussy, and Maurice Ravel. Patrons can arrive early to purchase and enjoy a meal or bottle of wine as the sun sets.
Tickets for Round, which continues through June 4, start at $36. Visit www.balletaz.org. Lynn Trimble
"Wine with Me"
Much like Kanye disparaging freshly 30-year-olds for shopping at Forever 21, we’ve gotta say that rolling up to the checkout at Target with the two-buck chuck is not a great look when Botox is on your “to-maybe” list. Which is precisely why you should remove that sad bottle from your cart and immediately sign up for Lorenzo Mattoni’s "Wine with Me" class at Changing Hands, 300 West Camelback Road. The Wednesday, May 18, course covers sparkling wines with a lecture as well as six tastings. The $25 price tag’s a little heftier than that of your Sutter Home moscato. But you won’t walk away, um, as Yeezus would say, thirst-ay. Seating begins at 6:30 p.m. Save your spot by registering at www.changinghands.com, or call 602-274-0067. Becky Bartkowski
Plays-within-plays are fun for everyone. In Hamlet, the PWP revealed a murderer. In Curtains, at Fountain Hills Theatre through Sunday, May 22, there’s a murderer, but the terrible (on purpose) musical-within-the-musical chugs blithely along, contributing nothing but the occasional accidental and useless brainstorm to the starstruck detective.
Curtains is merely the first Kander and Ebb musical lighting up the Valley this month, but it’s the only one with additional content by Rupert Holmes, best known for the trivia-nugget fact that he wrote both "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" and "Timothy,” our favorite cannibalistic miner song. What a career!
Catch the show at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 19, at 11445 North Saguaro Boulevard. Tickets are $28 to $33 at 480-837-9661, extension 3, or www.fhtaz.org. Julie Peterson
If the force is always with you, George Lucas is your personal hero, and you’ve been waiting impatiently for something new and Star Wars related since last year’s release of The Force Awakens, we have good news.
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The documentary Elstree 1976 is the fix you need to soothe your epic-space-opera jones. It was made by Jon Spira, who is also behind Anyone Can Play Guitar, a documentary about the Oxford music scene. It was fueled by Kickstarter donations and tells the story of 10 bit players who appeared briefly, and beneath helmets and masks, in the first Star Wars film. The movie explores how appearing in the monstrous hit ended up changing the lives of these actors, many of whom still make autograph-signing appearances at events and conventions. Feed the galactic geek within at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Admission is $9. Call 602-595-9187 or visit www.thefilmbarphx.com. Amy Young
Somewhere between the lifespan of a fly (28 days for the house variety) and that of a barfly (Bukowski made it to 73) is New Times’ recurring event Bar Flies, which officially has been filling the Valley Bar basement with both people and tales from local luminaries for 11 months now. For its just-shy-of-a-year edition on Thursday, May 19, Amy Silverman’s bringing together a lineup featuring stories from Trevor Denton, Megan Finnerty, Michael Grady, Stacy Pearson, and Jarrett Williams. Which means you’ll wanna make like a fly on the wall — and maybe grab a couple drinks, too. The friends-themed reading starts at 7 p.m. at 130 North Central Avenue. For details and tickets ($5), visit www.valleybarphx.com. Becky Bartkowski