New Times picks the best things to do in metro Phoenix from Monday, May 23, to Thursday, May 26. For more events, see our curated online calendar.
Swipe Right for Awesomeness
Gone are the days of choosing a date under the harsh light of last call. Instead, we spend endless seconds swiping right or left and crafting our own appealing profiles.
Which is why you may want to update your Tinder account before Swipe Right For Awesomeness, a stand-up roast where the comics aren't the only ones being laughed at. Brave attendees will be judged by the strength of their pictures and potential matches during this panel-style dating show, hosted by comedian Erick Biez with performances from Anthony Desamito, Leslie Barton, and Josiah Osego.
Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. on Monday, May 23, at The Rebel Lounge, 2303 East Indian School Road. Tickets are $7 in advance, $10 at the venue. Details and tickets at www.therebellounge.com. Janessa Hilliard
Without sounding like a Kimmy Schmidt joke, we’d like to inform you there’s an event involving pancakes and a discussion on urban photography.
Hosted by MXD Arts, the free Post-Pancakes Salon Series is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Tuesday, May 24, at Mod, 2828 North Central Avenue.
The question for this particular edition is: "What does society's propensity for urban photo shoots mean for Phoenix?" — i.e. “What does the popularity of a neighborhood say about its cultural value as a creative place?” Throw out your piping-hot takes along with curator/consultant Kim Larkin. The best part? Pancakes will be provided. The other best part? Beer and wine will be for sale.
Yoga in the Rainforest
Yoga’s meditative component allows you to transcend your environment, which is certainly helpful when you’re in a functional but visually blah gym. Yoga in the Rainforest offers a chance to practice in a scenic and serene setting. Connect breathing and movement through a series of postures while surrounded by lush greenery and fluttery, colorful butterflies. Led by a registered yoga teacher and certified Yoga Nidra facilitator, attendees can find peace and balance through breathing and meditation techniques. All skill levels are welcome; adjustments can be made to the yoga poses as needed. Find inner peace from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24, at Butterfly Wonderland, 9500 East Via de Ventura in Scottsdale. Admission is $20. Class size is limited; call 480-800-3000, extension 207, to register or visit www.butterflywonderland.com. Amy Young
Kiss of the Spider Woman
Manuel Puig’s Kiss of the Spider Woman won a Pulitzer Prize. Those don’t come easy. Later, the novel became an ’80s movie starring William Hurt (Jesus God, what wasn’t?) that snagged several Oscar nominations — also a significant high point. In 1993, the stage musical premièred on Broadway, generating a bunch of Tony awards. Yawn.
Still, the score is by Kander and Ebb. And Scottsdale Musical Theater Company does it up right with a live orchestra, a phenomenon so rare nowadays that it’s illegal to serve in a restaurant.
The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Performances continue through Sunday, May 29. For tickets, $23 to $34, visit www.scottsdalemusicaltheater.com or call 602-909-4215. Julie Peterson
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street isn’t the easiest musical in the whole world to produce. We’ve heard that the score is challenging, and since it’s Sondheim, we aren’t surprised. The show’s terrific, though — as heart-wrenching as Romeo and Juliet with twice the gore and five times the humor, plus songs that showcase, in the case of Mesa Encore Theatre’s mounting through Sunday, May 29, some of the finest vocalists to be found on Valley stages. One should take advantage of this rare opportunity.
So what makes someone a “demon barber”? Does he give maliciously bad haircuts? Oh, honey, you have no idea. Find out at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26, at Mesa Arts Center, One East Main Street. Just — well, if you’re not ready for your kids to watch multiple throats get slashed, don’t bring them. Get tickets, $26 to $29, at www.mesaartscenter.com or 480-644-6500. Julie Peterson
Would you throw down $1,000 A day to hang around at an adult amusement park if it meant you could partake in action and adventure with robots?
Characters in the 1973 sci-fi western-thriller Westworld thought that was a reasonable price tag for a visit to Delos, the theme park that allowed them to engage in grown-up activities with androids, from gunfights to sexual encounters. Written and directed by Michael Crichton of Jurassic Park fame, the film takes a turn for the chaotic when the robots malfunction and go rogue. This decades-old look at technology is co-presented by the venue and ASU, as part of the History of the Future series, begins at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Admission is $6. Call 602-595-9187 or visit www.thefilmbarphx.com. Amy Young
No, not Pink Floyd’s racecar loving stickman. The star of Steve Hamilton’s new novel The Second Life of Nick Mason is an ex-con looking to go straight. When he manages an early release from prison, however, he’s drawn back into the underworld while trying to protect his family. The novel marks a new start for the Edgar-Award winning Hamilton as well, kicking off a new series with a new publisher.
Hamilton will talk about his latest thriller with bestselling author and Jeopardy! champion Boyd Morrison. The discussion starts 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, at The Poisoned Pen, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard. Admission is free and the novel is available in hardcover for $26. Visit poisonedpen.com for details. Michael Senft
Bar Flies Featuring The Senators
Just like superhero flicks like The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s awesome when multiple forces join together for the greater good.
In this case, that goodness comes in the form of a special edition of New Times’ monthly Bar Flies storytelling event, propelled to life by Jesse Teer, singer and guitarist of folk rock outfit the Senators, when he reached out to the Musical Instrument Museum to do a local showcase. “Instead of having a lineup of multiple bands, we wanted to bring musicians and writers together,” he says. “We reached out to Bar Flies to share the bill.” The Senators perform throughout the night, and readers Becky Bartkowski, Katie Johnson, Lauren Gilger, R. Bradley Snyder, and Jason P. Woodbury explore the theme, “The Desert is a Mix Tape,” via true stories. Tunes and talking begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 27, at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard. Tickets are $18.50 to $25.50. Call 480-478-6000 or visit www.mim.org. Amy Young
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"Phoenix Rising" After Hours
As night falls, CenPho museum-goers can get in on “Phoenix Rising” after hours. From 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, Phoenix Art Museum offers a chance to take in its exhibition of works by such artists as Andy Warhol and Claude Monet collected by Valley dwellers. Besides a case of world-class envy, attendees can hop in a photo booth, grab snacks and drinks at the cash bar, win prizes, and get a free post-show glass of wine over at Ocotillo with a flash of a PAM admission sticker. It’s bottoms up at 1625 North Central Avenue. For details, see www.phxart.org or call 602-257-1880. Becky Bartkowski