In metro Phoenix this week, you can learn to draw a burlesque performer, test your knowledge at trivia night, party at waterpark, and experience Arab-American culture. Here's your guide. (For more, see New Times' calendar of events.)
Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School
Holy crap, is it Draw a Burlesque Performer season again already? Yes! After several years without a remote campus of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, Phoenix will enjoy the debut of a fresh iteration of the internationally popular event.
The monthly pencilfest lets a serious artist get a workout while the rest of us weirdos can draw horribly and have fun anyway, with alcohol, theme nights, live performances, and so forth at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Admission’s free and limited to folks 21 and older. On Monday, April 24, from 7 to 10 p.m., find out whether these models can hold still. ’Cause it seems as though that isn’t their specialty. Call 602-716-2222 or visit the Crescent Ballroom website. Julie Peterson
While others fret about whether they’re having a good hair day, Phoenix artist Christine Cassano is busy incorporating strands of her own locks into works of art. It’s one of many materials Cassano uses to explore ecological, biological, and technological shifts in contemporary society.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25, you can see her new solo “Black Box” exhibition at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, One East Main Street. Cassano describes it as “a piece of visual poetry about living in the afterglow of the modern era.” The free exhibit continues through August 6. Visit the Mesa Arts Center website. Lynn Trimble
DeSoto Team Trivia
Insert smart opening joke about alternative facts here. That way, you’ll be super relieved to realize actual facts still carry some weight around these parts. That is, when you consider that local bars and hangouts still host weekly trivia events for honor, accolades, and plain old fun.
Now that you’re done laughing, know that DeSoto Team Trivia happens every Tuesday at DeSoto Central Market, 915 North Central Avenue. The next one runs from 8 to 9:30 p.m. on April 25. Speak the truth to earn points, possibly prizes, and certainly some major cred from your teammates and hosts Michael and Willie. There will also be drink specials and food available for purchase.
DeSoto Team Trivia is a free event. For more information, call 602-680-7747 or see the DeSoto Central Market website. Lauren Cusimano
Chatterbox: Animal Encounters
If you’re the kind of person who practices personal narratives in the mirror just waiting for your moment to shine, the wait is over. Chatterbox Storytelling Open Mic Night: Animal Encounters offers the stage to people of all ages to share their stories of interactions with fuzzy foes and friends. Whether it’s a silly story about Fido or an epic about a shark attack, all tales are welcome.
Though anyone can participate, attendees should note that stories might have adult themes and language. Sign-up for the free show starts at 7:30 p.m.and the show runs from 8 to 10 on Wednesday, April 26. More information on Facebook. Lindsay Roberts
The star-packed 1930 film Grand Hotel was based on a play based on Vicki (née Hedwig) Baum’s 1929 novel People at the Hotel, a title that honestly doesn’t sound any catchier in German. (Though those were simpler times.) Baum, on the other hand, was a harp-
As years passed, people thought, “This thing would make a dynamite musical!” as people tend to do. And in 1989, Grand Hotel the tuner came to the stage. Fountain Hills Theater has prepared a production for your delight, including such characters as a suave super-thief, a fading ballerina, and “Flämmchen the pregnant typist.”
Showtime on Thursday, April 27, is 8 p.m. The run continues through Sunday, May 7, at 11445 North Saguaro Boulevard. Tickets are $28 to $35 at 480-837-9661, extension 3, or the Fountain Hills Theatre website. Julie Peterson
Words Within the Rhyme
In case you’re confused: Yes, there’s a clear line between rap and spoken word. The two aren’t interchangeable.The former brings musicality into the mix, using its rhythms and sounds to add emotion or power to words. Spoken word may include peripherals like music, gestures, or props. At Words Within the Rhyme, the two worlds come together in an intimate setting for an audience to get the best of both worlds.
Hosted by MysticBlu, who also performs live music on this night, the roster of performers includes Charlie West, Akreshon, Matt Haze, PK the Poet, I Dee, and special guest Val. Things get wordy at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 27, at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. Admission is $5. Visit Valley Bar's website. Amy Young
Ryan Dalton Book-Signing
Local YA author Ryan Dalton is back, albeit a little later than expected, with the second novel in his “Time Shift” trilogy, The Black Tempest. The book’s delay is not his fault, however.
Originally slated for a January release, Dalton’s career was thrown into limbo when his publisher went belly up last year with no notice. Fortunately, another publisher picked it up almost immediately, and it hits stores this week.
The sequel to 2016’s The Year of Lightning follows the adventures of teenage twins Malcolm and Valentine Gilbert as they fight supernatural evil to protect the flow of time. In The Black Tempest, they must stop the titular power, as it brings a new ice age to their hometown of Emmett’s Bluff.
On Thursday, April 27, Dalton hosts a release party at Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road, at 7 p.m. Call 602-274-0067 or visit the Changing Hands website for more information. Michael Senft
Show It! Say It! Do It!
The phrase “taking it to the streets” is about to get a new twist. That’s because Phoenix creatives Pete Petrisko and Stacey Champion are launching their latest weekend street art challenge in downtown Phoenix. It’s the second year they’ve called on artists and other community members to join them in hacking public spaces with free visual and performance art.
“Show It! Say It! Do It!” kicks off on Friday, April 28, at 6 p.m. It’s a chance to transform public spaces into expressions of protest, critique, irony, humor, beauty, celebration, subversion, and the like. Make the city your canvas, using tools such as stickers, posters, stencils, sculptures, art installations, yarn bombing, chalk art, and wheat paste. Or take your own blend of pop-up music, dance, theater, or film to the streets.
Find ideas on what to make, and where, at the Facebook event page. Lynn Trimble
Arizona Tattoo Invitational
During the Arizona Tattoo Invitational at Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel and Spa, 9495 West Coyotes Boulevard, 150 of the top tattoo artists from around the country will meet and ink prospective clients. The event offers a chance to interact with TV stars from Ink Master and Best Ink, including Anthony Michaels, Roman Abrego, Tommy Montoya, Walter “Sausage” Frank, and Joey Hamilton. The invitational will also feature a tattoo competition with categories such as best Aztec, portrait, or Asian tattoo, a pinup contest, live art demos, and an art gallery featuring work by the event’s tattoo artists.
The event runs from 3 to 11 p.m. Friday, April 28, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 30. General admission for the show is $15 per day or $25 for the weekend. The 18-and-younger set gets in free, while members of the military get a $5 off discount. To find out more, go to the Arizona Tattoo Invitational website. Laura Latzko
Read on for more of this week's best events, including Wet Electric and ZapCon.
Spring Senior Film Showcase
Some academic disciplines require you to produce a thesis and/or take a massive, skull-cracking exam to earn your degree. No one’s likely to read any of it, much less enjoy it, and maybe that’s just as well.
But in the arts, you’re more likely to demonstrate what you’ve learned with a series of paintings, an intricately designed theater piece, a solo recital, or a short film that’s taken a year or more to complete. And every year, audience endorphins pump during the screening of the Spring Senior Film Showcase on ASU’s Tempe campus. This time around, it unreels at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 28, at the Paul V. Galvin Playhouse, 51 East 10th Street. Admission is $5 at the ASU event page, or call 480-965-6447. Julie Peterson
Phoenix Grand Prix
Do you know what open-wheel racing is? It’s okay, you don’t have to be up on technical terms to watch it in person.
The Phoenix Grand Prix weekend event features open-wheel racing. You’ve probably seen the cars — they have the wheels that jut out from the auto’s body. Generally, they’re built for just a solo driver and no passengers, and they are hellishly fast. It’s a full roster of racing as the Verizon IndyCar series returns, joined by the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series, to name a couple. See prior champs like Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves whiz by from noon to 9 p.m. on Friday, April 28, at Phoenix International Raceway, 7602 South Avondale Boulevard. General admission is $20, and $5 for those 12 and younger. Call 623-463-5400 or visit Phoenix Raceway's website. Amy Young
For gamers, there are no two sweeter words in the English language than “free play.” And they’re an integral part of 2017 ZapCon Arcade and Pinball Convention, which features a weekend of free play for a multitude of classic arcade and pinball machines. And by “multitude” we mean, like, hundreds.
Highlights for ZapCon 5 include arcade games like The Simpsons, Street Fighter, and seriously, Zapcon: The Game. Pinball machines include The Addams Family, Lethal Weapon 3, Metallica, and way more. There will also be tournaments, giant NES controllers, and a Console Lounge.
ZapCon is Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30, at the Mesa Convention Center, 263 North Center Street. Doors open to game contributors and pre-registrants at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and general admission attendees get in starting at 10. Doors close at 11:30 p.m. Admission is $30 for a Saturday pass, $20 for a Sunday pass, and $40 for a weekend pass. For more information, see the ZapCon website. Lauren Cusimano
Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market
Have you recently engaged in some spring cleaning only to discover you’re ready to re-clutter your old space with a whole bunch of new-to-you treasures?
Chances are, you’ll find plenty of great stuff at the Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market. Shop among thousands of other folks seeking cool finds from the 200-plus vendors selling their vintage and handmade items. To ensure you’re energized to shop until you drop, there will be food trucks on site. Live music also will keep the mood perky. Spend your extra dollars from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, at WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 North Pima Road. General admission is $8, while early entry passes are $20 to $25. Visit Junk in the Trunk's website. Amy Young
Given the sheer dominance of the National Football League over the North American sports landscape, it’s a little surprising that arena football hasn’t gained more traction. The latter is faster-paced, higher-scoring, and played during the NFL’s offseason. What’s more, Arizona has one of indoor football’s winningest franchises in the Arizona Rattlers. In other words, if you haven’t been to a Rattlers game, you’re missing out on the Valley’s best-kept sports secret. The Rattlers host the Green Bay Blizzard at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street, at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 29. Tickets are $8 and up. Visit the Rattlers' website or call 602-379-7800 for details. Rob Kroehler
Presented by ASU Urban Arts Club, The Lavender Ball is the final night of Come As You Are — a series of events held over three days during Phoenix Pride Month. The night is “inspired by the underground ball scene often frequented by the LGBTQ community and people of color.”
The Lavender Ball will feature waacking and vogueing, as well as vogue dance battles, dance crew performances, and fashion shows. (Watch 1990’s Paris Is Burning if you have no idea what we mean. If that still doesn’t work, there’s also a CAYA Vogue Workshop.)
The Lavender Ball runs from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, at Fair Trade Café in Civic Space Park, 424 North Central Avenue. Presale tickets are $8 on Eventbrite, $10 at the door, and $5 for students when purchased from an Urban Arts Club member. See details at the Facebook event page. Lauren Cusimano
Every year, Wet Electric transforms Big Surf Waterpark, 1500 North McClintock Drive, Tempe, into a kinetic dance space. Held from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, the music festival invites attendees to dance the day (and night) away to the tune of electrifying beats from world-renowned electronic music artists and DJs.
This year’s lineup features Diplo, Borgore, AC Slater, Jimmy Edgar, Justin Jay, Wax Motif, and Anna Lunoe. The outdoor dance party experience also features waterslides, inner tubes, bikinis, and board shorts. What better way to welcome summer? Tickets start at $75. For more information, visit the Wet Electric website. Laura Latzko
Arab American Festival
The Valley is home to one of the largest Arab events in the nation: the Arab American Festival. The culture of the world’s oldest civilization takes the spotlight at Steele Indian School Park, where attendees can sample authentic cuisine, shop for unique arts and crafts, and explore a hookah lounge. Performers for this year’s event will include rap artists, the belly dance troupe Shahrazad, and Syrian pop singer Farrah Yousef, the first runner-up on the second season of Arab Idol.
The Arab American Festival takes places on Saturday, April 29, and Sunday, April 30, from 4 to 9 p.m. at Steele Indian School Park, 300 East Indian School Road. Admission is $5 from 4 to 6 p.m and $10 after 6. For more information, visit the Arab American Festival website. Jason Keil
NYC playwright and performer Taylor Mac dances on the bleeding edge of iconoclasm and relevance, creating works that shimmer accordingly. A recent show surveys 240 years of pop music in 24 hours. As Mac told the New York Times, “Look, I spent all this time in your [the audience’s] environment. Spend a little time in mine.”
Warm up for inevitable future marathons by spending time with Hir, a 2015 Mac play about a family that could be anyone’s: mom with mental illness, dad who’s had a disabling stroke, one kid who’s survived three years of combat in Afghanistan, and another kid who’s 17 and transgender.
Stray Cat Theatre’s production runs through Saturday, May 13, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Tickets for the performances at 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, April 30, are $25 to $30 ($15 to $20 for students) at 480-350-2822 or Stray Cat Theatre's website. Julie Peterson
Do your friends call you a know-it-all? Are you often frustrated with being the smartest person in the room? Get a reality check during Crescent Ballroom’s Trivia Night at 308 North Second Avenue. From 5 to 8 p.m. every Sunday, test your knowledge of random facts for a chance to win free concert tickets, bacon, and gift cards to Crescent and Stinkweeds. Even if you don’t win, you’ll get discounts on food and booze.
There’s no cover. For more information, visit Crescent's website. Lindsay Roberts
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It’s been a minute since Phoenix has had one-night-only art events popping up at boutique hotels. But a group called Herberger Arts and Design Entrepreneurship Students, a.k.a. HADES, is about to change that. They’re producing a kind of cultural mashup, featuring dance, live music, spoken word, and visual art, and calling it “No Vacancy.”
Artists curate individual shows within Found:RE Hotel, 1100 North Central Avenue, from 6 to 10 p.m. on Sunday, April 30. Small groups will take guided tours of art spaces in three hotel rooms, a poolside studio, and an outdoor pool deck area. Guests can interact with artists on site, hit the bar, and eat at the hotel’s restaurant, Match.
Tickets for the 18-and-over event are $16 for general admission, and $8 for students and ASU faculty via eventbrite.com. See the Facebook event page for more details. Lauren Cusimano