21 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week
Run to Alamo Drafthouse.
March means madness here in metro Phoenix, where you can't get through a weekend without a festival or seven. And that's just the start. Here's your guide to the best things to do in the Valley this week — from a few St. Patrick's Day happenings and Art Detour to baseball and the release of Brian Jabas Smith's book.
Run Lola Run
Released in America in 1999, German thriller Run Lola Run showcased the potential of cinema in the rapidly approaching new millennium. When her boyfriend loses the cash he was delivering for a gangster, the red-headed Lola has three chances to get the money for her partner. If Lola can’t do it in 20 minutes, he will rob a grocery store. Each attempt to save her love’s skin feels like a philosophical game that deftly combines photography, video, and animation. Hitting theaters in America when moviegoers were still reeling from Keanu dodging bullets in The Matrix, Run Lola Run still holds up.
Run Lola Run screens at 8 p.m. on Monday, March 13, at Alamo Drafthouse Chandler, 4955 South Arizona Avenue. Admission is $5. Visit Alamo Drafthouse's website. Jason Keil
Rockies vs. Royals
Perhaps more so than any of America’s major sports, baseball is unpredictable. Injuries, slumps, streaks, and the rigors of a 162-game schedule in general make for a high degree of inconsistency from season to season. With few exceptions, being good one season does not ensure a team will do well the next.
In 2015, the Kansas City Royals won their first World Series championship in 30 years. The following season, they went .500. That said, terrible teams tend to stay that way for a while; look no further than the Colorado Rockies. Both teams will be looking to improve on last season’s disappointments, albeit under different circumstances. The Rockies host the Royals at Scottsdale’s Salt River Fields, 7555 North Pima Road, at 1:05 p.m. on Monday, March 13. Tickets are $16 and up. Visit the Cactus League website or call 480-270-5000 for details. Rob Kroehler
Rendering for Isabel Berglund’s Home Mask Relations community-based art project coming to ASU Art Museum’s Combine Studios Project Space.
Courtesy of ASU Art Museum
Home Mask Relations
Can knitting change the world? Once you’ve seen Danish textile artist Isabel Berglund in action, the answer might surprise you. She’s working to dissolve socioeconomic and political divisions through a community-based knitting project called Home Mask Relations.
She’ll present eight free workshops for community members during an artist residency at ASU Art Museum’s Combine Studios, 821 North Third Street, #11. Together, they’ll knit and crochet badges that Berglund and her collaborator, independent curator Elizabeth Kozlowski, will join to create a large-scale art installation representing togetherness, relationships, and home.
The first workshop happens from 1 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14, at the Combine Studios Project Space. They’ll provide the yarn, patterns, and instructions. You bring a favorite knitting needle or crochet hook. Visit ASU Art Museum's website. Lynn Trimble
Christine Dwyer as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies in the national production of Finding Neverland.
Since we are totally maxed out with man-children, thanks to one Cheeto in Chief, stories by creatives ranging from Judd Apatow to J.M. Barrie are suddenly unappealing AF. But Finding Neverland offers a different spin on the classic Peter Pan you know, love, and can no longer stand. Based on the film (now rendered unbearable as it stars real-life pirate prince Johnny Depp), the musical follows the Pan author and his friendship with a sick woman and her kids. As you might, ahem, imagine, they inspire him in more ways than one. The stage production, featuring music and lyrics by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, comes to ASU Gammage Auditorium, 1200 South Forest Avenue in Tempe. Performances continue through Sunday, March 19. For tickets ($30 to $84), see Ticketmaster. Becky Bartkowski
Wednesday Trivia Night
If you pride yourself on staying updated on the latest current events and pop culture news, a night of putting that knowledge to the test is a great way to break up the week. Make hump day more exciting by capping it off at Wednesday Trivia Night. The right answers to questions about movies and music can get first-, second-, and third-place winners some awesome prizes. Show off your smarts starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays at Carly’s Bistro, 128 East Roosevelt Street. Admission is free. Call 602-262-2759 or visit the Carly's website. Amy Young
Hear artist, storyteller, and citizen scientist Dario Robleto speak at Phoenix Art Museum during a Contemporary Forum lecture.
Imagine humans making contact with extraterrestrial life. What would we say, and how would we say it? Artist Dario Robleto has some ideas, and he’s been sharing them as part of a multinational team working on the Breakthrough Message project.
Hear him speak at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue, at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, as part of the Contemporary Forum Lecture Series. It’s a chance to learn more about Robleto’s research-driven art practice, which reflects his explorations of music, popular culture, science, war, and American history. The lecture is free, but seating is limited. And here’s a plus: Museum admission is free that day from 3 to 9 p.m., so you can enjoy several exhibitions while you’re there. Make seating reservations at Phoenix Art Museum's website. Lynn Trimble
"How Culture Affects Typography"
Think of your favorite childhood cereal’s box, your cellphone’s packaging, or the title card of your favorite TV show. You’d recognize those letters you know so well anywhere. That familiar typography is basically the brand itself. You can change the words, but using the same typeface will immediately evoke the original tidbit of well-known culture. But the relationship goes both ways. And Nikki Villagomez, graphic design and typography educator, is going to explain exactly how during her lecture, “How Culture Affects Typography.” In conjunction with AIGA Arizona, Villagomez will explore typography in Arizona and beyond, using her own and attendees’ photos, on Thursday, March 16, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Tempe History Museum, 809 East Southern Avenue. For more information on this free event, visit the AIGA Arizona website. Evie Carpenter
Ryan Marlowe stars in Billy Elliot.
Candice Thornton, Easel Photography & Video
As soon as Sir Elton John saw the 2000 film Billy Elliot, about a boy from a rough mining town who fights the odds to be saved by ballet, he knew it needed to be a musical, or so he’s told interviewers. The result, Billy Elliot the Musical, drenches us in the feels the way Oklahoma! and My Fair Lady probably did when their style was a new thing. ’Twas a good call.
The action is set during the 1984-85 coal miners’ strike in the U.K., and hopscotches from studio to home to the picket line. The play’s deeply affecting in a large auditorium, but Mesa Encore Theatre lets it shine in a more intimate space at Mesa Arts Center, in a production that closes on Sunday, March 29. Showtime on Thursday, March 16, is 7:30 p.m. at One East Main Street. Tickets are $28 to $31 at Mesa Encore Theatre's website or 480-644-6500. Julie Peterson
Crescent Ballroom takes things up a level.
Bikes, a Balcony, and Some Beers
Leave it to the crew at Crescent Ballroom to deliver on a super-straightforwardly named community cycling event. What you read is what you get with the downtown hangout’s weekly gathering called Bikes, A Balcony, and Some Beers. Every Thursday, bicyclists of all levels are invited to meet up on the hotspot’s balcony at 8 p.m. before embarking on a 45-ish-minute easygoing ride through the city. Once that’s wrapped, participants make their way back to the upper level at 308 North Second Avenue for a round (or two) of chilly brews. There’s no charge to join in the March 16 ride, but beer and burrito costs vary. For details on the event, presented by Slippery Pig Bike Shop, New Times, and New Belgium Brewing, visit Crescent Ballroom's website. Becky Bartkowski
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
A live band almost always makes a musical better, and that’s what you’ll get at Brelby Theatre Company’s mounting of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee through Saturday, April 1. The combo serves as infrastructure for William Finn’s exuberant score, which makes big production numbers out of events that may seem humdrum — but everything’s angsty and important when you’re 13, as these spellers are. (Though the actors portraying them are mostly grownups.)
The setting, bringing together six kids from different schools, inherently provides the conflict, competition, and passion that make for great theater. Plus, difficult words! The play is also funny as spit. Voluntary audience participation helps spice things up and delivers some schadenfreude, too, as you watch people other than yourself crash and burn.
Showtime on Friday, March 17, is 7:30 p.m. at 7154 North 58th Drive in Glendale. Tickets are $17 to $25 at Brelby's website or 623-282-2781. Julie Peterson
Looking for more weekend plans? Read on.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events happening in the Phoenix art and theater scene.