We know: The beginning of the work week sucks. But if you take a quick look at the calendar, you'll see we're off to a pretty good week of art events, sporting events, dance parties, and more. Here are our must-see events from now to the weekend.
Tonight: RuPaul's Drag Race Viewing Party @ The Rock Reality TV gets a bad rap, and usually for good reason. Fortunately for us tube-addicts, most shows aren't as ridiculous as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Sure, RuPaul's Drag Race can be pretty over the top (especially when queens imitate celebrities in "The Snatch Game"). But who doesn't love seeing an extra-fabulous Paris Hilton or a Puerto Rican queen's attempt at imitating Amy Winehouse's British accent?
The show's fifth season promises more fabulosity than ever thanks to the bevy of drag queens competing for the honor of being crowned America's next drag superstar. These fierce divas show their skills by making their own glamorous outfits, posing in photo shoots, and lip-synching for their lives -- all to hang in there for another week of the same. The Rock will celebrate the season with a weekly RuPaul's Drag Race viewing party that includes karaoke, bingo, and snacks. -- Melissa Fossum
Tuesday, April 23: "New Art in Arizona" @ Shemer Art Center Student artists should be recognized for their work. The artists whose work is displayed in "New Art in Arizona" will be. That's thanks to a scholarship awards partnership between the Arizona Artist's Guild and Shemer Art Center, 5005 East Camelback Road, where the exhibition is on view through Wednesday, May 15.
Featured artists ASU's Madison Creech, Kelly O'Briant, Heather Couch, Allyson Glowacki, and Arizona University's Jennifer Day have all developed unique approaches to their work. Day's large-scale paintings use dreams as jumping off point for her sometimes-surreal images, while Glowacki uses watercolor pencil and ink to draw animal motifs set in large white spaces. Fiber artist Creech often features migratory birds in her tapestries and wallpapers -- a connection to her military brat past. Crouch's ceramic work is informed by her interactions with the outside world recorded initially to video, and O'Briant's ceramics center on everyday objects found in the kitchen and home. -- Glenn BurnSilver
Wednesday, April 24: "Turn off the Sun: Selections from la Colección Jumex" @ ASU Art Museum It's a rare opportunity to have a peek at a world-renowned art collection. Lucky for us, ASU Art Museum curators Julio César Morales and Heather Sealy Lineberry are bringing a very special collection to our own backyard.
You might know recognize the Jumex name -- it's a juice and nectar brand that's huge in Mexico and expanding to the U.S. In addition to producing some tasty beverages, the Jumex group also collects works by emerging and established contemporary artists from Mexico, Latin America, the United States, and Europe. Morales and Lineberry selected dozens of pieces from the collection, which includes 2,600 pieces, on view at the museum through Saturday, September 7.
"Turn off the Sun" includes work by artists Doug Aitken, Alejandro Almanza Pereda (site-specific commission), Miguel Calderón, Raúl Cárdenas/Torolab, Lawrence Carroll, Mónica Espinosa, Dan Graham, Cao Guimarães, Eduardo Sarabia, Santiago Sierra, and Robert Smithson. -- Claire Lawton
Thursday, April 25: Reefer Madness the Musical @ John Paul Theater at Phoenix College That the daily 4:20 p.m. toke sessions of the San Rafael, California, teens in the 1970s eventually sparked an international movement would have terrified the church group that bankrolled the 1936 anti-pot flick Reefer Madness. The musical of the same name hits the Valley on the high holy day for stoners, Saturday, April 20.
Reefer Madness was intended to warn parents of the evils of marijuana but the overdramatic acting and implausibly heightened scenarios shotgunned it into cult classic status upon its rediscovery in the disco era. The 1998 musical by Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney raises the campiness and keeps the film's central narrator, The Lecturer, to usher in tales of the demon weed leading young lives into ruin via death, sex, and, of course, jazz music, while slyly zinging finger-wagging moralizers.Price: $20 general admission; $15 for seniors; $10 for students, faculty, staff, and alumni association members. -- Jose Gonzalez
Friday, April 26: "Luster Kaboom's FunHouse" @ Scottsdale Civic Center Library Whenever Dave Quan comes back to town, we know he's up to something creative. The artist (who goes by Luster Kaboom) moved to New York last year, but he comes back to his hometown every once in a while to paint a new mural or collaborate with old friends.
But this return trip is special for Luster Kaboom, as he's spent three weeks creating a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall installation inside Scottsdale's Civic Center Library. In partnership with Scottsdale Public Art, "Luster Kaboom's FunHouse" is a massive, interactive exhibition for all ages with a few of the artist's signature characters and some big surprises.
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The installation will be on view through Tuesday, July 30, so take the killer excuse to check out some cool art over the summer (in an air-conditioned environment -- with books!). -- Claire Lawton
Check out more things to do today (and everyday) in our Calendar section ...