The 20 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Ain't no party like a pretend yacht party.EXPAND
Ain't no party like a pretend yacht party.
Benjamin Leatherman

If variety is the spice of life, then this week in Phoenix is gonna be pretty damn spicy. Upcoming events feature taxidermy animals as art, comedian Katt Williams, Monsoon Con 2017, jazz classes at The Nash, and an adults-only animated bash at the Arizona Science Center. So many choices, so little time. For more to do, visit our curated calendar of events.

Sunset Cruise
Don’t cry if you don’t have a yacht. You can still party like you do.

Slip into some beachy indoor wear — linen pants, polo shirts, and frosty shades -— and head inland for drinking, mingling, and most importantly, the sounds of soft rock. At Sunset Cruise, DJs Dana Armstrong, Brandon McMahon, and TK Nicholson play a variety of tunes that help maintain a relaxed vibe. It’s your chance to request those Christopher Cross and Toto songs with abandon. The $5 margaritas and half-price bottles of wine also might serve as inspiration for you to channel your inner Hall & Oates from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 15, at Linger Longer Lounge, 6522 North 16th Street. Admission is free. Visit the Linger Longer website. Amy Young

Mulholland Drive
Last year’s movie musical La La Land won over audiences with a charming love story set in the City of Dreams. Fifteen years earlier, David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive also told a Los Angeles-centric romance, but no one dances on air or bursts out in song (despite an appearance by Billy Ray Cyrus). The avant-garde masterpiece, which is being rereleased with a 4K restoration, concerns an amnesiac actress investigating the circumstances surrounding the car accident she was in on the film’s iconic street. Things get weird with cowboys, ill-intentioned senior citizens, lip-synching flamenco performers, and mysterious men lurking in dumpsters. You won’t be humming the soundtrack afterward, but the film’s mysteries will continue to unravel long after the credits roll.

Mulholland Drive screens at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 15, at Alamo Drafthouse Chandler, 4955 South Arizona Avenue. Admission is $8.62. Visit the Draft house website. Jason Keil

Gabriel Rico, ODA II, 2016. Taxidermy fox, brass, branch, neon, concrete and rock, 230 x 190 x 300 cm.
Gabriel Rico, ODA II, 2016. Taxidermy fox, brass, branch, neon, concrete and rock, 230 x 190 x 300 cm.
Courtesy of Studio Gabriel Rico, Galerie Perrotin, and CALA Alliance.

“Dead, Dead, Live, Dead”
Chances are, you’ve seen artwork made of unusual materials before. But taxidermy animals take it to another level. That’s all the more reason to see “Dead, Dead, Live, Dead” at ASU Art Museum from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 15.

It’s the stateside museum debut of sculptural installation artist Gabriel Rico. The Mexico-based creative’s artful anthropological studies blend such elements as concrete, branches, and taxidermy foxes, and they’ve been exhibited in Seoul, Venice, and Mexico City. Now, they come to Tempe, thanks to a new artist residency called GDL>PHX Residencias Artísticas that supports select artists in both Phoenix and Guadalajara, Mexico, to develop new work.

Museum admission is free, and the show continues through Saturday, September 2, at 51 East 10th Street in Tempe. Visit the ASU Art Museum website. Lynn Trimble

Cheer on the Mercury as they take on the Chicago Sky.EXPAND
Cheer on the Mercury as they take on the Chicago Sky.
Barry Gossage/Phoenix Mercury

Phoenix Mercury v. Chicago Sky
While she continues to etch her name into the record books, WNBA legend Diana Taurasi is nevertheless in the twilight of her prodigious career. However — if Brittney Griner’s play this season is any indicator — when the basketball gods close one door, they waste little time in opening another. Now in her fifth year with the Phoenix Mercury, Griner is blossoming into the MVP-caliber player pundits expected her to be, and she appears poised to take the torch from Taurasi.

Luckily, the league’s greatest three-point shooter still has a few records to break, which means that the Mercury are still deadly. For now. They’ll host the Chicago Sky at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street, at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 16. Tickets are $11 and up. Visit the Mercury website or call 602-379-7800 for details. Rob Kroehler

You might want to watch your heckling.EXPAND
You might want to watch your heckling.
Derek Blanks

Katt Williams
If you love stand-up comedy shows and are proud of your mad heckling skills, you might want to think twice before opening your big mouth at the upcoming Katt Williams performance.

The comedian, who also acts and raps, does what most comedians do in a heckling situation: He uses the mic to lob a comeback that takes the heckler down. Williams, however, has been known to take it to the next level, getting into the crowd to get up close and personal with mouthy interrupters. The multitalented and funny Williams has done several stand-up specials, including The Pimp Chronicles and Priceless: Afterlife. You may know him as Money Mike in Ice Cube’s Friday After Next and Next Sunday movies. He’s hilarious. Keep your comments to yourself at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 16, at Comerica Theatre, 400 West Washington Street. Tickets are $50 to $100. Call 602-379-2800 or visit the Comerica Theatre website. Amy Young

Chat with artist Malena Barnhart at Eye Lounge on Third Friday.
Chat with artist Malena Barnhart at Eye Lounge on Third Friday.
Courtesy of Eye Lounge

“Bait and Switch”
Think stickers are just cheap, easy ways for kids to decorate their stuff? For Phoenix artist Malena Barnhart, they’re an art medium. Barnhart uses stickers, along with other elements of contemporary culture — from YouTube videos to party decorations — to explore the messages society sends women and girls about their worth.

See her unique twist on stickers as Eye Lounge, 419 East Roosevelt, presents the opening for Barnhart’s “Bait and Switch” exhibition, from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, June 16. It’s a chance to see Barnhart’s work, and talk with the artist about how and why she chose stickers as a vehicle for questioning the idea that beauty and perfection should be women’s ultimate goals.

Lest you think stickers don’t make for serious art, consider the fact that Barnhart’s work has been shown at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. “Bait and Switch” continues through Sunday, July 17. Visit the Eye Lounge website. Lynn Trimble

Exploding watermelons, Looney Tunes-inspired cocktails, and cartoonish pizza. What could be more adult?EXPAND
Exploding watermelons, Looney Tunes-inspired cocktails, and cartoonish pizza. What could be more adult?
Courtesy of Arizona Science Center

“Science With A Twist: This Animation Is Not for Kids”
On most days, kids rule at the Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington Street, and that’s usually fine with everyone. But on third Fridays, the center hosts an after-hours, 21-and-over night with a cash bar, music and dancing, and live science demonstrations — all adhering to a theme.

From 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, June 16, it’s “Science With A Twist: This Animation Is Not for Kids.” Attendees can experience exploding watermelons, sip Looney Tunes-inspired cocktails, snack on a cartoonish pizza at the Beansprouts Café, and indulge other goofballery in the name of the center’s new featured exhibit, “Get Animated: Animation Academy.”

Tickets are $12. For more details, call 602-716-2000 or see Arizona Science Center website and the Facebook event page. Lauren Cusimano

See Nicole L. Olson perform during the [nueBOX] Sizzle Series in Roosevelt Row.
See Nicole L. Olson perform during the [nueBOX] Sizzle Series in Roosevelt Row.
Erica MacLean

“Sizzle Series”
So maybe you can fry an egg on a Phoenix sidewalk this time of year. Honestly, though? Your time would be better spent exploring the local art scene, where dancers with vastly different styles are performing inside shipping-container galleries during this month’s Third Friday.

Look for the free “Sizzle Series” from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on June 16. Held in a trio of shipping containers on Roosevelt Street just east of Fifth Street, it’s an evening of art and movement presented by [nueBOX] and Rhetorical Galleries, featuring works by Valley-based choreographers Felix El Cruz, Grace Gallagher, and Jordan Daniels.

Also, look for a collaborative work by visual artist Daniel Funkhouser and dancers Nicole L. Olson and Daniels. Visit the Nue Box website. Lynn Trimble

Calling all weather nerds.
Calling all weather nerds.
Mad WX

Monsoon Con 2017
Bad weather can ruin your day — whether it’s rain at your wedding or 120-degree heat on your morning run. That is, unless you’re a weather nerd. If your head is stuck in the clouds, then you’ll be in good company at Monsoon Con 2017.

This convention brings together storm chasers, meteorologists, and weather enthusiasts to hang out and talk monsoons, typhoons, and everything in between. Catch the storm at 1300 North Central Avenue on Saturday, June 17. Doors open at 9:30 a.m., and the event starts at 10. This event is free and open to the public. Visit the Mad WX website. Lindsay Roberts

Super Indoor Custom Car Show
When Vin Diesel wraps his next Fast and Furious movie, we bet he’ll dream about the custom cars he might have seen at this year’s Super Indoor Custom Car Show at the Phoenix Convention Center, presented by In the Streets Magazine. Sure, the Acuras and Hondas the star drives in the seemingly endless movie franchise look slick on celluloid, but there’s something even more impressive about the shiny and chrome custom Cadillacs and Plymouths on full display. In addition, the show will feature bicycles, model cars, and ladies vying for the title of Miss Custom Arizona Pinup. Spectators can listen to live music or cool down in the beer garden.

The Super Indoor Custom Car Show is on Saturday, June 17, at Phoenix Convention Center, 100 North Third Street. Admission is $20. Military pricing is available, and children 12 and younger get in free. For more information, visit the Phoenix Convention Center website or call 602-262-6225. Jason Keil

Read on for more of the best things to do in Phoenix this week.



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