Phoenix, Halloween's nearly here. And we've already given you plans for that weekend, ways to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, and a guide to some of the Valley's scariest haunted houses. What more could you possibly want? Plans for this week? Oh... actually, that's easy. From a Hitchcockian geekout and a guide to, like, how political campaigns even work to a puppeteered adaptation of Alien, there's plenty to do in metro Phoenix  — and even more to scope out on the New Times curated calendar. Have at it.

The Sound of Music
We’ll have to settle for foothills here in the Valley, but you can bet they’ll soon be alive, because a brand-spanking-new production of The Sound of Music is coming to the Valley as part of its current North American tour. Maria Rainer, the Von Trapp family, and the rest of the sing-songy gang are coming to Gammage Auditorium, 1200 South Forest Avenue in Tempe, from October 18 through 23 as part of the theater’s 2016-17 Broadway season.

Three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien is directing this Tempe première. Tickets range in price from $35 to $150. They are available through, by calling 480-965-3434, and at the ASU Gammage box office. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. For more information, call 480-965-5062 or visit or Lauren Cusimano

Govt 101
Everyone has a political opinion, but how many people actually know how the election system works? Get educated before you step into the voting booth this year at Govt 101: Political Campaigns, a discussion group with city officials and business people at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. Panelists for this event include Catherine Alonzo, Meghan Cox, and Rodd McLeod. They will answer questions about political polls, parties, conventions, and advertisements. Learn about how campaigns are born and how candidates make it all the way to election day.

Get your politics straight at Govt 101: Political Campaigns on Tuesday, October 18 at 7 p.m. This event is 21 and over, and admission is free. For more information, visit Katrina Montgomery

"Mapping the Monochrome"
Some people think of maps as quaint objects from the pre-GPS age. But in the hands of Argentinian conceptual artist Horacio Zabala, maps are a means of exploring social-justice issues that reverberate all over the map.

See nearly 40 of Zabala’s works — including maps, monochromes, sculptures, and site-specific works created from the 1970s to today — in the “Mapping the Monochrome” exhibition opening Wednesday at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue. It continues through March 12, 2017. But there’s good reason to see it sooner.

Zabala leads a free tour of the exhibit, with Vanessa Davidson, the museum’s curator of Latin American art, at 7 p.m. on October 19. Space is limited. So while the tour is free to attend, it’s best to RSVP in advance through www.phxart.orgLynn Trimble

Explore secrets hidden behind everyday snapshots and family photos as Center Dance Ensemble performs Within the Picture Frame, choreographed by artistic director Frances Smith Cohen. It’s one of three dance works being performed for the first time during the “Masquerades” program that opens Center Dance Ensemble’s 2016-17 season at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street.

Other works being performed for the first time include 10 choreographed by Diane McNeal Hunt and Plume choreographed by Nicole Olson, who was recently named best dancer for New Times’ Best of Phoenix 2016. “Masquerades” also features Cohen’s Return of Dracula, lest you’re worried you won’t get a big enough Halloween fix this season, and performance by guest artists from Scottsdale Community College’s Instinct Dancecorps.

See “Masquerades” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 20. The show continues through Sunday, October 23. Tickets, which cost $28 for adults, are available through or 602-252-8497. Lynn Trimble

Rasheeda Speaking
Nobody’s perfect, in case you hadn’t noticed. You can be oppressed and, at the same time, obnoxious. You can simultaneously exhibit pain and privilege. Playwright Joel Drake Johnson illustrates that ambiguity in Rasheeda Speaking, a 2015 drama that continues through Sunday, October 23, at the Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 East Washington Street. Black Theatre Troupe’s production stars phenomenal Valley actors Lillie Richardson, Katie McFadzen, Joseph Kremer, and Pamela Fields. It’s directed by Matthew Wiener, who we remember fondly from Actors Theatre.

The story focuses on two women employed in the office of a successful Chicago surgeon. As Ileen and Jaclyn bump up against each other professionally, how much of the conflict is racial? Can any of it not be racial? What will happen next is, in this script, generally a surprise. For tickets, $36, visit or call 602-258-8129. Showtime on Friday, October 21, is 8 p.m. Julie Peterson

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski
Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Janessa is a native Phoenician. She joined New Times as a contributor in 2013. You can connect with her on social media at @janessahilliard, and she promises you'll find no pictures of cats on her Instagram — but plenty of cocktails.
Contact: Janessa Hilliard
Katrina Montgomery
Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson
Michael runs the Sci-Fridays Book Club at the Poisoned Pen, and volunteers at local pop-culture conventions. He can be found at the occasional prog-rock concert.
Contact: Michael Senft
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble