New Times picks the best things to do in metro Phoenix from April 8 to 10.
Bird City Comedy Festival
Phoenix has humor, people — and the Bird City Comedy Festival is here to prove it.
The three-day fête à funny brings nationally known comedians and homegrown stand-ups together for 33 shows across six venues. The weekend’s headliners include Emily Heller, host of the Baby Geniuses podcast and guest on Conan, Beth Stelling of @midnight and Jimmy Kimmel Live fame, and former Simpsons writer-producer Dana Gould.
Starting Friday, April 8, catch All the Turquoise: A Stand-Up Show at 6 p.m., followed by an improv showcase featuring Trew Plus Two, The Neighborhood, and Judd at Space 55, 636 East Pierce Street. The Little Bird Showcase open mic takes flight at 6:30 p.m. at Lawn Gnome Publishing, 905 North Fifth Street. The Renaissance Phoenix, 50 East Adams Street, hosts back-to-back desert-themed sets: the Haves and the Javelinas at 7:30 p.m. and Gila Monster’s Ball at 10:30 p.m.
Three-day entrance is $50; Friday-only passes are $15. Individual show covers vary. See www.birdcitycomedyfestival.com for the complete schedule. Janessa Hilliard
Front Porch Pickins
Get those hamstrings ready for pickin’ season in the West Valley. Billed as “Arizona’s Largest Vintage Market,” the Front Porch Pickins Vintage & Handmade Market features 400 vendors from throughout the Southwest. That’s four-goose egg-goose egg. The indoor market offers not only antique and locally made gifts, but tons of artsy, repurposed, and unique household items. We’re talking everything from hand painted end tables to suitcases used as home décor to just about all the repurposed mason jars you can handle.
Join fellow vintage and arts and crafts fans on Friday and Saturday, April 8 and 9, at University of Phoenix Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive in Glendale. Each day runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 for early entry (it’s that good), $5 for general admission, and available at the stadium box office or www.ticketmaster.com. For more information visit www.frontporchpickins.com or call 623-298-5002. Lauren Cusimano
Where the Road Runs Out
In Where the Road Runs Out, we meet our hero George, a habit-bound scientist and academic in Rotterdam. After the sudden death of an old friend sends him deep into the African jungle, George winds up staying to operate his friend’s dilapidated field research station. New challenges and new relationships (from noxious mosquitoes to an alluring orphanage director) help him rediscover his guiding star.
The movie is the first feature film to have been shot in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and was named Best Film of the 2014 San Diego Film Festival. It screens at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street, at 7 p.m. Friday, April 8. Tickets are $7 at www.tickets.scottsdalearts.org or 480-499-8587. Showings continue through Sunday, April 10. Julie Peterson
Cactus and Succulent Society Show and Sale
This weekend, there’s an extra reason to visit the Desert Botanical Garden, and it’s not just the beautiful weather. The DBG is hosting the Central Arizona Cactus and Succulent Society’s annual show and sale at Dorrance Hall and the Boppart Courtyard. There will be potted desert plants from around the world, with a sale featuring plants and pots from Southwestern growers and artists.
The Cactus and Succulent Society Show and Sale runs from Friday, April 8, through Sunday, April 10, at 1201 North Galvin Parkway. This event will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Membership or paid Garden admission is required and ranges from $10 to $22. For more information, visit dbg.org or call 480-941-1225. Katrina Montgomery
Art and Architecture Tour
Who is Eddie Jones and why do you want to spend a Saturday with him?
He’s a prominent local architect who opened his namesake studio in Arizona back in 1979 with his brother, Neal. The Art and Architecture Tour gives you a chance to visit three different sites to view and understand architecture through his eyes. It is also a fundraiser for the ASU Art Museum, so while you’re learning about these residential and commercial structures, you’re also helping benefit the educational institution. Get inside Eddie’s head from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, at the ASU Karsten Golf Course Clubhouse, 1125 East Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe. Tickets are $125 and include lunch, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Call 480-965-5299 or visit asuartmuseum.asu.edu. Amy Young
While her fellow comedians saw their stand-up nights as the starting point for sitcoms and a spotlight on the silver screen, Kathleen Madigan took to the road and never looked back. For 25 years the comedian has rolled into a different club in a different city nearly every night, riffing on her Irish-Catholic upbringing, unpacking her drinking and gambling habits — sometimes in tales with BFF Lewis Black in tow, and never once shying away from topical controversies and issues.
She stops in Scottsdale for a set at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, at The Showroom inside Talking Stick Resort, 9800 Talking Stick Way. Tickets are $30 to $65 for this 21-and-over stand-up show. For tickets, call the box office at 480-850-7734 or visit www.talkingstickresort.com. Janessa Hilliard
"Over the Edge"
The Heard wants to be clear: It is not a history museum. Though the new exhibit on British entrepreneur Fred Harvey is definitely historic, the Heard will certainly put its unique spin on it.Come Saturday, April 9, the exhibit “Over the Edge: Fred Harvey at the Grand Canyon & in the Great Southwest” will be on view at the Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue. Focus lies on the Harvey family and company, the iconic Harvey Girls, the Santa Fe Railway, and an expansive collection of Native American artifacts used in Harvey’s day to promote travel by rail to the Grand Canyon and the Southwest in general.Fred fans can also check out the same-day panel discussion, “Mysteries of Fred Harvey” at 1:30 p.m. The talk is free with museum admission, which is $18 for adults, and features curators, authors, and Harvey specialists Stephen Fried, Kathy Howard, and Diana Pardue. Visit heard.org or call 602-252-8840 for more information. Lauren Cusimano
Eastmark Awesome Fest
Those less etymologically inclined might be surprised to learn — given, you know, the parlance of our times — that the word “awesome” used to be reserved solely for things that actually inspired awe. Which might or might not have been a good thing. Well, kudos to Eastmark Awesome Festival for doing its damnedest to reclaim “awesome” from the grubby paws of colloquialism and give it back a little gravitas… kinda. Perhaps what’s more awe-inspiring about the festival, which is chockfull of live music, amusements, and numerous family-friendly attractions, is that it’s free to all (and so is the parking). The awesomeness kicks off at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, at Eastmark Park 10100 East Ray Road. Visit eastmarkawesomefest.com for details. Rob Kroehler
Meet the Dryers
In the new play Meet the Dryers, a young introvert who’s facing the challenges of adolescence exaggerates and embellishes the happenings around his house for an online audience. Meanwhile, the glowing little screens of the Dryers’ social media activity play a counterpoint, displayed to the real audience through innovative technology. If you’ve never considered whether your SnapFace/Pintergram/Twinder habit is bigger than you are, the script will help you figure it out.
The show began as a graduate project at ASU in which stories of family dysfunction found on Reddit were used to generate a fictional family of characters. The experiment moved to Brelby Theatre Company’s ensemble workshop, where it was further whipped into shape. Showtime on Sunday, April 10, is 2 p.m. at 6835 North 58th Avenue in historic Glendale. The comedy with mature content continues through Saturday, April 30. Tickets are $17 to $20. Visit www.brelby.com or call 623-282-2781. Julie Peterson
13th Annual Polish Festival
For obvious reasons, emerging indie bands of late have abandoned those pesky vowels in favor of unprecedented amounts of successive consonants. After all, reading between the lines is a personal matter and vowels are downright bossy when it comes to guiding pronunciation. If such linguistic antagonization is hip, then consider Poland well ahead of the crv. Of course, there’s much more to the storied European nation than its uncanny ability to befuddle those of us who speak English. But don’t take our word for it. Stop by the 13th Annual Polish Festival from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 10, at Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish, 2828 West Country Gables Road, for an enjoyable taste of Poland that’s far more affordable than buying a plane ticket to a city whose name you can’t pronounce. Visit polishfestivalaz.org or call 602-212-1172 for details. Rob Kroehler
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