New Times picks the best things to do in the Phoenix area from Friday, May 13, through Sunday, May 15. For more events, see our curated online calendar.
Summer Opening Reception
Forget the country-western dance floor. When it comes to line dancing, street art is where it’s at. Consider the characteristic concentric lines used by international street artist El Mac (born Miles MacGregor, and raised on Phoenix), whose new exhibition opens Friday, May 13, at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.
The free opening reception happens that night at 7 p.m. at the museum, located at One East Main Street. One new exhibition features work by Phoenix artists Christopher Jagmin and Patricia Sannit. Another, created as an homage to arts philanthropy, includes works by several local artists including Jesse Armstrong, Carolyn Lavender, and Mark McDowell.
That same night, ticket holders can see FlaMÉXico!, which blends the powerful lines of flamenco dance with mariachi music through performances by nine artists inside Mesa Art Center’s Piper Theater. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $25. Visit www.mesaartcenter.com. Lynn Trimble
"Lit Up: Improv Performance and Workshop Preview"
There’s a funny bone in every body, and The Torch Theatre’s improv instructor (and New Times contributor) Jose Gonzalez is the man to help you find it.
As host of “Lit Up: Improv Performance and Workshop Preview,” the final installment in Scottsdale Museum of the Contemporary Art’s spring foray into funny, his live-action group of success stories will demonstrate what’s possible when you find your voice. Feeling brave? Sign up for his eight-week workshop to help you laugh with — and at — yourself, culminating in its own final performance this fall.
Laugh along starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 13, in the SMoCA Lounge, 7374 East Second Street. This free show is first-come, first-served. There will be a cash bar. For performance details, or to sign up for the workshop, visit www.smoca.org or call 480-874-4666. Janessa Hilliard
Read on for indie theater, a weekend at Arcosanti, and the return of Tracy Morgan.
Postcards from the Apocalypse
When you’re on a mountain in the middle of the world and the woman you love is at the end of the world, communication can get somewhat garbled, we would think. Not too many bars on her phone, for example, and lots of room between the lines to wait and worry.
In Brelby Theatre Company’s Postcards from the Apocalypse, Marco waits for Jenny on that mountain as he receives messages from her about the approaching catastrophes. The play features seven different types of world-ending scenario that run the gamut from nihilistic to absurd to humorous.
Showtime on Friday, May 13, is 7:30 p.m. at 6835 North 58th Avenue in Glendale. The production continues through Saturday, May 21. Tickets are $12. Visit www.brelby.com or call 623-282-2781. Julie Peterson
How do you make an otherworldly place like Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti even more otherworldly? Host a “creative experience” like FORM Arcosanti. Now in its third year, the festival includes performances by major musical acts such as Skrillex, Bill Callahan, Four Tet, and Phoenix-born Mija to name a few, as well as workshops, art installations, and discussion events. And the organizers are serious about creating a collaborative environment. Attendees have to submit an in-depth application, explaining how they will contribute to the singular experience of FORM. The result is a truly out-of-this-world experience in one of the most surreal places in the Southwest.
This year’s FORM Arcosanti will take place from Friday, May 13, through Sunday, May 15. Applications for free attendance are now closed; to attend, you must become a patron, with packages starting at $2,100. Arcosanti is located at 13555 South Cross L Road in Mayer. For more information, visit experienceform.com. Katrina Montgomery
Bonus Round Grand Opening
Back in the 1980s, video gamers used to slink away to dark, sketchy spots to get their fix of pixels and melodic blips. The current wave of barcades aren’t just retro-nostalgia; they’re genuinely a lot cooler and more comfortable places to hang out. After over a year of planning, Bonus Round opens in Central Phoenix, boasting partnerships with All About Books & Comics next door and tabletop gaming haven Imperial Outpost in Glendale, an excellent arcade lineup, and local brews (including an exclusive blonde ale by nearby SunUp Brewing). We’d stop by here to look for your favorite geeks before filing a missing-persons report.
The grand opening of the Bonus Round arcade bar is this Friday, May 13, at 24 West Camelback Road, starting at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Visit www.brphx.com. Jose Gonzalez
IN FLUX Cycle 6 Multi-City Tour
Yeah, we all dream of kicking back with a few cold ones and riding around in our own tour bus. But Scottsdale Public Art has another bus adventure to keep you busy until the roadies arrive. It’s the IN FLUX Cycle 6 Tour, which departs from Miller Plaza in Scottsdale, located at 7620 East Indian School Road, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 14 – and returns to Miller Plaza at 5 p.m. You can pop a top after you get back home.
The tour stops at new public art installations located in Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, and Chandler. Featured artists include Oliverio Balcells, Daniel Funkhouser, Danielle Wood, and John Tuomisto-Bell, to name a few. Their creations include murals, ceramics, mixed-media works, and sculpture. Tickets are $20 and include lunch. Visit www.influxaz.com. Lynn Trimble
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? In Tracy Morgan’s case, it also has seemed to make him funnier.
In 2014, the comedian and former Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock star was in a brutal traffic accident on the Jersey turnpike when the vehicle he was in got struck by a Wal-mart tractor-trailer. The accident was fatal for one of his dear pals, and for a while it appeared that Morgan himself might never be the same. The many injuries he sustained included serious brain trauma.
With a lot of medical attention and physical therapy under his belt, Morgan appears to be at the top of his game. He hosted an episode of SNL, reviving beloved characters like the not-accredited, short-tempered zoo enthusiast Brian Fellow. Now, he’s tackling stand-up at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, at Talking Stick Resort, 9800 East Talking Stick Way in Scottsdale. Tickets are $50 to $125. Call 480-850-7734 or visit www.talkingstickresort.com. Amy Young
Bombshells and Wedding Bells
Can you believe it’s been 11 seasons for the AZ Derby Dames? Those bad bitches in Arizona’s only banked track roller derby league are squaring off, and this year it’s current champions Runaway Brides versus the AZDD Bombshells.
Catch the Season 11 Championship – billed as Bombshells and Wedding Bells – on Saturday, May 14, at the Hall of Dames, 2517 West McDowell Road. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for kids 10 and under, and available at www.brownpapertickets.com. Doors open at 6 p.m., and first whistle sounds at 7 p.m.
A halftime show will debut the newest team to the AZ Derby Dames, the Doomsday Valkyries. Attendees are encouraged to bring packs of water for donation to CASS. Visit www.arizonaderbydames.com, or click “going” at www.facebook.com/events/1007512845986080. Lauren Cusimano
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Underground Publishers Convention
They say print is a dying form, but the zine community is alive and well in Phoenix. This weekend, you can experience the best of local DIY literature during the Underground Publishers Convention at Lawn Gnome Publishing, 905 North Fifth Street. This year’s iteration of the annual event is organized in conjunction with Wasted Ink Zine Distro, a relatively new zine store in Tempe. There will be skill-share activities (like learning how to use a button press) as well as a large selection of local zines for sale.
The Underground Publishers Convention is Saturday, May 14, from 8 to 10 p.m. Admission and skill-share activities are free. For more information, visit upcphx.wordpress.com. Katrina Montgomery
Pete, or the Return of Peter Pan
But we also have 21st-century Wendy and her younger brother, who were skeptical of their grandma’s stories of Neverland (you know grandmas) until they set that whole flying-boy thing in motion. Childsplay founder and outgoing artistic director David Saar directs the fantastical tale that continues through Sunday, May 22, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Tickets start at $12 at www.childsplayaz.org or 480-350-2822. Showtime on Sunday, May 15, is 1 p.m. Julie Peterson