10 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

New Times picks the best things to do in metro Phoenix from Friday, May 27, through Sunday, May 29. For more options, see our online curated calendar of events

9 Muses
Think back to the Homeric epics studied (or Sparknote-d) in high school and you may remember that history’s longest-winded writer was not entirely responsible for his prose.

Instead, he called upon The Muses: Zeus’ daughters and the nine divine spirits of imagination. Space 55’s own 9 Muses brings them to life onstage in an homage to artistic inspiration.

Nine performers will channel their chosen muse into original pieces featuring everything from poetry to burlesque. Clio (history) is matched with with Yarnball storyteller Chloe Brooks; Urania (astronomy) with former Trunk Space co-owner JRC; and Calliope (epic poetry) with comedian Leslie Barton. The other muses represent love and religious poetry, music, dance, comedy, and tragedy — a given when it comes to ancient Greece.

Now in its third year, the two-day tribute begins on Friday, May 27, at 636 East Pierce Street. Curtain is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10; available online at Janessa Hilliard

Bar Flies Featuring The Senators
Just like in superhero flicks, The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s awesome when multiple forces join together for the greater good.

In this case, that goodness comes in the form of a special edition of New Times’ monthly Bar Flies storytelling event, propelled to life by Jesse Teer, singer and guitarist of folk rock outfit the Senators when he reached out to the Musical Instrument Museum to do a local showcase. “Instead of having a lineup of multiple bands, we wanted to bring musicians and writers together,” he says. “We reached out to Bar Flies to share the bill.” The Senators perform throughout the night, and readers Becky Bartkowski, Katie Johnson, Lauren Gilger, R. Bradley Snyder, and Jason P. Woodbury explore the theme, “The Desert is a Mix Tape,” via true stories. Tunes and talking begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 27, at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard. Tickets are $18.50 to $25.50. Call 480-478-6000 or visit Amy Young

Phoenix Caribbean Carnival
Just because landlocked Arizona lacks sea breezes doesn’t mean we can’t get our island vibes on. The Phoenix Caribbean Carnival is a three-day celebration of the music, food, and culture of the nearly 30 countries of the Caribbean Sea. Friday starts with the International Flag Party where attendees are encouraged to don the colors of their favorite nations while dancing to soca, zouk, and dancehall riddims. Saturday’s All White Affair at Monach Theatre and Sunday’s Masquerade Street Parade and Carnival Village at Steele Indian School Park provide further opportunity to soak up the West Indies.

Phoenix Caribbean Carnival starts at 9 p.m. on Friday, May 27, with the International Flag Party at Club Palazzo, 710 North Central Avenue. Admission is $10. For more info, visit Jose Gonzalez

"The Catacombs of Professor McGee!"
Can you dig it? Phoenix artist Nathaniel Lewis just turned the gallery at Scottsdale’s Civic Center Library, located at 3839 North Drinkwater Boulevard, into the home of a fictional 19th century professor – complete with secret passageways and fantastical creatures.

A free opening reception for his exhibition “Nathaniel Lewis Presents: The Catacombs of Professor McGee!” takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. It’s a chance to don the identity of explorer, complete with library-provided field guide, while upping your local history, science, and art game.

Enter through a house-style façade, then make your way through different rooms until you reach catacombs filled with stuffed rocks and hidden creatures. But remember the wee crowd wants to have some playtime, too. So don’t hog the faux fossils, and don’t be surprised if you find a fake hot dog or two.

The exhibition continues through Wednesday, August 31. Visit Lynn Trimble

Short Shorts with Short Leash 2016
An outdoor multimedia experience, or just Short Shorts With Short Leash 2016? Let’s go with the non-pretentious one.

Hosted by Theater13, the sixth annual edition of Short Shorts is Saturday, May 28, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Stinkweeds, 12 West Camelback Road. The Medlock Plaza – better known as that parking lot back there – will act as the summer block party venue, complete with food, music (TBA as of this writing), and of course, short films. This event is free and welcomes all ages, though parking may be a little crazy.

Filmmakers had to follow only tow rules when submitting: They had to be an “Arizona native or Arizona-based filmmakers,” and the short content had to be less than 15 minutes, and “narrative, music video, documentary, experimental, commercial, etc.” So yeah, it’s going to be good.

Let these good folks know you’re “going” at For more information, visit Lauren Cusimano

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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.
Jose Gonzalez
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
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
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young