10 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

New Times picks the best events in metro Phoenix from Friday, August 26, through Sunday, August 28. For more things to do, see our curated online calendar.

As society approaches a normal attitude about gay people, female impersonation, and drag (which don’t require homosexuality but definitely brunch with it) continue as genres all their own. And beauty pageants, troublesome for ciswomen and everyone else, are nevertheless a natural for preternaturally dolled-up men.

The lamé and padding reach critical mass in Pageant, a show about several gals — played by guys — contending for the Miss Glamouresse title. No need to keep the layers of artifice straight (so to speak); just enjoy yourself at Arizona Broadway Theatre through Sunday, September 18. Created by Tony-nominated choreographer Robert Longbottom, Pageant’s a parody of musicals, which nowadays describes every other musical, which is okay by us.

Pick your favorites at 7:30 p.m. Friday, August 26, at 7701 West Paradise Lane in Peoria. Prices vary with demand, starting at $71 for dinner and show, or $46.50 for show only, at 623-776-8400 or Julie Peterson

Inspiración Flamenca
It’s all in the wrists — and the feet, and the rhythm. Get a taste for the local flamenco dance scene at 8 p.m. on Friday, August 26, as Julia Chacón’s Inspiración Flamenca showcases dance and music rooted in southern Spain at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $12 to $15.

The performance features five dancers, three guitarists, and two vocalists alongside musicians playing piano, flute, and percussion. Expect a mix of traditional and theatrical flamenco designed to stir diverse emotions.

Chacón, who has lived and danced in several cities including Madrid and Seville, says flamenco has been part of the Phoenix dance scene since the 1950s. For her, flamenco reflects the Valley’s own history and diversity. Visit Lynn Trimble

made. a local market
It goes without saying shopping local is a good thing, and the people at made. a local market have made it easy for you. Browse through handmade items from more than 100 local businesses at the Mesa Convention Center, 263 North Center Street in Mesa, from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday, August 26, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 27. Admission and parking are free, while early 10 a.m. admission on Friday is $5 at the door.

You can also join classes like the DIY Home Sign Workshop with Lolly Jane on Friday. On Saturday, there’s a Flower Crown Workshop with Heritage Flowers and Beehive Dance Studio’s Free Dance Workshop. For more information, call 480-390-5493 or visit See the complete lineup at Lauren Cusimano

El Che
Alberto Korda’s 1960 photo of Marxist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara became not just the iconic T-shirt of generalized rebellion, but the most reproduced photograph ever. The man behind the inspiring yet grumpy face would live another seven years, becoming increasingly famous as a leader of the newly communist Cuba. Meanwhile, if you’re pissed off by the powers that be, rather than making a fashion statement, your Che-wear probably honors his spirit.

Guevara was also a physician, author, husband (twice), and father (five times). To round out those underplayed aspects, Marcelino Quiñonez has written and stars in a new play, El Che, directed by Matthew Wiener (artistic director of the sadly defunct Actors Theatre). Check out opening night (if you can get in) at 8 p.m. at Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 North Third Street. Performances continue through Sunday, August 28. Tickets are $10 to $30 at 602-254-3100 or Julie Peterson

GasLight Circus
There’s no need for prancing elephants or tigers that jump through flaming hoops when the GasLight Circus rolls into Alwun House, 1204 East Roosevelt. Catch their family-friendly Pandorum show starting at 9 p.m. on Saturday, August 27. It’s a familiar tradition for those who frequent the art space renowned for its eclectic offerings.

Pandorum is filled with magic, juggling, acrobatics, song, and dance – featuring a sorcerer with an agenda and a stray cat. It’s all spearheaded by head clown Jero the Jester, who welcomes two new performers that night – including aerialist Cynder Monarch and Shawn Cook.

Doors open at 8 p.m., and tickets are $12 at the door and $10 online in advance. The festivities, which continue until 1 a.m., also include an art auction featuring works created with tarp, canvas, and clay by three local artists – Devon Mogel, Harley Schollenberger, and Dustin Bongiovanni. Visit Lynn Trimble

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.
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
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