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10 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

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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 www.azbroadway.org. 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 www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org. 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 www.madelocalmarkets.com. See the complete lineup at www.facebook.com/events/1539975226332877. 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 www.elchephoenix.com. 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 www.alwunhouse.org. Lynn Trimble

Filmstock Pool Party
Living in the desert means one can take a dip practically any time of the year, but pool parties tend to lose their cachet come October. Grab your bikini for some pre-Labor Day fun in the sun during the Filmstock Pool Party from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 27.

Cool off amongst fellow filmmakers, actors, and fans of the craft poolside at The Clarendon Hotel and Spa, 401 West Clarendon Avenue, courtesy of the Filmstock Film Festival — which connects audiences in the Four Corners states with independent short films.

Pool time is free, but an RSVP is required. E-mail melissa@funsizedproduction.com with your first and last name to reserve your place in the sun. Maximum of four attendees per group; first-come, first-served. Private cabanas are available until 8 p.m. Contact The Clarendon for event information at 602-252-7363 and www.goclarendon.com, or visit www.filmstockfilmfestival.com for more on the forthcoming festival. Janessa Hilliard

Chris Gall Book-Signing
Size doesn’t always equal strength or ability. In the new kids’ book, Nanobots, that is precisely the reality when a boy inventor creates his own army of speck-sized robots that have neato skills. For instance, there’s Medibot, who battles germs in order to keep the boy free from illness, while the Seekerbots stay on the hunt for other microscopic creatures. Tucson-based author Chris Gall appears to discuss this new book for kids that geeky adults will surely love, too. Gall is also the author of the Dinotrux book series, which inspired a Netflix original series. Join other humans for robo-fun at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 27, at Changing Hands, 6428 South McClintock Drive in Tempe. Admission is free; books are $16.99. Call 480-730-0205 or visit www.changinghands.com. Amy Young

Squirrel Taxidermy
If you’ve ever wanted to save a tiny animal corpse and make it your own, you might need help or you might be perfectly suited to taxidermy. This week you can find out. Join Douglas James from Frank James Artistry at Curious Nature, 5032 North Central Avenue, for a class on the historical art of taxidermy. Students will leave with a finished, fully mounted taxidermy squirrel. No prior experience necessary.
Make your own taxidermied furry friend from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 27. Class cost is $250, which covers all materials, and seating is limited to eight students. Participants must be at least 16 years old or accompanied by a guardian. For more information, visit curiousnatureshop.com or call 602-314-4346. Katrina Montgomery

Romantasy Cabaret
If you like the circus but find versions like the Ringling Brothers a little too wholesome, grab yourself a ticket to Cirque Nocturne for a different kind of three-ring fun. Join local, red-hot vaudeville troupe, Romantasy Cabaret for a grown-up circus event. This sexy spectacle is packed full of entertainment, from lowbrow comedy skits, to sultry burlesque dance acts. There’s even a raunchy ring mistress to emcee the whole shebang. This sizzling show for those 21 and older happens at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 27, at Club Red, 1308 West University Drive, in Mesa. Admission is $25 to $30. Visit www.romantasycabaret.com.  Amy Young

Phoenix Mercury vs. Los Angeles Sparks
Whether fair-weather or diehard, fans are expecting the Phoenix Mercury to hold down the court on Sunday during one of their final games of regular season. The three-time WNBA champions are ranked third thus far, so going head-to-head with the Western Conference’s current leaders, the Los Angeles Sparks, is a pretty big deal.

Mercury players Diana Taurasi, Sonja Petrovic, Marta Xargay, Penny Taylor, and superstar center Brittney Griner recently returned the Olympic break. Perhaps performing in Rio will be the boost they need to shoot for a win back home.

On the Sparks, Nneka Ogwumike is one to watch. The powerhouse forward is on the shortlist for league MVP.

Skip the sports bar and catch the action live on August 28, at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. Tip-off is at 6 p.m.; seats cost $7 to $200. For tickets, visit www.mercury.wnba.com or call the box office at 602-379-7800. Janessa Hilliard

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