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, September 2, through Sunday, September 4. For more things to do, see our curated online calendar

The Velocity of Autumn
If you missed Eric Coble’s The Velocity of Autumn at Theatre Artists Studio in April 2015 — well, shame on you, because it was pretty terrific. But now you can be redeemed. And if you did see it and wish you could experience it again, there’s good news for you as well. The original cast, Judy Rollings and Brad Bond, returns with a new director and designers for a production by iTheatre Collaborative.

The play about a declining painter who won’t be budged from her Brooklyn home, where she’s set up a round of Molotov cocktails, continues through Saturday, September 17, at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Tickets are $20 at www.itheatreaz.org or 602-252-8497. Showtime on opening night, Friday, September 2, is 8 p.m. Julie Peterson

Saboten Con 2016
To some, Labor Day weekend means pool parties and a day off. But to others, the end of summer is marked by Arizona’s largest anime convention: Saboten Con. Presented by Monkey Paw Entertainment, Saboten Con features a vendor hall and panel schedule, as well as a J-Fashion Show, Otaku Closet, and Masquerade costume contest. Find DJs like M-Project and Jimni Cricket, and special guests including Carrie Keranen, Ladybeard, Reika, and Corgi Cosplay. Human cosplay is also heavily encouraged for all attendees and during the Cosplay Photography Contest.

Saboten Con 2016 is held at downtown’s Sheraton Grand Phoenix, 340 North Third Street, from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday, September 2, and through Monday, September 5. Friday and Monday entry is $15, Saturday and Sunday is $25, full event membership is $50, and the $350 OtakuPass offers VIP access and early admission. For more information, call 480-428-2776 or visit www.sabotencon.com. Lauren Cusimano

2016 Muay Thai Season Finale
If you’re interested in mastering a martial art, Muay Thai (a.k.a. Thai boxing) is loaded with captivating moves. Its complexities aren’t easily mastered, so while you’re busy becoming an expert, we recomend enjoying it as a spectator, too. Attend the 2016 Muay Thai Season Finale to get an up-close look at the astute techniques used by competitors from around the globe. Known as “the art of eight limbs,” this combat sport incorporates the use of knees, shins, elbows, and fists, whereas traditional boxing utilizes the fists as the two main points of contact. Grab a seat for the action, starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, September 2, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Admission is $40 to $105. Call 480-350-2822. Amy Young

Solmaz Sharif and Danniel Schoonebeek
The University of Arizona Poetry Center’s programming makes its way up the I-10 on Friday, September 2, to present its 2016-17 reading and lecture series. Writers Solmaz Sharif from Stanford University and Danniel Schoonebeek will read from their works of poetry at 7 to 8 p.m. at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue.

Each reading will take place in Singer Hall, and feature a local poet — curated by Rashaad Thomas with support from Arizona State University’s Performance in the Borderlands Initiative — to open and warm up the crowd. A short Q&A sesh and book-signing with Sharif and Schoonebeek will follow.

As it’s First Friday, admission to the museum is free. For more information, visit poetry.arizona.edu or www.phxart.org, or call 602-257-1222. Lauren Cusimano

"Lalo and Tato"
Two names: Lalo and Tato. Followers of the Phoenix mural scene know them well. For years, artists Lalo Cota and Tato Caraveo have created street art with distinctive styles featuring subjects from cars and spaceships to skulls and surrealist faces.

Locations boasting their work include Barrio Café, Carly’s Bistro, Space 55 Theatre, and The Hive, to name a few. Chances are, you’ve seen their work while hitting Roosevelt Row during First and Third Friday art walks.

Now, they’ve collaborated for an exhibition titled “Lalo and Tato,” which opens from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, September 2, at Grand ArtHaus, 1501 Grand Avenue. The show, which includes about 20 pieces, reveals the artists’ ability to span the spectrum between street and studio settings.

“Lalo and Tato” is part of the free grand opening of Grand ArtHaus, a new artist-run working studio and exhibition space located next to Oasis on Grand. Visit grandarthaus.com. Lynn Trimble

Fetishball 2016
Showing skin is practically a requirement during the Arizona Fetish Society’s Fetishball 2016, which takes over Club Red on Saturday in Mesa.

(Almost) anything goes and everyone (18 and older) is welcome. Looking to scratch a particular itch? Visit the “Fetish Side” of this two-roomed debaucherous playground, with music by 3TEETH, The Audio Virus, Amnestic, and DJ Tristan, and live fetish performances. Have a certain kink you’re partial to? The “Kink Side” hosts public bondage and other tie-me-up opportunities to the beats of Bass Cadets, Sluggo, Nerd Rage, and DJ Sharktapus. On-site demonstrations are available on both sides, along with an array of titillating toys you don’t have to wait to get home to play with. Whether you’re kinky or just curious, you’re sure to find something.

Whips start cracking at 8 p.m. on September 3 at 1306 West University Drive. Tickets ($27) are available online through www.arizonafetishsociety.com. For details, call 602-730-1162. Janessa Hilliard

Arizona Wildcats vs. BYU Cougars Football
When the Brigham Young University Cougars and the University of Arizona Wildcats square off in the Cactus Kickoff on Saturday, September 3, neither collegiate football team officially will be considered the home team, although it’s difficult to imagine the crowd not skewing heavily in favor of the Wildcats. Then again, the East Valley can certainly feel like diet Utah at times — so perhaps the Cougars will be well represented. Either way, the Cactus Kickoff is a unique opportunity for college football fans to take in a game at the Valley’s finest facility, Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium, One Cardinals Drive, featuring two Division One teams who ain’t from around here. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $18.25. Visit www.universityofphoenixstadium.com or call 623-433-7101 for details. Rob Kroehler

"Arizona Outdoor Sculpture Showcase"
A sculpted television with no screen, three towers of stacked orbs, and an ancient god with the head of a jackal. They’re all part of the free “Arizona Outdoor Sculpture Showcase” you can stroll through from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 3, at the Shemer Art Center sculpture garden, 5005 East Camelback Road. Mary Neubauer, professor of sculpture at ASU, selected featured works created with media including metal and ceramics. The showcase includes sculptures by seven local and national artists, including Matthew Mosher, who co-founded [nueBOX] with Julie Akerly before leaving Phoenix for Florida.

While you’re there, explore pieces by artists including Patricia Sannit, Kevin Caron, and Neubauer. The showcase continues through Wednesday, November 1, 2017. Visit www.shemerartcenter.org.

Love, Loss, and What I Wore
If clothes make the woman, then of course they’re inextricably linked to what happens in her life, too. That’s the conceit of Love, Loss, and What I Wore, the stage production penned by Nora and Delia Ephron that’s based on Ilene Beckman’s autobiography of the same name. We’re of the opinion that the names we just dropped should be sufficiently convincing for you to see the Theatre Artists Studio production of the show, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, September 4. But it’s also worth noting that the work toured the globe, gained national acclaim (including a Drama Desk award), and gives us yet another reason to talk about how much we adore the late Nora Ephron. The show runs through Sunday, September 18, at 4848 East Cactus Road, Suite 406, and general admission is $25. To get yours and see details, visit thestudiophx.org or call 602-765-0120. Becky Bartkowski

Let's Go to Cuba
For the better part of a century, the United States’ relationship with Cuba has been characterized by enmity, embargoes, and staunchly opposed political ideologies. While the two nations may never become all that chummy, ’Merica has taken a softer tone in recent years. Politics aside, Americans stand to benefit from an uptick in Cuban culture influx: the food, the music, and, yes, the cigars, but more importantly, good people who don’t care to be defined by the words and actions of their political leaders more than Americans do. If an actual trip to Cuba isn’t in the cards, don’t fret. Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, is hosting Let’s Go to Cuba: A Night of Cuban Music, Food, and Drink featuring Cafe Jaleo starting at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 4. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. General admission to the 21-and-over event is $10. Visit www.crescentphx.com or call 602-716-2222. Rob Kroehler

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