11 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix, November 14 to 20

From book-signings and lectures to musical theater and storytelling events, there's plenty to do in metro Phoenix this week. Here's a look at some of your best bets from New Times' curated calendar.

“Boethius, Dante, and the Musico-Literary Beginnings of the First Opera"
Learn about the intersection of myth, music, philosophy, and classic literature as the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies hosts the lecture “Boethius, Dante, and the Musico-Literary Beginnings of the First Opera.”

Musicologist and medieval literature specialist Dr. Juliana Chapman, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Comparative Literature at Penn State University, presents the talk at 12:30 p.m. Monday, November 14, in Room 4403 of ASU’s Lattie Coor Hall, 975 South Myrtle Avenue, Tempe. Professor Chapman will examine fifth-century Roman philosopher Boethius’ treatises on music and their influence on Dante’s classic The Divine Comedy and Monteverdi’s Renaissance opera, L’Orfeo. Admission to the lecture is free, but RSVP is requested at Visit or call 480-965-5900 for more information. Michael Senft

Ina Garten
Ina Garten inspires an intense dedication in her fans. It might seem contradictory, given the James Beard Award-winning Food Network star’s easygoing, airy style of cooking. But it’s precisely those qualities that make her — the woman whose pitch-perfect nickname marries the regal to the carefree — feel so accessible. It’s as if you, just as easily as her husband Jeffrey, could show up at their beach house for dinner, good conversation, and a bottle of wine or three.

Expect to feel right at home when Garten visits Mesa Arts Center on Tuesday, November 15, to share behind-the-scenes stories about her latest cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey, and filming in the Hamptons. An audience Q&A will follow her moderated conversation. Attendees can preorder autographed copies of the book for $35 at and pick them up at the show. Tickets to the event are sold separately, do not include a copy of the book (but you need one to pick up a preordered book), and range in price from $41 to $77. Get yours through or by calling 480-644-6500. Becky Bartkowski

Billy Elliot
And then there are English men, who, the movies would have us believe, deal with stress by becoming wizards, strippers, or ballerinos. It’s like these people never heard of drugs! But it does make the movies interesting — and more likely to be adapted into plays. Billy Elliot the Musical brings a boy’s dreams of dance to the stage, celebrating burly coal miners, wee ballet-studying girls, and ’80s nostalgia with a gritty, glorious score by Elton John. The feel-good (eventually) tuner swept the 2009 Drama Desk Awards, scoring several Oliviers and Tonys as well.

Phoenix Theatre’s production continues through Saturday, December 24, at 100 East McDowell Road. Showtime on opening night, Wednesday, November 16, is 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $36 at 602-254-2151 or Julie Peterson

“Preservation & Teardown Culture"
Ever wished Phoenix had more respect for its own architectural history? You’re not alone, as evidenced by an upcoming gathering that’s all about building and sustaining a local culture of historic preservation.
Five professionals in diverse fields including art and architecture will consider Phoenix’s troubled preservation past and share thoughts on how the community can embrace its own history moving forward during Local First Arizona’s “Preservation & Teardown Culture.” It’s happening from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 17, at Beth Hebrew Synagogue, 333 East Portland Street.

Speakers include Michael Levine, whose local preservation projects include Beth Hebrew, Bentley Projects, the Duce, and Grant Street Studios. Tickets are $10 and are available through the Local First Arizona website. Visit Lynn Trimble

Bar Flies
Often overlooked in the repertoire of Britney Spears is the 2000 hit “Lucky,” in which our favorite ex-Louisianan sings about a “Hollywood girl” trapped in the loneliness of fame who cries, like, all the time. It’s about the unluckiness, as it were, of being perceived as lucky. In the context of Spears’ career and rocky personal life, it merits re-examining. And we can only hope that’s what one of the readers at Thursday, November 17’s Bar Flies literary reading will do, as the theme of the evening is “lucky.” None of them — including Kaila White, Zaida Dedolph, and Anwar Newton — has endured a pop-star career (that we know of), but they’ve certainly experienced luck in one form or another. Hear their stories starting at 7 p.m. at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. Tickets are $5 through Becky Bartkowski

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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
Evie Carpenter is a visual journalist. Using photography, videography, design, and sometimes words, she tells stories she hopes make a bit of difference in the world, even if those stories are in list form and include GIFs.
Contact: Evie Carpenter
Rob is a Phoenix native, husband, dad, and an active member in the local music scene. He's written original songs for feature films.
Contact: Rob Kroehler
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
Michael runs the Sci-Fridays Book Club at the Poisoned Pen, and volunteers at local pop-culture conventions. He can be found at the occasional prog-rock concert.
Contact: Michael Senft