11 Things to Do in Phoenix This Week | Phoenix New Times

Things to Do

11 Things to Do in Phoenix This Week

We're running out of summer, but not running out of fun things to do.
Enjoy illustrations for children's books at Scottsdale Civic Center Library.
Enjoy illustrations for children's books at Scottsdale Civic Center Library. Scottsdale Public Art
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Get Drawn In

Get drawn into the world of children’s literature in Scottsdale, where you can see works from the private art collections of two retired librarians in the “Pictures Tell Stories: Children’s Book Illustrations” exhibit in a gallery space at Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3839 North Drinkwater Boulevard, Scottsdale. It’s a great way to bring a little nostalgia to your life, rekindle some of your own memories tied to beloved books or authors, and get to know the work of accomplished artists working in the field of children’s literature. Look for work by Tempe artist Molly Idle for Flora and the Flamingo and work by Tucson artist Adam Rex for Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich. The exhibit includes illustrations from Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, Drum Dream Girl, One Night in the Coral Sea, Bedtime Bunnies, and many more. The gallery is open during library hours, which are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, August 16. Consider taking along a sketchbook and some colored pencils, in case you get inspired to draw a few of your own imaginings after seeing these whimsical works of art. Lynn Trimble

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See the Tune-Yards perform at Crescent Ballroom.
Lynn Trimble

Carry a Tune

Song meets social consciousness with the Tune-Yards, a band that’s collaborated with Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Yoko Ono, Maple Staples, and other big names in the music industry. Founder Merrill Garbus, who launched the group in 2016, writes music centered around social and political themes including the environment, feminism, and race. Tune-Yards is coming to Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 17. General admission tickets are $26; bleacher tickets are $36. One dollar from every ticket will go towards the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland, California, which seeks to counter systems of patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism through public policy that promotes dignity while providing opportunities to historically disenfranchised communities. Lynn Trimble

Phoenix Art Museum is screening films with FilmBar.
Lynn Trimble

Literary Icons

The lives of literary icons Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams come into clear focus in a film called Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation, which is being screened at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue, at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 18. Capote is renowned for writing the book In True Blood, and Williams for writing plays including The Glass Menagerie. Directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, the film features voice-over by Jim Parsons and Zachary Quinto. Of course, Parsons is best known for roles in the TV series The Big Bang Theory and the Broadway play The Normal Heart, and Zachary Quinto for portraying Spock in several Star Trek films. Recall, as you’re hearing Quinto bring life to Williams’ own words, that he gave a compelling performance in a 2013 revival of The Glass Menagerie on Broadway. The film is a singular opportunity to explore the friendship between Capote and Williams, while also enjoying their words brought to life by a pair of gifted actors. Tickets are $15. Lynn Trimble

Collage Time

Collage nights were all the rage a few years ago, when people would gather at their favorite hangouts to clip images from magazines and fold in other elements to make quirky visual mashups that reflected their unique personalities and creative impulses. It’s been a while since such things were popular, due in part to the pandemic that brought so many activities to a grinding halt. More than a year in, the pandemic has given everyone new source material for making visual testaments to their ideas and dreams. Give it a try during the Collage Mixed Media Art Night happening at Curious Nature, 5032 North Central Avenue, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 19. They’ll provide books, magazines, and other paper materials to work with, as well as basics like scissors and glue. But you can also bring your own bits of visual magic along. The class costs $10, but the therapeutic value sounds priceless. Warn your roommate or significant other before you go, though, because no magazines will be safe once you get hooked on turning them into your own works of art. Lynn Trimble

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Learn the basics of kayaking this week.
Tim Vasquez

Kayak Basics

Ever picture yourself kayaking down a beautiful river, soaking up the sun and getting that rush from being back in nature? It’s not the best hobby to just pick up and run with before you’ve got at least a little know-how, but it’s also tempting to just give up on ever trying it because you don’t know when to learn the basics. There’s happy news if you hear Arizona rivers calling your name, because Arizona Hiking Shack, 3244 East Thomas Road, offers Kayak Basic classes. This week you can take the class from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 19. It’ll leave you better prepared to launch that new hobby with new skills, and practical knowledge about everything from the gear you’ll need to the best places to kayak around the state. Everybody’s looking for fresh ways to get healthy and fit these days, and kayaking provides a fun alternative to some of those boring workouts you’ve endured through the years. Plus, it’ll give you a fresh perspective on the Arizona wilderness beyond all those urban landscapes. The class costs $20. Lynn Trimble

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Revisit Frankenstein at Mesa Community College.
National Theatre Live

Frankenstein Returns

When Benedict Cumberbatch and Johny Lee Miller took to a London stage in 2011 for the National Theatre production of Frankenstein, they played to sold-out crowds. Danny Boyle, whose other credits include Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire, directed the production, in which the actors alternate playing the lead roles of the so-called monster and the man who created him using body parts of dead people. National Theatre filmed the production for its National Theatre Live series, which means you can still experience their riveting takes on these classic roles. Mesa Community College, 1833 West Southern Avenue, Mesa, is screening National Theatre Live: Frankenstein at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 20, inside the MCC Theatre. Tickets are $15. With issues like climate change, war, immigration, and public health at the forefront of political rhetoric, it’s the perfect time to revisit this tale of the horrors wrought by hubris. Lynn Trimble

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Roman Reigns, the current, reigning, and defending WWE Universal Champion.

WWE Friday Night SmackDown

If you’re a fan of the WWE, you probably love to hate Roman Reigns. The current, reigning, and defending Universal Champion and “Head of the Table” is a cruel, arrogant, and entitled heel who rules over the company’s weekly Friday Night SmackDown show like a mob boss and feels like the world (and the WWE’s fanbase) owes him their gratitude. In other words, feel free to boo the bastard when the latest episode of SmackDown is broadcast from Footprint Center, 201 East Jefferson Street, on Friday, August 20. Reigns’ ongoing feud with WWE legend John Cena, who is also scheduled to appear, will be a focus of the program, which leads into the annual SummerSlam pay-per-view later this weekend. The latest storyline developments involving Shinsuke Nakamura, Baron Corbin, tag team champs Rey and Dominik Mysterio, and others will also be featured. The wrestling action starts at 4:45 p.m. Tickets are $20 to $65. Benjamin Leatherman

Killer Queen Burlesque Show

To paraphrase the late Freddie Mercury, Queen concerts weren’t supposed to be live renditions of their songs but instead were meant to be more theatrical events. Fittingly, the performers behind the Killer Queen Burlesque Show will embody this over-the-top spirit when they present a rock bacchanal mixing the legendary band’s music with plenty of spectacle and ecdysiast thrills on Friday, August 20, at The Duce, 525 South Central Avenue. There won’t be any dynamite or laser beams, but local musician Brandon Ridolpho will portray Mercury while a band plays Queen’s hits and burlesque dancer Monica Alexandra, aerialist Michelle Milan, and fire artist Jen Burden Blossom perform. The show starts at 10 p.m. General admission is $45 and VIP options, which include dinner and premium seating, are $75 to $130. Tickets and more info are available here. Benjamin Leatherman

Phinger Phest

Local bands tend to come and go, but the misfits of Dephinger have stuck around the Phoenix scene for more than two decades. When the scum-rock band formed back in 2000, their M.O. was to “basically to get as wasted as possible and suck” while playing bastardized arena rock badly and spewing lyrics that would make GG Allin blush. Dephinger’s changed things up over the years (including switch over to more of a punk sound, undergoing some lineup changes, and taking the occasional hiatus) but still have a yen for performing loud, fast, and obnoxious rock. They do so again during Phinger Phest on Friday, August 20, and Saturday, August 21, at Chopper John’s, 2547 East Indian School Road. Dephinger will headline both nights of the event, which will also feature sets by Phoenix Hooker Cops, Quantum Colossus, Sewer Gap, Loserfur, The Declaimed, Psycloptopus, Bee Keeper, and TV Tragedy. The music starts at 9 p.m. and admission is free. Benjamin Leatherman

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See Jennifer Bailey's artwork in "Off the Clock" at Vision Gallery in Chandler.
Vision Gallery

'Off the Clock'

Most people walk into art museums and galleries assuming that all the creativity in their midst is hanging on the walls around them. But exhibitions showing works by staffers, which happen periodically at places like Phoenix Art Museum, reveal that people working behind the scenes often spend time off the clock making their own works of art. Case in point: The new “Off the Clock” exhibit at Vision Gallery, 10 East Chicago Street, Chandler. The gallery is showing artworks by more than two dozen city employees, including Peter Bugg, Cynde Cerf, Savana Martinez, and Michaal Winer. Collectively, they work for 11 city departments. But here, you’ll get to see the art they bring to life on their own time. Like other exhibitions the gallery has presented thought the years, the show includes a fascinating diversity of medium, subject matter, and style. Admission is free. Be one of the first to give it a good look on Saturday, August 21, when Vision Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Then remember, next time you’re at a local gallery or museum, that the people you sometimes take for granted just might be among the Valley’s many talented emerging artists. Lynn Trimble

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Pam Morita will be part of this week's jam session at The Nash.
The Nash

Jam Session

The Nash, 110 East Roosevelt Street, has been bringing live jazz performance and jazz education to metro Phoenix for many years now, delivering a steady lineup of offerings for everyone from jazz diehards to the merely jazz curious. On any given day, you might get to hear a renowned jazz artist or see how music students are bringing their own flair to the local jazz scene. If you favor casual encounters with jazz, check out their Jam Session series on Sunday nights, when professional and student musicians play together unrehearsed, just letting the music happen. Jam Session: Pam Morita happens from 6 to 10 p.m. on Sunday, August 22. Tickets are $10. While you’re out and about, you can explore other offerings in Roosevelt Row, where walking just a few blocks will reward you with murals by some of the region’s best-loved artists. Lynn Trimble
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