Some of these same activities make up the following list of geek activities and events in the Valley this month. Highlights include Mystery Science Theatre 3000’s latest live tour snarking its way into town, a Santa-themed bar crawl, and the chance to meet the actor behind Darth Maul.
There are also puppets, cosplay events, and the chance to hang out with furry felines and fursuit fans. Read on, geek out, and have a happy holiday season.
Die Hard: A Christmas Story
Some things are inescapable during the holidays, such as Christmas music and bad Lifetime made-for-TV movies about city slickers falling in love while visiting quaint mountain towns. In recent years, it’s also become increasingly hard to avoid the pointless social media debate over whether Die Hard is or isn’t a holiday movie. While the All Puppet Players’ staging of Die Hard: A Christmas Story, a cloth-and-felt reimagining of the 1988 action flick, probably won’t sway you to either side, it’ll definitely entertain. It’s the same epic plot you remember (everyman cop versus European terrorists inside a high-tech highrise), albeit with puppets. Performances run every Thursday to Sunday evenings until December 26. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. and are only open to those 17 and older. Tickets are $29 to $81.
Libraries long have been a place to get your geek on, thanks to their wealth of lendable media and ephemera covering a multitude of subjects. So it’s only fitting that the Velma Teague Library, 7010 North 58th Avenue in Glendale, would host an event like LibCon West, an afternoon-long geek extravaganza happening from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 4. All the geeky hallmarks of a con are promised, including vendor booths, cosplayers, and crafty and geeky activities. Live entertainment will include stylish lightsaber combat by Syndicate Saber United, pirate shenanigans by the DREAD Fleet, and live music from Minibosses (video game covers) and the Phoenix Conservatory of Music (pop-cultural tunes). Best of all, almost everything takes place outdoors, which should help lessen any COVID-19 fears. Admission is free and more info is available here.
Paul ReiserGeeks are certainly no strangers to Paul Reiser. While the actor and comedian is best known for his time on Mad About You, he’s also had memorable turns in nerd-friendly projects, like the slimy and duplicitous Weyland-Yutani stooge Carter Burke in Aliens and the, uh, slimy and duplicitous Dr. Sam Owens in Stranger Things. (His roles on The Kominsky Method and The Romanoffs have also been pretty memorable.) Reiser’s also one helluva stand-up comic who gigs at clubs on the regular and is scheduled to perform a two-night stint at CB Live, 21001 North Tatum Boulevard, on Saturday, December 4, and Sunday, December 5. Performance times vary and admission is $25 (plus a two-drink minimum).
UZA MysCreation’s Christmas Haunted Attraction
Like your holidays to be more scary than merry? This two-story display and haunt created by UZA MysCreation, 2935 West Libby Street, will offer a ho-ho-horrific mix of festive revelry and bone-chilling scares from Friday, December 10, to Sunday, December 12. It will boast a Krampus theme with multiple versions of the mythical Christmas demon lurking about on both floors. Expect both thrills and chills. Hours are from 7 to 9 p.m. each night. Tickets are $10 online, $12 at the door.
Santa-Pede Bar CrawlOne of the hallmarks of the holidays in the Valley prior to the pandemic was the annual Arizona Cacophony Society’s annual Santarchy bar crawl, a one-night invasion of local drinking establishments by hordes of people dressed as Kris Kringle or other Christmas-related costumes. Since it appears the event will be on hiatus this year, the first-ever Santa-Pede bar crawl on Saturday, December 11, in Tempe seems like a worthy substitute. It’s not affiliated with the Cacophony Society in any way but will offer a similar setup and shtick to Santarchy. Participants are encouraged to dress like Santa or other festive characters and drink their way through bars like The Golden Pineapple, Monkey Pants, and Time Out Lounge before winding up at Yucca Tap Room, 29 West Southern Avenue. A collection of art cars, DJs, and bands will be awaiting them. The crawl starts at 6 p.m. and it’s free to participate (you have to pay for your own drinks, though). Full details and the route are available here.
It's Feline a Lot Like Christmas Cat ShowIf you’ll fur-give us for the bad puns we’re about to unleash, the Phoenix Feline Fanciers will put on this two-day cat show and adoption event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 11, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 12, at Mesa Convention Center, 263 North Center Street. It’s open to both cat fanciers and those who like interacting with fuzzy adorable felines. More than 40 breeds will be on display – from Abyssinians and Sphinxes to Maine Coons and Persians – with eight judging rings. Activities and competitions for more household breeds are also planned.
Looking for the purr-fect gift to spoil your fur babies? Vendors will sell everything from collars and clothing to toys, cat furniture and toys, and even jewelry. No kitten. Local adoption agencies and rescue groups will also be on hand for those who’d like to take home a new companion animal for the holidays. Admission is $10 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $7 for kids 3 to 12.