Nerd Culture

13 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix, January 30 to February 5

CALA presents Crossfade LAB in downtown Phoenix, featuring Julieta Venegas.
CALA presents Crossfade LAB in downtown Phoenix, featuring Julieta Venegas. Courtesy of Julieta Venegas
click to enlarge CALA presents Crossfade LAB in downtown Phoenix, featuring Julieta Venegas. - COURTESY OF JULIETA VENEGAS
CALA presents Crossfade LAB in downtown Phoenix, featuring Julieta Venegas.
Courtesy of Julieta Venegas
Cure your case of the Monday blues with a week full of things to do. This week in the Valley, the biggest golf party of the year tees off, Bar Flies returns to downtown Phoenix, and Danny Neumann's action figure Instagram project finds a place in a Scottsdale Gallery. For more options, consult New Times' guide to free things to do anytime and our handy, curated calendar of events.

Crossfade LAB
Well, January is nearly in the books, and you’ve yet to make good on your vague-yet-admirable resolution to become more interesting. No, stacking your Netflix queue with documentaries doesn’t count — especially in this sprawling metropolis of ours where there’s never a shortage of interesting things to do. For instance, this Monday, January 30, CALA Alliance (Celebracion Artistica de las Americas) is hosting its third edition of Crossfade LAB at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. The event features an “experimental conversation between Grammy award-winning Mexican musician Julieta Venegas and acclaimed Los Angeles artist Rafa Esparza” and will be moderated by 2016 MacArthur Fellow Josh Kun. Not bad for a dreary Monday. The event starts at 7 p.m., and admission is $20. Visit Crescent Ballroom's website or call 602-716-2222 for details. Rob Kroehler

click to enlarge BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Benjamin Leatherman
Waste Management Phoenix Open
If you thought the holiday season was over, we’re here to tell you that you’re not in the clear yet. Yes, the nationally recognized, major holidays have passed, but there’s still one event left in Phoenix that’s basically achieved the status of local holiday: the Waste Management Phoenix Open presented by Ak-Chin Indian Community. The Phoenix Open has become a time of celebration, when friends and family come from near and far to spend the day together, imbibe, and watch sports. That’s really all you need for a holiday, right? While the Open spans a full week and the first official round doesn’t start until February 2, you can still go out and enjoy the practice rounds and everything else the Open has to offer on Monday, January 30. Best part? Admission that day is free, and the gate opens at 7 a.m. To see the full lineup of events, check out the Waste Management Phoenix Open website. Evie Carpenter

click to enlarge Marcus Gardley wrote X. - COURTESY OF THE HERBERGER THEATER CENTER
Marcus Gardley wrote X.
Courtesy of the Herberger Theater Center
"OPUS 99"
We’re all for experiencing nature, but we are not down for experiencing bugs. Which is why we prefer to experience the great outdoors vicariously through the work of artists like Robert Rice. Rice does the dirty work, capturing Arizona’s flora and fauna with both traditional and digital cameras. Immerse yourself in a 35-year retrospective of his work titled “OPUS 99” through Saturday, March 11, at Chandler’s Vision Gallery, 10 East Chicago Street. No bug spray required. Admission is free, and Tuesday hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. See details at Vision Gallery's website or call 480-782-2695. Becky Bartkowski

More than 50 years have gone by since the death of Malcolm X. The minister and activist was assassinated by three members of the Nation of Islam, an organization he once led. A new, touring production by New York’s the Acting Company offers a closer look at the details of his life.

X was written by the award-winning poet and playwright Marcus Gardley and directed by Ian Belknap. Together, the pair utilized Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar story as the framework to bring to life details about Malcolm X, his life, and the circumstances surrounding his demise. Learn about the complex historical figure at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 1, at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Tickets are $25. Call 602-252- 8497 or visit Herberger Theater's website. Amy Young

click to enlarge See the story of the Super Neumanns. - DANNY NEUMANN
See the story of the Super Neumanns.
Danny Neumann
"The Super Neumanns"
Imagine Superman dressed in his signature blue tights and red cape, a look of unflappable determination molded into his chiseled face, about to face a job that would shake even the strongest man in the universe to his core: cleaning out the litter box. Artist Danny Neumann has Superman in this and other everyday scenes in his new exhibition, “The Super Neumanns: 365 Photos by Danny Neumann.” The show is presented by R. Pela Contemporary (run by longtime New Times contributor Robrt Pela) at Walter Art Gallery, 6425 East Thomas Road in Scottsdale. It follows the Super Neumanns, a family of custom-made action figures, in a year of their lives after they’ve moved into their new Fisher Price Dollhouse. The comedic, insightful, and incredibly detailed vignettes make these superheroes appear to be just like us … kind of.

“The Super Neumanns” opens from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, February 2. Call 602-320-8445 for more information. Evie Carpenter

Kevin Smokler's Brat Pack America
Does hearing the names Duckie Dale, Lloyd Dobler, and Long Duck Dong make you giddy with nostalgia? You’re not alone — ’80s teen flick fanatics are everywhere.

Join author Kevin Smokler to see just what an obsessed fan looks like when he visits with his book, Brat Pack America: A Love Letter to ’80s Teen Movies. The recent title explores the fictional and real towns where some of these popular flicks took place, like Back to the Future’s Hill Valley, California, and Shermer, Illinois, the setting of many John Hughes movies, including The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Smokler also fills the book’s pages with interviews with actors and loads of facts about these timeless teen classics. Geeks and goonies unite at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 2, at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road. Admission is free, but the book costs $16.95. Call 602-274-0067 or visit the Changing Hands website. Amy Young

click to enlarge TECH TALENT SOUTH
Tech Talent South
Wine & Web Design
If you follow in the steps of the great author Ernest Hemingway, you live by the mantra, “Write drunk, edit sober.” Well, we want to put a little spin on this saying, and specify it just a bit: Write code drunk, edit sober. And we’d venture to say the coders behind Tech Talent South would agree, considering they’re hosting the workshop Wine & Web Design. Even if you’ve never thought about HTML or CSS before, this two-hour workshop will give you the basic tools you need to build your own website. Plus, wine will be provided to, you know, help the creative juices flow. The workshop is on Thursday, February 2, from 6 to 9 p.m. at CO+HOOTS Midtown, 221 East Indianola Avenue. Register online through Meetup. Evie Carpenter

Read on for more things to do this week, including Bar Flies.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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
Lauren Cusimano is Phoenix New Times' food and drink editor. She is a journalist and food waste writer based in Tempe. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Contact: Lauren Cusimano
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
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young