Happy Halloween, Phoenix. From spooky movies and storytelling to border-inspired artworks and politically charged comedy, here's how to spend your week. No tricks, just treats — which you'll find more of on New Times' curated online calendar.
Let’s face it: Most horror flicks don’t exactly pass the Bechdel test, and the virgin/whore character tropes that plague them wouldn’t be anyone’s idea of progressive. So the fact that Frank Henenlotter’s Frankenhooker hinges on dismembering sex workers in New York City to reassemble them into a vehicle for main man Jeffrey Franken’s girlfriend to be resurrected shouldn’t be shocking. If you love Henenlotter’s Basket Case and Brain Damage, this gory work of ’90s camp exploitation will be right up your alley — and hey, the film promises to serve up some terror to an unsuspecting John or two with quite the twist for Franken in the end. Equality, right? Frankenhooker screens at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street, on Halloween night (Monday, October 31) at 8:20 p.m. Tickets are $9, and you can snatch yours at thefilmbarphx.com. Heather Hoch
PoeFest: "The Raven"
Halloween is finally here. Now, what the hell are you supposed to do on a Monday night? If decorating the garage like a haunted house isn’t your style, check out Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” at the Rosson House, 113 North Sixth Street, in Historic Heritage Square.
The final event of PoeFest 2016, the classic story will be performed every 20 minutes in the grand hall from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Monday, October 31. Tickets are $10 to one of the seven performances, and include a spooky tour of the lower level of this Gothic Victorian mansion-museum.
Be sure to arrive 15 minutes before your show, which is a standing-room-only event. Find more information and tickets at poefest.org, and invite friends at www.facebook.com/events/1316297895048447. Lauren Cusimano
Never mind all those people who insist you know your place. If you’re an art buff, you’re better off knowing your Jace — as in photographer Jace Becker, who explores the ephemeral by manipulating photographic emulsion.
See a free exhibition titled “Diaphanous: Photography by Jace Becker” between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 1, at the Gallery at Appaloosa Library, 7377 East Silverstone Drive in Scottsdale.
It’s an intriguing exploration of death, birth, and renewal — as well as a few topics that are above our paygrade. Basically, it’s a mix of math, art, and chemistry that creates haunting, otherworldly images. Visit scottsdalepublicart.org. Lynn Trimble
Chatterbox Open Mic Storytelling
If the prospect of standing in front of a bunch of strangers and “speaking your truth” doesn’t make you seize up in pre-emptive stage fright (or maybe even if it does), the Chatterbox Open Mic Storytelling series is just the opportunity you need to get some stuff off your chest. Participants are invited to show up at Grand Central Coffee, 718 North Central Avenue, and sign up at the door to tell a totally true tale of life or love or whatever else might come to mind. You can get to crafting your original work of confessional exposition and bring it to Chatterbox on Wednesday, November 2, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Cover charge is $5 and the storytelling group will also be collecting food items to donate to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. For more on the an all-ages event, see www.facebook.com/chatterboxaz. Heather Hoch
Phoenix artist Annie Lopez might have more blue dresses than the Disney princess costume shop. But rather than fueling false narratives about beauty or perfection, the artist’s dresses explore some pretty hard truths about life.
Lopez couples vintage dress patterns with cyanotype printmaking, which creates images with a characteristic blue color, to make dresses out of paper, fabric, or tamale wrappers. Each dress bears images of personal artifacts, such as family photos, childhood report cards, love letters, and medical records.
Explore Lopez’s work during the free opening reception for her “True Blue” exhibition organized by R. Pela Contemporary Art, which starts at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 3, at Walter Gallery, 6425 East Thomas Road in Scottsdale. The free exhibition continues through Monday, November 28. Visit rpelagallery.com. Lynn Trimble
Pandora Festival of New Plays
More than just an internet radio station, the word Pandora has other, more historic, meanings. In Greek mythology, it’s the name of the first woman created by the gods, and it means “all-gifted.”
The radio station rocks, but we’re pretty sure the Arizona Women’s Theatre Company had the latter reference in mind when they created the annual Pandora Festival of New Plays. Now in its ninth year, this event presents staged readings of new works by Arizona women playwrights, helmed by women directors. Thursday, November 3’s shows include Alone at Last by Leslie Powell, directed by Danielle Lopez, and Heroine by Ami L. Verdugo, directed by Jenny Cohen-Sanchez. Things get theatrical starting at 7:30 p.m. in the John Paul Theatre, Building T-104, at Phoenix College, 1202 West Thomas Road. Admission is $12.50. The ages-13-and-up event runs through Sunday, November 6. Call 602-738-4597 or visit azwtc.org. Amy Young
Arizona Coyotes vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
As if the Arizona Coyotes haven’t faced enough adversity in recent years, they once again find themselves skating in the shadows to the start their season. An injury to goalie Mike Smith followed by a grueling six-game road trip has landed the ’Yotes at the bottom of their division through the 2016-17 season’s early goings. Furthermore, a team that has struggled mightily to convert Phoenicians into hockey lovers suddenly find themselves amid a fanbase that’s fawning over 19-year-old wunderkind and Scottsdale product Auston Matthews, a Toronto Maple Leaf. But the season is young, and the Coyotes have skated on thinner ice than this. A win against the Nashville Predators at Glendale’s Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue, on Thursday, November 3, is in order. The puck drops at 7 p.m. Tickets are $17 and up. Visit nhl.com/coyotes or call 623-772-3200 for details. Rob Kroehler
Marcia Clark Book-Signing
Marcia Clark may be remembered as the LA prosecutor who wasn’t able to get OJ Simpson convicted, but for the past 10 years she has moved from the courtroom to the library, penning a series of best-selling thrillers.
She visits the Poisoned Pen, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard in Scottsdale, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 3, to meet fans and sign copies of her latest, Moral Defense. Attorney Samantha Brinkman is a hard-edged defender, dispassionately working to make sure her clients walk. That changes when she gets involved defending a teenager accused of murdering her family. Soon, Brinkman is involved deeper in the case than she ever imagined.
Moral Defense is available in hardcover for $24.99. For more information, call 480-947-2974 or visit poisonedpen.com. Michael Senft
Looking for a healthy way to cope with the craziness of the current presidential election? We recommend comic relief. And lucky for you, there’s a live show that may keep you sane until Election Day.
Unelectable You is what happened when Chicago’s seminal improvisation troupe Second City teamed up with the long-running online magazine Slate. Their union resulted in a touring show that uses an unbiased axe to deconstruct the current presidential candidates, the entire election process, and the media circus that accompanies it all. Using sketch and improv comedy, music, and multimedia tools, they’ll keep you laughing while they examine what it means to be electable during an election that finds many voters choosing a candidate based on who they deem the lesser of two evils. Soak up the satire starting at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 4, at Mesa Arts Center, One East Main Street. Admission is $35 to $45. Call 480-644-6500 or visit mesaartscenter.com. Amy Young
Doc Con XIX
If you love the two-bit pulp adventures of Doc Savage, head out to the Comfort Suites, 9824 West Camelback Road in Glendale, for Doc Con XIX. Since 1998, fans from across the country have gathered in the Valley to meet, share collectibles and celebrate the legacy of Clark Savage, Jr.
Since his debut in 1933, Savage has appeared in hundreds of books, comics, and films, and will soon be returning to the silver screen with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson playing the scientist/adventurer.
The convention kicks off at 6 p.m. on Friday, November 4, with a reception, before the main events from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 5. Memberships are $30, including lunch, a raffle, and swag. For more information visit www.facebook.com/azdoccon. Michael Senft
It’s been 240 years since John Hancock put his sassy flourish at the bottom of the Declaration of Independence, so that means we’re celebrating our nation’s biduoquintaecentennial? (The coinage involves both Latin and math, so even if we got it right, we’re confused.) Celebrate by putting down the calculator and riding like Paul freakin’ Revere to Zao Theatre’s production of 1776, the neglected 1969 Tony-winning musical sausage-fest in which the Founding Fathers bicker through a sweltering Philadelphia summer in an inspiring manner.
Showtime on Friday, November 4, is 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $12 to $20, and children younger than 5 are not admitted. Performances continue at Centerstage Church, 550 South Ironwood Drive in Apache Junction, through Saturday, November 19. Call 480-924-5122 or visit www.zaotheatre.com. Julie Peterson
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"Dragons and Vines: Inlaid Guitar Masterpieces"
If you think the word “luthier” is just a misspelled version of Luther, then you’re probably not a guitarist. Luthiers are the people responsible for building the single most influential instrument in Western popular music. In fact, plenty of them are better at their job than the guitarists who wield their handiwork. Sure, their first priority is to ensure that the guitars sound amazing, but why stop there? If the musician uses the guitar to create art, then the luthier can certainly use art to create the guitar. Some stunning examples of this practice will be on display at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4724 East Mayo Boulevard, for the exhibit “Dragons and Vines: Inlaid Guitar Masterpieces.” Check it out from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 5. General admission is $20. Visit mim.org. Rob Kroehler
How did a 400-piece collection of avant-garde garments and accessories make its way from Pittsburgh to Phoenix? Very, as they say, carefully. In truth, Phoenix Art Museum’s fashion department acquired the intact archives of James and Karin Legato, owners of cutting-edge clotherie Emphatics, a mid-Atlantic shop that for decades dealt in vanguard designer duds from Thierry Mugler, John Galliano, and Alaia, among many others.
Though the store shuttered in 2013, the Legatos’ commitment to art as fashion now finds a new audience at 1625 North Central Avenue, as the museum presents “Emphatics: Avant-Garde Fashion 1963-2013.” It’s a chance to see masterfully crafted pieces from Jean Paul Gaultier and John Galliano up close in the Steele Gallery from November 6 through Monday, January 16, 2017. Hours on Sunday are noon to 5 p.m. Entry is included with $18 museum admission. For details and related events programming, see www.phxart.org or call 602-257-1880. Becky Bartkowski