Need a break from the holiday grind? You're in luck. From rockstar memoirs and throwback Batman movies to a couple of chances to get outdoorsy, there's a lot to do in metro Phoenix this week. For more, see New Times' curated calendar of events.

Sebastian Bach Book-Signing
With the year coming to a close, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life finally airing, and family stopping by for the holidays, it’s not hard to feel nostalgic. And you can ride those yearnings for yesteryear all the way to Changing Hands at 7 p.m. on Monday, December 12, to meet the iconic Sebastian Bach as he discusses and signs his new book, 18 And Life on Skid Row. The memoir chronicles his life, starting at birth through the creation and demise of Skid Row, including crazy stories about touring with rock legends. Yes, it even touches on his time in Stars Hollow and on Broadway. Purchasing a copy ($27.99 plus tax) gets you a ticket to the signing at 300 West Camelback Road. For more info, visit Evie Carpenter

These days, George Takei is known as much as an internet personality and commentator as he is known for his work in the O.G. Star Trek series. His outspoken, heartfelt, and often socio-politically charged message has him calling out bigots and trolls all across the world wide web — most notably President-elect (barf) Donald Trump. However, Takei’s own story, which involves the internment of Japanese-American citizens during World War II, is just as interesting as any of his internet disses or pensive Sulu glances. That’s why you’ll want to catch Allegiance, a Broadway play based on the story of Takei’s family and their American experience, starring Takei himself. A recorded performance is screening at Cinemark Mesa 16, 1051 North Dobson Road, at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 13. Tickets ($20 for adults) and more information can be found at Heather Hoch

Phoenix Suns vs. New York Knicks
Patience is not a virtue in the NBA. Fans expect wins as much as players do; owners demand it. But the poor sod who invariably becomes the scapegoat is the coach. Halfway through last season, the Phoenix Suns sacked Jeff Hornacek. Trouble is, Hornacek was hardly the issue. Despite being the fall guy for numerous issues which should have fallen on general manager Ryan McDonough, Hornacek was a good coach and continues to be for his new employer, the New York Knicks. While they’re not world-beaters, Hornacek has helmed the revamped Knicks admirably thus far. They’ll give the Suns all they can handle when they visit Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 13. Tickets are $22 and up. Visit or call 602-379-7800 for details. Rob Kroehler

"Hucksters, Con Men, and Bamboozlers"
After an election season filled with lies and accusations, it’s helpful to have some historical perspective. Marshall Trimble, Arizona’s official state historian, has a plan for that. He’s authored more than 20 books on Arizona and the West.

During a talk at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, 3830 North Marshall Way, he’ll be sharing tales of cons and whoppers prevalent during a time when the Arizona Territory was a vast, untamed region where hucksters perpetrated get-rich-quick schemes.

Hucksters, Con Men, and Bamboozlers” starts at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14. It’s free with museum admission, which is $13 for adults. The museum is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day, so leave some time for exploring exhibitions. Visit Lynn Trimble

Hesh Sesh
Dust off that high school-era Iron Maiden shirt, skip the shower, and head over to Crescent Ballroom on Wednesday, December 14, for an event that’s part house party, part comedy showcase, and entirely metal. Produced by funnyman Erick Biez, Hesh Sesh is a comedy-centric variety show that seems more than a little nostalgic for a time when heavy metal dominated Walkman headphones. An homage to those musical enthusiasts — or “heshers” — Hesh Sesh features headliner Joe Sib, a former touring punk rocker (and co-owner of SideOneDummy Records) turned stand-up comedian. Local stand-ups Cristin Davis, Rob Maebe, and Matt Micheletti will also take the mic, alongside burlesque performances from Jae Sinclair and Anya Graves.

Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show begins at 8, at 308 North Second Avenue. For those ready to rock, tickets are $10 online or $13 at the door. Snag yours and see details at or by calling 602-716-2222. Janessa Hilliard

Tempe Holiday Lights Run
Between office parties, shopping, friends and family in from out of town, and multiple trips to the liquor store, the holiday season certainly has a way of making us feel like we’re doing a lot of running around. And one Valley business is inviting us to do some actual running around. Tempe’s Sole Sports Running Zone, 1006 East Warner Road, is hosting its ninth annual Tempe Holiday Lights Run on Thursday, December 15. Aside from allowing participants the opportunity to feel as if they’re doing something healthy before the holiday calorie binge begins, the annual 3.3-mile run features a Christmas cookie bake-off, an ugly sweater party, and plenty of winter ales and eggnog. The free event kicks off at 6 pm. Visit or call 480-522-2475 for details. Rob Kroehler

Out of the Kitchen
“Being a woman makes you incredibly funny,” says comedian Alisha Ratan. “Women are hilarious.”
Ratan is half of Overtly Sensitive: a part-improv, part-stand-up, full-feminist comedy team she performs in alongside Meredith Howell. The two produce a bimonthly variety show, Out of the Kitchen, that makes it a point to bring colorful, queer, feminist, and otherwise underrepresented voices to center stage. The showcase returns on Thursday, December 15, at the Newton.

The 8 p.m. show features stand-up comedian Sari Beliak; pop-culture painter Antoinette Cauley; the sonic stylings of laptop artist WOLFZiE; poetry and spoken word from Leah Marche, co-founder of Black Poet Ventures; and sketches from Overtly Sensitive.

Tickets ($8) are available online at or at the door at 300 West Camelback Road. VIP tickets are $15 and include a small gift. Items from First Draft Book Bar’s menu of beer, wine, and bites will be available for purchase during the show. Janessa Hilliard

Krampus: A Haunted Christmas
The holidays are a lot. While the season is mostly about celebrating, this time of year is also terrifying. Well, it is if you head to Krampus: A Haunted Christmas. The people behind 13th Floor, one of Phoenix’s best Halloween haunted houses, are taking Christmas and adding a whole lot of terror for one weekend only, starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 16. Be prepared to have all the sugar plums scared right out of you at 2814 West Bell Road. Get more information and tickets ($24.99 for general or $34.99 for a fast pass) at Evie Carpenter

Read on for theater, luminarias, and a Charlie Brown tribute.
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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
Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Janessa is a native Phoenician. She joined New Times as a contributor in 2013. You can connect with her on social media at @janessahilliard, and she promises you'll find no pictures of cats on her Instagram — but plenty of cocktails.
Contact: Janessa Hilliard
Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch
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
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble
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