15 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix, February 20 to 26

Amelia Walsh and Stephanie Neiheisel are the brain trust behind the Marry Mart.EXPAND
Amelia Walsh and Stephanie Neiheisel are the brain trust behind the Marry Mart.
Ryan M. Walsh
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Phoenix, we planned your week so you don't have to. And, spoiler alert? It's pretty great. From theater and zombie interactions to fresh art exhibitions and a peek inside one of the Valley's best neighborhoods, you're gonna be busy. See the New Times' curated online calendar for even more ways to spend your week.

The Marry Mart
So you and your sweetheart have decided to take it beyond Facebook official and get engaged. You’re over the moon, but now the hard work begins: planning the wedding. Lucky for you, Stephanie Neiheisel of SN Makeup Artist and Amelia Walsh have created an event that won’t feel like “work” at all. The Marry Mart is a relaxed wedding planning event featuring some of the top vendors in town. In one stop, you could plan your entire wedding from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, February 20, at the Paseo, 3752 North Apache Trail in Apache Junction. For tickets ($5) and more information, visit The Marry Mart website. Evie Carpenter

Arizona Coyotes vs. Anaheim Ducks
Under natural circumstances, a contest between coyotes and ducks would be a bloody massacre — gross. But at the highest levels of the equally ferocious hockey kingdom, the pecking order falls in reverse. The Anaheim Ducks are indeed mighty when compared to our faltering Arizona Coyotes. Still, the Ducks haven’t traveled particularly well this season, hovering slightly above the .500 mark. In the meantime, the Coyotes have scavenged slightly below. Given the numbers, the Valley’s own puck-wielding pack might just stand a decent chance of replicating nature when an otherwise superior flock of Ducks visits Glendale’s Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue, on Monday, February 20. The puck drops at 7 p.m. Tickets are $16 and up. Visit the Arizona Coyotes website or call 623-772-3200 for details. Rob Kroehler

This exhibition might change the way you think about art, violence, and community.EXPAND
This exhibition might change the way you think about art, violence, and community.
Photo courtesy of ASU Art Museum.

“Ciudad Juárez Projects"
Based in Mexico City, Belgian-born artist Francis Alys decided to create an art exhibit with the people of the Mexican border town of Juárez, rather than merely making art about them. For many people, the city’s name conjures thoughts of extreme violence within a dangerous urban landscape, but Alys’ work takes a deeper look at both the place and its people.

Explore the result, an exhibition titled “Ciudad Juárez Projects,” between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21, at the ASU Art Museum, 51 East 10th Street in Tempe.

The exhibition, presented in collaboration with the Museum of Walking, includes two video works, as well as notes, maps, drawings, and photographs that illuminate Alys’ artistic process. The free exhibition continues through Saturday, May 27. Visit ASU Art Museum's website. Lynn Trimble

Start sipping chamomile now.EXPAND
Start sipping chamomile now.
20th Century Fox

Big Gay Singalong: Moulin Rouge!
Like your romance dramas with extra debauchery, à la sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll? Here’s a don’t-miss cinematic shindig. Best part? You get to belt out the tunes right along with the film.

At Big Gay Singalong: Moulin Rouge!, attendees get vocal during a screening of director Baz Luhrmann’s decadent period piece set at the legendary French cabaret. Just like in his version of Romeo and Juliet, Luhrmann blends in contemporary pop music — this time, it’s acts like Nirvana and Queen. Dress up, too, as costumes are encouraged. Drink specials and prizes will be given away before the movie. Channel your inner Cobain at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 22, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Admission is $14. Call 602-595- 9187 or visit FilmBar's website. Amy Young

Get the lowdown on fence posts at Scottsdale Museum of the West.EXPAND
Get the lowdown on fence posts at Scottsdale Museum of the West.
Joe Jeffrey

“Between You, Me, and the Fencepost”
Joe Jeffrey has a thing for fence posts. It’s rooted in his upbringing on a Nebraska ranch and attendance at a one-room schoolhouse in a part of the country where fence posts are common and have some intriguing variations in form and function.

Today, Jeffrey is something of a fence post evangelist, eager to share his treasure trove of fence post photographs and lore. Gather round for his fence post tales when Scottsdale Museum of the West, 3830 North Marshall Way, presents “Between You, Me, and the Fencepost” at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, February 22. It’s free with museum admission, which is $13 for adults and gets you into an intriguing assortment of exhibitions where you’ll spot fence posts that have made their way into fine art. Visit Scottsdale Museum of the West's website. Lynn Trimble

Moonflower by Lee Yun Qin is one of several light-based artworks coming to Canal Convergence 2017.EXPAND
Moonflower by Lee Yun Qin is one of several light-based artworks coming to Canal Convergence 2017.
Courtesy of Scottsdale Public Art

Canal Convergence
It’s all about water, art, and light as Scottsdale Arts presents its four-day Canal Convergence festival along the Scottsdale Waterfront, between Scottsdale Road and Goldwater Boulevard. Show up any time between 4 and 10 p.m. from Thursday, February 23, through Sunday, February 26, to enjoy light-based art installations and an eclectic mix of visual art, dance, music, poetry, and film. This year’s lineup includes local, national, and international artists.

Highlights include live Canal Creatures painting by Phoenix muralists Isaac Caruso and Ashley Macias, a Walk on the Wild Side with ASU’s Museum of Walking and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Four Chambers poetry readings inspired by Canal Convergence art installations, and a Night Lights bike ride. You’ll pay $10 for Conversation with the Artist events, but most of the other offerings (aside from food, drink, and shopping) are free. So get ready to make some serious light moves. Visit Scottsdale Public Art online for details, including daily schedules. Lynn Trimble

If your friends hate listening to tunes with you because you never stop spouting trivia tidbits, we know about an evening out where your constant chatter might earn you some goodies.

Get a team together to compete at DJingo on Thursday, February 23. The event, hosted by DJ Heimbuck and Compton, lets you drop knowledge during five rounds of competitive music trivia. This game is played bingo-style; you and your team answer questions while trying to connect a bingo on your card. Prizes include concert tickets, gift certificates, and vinyl. Sign up to show off at 6 p.m. The first round starts at 7 sharp at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Street. Admission is $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Call 602-716- 2222 or visit Crescent Ballroom's website. Amy Young

The PVCC at Black Mountain Star Party this month is Thursday, February 23.
The PVCC at Black Mountain Star Party this month is Thursday, February 23.
Allexxandar/ Shutterstock, Inc.

Public Star Party
Part of the 2017 Arizona SciTech Festival, the Public Star Party is held weekly at the Black Mountain campus of Paradise Valley Community College, 34250 North 60th Street in Scottsdale.

Attendees can peep the night skies from 7 to 10 p.m. on Thursday, February 23, through high-power telescopes with the assistance of the Phoenix Astronomical Society. Events are a partnership between the society and the college’s astronomy faculty.

RSVPs are requested by e-mailing events@pasaz.org to ensure there are enough telescopes for everyone. Star parties are free and open to the public. For more information, call 602-561-5398 or see Paradise Valley Community College's website. Lauren Cusimano

Read on for a zombie apocalypse, a home tour, and a serious throwback Saturday.

Get ready to run, y'all.
Get ready to run, y'all.
Courtesy of Zombie Apocalypse Live, Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group

Zombie Apocalypse Live
For those who tuned in to the mid-season return of The Walking Dead and have been anxiously awaiting every new episode, here’s another zombie-related activity to help you pass the time until Sunday nights.

On Friday, February 24, and Saturday, February 25, Zombie Apocalypse Live takes over Fear Farm in west Phoenix, bringing with it truckloads of the undead, a military-style arsenal, and expertly designed sets that look straight out of an AMC backlot. Participants choose between Recruit, Special Ops, or Elite Special Ops packages ($29.99 to $49.99) featuring infrared laser-fitted weapons and multiple rounds, but the mission remains the same: Shoot zombies.

Take out the undead before they take over you at 2209 North 99th Avenue. Entrance times start at 7 p.m. through the weekend. Sessions begin every half hour; the last admission time is 11:30 p.m. on both days. (Some times may vary per mission selection.) See more at the Zombie Apocalypse website. Janessa Hilliard

Erika Thomas Book-Signing
Next time you slather creamy foundation across your face, you might want to give a nod to Max Factor, one of the cosmetics industry’s pioneers.

As Erika Thomas will explain when she visits with her biography on the man, Max Factor and Hollywood: A Glamorous History, the wig maker and cosmetician hit Hollywood in the early 1900s and revolutionized the industry. He helped face makeup transition from stage to screen, and subsequently inspired its everyday use. She also discusses some of the iconic looks, still revered today, that Factor helped create. Learn about this grandfather of glamour at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 24, at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road. Admission is free, but the book costs $21.99. Call 602-274- 0067 or visit Changing Hands website. Amy Young

Brush with greatness: Sunday in the Park with George is a model musical.EXPAND
Brush with greatness: Sunday in the Park with George is a model musical.
Moran Imaging

Sunday in the Park with George
The drama jury for the Pulitzer Prize, not to mention the power-mad trustees of Columbia University who oversee the whole thing, don’t even see fit to award the prize for Drama every year. And when they do, they’ve honored a musical only nine times in 99 years.

Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s 1984 Sunday in the Park with George is one of those lucky shows. It takes some kind of genius to build a play around 1880s French painter Georges Seurat and have it wind up as something most people can enjoy. Combine that with a kickass score and Philip Fazio’s usual inspirational, seamless direction, and we’re into our black pants and halfway to the car.

Theater Works’ production continues through Sunday, March 5, at 8355 West Peoria Avenue in Peoria. Showtime on Friday, February 24, is 7:30 p.m. Tickets, $14 to $36, are available at 623-815-7930 or Theater Works' website. Julie Peterson

Twig the Fairy's den was quite magical.EXPAND
Twig the Fairy's den was quite magical.
Melissa Fossum

Arizona Renaissance Festival
We spend many weekends in the desert, wandering around in the sun and drinking, so the 29th annual Arizona Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace, east of Gold Canyon Golf Resort off the Superstition Freeway, is definitely our cup of mead. Not that we’re recommending roaming the place blind drunk — be a good neighbor, y’know? But frolicsome leisure rules the day, with entertainment, artisans’ wares, and somewhat authentic vittles and bevvies around every corner. You really oughta plunge into this thing at least once in your life.

Hours on Saturday, February 25, are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Fest continues through Sunday, April 2. Admission is $11 to $24 and free for children younger than 5. Call 520-463-2600 for more information or visit the Ren Fest website. Julie Peterson

Chris Rock
The path to success is a difficult one for stand-up comedians. Toeing the line between poignant social commentary and humor without being so incendiary as to alienate oneself can’t be easy. Now, imagine executing that task as one of the most popular black comedians in the world. If anything, the outspokenness of black comedians today is a testament to brave performers who came before, using laughter as a litmus test for social awareness. Without Redd Foxx there could not have been Richard Pryor, and so on. Chris Rock, whose material stands on the shoulders of these giants, is as forthright and as funny as they come. See for yourself when he visits Comerica Theatre, 400 West Washington Street, for his Total Blackout Tour on Saturday, February 25, at 7 and 10 p.m. Tickets are $49 and up. Visit Chris Rock's website or call 602-379-2800 for details. Rob Kroehler

Photograph 51
Commercials for DNA testing are everywhere. Pinning our ancestors to a particular scrap of land might not be what early researchers envisioned, but whatever keeps science in the forefront is, perhaps, a good thing.
Back in the 1950s, British scientists James Watson and Francis Crick achieved modest fame for their work discovering DNA’s molecular structure. They later received a Nobel Prize, and most likely would have shared it with the late Rosalind Franklin, whose X-ray image of the stuff revealed its trademark double helix.

Southwest Shakespeare Company’s production of Photograph 51, which highlights Franklin’s overlooked contributions, continues through Saturday, March 11, at Mesa Arts Center, One East Main Street. Showtime’s at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 25. Tickets are $15 to $44 at 480-644-6500 or Southwest Shakespeare's website. Julie Peterson

Home, sweet someone else's home.EXPAND
Home, sweet someone else's home.
Courtesy of the Coronado Neighborhood Association

2017 Coronado Home Tour
Ah, yes, ’tis the season when it’s socially acceptable to cover your shoes with disposable booties and go peeking through a perfect stranger’s home.

Now in its 30th year, the 2017 Coronado Home Tour returns from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 26, featuring refurbished Norman, revival, and bungalow-style homes for looky-loos to wander through.
Roughly bordered by Thomas and McDowell roads and Seventh to Sixteenth streets, the Coronado neighborhood is a long-established treasure, where fix-it-uppers are nestled in alongside red-brick facades and modern reduxes — even a Dwell magazine featured design or two. Tour-goers will have more than half a dozen homes to explore, but save some energy for the accompanying street fair, which includes food trucks, a classic car show, and live entertainment.

Online tickets are $17. Day-of admission is $20 for adults, available at 1717 North 12th Street, near Coronado Park. Visit the Coronado Neighborhood website for details. Janessa Hilliard

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