“Pipe Brothers: Tom and James Franco”
What will they think of next? This summer, you can see human hair exhibited at Phoenix Art Museum, chewed gum on display at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and sewer pipes at ASU Art Museum’s Ceramics Research Center.
The pipes are included in an exhibition called “Pipe Brothers: Tom and James Franco,” featuring column-style sculptures created by the brothers using pipes from the Mission Clay Products factory in Phoenix. Tom is an Oakland, California artist who works primarily in mixed-media sculpture. And yes, James is James Franco, the actor who also works in visual art, sometimes collaborating with his brother and sometimes with internationally renowned artist Marina Abramovic.
See the free exhibition from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 29, at 699 South Mill Avenue in Tempe. It continues through Saturday, September 23.
Visit the ASU Art Museum website. Lynn Trimble
29 Years for 13 Seconds: The Injustices of Justice
Snitches get stitches. Oh, yeah? That’s if they’re lucky. As a 17-year-old, Vance Webster witnessed a crime and refused to testify, and he was sentenced to life in prison. Why did he make that choice? How wrong was his act? He took a path any of us might and paid the price (though he was eventually released).
29 Years for 13 Seconds: The Injustices of Justice, a play by Alexus Rhone that shares Webster’s perception of the experience, wraps up its run as part of the Herberger Lunch Time Theater series at 12:10 p.m. on Thursday, June 29. Webster will be present for a Q&A following the show at 222 East Monroe Street. Admission is $6. A preordered lunch is optional. Visit the Herberger Theater website or call 602-252-8497. Julie Peterson
In the span of a month and a half, author Nora McInerny had a miscarriage and lost both her husband and her father to cancer. She documented her heartache with humor and grace in her book, It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool Too). When friends would ask her how she was doing, she began to reply honestly instead of with the dismissive “Fine” and spoke openly about the grief we all share. These conversations became the basis of her critically acclaimed public radio podcast, Terrible, Thanks for Asking.
Bring some tissues and give yourself permission to cry when McInerny brings her book to Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 29. Admission is free. For more information,
For more information, visit the Changing Hands website. Jason Keil
Pong isn’t just a drinking game played at parties with red cups, beer, and tiny balls. The weekly pong tournament at the Blasted Barley Beer Company, 404 South Mill Avenue in Tempe, is a fairly serious competition in which you and a partner can test your hand-eye coordination while aiming to win prizes. First place gets you $50, and there’s a second-place prize of $25. The game, which attracts anywhere from eight to 16 teams of two each Thursday, follows similar rules as the national tournament in Las Vegas. But here, you’re competing with water instead of beer. The event starts at 10 p.m. and is free to enter. For more information, call 480-967-5887 or go to the Blasted Barley Beer Co. Facebook page. Laura Latzko
Landscapes get a new twist at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt Street, where Jeff Chabot curated the current “Turbulent Landscape” exhibition. For Chabot, landscapes include topographical, personal, social, and political environments. And sometimes, they’re not pretty.
Explore landscape-related works by eight local and regional artists, including William LeGoullon and Lauren Strohacker, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, June 30. Strohacker’s work documents her recent art installation along the U.S.-Mexico border.
While you’re there, take a look at Hugo Medina’s new mural on the east-facing exterior wall. It’s a compelling take on recent changes to Roosevelt Row and the impact on the local arts scene. “Turbulent Landscape” runs through Saturday, July 15. Admission is free. Visit the Modified Arts website. Lynn Trimble
It’s been 50 years since the Summer of Love, and it shows. This one is more like the Summer of Crankiness, but there’s hope. Fountain Hills Theater’s in that same headspace through Sunday, July 30, as it revives the poppy, trippy Midsummer Dreamin’, a transformation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to a 1967 forest full of lovers, fairies, and hilarious amateur actors who are characters played by good actors. Got it? Peter J. Hill filled the script with beloved psychedelic songs, and the plot includes an “herb” that messes with one’s mind, just as it did in 1605.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 30, at 11445 North Saguaro Boulevard. Tickets are $23 to $30 at 480-837-9661, extension 3, or the Fountain Hills Theater website. Julie Peterson
Isn’t it about time you tried goat yoga with a pajama theme? Your chance is the Goat Yoga PJ Party hosted by AZ Goat Yoga, a group that’s all about pairing everyone’s favorite farm animal with acroyoga poses, which involve mixing traditional yoga with acrobatics.
These little guys are trained and certified to jump, cuddle, and play with participants while they bend and stretch at Welcome Home Ranch, 26601 South Val Vista Drive in Gilbert. You can get in on the action from 8 to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 30. Tickets are $12 before tax through Eventbrite.
Those hoping to join are asked to check the FAQ at azgoatyoga.com. For more information, call 480-269-4144 or
see the Facebook event page. Lauren Cusimano
Lasers and Liquor
There are plenty of imaginable scenarios in which Lasers and Liquor would make for a decidedly bad combo. Performing LASIK eye surgery, for example, or mounting an attack on the Death Star. But there’s a time and a place for every haphazardly alliterative combo, as they say. And, lucky for you, this one is happening downtown.
Lasers and Liquor is a grown-ups-only event hosted at the Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington Street, that features multicolored laser light shows, booze, and plenty of rambunctious music. If drinking, listening to Alice Cooper, and watching an immersive laser show titled Attack of the Radioactive Hamsters isn’t the most effective legal means of hallucinating in town, then we’re not sure what is. Freak out from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, June 30. General admission is $10. Visit the Arizona Science Center website or call 602-716-2000 for details. Rob Kroehler
Nerds take note: This weekend’s WesterCon 70 in Tempe is a little different from your average comics convention or geek gathering. And that’s not a slight by any means. WesterCon happens to be one of the more esteemed and long-running geek events in the world, as it’s taken place annually since the late 1940s in cities throughout the western U.S. It’s also less flashy and more low-key than the cons you’re used to attending, and the focus is more on science fiction and fantasy.
So when this year’s edition beams down into the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, 60 East Fifth Street, from Saturday, July 1, through Tuesday, July 4, expect close encounters with such guests of honor as award-winning sci-fi scribe Connie Willis, local writer Gini Koch, acclaimed artists Julie Dillon and Larry Elmore, and folk musician Tim Griffin. An art show, film festival, cosplay masquerade, and gaming rooms are also planned. Hours vary. Admission is $85 for adults, $55 for military and teens, $35 for children 7 to 12, and free for kids younger than 7. See the Wester Con website. Benjamin Leatherman
Near Dark Screening
Gone-too-soon Bill Paxton’s breakthrough can be traced back three decades to his manic turn as Severen, one of the members of a vampire gang in Kathryn Bigelow’s horror-Western hybrid Near Dark. This slick-looking masterpiece tells the story of a farmer’s son (Adrian Pasdar) who reluctantly becomes a bloodsucker after falling in love with a fang-toothed drifter. Those expecting a sweet young adult romance will find themselves covering their eyes in terror. The movie nearly was awarded an X rating for its excessive violence.
Trivia and a taping of the BS Movies podcast will follow this screening at 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 1, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Admission is $9. Visit the Film Bar website. Jason Keil
Read on for more of Phoenix's best events this week.