What if ASU Art Museum were a bunker? And what if said bunker was holding a store of water? That's the premise of [DE/AS]cending, a theatrical and immersive experience that brings two troupes of master of fine arts students who specialize in theater to engage spaces throughout the museum.
They'll create a world in which viewers of the micro-performances search for answers and have the opportunity to view works in a choose-your-own-adventure-style setting. Sink in when performances take place at 7, 7:40, and 8 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, April 27 and 28, at ASU Art Museum, 51 East 10th Street in Tempe. Tickets are $5 and can be reserved via asuevents.asu.edu/deascending. Becky Bartkowski
Weaponry has graced art since cavemen began painting on cave walls. And as the weapons became more sophisticated, the art followed. Now, in this hyper-aware time when weapons, and guns in particular, seem to occupy a prominent position in daily life, it's not surprising to find weapons appearing more frequently in contemporary art. "Artillery: Contemporary Art Influenced By Weaponry" explores the connection and influence of modern culture's fascination of weaponry and its meaning in contemporary art. There's the classic image of a bandito brandishing pistols, and the less-classic kids wagon converted into a missile-launching tank. Scary.
Shoot a glance at "Artillery," on view from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28, and through August 16 at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, One East Main Street. Admission is free. Visit www.mesaartscenter.com or call 480-644-6500. Glenn BurnSilver
Spring Butterfly Exhibit
There's nothing quite like finding oneself surrounded by tiny winged creatures. It comes as no surprise that the Spring Butterfly Exhibit at the Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, is a yearly must-see for nature-lovers around the Valley. This is the last spring to experience the butterfly exhibit in its current location (it will re-open in a new part of the Garden in 2017), so come visit our colorful friends before the exhibit closes on May 10.
The Desert Botanical Garden is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission to the Butterfly Exhibit is $3.50 with paid Garden admission. For more information, call 480-481-8188 or visit dbg.org. Katrina Montgomery
A Weekend with Pablo Picasso
Surely the most amazing thing about Herbert Siguenza's one-man show A Weekend with Pablo Picasso is that Siguenza paints live in the style of Picasso. Scary-amazing - we can't paint a freaking bathroom, let alone when people are watching. But once you've seen the play, you're more likely to conclude that Siguenza's performance, which has been called mercurial, charismatic, captivating, and inviting, is far more amazing, even without the painting. (There's also a bathtub scene.)
Siguenza, best known as a founder of the Culture Clash troupe, has admired the painter since he was a little boy and is a visual artist himself. The "weekend" spans Picasso's many moods, from his child-like playfulness to his macho bluster. Arizona Theatre Company presents the play through Sunday, May 17, at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Tickets are $36 to $67 at www.ticketmaster.com or 602-256-6995. Showtime on Thursday, April 30, is 7:30 p.m. Julie Peterson
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The Soul Justice Project
Just like your mother always told you, there are two sides to every story. And The Soul Justice Project is will tell each of them. By combining theatre with dance, spoken word, music, and mixed media, The Soul Justice Project plans to explore the politics of American media outlets, while giving each side of the issue a voice. From 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, May 1, such local performers as Sydney Jackons, Myrlin Hepworth, and Xanthia Walker will represent Phonetic Spit, Mesa Arts Center's spoken word and education partner, and bring a powerful mix of arts, politics, and community to the stage, One East Main Street. Tickets are $22 for adults and $10 for students. For more information and to purchase tickets, check out mesaartscenter.com. Evie Carpenter