5 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Heaven Can Wait
Your spirit’s in limbo, and your body’s toast. Turns out you died by mistake, destiny-wise, and the admins need to send you back. So you occupy a murder victim’s body, but now you have to avoid people who want to kill you — well, kill him — again.

Thus far, this hasn’t happened to you, but it happens to Joe Pendleton in Heaven Can Wait, a classic comedy presented through Tuesday, November 17, by Hale Centre Theatre, 50 West Page Avenue in Gilbert. Tickets are $18 to $28 at 480-497-1181 or Showtime on Monday, September 28, is 7 p.m. Julie Peterson

Melissa Pritchard Book-Signing
If there were a Venn diagram of journalists and fiction writers, local author Melissa Pritchard would be squarely in the middle of the overlap. The eight fiction novels and collections she’s written have garnered numerous prizes, including a Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, but she’s also a former journalist , having reported from Afghanistan, India, and Ethiopia. On Tuesday, September 29, the ASU professor reads from her newest work, A Solemn Pleasure: To Imagine, Witness, and Write, a memoir about being pulled in two storytelling directions and asks the question, “Why write?”

The reading starts at 7 p.m. at Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 South McClintock Drive in Tempe. A signing follows. The event is free to attend; copies of A Solemn Pleasure are $16.95. Call 480-730-0205 or click Janessa Hilliard

Bar Flies: Take a Walk
Let’s take a walk, Phoenix.

The Museum of Walking, Scottsdale Public Art, and New Times present Take A Walk, the next installment in our ongoing live storytelling series, Bar Flies. And we’re making you work — er, walk — for it.

Our Best of Phoenix edition takes a look at something most of us take for granted: walking. Readers include New Times culture editor Becky Bartkowski, best-selling author Laurie Notaro, author Rebecca Fish Ewan, possible superhero Tania Katan, and noted narrative performers Sativa Peterson and Brandon Ferderer. Each shares stories inspired by the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings of their own foot-fueled journeys.

The event starts at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 30, at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. The pre-show group walk begins at 6 p.m. and ends a few blocks away at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Stories start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 to the 21-and-over event. Call 602-716-2222 or visit Janessa Hilliard

Phoenix Fashion Week
Any @EvaChen212 Instagram follower worth her weight in little red hearts knows that a fashion week — regardless of city — is a hectic stretch of time full of white folding chairs, stylized overalls, and opportunities for former Lucky editors-in-chief to craft beautifully slow-motion runway videos. While Phoenix Fashion Week probably won’t draw such style luminaries as Chen, Anna Wintour, or Kanye West, it will offer an exciting and ‘gram-worthy lineup of the latest collections from 24 emerging and established fashion designers, including local brands Hues of Ego and Medium Apparel.

Take a page outta Chen’s feed and put your best stiletto forward when Fashion Week’s outdoor runway shows kick off around 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 1, at Scottsdale’s Talking Stick Resort, 9800 East Indian Bend Road. Shows continue nightly through Saturday, October 3. Tickets are $45 and up and available, along with more information, at Becky Bartkowski

SMoCA Fall Opening
For Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, fall marks the start of a new season of exhibitions. Three unconventional collections debut this weekend: Oakland-based Chris Fraser brings “Architecture + Art: Looking Back,” an exercise in light and experimental architecture; Bruce Munro’s “Ferryman’s Crossing” uses compact discs of yesteryear to create illusions of flowing water and light; and “Archilumen” from the SMoCA [email protected] gallery, an artistic rendition of “smart city” technology, courtesy of high school students from the New School for Arts and Academics.

Experience all three and mix and mingle with those who made it happen — including curators and artists — during the free Fall Opening Celebration from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, October 2, at 7374 East Second Street. Visit or call 480-874-4666. Janessa Hilliard
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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
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
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