5 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Suns vs. Lakers
There have always been rumblings that legendary Laker Kobe Bryant might at times be more of a liability than a luminary to his teammates. Well, in what may be Bryan’ts final season, no one is rumbling anymore. It’s obvious. On a roster chockfull of young talent, Bryant’s swan song thus far has been hogging the ball, taking foolish shots, and making the Lakers extremely predictable. In a hubris-induced effort to put the finishing touches on an already illustrious career, Bryant is successfully depriving his teammates of whatever fleeting synergy they might have hoped to experience with him. Of course, this is all good news for Phoenix Suns fans. See Kobe one last tim at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 200 East Jefferson Street, at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 16. Tickets are $25 and up through or call 602-379-2000. Rob Kroehler

Rainn Wilson
Rainn Wilson, everyone’s favorite nerd of The Office fame, has shed his long-loved Dwight Schrute-persona in exchange for something real: a new memoir about growing up an outcast and a journey of self-discovery and accomplishment. The Bassoon King is less bears, beets, and Battlestar Galactica and more tales of a brief cocaine addiction, surviving while broke in New York City, and being of the Baha’i faith. Wilson brings the book (and some autograph-ready pens) to downtown Phoenix this week during his dozen-city tour.

Doors open at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 7 on Tuesday, November 17, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams Street. Attendance packages, including a copy of The Bassoon King and either one or two tickets, are $30 and $34, respectively. Visit or call 480-730-0205. Janessa Hilliard

Blackheart Burlesque
Laced up and ready to strut, the Suicide Girls bring their wildly successful style of striptease to the masses when their fall U.S. tour, Blackheart Burlesque, stomps into town. In addition to the naughty and the negligee, the show features performances promising to “poke fun” at cultural phenomena like Game of Thrones, The Big Lebowski, Planet of the Apes, and Star Wars — a month ahead of its highly anticipated new release. A combination of beauty and camp, Blackheart Burlesque harkens back to the Victorian-era parody nights of old.

Doors open at at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 on Wednesday, November 18, at The Pressroom, 441 West Madison Street. Tickets range from $25 to $330, with VIP options including a meet-and-greet and bottle service. 18-and-over. Visit or call 602-396-7136 for details. Janessa Hilliard

Bar Flies
The theme of the sixth installment of New Times’ Bar Flies is family ties. Before you get weirdly excited at the prospect of an evening all about the fictional Alex P. Keaton and what a terrible person he probably grew up to be, we must break to you a few things.

All the stories told at Bar Flies are true. Readers Katie Johnson, Evie Carpenter, Maxfield Barker, Nikki DeLeon, and Molly McCloy are in no way affiliated with Michael J. Fox (that we know of). And while there’s a pretty good chance the tales told starting at 7 p.m. will touch on familial strife surrounding the holidays, we can’t guarantee that stories will pertain to yuppies, hippies, or anything involving Reaganomics. Tickets are $5 to the reading, which is at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue, on Thursday, November 19. For more information, see Becky Bartkowski

Catify to Satisfy
Jackson Galaxy, of Animal Planet’s My Cat from Hell, and Kate Benjamin, Phoenician and expert in all things feline, bring their new collaboration, Catify to Satisfy, to Crescent Ballroom for a conversation and book signing. Offering design suggestions, advice for achieving a cat friendly home, and solutions to “common cat problems,” the book is a godsend for humans with fickle felines. After all, as those with furry friends know, it’s their world — we just live in it.

The event begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 19, at 308 North Second Avenue. Admission includes a paperback copy and one or two tickets for $26 or $28, respectively. Packages can be picked up at the venue or either Changing Hands location. This is a 21-and-over event. To purchase your tickets, visit 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
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