5 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

New Times picks the best things to do in metro Phoenix from Monday, August 8, through Thursday, August 11. For more events, see our curated online calendar.

Land of a Thousand Dances
You’ve heard of the British boy band the Beatles, who hailed from Liverpool and made waves in the early 1960s. But what about the Chicano rock band Cannibal & the Headhunters, who hailed from East Los Angeles? Their song “Land of a Thousand Dances” made it into the Billboard Top 100, and they opened for the Beatles during a national 1965 tour.

New Carpa Theater Company performs Land of a Thousand Dances, the story of the group’s musical adventures, at 7 p.m. on Monday, August 8, on The Kax Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. It’s an original, 45-minute work by James Garcia, playwright and artistic director for New Carpa Theater. Tickets are $6. Arrive early to hit the cash bar. Visit Lynn Trimble

Colleen Hoover Book-Signing
If your parental figures planted the seed early in life that marrying a doctor was a good adult move and you grew up to snag one, albeit one with a giant fear of commitment, then Colleen Hoover’s latest will hit close to home. In It Ends with Us, that is main character Lily’s dilemma. Unable to go next-level with the doc, she takes a hard look at her ex, and examines her choices. The romance author signs copies of her new tale of love at 7 p.m. on Monday, August 8, at Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 South McClintock Drive in Tempe. Cost is $16 for one book, which comes with admission for two. Call 480-730-0205 or visit Amy Young

"The New Animist"
Calling on the animist idea that everything has a spirit or life force, a free exhibition called “The New Animist” explores contemporary environmental concerns from land and animal rights to recycling and sustainable energies.

Featured artists include Deborah Butterfield, Fritz Scholder, and Siri Devi Khandavilli – an artist represented by Lisa Sette Gallery. Some use paint, while others work with fabric, earthenware, or rubber. Jyung Mee Park created a towering lotus with rice paper, and Anri Sala a video setting a horse within high-speed traffic.

See their works between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 10, at ASU Art Museum, 51 East 10th Street in Tempe. “The New Animist” continues through Saturday, September 3. Visit Lynn Trimble

Not Too Cool for School
Veterans of the storytelling scene will recognize Dan Hoen Hull (Yarnball, Storyline) and teller Marnee Burrus from their professional personas onstage, but their new collaborative project, Then It Got… Weird, focuses on life’s awkward moments, from periods to sex to, now, school.

Plenty of shameful memories will be divulged during Not Too Cool for School, where both Hull and Burrus will perform alongside Russ Kazmierczack, creator of Amazing Arizona Comics and host of Phoenix Tonight; Ernesto Ortiz, co-producer of Comedy Triage; Yarnball co-host and Storyline regular Jessie Balli; and comedian Michael Palladino.

The free parade of other people’s embarrassing stories starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 11, in the lounge at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Visit or for details. Janessa Hilliard

"A Vivid Gaze"
Inspired as a child by taxidermy birds set in natural history exhibits, Tempe artist Frank Gonzales paints desert birds, plants, and small creatures – punctuating each with brightly colored lines reflecting his signature style. Classically trained in painting at Mesa Community College, he’s now a preparator for Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.

See Gonzales’ work from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 11, at Appaloosa Library, 7377 East Silverstone Drive in Scottsdale. It’s featured in “A Vivid Gaze,” which continues through Friday, September 2. There’s no cost to view the exhibition.

While you’re there, explore several works from the Scottsdale Public Art collection – including Anna Skibska’s suspended glass orbs titled Golden Alchemy and Mayme Kratz’s Shedding Light, made with resin, organic material, and paper. Visit Lynn Trimble
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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
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young