5 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Cumbia Dance Night
Our Southwest city is no stranger to celebrations of salsa and flamenco dancing, and now Cumbia, hailing from Colombia’s costal region alongside the Caribbean Sea, is making a name for itself.

DJs Nico and M.Rocka, the duo behind local group Clandestino, bring La Diabla from Tijuana and DJ Lengua from Los Angeles for Cumbia Dance Night. Pop-up dance performances by Liliana Gomez will take over the Phoenix Art Museum, as patrons can enjoy the sights, sounds, and the debut of fall exhibition, “Masterworks of Spanish Colonial Art from Phoenix Art Museum’s Collection.”

The all-female band Mariachi Pasion opens the evening when beats begin at 6 p.m. and continue until 10 on First Friday, September 4, at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue. General admission to the museum and select exhibitions is free, with live music and dance performances throughout. A cash bar is available. Call 602-257-1880 or visit for event details. Janessa Hilliard

Terry Johnson’s Hysteria is one of those plays that seems to start out based on history and then get weirder and weirder. It could hardly miss with main characters Sigmund Freud and Salvador Dalí meeting for tea in 1938 (which they really did), shortly before Freud’s death and on the verge of World War II. Surrealism meets psychoanalysis, and the two movements embark on a codependent relationship. The show assumes the structure of a classic farce, albeit one that’s jam-packed with intellectual fury alongside mysterious knickers.

The Southwest Shakespeare Company production continues through Saturday, September 19, at Mesa Arts Center, One East Main Street. Tickets are $42 to $44. The opening night performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 4. Visit or call 480-644-6500.  Julie Peterson

ASU Football Viewing Party
It’s a 16-hour drive from Phoenix to College Station, the town which Texas A&M and their imaginatively named football squad, the Aggies, call home. It’s understandable if you don’t want to make the trip. What’s not understandable is that you wouldn’t want to support the ASU Sun Devils Football Team while surrounded by other fans in maroon and gold right here in the Valley. Paz Cantina, a modern taqueria in downtown Phoenix, is hosting the 2015 college football season’s first away game viewing party, where you can watch and cheer for ASU — no pit stops required.

Watch the Sun Devils attack the Aggies 4 p.m. Saturday, September 5, at Paz Cantina, 1011 North Third Street in Phoenix. Call 602-368-2487 or visit for more. Zach Fowle

Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
The opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is about three months away and sci-fi and fantasy geeks are already bouncing off the walls. Devotees of the Jedis-versus-Sith saga will eat up the just-released Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, a visual feast of galactic infographics. Adam Bray and Michael Kogge are two authors who've immersed themselves in galactic knowledge for the sake of Wookiee-lovers everywhere. Their Valley visit will include an appearance by Stormtroopers of the 501st Legion.

The Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know reading and book-signing is at Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road, at 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 5. Admission for two is free with the purchase of the book for $20. Visit for more details. Jose Gonzalez

Experience India
If you’re a fan of Bollywood, and you want to take your enthusiasm for Indian culture to the next level, Experience India at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard, might be just the boost you’re looking for. Now in its third year, the annual celebration of East Indian music and dance will include two days of performances, talks, and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages; visitors can try their hand at the sitar or learn about Indian instruments in pop music.

On Sunday, September 6, Experience India will last from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The celebration is included with paid admission to the Musical Instrument Museum, which ranges from $10 to $20. For more information, call 480-478-6000 or visit for the full line-up of performances and events. Katrina Montgomery

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Zach Fowle
Contact: Zach Fowle
Jose Gonzalez
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
Katrina Montgomery
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