Nerd Culture

5 Best Things to Do in Phoenix and Tempe This Week

Your guide to the best things to do in Phoenix and Tempe from August 17 through 21.

Felicia Day
The Internet is a strange place, which probably means that you'll fit right in. That's how Felicia Day frames the world in her memoir You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). While Day has appeared in mainstream offerings like Bring It On Again and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she's most famous for creating and starring in The Guild, a web series based on her online gaming experiences and the online sensation Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. The comedic actor's journey as a homeschooled kid from the South to Hollywood tells of how she embraced her own quirks and interests to create her own path to success.

Day will appear and sign her book at Changing Hands Tempe, 6428 South McClintock Road, on Monday, August 17. Tickets are free with the purchase of her memoir for $25.99. For more information, visit Jose Gonzalez

Citizen Kane
Classic films unfortunately lack commentary tracks. Hence FilmBar Film School, in which a well-informed film snob narrates a screening, creating one of the rare occasions it’s okay (for that person) to talk during the movie. Tuesday, August 18, brings us a heavy hitter: Citizen Kane, the ever-timely tale of a damaged man who becomes a media mogul with powers that extend far beyond his newspaper. Website. Twitter feed. Whatever. ASU film professor Joe Fortunato will provide the comments starting at 6:30 p.m. at 815 North Second Street.

The 1941 film stars Orson Welles and was written and directed by Orson Welles – not a bad way to start a career. Admission is free and minors under 21 are allowed with an accompanying parent or legal guardian. See details at www.thefilmbarphx.comJulie Peterson

"Books of Whimsy"
Who doesn’t need more whimsy in their life? Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 North Central Avenue, believes everyone does, which is why they’ve asked Carolyn Watson Dubisch to share “Books of Whimsy” with the world. The exhibition is a mixed-media installment, reflecting the author’s love of imaginative books and colorful characters. Dubisch uses a combination of fine art and recycled material to create playful scenes that kids and adults alike will find, well, whimsical.

“Books of Whimsy” will be on display through October 18 inside the library's Central Gallery. Hours on Wednesday, August 19, are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is free. See Melissa Campana

Murder Ballad
Put on your audience face — Phoenix has a new theater company, A/C Theatre, which intends to bring us underproduced contemporary musicals. Squee! The first show is Juliana Nash and Julia Jordan’s sung-through rock tuner, Murder Ballad. (Big ups for going with female writers.)

A murder ballad’s a type of folk song that tells the story of, well, a murder. In pre-tabloid days, when literate people were few, a catchy tune was a top-notch way to share current events. Although few musical tributes to unprecedented carrot crops have survived, the murder-y numbers remain popular, and Murder Ballad demonstrates why: Ordinary people become hella more interesting if they’re involved in a love triangle and someone’s about to get killed. The production continues through Saturday, August 22, at the Hardes Theatre at Phoenix Theatre, 100 East McDowell Road. Thursday, August 20’s showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $22 at or 602-254-2151. Julie Peterson

Beer Olympics
While competitors shouldn’t expect an opening ceremony on par with the London games at Tempe Marketplace on Friday, August 21, they should plan to face some semi-serious competition during New Times’ second annual Beer Olympics. Aspiring champions will engage in such shows of strength as flip cup relays, corn hole, giant beer pong, and Jenga throughout the outdoor shopping center, all while sipping suds from Goose Island and Bud Light.

General admission is $20 per person, and teams of four can register for $70. For more information and to buy tickets, see Becky Bartkowski

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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
Melissa Campana is a freelance writer, stay-at-home mom, and all-around decent human being. She enjoys playdates, cocktails, and playdates that involve cocktails.
Contact: Melissa Campana
Jose Gonzalez
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