5 Best Things to Do in Phoenix and Tempe This Week

Storytelling nights seem to be sweeping the city these days — with New Times’ monthly Bar Flies among them — and this week a new series starts.

Spillers: Short Fiction and Tall Drinks features six storytellers performing edgy, and often funny, short fiction in 10-minute sets. Speakers include creator Robert Hoekman Jr.’s “Paint, Sandpaper, Futility,” about facing mortality in a Home Depot, Penelope Padmore, Kevin Troy Darling, and Taylor Laura Jablonowski with a piece about how “sex is gross and boys are weird.” No sci-fi, no how-tos, no dictionaries. Just good old-fashioned storytelling with adult content.

The spill-your-guts-style storytelling starts at 8 p.m. on Monday, August 24, in the Lounge at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Admission to the 21-and-over event is free. See details at Janessa Hilliard

Rooftop Fitness
It’s a fact: attending a fitness class will immediately result in you looking down on other people.

If you don’t want to wait until class is over to get that feeling, look down on the entire city with Lustre Rooftop Garden’s Fitness Class, hosted by Orangetheory Fitness. Hotel Palomar, 2 East Jefferson Street, allows its third floor lounge to be taken over by workout warriors every Tuesday from 6 to 7 p.m.

Admission will cost you $10 if you are not a hotel guest or Orangetheory Fitness member, but Lustre will then give you a $10 F&B credit at the bar. Score.

Call 480-478-1765 or go to for more information. Melissa Campana

As far as prequels go, The Godfather Part II and Wolverine generally get all the hype.

Well, dear reader, there is another important origin story to be told in Phoenix this week. Lesser known, it takes the form of a teeny-tiny musical stage show called Wicked. Very indie; you’ve probably never even heard of it.

We kid, of course; if you haven’t heard of Wicked, you may want to check your surroundings because there is a good chance you’ve been in a coma for the past few years.

On Wednesday, August 26, the hit Broadway show begins its nearly six-week run at ASU Gammage, 1200 South Forest Avenue, Tempe.
Showtimes and prices vary, so go to or call 480-965-3434 for more information. Wicked runs through October 4. Melissa Campana

Shot on location in West Hollywood (largely at Donut Time), Tangerine is a visually hedonistic, narratively gritty, and, thankfully, funny movie about two prostitutes, Alexandra and Sin-Dee, chasing down Sin-Dee’s cheating pimp boyfriend, Chester, and his side piece, Dinah, on Christmas Eve after Sin-Dee’s been released from 28 days in jail. Intriguing as that may sound, we haven’t even gotten to the most talked-about aspects of the latest indie film from Sean Baker (Greg the Bunny): It stars transwomen playing transwomen and was shot on the iPhone 5s, sometimes from a swooping bicycle.

Ride the cutting edge at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, August 27, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Admission is $9, with folks under 21 admitted with a parent or legal guardian. See Julie Peterson

Hello Friday
In a popularity contest between the days of the week, it’s no secret that Friday would take glowing, sparkly first place. Consider its prominence in pop culture. Rebecca Black and Katy Perry have penned songs about the day’s allure. A restaurant chain and TV programming block of 1990s children’s shows praise the heavens for its existence. It’s been freaky, home to SmackDown, and, more recently, a great reason for post-work drinks at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Head to the Town Lake adjacent cultural center for Hello Friday, featuring specialty drinks, snacks, music, and games every Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. There’s no cover, and August 21 features a performance from Jenny Jarnagin. For more information, see or call 480-350-2822. 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
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