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5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

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"Journeys of a Photographer: The Photography of Sue Cullumber"

To Chandler artist Sue Cullumber, all the world's a stage. Passing up on phony poses and props, this outdoor photographer looks at the natural world through unique viewpoints at the times of day when the lighting and color are just right. Cullumber is special education teacher who interest in photography evolved from recreational activity to real life passion. Her works, inspired by her journey into the great outdoors both locally and abroad, serve as aesthetic tools to raise discussion about environmental conservation.

See also: Should I Try Online Dating? A Guide for the Curious Journeys of a "Photographer: Artworks by Sue Cullumber" is on view Friday, August 15, through Saturday, October 25, at the Chandler Center for the Arts Gallery, 250 North Arizona Avenue. An artist reception will be held on Saturday, August 23, from 1 to 3 p.m. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. For details, visit www.chandlercenter.org. -- Katie Johnson

WWE Smackdown

What do you get when you cross soap opera melodramatics with unbelievable muscles? World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. of course. Throw in some choreographed violence, scantily clad women and a rabid fan base, and you've got yourself a WWE Smackdown.

There are still loads of people who tune in for the carnage, many of whom are old enough to vote. Let that sink in for a while. What's more, the WWE is bringing the Smackdown to US Airways Center, 201 East Jefferson Street, because there are enough fans in our fair city to warrant such an event. But hey, if watching sweaty men in spandex perform staged acrobatics with one another is your thing, knock yourself out. Lord knows it'll be the only real knockout that actually happens on Tuesday, August 19, at 4:45 p.m. Tickets to the all-ages event start at $20. Visit www.wwe.com or call 602-379-7800 for details. -- Rob Kroehler

Radio Free R'lyeh: An H.P. Lovecraft Birthday Party

If we have to have a lit-inspired NFL team, we'd dump the Baltimore Ravens for the Providence Cthulhus in a heartbeat. If you'd don a jersey with a tentacle-faced logo, then you'll want to check out the fourth annual Phoenix celebration of H.P. Lovecraft's birthday on Wednesday, August 20.

Radio Free R'lyeh is the theme for the bash hailing the early 20th century horror master with DJs Fishman Jack and The Worm hosting the shindig. Readings of classic Lovecraft texts and original works inspired by the creepmeister will share the stage with the ritualistic performance art of the Arcana Collective. San Francisco one-man-band The Slow Poisoner will serve up his spooky brand of oddly enchanting rock 'n' roll.

Radio Free R'lyeh: An H.P. Lovecraft Birthday Party slithers into The Trunk Space, 1506 Grand Avenue. Admission is $10 and nabs attendees a cupcake, a birthday gift bag, and a limited edition Happy Birthday, Howard! 'zine. Visit www.thetrunkspace.com for more information. -- Jose Gonzalez

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 40th Anniversary

Marilyn Burns, the actor who portrayed Sally Hardesty in 1974's Texas Chain Saw Massacre, recently passed away at the age of 65 earlier this month. You can celebrate her performance in the classic slasher flick and its 40th anniversary on Thursday, August 21.

What begins with Sally, her brother, and her friends visiting the Hardesty family homestead deep in Texas, turns into fighting for survival against the power-tool-wielding killer Leatherface and his cannibalistic family. Originally marketed as being based on a true story, the first cut of the movie earned it an X rating. Despite its notoriety, writer/producer/director Tobe Hooper's first and most famous foray into horror is laden with social commentary and masterful filmmaking.

If you've ever thought twice about pulling over in small podunk towns, Texas Chain Saw Massacre is probably the reason why. The film's anniversary screening is at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street, starting at 10 p.m. Tickets are $9 for this 21-and-over event. For more info, visit www.thefilmbarphx.com. -- Jose Gonzalez

Fall Arts Kickoff

After a long, hot summer, there's finally a light at the end of the tunnel. Even with the blazing heat, we're happy to suspend disbelief and look forward with the Fall Arts Kick Off at Tempe Center for the Arts this Friday, August 22.

We can think cool, but with arts center's air conditioning and sneak peeks at what various arts orgs (including CONDER/dance, Childsplay, and the Arizona Wind Symphony) will be serving up at the unique art venue, we don't have to just imagine the coolness. In addition to whetting our appetite for art and performance with live dance and music performances, free food and ticket giveaways for the upcoming season of shows make it a sweet deal for attendees.

The Tempe Center for the Arts Fall Arts Kick Off is from 5 to 7 p.m. at 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Admission is free for this all-ages event. For more information, visit www.tempetourism.com. -- Jose Gonzalez

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