5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Spring Butterfly Exhibit

In the song "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," Elton John sings, "Butterflies are free to fly, fly away/fly away, bye bye." The insects at Desert Botanical Garden's Spring Butterfly Exhibit won't be so lucky, but visitors can enjoy their winged captivity through Monday, May 12. Hundreds of North America's beauties -- including Malachites, Giant Swallowtails, Julias, Great Southern Whites, Zebra Swallowtails, Queens, and Painted Ladies -- will be fluttering about the Marshall Butterfly Pavilion, sipping nectar, warming themselves in the winter desert sun, and exploring the special, colorful "host" plants that attract butterflies. Hold still long enough, wear bright colors, and one might just pay you a close-up visit.

See also: Announcing the 2014 Big Brain Finalists

The exhibit is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, and through May 11. Tickets to the exhibit are $3.50 for non-members and free for members. Garden admission is $22 for adults, $20 for seniors, $12 for students, and $10 for children between 3 and 12 years old. Call 480-941-1225 or visit -- Glenn BurnSilver

The Minimalists Book-Signing

As we generally are not ones to adopt -isms and ones very much for spending time frivolously watching (and incessantly talking about) Scandal, minimalism sounds like a frightening proposition. Less is less, and then when there's less you can take away more so then there's less. That's the general idea. Right? So we thought.

Per Joshua Fields Millburn, one half of the big-time duo The Minimalists, that's not really how it works. Instead of depriving yourself, Millburn says minimalism is about subtracting things that don't add value to your life. For him, that meant giving away possessions, selling his house, quitting his job, and canceling his home Internet. For us, it could mean cleaning out our hoarder's nest of a makeup drawer and not worrying about Olivia Pope and Fitz so much. Maybe we could be minimalists after all.

Of course, there are many variations of minimalism. And Millburn and his co-minimalist Ryan Nicodemus will discuss their takes on the lifestyle (and take questions) when they visit Tempe's Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 South McClintock Drive, with their latest, Everything That Remains ($16.99).

Meet the pair at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 18. A ticket for two is free with book purchase. Call 480-730-0205 or visit -- Becky Bartkowski

Spark! Mesa's Festival of Creativity

It doesn't take a genius to see that the mind holds infinite possibilities, from electric cars to cutting-edge medical breakthroughs, and bullet trains to Mars rovers. All it takes is a little spark, which is exactly the idea behind spark! Mesa's Festival of Creativity.

A mixed festival featuring live music, spoken word and hip-hop performances, stilt walkers and circus acts, in addition to numerous immersive activities, spark! seeks to bring out everyone's best. There will also be a musical playground, hands-on art marking activities, interactive art exhibits, a DJ/VJ installation, glow-in-the-dark jugglers, a Bike Zoo workshop, and a Lego building area. The Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum will also be open and feature the show "35th Annual Juried Contemporary Crafts Exhibition."

Get those creative juices flowing at spark! from noon to 10 p.m. Wednesday, March 19, at Mesa Arts Center, One East Main Street. Admission is free. Visit or call 480-644-6500. -- Glenn BurnSilver

Love's Labour's Lost

Glendale's Brelby Theatre Company just won't stop doing the Shakespeare. The young and frisky troupe focuses on the part of the canon that features young and frisky characters, and so far, so good. This time around, it's Love's Labour's Lost, given a silent film/speakeasy kind of feel and a couple of extra chicks in the fun roles of chaperone Boyet and snotty scholar Holofernes. The plot concerns a well-meaning, studly king who has his bros join him in pledging -- no, no, not a frat. The pledge is to maintain good study habits and stay away from the distractions of womankind. But a French princess and her retinue show up and hey, you have to be good hosts, right?

Performances continue through Saturday, March 29, at 6835 North 58th Avenue. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20. Snag your ducats, $10 to $20, at or 623-282-2781. -- Julie Peterson

Phoenix Suns vs. Detroit Pistons

It sure feels like a distant memory now, but just a few months ago the prevailing wisdom amongst NBA insiders was that the Phoenix Suns would be swan-diving their way to the bottom of the barrel in hopes of fishing out some top-notch draft picks. Instead, the gritty, over-achieving squad find themselves right in the thick of a heated Western Conference playoff race with each game feeling more crucial than the last.

In other words, the hottest ticket in town is getting hotter. But if talk of "suns" and "hot" don't strike a particularly welcoming tone this time of year, rest assured, you'll most certainly benefit from more exposure to these Suns. Find out for yourself when they host the Detroit Pistons at 7 p.m. Friday, March 21, at US Airways Center, 201 East Jefferson Street. Tickets start at $27.50. Visit or call 602-379-2000 for details. -- Rob Kroehler

Editor's note: This post has been modified from its original version.

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Phoenix New Times