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5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Billy Idol Book Signing It's been a minute since Billy Idol last wrote one of his big hits, but he's still one of those celebrities who needs no introduction. The '80s punk rocker turned pop icon has had one hell of a ride, and now he's telling all in a...
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Billy Idol Book Signing

It's been a minute since Billy Idol last wrote one of his big hits, but he's still one of those celebrities who needs no introduction. The '80s punk rocker turned pop icon has had one hell of a ride, and now he's telling all in a new memoir predictably titled Dancing with Myself. On Monday, the music legend is coming to Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 South McClinktock Drive in Tempe, to sign copies of his book in person.

See also: 10 Reasons You Should Take a Date to the Arizona State Fair

The party gets started at 6 p.m. on October 13. Tickets to the event come free with purchase of Dancing with Myself from Changing Hands. The booksigning will take place in two waves: one at 6 p.m. and one at 7 p.m. (see your ticket for details). Photos will be permitted, but flash and video will not. If you can't make the event in person, Changing Hands can place signed copies of the book on reserve. Visit www.changinghands.com or call 480-730-0205 for details. Katrina Montgomery

"Earth Explorers"

No matter how you slice it, our culture simply does not care about exploration the way it used to. In the past, great explorers were celebrated heroes who earned a guaranteed place in elementary school history textbooks. Today, however, we struggle to name a single modern explorer, partly because it's difficult to imagine what an explorer can do in a world where all of the easy stuff has been found.

If you want to get a sense for what an explorer does in 2014, check out National Geographic's "Earth Explorers" exhibit at the Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington Street. The interactive exhibit is designed to simulate the experience of exploration for visitors and features pieces on polar regions, oceans, rain forests, caves, and the African savanna.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $24, and tickets can be purchased at www.azscience.org. Ed Kummerer

The Art of Collecting Photography

People collect all sorts of things -- stamps, coins, baseball cards, asphalt. Yeah, there's an actual asphalt museum in Sacramento, California, dedicated to the stuff. Although you may have thousands of photos either on your phone or garnering likes on your Instagram account, we're not sure you can call that a collection. But with the help of the Phoenix Art Museum's Norton Family Photography Curator Rebecca Senf, you can take those photos that are accumulating virtual dust, add some new ones, and create your own physical photo collection.

During "The Art of Collecting Photography," Senf will explain where to find the best photos, how to use the ones you already have to create a better collection, and how to care for those photos over time. Get inspired at 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 15, at the Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue. Call 602-257-1880 or visit www.phxart.org for more information. Evie Carpenter

See also: Phoenix Art Museum's PhotoBid Surveys Contemporary Photography

Arizona State Fair

The smell of funnel cakes is in the air and circular lights are spinning in the sky. That can only mean one of two things: Aliens are here and they're throwing a hoe-down or the Arizona State Fair is back up and running. We're going to go with the latter.

The annual event is offering up its usual assortment of rides, fried food, games, and oversized prizes as well as a wine tasting, pie-eating contest, boxing match, comic convention, and a new lineup of performances by animals, acrobats, musicians, rodeo cowboys, arm wrestling masters, monster trucks, native spirit dancers, and hypnotists. The Arizona State Fair is open Wednesdays through Sundays, now through November 2 at 1826 West McDowell Road. Friday hours of operation are noon to 10 p.m. General admission is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors ages 55 and older and children between the ages of five and 13, and free for children under the age of five. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.azstatefair.com or call 602-252-6771. Katie Johnson


David Mamet's written dozens of plays, making him a leading light of American theater in the '80s (he's slowed down a bit since). Those who remember him predominantly for his mastery of profanity, especially in Glengarry Glen Ross, are not off track -- Mamet's natural-sounding dialogue, including liberal cussing, is definitely one of his strengths as a writer.

Catch Mamet's usual men behaving badly in Theatre Artists Studio's production of Speed-the-Plow, which pits a naive temp secretary against two jaded Hollywood insiders. It originally featured Madonna as Karen, then Alicia Silverstone in a 2006 L.A. revival, and currently Lindsay Lohan in London. (We know -- but she's getting good reviews.) Skip the stunt casting (and the airfare) at the Studio's opening night, Friday, October 17, at 7:30 p.m., at 4848 East Cactus Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $10 to $20 at www.thestudiophx.org or 602-765-0120 for performances through Sunday, November 2. Julie Peterson

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