In 2007, Eufrosina Cruz Mendoza lost a mayoral race in Oaxaca, Mexico. It wasn't because she lacked votes; she had plenty to be elected. But her win was denied because of her sex.
Instead of admitting all-out defeat, Mendoza took the experience and used what she learned to begin working a grassroots activist helping Mexican women gain political visibility and services. Her journey is chronicled in the 2007 documentary Eufrosina's Revolution.
The documentary screens for free at ASU's West campus in Kiva Hall at the University Center Building, 4701 West Thunderbird Road. Prior to the film starting at 7 p.m., a reception with director Luciana Kaplan will be held in in room 201 from 5 to 7 p.m. and feature a talk from the filmmaker. For details, see www.campus.asu.edu/west/events. -- Becky Bartkowski
Author Donnita Rogers leads the next conversation in the series, "Fearless Females: The Audacious and Feisty Women of the Middle Ages," sponsored by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
Hosted at Changing Hands Bookstore, Rogers will discuss her book Faces in the Fire: The Women of Beowulf: Book One, the story of Freawaru -- the king's daughter and oft-forgot character. As the title alludes, Rogers is writing a trilogy on the topic, centered solely on the women of the Old English epic. For those who prefer Cliffsnotes, Beowulf is a heavily masculine tale of heroes, monsters, dragons and battle -- though at 3,182 lines, there are far more intricacies involved.
Conversation commences at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, at 6428 South McClintock Drive in Tempe. Admission is free; paperback copies of the book ($15.95) will be available for purchase. Visit www.changinghands.com or call 480-730-0205 for details. -- Janessa Hilliard
It's a nod to the watering holes of old, though with vastly better fashion sense -- and arguably less homemade moonshine.
Wednesdays at The Western feature dance lessons, live music and plenty of whiskey to get over that humpday slump. Homegrown girl-fronted honky-tonk and country crew Trailer Queen takes over the dancehall around 9 p.m., featuring a rotating array of musicians rooted in old school rockabilly.
Nights begin with swing dance lessons from Steve Conrad, hosted by the Arizona Lindy Hop Society. Should you need a little liquid encouragement to get those legs moving, try one of three countrified Moscow Mules called "Camp Cup Cocktails" ($10) or a $5 draft. You'll be a swinging sensation in no time.
Swing that partner starting at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, at The Western, 6830 East Fifth Avenue in Scottsdale. Entry to the 21-and-over event is free. Call 480-947-3585 or visit www.thewesternaz.com. -- Janessa Hilliard
When we say that Arizona is home to a lot of people who are funny, we're not just joshing. We could take a beat and tack on the punch line, "funny-looking." But this is really for serious.
The Valley's home to a slew of stand-up comedians and sketch jokesters. But from April 17 through 19, the spotlight will shine brightest on our guys who make it up as they go along. The 13th annual Phoenix Improv Festival features 26 improv troupes from across the country -- 17 of which are based in or have ties to Arizona. Nine of those locals, including Unicorn Warpath and Robot Destroyers from Planet Earth will get the goofiness going with an Arizona showcase at 7 p.m. Thursday. Throughout the weekend, attendees will sample the comedic styles of Boston squad Specter, Minneapolis' Michael Keaton, and Phoenix's Galapagos, featuring New Times contributor Jose Gonzalez.
The comedy marathon runs through Saturday at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. See the full schedule and buy tickets, which range from $10 to $15 per show, at www.thephoeniximprovfestival.com. Call the Herberger box office at 602-252-8598. -- Becky Bartkowski
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Paul Zindel, who gained fame for young adult novels like the Pigman trilogy, was a playwright first. His biting 1967 And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little is technically about three Miss Reardons toiling in NYC's school system: the married sister, the drunk sister, and the crazy sister, one of whom may have banged a student. Topical!
The play was the première production of Chicago's Steppenwolf, the same company that fostered your Malkovich, your Sinise, your Tracy Letts and Laurie Metcalf. Scottsdale's Theatre Artists Studio presents Reardon through Sunday, April 27, with dysfunctional laughs and quality scenery-chewing from some of our finest actresses. Friday, April 18's performance begins at 7:30 p.m. at 4848 East Cactus Road. Tickets are $10 to $20 at 602-765-0120 or www.thestudiophx.org. -- Julie Peterson