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5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

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What summer slowdown? Phoenix, this weekend's chock full of possibilities from poetry slams and comedy to visual art and a borderline bonkers bike ride. Take your pick.

Russell Peters

Someone's going to get a hurt. Or, most likely, some big laughs. That's because globe-trotting comedian Russell Peters has put together a new set of material and is taking it on the road.

See also: 6 Art Exhibitions to See in Metro Phoenix This Summer

Peters pieces together his experiences growing up and his observations on cultures today for a show that's as relatable as it his hysterical. Whether he's cracking jokes about confusing jobs, cell phones, or his family, Russell Peters' stand-up is an uncensored, impartial take on comedy.

Russell Peters brings his Almost Famous World Tour to the Salt River Grand Ballroom at Talking Stick Resort, 9800 East Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale. His one-night-only show in the Valley goes down at 8 p.m. Friday, July 18. Tickets for this 21-and-over show range $45 to $175. For more information, visit www.talkingstickresort.com or call the box office at 480-850-7734. -- Katie Johnson


Washed up. Watered down. All wet. While the works collected in the group exhibition "H2O" are inspired by water, there's a fair chance they won't also require those aquatically related descriptions.

That fair chance is thanks to its stacked 16-person lineup, which includes Colin Chillag, Ashley Macias, Bill Dambrova, and Abbey Messmer. Each will offer up his or her own take on the substance that makes up about 71 percent of the Earth's surface.

Because the premise is bound to make you thirsty, the exhibition's opening reception will feature chilly drinks and run from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Friday, July 18, at The Lodge Art Studio, 1231 Grand Avenue. A closing reception will be held Friday, August 1, from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Other viewing times are available by appointment. Admission is free. Visit www.facebook.com/thelodgeartstudio. -- Becky Bartkowski

Slammin' in Suburbia

A Tempe-based spoken word group has teamed up with a Scottsdale art museum to present a verbal rather than visual approach to the arts.

Phonetic Spit and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art host the second summer session of a crash course in performing pieces, poetry, and hip-hop. This year's event, Slammin' in Suburbia, is created in conjunction with SMoCA's exhibition of Bill Owens' "Suburbia," a photographic series of middle-class life in Northern California during the early 1970s. Saturday's spoken expression focuses on individual experiences of a similar nature, with a live mic performance beginning at 3 p.m.

The workshop is from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on July 19 in the SMoCA Lounge inside the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street. While the event is free, pre-registration is encouraged. Call 480-874-4642 or e-mail smocarsvp@sccarts.org to do so. Visit www.smoca.org for details. -- Janessa Hilliard

Hell Ride

The Hell Ride, as the name suggests, is not fun. You will not enjoy the 45-minute ride to the top of Phoenix's South Mountain. You will not smile as you pedal your fixed-gear bike across nearly eight miles of terrain that rises 1,300 feet in elevation. With a forecast temperature high of 109 degrees, you will feel as if you're riding through an oven. But you won't be riding alone - expert cyclists from Tempe's State Bicycle Co., organizers of the ride, will be right beside you along with dozens of others. And if you're first to the top, you'll get a cash prize and jersey crowning you King of the Mountain along with the commemorative cycling cap and patch given to every person who finishes. Almost makes it worth it.

Hell Ride 2014 fires up at high noon Saturday, July 19, at South Mountain, 10919 South Central Avenue. Visit www.statebicycle.com or call 855-557-8283 for more. -- Zachary Fowle

Kevin McDonald

The Canadian comedy sketch show Kids In The Hall had one major flaw -- it was too good, too ahead of its time. Consequently, the show never really emerged from the shadows of the mainstream, remaining instead an underground hit until its premature demise in 1995. Still, its founders David Foley and Kevin McDonald have carried on with their quirky brand of comedy, each sustaining rather successful individual careers as actors and performers. The latter will be on hand at Mesa's National Comedy Theater, 1111 South Longmore, to host a sketch comedy workshop that culminates in some stand-up from the seasoned comedy vet.

Sadly, Mr. McDonald still falls into the "oh yeah, that guy" category for some folks, in which case a Google image search might clear things up. But if you're already a fan, McDonald's upcoming visit to the Valley isn't likely to slip your mind anytime soon. Here are the details just in case: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 20. Tickets are $14. Visit www.nctphoenix.com or call 602-374-5638 for details. -- Rob Kroehler

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