Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike’s latest movie Yakuza Apocalypse has been called “inspired lunacy.” This action thriller, packed with martial arts, supernatural beings, and lots of blood, should get you in the mood for Halloween, and it’s screening at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street, October 9 to 13. But it’s something of a goofball comedy; In addition to the requisite vampires and yakuza gangsters who make up the main cast, expect appearances by a dude in a frog suit (don’t ask).
Catch a screening of Yakuza Apocalypse on Monday, October 12, at 6:50 p.m. Tickets are $9 and can be purchased online or at the door. Minors under 21 must be accompanied by a legal guardian. For more information, visit thefilmbarphx.com. Katrina Montgomery
Debate Watch Party
On-stage bickering between candidates; questions about favorite Bible verses; blood coming out of Megyn Kelly’s wherever — the two nationally televised debates of this political season have either been great fun or incredibly depressing. But Republicans have hosted both of them; it’s time for the Democrats to give us some drinking-game material. You’ll want to see the first Democratic debate at DeSoto Central Market, where the Arizona for Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign is hosting a watch party, and you’ll at least be around people as you laugh and cry at the political process. Trust us: it helps.
Feel the Bern at the Democratic Debate Watch Party 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 13, at DeSoto Central Market, 915 North Central Avenue in Phoenix. Call 602-680-7747 for more. Zach Fowle
2015 Spelling Bee for Adults
S-c-h-e-r-e-n-s-c-h-n-i-t-t-e. The German word meaning “the art of paper cutting design” was one of two winners at this spring’s Scripps National Spelling Bee — but you don’t have to be a pre-teen to show off your spelling skills. Grown-ups compete for bragging rights and prizes during their own semiannual 2015 Spelling Bee for Adults this week at Changing Hands Bookstore. Proceeds benefit scholarships for the Asian American Journalists Association of Arizona.
The bee begins at 7 p.m. (doors at 6:30) on Wednesday, October 14, at The Newton, 300 West Camelback Road. Tickets are $10 for both spectators and participants; the latter must register by Wednesday, October 7. And though it may hinder one’s cognitive abilities, there will be happy hour pricing on a-l-c-o-h-o-l. Visit www.aajabee.eventbrite.com for more. Janessa Hilliard
"Thea Porter: Bohemian Chic"
Jerusalem-born and Damascus-raised, the late Thea Porter brought a decidedly Middle Eastern look to London’s runways in the 1960s. With high necklines, bright blues and oranges, and flowing sleeves, Porter popularized what’s now recognized as bohemian chic.
Laura Helms delves into Porter’s career in Thea Porter: Bohemian Chic, and discusses the designer and the book at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue, on Wednesday, October 14. A ticketed luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. and costs $33 for non-museum members and $30 for members. A lecture follows and is free with museum admission, $15 for adults. Visit www.phxart.org or call 602-257-1222. Becky Bartkowski
Keith and The Girl
Like seeing podcasters outside of their natural habitats? Now you've got your chance.
Duo Keith and The Girl are stopping in the Valley as they take their long-running comedy show on the road for some live podcasting that lets you witness them in action. This year marks a decade that the pair – Keith Malley and Chemda Khalili – have been doing the award-winning show that finds them discussing their personal lives, pop-culture, and politics hilariously and with no holds barred. Recurring themes include the uprising of robots, and making fun of nerds. The pod people take the stage at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 14, at Tempe Improv, 930 East University Drive. Admission is $30, plus a two-drink minimum. Call 480-921-9877 or visit www.tempeimprov.com. Amy Young
Hershey Felder As Irving Berlin
One test of a songwriter is whether her or his compositions are still familiar decades later. While they may not be currently dope as shit, Irving Berlin ditties like “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “White Christmas,” and “God Bless America” will be sung and listened to in perpetuity.
Pianist/actor Hershey Felder has created several one-man shows in which he portrays tunesmiths ranging from George Gershwin to Franz Liszt — the oeuvre is called The Composer Sonata. The most successful so far, Hershey Felder As Irving Berlin, is presented by Arizona Theatre Company through Sunday, October 25, at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Showtimes on Thursday, October 15, are 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $42 to $73 at 602-256-6995 or www.arizonatheatre.org. Julie Peterson
2004’s Anchorman introduced us to boisterous sportscaster Champ Kind. But David Koechner, the man behind the “Whammy!,” started his path to the big screen several years before that. Studying at iO in Chicago with comedy guru Del Close in the mid-90s made a memorable impact. In a phone interview with New Times, Koechner said, “I used to liken it to comedy bootcamp, with live rounds being shot at your head. It always felt that intense.”
The dedication paid off with the comedic actor hitting the hallowed stages of Second City and landing stints at Saturday Night Live and Late Night with Conan O’Brien soon after. Today, Koechner is practically ubiquitous with roles in Comedy Central’s Another Period and ABC’s The Goldbergs and a handful of films including this December’s horror/comedy flick Krampus.
Koechner is at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 15. Tickets are $22. Visit www.standuplive.com to purchase tickets. Jose Gonzalez