7 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

"Statement Piece"
Pottery goes political at ASU Art Museum Brickyard, as curator Garth Johnson presents “Statement Piece,” an exhibition pairing works from Danish-born war objector Erik Gronborg and American veteran Ehren Tool, who served in Operation Desert Storm. Though from different backgrounds, the two have used functional ceramics in their artistic careers to address the Vietnam War and the Gulf War, respectively. Take in each perspective on Friday, August 14, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 699 South Mill Avenue, Suite 108. Admission is free. Visit for more information. Becky Bartkowski

Dirty Disney
We’ve all heard the stories: the phrase “take off your clothes” snuck into a scene in Aladdin; the word “sex” subliminally spelled out in the Lion King; a dick on the cover of The Little Mermaid. The minds at Disney are slightly dirty. The minds of Pandora Destrange and Olivia Gardens, however, are 100 percent dirty. At their show, Dirty Disney, these drag queens perform original parodies of Disney’s most classic songs, taking horrified audiences on a gender-bending trip through their most cherished childhood memories. There’s nothing subliminal about it.

Disney gets dirty at 8 p.m. Friday, August 14, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Doors open at 7 p.m., and tickets are $10. Call 602-716-2222 or visit for more. Zachary Fowle

Spirit of the Arts
The Phoenix Center for the Arts, a nonprofit that serves thousands of artists and audience members by fostering creativity through classes and productions, is as much a part of history as it is our cultural future.

But the building is slowly falling into disrepair. In an effort to improve it, the center is reaching out to the public for support with Spirit of the Arts. In partnership with community members Roosevelt Row CDC, The Breadfruit & Rum Bar, and State Representative Ken Clark, the event is part gala, part auction — and proceeds benefit preservation.

The fundraiser is from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, August 15, at 1202 North Third Street. Tickets are $75. Visit or call 602-254-3100 for event information. Janessa Hilliard

Pizza Party
Formerly of the improv teams Dawson's Queef and Marvin's Room, comedians Samuel John Lowy and Michael Margetis have spent the last six years touring the country and their hometown, performing stand-up shows and sketch acts until ultimately deciding to form their own crew.

The aptly named Pizza Party troupe “celebrates the intricacies of life through pizza.” (The duo knows their crust, as Margetis has been crowned a pizza-eating champion at Venezia’s.) They take the stage for a comedy double-header with fellow improv players Russel Crow, who are arguably funnier than the Russell Crowe you’re picturing.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m., laughs start at 8 p.m. on Saturday, August 15, at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. Tickets for the 21-and-over set are $5. Visit or call 602-368-3121. Janessa Hilliard

A View from the Bridge
It’s filmed, but it’s way more than a movie. It’s not live, but it’s only a little bit less than a play. It’s Phoenix Art Museum’s periodic presentation of National Theatre Live’s program of exceptional theater from the United Kingdom and around the world. The next screening’s one of the most critically acclaimed productions of 2014: Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, from London’s Young Vic Theatre. It stars Mark Strong, whom American audiences know from the films Sherlock Holmes and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (or, if you’re us, from Kingsman: The Secret Service). View it at 1625 North Central Avenue, Sunday, August 16, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for museum members and students and $18 for others at, or call 602-257-1880. Julie Peterson

Emily's D+Evolution
Over the past four years, acclaimed singer-songwriter and jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding has dodged any downside to the mixed blessing of her 2011 Best New Artist Grammy. In the musical wonder's latest adventure, she goes by Emily, the middle name she went by growing up, to explore her fascination with spoken word, theater, and dance as a youth. Realized as the production of Emily's D+Evolution, the show is an album come to life, unlocking the playful creativity of Spalding's youth while adding deep funk & rock into the musician's already impressive mix.

Emily's D+Evolution unfolds at Mesa Arts Center, One East Main Street, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, August 15. Admission is $35. For tickets and info, visit Jose Gonzalez

After a hiatus of a few years, Convergence Ballet returns with Metempsychosis, a program of two world premières and a Phoenix metro première by choreographers Daniel Marshalsay, Thom Dancy, and Kevin Jenkins. Metempsychosis is a type of transmigration of the soul — or reincarnation — that’s a feature of ancient Greek philosophy (and perhaps also of artistic directors trying to think of titles for compiled works).

Contemporary ballet won’t take your soul right out of your body, but you’ll feel it dancing around in there when you watch muscular dancers defying gravity starting at 7 p.m. Saturday, August 15, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. There’s also a matinee on Sunday, August 16. Tickets are $35 at or 480-350-2822. Julie Peterson

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski
Zach Fowle
Contact: Zach Fowle
Jose Gonzalez
Janessa is a native Phoenician. She joined New Times as a contributor in 2013. You can connect with her on social media at @janessahilliard, and she promises you'll find no pictures of cats on her Instagram — but plenty of cocktails.
Contact: Janessa Hilliard
Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson