7 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Repellent Fence
It’s a truth that comes in many forms to the border areas between the United States and Mexico: If you can’t reach through the fence, reach over it.

That same concept drives Postcommodity, a long-term social collaboration between artists and activists Raven Chacon, Cristobal Martinez, and Kade L. Twist, meant to demonstrate the interconnectedness of the Western Hemisphere: its lands, its histories, and its peoples — physical deterrents be damned.

Their newest installment, Repellent Fence, features 28 large-scale (10-foot-wide) balloons are tethered to the earth, floating approximately 75 feet above the surrounding desert landscape and desolation, towering over the existing fence.

The public art piece debuts at 7 a.m. on Friday, October 9 on the morning of Saturday, October 10, due to weather delays. The show is slated to run through the morning of Monday, October 12, along the southern border between Douglas, Arizona, and Agua Prieta, Sonora. Visit for more information. Janessa Hilliard

Arizona Curriculum Theater has scared our pants off with Poefest for seven years now. Ol’ Edgar was a somewhat dark individual, which is expressed (horribly) in his stories and poems. So the run-up to Halloween is an excellent time to see actors share this captivating and creepy language, through the medium of characters who are 19th-century insane asylum inmates.

The program rotates so that you can attend more than once and experience completely different selections. On Friday, October 9, the lineup consists of A Dream Within a Dream (miserable), The Tell-Tale Heart (aaaah!), and The Cask of Amontillado (oh, dear God, no). Get tickets ($22 to $26) at for the performance at Hotel San Carlos’ Ghost Lounge, 202 North Central Avenue; call 888-343-4228 for information you can’t find there, if any. Passes to the entire run, including a Halloween night “The Raven” marathon at Rosson House Museum, are $50. Julie Peterson

What can you expect at City Lights, Movie Nights, when the free outdoor movie series screens the 1984 classic Ghostbusters? Old Testament, Mr. Mayor. Real wrath of God-type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! And don’t forget the slime. Sounds fun, right? The first 300 guests get free Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man pops, and there’ll prizes awarded for the best-dressed Ghostbuster. Just remember: Don’t cross the streams.

The ghosts get busted during City Lights, Movie Nights at 6:30 p.m. Friday, October 9, at CityScape, One East Washington Street. Visit for more. Zach Fowle

When Orange Theatre Group presents 20 minutes of a work in progress, you gotta see it, because it’s probably more entertaining and troubling than two hours of somebody else’s theater. Your next opportunity is Elektranostop, based on the ancient and/or mythical Greek family in which Agamemnon, charmingly, sacrifices his daughter Iphigenia, Klytaimestra kills her husband, Agamemnon, and their son, Orestes, kills his mom. But hold on, because there’s always more — you’ll taste notes of David Foster Wallace, Natural Born Killers, the Menendez Brothers, Godard, and other influences.

On Friday, October 9, enjoy a bite-size play at 8 p.m. at 1711 West Culver Street. Pay what you can. (Don’t be a dick.) Reserve tickets online at Call 602-456-0684 for more information. Julie Peterson

"In Advance of Identity"
They say that bad things come in threes (see: baseball strikes, Justin Bieber albums), but fortunately for us, this Saturday’s three-for-one is a good thing.

Fine Art Complex 1101, 1101 West University Drive in Tempe, opens its doors to the public on Saturday, with an inaugural exhibition featuring three separate shows. “In Advance of Identity” showcases four artists exploring the concept of identity, “Once Removed” is a meditation on popular culture by artist Peter Bugg, and “Malena Barnhart: Video Works” is an installation of videos that take a closer look at gender structures and expectations.

Plus, you know, it’s Bieber-free.

Opening night is Saturday, October 10, from 7 to 10 p.m., but all three exhibits run through October 31. Visit or find them on Facebook for more information. Melissa Campana

The Taste Test
What would it take for your best friend to betray you?

Money? Love? A bacon double cheeseburger? The Taste Test, a play by Frank Higgins, tells the story of three characters who wrestle with that question.

Performed by the Black Theatre Troupe at the Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 East Washington Street, the show follows a woman who tries to stay true to herself while working for an aging “wild card” of a boss.

Set during the Cola wars of the 1980s, the play examines loyalty and betrayal in corporate America. So…it’s basically timeless.
The Taste Test begins at 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 10, and tickets are $32. Call 602-258-8128 or visit The show runs through October 25. Melissa Campana

Fall Plant Sale
It’s a good time of year to go cactus crazy. The Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, is hosting their annual Fall Plant Sale, with more than 30,000 plants available for purchase, including cactus, succulents, trees, shrubs, herbs, and more. The sale features the largest variety of arid-adapted plants in a single location; this year, there will be an emphasis on plants that can help create a home butterfly garden. Staff horticulturalists will be available to offer advice on plant care and maintenance.

The Fall Plant Sale runs from October 9 to 11. On Sunday, the sale will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 480-481-8188 or visit Katrina Montgomery

Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version with new information.
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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
Melissa Campana is a freelance writer, stay-at-home mom, and all-around decent human being. She enjoys playdates, cocktails, and playdates that involve cocktails.
Contact: Melissa Campana
Zach Fowle
Contact: Zach Fowle
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
Katrina Montgomery
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