Best Phoenix Events September 5 to 8: Labor Day Drag, Fight Club, Bar Flies | Phoenix New Times


9 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

New Times picks the best things to do in metro Phoenix from Monday, September 5, through Thursday, September 8. For more options, see our curated calendar of events.  Labor Day Divas While yes, for most people, the Labor Day holiday means an extra day off work, if you’re planning on attending...
Share this:
New Times picks the best things to do in metro Phoenix from Monday, September 5, through Thursday, September 8. For more options, see our curated calendar of events

Labor Day Divas
While yes, for most people, the Labor Day holiday means an extra day off work, if you’re planning on attending Kobalt Bar’s Labor Day Divas Show you better be prepared to work (it), honey.

Hang out with the boys of summer for a day for drinking — and drag — during the afternoon party, which starts at 1 p.m. on Monday, September 5, at 3110 North Central Avenue. Hosted by TC Taylor, a former Miss Gay Arizona, the annual revue features lip syncing and signature sass from some of the Valley’s favorite queens, Aimee V. Justice, Lady Christian, Payda Parc, and Barbra Seville.

There’s no cover for the 21-and-over event, and the party runs all night when Seville guest hosts weekly Naughty or Nice Bingo at 9:30 p.m. Happy-hour drink specials are available from open until close, and finger foods will be provided. For more information, dial 602-264-5307 or visit Janessa Hilliard

The Marry Mart
By modern bride-to-be standards, the Dixie Cups’ “Going to the Chapel of Love” is nothing short of shocking. Gee, they just were in love, went to a chapel, and then got married? Certifiably insane.

Nowadays, you need an Instagram-famous photographer, the perfect dress tailored to allow for last-minute pounds gained or lost, and a really good story to cover up the fact that you and your betrothed met on Tinder. More like going to the Chapel of the Patron Saint of Stress Acne. And yet, for Phoenicians in the midst of wedding planning (or Pinteresting), there’s hope by way of The Marry Mart, a wedding marketplace founded by makeup artist Stephanie Neiheisel and multi-hyphenate creative Amelia Walsh that brings together some of the Valley’s top “I do” experts. Think indie dressmakers, florists, and bakers all under one roof at the Vintage 45, 45 West Buchanan Street, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, September 5. Tickets are $5 to $20 via For details and the complete vendor lineup, see Becky Bartkowski

J.A. Jance
Bestselling mystery author J.A. Jance divides her time between Arizona and Seattle, depending on the series she’s working on. She’s back in Arizona at 7 p.m. on Tuesday for a release party for her latest Joanna Brady novel, Downfall. She will sign copies at the Poisoned Pen, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard in Scottsdale.

Downfall finds the Bisbee sheriff caught in a tight re-election campaign while investigating the possible murder of two women who fell to their deaths from a local mountain.

Downfall is currently available for pre-order for $26.99, and hits stores on September 6. Admission is free, but purchase of Downfall is requested. Call 480-947-2974 or visit for more information. Michael Senft

Phoenix International Folk Dancers
Some of you gym rats have no social life. Work that body, sure, but it’s also important to make friends. Swap one day of treadmill time for collaborative cardio by joining Phoenix International Folk Dancers on Tuesday evenings at the Irish Cultural Center.

Folk dance originates among ordinary people, not professionals, so it isn’t too tricky, though it can be challenging. The fun begins at 7 p.m., and includes instruction and a set of requested dances, in case your tour of such dance havens as Armenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Macedonia wasn’t sufficient and you’re still hankering for a tarantella or Morris dance. Skip over to 1106 North Central Avenue and offer up a $3 to $5 donation. For more info, visit or call 623-428-9666. Julie Peterson

“Great Debate: Political Bodies: Sex, Gender & Reproductive Rights”
Girls just want to have fun … ahem ... damental rights, among many others. Allow the ASU Origins Project to expand on that with “Great Debate: Political Bodies: Sex, Gender & Reproductive Rights” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 7.

This panel discussion plans to “explore and examine these issues in the context of the scientific origins of sex and gender and the social, cultural, and political ways we live and express it,” at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams Street. Participants include Anne Fausto-Sterling, Kaiponanea Matsumura, Gloria Feldt, Phyllis Randolph Frye, Jennifer Finney Boylan, and Lawrence Krauss.

Tickets are free to students (two per student with ID), $16 for the main floor, $9 for the balcony, and $43 for VIP access at or 877-840-0457. Visit for more. Lauren Cusimano

Fight Club
If you are Jack’s utter lack of things to do on Wednesday night, consider heading over to Studio Movie Grill in Scottsdale.

Fight Club, the David Fincher flick based on the book by Chuck Palahniuk, is showing at 7:30 p.m. on September 7, as part of the theater’s “Date Night” series, oddly enough. Though the movie is nearly 20 years old, the writing still feels as fresh and original as it did in 1999. For $3, you get a lesson in support groups, soap-making, Brad Pitt’s abs and, of course, an underground fighting ring with the most famous rules of them all.

Studio Movie Grill is located at 15515 North Hayden Road, and tickets are available at or by calling 480-991-3106. Fight Club is rated R. Melissa Campana

Artist Talk: Sama Alshaibi
There’s a lot more to being linked in than using a digital networking app. Just ask artist Sama Alshaibi, who created a series of large-scale photographs and videos titled silsila — the Arabic word for “link.” Born in Iraq to parents of Palestinian and Iraqi descent, she’s made the transition from political refugee to American citizen.

Alshaibi’s work is on view at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street, where she’s giving a free artist talk at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 8. It’s a chance to hear her perspective on complex issues from migration to environmental demise.

Check out her “southwestNET Sama Alshaibi: Silsila” exhibition, in which the feminine form serves as metaphor for humanity and the natural world, while you’re there. Visit Lynn Trimble

Bar Flies
From DJ Khaled songs and Olympic gold medal counts to tears shed during an episode of Toddlers and Tiaras, we as a society might be a little obsessed with winning. Not that there’s anything wrong with healthy competition, of course. Thursday, September 8’s edition of New Times’ Bar Flies series gathers readers curated by Amy Silverman presenting true stories surrounding the theme, “And the Winner Is…” As these things go, we’d wager that you’ll hear an array of tales — some glory-bound and some not so much — from Talya Ginsburg, Paul Lucie, Ada Martin, Linda Pressman, and Deborah Sussman. Jason P. Woodbury will select the music for the event, which begins at 7 p.m. in the basement of Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. Get your tickets via Becky Bartkowski

"Ducks, Eggs and Fish"
For Chinese American painter Martin Fan Cheng, the story is in the details. The contemporary artist works with a goal of “painting the real work as we see it,” which comes across beautifully in “Ducks, Eggs and Fish,” from shadows on an egg to the sheen on scales. The collection, both an homage to a favorite hobby (fishing) and a quiet commentary on the cultural obsession with food, hangs in the Art of Asia Gallery within the Phoenix Art Museum at 1625 North Central Avenue, and will remain on view through Sunday, November 6.

See Cheng’s work during regular museum hours: Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $18 for adults. Visit or call 602-257-1880 for details. Janessa Hilliard

KEEP NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls. Make a one-time donation today for as little as $1.