9 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

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New Times picks the top weekend events in the Phoenix area from November 13 through 15.

The holiday season will soon descend upon valley stages with lighthearted, sugary fare. There’s nothing wrong with dessert but Disgraced is bringing heavy food for thought to the table. The 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Ayad Akhtar is centered around a dinner party hosted by American-born Manhattan lawyer Amir Kapoor and his emerging artist wife, Emily. The conversations heat up as attendees sidestep the notion of avoiding the discussion of religion and politics in polite company.

The Arizona Theatre Company’s production of Disgraced is at the Herberger Theater, 222 East Monroe Street in Phoenix, at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 13. and performances continue through Sunday, November 29. Admission ranges from $28 to $68. Visit ATC online for more information. Jose Gonzalez

Arizona Writer's Conference
Wordsmiths from all over the Valley are encouraged to pick up their pens (or open their laptops) this weekend during the Second Annual Arizona Writer’s Conference, presented by Wilkes University. The two-day event features workshops in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and screenwriting, publisher panels, and a reading and book signing from Beverly Donofrio, best-selling author of Riding in Cars with Boys.
A conference-sponsored open mic will be held at 6 p.m. as part of Second Friday Out on November 13 at Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street. The conference begins with a poetry slam at 8 p.m. at Wilkes University, 245 West Second Street in Mesa. Programming continues at 9 a.m. on Saturday, November 14. Admission is $55, $25 for students with ID. To register, call 480-878-4412 or email austin.bennett@wilkes.edu. Janessa Hilliard

Bruce Munro
Light is mandatory if you’re going to see art (or anything else). Bruce Munro cuts out the middleman by making his enchanting installations from what appears to be light itself. The landscape of indoor and outdoor spaces in the Valley will be drenched in Munrovia this fall as four exhibits take up residence. One of them, at Lisa Sette Gallery, features Ferryman’s Crossing II, inspired by a portion of Hermann Hesse’s Siddharta and including part of the novel translated into Morse code transmitted to the viewer via digital light.

Fight seasonal affective disorder through Saturday, January 2, 2016, at 210 East Catalina Drive. Admission is free. Call 480-990-7342 or visit www.lisasettegallery.com for more info. Hours on Friday, November 13, are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Julie Peterson

Florencia en el Amazonias
Mickey Mouse’s debut “Steamboat Willy” turns 87 this month. As action-packed as the rodent’s journey down the river was, it can’t compare to that of Florencia Grimaldi. The diva of Florencia en el Amazonias navigates the tumultuous waters of lost love in the Gabriel García Márquez-inspired opera by Daniel Catán. The late Mexican composer’s opus, with libretto by García Márquez acolyte Marcela Fuentes-Berain, was the first Spanish-language opera to be commissioned by major American opera houses.

Arizona Opera’s Florencia en el Amazonias is Friday, November 13, at Phoenix Symphony Hall, 75 North Second Street. Admission ranges from $25 to $160 depending on seating and show time is 7:30 p.m. To purchase tickets in advance or for more information on performances running through Sunday, visit www.azopera.org. Jose Gonzalez

Grand Avenue Festival
If the Grand Avenue Festival and Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts haven’t seemed like enough of a circus the past six years, 2015’s official theme is literally Big Top Phoenix. Since Phoenix’s iconoclastic art community tends to resist all things official, expect Little House on the Prairie costumes and Jacobean-style hyperkinetic assemblages.

The GAP/PAPA occupies our favorite diagonal on Saturday, November 14, from 11 a.m. (because, frankly, these folks aren’t early risers) to 10 p.m. It’s a kid-friendly event with free parking and all kinds of stuff like live music, food, crafting, architectural tours, the much-beloved Untrashed Recycled Rubbish Fashion Show and Trashy Hat Promenade, and art, art, art. The parade unspools from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and “after hours” from 8 to 10 p.m. promises a more mellow funk. Most activities occur on Grand between 15th Avenue and Polk Street. Admission is free. Visit www.facebook.com/events/795058833940164 or call 602-391-4016. Julie Peterson

Steven Wright
If you like your comedy on the dry side, a night with legendary comic Steven Wright should leave you feeling as though you’ve experienced a drought. Wright started his comedy career in the late 1970’s and by the mid-‘80s his deadpan delivery of one-liners ranging from silly to philosophical propelled him into the big leagues, with successes like a Grammy-nominated comedy album and a special for HBO. This witty, arid performance begins at 8 p.m. on November 14 at Talking Stick Resort, 9800 East Indian Bend Road in Scottsdale. Admission is $30 to $65. Call 480-850-7734 or visit www.talkingstickresort.com. Amy Young

Front Porch Pickins
We have it on good authority from thrifty, vintage-loving friends that Front Porch Pickins will be a must-attend this year. Whether you’re hunting for a particular Corningware or Pyrex pattern, or a Magic Step kitchen chair just like your grandma had, you’ll have a good shot at finding all of them at this vintage and handmade marketplace, which promises more than 250 vendors specializing in all manner of collectibles and knickknacks. Come with a wishlist or meander as you please on Friday and Saturday, November 13 and 14, at Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 North 83rd Avenue. Early-entry tickets are $10, while $3 gets you in at the door. See details at frontporchpickins.com. Becky Bartkowski

Certified Local Fall Festival
Fall is a time of celebration that comes with a bountiful harvest. Oktoberfest in Germany is a celebration spawned by locals enjoying the fruits of their labors. In the Valley, we have the Certified Local Fall Festival. Whether intentional or not, the Phoenix version — with food, wines, and beers all served up by local restaurants, breweries and merchants (more than 100 all told) — mirrors that of Germany. Perhaps we’re also celebrating that break in the weather, but this is as good an excuse as any to spend some time outside. Bring the kiddies too — they’ll have plenty to stay occupied.

Keep it local from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, November 14, at the Portland Parkway, 10 West Portland Street. Entry is free. Visit www.localfirstaz.com/fall-festival. Glenn BurnSilver

Historic Roosevelt Home Tour
The Roosevelt Action Association kicks off home-tour season with a peek into downtown Phoenix’s historic landscape during a day filled with food trucks, a craft fair, and guided tours by Marshall Shore.

Think west of Roosevelt Row, to the neighborhoods that have long stood between McDowell Road and Van Buren Street, and Central and Seventh avenues. Those on display during the Historic Roosevelt Home Tour include bungalows, tudors, and period revivals built between 1893 and 1930, creating an eclectic neighborhood and a still-standing slice of history, bordered by other long-established hubs like F.Q. Story and Grand Avenue.

The tour runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, November 15, within the historic Roosevelt district, including Roosevelt, Portland, and Latham streets. Tickets are $11 in advance, $14 day of. Visit www.rooseveltneighborhood.org. Janessa Hilliard

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