New Times picks the best things to do in metro Phoenix from April 29 to May 1.
The powerhouse duo of playwright Kim Porter and director Duane Daniels, which brought us 2011’s Munched, is generating significant buzz for the world première of Porter’s Blue Galaxy, with songs by Roger P. Clark (“Stairway to Gilligan’s Island”). Not only does the production bear a pedigree of the Best [in] Show variety, it’s a musical about fat fetishism set in a rockabilly club. (Okay, so that’s akin to saying Schindler’s List is a movie about a cookware factory. Anyhoo . . .)
Blue Galaxy’s at Space 55 through Sunday, May 22. Its particular story of being loved for oneself (and where to draw the personal line between that and feeling objectified) is packed with crinolines and grown-up sexuality and not for kids (still an insufficient description). Savor opening night starting at 8 p.m. Friday, April 29, at 636 East Pierce Street. Tickets are $15 to $20 at www.space55.org. Julie Peterson
Artist Lecture with Claire A. Warden
Not one to be pigeonholed for describing off-putting language and flavoring snacks, salt had quite the impact on art history. For real: Pepper’s perennial counterpart played an integral part in the evolution of photography, thanks to one William Henry Fox Talbot, who had one of the coolest names ever and discovered how to harness the oceanic element to create the first positive-negative photographic process.
If that is confusing and/or intriguing, take note. Phoenix-based artist Claire A. Warden will discuss the salt-printing process in a free lecture at Gilbert photography hub Art Intersection at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 29, and lead a workshop ($170 for the public) on the process the following day.
Warden’s talk and workshop take place at 207 North Gilbert Road, Suite 201. For more information, visit www.artintersection.com. Becky Bartkowski
Diamondbacks vs. Rockies
At 162 games, the Major League Baseball season is more marathon than spring, which is good news for the Arizona Diamondbacks. April has not been kind to the snakes, who entered their 2016 campaign with very high hopes. It all started with a season-opening series against the Colorado Rockies, but it felt more like the D-backs versus rookie Trevor Story. The 23-year-old became the first player in history to hit a home run in his first three games as a pro, and he did it at Chase Field, 401 East Jefferson Street. Story has cooled off since then, but you can bet that the ‘Backs won’t get caught snoozing on the rookie again when the Rox return to Phoenix at 6:45 p.m. on Friday April, 29. Tickets are $10 and up. Visit www.dbacks.com or call 602-514-8400. Rob Kroehler
Cerberus Cup XXIV
In Greek mythology, Cerberus is a massive, vicious, terrifying, three-headed, probably very smelly dog that guards the gates to the underworld, preventing the souls within from escaping. Cheery, huh? Like the creature that inspired its name, the Cerberus Cup is also a mythical beast, appearing only when a month contains a magical fifth weekend within its calendar days. But its duty is much more appealing: to provide three-person teams of improv pros the chance to go head-to-head-to-head against other Cerberi for glory — and $150.
Get your three heads together for Cerberus Cup XXIV 8:30 p.m. Friday, April 29, at The Torch Theater, 4721 North Central Avenue. Registration is $33 per team. Call 602-456-2876 or visit www.thetorchtheater.com for more. Zach Fowle
One of the inherent dangers of creating futuristic art (whether concept albums — see Alan Parsons — or films) is that any attempts at gravitas are often diluted over time as history turns the work into inadvertent comedy. In 1995, Keanu Reeves portrayed a data courier from the year 2021 in the sci-fi film Johnny Mnemonic. Not that anyone could have foreseen how quickly technology would evolve, but many of the film’s technological assertions are indeed comedic by today’s standards — and we’ve still got five years to go before ’21. Yet for unintended reasons, Mnemonic is entertaining, which is why JumpCut! is showing the film at Mesa’s The Grid, 525 South Gilbert Road, on Friday, April 29. Admission is $7 for the screening and free arcade games, and VIP packages are available, too. For details on the 21-and-over event, visit www.brownpapertickets.com or call 480-621-8088. Rob Kroehler
Independent Bookstore Day
Think twice before you place that book order on Amazon Prime. This weekend is all about the bookshop down the street. Join book lovers across the nation for the second annual Independent Bookstore Day, a celebration of indie booksellers and the special place they occupy in their communities. Locally, you can find IBD perks at Changing Hands Bookstore. Both store locations will be selling special merchandise that you can’t find anywhere else, including a Neil Gaiman coloring book and perfect burger print signed by Anthony Bourdain.
Independent Bookstore Day is Saturday, April 30. Changing Hands Tempe, 6428 South McClintock Drive, will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road, will be open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Participation is free, and items’ costs vary. For more information, visit www.indiebookstoreday.com or www.changinghands.com. Katrina Montgomery
There are writers, there are storytellers, and then there’s David Sedaris.
A keen observer, clever humorist, and satirical genius, Sedaris hasn’t written a new novel or released an essay collection since 2013’s Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, but that hardly means he’s slowed down. Instead, he’s taken to touring nationally, lending a recognizable voice and wit to gatherings of live audiences, rather than recordings.
The Grammy winner, author and essayist, and This American Life contributor will read from his recent works, answer audience questions, and sign books (dig out that copy of Naked) — or even, perhaps, a New Yorker piece or two.
Spend an evening with Sedaris starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, at Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams Street, produced by Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $29 to $69 each and are available at either box office numbers, 480-499-8587 or 602-262-6225, or through www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org. Janessa Hilliard
"Return to the Desert"
As much as we love the outdoors, an opportunity to pop indoors and ogle paintings that illustrate the desert’s beauty is a welcome respite.
The retrospective “Return to the Desert: Celebrating 25 Years of Paintings by Dyana Hesson” features oil paintings by the artist that highlight the benefit of going off the grid and getting up-close looks at desert plants. From orchids to cacti, she mixes a warm palette, sharp lines, and light to magnify and illuminate the beauty of regional plant life. Head inside to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 1, in the Ottosen Gallery at the Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway. The exhibition is included in the $10 to $22 general admission price, and is free for children 2 and younger. Call 602-921-1225 or visit www.dbg.org. Amy Young
Growing up is, to put it plainly, a bitch. And adulting? It’s only kind of better. For that sentiment much more beautifully expressed, we suggest picking up Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, or if you’re theatrically inclined, viewing the National Theatre Live taped performance of the book’s stage adaptation at Bristol Old Vic. Follow Jane’s life from bullied orphan to — well, we don’t want to spoil the whole thing But suffice it to say, the coming-of-age story is presented at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 1, at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue. General admission is $18, and details are available at www.phxart.org or by calling 602-257-1880. Becky Bartkowski