Baylen Levine, Moth Storyslam and Phoenix’s best events this week | Phoenix New Times

The five best things to do in Phoenix this week

There’s plenty to do after dark in the Valley this week, including catching the Phoenix Mercury and attending "Drunk Shakespeare."
YouTuber Baylen Levine brings his Never Grow Up tour to Phoenix on Wednesday.
YouTuber Baylen Levine brings his Never Grow Up tour to Phoenix on Wednesday. Ticketweb
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Look, we get it. With the extreme temperatures sticking around Arizona for the next several days, you’re likely not leaving the house while the sun is out. Thankfully, there’s a variety of things to do after dark in the Valley when temperatures have lessened.

The options include attending the latest edition of The Moth: Phoenix Storyslam, checking out art or watching actors get blasted while reciting Shakespeare. Zoomers can also witness the chaotic antics of YouTube star Baylen Levine while Phoenix Mercury fans can cheer on their team. Here are all the details.
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Getting blasted with the Bard at "Drunk Shakespeare."
Tom McGrath

‘Drunk Shakespeare’

Monday, July 17, and Tuesday, July 18
The Rose Theatre, 455 N. 3rd St.
The elevator pitch for "Drunk Shakespeare" is relatively simple: A group of local actors gathers inside a speakeasy-like theater to perform the Bard while one of them imbibes five shots of liquor and grows increasingly hammered in leading the cast through a particular play. The result is an uproarious 90-minute theatrical experience that has been previously performed in New York City, Chicago and other cities across the U.S. Since debuting in the Valley last summer, shows have been taking place inside the Rose Theatre at the Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix. This week, you can catch performances at 7:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. Tickets are $39 to $79 plus taxes and fees. More info and the complete schedule are available online.
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WNBA All-Star and Phoenix Mercury legend Brittney Griner is still finding her footing.
Lorie Shaull

Phoenix Mercury versus Connecticut Sun

Tuesday, July 18
Footprint Center, 201 E. Jefferson St.
If you’re a Phoenix Mercury fan, the first half of the season has been painful to watch. A raft of injuries sidelined key players at various points over the past two months, including Shey Peddy’s ongoing Achilles woes, while Brittney Griner has been finding her footing after returning to the team. As a result, Phoenix amassed a dreadful 2-10 record to start the season and Head Coach Vanessa Nygaard was fired in June. Can the Mercury turn things around in the second half of the season and somehow secure a spot in the WNBA playoffs? They’ve done so before, including staging comebacks the past few years. The road to redemption could begin on Tuesday night when Phoenix hosts top-ranked Connecticut Sun at Footprint Center. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. and tickets start at $20.

Baylen Levine: The Never Grow Up Tour

Wednesday, July 19
Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Ave.
Like legions of other YouTube and TikTok stars, Baylen Levine will go to extreme lengths for online fame and social media clout. The 22-year-old is known for taste-testing expired snacks, various pranks and causing chaos in retail stores. He’s been 86’d from Walmart multiple times. Whether you find Levine’s shenanigans entertaining or cringeworthy depends largely on your age. Boomers and Gen-Xers tend to find his behavior annoying, while Zoomers have flocked to his YouTube channel (4.4 million subscribers) and TikTok (5.7 million followers). They’ve also been packing the stops on his Never Grow Up tour, which features live pranks, wild stunts and spazzy antics. Levine is set to invade the Crescent Ballroom on Wednesday at 8 p.m. The event is technically sold out but tickets are available on the secondary market.
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The entrance to Phoenix Art Museum.
Lynn Trimble

‘Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesday’

Wednesday, July 19
Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave.
Want to get out of the soul-crushing heat while soaking up some culture on the cheap? Head for the Phoenix Art Museum from 3 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday when you can explore its various works — which include paintings, sculpture and other mediums — during “Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesday.” The long-running weekly event offers the general public a chance to visit the museum in exchange for voluntary donations of whatever amount they choose. Access to special engagement exhibitions, such as “Juan Francisco Elso: Por América,” requires a separate admission, but is available for the reduced rate of $6 per person (plus a $2 surcharge fee) for adults and free for kids 17 and under. Complete details are available on PAM’s website.
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Local storytellers will spin sweaty yarns on Thursday night.
Suvan Chowdhury/Pexels

The Moth: Phoenix Storyslam

Thursday, July 20
Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. 2nd Ave.
The summertime swelter is inescapable. Not only is it occupying your every waking moment these days, it's all anyone wants to talk about, be it on social media, on the nightly news or around the dinner table. It plays into the theme of the latest edition of The Moth: Phoenix Storyslam, the Crescent Ballroom’s monthly open-mic storytelling competition. Participants have up to five minutes to tell a personal tale involving perspiration of some sort, whether it's amusing yarns about suffering through a hot yoga session or stories of harrowing experiences where palms were clammy. Hopefully, they won’t get any flop sweat while they’re up on stage. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 through the Crescent Ballroom website.
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