Dive into art with watercolor works at Vision Gallery in Chandler.
Dive into art with watercolor works at Vision Gallery in Chandler. Photo courtesy of Vision Gallery

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Mercedez Holtry rules and schools at Word-Up Live. - COURTESY OF MESA ARTS CENTER
Mercedez Holtry rules and schools at Word-Up Live.
Courtesy of Mesa Arts Center
Word-Up Live
April is National Poetry Month. (T.S. Eliot, who called April “the cruelest month,” was in fact a poet. And an American until he was 39. Shut the front door!) Reading, writing, sharing: All are mind-expanding paths to honoring the muse.

You can also get your rhythmic, lyrical groove on by attending Word-Up Live. Part of the fifth annual Young Voices Rise Youth Poetry Festival, the event showcases G Yamazawa, finalist and champion of many massive poetry slams, and Chicana feminist poet Mercedez Holtry, a lifelong Burqueña (that’s Albuquerquean) who has asked Donald Trump — not face to face, but is that a bad thing? — “Who the fuck taught you history?” Okay, we can see why Eliot eventually gave up U.S.-ing.

Courtesy of St. Martin's Griffin
The spitting commences at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 7, in the Piper Repertory Theater at Mesa Arts Center, One East Main Street. Tickets are $10 at the Mesa Arts Center website or 480-644-6500. Julie Peterson

Augusten Burroughs
Author Augusten Burroughs got us hooked on sad, shocking, and caustically funny tales from his life in previous books like Running with Scissors and Dry. It’s only fair that he keeps the memoirs coming.

The best-selling author did just that with Lust & Wonder. In this new one, he shines a light on some of his previous romantic relationships. His caustic wit is ever-present as he relays stories that encompass the good and horrific components of dating. From romantic moments to conversations in the therapist’s office, he once again lets it all hang out. Hear for yourself at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 7, at Changing Hands, 6428 South McClintock Drive in Tempe. Admission is $15.99 for one copy of the book and two guests. Call 480-730-0205 or visit the Changing Hands website. Amy Young

click to enlarge Martha Hernandez and Alex Patrick perform in Fate with CaZo Dance Company. - STEPHANIE TIPPI HART/DRAGONFLY STUDIO PHOENIX
Martha Hernandez and Alex Patrick perform in Fate with CaZo Dance Company.
Stephanie Tippi Hart/Dragonfly Studio Phoenix
Riffing with the idea that not everything is under our control, Bridgette Borzillo, founder and artistic director for CaZo Dance Company, created a new full-length dance work called Fate. It’s a humorous, heartfelt look at how the lives of two couples intertwine, often with unexpected results. Expect love, laughter, sadness, and sentimentality — all set to music from the 1940s to the 1970s.

Borzillo is all about attracting new audiences to dance, in part by creating “movie-like dance programs” with themes that resonate with memory and contemporary life.

CaZo Dance Company performs Fate at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 7, at Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 North Third Street. Get seated by 7 p.m. to enjoy a free pre-show performance. Tickets are $20. Visit the CaZo Dance website. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Arizona Scientifica tours some of the Valley's most incredible laboratories. - PHOENIX CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
Arizona Scientifica tours some of the Valley's most incredible laboratories.
Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Arizona Scientifica
Some people treat art and science like opposing sports teams. But frankly, that’s old school. Today’s artists are working with cutting-edge technologies, using some of the same skills that propel leaders in scientific endeavors: observation, imagination, and problem-solving.

So, it makes perfect sense that Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is presenting a behind-the-scenes tour of several Valley laboratories, during an event they’ve dubbed Arizona Scientifica. It’s your chance to get hands-on at Stax 3D, see how mechanized exoskeletons work at ASU’s Human Machine Integration Lab, and check out 3-D printed hearts at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Cardiac 3D Print Lab.

Join museum staff for the tour, and all the compelling conversations it generates, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 8. Just get your $100 ticket online, then meet that morning at the museum parking lot to launch your adventures in arts and sciences. Visit the SMoCA website. Lynn Trimble

Phoenix Rising vs. LA Galaxy II
A lot of Phoenicians probably aren’t aware that there’s a professional soccer team in town. That’s about to change, however, with the team’s ultra-visible stadium popping up seemingly overnight just off of the 202. Moreover, the Phoenix Rising Football Club recently submitted an expansion bid to join Major League Soccer. Given MLS’s growing popularity, it’s downright baffling that Phoenix doesn’t have an MLS team already. Ranging from World Cup pedigree vets to yet-unknown youngsters, Phoenix currently plays in the Division II United Soccer League — a notch below MLS — and will look to right the ship after a season-opening loss when the LA Galaxy II visit the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex, 751 North McClintock Drive in Scottsdale, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 8. Tickets are $10 and up. Visit the Phoenix Rising website or call 623-594-9606 for details. Rob Kroehler

Courtesy of Lantern Fest
Lantern Fest
Lanterns represent happiness, luck, hope for a better future, and tidings of good fortune. During the Lantern Fest at Schnepf Farms, 24810 South Rittenhouse Road, on Saturday, April 8, floating paper lanterns will draw attention to the concept of sustainability while bringing people together. At sundown, an expected crowd of thousands will gather to release biodegradable lanterns into the sky.

The event, which runs from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., offers a plethora of family-friendly entertainment, including s’mores, face painters, balloon artists, live music, jump houses, games, and a scavenger hunt. The $40 to $50 cost for an adult ticket includes a lantern and items to make s’mores. A $7 kids’ pass for children ages 4 to 12 comes with a special gift but no lantern. Children younger than 3 receive free entry, and parking is $10. Go to the Lantern Fest website for more. Laura Latzko

click to enlarge Phillip Arran and Cole Brackney chair a moment In the Garden. - LAURA DURANT
Phillip Arran and Cole Brackney chair a moment In the Garden.
Laura Durant
In the Garden
Nearly Naked Theatre’s presentation of In the Garden, running through Saturday, April 15, is an Arizona première. In addition, the script isn’t produced super-often, so you should snarf up this opportunity to see it. Award-winning playwright Norman Allen is also a Unitarian Universalist minister, and Christianity is just one of the prisms though which the story is bent, as a mysterious young man wanders out of the park and into the lives of two stodgy couples.

No one under 17 will be admitted without a parent or legal guardian, because of, according to the theater’s website, issues that include “religious undertones and nudity.” We did get nightmares from a Samson and Delilah comic book, so one can’t be too careful.

Saturday, April 8’s showtime is 8 p.m. at Phoenix Theatre, 100 East McDowell Road. Call 602-254-2151 or visit the Phoenix Theatre website for tickets. Prices start at $27 but may increase with demand. Julie Peterson

Courtesy of Party America
Onesie Mania Pub Crawl
Clothes — what a hassle. Tops, bottoms, and what are belts even doing anymore? Going out on a Saturday night makes the process even more difficult, which is probably why Party America is hosting the 2017 Phoenix Onesie Mania Pub Crawl. It’s a massive gathering of adults in zippered jumpers ready to hit some of the Valley’s dress-code-free bars.

The crawl goes from 5 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, April 8. Tickets are $15 per 21-and-over participant via partyamericaevents.com, and include access to drinks specials, waived covers, and multiple stops to places with live DJs and dancing.

Check in at The Duce, 525 South Central Avenue, between 5 and 7 p.m. to get started. Find more info at Facebook. Lauren Cusimano

click to enlarge SCOTTSDALE PUBLIC ART
Scottsdale Public Art
Cycle the Arts Bicycle Tour
The weekend struggle is so real. Do you spend it outdoors, maybe get a little active, or do you explore the unappreciated arts and culture of your city? The Scottsdale Public Art program and the City of Scottsdale have made the weekend of Sunday, April 9, easy for you thanks to the 12th annual Cycle the Arts Bicycle Tour.

In the spirit of Arizona Valley Bike Month, the Cycle the Arts public art bike tour hits a number of new and classic, permanent and temporary art installations throughout Scottsdale. The free, leisurely paced ride meets at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, 3830 North Marshall Way, for registration starting at 8:30 a.m., with the ride leaving at 9 a.m. The two-and-a-half-hour outing is scheduled to conclude at 12:30 p.m. And P.S., helmets are required. Might want to think about sunscreen and water, too. Call 480-874-4645 or see the Scottsdale Public Art website. Lauren Cusimano

click to enlarge The glitz gets going at 5 p.m. - COURTESY OF MISS GAY ARIZONA USOFA NEWCOMER
The glitz gets going at 5 p.m.
Courtesy of Miss Gay Arizona USOFA Newcomer
USofA Newcomer 2017 Pageant
It’s pageant season — in Scottsdale’s gay and drag-centric nightclub scene, that is. The Miss Gay Arizona USofA Newcomer 2017 Pageant is coming to BS West, 7125 East Fifth Avenue in Scottsdale, on Sunday, April 9.

Presented by USofA Pageants and Jesus Chuy Moreno, the evening will end with a crowned Miss Gay Arizona USofA Newcomer after a boisterous and glitz-heavy pageant starting at 5 p.m. (Registration is 11 a.m. for contestants.) The pageant will feature Vanity St. James (Miss Gay USofA Newcomer 2016) and Sasha Lauren (Miss Gay USofA At Large 2016), and will honor Kimberly V. Devin (Miss Gay Arizona USofA Newcomer 2016) and Diva (Miss Gay Arizona USofA Newcomer At Large 2016).

Call 480-945-9028 or see the BS West website for details. Lauren Cusimano
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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
Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Rob is a Phoenix native, husband, dad, and an active member in the local music scene. He's written original songs for feature films.
Contact: Rob Kroehler
Laura Latzko
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
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young