Explore indigenous binaries with Eric Gansworth at Heard Museum.
Explore indigenous binaries with Eric Gansworth at Heard Museum.
courtesy of the Heard Museum

The 21 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

This week is for the nerds. So whether you wanna geek out about musical theater, WWE Wrestling, pop culture, or records, there's something for everyone. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' curated calendar.

“Indigenous Binaries: Cultural Survival in Contrast”
Some creatives manage to master both storytelling and visual art. Eric Gansworth is among them, and he’ll be sharing his unique mix of storytelling and high-contrast art during a talk at the Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue.

During his presentation, titled “Indigenous Binaries: Cultural Survival in Contrast,” Gansworth will explore the complexities of contemporary indigenous experience. It’s a chance to ponder the tensions between Native traditions and pop culture, between America’s past and present, and between the written word and painted image. The free event will be presented with the ASU Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, and will start at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 9. Visit the ASU Virginia G. Piper Center website. Lynn Trimble

Ember Moon dishes out some pain to Asuka at an NXT live event last year.
Ember Moon dishes out some pain to Asuka at an NXT live event last year.
Sabre Blade/Flickr Creative Commons

When pro wrestler Triple H announced that he’s bringing WWE’s NXT back to the Valley, it seemed too good to be true.

Fans will have the chance to see future superstars in action on Thursday, November 9. That’s just six months after the wrestling show made its Phoenix debut. The lineup has not been set yet, but there have been rumblings on Twitter that ASU alum Tucker Knight (a.k.a. Levi Cooper), member of the tag team Heavy Machinery, would like to appear at the show. Regardless of who appears, we bet it’ll be just as exciting as anything fans would see on Raw or SmackDown Live.

Cheer on the up-and-comers starting at 7:30 p.m. at Comerica Theatre, 400 West Washington Street. Tickets are $20 to $75. For more information, visit the Comerica Theatre website. Jason Keil

Stuffed animals are welcome at Phoenix Fan Fest.EXPAND
Stuffed animals are welcome at Phoenix Fan Fest.
Benjamin Leatherman

Bar Flies
Storytelling can be a cathartic experience for both the listener and speaker, and having an Arizona spin can make it even more meaningful. Local writers will share true stories at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue, on Thursday, November 9 as part of the Phoenix New Times series Bar Flies.

Started two years ago, the monthly live readings have focused on topics such as superstitions, homesickness, Christmas, ghost stories, mothers’ wisdom, and sleepovers. This month’s reading will spotlight personal stories from Kon Stamadianos, Britt Kemp, Sari Beliak, Anastasia Freyermuth, and Zaida Dedolph, with curated music by Salvador Bravo. The theme is Not as Advertised. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the 21-and-over show starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. For more information, visit the Bar Flies website. Laura Latzko

Poke dancing: Touch(ed) brings the world together.EXPAND
Poke dancing: Touch(ed) brings the world together.
Marianne Kim

The space between touching and not touching is virtually microscopic, but it makes all the difference. Say you have a friend whose hand you happen to never have held, and then something happens and you wind up holding it. Trippy, and fraught with possibilities.

Touch(ed) is a program of multimedia dance theater that brings together faculty, students, and guest artists of ASU West’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies to tell a tactile story from multiple perspectives. The brief production touches (ha ha!) on neurological matters, human rituals, and interpersonal contact through movement, text, and video components.

Performances commence at 6 and 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 9, in the University Center Building at 4701 West Thunderbird Road in Glendale. Admission is free. Visit the ASU event page. Julie Peterson

Instrument stand in the form of a divine beast.EXPAND
Instrument stand in the form of a divine beast.
Courtesy of the Henan Museum

“Ancient Musical Treasures from Central China”
Into time travel but don’t have the equipment to get you to those bygone days? Visit the Musical Instrument Museum for the exhibition “Ancient Musical Treasures from Central China.”

View more than 60 rare instruments and works of art dating back to the beginning of Chinese civilization. The show displays ancient flutes and drums, and bronze bells utilized in early Chinese rituals. Music-related art includes a ceramic pillow and a bronze drum stand sculpted in the shape of a beast.

Take in the archaic gems from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, November 10, at 4725 East Mayo Boulevard. Tickets are $7 with paid museum admission of $10 to $20 for adults. The exhibit will be on view through May 6, 2018. Call 480-478-6000 or visit the MIM website for details. Amy Young

It was Earth all along: Convergence at Arcosanti promises some grounding.
It was Earth all along: Convergence at Arcosanti promises some grounding.
Jeff Shewmon

We’re in awe of Arcosanti, the community north of Phoenix that continues to grow, albeit gradually. Construction began in 1970 under the leadership of the community’s late founder Paolo Soleri, and it continues at a medieval-cathedral pace. The principles of arcology (architecture + ecology) inform buildings, agriculture, and events at the site, including the first Convergence festival and conference from noon Friday, November 10, through Sunday, November 12.

Programming ranges from exploration of economics, climate, and indigeneity to slow food, live performance, and getting right with the universe. For day-trippers, $20 gets you into Sunday’s annual Mesquite Pancake Breakfast, which includes a free tour.

Find 13555 South Cross L Road in Mayer, near the Cordes Junction exit from I-17. Admission starts at $80 for a day pass and tops out at $350. Visit a Cooperative website or call 505-850-7602. Camping’s available onsite. Julie Peterson

Cupcake! Kiss Kiss Fang Fang
Halloween’s over, but that doesn’t mean vampires have been laid to rest.

The long-running fetish party Cupcake! is throwing another dance night. And this time, it’s vampire-themed. On Friday, November 10, Kiss Kiss Fang Fang will feature resident bloodsuckers Self.Destrukt, Betty Blackheart, and Beautiful John will spin danceable electro and industrial beats all night long.

Sport your best vampy attire for the bash, which starts at 9 p.m. at Rogue Bar, 423 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts

There proves to be life after 40 in The Dark at the Top of the Stairs.EXPAND
There proves to be life after 40 in The Dark at the Top of the Stairs.
courtesy of Desert Stages Theatre

The Dark at the Top of the Stairs
The Dark at the Top of the Stairs sounds as though it should’ve been on digital cable — starring Vincent Price — or perhaps the opener in a franchise that continues with Darker Still, Dark All the Way to the Bathroom, and Darkness IV: The Recarpeting. But let us not mourn what might have been.

TDATTOTS is a play (later, a film) penned by William Inge, who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Picnic, so there you go. In addition to wearing sexual frustration like a latex catsuit, his characters generate welcome humor in the milieu of the small-town American Midwest of, oh, geez, pushing a century ago now.

The play runs through Sunday, November 19, at Desert Stages Theatre in Scottsdale Fashion Square, 7014 East Camelback Road. Showtime on Friday, November 10, is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $22 to $28 at the Desert Stages theatre or 480-483-1664. Julie Peterson

The Room

Next month, The Disaster Artist is scheduled to hit theaters. It features James Franco and his brother Dave playing director Tommy Wiseau and actor Greg Sestero, respectively. The new indie film is based on Sestero’s account of the production of the 2003 cult movie The Room, which is considered an ironic masterpiece by such comedians as Patton Oswalt and David Cross.

Prep for the Francos’ flick by seeing Wiseau’s catastrophe-slash-work of genius at 10 p.m. on Friday, November 10, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Admission is $9. For more information, visit the Film Bar website. Jason Kiel

Can you dig?EXPAND
Can you dig?
courtesy of Discogs

Crate Diggers Record Fair and After-Party
If you have the website Discogs bookmarked, chances are good you’re a vinyl junkie who never gets tired of hunting for another must-have record.

Get your flipping fingers ready. The popular site for buying and selling musical goodies is sponsoring the Crate Diggers Record Fair and After-Party, where more than 30 vendors will be on-site with records galore to help you expand your collection. By day, vendors will sell their wares. At night, local and national DJs will provide the party soundtrack. Out-of-towners include DJ Day from California, and Breakbeat Lou and Kenny Dope from New York.

Shop for records from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 11. Then, go home, alphabetize your purchases, and come back for the party from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Admission is free. Call 602-716-2222 or visit the Crescent Ballroom website. Amy Young

Time to exercise that green thumb.EXPAND
Time to exercise that green thumb.
Courtesy of Dig It

Phoenix Fan Fest
Everyone’s allowed to feel a longing for their childhood days every now and again. According to fantasy writer Barry Hughart in his book, Bridge of Birds, it’s downright vital. “Don’t be ashamed of reliving your childhood,” he notes. “Because all of us must do it now and then to maintain our sanity.”

At this year’s Phoenix Fan Fest, folks who happened to adore the likes of as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Ghostbusters, and Matilda can enjoy a heaping helping of nostalgia. The two-day geek event on Saturday, November 11, and Sunday, November 12, at the Phoenix Convention Center, 100 North Third Street, will feature appearances by Ernie Hudson, Mara Wilson, and four of the actors and actresses who played the kids in the 1970’s cinematic version of Willy Wonka.

As always, Fan Fest will also feature a variety of programming celebrating comics, creators, collectibles, and cosplay. Hours vary. Daily admission is $15 to $20 and the full weekend is $30. See the Phoenix Fan Fest website for more info. Benjamin Leatherman

Steve Strange dons his rabbit head for a previous PAPA Parade.
Steve Strange dons his rabbit head for a previous PAPA Parade.
Jessica Hately

Grand Avenue Festival
Downtown community members will converge on Saturday, November 11, for the 2017 Grand Avenue Festival. The free event will be packed with things to do and see, including a fashion show with attire made of recyclables, hanging gardens and woven fence art installations, and tours of the area’s historic buildings. Art exhibitions, food vendors, children’s crafts, and live music will add to the fun, which will run from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts procession will kick off at 6 p.m. It’s a chance to strut your funkiest dress-up gear, or revel in the creativity of human-powered floats. And there’s an after-hours lineup for people who can’t bear to leave all that happiness behind before 10 p.m. Visit the Grand Avenue website for details. Lynn Trimble

View from the Drafting Room, Taliesin West, Scottsdale, AZ, 1940 silver gelatin print h 24.5 “ w 27.5 “- framedEXPAND
View from the Drafting Room, Taliesin West, Scottsdale, AZ, 1940 silver gelatin print h 24.5 “ w 27.5 “- framed
Pedro Guerrerro (1917-2012)

“The Green Indoors”
Maybe you have a not-so-green thumb that seems to kill even the easiest indoor succulents. Don’t worry. The folks at Dig It can help. The CenPho plant store will host “The Green Indoors,” a class covering everything from placement of houseplants to proper fertilizing techniques, on Saturday, November 11. This is an interactive course — so expect to get your hands a little dirty.

Class is in session from 10 to 11 a.m. at 3015 North 16th Street. It costs $10 for adults to attend, and kids get in for free. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Dig It website. Lindsay Roberts

NovemBEER will feature plenty of cold brewsEXPAND
NovemBEER will feature plenty of cold brews
Jim Louvau

New Times’ NovemBEER Festival
During the summer, Valley dwellers whose palates favor hops and barley are hard-pressed to find opportunities to hang out with their fellow suds enthusiasts. But the cooler months bring more than enough fermented grains to wash away the drought. Case in point: New Times’ NovemBEER Festival.

In case the name leaves any doubt, the fourth annual event will feature more than 100 varieties of beer — and a lot of people to drink with. The 21-and-over event will run from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 11, along Adams Street between Second Street and Central Avenue. General admission is $30, Visit the Novembeer website or call 877-987-6487 for details. Rob Kroehler

NovemBEER will feature plenty of cold brewsEXPAND
NovemBEER will feature plenty of cold brews
Jim Louvau

“FLW150: Image & Influence”
Frank Lloyd Wright didn’t just design stunning structures. The architect inspired creativity in his students. And his work influenced artists around the world. On the 150th anniversary of his birth, the Gallery at Mountain Shadows is paying tribute to the architect with “FLW150: Image & Influence,” an exhibition of artists who have drawn inspiration from Wright.

The show, which is on view 24 hours a day through Saturday, December 30, also highlights work by contemporary artists from different parts of the country. Take a look at 5445 East Lincoln Drive. For more information, call 855-485-1417 or go to the Mountain Shadows website. Laura Latzko

Comfy chairs await your writer butt for Writing Group at Songbird Coffee and Teahouse.
Comfy chairs await your writer butt for Writing Group at Songbird Coffee and Teahouse.
Songbird Coffee and Teahouse

Chambers Press’ Writing Group
It’s satisfying to combine our rampant need for discipline (settle down — not that kind of discipline) with mild socializing and, really, just getting out of the dang house. Hence the perfect storm of a writers’ group. Four Chambers Press’ Writing Group at Songbird Coffee and Tea House, continuing on the second Sunday of each month until at least next summer, furnishes just the right amount of structure and inspiration. Participants read what they’re working on, and the group discusses and critiques the pieces.

Meanwhile, buy yourself a fabulous beverage and snack. Heck, buy someone else a coffee — it’s cheaper than a cocktail. Admission is free to the scribefest from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Sunday, November 12, at 812 North Third Street. Visit the Chambers Press website. Julie Peterson

Annual Turkey Contest
How funny can a comedian get when there are prizes on the line? Attend the Annual Turkey Contest at Stand Up Live to find out.

The show is an extension of the New Faces of Comedy AZ showcase held regularly at the club, and encourages new comedians to get in front of a crowd to deliver five minutes of laugh-worthy material. This time, it’s up to the audience to decide who wins $100 cash and a holiday turkey.

The holiday hilarity starts at 7 p.m. on Sunday, November 12, at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street. Admission is $5 for guests 18 and older. There’s a two-drink minimum. Call 480-719-6100 or visit the Stand Up Live website. Amy Young

Xana Sousa, Lisbon, Portugal (Modular Drawing, 2017, Acrylic, graphite on fabric embroidery frame).
Xana Sousa, Lisbon, Portugal (Modular Drawing, 2017, Acrylic, graphite on fabric embroidery frame).
Courtesy of the Artist. Photo credit: Xana Sousa

What do privacy envelopes, sand, and woven paper have in common? That’s a question posed by organizers for the free “Blur” exhibition at Mesa Community College, 1833 West Southern Avenue, where you can see work by more than two dozen artists pushing creative boundaries through experimentation. Be the first to check it out when the exhibition opens on Monday, November 13. Gallery hours that day are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The show is curated by Ted Decker of Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art, and includes artists from Brazil, Germany, Mexico City, Portugal, and the U.S. Phoenix-based artists include Heather Couch, Travis Ivey, Chris Jagmin, Ann Morton, and Patricia Sannit. California, Colorado, and Illinois artists are participating, too. Visit the Mesa Community College website for details. Lynn Trimble

Xana Sousa, Lisbon, Portugal (Modular Drawing, 2017, Acrylic, graphite on fabric embroidery frame).
Xana Sousa, Lisbon, Portugal (Modular Drawing, 2017, Acrylic, graphite on fabric embroidery frame).
Courtesy of the Artist. Photo credit: Xana Sousa

Arizona State University vs. San Diego State
When Arizona State University hired Bobby Hurley to coach its men’s basketball team back in 2015, the school brought grit and championship pedigree to its less than inspiring program.

Two years in, it’s still too early to gauge Hurley’s impact on the team. But the 2017-18 season presents a unique opportunity for the Sun Devils. With the University of Arizona embroiled in a bribery scandal, the Devils simply need to keep their noses clean and play hard to wrest back the team’s fair share of statewide respect and admiration from the floundering Wildcats.

That starts at home when the Devils host San Diego State at Tempe’s Wells Fargo Arena, 600 East Veterans Way, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 14. Tickets are $13 and up. Visit the Sun Devil website or call 480-727-0000 for details. Rob Kroehler

Migrant youth explore their roots through art at Phoenix Art Museum.EXPAND
Migrant youth explore their roots through art at Phoenix Art Museum.
courtesy of Phoenix Art Museum

“The Soul of My Roots”
It’s tough to imagine the challenges faced by migrant youth who make their way here from Central or South America, especially when they’re unaccompanied minors. But the folks at Free Arts of Arizona and Phoenix artist Emily Costello are more familiar than most. They’ve been working with teenage boys who’ve made that journey, exploring border-related art at Phoenix Art Museum, and talking with them about heritage, culture, identity, and memories.

Get a window into their world with a free exhibition of the boys’ work called “The Soul of My Roots.” The show reveals how each young artist connects with his roots. Your last chance to see it is Tuesday, November 14, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., inside PAM’s Wolfswinkel Education Center Children’s Gallery, 1625 North Central Avenue. Admission is $18 for adults. Visit the Phoenix Art Museum website. Lynn Trimble

Definitely not fake news.EXPAND
Definitely not fake news.
Reg Madison Photography

Time has been kind to the musical Newsies. While the Christian Bale film failed to mobilize critics, a considerable and passionate cult of fandom has materialized in the 25 years since its initial release. The fervor prompted Disney to adapt the inspirational story about the New York City Newsboys Strike of 1899 for the stage. It won two Tony Awards for best original score and best choreography.

Now, Phoenix Theatre director Michael Barnard is bringing those dexterous dance moves to the stage for a local production.

Seize the day from Wednesday, November 15, through Sunday, December 31, at Phoenix Theatre, 100 East McDowell Road. Tickets start at $35. Showtime on opening night is 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit the Phoenix Theatre website. Jason Keil

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