21 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

See Kalli Sparish perform in Lisa Starry's A Vampire Tale.EXPAND
See Kalli Sparish perform in Lisa Starry's A Vampire Tale.
Rose Torres

Halloween is almost here. Bette make this week extra spooky. See the scary-good production of A Vampire Tale, get zombie-fied during a night of the living dead, or watch the creepy silent film The Unknown at the Orpheum Theatre. It'll be a frighteningly good time. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' curated calendar.

A Vampire Tale

Scorpius Dance Theatre is gearing up to present its 14th annual production of A Vampire Tale. Choreographed by Scorpius artistic director Lisa Starry, the scary-good production features 17 Phoenix dancers, including Nicole Olson, Gavin Sisson, and Martha Hernandez, and original music by Kristofer Hill.

Through contemporary dance and aerial performance, Starry’s tale follows a young woman lured by a band of bloodsuckers, and her attraction to a vampire king who beckons her to join them. Louis Farber, associate artistic director for Stray Cat Theatre in Tempe, narrates the spectacle as the comedic Strange Man.

Be the first to see it, during the opening night performance at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 26, inside Phoenix Theatre’s intimate Hardes Theatre, 100 East McDowell Road. Tickets start at $25. This year’s run continues through Saturday, November 4. Visit the Scorpius Dance Theatre website. Lynn Trimble

Put a thing on it: Artists enshrine their literary loves in Día de los Muertos 2017.EXPAND
Put a thing on it: Artists enshrine their literary loves in Día de los Muertos 2017.
Christina Ruiz

“Día de los Muertos 2017”
The urge to create some sort of offering to honor a deceased loved one isn’t a uniquely Mexican one. But Día de los Muertos is an annual mini-festival like no other, blending Aztec and other indigenous spirituality with Christian influences to remember and celebrate the lives that have passed through our own.

“What a Difference Words Make: Authors Who Have Touched Our Lives” is the theme of “Día de los Muertos 2017,” a curated exhibition of altars that pay tribute to influential writers, hosted, understandably, by Desert Broom Library, and displayed Tuesday through Saturday until Thursday, November 9.

Hours on Thursday, October 26, are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 29710 North Cave Creek Road. Admission’s free. Visit the Phoenix Public Library website or call 602-262-4636 for more info. Julie Peterson

Funny girls Corrine and Krystyna from the Guys We Fucked podcast.
Funny girls Corrine and Krystyna from the Guys We Fucked podcast.
Courtesy of the All Things Comedy Festival

All Things Comedy Festival
Phoenix is about to get funny AF, when a slew of hilarious stand-up comedians and podcasters descend on the city for a long weekend filled with humor-driven performances.

The All Things Comedy Festival is bursting with so many acts that it needs multiple venues to showcase all of them. The opening night lineup on Thursday, October 26, includes live versions of popular podcasts, including Felipe Esparza’s What’s Up Fool? starting at 7:15 p.m., The Doug Stanhope Podcast at 8, and Ari Shaffir’s Skeptic Tank at 9:30.

This four-day festival will also feature performances from Bill Burr, Jen Kirkman, and Corrine Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson from Guys We F****d. Shows will be held in Phoenix and Tempe, and CityScape at 1 East Washington Street will serve as the event’s headquarters. Ticket prices vary. Visit the All Things Comedy Festival website for the complete schedule. Amy Young

Phillip Herrington and DeAngelus Grisby straddle boundaries in Building the Wall.EXPAND
Phillip Herrington and DeAngelus Grisby straddle boundaries in Building the Wall.
iTheatre Collaborative

Building the Wall
Sure, it’s important to roll up in a fluffy blanket and binge-watch something. But no matter where you stand, you’ve also gotta take a deep breath and keep resisting.

Robert Schenkkan’s plays have earned a Tony and a Pulitzer Prize. If they gave a prize for timely completion of socially relevant scripts, he’d have one of those, too, for Building the Wall, a play just off its rolling world premiere and presented by iTheatre Collaborative through Saturday, November 4. The production’s at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Tickets are $12 and $25 at the iTheatre AZ website or 602-252-8497. Showtime on Thursday, October 26, is 8 p.m. Julie Peterson

Don't. Blink.EXPAND
Don't. Blink.
Benjamin Leatherman

Arizona Cosfest
Right now, costumes are king. We’re currently at peak Halloween, which means stores are selling Wonder Woman and Pennywise outfits like mad, and people everywhere are getting their disguises and get-ups on point for All Hallows Eve.

In other words, it’s the perfect time for an event like Arizona Cosfest. The two-day celebration will take place on Friday, October 27, and Saturday, October 28, at 1 West Jackson Street. It will feature an abundance of local costumes and cosplayers in attendance, as well as a variety of geek-oriented vendors and artists selling wares. Naturally, a costume contest for prizes is planned, as well as a car show, live music, and other Halloween-type fun.

Cosfest runs from 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday, and 2 to 9 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $10 to $15. Kids 5 and younger get in free. See the Brewfiesta website for more information. Benjamin Leatherman

Celebrate Phoenix Design Week at Rebel Lounge.EXPAND
Celebrate Phoenix Design Week at Rebel Lounge.
Jim Louvau

Phoenix Design Week
Maybe you’ve enjoyed graphic design elements in work by local artists James Angel, Kristin Bauer, or Christopher Jagmin. Now, you can take your appreciation for graphic design to a new level, during this year’s Phoenix Design Week, which spotlights Arizona’s graphic design community – including designers, illustrators, writers, and more.

Launched in 2009, the event is a chance to go local while looking at the bigger picture of how graphic design influences contemporary society — and vice versa.

This year’s kickoff party happens from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, October 27, at the Rebel Lounge, 2303 East Indian School Road. Be there by 7 p.m. to catch a “Wish You Were Here” edition of Phoenix New Times’ Bar Flies storytelling series. Tickets to the 21-and-over event are $20.

Costs for other events vary. See the complete schedule at the Phoenix Design Week website. Lynn Trimble

Adam Cantrell is more than the sum of his parts in Frankenstein.
Adam Cantrell is more than the sum of his parts in Frankenstein.
Josiah Duka Photography

Have you noticed all the Frankenstein-related stuff going on? It’s a fun idea in general, but 2017 in particular marks the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s groundbreaking allegory of creepiness and hubris. Underestimate its literary punch at your own risk.

The novel was inspired by one of the weirdest extended slumber parties ever, on Lake Geneva in Switzerland (a place you may not think of as creepy, but we’ve had continental breakfast in Lausanne). Mary Godwin was on vacay with her married boo, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord Byron, among other people. Poets, right? It’d make anyone write a horror story.

Victor Gialanella’s 1981 stage version provides for the iconic lightning-struck surgical table and other special effects. Theater Works’ production continues through Sunday, October 29, at 8355 West Peoria Avenue in Peoria. Showtime on Friday, October 27, is 7:30 p.m. Tickets, $14 to $36, are available at 623-815-7930 or the Theater works website. Julie Peterson

Storytime Slam
If hearing about 10 different peoples’ personal ghosts and demons sounds like a fun time during the spookiest of months, then mark your calendar for Storytime Slam. It’s a storytelling event during which participants relay a six-minute story centered on a theme. On Friday, October 27, it’s “Haunted.”

More than a night of sharing, it’s also a contest. A panel of five judges will score the stories using a point system. At the end, the points are tallied and the winner gets a cash prize. Find out what’s haunting your fellow Phoenicians at 7 p.m. at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road. Admission is $6 in advance; $8 at the door. Call 602-274-0067 or visit the Changing Hands website. Amy Young

Go bump in the night.EXPAND
Go bump in the night.
Benjamin Leatherman

Downtown Phoenix Zombie Walk
Time to bring out your undead. The Downtown Phoenix Zombie Walk is swarming into the Valley. KUPD’s John Holmberg will serve as grand marshal of this apocalyptic, family-friendly gathering, which will feature food trucks, live music, and a costume contest. If your skills in transforming into the living dead are lacking, there will be a zombification station to help you fit in with the expected 20,000 participants at this popular Halloween event.

Walk, don’t run, from 3 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, October 28, in the Warehouse District at Fourth and Jackson streets. There is a $10 entry fee that goes to the Arizona Hemophilia Association. Kids 12 and younger get in free. For more information, visit the Zombie Walk website. Jason Keil

ASU Sun Devils v. USC Trojans
For professional sports leagues, the elusive golden goose is not the ubiquity of superstars or dynastic franchises, it’s leaguewide parity. Despite expressions like “any given Sunday, any team can beat any other team,” we know better than to bet against Tom Brady whenever he rolls in to Cleveland. The NBA — with its emergence of super-teams — could be facing an even greater lack of parity. College sports, however, are still wildly unpredictable.

The Sun Devils football team, for instance, entered this season with one of the worst defenses in the nation. Yet the team has gone on to upend a nationally ranked Oregon team and orchestrate a defensive masterpiece against one of the finest offensive teams in the Washington Huskies.

Moral of the story: It’s “any given Saturday” when the 11th-ranked USC Trojans visit Tempe’s Sun Devil Stadium, 500 East Veterans Way, on Saturday, October 28. Kickoff is at 7:45 p.m., and tickets are $55 and up. Visit the Sun Devils website or call 480-727-0000 for details. Rob Kroehler

Día De Los Muertos Festival
The Día De Los Muertos Festival is an annual celebration of the Mexican holiday where people congregate to remember those who have passed on — and to send them support in their spiritual journey. This party at Mesa Arts Center invites attendees to view altars created by local artists, and share memories at a community altar.

The festival will feature food, kids’ activities, and a marketplace with vendors selling items ranging from jewelry to furniture. Live entertainment will be provided by more than a dozen performers.

The lively dead-fest happens from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 28, at 1 East Main Street. Admission is free. Festivities continue from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 29. Call 480-644-6500 or visit the Mesa Arts Center website. Amy Young

Join the Museum of Walking as it heads out from Steele Indian School Park.EXPAND
Join the Museum of Walking as it heads out from Steele Indian School Park.
Lynn Trimble

Walking and Writing: The Art of Taking Creativity into the Field
Art and walking are inextricably intertwined for Angela Ellsworth, whose multidisciplinary work often explores the collision of art with everyday life in unexpected places. Ellsworth founded the Museum of Walking, housed at ASU in Tempe, with fellow artist Steve Yazzie in 2014. It’s all about fostering relationships between people, land, action, and site.

From 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 28, the museum will host Walking and Writing: The Art of Taking Creativity into the Field with Julie Hampton. She’s a Valley-based writer, performer, and teacher. The morning gathering includes an urban walk, writing time, and story-sharing. It starts at Steele Indian School Park, 300 East Indian School Road. It’s free, but RSVPs are requested. Visit the Museum of Walking website. Lynn Trimble

No one will be seated during the horrifying double-bandanna scene in The Unknown.
No one will be seated during the horrifying double-bandanna scene in The Unknown.

The Unknown
The current Halloween-adjacent entry in the Silent Sundays film series at historic Orpheum Theatre is The Unknown, directed by Tod Browning, who went on to make cult favorite Freaks. This 1927 flick provides plenty to deal with at a dizzying pace: an armless sideshow performer (Lon Chaney), a woman afraid of hugging (Joan Crawford), murder and attempted murder that are oddly unrelated to the presence of professional knife-throwing, and a strongman who does the most original horse trick ever.

Probably the coolest element, though, is live accompaniment on the Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ. Tickets are $15 and $20 (with children younger than 12 admitted free) for the screening at 203 West Adams Street on Sunday, October 29, at 2:30 p.m. Call 877-840-0457 or visit the ticket force website. Julie Peterson

Swan Lake
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake is one of the best-known pieces of classical ballet. It’s produced by companies all over the world 140 years after its premiere.

Ballet Arizona will present its take at Symphony Hall, 75 North Second Street, from October 26 through 29.
In the show, hunter Prince Siegfried falls in love with Odette, the Swan Queen. But the couple must contend with the evil motives of sorcerer Von Rothbart. Ballet Arizona’s dark version of the tale keeps elements of the original while incorporating choreography from artistic director Ib Andersen.

Tickets start at $25, and discounts are available for seniors, students, members of the military, and groups. Sunday features a matinee performance at 1 p.m., and an early evening show at 5:30. For more information, call 602-381-1096 or see the Ballet Arizona website. Laura Latzko

Cash’d Out
We can never get enough of the music of Johnny Cash. If you feel the same way about the late country crooner, you’ll wanna be at the Rhythm Room on Sunday, October 29.

That’s when the Johnny Cash tribute band Cash’d Out will perform classics from the Man in Black. Arizona Cowpunk band The Earps will round out the rocking bill.

Doors will open at 7 p.m., and the show begins at 8 at 1019 East Indian School Road. For more information on this 21-and-over event, visit the Facebook event page. Admission is $15. Lindsay Roberts

Sarah Bailey
Discovering a dead body floating in a lake is bad enough. But things get worse for homicide detective Gemma Stone when she realizes that the deceased is her former high school classmate.

Sounds like a teen drama on the CW network, but it’s the plot of Sarah Bailey’s new book, The Dark Lake. In this thriller, she digs into the life of her once-popular high school pal to find out why she was murdered. The investigation also forces Stone to face some of her own buried secrets.

Bailey will sign copies of her latest from 7 to 8 p.m. on Monday, October 30, at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard in Scottsdale. Admission is free; books for the signing are $26. Call 480-947- 2974 or visit the Poisoned Pen website. Amy Young

Casual Monday
Pull up your suspenders, twirl your mustache, and get ready to ride. Phoenix Downtempo is putting a gamer spin on its Casual Monday and making it into the Nintendo racing video game Mario Kart. Arrive dressed as your favorite character, but remember: This isn’t a race. And dressing as Princess Peach will not provide a tactical advantage. Expect safe tricks and traps throughout the route, including water balloons masquerading as turtle shells. All skill levels will be welcome, but this event will include some bar-hopping. So it’s a 21-and-over ride.

Let’s-a-go at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 30, at Phoenix Civic Space Park, 424 North Central Avenue. This is a free event. For more information, visit the Down Tempo website. Jason Keil

Do you believe in magic?
Do you believe in magic?
Courtesy of Warner Bros

Harry Potter Trivia
Did your Halloween plans fizzle like a failed Patronus spell? Grab the nearest portkey, zoom over to Valley Bar, and celebrate All Hallows Eve with Harry Potter Trivia. Think of the evening as an Ordinary Wizarding Level examination: Study hard, and you will be rewarded with concert tickets and gift cards. Fail to do so, and the consequences could be ... severe (if you consider embarrassment a punishment). There will be discounts offered on cans of craft beer if you need a Calming Draught to ease your nerves.

Signup starts at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 31. The free event starts at 8 at 130 North Central Avenue. For more information, visit the Valley Bar website. Jason Keil

Explore works by artist Elizabeth Alexander at Scottsdale Community College.
Explore works by artist Elizabeth Alexander at Scottsdale Community College.
Elizabeth Alexander/Courtesy of SCC

Elizabeth Alexander
Thanksgiving is about a month away, but students at Scottsdale Community College are already giving thanks for Elizabeth Alexander. The late artist studied at SCC and left the college a sizable donation that funds up to 30 art scholarships per semester.

Alexander took art classes at the college after retiring to the Valley in the early 1990s. That’s when faculty member Robert You noticed her gift for charcoal drawings that revealed a scientific approach to exploring organic and geometric forms.

See a free retrospective exhibition of Alexander’s work from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 31, inside the SCC Art Building, 9000 East Chaparral Road. Visit the Scottsdale Community College website for details. Lynn Trimble

Something Rotten!
Not everyone likes William Shakespeare. And the comedic musical Something Rotten! sides with the naysayers.
The show, which received 10 Tony Award nominations in 2015, tells the story of Nick and Nigel Bottom, two brothers trying to one-up the Bard by producing the world’s first musical. It includes songs such as — wait for it — “God, I Hate Shakespeare.”

The show will play at ASU Gammage Auditorium, 1200 South Forest Avenue, from Tuesday, October 31, through Sunday, November 5. On its national tour, Rob McClure portrays Nick, Josh Grisetti is Nigel Bottom, and Adam Pascal plays Shakespeare. The cast also includes actress Autumn Hurlbert, who grew up in Arizona.

Tickets range from $20 to $175, depending on the day and section. Showtime on Wednesday, November 1, is 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 480-965-3434 or visit the ASU Gammage website. Laura Latzko

Jose Damasceno, Nota sobre uma cena acesa ou os dez mil lapiz (Note on a Lit Scene or the Ten Thousand Pencils), 2000. 10,000 pencils on wood panel. Museum of Modern Art, Sao Paulo Collection, MAM Sao Paulo Contemporary Nucleus Acquisition.
Jose Damasceno, Nota sobre uma cena acesa ou os dez mil lapiz (Note on a Lit Scene or the Ten Thousand Pencils), 2000. 10,000 pencils on wood panel. Museum of Modern Art, Sao Paulo Collection, MAM Sao Paulo Contemporary Nucleus Acquisition.
Romulo Fialdini

Extra Credit: A Faculty-Led Gallery Series
Dying to dive deeper into Phoenix Art Museum’s exhibitions? The arts institution is launching a new lecture series that will deliver just that.

Arizona State University associate professor Julia Sarreal kicks off Extra Credit: A Faculty-Led Gallery Series on Wednesday, November 1, with a discussion of the museum’s must-see Latin American art show, “Past/Future/Present,” at 1625 North Central Avenue.

The talk begins at 6 p.m., and an RSVP is required. Tickets are $5 or free for museum members via tickets.phxart.org. For more information, visit the Phoenix Art Museum website. Lindsay Roberts

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