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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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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

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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
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
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