Best Phoenix Events October 19-25: Big Red Night of the Dead, Rainbows Festival, Cult Following Trivia | Phoenix New Times

21 Things to Do This Week in Metro Phoenix

Don't have a lame week.
See Nicole Olson’s Pale Conjurerz, at Herberger Theater Center.
See Nicole Olson’s Pale Conjurerz, at Herberger Theater Center. Photo by Erica McLean
Share this:
You could stay at home and binge watch Netflix this week, or you could learn about the Tempe music scene, have a headbanging good time at the Big Red Night of the Dead, and celebrate the 15th year of the Rainbows Festival. The choice is yours. For more things to do, visit the Phoenix New Times' calendar.

Ghosts & Goblins & Witches, Oh My!
Haul out your fangs and fake blood. Even dance is getting creepy good this month, as Center Dance Ensemble presents new works with haunting themes for Ghosts & Goblins & Witches, Oh My!

Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street, will host two performances on Thursday, October 19. Catch the abridged Lunch Time Theater version at 12:10 p.m., when you’ll pay $7 for admission. Or see the full show at 7:30 p.m., when tickets run from $14 to $28.

The evening lineup includes work by Nicole Olson, Diane McNeal Hunt, Leandro Damasco, and Center Dance Ensemble artistic director Frances Smith Cohen. Expect dance that conjures memories of loved ones lost, the power of human goodness, and haunting romance. Visit the Center Dance Ensemble website. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge
Learn all about the Tempe music scene.
Courtesy of Tempe History Museum
“Five Decades Of Local Music History”
Mention the Tempe music scene, and for many, it’ll conjure up memories of the 1990s, when college kids would flock to see The Gin Blossoms at Long Wong’s or The Refreshments at Yucca Tap Room.

In actuality, Tempe has served as the homebase of relevant rock since the 1960s. Waylon Jennings had his beginnings as a solo artist at JD’s, and J.F.A. were hardcore punk pioneers. Those highlights will be discussed at the event “Five Decades Of Local Music History” at Tempe History Museum.

Phoenix New Times contributor Henri Bernard (also of Dry Yacht River Club), the Meat Puppets’ Derrick Bostrom, DJ John Dixon, and Pat McMahon of the Wallace and Ladmo Show will tell stories about the college town’s musical legacy and its relevance today.

Turn up the volume at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 19, at 809 East Southern Avenue in Tempe. Admission is free. For more information, visit the city of Tempe website. Jason Keil

Chris Jagmin and Alexandra Bowers with Jagmin’s Your Secret is Safe With Me.
Lynn Trimble
Christopher Jagmin
Recognizing the power of secrets and personal histories to enslave people in their own minds, artist Christopher Jagmin has created a free community art experience that’s all about sharing secrets with others as a means of letting go and moving on.

Jagmin invites two strangers to write secrets down on paper and then sit across from one another to trade the words they’ve written. It’s a simple concept, with powerful effect.

Show up on Thursday, October 19, if you want to participate. It’s happening from 2:30 to 6 p.m. at The Livery, 3804 North Brown Avenue, and from 7 to 9 p.m. at Tilt Gallery, 7077 East Main Street, #14. Both locations are in Scottsdale. Visit the Scottsdale Public Art website. Lynn Trimble

Fresh Drunk Stoned: An Unapologetic Comedy Show
If you buy tickets to the Fresh Drunk Stoned Tour solely based on the title, you’re likely revealing your entertainment preferences. Let us help you out: It’s a stand-up comedy extravaganza.

Billed as Fresh Drunk Stoned: An Unapologetic Comedy Show, this touring event pulls from a roster of Los Angeles- and Chicago-based comedians. When the show comes to the Valley, the bill will feature Tim Hanlon, Franco Harris, Ralph LaGuerre, and Matt Bellak, who will do their best to make you laugh with their respective irreverent sets. Between them, these funny guys have logged hundreds of hours at comedy clubs around the world, and spent time on TV and podcasts.

Laugh at life with these no-holds-barred comics at 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 19, at Tempe Improv, 930 East University Drive.

Admission is $20 for the 18-and-over event, and a two-drink minimum is required. Call 480-921-9877 or visit the Tempe Improv website. Amy Young

click to enlarge
Don’t tell this guy you’re out of Reese’s.
courtesy of Poefest
Edgar Allan Poe created his own franchise in the 1840s: gross, terrifying, and tailored to a mass audience. It was the Romantic era, but that doesn’t mean people were charming. Poe was pathetic, annoying, and, for most of his life, a snot-nosed loser.

Nevertheless, the annual Poefest inspires quickened breathing and a sinking tummy. These stories delivered by professional actors are about as creepy as anything gets. Each program’s a little different, so you can mix and match.

On Friday, October 20, at 8 p.m., The Oval Portrait and The Cask of Amontillado will haunt the Hotel San Carlos, 202 North Central Avenue. Tickets are $22 and $27; visit the Poefest website or call 888-343-4228 for details. Poefest continues through Tuesday, October 31, including a performance at Don Bluth Front Row Theatre on Monday, October 30 (Don Bluth Front Row Theatre website), and the traditional Halloween marathon of The Raven at Rosson House (timed tickets are $10). Julie Peterson

Maybe they won't lose to this L.A. team.
Barry Gossage/Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns v. Los Angeles Lakers
Recently, the Los Angeles Dodgers made quick work of the Diamondbacks — Arizona’s 2017 darlings — sweeping the team’s postseason aspirations to an unceremonious end.

With the bitter taste of defeat still lingering on the tongues of Valley sports fans, the Lakers — the lone Los Angeles sports franchise that’s more irksome than the Dodgers — will bring the purple and gold to Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street, to battle the Phoenix Suns.

Although it’s a somewhat inconsequential regular-season game between two fledgling teams, you can bet that Suns fans in attendance will be hoping for an extra dose of retribution. It won’t fully ameliorate the pain that the Dodgers inflicted, but a victory over the Lakers is a good start.

Tip-off is at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 20, and tickets are $28 and up. Visit the Suns website or call 602-379-2000 for details. Rob Kroehler

Amanda Mollindo, Good ‘N Plenty Artist Award winner 2016.
Courtesy of SMoCA
Good ‘N Plenty Artist Award
On Friday, October 20, six Valley creatives will present innovative art project pitches for the chance to win the Good ‘N Plenty Artist Award, which entails a cash prize of $500 to $1,000 to make their ideas into realities.

Audience votes determine the winner. Past awards have helped fund community-focused projects such as the Blushing Soup Press zine and lathe-cut record printing press, and the aftrART professional artist resource organization. During the presentations, audience members can snack on pastries and sip coffee.

The event starts at 7 p.m. at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street. Admission is $10 for the general public and $8 for members. For more information, call 480-874-4666 or go to the SMoCA website. Laura Latzko

The band Mastadon will be at the Big Red Night of the Dead.
Travis Shinn
Big Red Night of the Dead
If holidays were assigned official music genres to represent them, it makes sense that metal would be partnered with Halloween. Don’t agree? 98KUPD’s Big Red Night of the Dead might convince you.

This annual concert is held at the already spooky site of the Fear Farm. This year, it’s a shred-fest, featuring a day-into-night roster of metal bands from the U.S. and Sweden whose heavy riffs run from thick and chunky to speedy and blistering. The lineup includes Of Mice & Men, Avatar, In This Moment, and local Tempe band DED, who perform leading up to a set from headliners Mastodon. Food, drink, and a variety of goods can be purchased from on-site vendors.

The headbanging Halloween fun starts at 3 p.m. on Friday, October 20, at Fear Farm Haunted House, 2209 North 99th Avenue. All ages are welcome. General admission is $45. A $125 VIP ticket includes complimentary food and drinks, a private bar area, and front-of-stage access. Visit the 98KUPD website for details. Amy Young

click to enlarge
It will be fab.
Leaked Glass
Rainbows Festival
Phoenix Pride has been producing the Rainbows Festival for 15 years. The two-day celebration of diversity invites attendees to be their true selves. All members and allies of the LGBTQ community of any background are welcome to participate.

This year’s festival will feature more than 150 exhibitors and two entertainment stages at Heritage Square Park. Expect talent and variety shows, dance parties, and a “doggy drag show.” Performers include DJs, local musicians, and drag performers, including Aja from the ninth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

The festivities are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22, at 113 North Sixth Street. Admission is free. For more information, visit the Phoenix Pride website. Jason Keil

click to enlarge
Single. Check. White. Check. You can see where Depend on Me might be going.
Courtesy of Brelby Theatre Company
Depend on Me
Have we mentioned how much fun it is to go to a play so new you know you’ve never seen it before? (Especially in this theater season, where tonight, you can see a play 20 minutes from where you saw it the night before, with all new people and stuff! Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Depend on Me, at Brelby Theatre Company through Saturday, October 28, is a new work with a somewhat familiar setup: Someone gets a new roommate and then realizes you can’t really get to know someone that quickly. (Or in six years, but that’s another story.)

Showtime is 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 21, at 7154 North 58th Drive in Glendale. Tickets are $17 to $25 at the Brelby website or 623-282-2781. Julie Peterson

Biketober Bike Bazaar
If you’re the type of person who can’t wait for a weekly bike ride to the farmers market, this event is for you.
Phoenix Public Market has joined forces with the Phoenix Spokes People to add a twist to the traditional farmers market during the Biketober Bike Bazaar. This Saturday, October 21, event will feature crafts with bike-related materials, and bike shops selling assorted gear.

The bazaar runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 14 East Pierce Street. See the Facebook event page for details. Lindsay Roberts

click to enlarge
Explore Allison Sweet’s feminist take on the American West at Step Gallery.
Allison Sweet
“Westering Women”
History, feminism, and landscape — those are the three driving forces behind work by artist and Arizona State Unviersity graduate student Allison Sweet. She’s bringing those interests to Step Gallery, for an exhibition titled “Westering Women.”

Sweet’s art practice reflects her perspectives on popular misconceptions and mythologies surrounding the American West, during an era often viewed through incomplete histories that exclude women while elevating misguided romanticism about rampant colonization.

For her intermedia installation at Step Gallery, 605 East Grant Street, Sweet uses historical photographs from her great-grandfather’s failed homestead, sewing typically viewed as women’s work not worthy of documentation, patterns constructed from sifted flour, and an anti-western dual-channel video projection. It’s a feminist take on ways women are wrongly portrayed in history and media.

Check it out between noon and 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 21, at Grant Street Studios, 605 East Grant Street. Visit the ASU Events page. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge
Joshua Vern and Patti Davis Suarez are anything but neutral in Switzerland.
Mark Gluckman
Australian playwright Joanna Murray-Smith is produced less in her homeland than in other countries. She may feel some kinship with Patricia Highsmith, author of Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley, who felt unappreciated by her native United States. Murray-Smith’s Switzerland, one of her most recent works, imagines an episode in Highsmith’s later years when a visiting editor sets her life askew — and vice versa. The crime novelist’s collection of weapons enables additional high jinks, and she and her guest are trapped in a textbook psychological thriller.

Theatre Artists Studio’s production of the play continues through Sunday, November 5, at 4848 East Cactus Road. Showtime on Sunday, October 22, is 2 p.m. Admission is $15 to $25. Visit the Theatre Artists Studio website or call 602-765-0120. Julie Peterson

click to enlarge
Witches and wizards welcome.
Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History Of Magic
Knowing how to treat werewolf bites is a useful life skill, but you won’t find Defense Against the Dark Arts in ASU’s course catalog. No bother, for we truly live in magical times. The book Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History Of Magic is a peek inside Hogwarts from the British Library. It stems from an exhibition celebrating J.K. Rowling’s world of wizards and spells.

Changing Hands Bookstore will celebrate the book’s release with magic-themed games and activities during a family-friendly, Dementor-free event.

Bring your wand to the event, which starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 20, at 6428 South McClintock Drive in Tempe. Your $20 purchase of the book admits a family of four. For more information, visit the Changing Hands website. Jason Keil

Hanging Kokedama Workshop

All the best hipster homes are decked out in hanging plants. Wanna try your hand at making your own — with a Japanese-meets-Southwest twist? Get ready for a little DIY action on Sunday, October 22.

The Farm at South Mountain, 6106 South Thirty Second Street, hosts a Hanging Kokedama Workshop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees will create two hanging succulent kokedamas (a.k.a. “moss balls”) to take home. All of the supplies for the workshop will be provided. Don’t worry if you don’t have a green thumb; the class includes instructions for care and maintenance. For more information, visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts

Hiroshi Yoshida, Grand Canyon, 1925, color woodcut; On loan from the A.P. Hays Collection.
Scottsdale Museum of the West
“Grand Canyon Grandeur”
Perhaps you’ve peered into the Grand Canyon at some point, and marveled at its magnificent lines, textures, and colors.

Now, you can experience Arizona’s natural wonder through the work of artists who’ve tackled the subject matter, as Scottsdale Museum of the West, 3830 North Marshall Way, presents an exhibition called “Grand Canyon Grandeur.”
The show includes more than 100 oil paintings, watercolors, and prints dating from the 1850s to 1950s — created in artistic styles including naturalism, abstraction, and impressionism. Get a good look between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 22. The exhibit is free with museum admission, which is $15 for adults. Visit the Scottsdale Museum of the West website. Lynn Trimble

Director Dario Argento’s Suspiria has been heralded by film critics and horror aficionados for elevating the genre above its grimy grindhouse roots. The Italian filmmaker used a variety of cinematic tools and a kaleidoscope of colors to weave a dark tale of witchcraft inside the halls of a German ballet school.

Meet bilingual author Luis Ávila.
Courtesy of AZ Humanities
On the occasion of its 40th anniversary (and a year before a planned remake), a 4K restoration of Argento’s original 98-minute version is screening at FilmBar with a quadrophonic sonic mix that enhances the eerily insane rock score and the bloodcurdling screams from actress Jessica Harper.

Get scared, Italian style, at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, October 23, at 815 North Second Street. Admission is $9. For more information, visit the Film Bar website. Jason Keil

Luis Ávila
We all have different ways of dealing with lousy situations. Like, what would you do if your house was robbed more than once? Pack all your stuff, stick it in a storage space, and travel the world?

That’s what writer, journalist, and media producer Luis Ávila did. And then he wrote a book about it that’s called Nómada Temporal. During a bilingual reading and conversation event with the author, you can learn more about his adventurous trip. Ávila’s journey took him through seven countries and more than 25 cities, and was loaded with experiences ranging from terrifying to glorious.

Get the vivid details from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, October 24, at Arizona Humanities, 1242 North Central Avenue. Admission is free. Call 602-257-0335 or RSVP at the Arizona Humanities website. Amy Young

Cult Following Trivia
Trivia nights are getting way specific, and that’s okay. There will be times you obviously won’t win and you can relax and enjoy yourself. You know, with people. And one of these days, your special niche will have its turn at bat.

Like Cult Following Trivia, hosted by Victor Moreno and Joshua Ruth, the team behind Cult Classics film screenings and the Cult Following website and podcast network. This answerfest explores the genre-spanning films that permanently gripped the cinema-loving hearts of some people while flying right under the radar of others.

On Tuesday, October 24, at 7 p.m., strain your brain at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue.

The free 21-and-over event offers prizes and $1 off craft beer cans. Visit the Valley Bar website or call 602-368-3121. Julie Peterson

Coffee and Code
Whether you’re developing software or working on 3D printing projects, being around like-minded professionals can help spark your creativity. Instead of working at home by yourself, you can be around others working with technology during the Coffee and Code from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, October 25, at HeatSync Labs, 140 West Main Street.

Held every Wednesday, the meetup invites you to work and take time out to enjoy a cup of coffee and chat with others about your projects. Attendees need to bring their own equipment, but the event is free. For more information, go to the Heat Sync Labs website. Laura Latzko

“Ghosting” is the popular term for what used to be known as “blowing someone off.” Whatever you call that act, it’s a shitty thing to do to someone.

It means to disappear from someone’s life without a word or explanation. It’s also the theme at this month’s edition of Chatterbox, a reoccurring open mic storytelling event.

Hear personal accounts, and share one of your own if you like, where the storyteller has been ghosted or done the ghosting themselves. Stories are approximately six to eight minutes long.

The evening of stories runs from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 25, at Fair Trade Coffee, 1020 North First Avenue, where food and drink are available for purchase. Admission is free. Visit the Facebook event page. Amy Young
Can you help us continue to share our stories? Since the beginning, Phoenix New Times has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix — and we'd like to keep it that way. Our members allow us to continue offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food, and culture with no paywalls.