See Nicole Olson’s Pale Conjurerz, at Herberger Theater Center.
See Nicole Olson’s Pale Conjurerz, at Herberger Theater Center. Photo by Erica McLean
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

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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