Variety is the spice of life. And things are heating up in metro Phoenix this week. Get creeped out by the No Sleep Podcast, see Margaret Cho's new material, or get extra-hot with Chippendales. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.
Arizona Coyotes v. Calgary Flames
Things are really looking up for the Arizona Coyotes. Not due to a positive turn of events, but rather because the team has managed to maintain its distinguished status as the worst team in the NHL.
If the floundering club can keep up the bad work, they will undoubtedly wind up winners in the Rasmus Dahlin sweepstakes. Arizona’s top brass know damn well that taking a nosedive on the remainder of this season is worth it if it puts the Swedish wunderkind in a Yotes jersey come June.
So if you happen to be at Glendale’s Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue, on Thursday, February 22, when Arizona hosts the Calgary Flames, rest assured that you’re not the only Phoenician who’s suddenly in touch with their inner Canadian. Game time is 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and up. Visit the Coyotes website or call 623-772-3800 for details. Rob Kroehler
Chain Letter Volume Six: Where The Curated Become The Curators
Back in the day, chain letters fell somewhere between pyramid scheme and a game of telephone. Nefarious get-rich-quick rackets and urban legends were mailed to unsuspecting recipients. And readers were urged to pass it along to as many friends as possible. Chain Letter Volume Six: Where The Curated Become The Curators is a performance art project that works in a similar fashion, but without the subterfuge or superstition. Produced by Untidy Secrets Storytelling, performers and artists pour their hearts out for 10 minutes and then they choose who takes the stage next.
The stories start at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 22, at Space 55, 1524 North 18th Avenue. Tickets are $7. For more information, visit the Space55 website. Jason Keil
Since the late ’70s, the defining outfit of the Chippendales male stripper revue consists of tight jeans or stretchy pants and nothing covering the upper body — save for a bow tie, collar, and shirt cuffs. It’s legit official; they trademarked it years later.
But it’s a safe assumption that as long as the dancers’ six-packs are well within view, their cheesy fashion sense will probably never be put into question. On Thursday, February 22, you’ll see all they can bare, as a team of oiled-up dudes strip and strut at their Broadway-style choreographed show.
This flashy, ab-tastic party for guests 21 and older starts at 8 p.m. at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. Tickets are $29.50 to $49.50. Visit the Van Buren website. Amy Young
Light up your night on Friday, February 23, when Scottsdale Public Art launches Canal Convergence. It’s a four-day event filled with light-based art installations along the Scottsdale Waterfront, bordered on one side by the intersection of Scottsdale and Camelback roads. The free Friday night kickoff runs from 4 to 10 p.m., and includes chances to meet participating artists, take part in hands-on workshops, and catch performances.
Highlights will include the launch of Choi + Shine Architects’ ARIZONA! project, which will premiere during the next Canal Convergence in November, and an artist talk with members of the France-based experimental light and design group Collectif Coin. Workshops include creating artifacts with Barter Boat and printing your own merch with Eli Richard. The performance lineup includes music, dance, and storytelling. And that’s just the Friday night short list.
Canal Convergence continues on Saturday, February 24, and the following weekend. See the complete schedules at the Canal Convergence website. Lynn Trimble
Margaret Cho fans know her stand-up is about as far from Republican Party politics as you can get. But that didn’t stop the Arizona GOP from using a still from the comedian’s groundbreaking 1994 sitcom All-American Girl on its chapter website. According to Vice News, the image was used to illustrate that the party would never single out a particular race for special favors or privileges. The picture was quickly removed after its origins were pointed out.
Luckily, Cho hasn’t gone anywhere. She says her vicious new tour, Fresh Off The Bloat, is about coming back to life after her struggles with drugs, drinking, and attempting suicide.
Laugh along when Cho performs at 7:30 and 10 p.m. on Friday, February 23, at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street. Admission is $32, and there’s a two-drink minimum. For more information, visit the Stand Up Live website. Jason Keil
A Celebration of Science and Reason
It’s a night of educated conversation and book signings at A Celebration of Science and Reason. Sam Harris and Lawrence Krauss are two of the night’s three speakers. Both are respected scientists and authors. Joining them is Matt Dillahunty, who hosts the Texas-based call-in show The Atheist Experience. What’s interesting about that, in particular, is that Dillahunty was once a southern Baptist minister, who, via scientific exploration, went down a nonreligious road. Together, this trio will explore topics like how we can all become more scientifically literate.
The sound-off on science starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, February 23, at Comerica Theatre, 400 West Washington Street. Tickets are $28 to $104. Premium tickets allow fast-pass access to the post-show book signing. Call 602-379-2800 or visit the Comerica Theatre website. Amy Young
Arizona Diamondbacks v. Colorado Rockies
The Arizona Diamondbacks will enter spring training — which is already here, by the way — with some unanswered questions surrounding the team’s opening day roster. However, the franchise’s rising payroll has made one thing perfectly clear: They want to win now.
Given the somewhat surprising success of last season, the Snakes are all in on building momentum rather than rebuilding. Yet with the price tag on slugger J.D. Martinez being too high, the main question becomes who the team can afford to fill Martinez’ sizable cleats. Regardless, Arizona has enough depth in their pitching rotation and on offense to repeat last season’s play.
Arizona kicks off the Cactus League season with a game against the Colorado Rockies at 1:10 p.m. on Friday, February 23, at Scottsdale’s Salt River Fields, 7555 North Pima Road. Tickets are $21 and up. Visit the Cactus League website or call 480-270-5000 for details. Rob Kroehler
A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney
“I’m Walt Disney. This is a screenplay I wrote. It’s about me.” So begins A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney, written by Lucas Hnath and produced locally by the iTheatre Collaborative. The dark drama portrays the creative genius — who gave us Mickey Mouse and expensive amusement parks — as a drunk, controlling, egotistical executive obsessed with living forever … literally. In other words, do not take the kids.
Check your id at the door. Showtime is 8 p.m. on Friday, February 23, on the Kax Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Tickets are $12 to $25. For more information, visit the Herberger Theater website. Jason Keil
Ceramic Studio Tour
Typically, people only see the finished product, but creating ceramic art is messy business. Once each year, art lovers get the chance to go behind the scenes during the Ceramic Studio Tour presented by the ASU Art Museum’s Ceramics Research Center.
The two-day event starts on Saturday, February 24, when you can visit more than a dozen studios throughout the Valley between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. It’s a free self-guided tour, so you can set your own pace and visit any or all the open studios. Tour sites also include a trio of venues showing exhibitions.
A dozen artists are hosting studio visits, and others will present demonstrations and discuss their work. Hosts include Tiffany Bailey, who currently has a solo exhibition at Mesa Contemporary Arts Center. For details, visit the ASU Museum website. Lynn Trimble
A Chorus Line
You wouldn’t want to watch a dozen people trying to get a job as an electrician (we assume). But make them sing and dance, and you’ve got magic, baby. The legendary 1975 stage musical A Chorus Line removes the middleman to reveal a clutch of insecure dancers vying for spots in an upcoming stage musical.
In the pre-Cats days, A Chorus Line held a seven-year record as the longest-running show on Broadway. Songs like “What I Did for Love” and “One” (singular sensation, etc.) etched themselves into our funky ’70s hearts.
Theater Works’ production continues through Sunday, March 4, at 8355 West Peoria Avenue in Peoria.
Showtimes on Saturday, February 24, are 3 and 7:30 p.m. For tickets, $14 to $36, call 623-815-7930 or visit the Theater Works website. Julie Peterson
Jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald forever changed the music industry with her signature scatting style and renditions of songs from the Great American Songbook. The Musical Instrument Museum will pay tribute to the “First Lady of Song” with Musical Icon: Ella Fitzgerald, an interactive two-day event on Saturday and Sunday, February 24 and 25. During the celebration, you can show off your knowledge during a team trivia challenge or learn something new during a lecture on the singer’s personal and professional journey.
The celebration will include documentary screenings, crafts, an interactive photo booth, and a special menu at the museum cafe.
The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 4725 East Mayo Boulevard. Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for teens 13 to 19, $10 for children 4 to 12 and free for children 3 and under. For more information, call 480-478-6000 or go to the MIM website. Laura Latzko
Arizona Matsuri Festival
The 34th annual Arizona Matsuri Festival will highlight traditional and modern Japanese culture on Saturday and Sunday, February 24 and 25, at Heritage and Science Park.
Expect humor-based rakugo storytelling, taiko drumming, different martial arts, kendama acrobatics, and 1960s Japanese rock. The top entries from an Arizona-themed haiku competition will be on display during the event. And the Chado Urasenke Tankokai Arizona Association will hold traditional Japanese tea ceremonies.
The festival also will offer authentic Japanese dishes and booths from an array of local businesses. It’s free to attend, and the event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at 115 North Sixth Street. For more information, see the Arizona Matsuri Festival website. Laura Latzko
This century’s resurgence of recreational knitting provided the charming spectacle of angry college-age feminists perched on blankets at rallies and festivals, clicking the needles like David Arquette on a socially conscious bender. We need more ways to relax and focus every day. Crying into the night is exhausting and uncool, and heavy drinking can kill a person, so we recommend coloring, yoga, and, yes, knitting.
On the fourth Saturday of each month, drop in to Desert Broom Library, 29710 North Cave Creek Road, for the Desert Knitters gathering. The group’s leader offers tips and projects for knitters of all skill levels, and expertise is swapped and admired. The next meeting’s from 2 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 24. Admission’s free. Visit the Phoenix Public Library website or call 602-262-4636. Julie Peterson
2018 Coronado Home Tour
Get neighborly at Coronado Park, 1717 North 12th Street, as the Coronado Neighborhood Association presents its 2018 Coronado Home Tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 25. The tour will include both preserved residences, as well as fully renovated homes. The area includes several architectural styles — including Craftsman, Tudor, Early Ranch, and Spanish and Pueblo Revival.
The event also includes The District PHX Street Fair, featuring live entertainment, local merchants, food trucks, and information booths for several nonprofits. So you can show up, learn a little something, and make new friends who share your passion for going local and fostering community spirit.
Tour tickets are $15 online in advance, or $20 at the event. And organizers note that biking is encouraged. Visit the Coronado Neighborhood website. Lynn Trimble
Pisces Party: An Astro-Musical Variety Show
Artistry and imagination are a few of the traits that make up the dynamic and quirky astrology of the Pisces. At Pisces Party: An Astro-Musical Variety Show, that creative eclecticism inherent to the 12th sign of the zodiac is celebrated through a musical mish-mash.
Live performances will happen all night at this shindig — and they will run the gamut. Singer-songwriter Tindal Muzik will host the party, which will include such sonic styles as EDM, hip-hop, reggae, vaporwave, and R&B. The lineup will include Beats by [R O I], Mind Upside, Idiaz, Truvonne, Why Worry, and Songs Lacking Talent.
This night of sound starts at 8 p.m. on Sunday, February 25, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Tickets are $8 for guests 16 and older. Call 602-716-2222 or visit the Crescent Ballroom website. Amy Young
Acro Cats Circus
Who doesn’t dream about running away to join the circus at some point in their life? That’s what cat trainer Samantha Martin did. But instead of hanging around with acrobats, bearded ladies, and lion tamers, she ended up the ringleader to a bunch of cats. Now, Martin tours the country with a traveling troupe of daring felines who run up flagpoles, play musical instruments, and commit various adorable acts of derring-do.
The Acro Cats Circus pitches its big top at Playhouse on the Park, 1850 North Central Avenue, from Monday, February 26, through Wednesday, February 28. The all-ages show will have showtimes at 3 and 7 p.m. daily. Tickets run from $25 to $40 and are available via the Phoenix Theatre website. Ashley Naftule
Typically, you’ll find Phoenix artist Bill Dambrova inside his Goat Heart Studio inside Bragg’s Pie Factory on historic Grand Avenue. It’s filled with a glorious assortment of art and oddities he’s collected throughout his career. But you don’t have to pay a studio visit to enjoy some of latest abstract art with a biological twist. It’s on view at Eric Fishl Gallery, located on the Phoenix College campus, 1202 West Thomas Road.
“Energy Eaters” includes 14 of Dambrova’s artworks, including seven pieces that are new or being shown for the first time. The free opening reception runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Monday, February 26. The show continues through Thursday, March 22. Visit the Phoenix College website. Lynn Trimble
The No Sleep Podcast
Born out of the dark, twisted minds of Redditors, The No Sleep Podcast brings disturbing stories to life with narration and creepy AF music. If you aren’t in need of a good night’s sleep anytime soon, you can catch the horror-fiction podcast’s live show on Tuesday, February 27, at The Rebel Lounge, 2302 East Indian School Road.
This show is not for the faint of heart (or anyone younger than 21). Tickets are $25 for seated admission and $20 for standing via the Ticketfly website. For more information, see the No Sleep Podcast website. Lindsay Roberts
Black History Movie Marathon
Thanks to South Mountain Community College and Phoenix Public Library, you can honor and celebrate Black History Month even as you keep your resolution to get off the couch and be with humans — all the while bingeing on films, as you would’ve if you’d never left the house.
The Black History Movie Marathon runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, February 27, screening Get on Up: The James Brown Story (2014, sweaty musicians), Loving (2016, less sweaty than the title suggests), and In the Heat of the Night (1967, sweat for days).
Popcorn and snacks will be served, breaks will be taken, and painless enlightenment will occur. Admission is free at South Mountain Community Library, 7050 South 24th Street. Visit the Phoenix Public Library website or call 602-243-8187. Julie Peterson
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Best known for his mysteries starring hard-boiled detective “Easy” Rollins, the award-winning author Walter Mosley has dabbled in afrofuturist sci-fi, short fiction, plays, and literary criticism. When he visits The Poisoned Pen, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard in Scottsdale, Mosley will introduce fans to his latest character, Joe King Oliver, in his new thriller, Down the River Unto the Sea.
An ex-cop and ex-con turned private eye, Oliver is attempting to put his life back together, with the help of his teenage daughter. He sees a chance at redemption when he works to exonerate a radical black activist accused of killing a cop.
The reading starts at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 28. Hardcover copies are available for $27. For more information, call 480-947-2974 or visit the Poisoned Pen website. Michael Senft