As the world opens back up, metro Phoenix is positively bursting with cool thing to do every day of the week. Over the next several days, you've got two chances to watch our playoffs-dominating Phoenix Suns; besides that, there are line-dancing lessons, art exhibits, and a concert/vigil for the late Andy Warpigs to choose from.
Learn to Line Dance
Everybody’s playing catch up for a full year of lost social time, which makes it a great time to get out and there and try something that’s a bit out of your comfort zone. Maybe you always figured line dancing wasn’t your thing, but you’ve gotten a kick out of seeing it in movies from Footloose to Urban Cowboy. Why not give it a try this week, when the AZ Boots & Dukes Dance Groups is doing line dancing lessons at Belle’s Nashville Kitchen, which just opened late last year at 7212 East Main Street in Scottsdale. No worries, by the way, if you resorted to solo sessions for the '70s Electric Slide, the '80s Boot Scootin’ Boogie, or the '90s Macarena during those isolated pandemic days. We’ve all been there. The free lessons run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 7, and the live music happens from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Lynn Trimble
Phoenix Suns v. Denver Nuggets
You can add the title of “kingslayer” to the list of accolades Devin Booker has accumulated as a member of the Phoenix Suns. Last week, the all-star shooting guard played a major role in dethroning the Los Angeles Lakers during the opening round of the NBA postseason, burying the defending world champs underneath an avalanche of three-pointers. After vanquishing L.A., Booker will lead the Suns into the next playoff round against the Denver Nuggets, who will offer a tougher challenge than L.A.
Powered by center-shooter (and leading MVP candidate) Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets feature the best defense in the Western Conference and a formidable lineup that includes small forward Michael Porter Jr. and point guard Monté Morris. In other words, the Purple and Orange Gang will need plenty of support during the first two games of the series at Phoenix Suns Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. Game One tips off at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 7, with Game Two happening on Wednesday, June 9, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are currently available for $130 and up via Ticketmaster. Benjamin Leatherman
Cruise the Zoo
Forward-thinking urban planners have been looking for ways to make cities more walkable and bike-friendly in recent years, hoping to downplay the importance of individual car travel. Still, cars became a creative way to experience community events amid pandemic precautions like social distancing. Drive-in movies became hip again. Dance companies and puppet theaters performed to audiences in parked cars. At the Phoenix Zoo, 455 North Galvin Parkway, they embraced the trend with Cruise the Zoo, where you can travel by car at a turtle’s pace (about 4 miles per hour) in loops around the Africa and Tropical trails. Go online to reserve a time for Tuesday, June 8, when the first slot is 9:30 a.m. Tickets are $65 per vehicle.
'Things We Carry'
Elaborate rituals where identity and social expectations intersect with hair for Black and brown women take flight in works by emerging artists Merryn Omotayo Alaka and Sam Fresquez, who’ll be showing large-scale sculptural pieces made with synthetic hair for the “Things We Carry” exhibit at Lisa Sette Gallery, 210 East Catalina Drive. The exhibit also features works by Angela Ellsworth, whose "Sister Wives" series of multidisciplinary and performative projects gave rise to Seer Bonnets made with thousands of corsage pins, a material the artist uses to explore both her Mormon roots and mystical impulses. Gallery hours are on Thursday, June 10, are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. The exhibit continues through September 25. Lynn Trimble
D-backs Pride Night
It’s Pride Month, and many folks are flying rainbow colors in support, ranging from individuals honoring the LGBTQ community to companies and organizations looking to capitalize on the occasion. The Arizona Diamondbacks’ Pride Night falls somewhere between the two, as the annual event is co-promoted by local nonprofits like HRC Arizona and One Community. This year’s edition takes place on Friday, June 11, at Chase Field, 401 East Jefferson Street, during a game against the Los Angeles Angels.
Pregame festivities will include the ceremonial first pitch being thrown by Danielle Cortez, a transgender live content creator for Major League Baseball, and the national anthem being performed by Phoenix Gay Men's Chorus. One Community will also be at the game allowing attendees to sign a unity pledge calling for workplace inclusion and legal protection for LGBTQ workers. The game starts at 6:40 p.m. and tickets start at $25. More details are available here. Benjamin Leatherman
There’s another visual feast coming to the outdoor spaces at Alwun House, 1204 East Roosevelt Street, where you can always expect a creative mix of visual and performance art with an edgy, offbeat twist. A circus sideshow artist and local music collaborative called the Pain Proof Punks are bringing their sideshow, drag, and burlesque vibe to the stage at 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 12, during "Omen: A Southern Supernatural Slideshow." Tickets are $20, and event hours run from 8 to 11 p.m. Tickets are limited and masking is still a must, because the venue wants to bring a mix of safety and sizzle to the night, when you can expect an intriguing lineup of supernatural tales. By the way, there's no extra charge for all that fashion inspiration you'll probably get while you're there, and you need to be at least 18 to attend. Lynn Trimble
When the weekend hustle and bustle comes to Old Town Scottsdale, bars fill up fast with sports fans and tourists making their way through eclectic boutiques and galleries. You can beat them to the urban and desert landscape near the Arizona Canal during a Sunrise Yoga session happening from 7 to 8 a.m. on Sunday, June 13, on the Marshall Way Bridge located at East Sixth Avenue and East Stetson Drive. It’s all about upping your flexibility and awareness, which is a great way to start your day. Bring a yoga mat, water bottle, and towel, and be prepared for a socially distanced experience hosted by CorePower Yoga. Registration is $10. If you've got time, do some walking along the canal after you finish all those yoga poses, so you can explore some of the neighborhood's cool public art. Lynn Trimble
Andy Warpigs Folk-Punk Celebration and Vigil
Andy Warpigs had a profound effect on the Phoenix music landscape. The late folk-punk artist, who used the pronouns they/them, was an altruistic soul who championed inclusivity and encouraged others to follow their passions join in the fun, regardless of their background. So it seems only fitting that members of the local scene have come together in support of Warpigs since their death on May 30, including raising $18,000 through a GoFundMe campaign to cover funeral costs and other expenses.
This weekend, they will also gather together to honor the late artist during the Andy Warpigs Folk Punk Celebration and Vigil from 3 to 11 p.m. on Sunday, June 13, at Margaret T. Hance Park, 1134 North Central Avenue. Taking place underneath the Central Avenue bridge, a spot where Warpigs occasionally performed, the event will offer eight hours of performances from many of their friends and fellow musicians, including local bands like Jerusafunk, Blood Feud Family Singers, Red Tank!, A Better Problem, Soft Deadlines, The Bittersweet Way, and Of the Earth. Local artist NXOEED will also conduct an art hunt and a candlelight vigil will take place at The Trunk Space, 1124 North Third Street following the performances. It’s free to attend but donations are encouraged. Benjamin Leatherman
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