Five Must-Attend Arts and Culture Events This Week in Metro Phoenix

We know. The beginning of the work week sucks. But if you take a quick look at the New Times calendar, you'll see we have plenty of art haps, sporting events, dance parties, and more. Here are the must-attend events from now to the weekend.

Monday, May 20: Craft Hack @ Gangplank HQ Emulate as we might, we are not and will never be Martha Stewart-style domestic goddesses. Our attention to detail, ability to organize, and DIY spirit will never match that of the millionaire mogul. We need support in our attempts at craftiness, and, luckily, we aren't alone in the matter.

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Enter Craft Hack, the co-working meetup where aspiring (and established) crafters can stitch, glue, and glitter in the supportive, creative confines of Gangplank HQ. Every third Monday at 6 p.m., the free event offers networking and demos. Bring your projects and a smidge of can-do spirit to the monthly craftathon. -- Becky Bartkowski

Tuesday, May 21: Lost In Bonkers @ Herberger Theater Center The hectic 40-hour workweek provides minimal solace, aside from an eagerly anticipated lunch break or stealing away a few rounds of Angry Birds while on the toilet. An hour away from coworkers can make you wonder if you actually have anxiety issues, or if your state of mind is just a product of your environment.

Lost in Bonkers takes a comedic look at psychoses during lunchtime, as Shana and Joe Bousard and Dominik Rebilas lead a musical journey through Psych 101. Neither Freud nor Oedipus is safe from tickling your funny bone, as the cabaret crew pokes fun at multiple personalities through amusing songs and stories. All guests receive a free diagnosis with admission -- and are welcome to bring lunch. Admission is $6. Showtime is 12:10 p.m. at Herberger Theater Center. -- Melissa Fossum

Wednesday, May 22: Turning Dreams into Reality: Starting a Farm in Arizona @ Maricopa County Extension Office There are quite a few things you can teach yourself. Farming, however, isn't likely one of them. The good news for those interested in the art of agriculture is that they can learn the necessary tips and tricks from the folks at the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension.

During the two-day Turning Dreams into Reality: Starting a Farm in Arizona workshop, future sodbusters can find out everything from how to write a business plan to what sort of equipment to buy. Important topics including the best irrigation options for Arizona farmers, how to become organic certified, and what types of insurance you'll have to pick up will be explored also.

The workshop starts at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, May 21, and continues through Wednesday, May 22, at the Maricopa County Extension. Registration is $113. -- Lauren Saria

Thursday, May 23: Phoenix Comicon 13 @ Phoenix Convention Center Our geekiness might be showing by admitting this, but Captain Jack Harkness is one of the coolest mofos in science fiction. Ever.

As an online Whovians so aptly stated, the Doctor Who/Torchwood lothario, portrayed by actor John Barrowman, is a "time traveling, immortal, omnisexual superhero" who's handy with both firearms and quips. And thanks to the BBC, which axed the character from Doctor Who's much-anticipated 50th anniversary special, the only place local geeks can get their fill of both Barrowman and Harkness is during the actor's appearance during Phoenix Comicon 2013.

The ultra-popular four-day event over Memorial Day weekend at the Phoenix Convention Center will once again feature anything and everything from the realms of comic books, science fiction, fantasy, video games, and practically every other nerd-oriented subject du jour via more than a hundred different Q&A sessions, panels, and appearances by a slew of special guests like Barrowman.

Other highlights this year include a reunion of the cast and creative staff behind Babylon 5 (including creator J. Michael Straczynski and actress Claudia Christian) for the sci-fi show's 25th anniversary, as well as appearances by Hellboy's Mike Mignola, The Walking Dead's Laurie Holden, Stargate's Amanda Tapping, and Firefly's Jewel Staite.

Geek out from Thursday, May 23, to Sunday, May 26. Comicon's Exhibitor Hall opens at 4 p.m. on Thursday and at 10 a.m. the rest of the weekend. Other event times vary. Single-day admission ranges from $15-$30, while full event memberships for the weekend are $60.

Friday, May 24: Skewed News Hour @ Torch Theatre Whether you're an arts and culture buff, a political junkie, or someone who glides straight to the sports section, when it comes to the news, there's one thing we can all share -- a good laugh. For those who enjoy news parodies such as The Onion, Comedy Central's The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, and SNL's long-running sketch, Weekend Update, there comes a local venue for turning hard hitting journalism on its head.

At Torch Theatre's Skewed News Hour audience members hold the power, selecting current news articles for Torch improv actors to twist, inspire, and ultimately create something entirely new. Expect inaccuracy, exaggeration, and most importantly lots of laughs (in other words, what you'd find on Fox news).

The show's on Fridays at 7 p.m. Admission is $7. Editor's note: New Times contributor Jose Gonzalez co-founded Torch Theatre.

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