Five Must-See 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 calendar, you'll see we're off to a pretty good week of art events, sporting events, dance parties, and more. Here are our must-see events from now to the weekend . . .

Monday, February 25: The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination Book-Signing @ Poisoned Pen To paraphrase rapping wordsmith Nas, we chill by watching flicks where we can root for the villain. Sometimes the good guys are a little too squeaky-clean to be interesting. To our amusement, The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination pulls together 22 tales of fictional evil-doers and revels in their twistedness.

Bestselling authors including Austin Grossman, Naomi Novik, Seanan McGuire, Daniel Wilson, and Diana Gabaldon contributed hilarious short stories exploring the inner workings and foibles of the crazies set on ruling the world with an iron fist. Gabaldon and John Joseph Adams, editor of the resultant collection, read from their work and autograph copies for fans. -- Jose Gonzalez

See also: - Disappearing Ink: Book Sellers, Artists, and Recyclers Discuss the Lifecycle of a Printed Book in this Week's New Times - Big Brain Awards 2013: Nominate Emerging Phoenix Creatives for Cash Prizes

Tuesday, February 26: TV Dinner @ Angels Trumpet Ale House There's no combination that rivals the All-American collision of dinner and television. But a TV dinner doesn't have to be microwavable chicken nuggets with macaroni and cheese -- although we don't mind microwaveable pie (because pie, duh).

For a classed-up version of a flick and feast, downtown's beer-focused bar Angels Trumpet Ale House hosts a weekly Tuesday TV Dinner with comfort food and a movie for less than one ticket at a fancy dine-in theater. For $10, you can chow an entrée such as beer-battered fish sticks or a smoked turkey leg, along with a cold beer from a featured brewery to wash it down. Chef Xane Brody serves up a new menu each week, and with 31 rotating taps, there are plenty of suds to try. -- Lauren Saria

Wednesday, February 27: Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody @ Orpheum Theatre f you've ever used the words "inner goddess" or blushed at the sight of a silver necktie, then chances are good you're a reader of the Fifty Shades trilogy. The bestseller had women's hearts pounding all over the country, as they followed the totally screwed-up story of a control freak and his virgin lover. So is it lady porn? Maybe. Is it a good read? Depends whom you ask. Is it great fodder for a parody musical? Yeah, it's most certainly that.

And all you fans of Christian Grey and his 50 shades will be happy to know Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody will bring all the humor the best-selling book has to offer with comedy, musical numbers, and sexy striptease performances. -- Lauren Saria

Thursday, February 28: Emerge 2013 @ Arizona State University What is the future of truth? This is the boundless topic presented at Emerge 2013, a future-focused festival bringing together scientists, artists, humanists, and engineers "to build, draw, write and rethink the future of the human species and the environments that we share," according to organizers. If it sounds a bit metaphysical, the event's distinguished speakers base their theories and ideas on fact, occasionally peppering with a little fiction. The roster includes ASU president Michael Crow, "North America's greatest living thinker about myth," Betty Sue Flowers, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Buzz Bissinger (Friday Night Lights). But what is fact when fiction blurs the lines, and where does truth begin when the lies never really end?

Try to get a handle on the future in the midst of our changing reality at Emerge 2013, beginning Thursday, February 28, on the Arizona State University's Tempe campus. You're new outlook on the future is waiting. -- Glenn BurnSilver

Thursday, February 28: The Economics of Happiness Screening @ Modified Arts Happiness can stem from many things. For example, we revel in listening to Kai Ryssdal deliver nightly business news on American Public Media's Marketplace. That voice! Perhaps, if we stopped swooning and listened closer, we'd realize that global economics is far less sexy than the silver fox talking about it.

The documentary The Economics of Happiness explores the intersection of happiness and big business, with a focus on how the global market changes people's lives, cultures, and identities.

Weather permitting, No Festival Requires will screen the documentary outside of Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt Street, Thursday, February 28, at 7 p.m. If weather's bad, the screening will move inside. Bring your own seating. -- Becky Bartkowski

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton