Nerd Culture

5 Free Things to Do in Phoenix This Week

Playwright Micki Shelton brings Cheap Food and Sex, but not literally.
Playwright Micki Shelton brings Cheap Food and Sex, but not literally. Chris Marzonie
It pays to be cheap. This week, cheapskates can explore how the movie industry has influenced fashion, join in the boozy Brides of March bar crawl, or get your literary fill with a road trip to Tucson Festival. You won't pay a cent. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

Cheap Food and Sex
Film titles are weird. If we can remember them at all, they seem designed to confuse us into staying away. (Current examples: Annihilation, Beast of Burden, Flower, Journey’s End.) But plays often have more satisfying, alluring names, like Cheap Food and Sex, a new script by Micki Shelton and Colin Druce-McFadden, which gives us warm fuzzies. Even if we can’t literally snack and smash in the theater, it’s fun to think about.

The show features two adults and their parents trying to get along in the context of offbeat self-healing practices in the desert. Ultimately, they learn to laugh. So will you, at a free reading Monday, March 5, at Theatre Artists Studio, 4848 East Cactus Road. Showtime is 7 p.m. Visit the Studio Phoenix website or call 602-765-0120. Julie Peterson

Sophie Gimbel dress from the collection of Dorothy McGuire of the McGuire sisters.
Model: Ford RBA. Photographer: Kelly Cappelli
“Hollywood in the Desert”
Visit Vision Gallery, 10 East Chicago Street in Chandler, to explore how the movie industry has influenced fashion and design in a new exhibition called “Hollywood in the Desert.”

It’s curated by Robert Black, founder of the international model and talent agency Ford Robert Black Agency, and proprietor (with Doreen Picerne) of the Fashion by Robert Black boutique in Scottsdale.

The free exhibition pays homage to designers including Adrian, Helen Rose, Bill Travilla, and Bob Mackie. The opening reception takes place on Wednesday, March 7, from 6 to 9 p.m. “Hollywood in the Desert” runs through Friday, April 6. Visit the Vision Gallery website. Lynn Trimble

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See Tiffany C. Bailey's Contemporary Cows at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.
Lynn Trimble
“Memories of an Idyllic Landscape”
Tempe-based mixed-media sculptor Tiffany C. Bailey captures iconic images of her Wisconsin upbringing in porcelain pieces that blend representational and abstract sensibilities. The end result is stunning, delicate, and strong, harking back to earlier times in the American Midwest.

Explore her “Memories of an Idyllic Landscape” exhibition at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, 1 East Main Street, on Thursday, March 8, when museum hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. You’ll discover palm-size cow sculptures bearing different designs, cylinders that reference silos, and pieces depicting agricultural mainstays like windmills.

Bailey’s show runs through Sunday, April 22. It’s a reminder of how important memories and place are, and the ways the images we carry in our heads influence the work we do with our hands. Visit the Mesa Arts Center website. Lynn Trimble

Here come the brides.
Benjamin Leatherman
Brides of March
It’s estimated that approximately 2.3 million weddings take place in the U.S. each year, according to folks who keep track of such things. We’re willing to bet, however, that the majority of these blessed affairs are nowhere near as fun as the madcap matrimonial fun of the annual Brides of March bar crawl.

Organized by the gonzo pranksters of the Arizona Cacophony Society, the annual event involves men and women alike donning wedding and bridesmaids dresses while hitting up several bars in downtown and Central Phoenix. It’s an afternoon of goofy fun that spoofs bridal traditions and riffs off the Ides of March (hence the name).

This year’s crawl kicks off at noon on Saturday, March 10, at Charlie’s Phoenix, 727 West Camelback Road, with a high-heel race and other festivities. Patrons will then board the light rail and set off for other nearby bars.
Participation is free. Visit the Arizona Cacophony Society website for more info. Benjamin Leatherman


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Gail Carriger is ready to take a book this weekend.
Vanessa Applegate
Tucson Festival of Books
Over 100,000 readers and writers will descend on the Old Pueblo this weekend for the Tucson Festival of Books. Now in its 10th year, the event takes over the University of Arizona campus on Saturday and Sunday, March 10 and 11, with readings, workshops, lectures, and signings from some of the biggest writers in the world.

This year’s guests include best-sellers Amy Tan, Dave Barry, Scott Turow, and Mitch Albom, who will also perform a free concert on Saturday Night as The Rock Bottom Remainders. Other authors slated to appear include the award-winning author and translator Ken Liu (“The Paper Menagerie”), steampunk queen Gail Carriger (Prudence), journalist Katy Tur (Unbelievable), and the king of middle-grade horror, R.L. Stine.

Programming runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free, however some of the programs are ticketed. Visit the Tucson Festival of Books website for a complete schedule and to reserve tickets. Michael Senft
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
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
Michael runs the Sci-Fridays Book Club at the Poisoned Pen, and volunteers at local pop-culture conventions. He can be found at the occasional prog-rock concert.
Contact: Michael Senft
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble