Things to Do

Metro Phoenix's Things to Do This Weekend: Chris Rock, Hell City, IZW

Chris Rock is scheduled to perform on Sunday, August 28, at Arizona Financial Theatre.
Chris Rock is scheduled to perform on Sunday, August 28, at Arizona Financial Theatre. Michael Loccisano / Getty Images
Chris Rock’s Ego Death tour is due in the Valley this weekend, but the ticket prices are no laughing matter. The gig is technically sold out, but those who are willing to fork over some major cash on the secondary market (read: resellers) can get in.

If you prefer cheaper thrills, particularly those of the lowbrow variety, the competitors of Impact Zone Wrestling will face off in the squared circle, and the Hell City Tattoo Festival will return after a three-year hiatus.

There are other things to do around town from Friday, August 26, to Sunday, August 28, but you’ll have to read on to find out more. Or hit up Phoenix New Timescalendar for more activities this weekend.
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An attendee of Hell City Tattoo Festival 2019.
Benjamin Leatherman

Hell City Tattoo Festival 2022

Thinking about getting some ink? Thousands of people will transform their skin into a living canvas during this year’s Hell City Tattoo Festival at the Arizona Biltmore, 2400 East Missouri Avenue. More than 200 artists from throughout the Valley and around the world will be on hand for the three-day event, which runs from Friday, August 26, to Sunday, August 26. This year’s festival will also feature competitions, art displays, live music and entertainment, a freak show, and more. Hours vary. Admission is $25 to $30 per day or $75 for the whole weekend. Visit the Hell City website for full details.

My Neighbor Totoro

Hayao Miyazaki is a god among animated filmmakers. The oeuvre of the Japanese animator, director, screenwriter, producer, and co-founder of Studio Ghibli contains an unrivaled list of unqualified cinematic masterpieces, including Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle. One of the best of the collective is 1988’s My Neighbor Totoro, the charming and heartwarming tale of a pair of young sisters who find adventure with a gigantic chinchilla (the film’s namesake) and other spirits of the forest. Never seen it? Take an enchanted Catbus to the Majestic Neighborhood Cinema Grill, 1140 East Baseline Road in Tempe, on Saturday, August 27, for an afternoon screening of the English dub of the film presented by local environmental education nonprofit Trees Matter. Tickets are $12 and the movie starts at 4 p.m.
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IZW wrestlers battle inside Sun Studios of Arizona in Tempe.
Benjamin Leatherman

IZW Psycho Circus

Long before burgeoning professional wrestlers can compete in WWE or AEW (a.k.a. the big leagues), they typically spend years honing their craft in regional indie promotions. Here in the Valley, that includes Impact Zone Wrestling, a long-running local company. At this weekend’s IZW Psycho Circus on Saturday, August 27, at Sun Studios of Arizona, 1425 West 14th Street in Tempe, more than 20 different competitors from the roster will face off in six different matches. Highlights of the card include: Evan Daniels challenging Thugnificent for the IZW world heavyweight championship: EJ Sparks going against Mr. Classic in an “anything goes” match; and Charles Cassus fighting Jakob Austin Young. Morgan, Lilith Grimm, Bryn Thorne, Gypsy Mac, and Miss Anna May will battle in the “Psycho Circus” match for the IZW women's world championship. Start time is 5 p.m. General admission is $20.

Chris Rock

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: Yes, Chris Rock will be cracking wise about “the slap” during his current stand-up tour, which comes to Arizona Financial Theatre, 400 West Washington Street, on Sunday, August 28. Months after being assaulted on worldwide television in March by actor Will Smith during this year’s Oscar telecast, Rock has turned the incident into a, um, punchline. Last month, for instance, he reportedly told a New Jersey crowd, “Yeah, that shit hurt, motherfucker. But I shook that shit off and went to work the next day. I don’t go to the hospital for a paper cut.” He won’t spend every second of his 80-minute performance on the subject, though. His newest material will touch on cancel culture, America’s fascination with British royals, and the Kardashians, among other subjects. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are only available through resellers like StubHub and SeatGeek, but expect to drop at least a C-note.
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Local comic book creator Russ Kazmierczak.
Shawnte Orion

Teens Create: Comic Book Workshop

Got an artsy teenager who loves superheroes and aspires to be the next Todd McFarlane or Joëlle Jones? Drag them to Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, 8034 North 19th Avenue, on Sunday, August 28, for the Teens Create: Comic Book Workshop. Attendees of the hourlong workshop can learn how to come up with plots, characters, storyboards, and other elements of the sequential art form. The event will be conducted by local creator Russ Kazmierczak of Amazing Arizona Comics. The event runs from 1 to 2 p.m. and it's free to participate, though you’re asked to RSVP beforehand by emailing [email protected]. More details are available here
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.