Things to Do

Eight Nerdy Things to Do This October in Metro Phoenix

Arizona Broadway Theatre is on a holy quest for laughs.
Arizona Broadway Theatre is on a holy quest for laughs. Arizona Broadway Theatre
We're into October and there’s a lot happening in the Valley's geek scene. Since it’s the scary season, Halloween-inspired events are in abundance, including two horror fandom events and a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show featuring actor Barry Bostwick. If you need a break from ghosts and goblins, there's a new anime con debuting, a local production of Monty Python’s Spamalot, a celebration of International Archaeology Day, and the chance to see the legendary John Waters perform his latest one-man show.

Friday the 13th: The Parody Musical

Jason Voorhees is not only an unstoppable, unredeemable killing machine hell-bent on offing promiscuous teens, he’s apparently also a musical theater triple threat. You can witness the scourge of Camp Crystal Lake sing and dance when the All Puppet Players stage Friday the 13th: The Parody Musical this month at Playhouse on the Park at Central Arts Plaza, 1850 North Central Avenue. Originally performed by APP in 2019, director Shaun Michael McNamara's ribald adaptation of the slasher film franchise is returning like Jason for another go. The production has been described as “gory, tacky, glorious, and fuckin' funny as hell from start to finish” that bastardizes tunes from West Side Story, Hamilton, and Wicked. As with any All Puppet Players show, it’s only for the 17-and-older crowd because of the naughty situations and dialogue (read: cursing and felt nudity). Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. every Thursday to Sunday through October 30. General admission is $38 and VIP tickets are $45. Benjamin Leatherman
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The legendary John Waters.
Celebrity Theatre

False Negative: An Evening with John Waters

Director, author, artist, queer icon — John Waters wears a lot of hats, And you'll hear all about it when he comes to the Valley on Friday, October 14. He’s bringing his "False Negative: An Evening With John Waters" show to Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street, The show is "a rapid-fire one-man spoken word vaudevillian act that celebrates the film career and joyously appalling taste" of the director, according to a release. Waters is the writer and director of cult classics like Pink Flamingos, Multiple Maniacs, Hairspray, Cry-Baby, and Serial Mom. His most recent project is the book Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance: A Novel, which came out in May. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $29 to $39. Jennifer Goldberg
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A pair of fun furries at Phoenix Comicon 2016.
Arizona Fur Con

Arizona Fur Con 2022

It ain’t always easy being a furry. The subculture is largely misunderstood and often lampooned by outsiders, many of whom associate it with deviancy. In truth, it's a dedicated geek fandom made of people interested in creating and portraying fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human-like qualities. And yes, they create and wear fantastical and elaborate costumes reflecting their “fursonas.” If you’re curious about the fandom, consider attending this year’s Arizona Fur Con from Friday, October 14, to Sunday, October 16, at the Mesa Convention Center, 263 North Center Street. Three days of panels, costuming activities, workshops, meetups, performances, and competitions are planned. Single-day badges are $25 to $35 and a full-event membership is $50. The Arizona Fur Con website has all the relevant info, as well as a complete schedule. Benjamin Leatherman
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Entrance to Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeology Park in Phoenix.
Lynn Trimble

International Archaeology Day

Leave your Indiana Jones or Lara Croft cosplay at home for this event at the Pueblo Grande Museum, 4619 East Washington Street, as you won’t be raiding tombs or searching for supernatural relics. Instead, this daylong event on Saturday, October 15, will feature such activities as digging in the mud, games like archaeology bingo, crafting opportunities, and a lecture by Arizona State University professor Joel Palka on “Ecological Aquaculture and Domesticated Waterscapes in Ancient Maya Society, Subsistence, and Art in Chiapas, Mexico.” The festivities run from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and it’s free to participate. Benjamin Leatherman
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Tim Curry (right), Barry Bostwick (center), and Susan Sarandon in a scene from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Rocky Horror Picture Show With Barry Bostwick

Watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show is as much a part of the scary season as donning costumes. And while the 1975 cult classic will be shown multiple times at local theaters this month, this screening at Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street, on Tuesday, October 18, will feature an appearance by Barry Bostwick, the actor who played the goody-two-shoes Brad Majors. He’ll introduce the film and then sign autographs and pose for photos during a separate meet-and-greet session. Local Rocky Horror troupe Frankie’s Fishnets will perform a live shadow cast, a costume contest is planned, and memorabilia and props from the film will be on display. Do the time warp again starting at 8 p.m. General admission is $20 to $65 and the meet-and-greet is an additional $100. Click here to purchase or for more details. Benjamin Leatherman

Artists Assemble Horror Fest

This new horror fandom event has a definite Stranger Things vibe to it. Not only are actors Matty Cardarople (Keith) and Mark Steger (The Demogorgon) scheduled to appear at the three-day event from Friday, October 21, to Sunday, October 23, at the Sheraton Phoenix Crescent, 2620 West Dunlap Avenue, there will be a Hellfire Club meetup and a walk-through attraction inspired by the Upside Down.

The convention will also feature such special guests as Poltergeist's Oliver Robbins, Wishmaster's Andrew Divoff, and Valley resident Jackson Robert Scott (Georgie from 2017's It). Cosplay groups like the Umbrella Corporation Arizona Hive will also be on hand, the exhibitor hall will be populated by local artists and vendors, and various themed vehicles will be parked outside. Event hours vary. Advanced general admission is $10 to $20 per day or $55 for the weekend. Check out the website for a complete schedule and other details. Benjamin Leatherman
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Voice actress Erica Schroeder is scheduled to appear at UwU Con in late October.
Courtesy of UwU Con
UwU Con 2022
Launching a geek convention is never an easy prospect, but this new “anime experience” from Friday, October 28, to Sunday, October 30, at Bell Bank Park, 1 Legacy Drive in Mesa, has a couple of things going for it: For starters, co-founder Preston Statzer is a fixture of the Valley nerd community who owns Mesa’s Olympus Games and has put on previous local anime gatherings. Then there’s UwU Con’s guest lineup, which includes notable voice-acting talents like Erica Schroeder (Pokémon), Kaiji Tang (Yakuza: Like A Dragon), Trina Nishimura (Attack on Titan), David Lodge (Bleach), and Kayli Mills (Re:Zero).

When attendees aren’t getting autographs and geeking out, they can enjoy international cuisine selections from a curated lineup of restaurants and food trucks, participate in e-sports battles or cosplay contests, attend panels, or dance at anime raves. Admission is $36.88 per day, $80.15 for a full pass, and $162.49 to $204.67 for VIP packages. Event hours vary per day. A full rundown of activities and guests is available here. Benjamin Leatherman
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Jennifer Goldberg is the culture editor and Best of Phoenix editor for Phoenix New Times.
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.

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