Nerd Culture

20 Best Things to Do This Week in Metro Phoenix

Fans at a 2016 Arizona Cardinals game.
Fans at a 2016 Arizona Cardinals game. Jim Louvau
There is so much to do, and so little time. So choose wisely, Phoenix. This week you can bounce with Freedia, witness a War on the Catwalk featuring RuGirls, or hear The Whole Story at Phoenix Art Musuem. For more things to do, visit New Times' curated calendar.

Cardinals and Cowboys Viewing Party
What does it take to get you to hop off the recliner to watch the game at a neighborhood hangout? Perhaps a zesty, bacon-laden Bloody Mary is an incentive.

At Desert Rose Pizza’s Cardinals and Cowboys Viewing Party, you can get that particular drink, with or without the crispy pig, or something completely different. The beer menu has everything from stouts to sours, and on the food side, it’s classic bar fare like pizza, wings, salads, and burgers. Join other fans to cheer on the Arizona Cardinals, or be edgy and root for the Texas team from 5 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, August 3, at 6729 North 57th Drive in Glendale. There’s no cover. Call 623-937-3004 or visit the Facebook event page. Amy Young

click to enlarge Ponder the poetics of culture as weapon when Lit Happy Hour tackles Nato Thompson’s book Culture as Weapon at SMoCA. - DEREK SCHULTZ
Ponder the poetics of culture as weapon when Lit Happy Hour tackles Nato Thompson’s book Culture as Weapon at SMoCA.
Derek Schultz
Lit Happy Hour
Art’s more than objects hanging on walls. And if you agree, you’ll fit right in at Lit Happy Hour, where the next discussion centers on Nato Thompson’s book Culture as Weapon: The Art of Influence in Everyday Life. It’s happening at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street, on Thursday, August 3. Sara Cochran, director and chief curator for the museum, is the featured speaker for the 5:45 to 7 p.m. event.

It’s a chance to explore ideas at the heart of Thompson’s thinking, which are reflected in three core values hailed by the Creative Time nonprofit in New York City, where he serves as artistic director. They’re best known for commissioning adventurous and large-scale works of public art. They start with the premise that art matters, then recognize that artists’ voices are important in shaping society, and elevate public spaces as places for free and creative expression. Tickets are $7. Visit the SMoCA website. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Dawn Marie reads at The Whole Story: Part III. - RACHEL EGBORO
Dawn Marie reads at The Whole Story: Part III.
Rachel Egboro
Sunset SUP Yoga
Add water to your usual yoga routine. On Thursday, August 3, Scottsdale’s Saguaro Hotel offers Sunset SUP Yoga, a class where you move through poses while balancing on a stand-up paddleboard in the pool.

Starting at 6:30 p.m. at 4000 North Drinkwater Boulevard, you can test your balance during a class fit for all skill levels. That’s right, no experience is necessary, but you should bring a change of clothes just in case you fall in. Admission for the class is $45, and boards are provided. Visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts

The Whole Story: Part III
Since January, Phoenix has been energized by quarterly storytelling evenings that represent the black community, thanks to The Whole Story and Phoenix Art Museum. Fostering both solidarity and outreach, the performances are curated and coached (as is typical for live literature) and relate events of the tellers’ lives in engaging and entertaining ways.

In The Whole Story: Part III, on Friday, August 4, director Rachel Eseoghene Egboro (The Storyline) will draw from her experience, along with featured storytellers Sentari Minor, Floyd Galloway, Tina Brown, Dawn Marie Klecka, and Candice Tolliver. It’s a diverse set of worldviews, informed by the lives of teachers, activists, artists, consultants, journalists, and others.

The program is described as “PG-13” and begins at 7:30 p.m. at 1625 North Central Avenue. Tickets are $10. Call 602-257-1880 or visit the Phoenix Art Museum website. Julie Peterson

click to enlarge Melody Knudson, David Magadan, and Chavez Benally are [sic]. - KIM SEE
Melody Knudson, David Magadan, and Chavez Benally are [sic].
Kim See
Just as a black box theater is a small, modest space where things get experimental, your 20s can find you in a teensy apartment, trying out life skills, not always successfully. Playwright Melissa James Gibson, currently known for projects such as Netflix’s House of Cards, penned an Obie-winning script, [sic], about that very situation. Mesa Encore Theatre’s Black Box Series presents the play through Sunday, August 20.

Three young neighbors, struggling with career and personal stuff, make and break connections as they dwell behind their own walls yet within mere feet of one another. That’s kind of metaphorical.

Showtime on Friday, August 4, is 7:30 p.m. at 933 East Main Street. Tickets are $15. Visit the Mesa Encore Theatre website or call 480-834-9500. Julie Peterson

See Tuscon artist George Strasburger's works at Alwun House. - COURTESY OF GEORGE STRASBURGER
See Tuscon artist George Strasburger's works at Alwun House.
Courtesy of George Strasburger
“Figuratively Strasburger”
Tucson artist George Strasburger paints men in vulnerable and exposed poses that contrast with our preconceived notions of masculinity in society. His exhibition “Figuratively Strasburger” uncovers a style resembling that of beat photographer Robert Frank in his classic book The Americans. Each stroke of the artist’s paintbrush strips away layers of virility to expose an isolation and tension you won’t find on the covers of Esquire and GQ.

See “Figuratively Strasburger” at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 4, at Alwun House, 1204 East Roosevelt Street. Admission is free. For more information, visit the Alwun House website. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Get ready to roll. - MEGAN LUNDQUIST
Get ready to roll.
Megan Lundquist
’90s Party and Skee-Ball Tournament
The Phoenix Fray, a social sports-league group, is pulling together two things for one party: 1990s nostalgia and Skee-Ball.

Visit Bevvy, 4420 North Saddlebag Trail, #100, in Scottsdale, for the two-in-one ’90s Party and Skee-Bball Tournament. Arrive ready to dance the night away (and battle it out, arcade-style) starting at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 4.

Each six-person team gets two kegs at the start of the Skee-Ball throwdown — and the chance to win a cash prize. Registration for the competition is $10 per team at the Phoenix Fray website. Admission for the party is free. Lindsay Roberts

Mas Lucha
There’s no spectator sport more fun than Mexican wrestling. Time to grab a ticket and join the ringside fun.

Lucha Libre Arizona’s Mas Lucha includes multiple bouts, which means more masks, a parade of colorful tights, and endless entertainment. These lively competitions feature luchadores (wrestlers) who utilize an array of outlandish and sometimes pretty crazy moves in order to become victorious. Whether they’re tossing one another through the air or bouncing off the ropes of the ring, it’s a blast from start to finish.

The family-friendly acrobatic matches start at 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 5, at AWF Arena, 5658 North 51st Avenue in Glendale. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for kids. Premium seats are available for $13. Visit the Facebook event page. Amy Young

click to enlarge See the iconic photos by the Kolb brothers. - NAU CLINE LIBRARY, KOLB COLLECTION
See the iconic photos by the Kolb brothers.
NAU Cline Library, Kolb Collection
The Amazing Kolb Brothers of Grand Canyon
Hardly a visit to the Grand Canyon goes by without a mention or a glimpse of iconic photographs taken by the Kolb brothers.

From a photography studio on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Ellsworth and Emery Kolb risked the elements to capture scenic snapshots of the stunning tourist spot in the early 1900s. Travel writer Roger Naylor tells the colorful duo’s story in his beautifully illustrated book The Amazing Kolb Brothers of Grand Canyon, a well-researched chronicle of how the siblings took chances time and time again to capture Arizona’s history.

Naylor shares his book at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8, at Changing Hands, 300 West Camelback Road. Admission is free. Visit the Changing Hands website for more details. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Ron May will (potentially) get turnt at the roast in his honor. - ERIC THURNBECK
Ron May will (potentially) get turnt at the roast in his honor.
Eric Thurnbeck
Roast of Ron May
Stray Cat Theatre’s been a beloved institution since 2001. Founding artistic director Ron May is the company’s face, guts, and heart. Theater’s a collaborative art, you’d be nowhere without your teammates, blah blah blah, and May would be the first to point that out. But there’s just something about the guy.

So his close friends and colleagues will say terrible things about him during the Roast of Ron May, an evening of luau-themed dining and Stray Cat fundraising. Joe Kremer leads a panel including Cathy Dresbach, Brooke Unverferth, and Kerry Lengel. Auctions and a raffle-like game called Tops or Bottoms (perhaps not what you think) round out the festivities.

No-host cocktails and mingling begin at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 5, at the Radisson Hotel Phoenix Airport, 427 North 44th Street. Admission is $75, or $25 without dinner. Tickets and opportunities to be more generous are at the Stray Cat Theatre website or 480-227-1766. Julie Peterson

Read on for more of this week's best events — including the World Hip Hop Championship, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, and Big Freedia.
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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
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
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young