Take in the view.EXPAND
Take in the view.
Courtesy of Phoenix Art Museum

20 Best Things to Do This Week in Metro Phoenix

It's time to make a plan, Phoenix. Fill your schedule with the a community button-making night, an evening with Demetri Martin, and an after-dark pool party. For more things to do, visit New Times' curated calendar of events.

Slow Art + Mindfulness
With information flying at us constantly and from every direction, it’s getting harder to concentrate and enjoy the moment at hand. The folks at Phoenix Art Museum want to help with that.

Their Slow Art + Mindfulness series offers an opportunity to use visuals and guided meditation to connect to the moment and get a deeper understanding of some of the museum’s artwork. At this session, mindfulness guides and art educators help guests get a new and peaceful look at La Comia del artista (The Artist’s Meal) by Victor Grippo. Gain artsy peace of mind from noon to 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, July 27, at 1625 North Central Avenue. Admission is $9 to $18 for adults and free for children 5 and younger. Call 602-257-1880 or visit the Phoenix Art Museum website. Amy Young

Hostess with the mostess former Miss Gay Arizona Nevaeh McKenzie.EXPAND
Hostess with the mostess former Miss Gay Arizona Nevaeh McKenzie.
Scotty Kirby

Arizona Drag Stars: ’90s Throwback Edition
An event that promises glamour, comedy, singing, celebrity impressions, illusions, and some of Arizona’s best-known drag queens and DJs? We’ll see you there.

Galaxy Productions presents Arizona Drag Stars: ’90s Throwback Edition, featuring everybody from Mya McKenzie to Luna Love St. James, alongside China Collins and the hostess for the evening, former Miss Gay Arizona Nevaeh McKenzie (who will be accompanied by DJ Lezbien). Eddie Broadway, Dee Jae Galaxy, and performances from The Gentlemen’s Club are also on the roster.

Doors open at 8 p.m., and the 18-and-over show will go on at 9 on Thursday, July 27, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Tickets are $10 in advance at Ticketfly, and $15 at the door. For more information, call 602-716-2222 or see the Crescent Ballroom website. Lauren Cusimano

Check out the history of the Arizona label Canyon Records during “One World, Many Voices: The Artistry of Canyon Records”.EXPAND
Check out the history of the Arizona label Canyon Records during “One World, Many Voices: The Artistry of Canyon Records”.
Courtesy Pueblo Grande Museum, City of Phoenix

“One World, Many Voices: The Artistry of Canyon Records”
Don’t be thinking, “Come on, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to pose with a Grammy.” Arizona label Canyon Records scored the award in 2002 for Verdell Primeaux & Johnny Mike’s Bless the People: Harmonized Peyote Songs, and you can have your picture taken with the statue during “One World, Many Voices: The Artistry of Canyon Records” at Pueblo Grande Museum through August 31.

Along with more than 40 portraits of the company’s artists shot by current president Robert Doyle, the exhibit includes instruments and memorabilia dating back to Canyon’s 1951 founding as an outlet for Native American music. A soundtrack composed and recorded exclusively for the exhibition plays in the gallery and is available for purchase.

Museum admission is $3 to $6 and free for children younger than 6. Stop in at 4619 East Washington Street on Thursday, July 27, from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Visit the Pueblo Grande website or call 602-495-0901. Julie Peterson

The first WET After Dark had a great turnout.
The first WET After Dark had a great turnout.
Michelle Sasonov

WET After Dark
Time to make a weeknight splash with the W Scottsdale’s summer night swim series.

The swanky Scottsdale spot at 7277 East Camelback Road hosts the WET After Dark party every Thursday. From 8 p.m. until midnight, sip a Ciroc Mojito and jam out to the the tropical house music courtesy of DJ Circle. Don’t forget that this pool party requires upscale pool attire, and the event is for those 21 and older. To reserve a VIP table or cabana for July 27, call 602-405-0099. Visit the W Scottsdale website. Lindsay Roberts

Want to hear a secret?
Want to hear a secret?
Sarah Marie Rainier

Untidy Secrets
It’s appropriate that Belle and Sebastian, a band steeped in the written word, are the catalyst for new narrative works. “Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying” is this month’s theme at Untidy Secrets, a storytelling event and zine swap. Settle down with stories by Jessie Balli, Brodie Foster Hubbard, Laine Baker, Marnee Burrus, Michael Palladino, and Sari Beliak. You might hear about naive boys that succeed or a tale that sets your mind to wander. Untidy Secrets’ mission is to encourage literature through alternative means, so writers and storytellers are encouraged to swap their printed work and network.

The storytelling starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 28, at Ash Avenue Comics and Books, 806 South Ash Avenue in Tempe. The event is free. For more information, visit the Ash Avenue Comics website. Jason Keil

Saturday Night Fever
Been kicked around since he was born. Gets low and gets high. Is literally crying for help. Per the Bee Gees, this is the dilemma of Tony Manero, protagonist of Saturday Night Fever. And since there’s “no time to talk,” he probably won’t get the therapy he obviously needs. But he’s a dancin’ man, and he just can’t lose.

Of all the films that have become stage musicals, this one makes some sense. Because disco. Arizona Broadway Theatre’s production of the lavish show continues through Sunday, August 20. Seating begins at 5:30 p.m. for a 7:30 showtime on Friday, July 28, at 7701 West Paradise Lane in Peoria. Ticket prices, which may increase with demand, start at $45 to $90. Call 623-776-8400 or visit the Arizona Broadway website. Julie Peterson

Compression by Bryan David Griffith, an artist represented by Bentley Gallery.EXPAND
Compression by Bryan David Griffith, an artist represented by Bentley Gallery.
Courtesy of Bentley Gallery

“Gallery Artists”
Recently, Bentley Gallery announced it’s representing Travis Rice, who holds a fresh master’s of fine arts from Arizona State. Rice’s work fills the gallery’s project space, but there’s even more to see. Bentley Gallery, 215 East Grant Street, is also showing selected works by several of its other artists in an exhibition called “Gallery Artists.”

It’s a summertime sampling of work in several media by artists who hail from Arizona and other parts of the world. Bentley Gallery’s cadre of more than 50 artists includes Bryan David Griffith, a Flagstaff artist whose media include fire. See the free exhibition from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, July 28. It continues through Thursday, August 31. Visit the Bentley Gallery. Lynn Trimble

Good Times: Disco Party For Boys & Girls
Get ready to boogie all night long, because Rips is reviving the ’70s for one night only.

Good Times: Disco Party For Boys & Girls starts at 9 p.m. on Friday, July 28. Get ready to shake your groove thing to the sounds of disco, electro boogie, proto-house, and Italo disco. Expect all-night drink specials and free pizza.

Disco attire is encouraged. So whip out those bell-bottoms and strap on those platforms. There is no cover for this event at 3045 North 16th Street. For more information, visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts

Blanca Peak overlooks the white quadrant in "Black White Blue Yellow."EXPAND
Blanca Peak overlooks the white quadrant in "Black White Blue Yellow."
Courtesy of Heard Museum

“Black White Blue Yellow”
We’re surrounded by mountains. Some of us like to conquer them as hikers or wedge expensive houses into their armpits, but most of us aren’t really living with them, chilling, listening. Artist Steven Yazzie shares the relationship of the Diné/Navajo people with four mountains that surround their homeland in his show “Black White Blue Yellow” at the Heard Museum through October 15.

Over a three-year period, Yazzie hiked the area bounded by Hesperus Mountain, Blanca Peak, Mount Taylor, and the San Francisco Peaks, snapping photos and making audio/video recordings that constitute the meat of the installation. Each point of the compass corresponds to its own sacred mountain and color. Bits of artist magic are sprinkled in to keep you on your toes.

The exhibition opens on Saturday, July 29, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2301 North Central Avenue. Regular admission is $7.50 to $18. Visit the Heard Museum website or call 602-252-8840. Julie Peterson

Read on for more of the Valley's best events this week — including a massive CenPho waterslide, DIY button-making, and a book-signing with Chris Bianco.

Get ready for some fun in the sun.EXPAND
Get ready for some fun in the sun.
CityScape Phoenix

Water’s what it’s all about during Arizona summers, and you can confirm as much when CityScape, 1 East Washington Street, hosts H2Oasis. The event takes over a stretch of Central Avenue and Patriots Park with eight giant water slides, all-ages games and activities, and shady spots to stretch out.

H2Oasis is also pet-friendly (though you should consider shoes for your pup), and runs from 4 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 29. Admission is free, and the whole shebang is open to the public. For more information, see the CityScape website and the Facebook event page. Lauren Cusimano

Pen Cap Collective’s 2017 Poetry and Art Showcase
Samedi Johnson is an Arizona State University student who creates stunning artwork and animation inspired by anime, comics, and cinema. A nonbinary artist, you may have seen one of their beautifully designed posters for activist events plastered on one the columns around campus or a drawing featured in a local zine. The intermedia major is one of the 20 visual artists and 15 poets featured at the Pen Cap Collective’s 2017 Poetry and Art Showcase. The event will feature work by people of color and queer and femme communities.

Celebrate expression at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 29, at FiftyOne West, 51 West Southern Avenue in Tempe. Admission is $5. For more information, visit the FiftyOne West website. Jason Keil

65 brewers offering 350 types of craft beer: Need we say more?EXPAND
65 brewers offering 350 types of craft beer: Need we say more?
Arizona Craft Brewers Guild

Real Wild & Woody Beer Festival
The Real Wild & Woody Beer Festival is named for terms that relate to the brewing process. The “wild” part references the fact that the beer contains Brettanomyces, a type of yeast. And “woody” means barrel-aged brews. You’ll find both styles at this event, which includes more than 65 brewers offering 350 types of craft beer. Drinking’s not the only fun activity. Enjoy plenty of food from local eateries, a rock-climbing wall, and live music.

This 21-and-over midday beer party happens from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 29, at the Phoenix Convention Center, 33 South Third Street. Admission is $57 and includes 20 beer sampling tickets and food pairings from local restaurants. A $25 designated driver ticket gets you entry and food samples.Visit the Real, Wild and Woody website. Amy Young

Watch the Phoenix Mercury take on the WNBA’s punching bag, the San Antonio Stars.EXPAND
Watch the Phoenix Mercury take on the WNBA’s punching bag, the San Antonio Stars.
Barry Gossage/Phoenix Mercury

Phoenix Mercury v. San Antonio Stars
The Phoenix Mercury’s marquee player, Diana Taurasi, will go down in history as one of the best basketball players of all time. But the greatest player on the 2017 version of the Merc just went down, period. Midway through an MVP-caliber season, Brittney Griner suffered a knee and ankle injury that will sideline the all-star through mid-August. In an already abridged 34-game season, losing the team’s leading scorer and defensive centerpiece for 10 games is a devastating blow for Phoenix, who are still in the thick of the playoff race.

Luckily, the team has some depth and — in Taurasi — the most adept scorer in WNBA history. Perhaps even more fortuitously, the WNBA’s punching bag, the San Antonio Stars, bring their paltry level of play to Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 30. Tickets are $9 and up. Visit the Mercury website or call 602-379-7800 for details. Rob Kroehler

Catch Martin at the Let's Get Awkward tour.
Catch Martin at the Let's Get Awkward tour.
Courtesy of Demetri Martin

Demetri Martin
Let’s be honest. If anyone has the right to call their tour Let’s Get Awkward, it’s comedian Demetri Martin.
His quirky demeanor, bowl haircut, and drawing tablet used to HELP illustrate his jokes are all part of his glorious geekery. Martin’s type of stand-up features clever and hilarious one-liners delivered with a deadpan style that comedy hasn’t seen the likes of since Steven Wright got everyone all jazzed in the ’80s. In addition to illustrations, he also uses musical instruments, from keyboards to banjos, to drive his funny words home. His observational and sometimes surreal humor has earned the Yale grad a prosperous career in the stand-up world, as well as in TV and film.

See him joke and draw at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 29, at Talking Stick Resort, 9800 East Talking Stick Way in Scottsdale. Tickets to the 21-and-over show are $20 to $60. Call 480-850-7777 or visit the Talking Stick Resort website. Amy Young

Make some art waves with Jennifer McCurdy’s Coral Nest, exhibited at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.EXPAND
Make some art waves with Jennifer McCurdy’s Coral Nest, exhibited at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.
Courtesy of Mesa Arts Center

“Making Waves”
Catch a wave without heading to the coastline. In a new exhibition of wave-inspired art, four artists share distinct takes on what that means.

Katie Glusica’s work explores the relationship between weaving and wave/particle duality, Lucrezia Bieler’s delicate paper-cutting reflects the balance of nature, and Jennifer McCurdy’s wheel-thrown porcelain addresses the ordered symmetry and asymmetry of the natural world. They’re featured, along with Robert Donne, in the “Making Waves” group exhibition at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, 1 East Main Street.

See the free exhibition between noon and 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 30. The show continues through Sunday, August 6. Visit the Mesa Arts Center website. Lynn Trimble


Although David Bowie’s Jareth the Goblin King did not have power over Jennifer Connelly’s Sarah in Jim Henson’s cult classic Labyrinth, Bowie’s codpiece held a hypnotic sway over those of a certain generation watching on cable. Don’t miss your chance to see the late rock star’s impressive bulge on the big screen, complete with animated subtitles so you can quote and sing along to this musical masterpiece. Admission includes a prop bag with smell-along cards, bringing a new dimension to your journey through the Bog of Eternal Stench.

The magic dance begins at 4:15 p.m. and again at 7 on Sunday, July 30, at Alamo Drafthouse Chandler, 4955 South Arizona Avenue. Tickets are $12.94. For more information, visit the Alamo Drafthouse website. Jason Keil

Upper Crust.EXPAND
Upper Crust.
David Loftus

Chris Bianco
Chris Bianco has finally written a cookbook. The chef behind the restaurants you use to impress your out-of-town friends sh ares how his wood-fired creations earned the badge of “Best Pizza in America” in Bianco: Pizza, Pasta, and Other Food I Like. For those nights you can’t wait in line for a Wiseguy, Bianco offers the tips and tricks you’ll need to create your own pie at home.

Bianco will sign copies of his book at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 31, at Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road. The event is $34.99, which includes admission for two and a copy of the book. For more information, visit the Changing Hands website. Jason Keil

Form your own opinions of John Armstrong’s Red Curtain at The Gallery at Mountain Shadows.EXPAND
Form your own opinions of John Armstrong’s Red Curtain at The Gallery at Mountain Shadows.
Courtesy of Reyes Contemporary Art

“Classic Abstraction”
Basics like form, color, line, and gesture take center stage in abstract art. You can explore work by two vastly different artists in the “Classic Abstraction” exhibition at The Gallery at Mountain Shadows, 5445 East Lincoln Drive in Paradise Valley. John Armstrong creates undulating compositions of bold and translucent layers. Dorothy Fratt, an Arizona artist who died before the exhibition’s opening, played with intensity, contrast, and subtlety to strike a balance between harmony and discord.

See their work anytime on Tuesday, August 1. The gallery, curated by John Reyes of Reyes Contemporary Art, is open 24/7. Visit the Mountain Shadows website for more information. Lynn Trimble

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary!
The first cohort of kids who devoured Harry Potter books is full-grown now. This makes adult fans feel less lonely and creepy. And there’s a new generation of young readers — as well as author J.K. Rowling’s sassy Twitter feed. All these things fill us with hope and courage.

Anniversaries and birthdays are the parties you get for just hanging in there, and The Boy Who Lived marks the vigintennial of his debut with Harry Potter 20th Anniversary! at Century Library, 1750 East Highland Avenue, from 12:30 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, August 1. Wand-making’s the activity of the day, and an interactive screening of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone begins at 1:30. Visit the Phoenix Public Library website or call 602-262-4636. Julie Peterson

Button up.
Button up.
Courtesy of Practical Art

Community Craft Night: Button Making with Brendan McCaskey of Jar of Buttons
Join Community Craft Night: Button Making with Brendan McCaskey of Jar of Buttons from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, August 2. Expect stencil images, magazines for random artwork, McCaskey’s own designs, and the opportunity to draw your own thing. Attendees will press those little pictures into 10 take-home buttons and magnets.

Cost is $20, and the event is BYOB at Practical Art, 5070 North Central Avenue. Register at the Practical Art website, or call 602-264-1414 with questions. Lauren Cusimano

Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version.

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