Nerd Culture

Best Things to Do This Weekend: Game On, Bring It! Live, Steve Martin and Martin Short

Get ready to get your geek on.
Get ready to get your geek on. Benjamin Leatherman
Don't let your weekend go to waste, Phoenix. Instead, cheer on the Cardinals as they take on the Oakland Raiders, unleash your nerdy side at the Game On Expo, or get metaphysical with an intro to palm reading class. For more things to do, check out New Times' curated calendar.

Game On Expo
Gamers and joystick Jedi of the Valley, you might want to start getting your wrists limber. Oh, and honing your pwning techniques might come in handy, too. After all, you’ll want to be prepared for the latest edition of the Game On Expo, the annual three-day extravaganza devoted to all things gaming.

The 2017 version of the event, which runs from Friday, August 11, to Sunday, August 13, will feature its biggest selection of games to date, as well as even more space at its new home at the Phoenix Convention Center’s South Building, 33 South Third Street. This year’s Expo will also feature an expanded vendor hall, additional tournaments and competitions, and a larger array of special guests, which range from voice actors like Mark Meer and Patricia Summersett to YouTube stars like Pat “The NES Punk” Contri. Daily admission is $20 to $30, weekend passes are $80 to $85, and children 2 and older pay $10. Event hours vary. See the Game On Expo website. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Fans at a 2016 Arizona Cardinals game. - JIM LOUVAU
Fans at a 2016 Arizona Cardinals game.
Jim Louvau
Arizona Cardinals v. Oakland Raiders
For the first time in what feels like forever, the Arizona Cardinals won’t enter the new season as the toast of the town. Or at least, not as long as the Diamondbacks maintain one of their winningest seasons in franchise history. Last year, pigskin prognosticators were swooning over the Cards’ postseason prospects while the Snakes floundered, but forecasts aren’t so sunny this time around. No surprise, given that last season’s vaunted roster lost more games than they won.

Still, there’s plenty to be optimistic about with Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald lacing up their cleats for another — possibly final — season. For the time being, there’s one winner in town. If Coach Bruce Arians does his due diligence this preseason, there will be two. The Cards’ preseason officially begins with a 7 p.m. home game at Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive, on Saturday, August 12, against the Oakland Raiders. Tickets are $41 and up. Visit the Cardinals website or call 623-433-7101 for details. Rob Kroehler

click to enlarge The ensemble rehearses a mystery number for The Fourth Annual Miscast Concert. - SHELBY MATICIC
The ensemble rehearses a mystery number for The Fourth Annual Miscast Concert.
Shelby Maticic
Miscast Concert series
Musical theater, when the stars align, can be phenomenal. An evening of songs pulled out of musicals faces more hurdles. It’s like how you should order a burger, fries, and a shake, not just a burger, in an unknown cafe.
Happily, Brelby Theatre Company adds onion rings to its Miscast Concert series, now in its fourth year: The songs are sung by people you wouldn’t expect. Whether it’s gender, race, body type, or some other tradition-bound characteristic that might keep a performer from being cast in a particular role, those boundaries will be transgressed, with fascinating results, through Saturday, August 26.

Smash the patriarchy at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 11, at 7154 North 58th Drive in Glendale. Tickets are $15 at the Brelby Theatre website or 623-282-2781. Julie Peterson

click to enlarge Help Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art turn its SMoCA Lounge into a playground during Yard Games for Art. - SEAN DECKERT/CALNICEAN PROJECTS
Help Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art turn its SMoCA Lounge into a playground during Yard Games for Art.
Sean Deckert/Calnicean Projects
Yard Games for Art
Maybe it’s been a while since you tossed around a beanbag or built a tower with wooden blocks. There’s good reason to polish your skills, because winning the yard games wars could snag you an original piece of art.

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street, is putting a creative twist on classic games with Yard Games for Art at SMoCA Lounge at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 11. Tickets are $10, and the person with the best game skills goes home with a new piece of art.

Proceeds benefit the museum’s Good ‘N Plenty Awards, a fall event that features local creatives pitching their best ideas so audience members can vote for a favorite, who wins a cash prize. Visit the SMoCA website. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge The Desert Sleuths chapter of Sisters in Crime will celebrate 30 years. - CLARK LOHR
The Desert Sleuths chapter of Sisters in Crime will celebrate 30 years.
Clark Lohr
SoWest: Killer Nights
Three decades ago, Sara Paretsky noticed a lack of diversity in crime and thriller genres. So the creator of famous female detective V.I. Warshawski and a group of fellow authors founded the organization Sisters in Crime. The group’s mission is to fight discrimination and “raise the level of awareness” about women writing in the mystery genre, while pushing to see more women nominated for awards recognizing their literary contributions. The Desert Sleuths chapter of the organization will celebrate 30 years with the release of SoWest: Killer Nights, the next edition of a locally set anthology series, with New York Times best-selling authors Clive Cussler, Lee Goldberg, and Robin Burcell.

Desert Sleuths’ 30th anniversary celebration is at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 11, at Changing Hands, 300 West Camelback Road. Admission is free. Visit the Changing Hands website for more details. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Can't help falling in love? - COURTESY OF MIM
Can't help falling in love?
Courtesy of MIM
Musical Icon: Elvis
You know Elvis Presley was one of the biggest musical celebrities of all time, but are you aware that he has his own week?

Yep, Elvis Week is a thing. It originated at Graceland, the late rocker’s Memphis mansion, with a series of events, including a massive candlelight vigil. Peripheral events happen worldwide. In honor of this multiday celebration, the Musical Instrument Museum hosts a tribute, too. Musical Icon: Elvis celebrates the musician with curator talks, hands-on activities, a trivia contest, and a movie.

Bask in all things “The King” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, August 12 and 13, at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard. The event is included in regular museum admission of $10 to $20, and it’s free for kids 3 and younger. Call 480-478-6000 or visit the MIM website. Amy Young

One-Year Anniversary Party
In a city overflowing with craft breweries, Helio Basin Brewing Company made a name for itself by foregoing the typical variations on pub fare and offering its ales alongside a Southwest-inspired menu. To celebrate their smashing success, the Arcadia-area establishment is putting on a One-Year Anniversary Party. Festivities include live music, the introduction of a new anniversary brew, and a pig roast prepared by award-winning chef Tammy Stanger. Don’t fret, herbivores, there will be vegetarian options, and you can enjoy a slice of cake for dessert (while supplies last).

See what’s on tap starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 12, at 3935 East Thomas Road. VIP tickets start at $25. Visit the Helio Basin Brewing website for more details. Jason Keil

Read on for more things to do in metro Phoenix this weekend.
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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.
Peterson, Julie
Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Rob is a Phoenix native, husband, dad, and an active member in the local music scene. He's written original songs for feature films.
Contact: Rob Kroehler
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
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