Nerd Culture

The Best Things to Do in Phoenix This Weekend

Party like it's 1984.
Party like it's 1984. Courtesy of The Rebel Lounge
No plans this weekend? Don't worry — we've got you covered. Take a walk in the Desert Botanical Garden with your furry BFF, eat your heart out at Pie Social, or head to Mesa for the Main Street Prototyping Festival. You can't go wrong. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' curated calendar.

1984! New Wave Fridays
Whether you grew up in the ’80s, lived through the decade, or are just now discovering its pop culture touchstones, there’s plenty of music to appreciate — and dance to. During the Rebel Lounge’s 1984! New Wave Fridays underground dance party, you can hear some of your favorites like Depeche Mode, The Pet Shop Boys, or The Cure, as well as deeper cuts from The Danse Society, Fad Gadget, or Book of Love.

On Friday, November 17, DJ Xam Renn will spin a variety of alternate, New Wave, EBM, and dark wave music. The 21-and-over dance party is free and starts at 11 p.m. at 2303 East Indian School Road. For more information, call 602-296-7013 or go to the Rebel Lounge. Laura Latzko

Main Street Prototyping Festival
Springy pool noodles offer endless bendy, summertime fun. But that’s not all they’re good for.

The colorful, spongy toys are repurposed into an interactive installation called Noodle at the Main Street Prototyping Festival. It’s one of the event’s 20 temporary prototypes designed by a variety of creators, including artists, designers, architects, students, and urban planners. The pieces will activate public spaces in Mesa, bringing people together to enhance the vibrancy of the community.

Take a look at the innovations from 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday, November 17, at Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street. Admission is free, and the event continues through Saturday, November 18. Call 480-644-6500 or visit the Mesa Arts Center website. Amy Young

Join the art resistance with Ann Morton on Third Friday. - ANN MORTON
Join the art resistance with Ann Morton on Third Friday.
Ann Morton
“NOT”
Phoenix artist Ann Morton has done the math. If he serves a full term, Donald Trump will be president for 1,460 days. It’s inspired a new piece of fiber art, made with strips torn from “Make America Great Again” T-shirts.

Morton has used the strips to create ropes and knots, and netting in the image of the American flag.

They’re all part of Morton’s “NOT” exhibition for Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art. The free show is on view from 6 to 10 p.m. on Third Friday, November 17, in a shipping container gallery at 425 East Roosevelt Street.

For Morton, the work is an act of resistance. It highlights the personal and collective turmoil wrought by Trump’s torrent of inadequacies. Visit the Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art website. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Paula Rebelo chases desire in The River Bride. - TIM FULLER
Paula Rebelo chases desire in The River Bride.
Tim Fuller
The River Bride
You’ve probably attended weddings where a couple of attendants smash. Or worse. We can’t disclose, even though half the folks are now dead or transitioned. But how about the one where a man emerges from the river to perturb the bride and her sister? That’s the setup of The River Bride.

Marisela Treviño Orta’s play, which won the 2013 Arizona Theatre Company National Latino Playwriting Award, takes place in Brazil.

ATC’s production continues through Sunday, December 3. Showtime for the final preview is 8 p.m. on Friday, November 17, at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Tickets start at $25, with discounts available for students, seniors, and military, at the Arizona Theatre website or 602-256-6995. Julie Peterson

Historic Roosevelt Neighborhood Home Tour
Amid all the strides that downtown Phoenix has made in the last decade — including the rapid proliferation of restaurants and hangouts, and the emergence of Roosevelt Row as the epicenter of the Valley’s artistic identity — it’s easy to focus on the city’s promising future.

But the truth is, no developer, investment group, or Valley-loving visionary can top the allure of the past. Which is why Phoenix’s most prized partitions of residential history customarily host neighborhood tours. The Roosevelt Action Association invites you to the Historic Roosevelt Neighborhood Home Tour, a family-friendly tour of one of the Valley’s oldest neighborhoods, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 18. Ticket prices start at $13. Visit the Roosevelt website for details. Rob Kroehler

click to enlarge For the first time, live is better than the book. - INGRID CHRISTIE
For the first time, live is better than the book.
Ingrid Christie
David Sedaris
David Sedaris writes spittingly funny essays. They’re even funnier when he reads them aloud. It’s hard to say which ingredient in the Sedaris breakfast burrito is more choice. You’ll also find palatable insight into issues of family, marriage, and identity within that tortilla. And something we call mordant pissiness, fortunately served on the side.

His depictions of his neighbors, parents, and siblings are not universally flattering, but they’re absolutely interesting and memorable, and maybe that’s the best they can hope for from a writer from the neighborhood. Sedaris himself admits to some non-exemplary behavior, which somehow warms our feelings about him. Though the world he observes is often bizarre (go figure), it’s an oddly cozy, relatable one.

Tickets are $29 to $69 for a reading, Q&A, and book-signing with Sedaris on Saturday, November 18, at 8 p.m. at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams Street. Visit the Phoenix Ticketforce website or call 602-262-6225. Julie Peterson

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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
Laura Latzko
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