Explore Safwat Saleem’s take on America’s political landscape at Vision Gallery in Chandler.EXPAND
Explore Safwat Saleem’s take on America’s political landscape at Vision Gallery in Chandler.
Peter Bugg

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Looking to fill your week? Check out the local talent at the Hip-Hop In The Valley showcase, see everyone's favorite musical Hamilton, or take a bite out of Tacolandia. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

“Concerned but Powerless”
Early in 2016, Pakistani-American Safwat Saleem turned to art as a way to process the upcoming presidential election. The Phoenix-based artist launched a series of new work that he expected to finish on Election Day. But that didn’t happen, because of his reaction to the election results and events that followed.

Now, he’s showing those works in his first solo exhibition in seven years. The free art show is called “Concerned but Powerless,” and you can give it a good look during the opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, January 25.

It’s a chance to meet the artist, and learn more about what the gallery calls his “satirical response to the national political and cultural climate.” Seems like he must have had plenty to work with. The show runs through Friday, March 2, at Vision Gallery, 10 East Chicago Street in Chandler. Visit the Vision Gallery website. Lynn Trimble

Adam Sandler
The L.A. Times once referred to Adam Sandler as “the white Tyler Perry.” Clearly a jab at the SNL alum’s proclivity for unpretentious comedy, the revered publication failed to take in to account Sandler’s impressive dramatic acting chops.

Consider the subtle eccentricities Sandler so adroitly embodied in Barry Egan, the protagonist from 2002 indie hit Punch-Drunk Love, for instance. Sandler has certainly made his millions on cheap laughs and shallow plot lines, but one gets the sense that the Brooklyn native isn’t too concerned about the critical implications of flops like Jack and Jill. He’s just having a good time; and usually that sells.

Sandler visits Comerica Theatre, 400 West Washington Street, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 25. Tickets are $72 and up. Visit the Comerica Theatre website or call 800-854-2196 for details. Rob Kroehler

Local rap is the best rap.
Local rap is the best rap.
Courtesy of Teek Hall

Hip-Hop In The Valley
The monthly showcase Hip-Hop In The Valley returns with a cypher followed by Guy Optimal Goodwin, FATED, Black One, and abstract niños performing live sets inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Event organizer DJ Scapegoat will spin to close out the night. He hopes the showcase will share the message of his civil rights hero.
“I’ve always looked up to Dr. King as an inspiration to live for others, and with this ‘leader’ we have now, obviously our country has lost focus on what a leader needs to be,” Scapegoat says.

The grooves begin at 9 p.m. on Thursday, January 25, at The Lost Leaf, 914 North Fifth Street. Admission is free. For more information, visit the Lost Leaf website. Jason Keil

Co-producers Jenna DuMay and Gabe Swing.
Co-producers Jenna DuMay and Gabe Swing.
Stephanie Zahra

Vamp: The Spooky Bitches Tour
Vamp: The Spooky Bitches Tour is about to roll into Scottsdale for a night and shake things up. This raucous Tucson drag show is on tour and bringing along some drag stars from Los Angeles — including Ursula Major, Frankie Doom, and Xochi Mochi — to make the show a divinely decadent evening. Brii St. James, Astrud Aurelia, and Rubye Moore are a few of the Arizona ladies performing.

Hosted by Jenna DuMay and Natalia Flores, the group promises a night of blood and a whole lot of monster drag. Oh, and milkshakes, too, but not the kind you drink. Get spooked at 9 p.m. on Thursday, January 25, at BS West, 7125 East Fifth Avenue in Scottsdale. Tickets are $5; VIP meet-and-greet passes are $15. Call 480-945-9028 or visit the BS West website. Amy Young

See fresh dance works by emerging artists during ASU’s “Transition Projects: Fit to be Tied.”
See fresh dance works by emerging artists during ASU’s “Transition Projects: Fit to be Tied.”
Carlos Velarde

Transition Projects: Fit to be Tied
There’s nothing wrong with rooting for your faves on Dancing With the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance. But it’s tough to beat the thrill of watching live dance performance, uninterrupted by mind-numbing commercials or commentary from preening judges.

Give it a try at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 26, when the Arizona State University Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts presents an evening of dance performances by 2018 bachelor of fine arts candidates.

Transition Projects: Fit to be Tied, will feature an eclectic mix of original choreography, sound, and set design at the Margaret Gisolo Dance Studio Theatre, inside the P.E. East Building, 611 East Orange Street in Tempe. Tickets are $16 for adults, and you can get them online or at the event. Visit the ASU event page. Lynn Trimble

Not just a regular film freakout.
Not just a regular film freakout.
Melissa Fossum

A Very Special Freakout
Drugs. Drunk driving. Teen pregnancy. These topics often mean an awkward discussion between parents and teens. But over the last four decades, After School Specials, Lifetime Original Movies, and the Hallmark Channel whipped up a solution with original dramatic productions. These kitschy stories were broadcast to adolescents looking for answers.

Not one to let such content go to waste, the Unfathomable Film Freakout has compiled campy clips for A Very Special Freakout, which includes segments of gang members sporting eye patches, addicts leaping out of windows, and tough but misunderstood student athletes. All were too tacky or cheesy to be taken seriously.
Parental discretion is advised at 10 p.m. on Friday, January 26 at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Admission is $7. For more information, visit the Film Bar website. Jason Keil

Truth Seeking and Freedom of Expression: A Dialogue
In this political climate, a nonpartisan discussion feels almost impossible. That’s why Arizona State University’s Cronkite School and Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law have teamed up to present “Truth Seeking and Freedom of Expression: A Dialogue.”

Led by Robert P. George and Cornel West, prominent thinkers with opposing views, the event aims to create an environment in which students can openly challenge each other and share opposing viewpoints.

Get ready to talk it out at 5 p.m. on Friday, January 26, at the ASU Student Pavilion, 400 East Orange Street in Tempe. Tickets are free are and available through EventBrite. For more information, visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts

Arizona State University v. Boston University
There’s been a lot of recent commotion surrounding Arizona State University’s Sun Devil athletics: Bobby Hurley and the seemingly meteoric rise of the men’s hoops squad; the dismissal of Todd Graham; and the highly publicized hiring of his replacement, Herm Edwards. Which makes it easy to forget that the Devils actually compete in sports outside of football and basketball.

Attentive collegiate sports fans, however, have likely kept a close eye on the ASU men’s hockey team. One of the university’s more intriguing athletic offerings, the Devils had flirted with national dominance while part of the American Collegiate Hockey Association, but have floundered since entering Division 1 play in 2015.

ASU hosts Boston University at Glendale’s Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue, at 7:05 p.m. on Friday, January 26. Tickets are $15 and up. Visit the Sun Devils website or call 623-772-3800 for details. Rob Kroehler

Fans at the 2017 Pot of Gold Festival.EXPAND
Fans at the 2017 Pot of Gold Festival.
Jim Louvau

Pot of Gold Local Band Showcase
The Pot of Gold Festival is coming to Rawhide Event Center in Chandler, with Sturgill Simpson and Phil Lesh taking the stage on the second day of what looks to be the jam band event of the year. Arizona-based bands are getting in on the action as well. The Pot of Gold Local Band Showcase is a preview of the festival’s local lineup, which includes Mind Upside, Christopher Shayne, DL Marble, Chad Rubin, Mills End, Sugarwater, and Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold. According to Donny Johnson, general manager of Lucky Man Concerts, the evening’s ticket sales and attendance at the showcase will determine when each band will perform at the festival.

Support your favorite band starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, January 27, at the Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue in Tempe. Admission is $12. For more information, visit the Lucky Man website. Jason Keil

2018 YAllapalooza Writer’s Conference
If you’re looking to break into young adult publishing, don’t miss the 2018 YAllapalooza Writer’s Conference at Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road, on Saturday, January 27.

The conference will feature five YA and middle-grade authors, including local favorites Bill Konigsberg, Stephanie Elliott, and Tom Leveen, joined by out-of town authors including up-and-coming horror writer Amy Lukavics. The guests will share secrets for crafting great novels for the under-20 crowd (as well as navigating the crowded publishing field) in three sessions. Following the workshops, there will be a panel on YA literature and an autograph session.

The event starts at 9 a.m., with the panel starting at 2 p.m. Admission to the workshops is $60 per person, or $70 including lunch at the First Draft Book Bar. The panel and autograph session are free. Call 602-274-0067 or visit the Changing Hands website for more information. Michael Senft

Give 'em something to taco-bout.EXPAND
Give 'em something to taco-bout.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Taco Tuesday? More like tacos every day. We just can’t get enough of the soft or crispy shells that hold numerous delicious and creative fillings. At Phoenix New Times’ annual Tacolandia event, you get four hours to chomp tacos from a bunch of Valley taquerias. Vendors include Puffy Taco Shop from Surprise, Scottsdale’s Mr. Mesquite, and Tapacubo, located in the Graduate Hotel in Tempe. Your taco ticket allows you unlimited food sampling.

A cash bar offers adult beverages like craft cocktails starring Tito’s Handmade Vodka, or Clamato Micheladas. DJs and folklorico dancers entertain while you indulge from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 27, at Margaret T. Hance Park, 67 West Culver Street. General admission tickets start at $25; VIP tickets start at $45. Visit the Tacolandia website. Amy Young

Join the pit party.EXPAND
Join the pit party.
courtesy of Feld Entertainment

Monster Energy AMA Supercross
During supercross races, riders speed around indoor dirt tracks, performing jumps and turns at high speeds on motor bikes. Monster Energy AMA Supercross will bring professional off-road motorcycle racing to Glendale on Saturday, January 27, starting at 5:30 p.m.

The pro riders have two heat races and a last-chance qualifier to get into the final race, known as the main event. Beginning at 11 a.m., a pre-race Pit Party offers chances to meet with riders.

At 8 a.m. on Sunday, January 28, local racers will compete in 27 different classes as part of a Supercross Amateur Day. All festivities take place at University of Phoenix Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive.

Tickets for the professional race day start at $15. The Pit Party is $10 or free if you bring an empty can of Monster Energy. General admission for the amateur event is $20. For more information, see the Supercross website. Laura Latzko

Amelia Moore and Michelle Dawson mix it up in Man of La Mancha.EXPAND
Amelia Moore and Michelle Dawson mix it up in Man of La Mancha.
Tim Fuller

Man of La Mancha
Miguel Cervantes’ Don Quixote, in which an addled old man pursues a sort of bucket list of heroism, has been adapted for the theater numerous times, including as a seven-hour comedy (yikes). We 21st-centurions are most familiar with Man of La Mancha, a Broadway musical that premiered a mere 360 years after the novel’s publication. Currently on stage at Arizona Theatre Company, the show features the perennially epic “The Impossible Dream.”

ATC’s production imposes some super-fresh concepts. It’s set in the 1950s, in a scuzzy bar/holding cell full of flamenco artists, the perfect place for drifting in and out of reality. The cast plays the instruments, and the overall claustrophobic sensuality awakens dormant passions.

Man of La Mancha closes on Sunday, January 28, with a 1 p.m. performance 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

Bar Flies Boot Camp
Ever wonder what it takes to be a Bar Flies storyteller? Come find out on January 28, when the newbies of the Bar Flies Boot Camp take the stage.

That’s right. You’ll see a fresh group of readers serve up true tales after participating in a one-day writing workshop. Which means you might see some flashes of stage fright, but you’re sure to hear some incredible stories.

The 21-and-over storytelling event will begin at 7 p.m. at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. Tickets are $5 at ticketfly.com. For more information about the bootcamp visit the Changing Hands website. Lindsay Roberts

The Hourglass Cats appear at Sunday A’Fair.EXPAND
The Hourglass Cats appear at Sunday A’Fair.
courtesy of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Sunday A’Fair
A free outdoor concert where you can buy food and alcohol sounds like enough fun for just about anybody. But Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts relentlessly offers more at Sunday A’Fair at Civic Center Park, almost every Sunday while the afternoon weather is decent (roughly January to April).

Scheduled acts for Sunday, January 28, are The Hourglass Cats and Haley Green. Arizona artists and craftspeople display work for appreciation and sale, activities for kids and families burn off energy, and docents lead free tours of the sculptures in the park. The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art also offers free admission during the event.

The official address is 3939 North Drinkwater Boulevard. Bring your chairs or blanket. Admission is free; visit the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts website or call 480-499-8587. Julie Peterson

Booky McBookface: Find budget-friendly photo ops at the Mesquite Library's Last Monday Book Club.EXPAND
Booky McBookface: Find budget-friendly photo ops at the Mesquite Library's Last Monday Book Club.
Courtesy of Phoenix Public Library

Last Monday Book Club
Since 1789, we’ve had 113 U.S. Supreme Court justices. If each wrote a book, one bookcase would be plenty to hold them, but these overachievers have in fact produced more than 300 total. Sonia Sotomayor’s 2013 memoir, My Beloved World, is on deck for discussion at Mesquite Library’s Last Monday Book Club.

The narrative starts with Sotomayor as a little kid in a Bronx housing project and follows her gutsy and brainy adventures until about 1992, after which, we guess, you could look it up. The book spent several weeks on the New York Times best-seller list.

The book club meets from noon to 1 p.m. Monday, January 29, in the Storytime Room at 4525 East Paradise Village Parkway North. Call 602-262-4636 or visit the Phoenix Public Library website. Julie Peterson

From punk to folk.EXPAND
From punk to folk.
Krists Luhaers via Flickr/CC

Jose Gonzalez
Adding cover songs to his repertoire has served indie-folk singer-songwriter and classical guitarist Jose Gonzalez well. Gonzalez’s soft and sweet sound, these days, is far from the hardcore punk bands that he played in early on in his career. His acoustic version of The Knife’s song “Heartbeats” has been used to enhance significant moments of several TV shows, from House to teen dramas like One Tree Hill and 90210. He lends his tender style to other diverse covers, like Springsteen’s “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” and “Teardrop” by Massive Attack.

Opening act Bedouine will set the tone for a night of gentle sounds, with country-tinged folk that starts at 8 p.m. on Monday, January 29, at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. Tickets are $34 to $50. Visit the Van Buren website. Amy Young

Ashley Naftule, Prizefighting Kangaroo's TRIVIADOME co-host, and New Times contributor.
Ashley Naftule, Prizefighting Kangaroo's TRIVIADOME co-host, and New Times contributor.
Nicki Escudero

How much do you know about teen movies? Triviadome, a new monthly trivia night at Valley Bar, will test your knowledge, as you and a team of two to eight people compete against others for books, DVDS, CDs, and gift cards to local businesses. During the three rounds of the New Kids on the Block-themed night, the questions will get progressively more difficult. New Times contributors Amy Young and Ashley Naftule, who also host the movie podcast Prizefighting Kangaroo, serve as emcees of the free cinema and pop culture quiz.

The next edition starts at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, January 30, at 130 North Central Avenue. For more information, visit the Valley Bar website. Laura Latzko

Amber Iman, Emily Raver-Lampman, and Hamilton company during the show's national tour.
Amber Iman, Emily Raver-Lampman, and Hamilton company during the show's national tour.
Joan Marcus

“I am not throwing away my shot.” It’s a mantra that’s oft repeated by the lead character in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical Hamilton, which explores the life and times of Alexander Hamilton. You know, the treasury secretary whose wife didn’t purr over all the reams of paper money rolling off the presses while sporting her elbow-length gloves and a come-hither glare. (Ahem, Steve Mnuchin.)

Hamilton immigrated from the West Indies as a teen, then went on to become one of America’s founding fathers. The musical he inspired, which garnered 11 Tony Awards in 2016, is particularly poignant amid current debates over America’s cultural heritage and immigration policies.

See for yourself when the Broadway tour comes to ASU Gammage, 1200 South Forest Avenue, in Tempe. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 30, which is opening night. It continues through Sunday, February 25. Check ticket prices and availability at the ASU Gammage website. Lynn Trimble

Waste Management Phoenix Open
If you know anything about the annual Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament — part of the PGA Tour’s Fed-Ex Cup — it’s that golfers and their fans can party. More than a half-million people come out to watch pro golfers compete at this 72-hole battle. Things get notoriously rowdy at the 16th hole, where loudness and feisty behavior is encouraged to an extent.

Grab a separate ticket to the daily post-golf party, the Coors Light Birds Nest concert series, where the drinks and tunes flow. On January 31, Flo Rida provides the entertainment.

Tee time is 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday at the Tournament Players Club Scottsdale, 17020 North Hayden Road. Waste Management tickets are $40; Birds Nest Concert Series tickets start at $35. Visit the Waste Management Phoenix Open website. Amy Young

Claudio Dicochea, de Agent Smith y Noa Noa, el joven conductorsistemico (from Agent Smith and Noa Noa, the Systemic Youth Conductor), 2013. Acrylic, graphite, charcoal, ink, and transfer on wood, 48 x 36 x 2 1/8 in.
Claudio Dicochea, de Agent Smith y Noa Noa, el joven conductorsistemico (from Agent Smith and Noa Noa, the Systemic Youth Conductor), 2013. Acrylic, graphite, charcoal, ink, and transfer on wood, 48 x 36 x 2 1/8 in.
Courtesy of the artist and Lisa Sette Gallery

A Dream on a Dream: Encounter with Claudio Dicochea
What does the American Dream mean today? That’s the question Claudio Dicochea tackles with a new exhibition called “A Dream on a Dream: Encounter with Claudio Dicochea,” a reference to “the current DACA/Dreamers crisis,” according to exhibition materials. Dicochea is a Texas-based artist represented by Lisa Sette Gallery. His work captures the cruel ironies of American history, society, and culture.

The exhibition includes work by African-American, Cuban, and Native American artists (among others), chosen by Dicochea from the ASU Art Museum collection. See the free art show between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 31, at ASU Art Museum, 51 East 10th Street in Tempe. The exhibition, which includes works in several media, continues through Saturday, June 16. Visit the ASU Art Museum website. Lynn Trimble

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