The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Harmon Swartz and Katherine Martin meet cute in It Happened One Night.EXPAND
Harmon Swartz and Katherine Martin meet cute in It Happened One Night.
courtesy of Don Bluth Front Row Theatre Company
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Looking for things to do this week? Get in the spring training mix, munch to music at the Flying Burrito Festival, and get wedding wasted at the Brides of March. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' website.

It Happened One Night
Some people appeared in black-and-white baby pictures and silent home movies and are — gasp! — still alive. Just saying. But if you really need your entertainment noisy and in full color, live theater’s a good bet.

Don Bluth Front Row Theatre’s production of It Happened One Night brings to the stage what’s considered a contender for Best Film Ever Made. It’s the genuinely hilarious 1935 story of a beautiful heiress who falls for the newspaperman who’s been annoying her. The “annoying” part sounds true to life, but you can’t convince us journalists are all that desirable. (Though when you cast dreamy Clark Gable as one, disbelief can be temporarily suspended, to an Oscar-winning extent.)

The play runs through Saturday, April 28, at 8670 East Shea Boulevard, #103, in Scottsdale. Showtime is 7 p.m. for the opening performance on Thursday, March 8, and tickets are $27 at 480-314-0841 or the Don Bluth Front Row Theatre website. Julie Peterson

Parada Del Sol Rodeo
History, tradition, and an Old Wild West atmosphere are all part of the Parada Del Sol Rodeo in Scottsdale, held from Thursday through Sunday, March 8 through 11. During the rodeo, professional cowboys will compete in traditional events such as bull-riding, team roping, saddle bronc-riding, and tie-down or steer-roping.

This year, rodeo royalty including Miss Rodeo Canada will take part in the event’s grand entry, a procession that kicks off the festivities. Get roped in at WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 North Pima Road. Admission is $18 for adults and $5 for children. For more information and a complete schedule, see the Parada Del Sol website. Laura Latzko

See Tiffany C. Bailey's Contemporary Cows at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.EXPAND
See Tiffany C. Bailey's Contemporary Cows at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.
Lynn Trimble

“Memories of an Idyllic Landscape”
Tempe-based mixed-media sculptor Tiffany C. Bailey captures iconic images of her Wisconsin upbringing in porcelain pieces that blend representational and abstract sensibilities. The end result is stunning, delicate, and strong, harking back to earlier times in the American Midwest.

Explore her “Memories of an Idyllic Landscape” exhibition at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, 1 East Main Street, on Thursday, March 8, when museum hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. You’ll discover palm-size cow sculptures bearing different designs, cylinders that reference silos, and pieces depicting agricultural mainstays like windmills.

Bailey’s show runs through Sunday, April 22. It’s a reminder of how important memories and place are, and the ways the images we carry in our heads influence the work we do with our hands. Visit the Mesa Arts Center website. Lynn Trimble

Ice work if you can get it: Skater grrl makes good in Crystal.
Ice work if you can get it: Skater grrl makes good in Crystal.
Matt Beard

Cirque du Soleil’s 1980s genesis with a pair of stiltwalking, fire-breathing Montreal buddies led to global success. It’s even more impressive considering English monoglots took decades to successfully pronounce “soleil.”

Roughly a bajillion trippy themed productions have ensued. Once famous for employing no non-human animals whatsoever, C du S now presents a wildly popular show full of horses. Meanwhile, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey freed its elephants and later folded. Avoid species uncertainty at Crystal, a spanking-new extravaganza that introduces figure skating to Cirque du Soleil’s traditional army of acrobats.

Opening night showtime is 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 8, at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. The Phoenix engagement concludes Sunday, March 11. Tickets start at $44 at Ticketmaster or 800-745-3000. Julie Peterson

Head to Phoenix Theatre to explore new theater works in development.EXPAND
Head to Phoenix Theatre to explore new theater works in development.
Lynn Trimble

Phoenix Theatre Festival of New American Theatre
Phoenix Theatre artistic director Michael Barnard teamed up with fellow creatives Clint Edwards, Vincent VanVleet, and D. Scott Withers to make Cookin’s a Drag, a musical spoof about a drag queen and her cooking show. Characters include a trio of backup boys named Bicep, Tricep, and Glute.

It’s one of two plays in development that you can catch at 100 East McDowell Road as part of the Phoenix Theatre Festival of New American Theatre on Friday, March 9. The finished piece will be part of the theater’s 2018-19 season.

The other is Sheila Cowley’s The Burlesque Astronomy Play, which blends art and science while exploring “the challenges women face when balancing career and femininity,” according to festival materials.

Showtime is 7 p.m., and tickets are $10. The festival continues through Sunday, March 18. Visit the Phoenix Theatre website. Lynn Trimble

Funnyman Felipe.EXPAND
Funnyman Felipe.
courtesy of Stand Up Live

Felipe Esparza
Felipe Esparza took a solid move from the comedian’s playbook: He cataloged the adversities he’s faced — including drug addiction and gang life — and turned them into humorous subject matter to entertain the masses.
Esparza pursued his career for 16 years before catching a great break. He was the 2010 winner on NBC’s Last Comic Standing. He’s had recurring roles on different TV shows, like Superstore and The Eric Andre Show. And, of course, he has his own podcast. It’s called What’s Up Fool?

The comedian takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 9, at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street. Admission is $25 for guests 21and older. Attendance requires a two-drink minimum. Esparza has sets scheduled at the club through Sunday, March 11. Call 480-719-6100 or visit the Stand Up Live website. Amy Young

Expect operatic high-jinks to ensue.EXPAND
Expect operatic high-jinks to ensue.
Arizona Opera

The Barber of Seville
If your knowledge of The Barber of Seville goes as deep as Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd chasing each other to the overture of Gioachino Rossini’s greatest work, the time to change that is now. The Arizona Opera presents the two-act comedy about a barber who’s been enlisted by a lovelorn count to convince Rosina, the object of the count’s affection, to fall in love with him. Operatic high-jinks ensue.

Get a shave and a song at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 9, and Saturday, March 10, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 11, at Symphony Hall, 75 North Second Street. Tickets are $25 to $135. For more information, visit the Arizona Opera website. Jason Keil

Get lasered up.EXPAND
Get lasered up.
courtesy of the Arizona Science Center

Lasers and Liquors
Taking in a planetarium show isn’t just for kids on a field trip. During the Arizona Science Center’s Lasers and Liquors, you can experience your favorite Pink Floyd music in synchronization with a light show. The Friday, March 9, event will offer a show dedicated to Dark Side of the Moon at 8 p.m. and The Wall at 9:30.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. at 600 East Washington Street. Snacks, beverages, and cocktails will be available for purchase. The shows cost $10 each for adults and $8 for members and students. For more information, call 602-716-2000 or visit the Arizona Science Center website. Laura Latzko

Burri-go to the fest.
Burri-go to the fest.
Jason McDonald

Flying Burrito Festival
Pinch yourself, because you’re not dreaming. The Flying Burrito Festival is real.

Live your best life when you gather with other food and music fanatics for a day packed with bands and burritos. Music is coming to four stages, and the diverse lineup features locals and acts from all over the world. There’s Albert Hammond Jr., No Age, Los Chollas Peligrosas, Porches, and La Luz, to name a handful.

More than 15 vendors will be on-site with full-size burritos and samples. Expect local spots like Cocina 10, Chico Malo, Ladera Taverna y Cocina, and Elote Man AZ to give you plenty of delicious options for stuffing your face.
This rollicking party starts at 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Admission is $12. For access to the festival and an 18-and-over after-party at The Van Buren, you’ll pay $27. Call 602-716-2222 or visit the Crescent Ballroom website for details. Amy Young

Here come the brides.
Here come the brides.
Benjamin Leatherman

Brides of March
It’s estimated that approximately 2.3 million weddings take place in the U.S. each year, according to folks who keep track of such things. We’re willing to bet, however, that the majority of these blessed affairs are nowhere near as fun as the madcap matrimonial fun of the annual Brides of March bar crawl.

Organized by the gonzo pranksters of the Arizona Cacophony Society, the annual event involves men and women alike donning wedding and bridesmaids dresses while hitting up several bars in downtown and Central Phoenix. It’s an afternoon of goofy fun that spoofs bridal traditions and riffs off the Ides of March (hence the name).

This year’s crawl kicks off at noon on Saturday, March 10, at Charlie’s Phoenix, 727 West Camelback Road, with a high-heel race and other festivities. Patrons will then board the light rail and set off for other nearby bars.
Participation is free. Visit the Arizona Cacophony Society website for more info. Benjamin Leatherman

This faceless placeholder person could be you at Southwest MicroLiving.
This faceless placeholder person could be you at Southwest MicroLiving.
courtesy of Shemer Art Center

Southwest MicroLiving
Aspiring can be as satisfying as acquiring. If you’re one sawhorse away from crafting your own tiny home, more power to you — but if that dream’s in the basket of historic/midcentury/urban flat/French castle wishes, you’ll still dig the closing weekend of Southwest MicroLiving, a nest-fest at Shemer Art Center.

Peep the cute-as-hell little dwellings and their fittings, meet the builders, get your snack on, and groove to live entertainment. Art for kids, art vendors, and demos of all things micro (including gardens and our friend beer) round out the action.

Get small from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 10, and Sunday, March 11, at 5005 East Camelback Road. Admission is $10 per person and $20 per family. Call 602-262-4727 or visit the Shemer Art Center website. Julie Peterson

Gail Carriger is ready to take a book.EXPAND
Gail Carriger is ready to take a book.
Vanessa Applegate

Tucson Festival of Books
Over 100,000 readers and writers will descend on the Old Pueblo this weekend for the Tucson Festival of Books. Now in its 10th year, the event takes over the University of Arizona campus on Saturday and Sunday, March 10 and 11, with readings, workshops, lectures, and signings from some of the biggest writers in the world.

This year’s guests include best-sellers Amy Tan, Dave Barry, Scott Turow, and Mitch Albom, who will also perform a free concert on Saturday Night as The Rock Bottom Remainders. Other authors slated to appear include the award-winning author and translator Ken Liu (“The Paper Menagerie”), steampunk queen Gail Carriger (Prudence), journalist Katy Tur (Unbelievable), and the king of middle-grade horror, R.L. Stine.

Programming runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free, however some of the programs are ticketed. Visit the Tucson Festival of Books website for a complete schedule and to reserve tickets. Michael Senft

Home sweet home.
Home sweet home.
Barry Oleksak

Windsor Square 2018 Home Tour
You may have driven through the curvy streets of the Windsor Square historic neighborhood in north central Phoenix and never known its rich history. For example, this 260-home ’hood was established in 1929.

The Windsor Square 2018 Home Tour can help you get to know this area, inside and out, through 12 featured homes. You’ll see a mix of new design trends and old architectural styles. Peruse goods from arts and crafts vendors, hear live music, and quench your thirst in the beer garden. Food trucks will be on-site for hungry explorers.

It’s an urban adventure from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 11, at the Windsor Square Historic District, north of Camelback Road between Central Avenue and Seventh Street. Tickets are $20 at the event, or $17 in advance online. Kids 12 and younger get in free. See details at the Windsor Square website. Amy Young

A dedicated Cubs fan sports with blue hair.EXPAND
A dedicated Cubs fan sports with blue hair.
Barry Oleksak

Rockies v. Dodgers
Not that any seasoned Phoenician is complaining about the cooler weather we’ve enjoyed recently, but it does feel a little strange packing a parka for a spring training outing instead of sunscreen. Regardless of weather, the Cactus League is in full swing.

If you haven’t yet done your part in bolstering the local economy by drinking beer and watching baseball, then consider this your summons. The boss isn’t buying it? Try a weekend game instead.

A Sunday afternoon matchup between the Rockies and the Dodgers at Scottsdale’s Salt River Fields, 7555 North Pima Road, on March 11, should deliver plenty of sunshine and star power. Game time is 1:10 p.m., and tickets are $22 and up. Visit the Cactus League website or call 480-270-5000 for details. Rob Kroehler

Yes, it's going to be that epic.EXPAND
Yes, it's going to be that epic.
Kevin Loh

Video Games Live
In 2016, composers Tommy Tallarico (Earthworm Jim) and Jack Wall (Mass Effect) broke world records with Video Games Live. The largest audience at a video game concert? Surpassed. The most video game concerts ever performed? It’s theirs now.

When you look at the playlist for the touring production, it’s easy to see why. Instead of focusing on the music from one game, this family-friendly event has symphonic renditions of everything from Atari 2600 classics to Halo.

Come to Symphony Hall early to participate in the costume contest and play video games against other fans. Level up at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 12, at 75 North Second Street. Tickets are $24 to $82. For more information, visit the Video Games Live website. Jason Keil

Sweetheart is not as sweet as it sounds.EXPAND
Sweetheart is not as sweet as it sounds.
Chris Wilembrecht

Chris Wilembrecht loves horror movies, so it’s appropriate that the Arizona filmmaker and co-host of the Cult Film in Review podcast made a horror movie about love (gone wrong, of course). His short film Sweetheart will premiere at FilmBar. The thriller revolves around Jenny, who goes home alone after another disastrous Valentine’s Day and finds that her creepy driver wants to make sure she does not spend another night solo.

This Tuesday, March 13, debut is actually a triple feature, with Bad Baby and 3 Cars showing before the main event. Take it all in at 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13, at 815 North Second Street. Tickets are $8. For more information, visit the Film Bar website. Jason Keil

Phoenix Suns v. Cleveland Cavaliers
It’s a sad state of affairs for any sports franchise when an upcoming home game is the hottest ticket in town thanks only to the visiting team. So it will likely go for the bottom-dwelling Phoenix Suns when they host Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, March 13, at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street.

Will Cleveland transplants come out of the woodwork? Perhaps. A more likely scenario is that there’s an inevitable frenzy for available tickets when the best basketball player in the known universe comes to town.

Come 7 p.m., Suns fans who were lucky enough to score tickets shouldn’t be surprised to find themselves mysteriously teleported to the enchanted land of Cleveland. Tickets are $46 and up. Visit the Suns website or call 602-379-2000 for details. Rob Kroehler

Up your pop culture IQ with a free lecture on manga and anime.EXPAND
Up your pop culture IQ with a free lecture on manga and anime.
StockSnap/Scottsdale Arts

“Exporting the Cult of Cuteness: Japanese Manga and Anime”
Take your pop culture IQ to the next level when art historian Deborah Deacon shares her expertise during “Exporting the Cult of Cuteness: Japanese Manga and Anime.” The free lecture is part of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts’ 2017-18 Discovery Series exploring Japanese culture through performance, film, and other offerings.

Deacon is a faculty associate with the ASU School of Art. For this talk, she’ll address the cultural impact of manga and anime, and highlight some of its most significant creatives and characters. It’s a chance learn about elements of Japanese culture that influence contemporary art and literature.

Take notes starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14, at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3839 North Drinkwater Boulevard. Visit the Scottsdale Performing Arts website. Lynn Trimble

Arizona Storytellers: Stylish Stories
Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” Perhaps Arizona Storytellers’ Stylish Stories edition will help you put your best foot forward on Wednesday, March 14.

Emcees for the night will be Megan Finnerty, founder of the Storytellers Project, and Jeanne Hankerson, founder and designer of SJ Couture. Event check-in starts at 6 p.m., and stories begin at 7 at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue.

Tickets are $12 via tickets.azcentral.com. Each pass includes free entry to the museum’s “Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion” exhibition. Visit the Phoenix Art Museum website for details. Lindsay Roberts

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.