The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Elsie Fisher in Bo Burnham's Eighth Grade.EXPAND
Elsie Fisher in Bo Burnham's Eighth Grade.
Courtesy of A24
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Looking to get artsy this week? Look no further. Get ready for a binge-watch at the Phoenix Film Festival, check out the cool covers at When in AZ Vol. 2, or get into the DIY spirit with Annie Lopez. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

Phoenix Film Festival
As theater chains plan two-day round-the-clock marathons of Marvel films in anticipation of the third Avengers movie, the folks behind Phoenix Film Festival would like to remind audiences that you can pace yourself over the event’s 11 days of screenings, panels, and parties all taking place at Harkins Scottsdale 101.

Now in its 18th year, the cinematic celebration includes a diverse lineup of short films, foreign offerings, documentaries, works from Arizona filmmakers, and a genre movie showcase. Highlights include comedian Bo Burnham’s buzz-worthy directorial debut Eighth Grade, Morgan Neville’s Fred Rodgers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor, Jason Reitman’s dramedy Tully, and the opening night drama Lean On Pete.

The festivities run from Thursday, April 5, to Sunday, April 15, at 7000 East Mayo Boulevard. There are a variety of ticket packages available, with individual screenings starting at $15. For more information, visit the Phoenix Film Festival website. Jason Keil

2018 AZ Wine & Dine
The 2018 AZ Wine & Dine brings together about 20 chefs from local restaurants and resorts, along with wine and live entertainment. This year’s dining participants include high-end hotel restaurants like Hearth 61, Mowry & Cotton, and Dust Cutter. Eateries that operate near the event’s digs, Scottsdale Quarter, will also be present, including Brio Tuscan Grille, Zinburger, and Grimaldi’s.

The Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association puts on the 21-and-over event from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, at 15279 North Scottsdale Road. Tickets are $89 per person or $170 for two. See the AZ Wine & Dine website for details. Chris Malloy

You're killing me, Tony.EXPAND
You're killing me, Tony.
Courtesy of Stand Up Live

Kill Tony
No murder takes place on the weekly Kill Tony podcast, but the host and his guests do try to slay listeners with hilarious one-liners and collaborative cut-ups. Normally the show records live from the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. On Thursday, April 5, it’s happening in downtown Phoenix.

Stand-up comedian Tony Hinchcliffe is the program’s namesake. An avid podcaster, he’s a consistent guest on The Joe Rogan Experience. He’s also written for many of Comedy Central’s famous “roast” shows.

Guests can toss their name in a hat for a chance to perform during the 18-and-over show that starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street. Admission is $20, and requires a two-drink minimum. Call 480-719-6100 or check out the Stand Up Live website. Amy Young

Puppets tackle the Death Star.EXPAND
Puppets tackle the Death Star.
Mesner Puppet Theater

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Death Star

Relive the original Star Wars trilogy as Kansas City’s Mesner Puppet Theater performs A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Death Star. It’s an hour of musical parodies and groan-inducing puns, according to Mike Horner, the group’s artistic director. Horner adapted for puppets Curt Bright’s musical. Now you can witness a handheld C-3PO sing to R2-D2 — a la ABBA’s Mamma Mia — and get your fill of jokes about Chewbacca’s fuzzy butt.

“It’s a good time even if you don’t know Star Wars that well,” Horner says. Showtime is 8 p.m. on Friday, April 6, at the Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 West Latham Street. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. The show is open to those 12 and older. Visit the AZ Puppet Theater website. Lynn Trimble

MCC Astronomy Night
Do you ever look up at the night sky and wonder what the hell you’re supposed to be looking at? Leave the specifics to the pros at Mesa Community College.

On Friday, April 6, they’ll host MCC Astronomy Night, when experts will be on hand to help you distinguish the features of the night sky with both binoculars and the unaided eye. Expect an assortment of out-of-this-world activities like planetarium shows, telescope viewing, and other hands-on things to do.

The free event runs from 6 to 10 p.m. at 1833 West Southern Avenue. For more information, visit the MCC website or call 480-461-6220. Lindsay Roberts

Check out the massive Norse mythology-based undertaking.EXPAND
Check out the massive Norse mythology-based undertaking.
courtesy of Arizona Opera

Das Rheingold
The sheer enormity of Richard Wagner’s masterwork Der Ring des Nibelungen makes it nearly impossible to play. In its entirety The Ring Cycle, as it’s often called, lasts around 15 hours and took the controversial composer 26 years to write.

From April 6 through 8, the Arizona Opera Orchestra will tackle the first and shortest musical drama of the cycle, Das Rheingold. The performance marks the 20th year anniversary of Arizona Opera Orchestra’s first go at the massive Norse mythology-based undertaking.

Performances will take place at 1636 North Central Avenue, with shows at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. A 2 p.m. matinee is scheduled for Sunday. Tickets are $25 and up via the Arizona Opera website. Tanner Stechnij

Annie Lopez work featured in "Walk in My Shoes."EXPAND
Annie Lopez work featured in "Walk in My Shoes."
Lynn Trimble

Text and Image Zines workshop
Learn how to collage a hand-stitched zine book using art, text, and printed materials during the Text and Image Zines workshop at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Phoenix artist Annie Lopez will lead the class in the gallery, where her work is part of the “Walk in My Shoes” exhibition that continues through May 12.

Lopez has long been an integral part of the developing Valley arts scene. Her work combines printmaking, writing, photography, and mixed media. But she’s best known for creating cyanotype photographs on tamale paper, then sewing them into garments that reflect her personal and family history. The free workshop runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 6. Visit the Tempe Center for the Arts website. Lynn Trimble

Looking fab at Phoenix Pride 2016.EXPAND
Looking fab at Phoenix Pride 2016.

Phoenix Pride
Phoenix Pride returns to Steele School Indian Park on Saturday and Sunday, April 7 and 8, with more than 150 performers taking over six stages and party pavilions.

Bebe Rexha will headline the main stage at 8 p.m. on Saturday, following performances by Los 5 and Thelma Houston. Local DJs will spin Top 40 and dance hits at the Pride Dance Pavilion, and local drag queens will show off their lip-sync abilities on the Tish Tanner Community Stage.

One of Pride’s main attractions, Erotic World, will return for its eighth year. The 18-and-up kink-safe zone will feature a full weekend of fetish demonstrations and erotic dance revues.

Single-day tickets for Phoenix Pride start at $15. Gates at 300 East Indian School Road will open at noon, and programming will run until 9 p.m. See details at the Phoenix Pride website. Tanner Stechnij

Lana Del Rabies is going to be there.
Lana Del Rabies is going to be there.
Tyler Griffin

When in AZ Vol. 2
Back in 2009, Nick Kizer launched When in AZ. The music compilation assembled tracks from 55 Arizona-based bands who had to follow just one directive: Cover a song by another act from the Grand Canyon State. This year, Kizer’s back, and his project is bigger than ever.

When in AZ Vol. 2 features covers from 100 locals. And the sprawling compilation will have a release party at Valley Bar on April 7. Saturday night’s lineup features Treasure Mammal, Lana Del Rabies, and Amethyst Seer. (A Sunday release party at Crescent Ballroom has been postponed.)

Admission to each 21-and-over event is free with a donation to the nonprofit Ryan House. You can name your price at the door, which opens at 6:30 p.m. both nights. See details at the Valley Bar website and the Crescent Ballroom website. Becky Bartkowski

Will they be able to fix the rest of the season?EXPAND
Will they be able to fix the rest of the season?

Arizona Coyotes v. Anaheim Ducks
The Arizona Coyotes haven’t had a praiseworthy season. Since day one of the National Hockey League’s grueling 82-game season, the team has floundered, never quite emerging from the cellar. But in the waning weeks of the season, Arizona has shown considerable improvements, with rookie Clayton Keller emerging as a genuine offensive force. Not bad, considering half the roster probably was born after the Spice Girls broke up.

Now, with few games remaining in an otherwise disappointing season, head coach Rick Tocchet finds himself in the precarious position of nurturing his young roster whilst maintaining Arizona’s enviable position in 2018’s loaded draft.

The Coyotes host the Anaheim Ducks at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, at Glendale’s Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue. Tickets are $14 and up. Visit the Coyotes website or call 623-772-3800 for details. Rob Kroehler

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This WeekEXPAND
Courtesy of Shotbyjonny

Fetish Formal
Given its name, one might expect that the annual Fetish Formal is a black-tie only affair that’s strictly limited to gowns and tuxes only. That ain’t the case, however, as the dress code at the kink-friendly soiree taking place on Saturday, April 7, at the Monarch Theatre, 122 East Washington Street, will be quite permissive, much like the atmosphere. Attendees are encouraged to “dress to express” and sexy and stylish outfits are encouraged, particularly those featuring leather and lace.

In addition to flocks of freaky folks dressed to the nines, the event will also feature performances by burlesque artists, aerialists, sideshow acts, and DJs in Monarch’s main room. The fetish fun starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 at the door. Visit the Sinful Dreams AZ website. Benjamin Leatherman

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week
Walt Disney Animation Studios

Big Hero 6
Saturday in the park, but it’s not the Fourth of July. On Saturday, April 7, gather up your friends, family, and pets for a free screening of the Oscar-winning animated film Big Hero 6 at Goodyear Community Park, 3151 Litchfield Road.

The fun begins at 4 p.m., and the movie starts at dusk. Snacks will be available from a selection of Valley food trucks. And attendees can participate in the superhero costume contest; maybe you’ll win a hug from Baymax. For more information, see the Facebook event page. Dillon Rosenblatt

Phoenix Suns v. Golden State Warriors
Sunday, April 8, will be your last chance to see the Phoenix Suns lose at Talking Stick Resort Arena this season, and it could be the team’s most significant defeat of the year. The Suns are in a battle with the Memphis Grizzlies for the worst record in the NBA and the best chance of drafting one of two former Phoenix high school phenoms, DeAndre Ayton from U of A or Marvin Bagley of Duke.

Normally, this would be a sure loss against the defending champion Golden State Warriors, but the Warriors have been plagued by injuries and are likely to rest all or most of their superstars. The Suns’ best hope is for injured leading scorer Devin Booker to sit out again.

Game time is 6 p.m. at 201 East Jefferson Street. Tickets are $39 and up at the Suns website. Stuart Warner

Fermenting 101
If the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “fermenting” is bootleg alcohol, well, you’re not alone. But during Fermenting 101, you can learn about the fermentation process beyond booze. Specifically, the course will cover how to make your own fermented brine and sauerkraut.

Garden Goddess Ferments will host the two-hour course at McDowell Market, 1736 East McDowell Road, starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 8. The class costs $53.79. For more info and tickets, visit the Facebook event page. Melina Zuñiga

Sisters stand together.EXPAND
Sisters stand together.
Laura Durant

Three Sistahs
Reuniting to bury their only brother, the Bradshaw sisters are attending their third funeral is as many years. This trio of women must now put away their differences in Three Sistahs, a modern reimagining of the similarly titled play by Anton Chekhov. Nominated for the Helen Hayes Award for Best New Musical in 2002, the production utilizes gospel, folk, and R&B to tell a story about love, war, and making peace with the past while finding hope in the future.

The curtains go up at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 8, at The Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 East Washington Street. And the show runs through Sunday, April 22. Tickets are $38. For more information, visit the Black Theatre Troupe website. Jason Keil

Previous Genocide Awareness Week workshop at SCC.EXPAND
Previous Genocide Awareness Week workshop at SCC.
John Liffiton

Genocide Awareness Week
John Liffiton recalls walking through the snow-covered grounds of the former Terezin concentration camp just north of Prague. The experience inspired him to help launch Genocide Awareness Week, the annual event that explores historical and contemporary issues including cultural genocide.

Held at Scottsdale Community College, 9000 East Chaparral Road, the free event runs from April 9 through 14. Monday’s lineup includes several speakers discussing such topics as the Holocaust, the Navajo Treaty of 1868, and respect and tolerance in modern society. There’s a 3 p.m. screening for the film Architects of Denial, and an opening night presentation titled Genocide in the Modern World that begins at 6.

You can explore four exhibits while you’re there, including “Then They Came for Us … ”, which addresses the Holocaust, as well as topics like the U.S. civil rights movement. There’s also “We Remember: Holocaust Art” featuring work by Scottsdale artist Robert Sutz.

For a complete schedule and event details, visit the Scottsdale Community College website. Lynn Trimble

Jeffrey Deaver
Jeffrey Deaver started out as a songwriter, but the former lawyer is best known for his prose.

The award-winning mystery author created the iconic Lincoln Rhyme, a quadriplegic criminologist played by Denzel Washington in the film adaptation of The Bone Collector. And in 2011 he fulfilled a childhood dream, writing the James Bond novel Carte Blanche.

Join Deaver at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 9, at the Doubletree Resort Hilton Paradise Valley, as he celebrates the release of his latest Lincoln Rhyme novel, The Cutting Edge.

Admission is free, but seating is first-come, first-served at 5401 North Scottsdale Road. Purchase of The Cutting Edge ($28) is required for the signing. Limit three additional autographs with purchase. Visit the Poisoned Pen website for more information. Michael Senft

Something's brewing.EXPAND
Something's brewing.
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

Bingo and Brews
From your living room to clubs and casinos around town, there are plenty of places to get your bingo game on while having some drinks. At Bingo and Brews, stand-up comedy is part of the interactive mix. Here’s how it works: Participants get bingo cards with words on them and must try to get the comic to use those words. It’s crowd work that drives the jokes.

Compete for fun and prizes starting at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10, at Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy, 5350 East High Street. Doors open at 6:30. Admission is $5 for those 16 and older. Call 480-420-3553 or visit the AZ House of Comedy website. Amy Young

Late Bloomers by Daniel Funkhouser.EXPAND
Late Bloomers by Daniel Funkhouser.
Daniel Funkhouser

“Go Figure: 5 Figurative Artists”
Famous works of figurative art include Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Grant Wood’s American Gothic. But you’ll find art with a whole other vibe at Mountain Shadows resort, 5445 East Lincoln Drive. They’ve got a gallery that’s always open, so you can head over anytime on Tuesday, April 10, to see an exhibition called “Go Figure: 5 Figurative Artists.”

The show includes works in various media by Jeff Bertoncino, Philip C. Curtis, Daniel Funkhouser, Beverly McIver, and John Millei. Funkhouser is best known for creating self-portraiture in diverse styles and media. In “Go Figure,” you’ll see pieces created with acrylic paint, metallic digital print, and glitter on laser-cut acrylic. John Reyes curated the exhibit, which is up through Saturday, April 28. Visit the Mountain Shadows website. Lynn Trimble

Meet the foul-mouthed residents of the Sunnyvale Trailer Park.EXPAND
Meet the foul-mouthed residents of the Sunnyvale Trailer Park.
Courtesy of Emporium Presents

An Intimate Evening with the Trailer Park Boys
If you think Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles, the foul-mouthed residents of the Sunnyvale Trailer Park (and subjects of the long-running Canadian mockumentary show), are washing their mouths out with soap for An Intimate Evening with the Trailer Park Boys in the quiet suburban community of Mesa, you are sorely mistaken.

While host venue Mesa Arts Center is using a family-friendly title for this evening of music, swearing, and shenanigans, the promoters have eschewed all semblance of decency and are going with a more appropriate (albeit censored) description of the event: “####ed up.”

Expect things to get greasy at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11, at 1 East Main Street. Tickets are $34.50 to $59.50. For more information, visit the Mesa Arts Center website. Jason Keil

Faculty-Led Gallery Series
Art museums are the perfect place to expand your mind. At Phoenix Art Museum, for instance, you can explore Iris van Herpen’s high-tech fashion, as well as 19th-century paintings, and contemporary disco ball installations. It’s a lot to take in, and the Faculty-Led Gallery Series aims to help make sense of it all.

Get a deeper understanding starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11, at 1625 North Central Avenue. RSVP is required. Tickets are free for museum members and $5 for nonmembers. For more information, call 257-1880 or visit Phoenix Art Museum's website. Melina Zuñiga

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

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