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
No murder takes place on the weekly Kill Tony podcast, but the host and his guests
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 $
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
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
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
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
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
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
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