20 Best Things to Do in Phoenix This Week

Quartet by Michael Carson is part of “Water, Water Everywhere.”EXPAND
Quartet by Michael Carson is part of “Water, Water Everywhere.”
Courtesy of Bonner David Galleries
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This week, Phoenix is kickin' it old school. Experience the old film of the old West at the Museum of the West, dance the night away at an ’80s- and ’90s-themed party, or throw it back to 1963 San Francisco with the play Dogfight. For more things to do, visit our curated calendar.

“Water, Water Everywhere”
If you think “art gallery” and “liquid,” it’s safe for us to assume you’re thinking “wine.” But there’s a fluid more essential to life and nearly as potentially destructive. “Water, Water Everywhere” at Bonner David Galleries aggregates a few dozen pieces, from the extremely realistic to the satisfyingly crazypants abstract, into an exploration of the humid condition. Media used by the 20 artists range from oil to glass to mixed media. Not unlike water, your viewing experience can go broad, deep, or both.

Hours on Thursday, July 13, are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and from 6 to 9 p.m. during the Scottsdale ArtWalk. Admission is free. The exhibition hangs through Saturday, July 22, at 7040 East Main Street. Visit the Bonner David website or call 480-941-8500. Julie Peterson

Thump Daze
While downtown Phoenix continues to carve out a unique identity as a bustling urban center, one little bar has stood quietly amid the shadows of a shifting skyline. There are hotspots with more panache that — deservedly or otherwise — draw more buzz, but ever so unflinchingly the Lost Leaf, 914 North Fifth Street, has stayed true to its modest roots.

A fine purveyor of burgeoning local talent, the bar has provided Valley artists with nightly proving grounds since 2006. But even the most welcoming of crowds need to know they can let their hair down from time to time, which is why every second Thursday of the month the Lost Leaf throws one helluva dance party. Featuring DJ KNS, Thump Daze is an ’80s- and ’90s-themed dance party, and as always, there’s no cover. The 21-and-over event starts at 10 p.m. Visit the Lost Leaf website or call 602-258-0014. Rob Kroehler

Channel your inner Al Beadle during a Midcentury Modern garden design class at Desert Botanical Garden.EXPAND
Channel your inner Al Beadle during a Midcentury Modern garden design class at Desert Botanical Garden.
Erin Hutton

Midcentury Modern Garden Design
Can’t get enough of Midcentury Modern design? Try bringing the look to your garden or other outdoor spaces. Landscape designer Erin Hutton is teaching a Midcentury Modern Garden Design class at Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 13.

Hutton will share information on Midcentury Modern architecture in Phoenix and the principles of landscape design, as well as desert plants and materials that lend themselves to modern landscapes. It’s a chance to explore balance, scale, and proportion — while learning how they function in modern outdoor spaces.
The class includes hands-on activities that help reinforce new knowledge and skills, as well as time for creating a plot plan for your own garden or landscape. The class costs $75, and preregistration is required. Visit the Desert Botanical Garden website. Lynn Trimble

Art can mean so much more than a stuffy gallery exhibition. For an event that encompasses a range of art — from performance and music to makeup — mark your calendar for RAW Phoenix’s upcoming art blowout FIXATE.

From 7 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, July 13, the event will bring more than 60 local artists, including those working in visual art, dance, music, drag, makeup, hair, and fashion, to The Pressroom, 441 West Madison Street. Cocktail attire is requested for the 18-and-over event. Admission for the event is $22 in advance, $30 at the door. Visit the RAW Artists website for more information. Lindsay Roberts

Brelby Theatre Company fosters a lot of new, local playwrights, but it also brought us the world-famous Ghost the Musical. Along those lines, the company’s current production is the Arizona premiere of Dogfight, an early work by songwriting team Pasek and Paul (La La Land, Dear Evan Hansen), based on a 1991 River Phoenix movie.

It’s 1963 in San Francisco. Three young Marines engage in a dogfight that might not be what you’re thinking. There’s also a traditional “I dated you to win a bet but I really like you” plotline. We’re just happy to see a show with a Vietnam War setting that doesn’t take place in the jungle.

Admission is $30 for the opening night gala on Friday, July 14, at 7:30 p.m. at 7154 North 58th Drive in Glendale. Tickets for the rest of the run, through Saturday, August 5, are $17 to $25 at the Brelby website or 623-282-2781. Julie Peterson

Patrick Roland
In the throes of grief, self-doubt, and addiction following the death of his partner, Patrick Roland contemplated jumping off the ledge of his Las Vegas hotel room. In Unpacked Sparkle, Roland writes a raw, emotional, and sometimes humorous memoir detailing the events that brought the writer to that moment above the lights of the Vegas strip and how he found his way back down. Roland honestly discusses LGBT rights, mental health, acceptance, and recovery.

Roland will sign Unpacked Sparkle starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 14, at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road. Admission is free, and the book costs $19.95. Visit the Changing Hands website for more details. Jason Keil

Stretch to sound.EXPAND
Stretch to sound.
Courtesy of Metta Yoga

If music helps you relax, think of what it will do to you when you combine it with yoga. This Live-Music-Flow class led by Alissa Will lets guests of all levels practice yoga to the live guitar sounds of Kurt Kleinhans. Stay after to class to meet others involved in the yoga community, as well as guests from benefiting charities.

Stretch to the sounds from 6 to 7 p.m. on Friday, July 14, at Metta Yoga, 4041 East Thomas Road, #106. Admission is free, and donations are accepted to benefit the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. Call 602-252-0662 or visit the New Metta Yoga website. Amy Young

Night Lights Tour
Do you know what happens at Taliesin West after dark? We’re not sure about six out of seven nights, but on Fridays, the Frank Lloyd Wright home in Scottsdale is open for its Night Lights Tour.

Explore the Midcentury Modern masterpiece at 12621 North Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard as the sun sets. On Friday July 14, tours leave at 6:30, 7, and 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $40, and the tour isn’t intended for children younger than 13. For reservations, call 888-516-0811 or visit the Taliesin West website for tickets. Lindsay Roberts

Support local arts by attending the Creative Catalysts Gallery Project exhibition.
Support local arts by attending the Creative Catalysts Gallery Project exhibition.
Creative Catalysts

Creative Catalysts Gallery Project
Want to inspire and assemble an arts community? Give local artists plenty of places to show and sell their work, then find creative ways to encourage people to explore them. For the city of Mesa, that includes Second Friday art walks and the Creative Catalysts Gallery Project.

Creative Catalysts is a Mesa Arts Center initiative geared toward the 40-and-under set. It’s all about bringing more art to the suburb’s downtown area and supporting its arts scene. Next up for the project is a free selfie-themed art exhibition taking place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 14. The group show is on view at K’é, 126 West Main Street, a small business center that takes its name from the Diné (Navajo) word for a system of kinship. The night includes not only visual art but live entertainment as well. Visit the Creative Catalysts Facebook page. Lynn Trimble

Read on for more things to do and see this week — including Doug Benson, a salsa festival, and a Game of Thrones trivia night.

Watch the magic happen during a live recording of Doug Benson's podcast Doug Loves Movies.EXPAND
Watch the magic happen during a live recording of Doug Benson's podcast Doug Loves Movies.
Gage Skidmore via Flickr/CC

Doug Benson
If you know anything about comedian Doug Benson, chances are it’s that two things make him a particularly happy dude: movies and weed.

He comes to the Valley on Saturday, July 15, to host a live edition of his podcast, Doug Loves Movies, which focuses on his affinity for film. Benson typically records the show, which has been going since 2006, at L.A.’s improv haven, Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, where guests visit to discuss movies and comedy. Given Benson’s penchant for pot, don’t be surprised that the Tempe Improv event starts promptly at 4:20 p.m. at 930 East University Drive. Admission is $20 for the 21-and-over event, and a two-drink minimum is required. Bring a movie-themed name tag for a chance to win prizes. Call 480-921-9877 or visit the Tempe Improv website. Amy Young

Michael Rincon/PHXRisingFC.com

Phoenix Rising v. Colorado Springs Switchbacks
Didier Drogba might not be a familiar name in the U.S., but the 39-year-old footballer hasn’t wasted much time making a name for himself in the Valley. The decorated Ivorian striker recently became a player and part-owner of the Valley’s lone professional soccer team, Phoenix Rising, making Drogba the first player/owner in professional soccer history.

Despite struggling early on, Phoenix hasn’t lost since Drogba’s June debut, posting one win and three draws. And although the United Soccer League is a step down for a player with Drogba’s pedigree, his presence has been a considerable step up for the team. The Rising host the Colorado Springs Switchbacks at Scottsdale’s Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex, 751 North McClintock Drive, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 15. Tickets are $10 and up. For details, visit the Phoenix Rising website or call 623-594-9606. Rob Kroehler

Jaleo serves the musical condiment at The Live Salsa Fest.
Jaleo serves the musical condiment at The Live Salsa Fest.
Courtesy of Stateside Presents

The Live Salsa Fest
The first thing we always check into about a salsa festival is whether it’s the snacking kind or the dancing kind. Although The Live Salsa Fest at Crescent Ballroom is the latter, you can always order a burrito and anoint it with the former. You’ll be spicy inside and out.

Organizers have set up the event like a well-oiled machine that chugs through the assorted emphases of dance classes, performances, and “social” dancing (y’know, the kind we might be able to do), all with the pervasive buttercream frosting of two sets of live music from Jaleo, followed in the late evening by a sizzling Mambo on Wax set from DJ D-Lo.

Stay placid above the waist and snake those lower extremities over to 308 North Second Avenue on Saturday, July 15, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Admission’s $15 and limited to folks 21 and older. Call 602-716-2222 or visit the Crescent Ballroom website. Julie Peterson

Fire Cannot Kill a Quizmaster: A Game of Thrones Quiz
Do your eyes well up when someone shouts “Hold the door!”? Is your dog, cat, or firstborn child named Khaleesi? Though the night is dark and full of terrors, it is time to gather your smartest warriors and head to Bonus Round to drink and prove that you know things about the sixth season of the popular HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones. Those who emerge victorious will not rule the Seven Kingdoms, but they will get a cash prize.

Fire Cannot Kill a Quizmaster: A Game of Thrones Quiz starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 15, at Bonus Round, 24 West Camelback Road, Suite DE. The quiz is $5 per team member. Visit the Bonus Round website for more details. Jason Keil

Take a trip to the old West.EXPAND
Take a trip to the old West.
Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

“The Rennard Strickland Collection of Western Film History”
Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, 3830 North Marshall Way, goes Old West in Old Town with its July exhibition. “The Rennard Strickland Collection of Western Film History” features over 100 posters, lobby cards, and pieces of graphic arts on classic Western films spanning the 1890s to the 1980s.

Movie posters included depict 1898’s Denton’s Moving Pictures, 1937’s Mickey Mouse Silly Symphony: Hiawatha, 1940’s Grapes of Wrath, and 1931’s Stagecoach (starring The Duke in his early 30s, yowza). The exhibition commemorates the American West, Native Americans, cowboys, movie industry history, and Strickland — whose 5,000-item collection stocks this show.

The exhibition is included with admission, which is $13 for adults, and it’s on display till Saturday, September 30, in the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation Great Hall. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for Sunday, July 16. See the Scottsdale Museum of the West website or call 480-686-9539 for details. Lauren Cusimano

Learn the ins and outs of Bushcraft.EXPAND
Learn the ins and outs of Bushcraft.
Will Denney

“Wilderness Survival” class
Being self-reliant while indoors is hard enough, but what about survival in the outdoor world? You know, actual survival. The folks at Arizona Hiking Shack, 3244 East Thomas Road, can help. They’re hosting a four-hour “Wilderness Survival” class from 4 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 16, in a new outdoor classroom.

The interactive course covers traditional backpacking in the Southwestern deserts, Bushcraft techniques, water and food procurement, shelter and fire crafting, backwoods hygiene, and signaling for rescue. The instructor is the certified wilderness advocate Jon Mincks.

Participants need to bring a water bottle and pack knife. The class costs $40 and includes an essential survival packet and booklet. For details, call 602-944-7723 or visit the Facebook event page. Lauren Cusimano

Sometimes, the struggle is real.EXPAND
Sometimes, the struggle is real.
Courtesy of Argot Pictures

Tyrus: The Story of Tyrus Wong
Sometimes the struggle is real. Need an inspirational story to help you plow through the tough times? There’s a film that might do the trick.

Tyrus: The Story of Tyrus Wong is Pamela Tom’s feature-length film about the 104-year-old artist who faced racism and poverty to become a successful modernist painter, Hollywood sketch artist, and integral part of the artistic arm of the Disney empire when he used innovative techniques in animation on the 1942 classic movie Bambi. Asian Pacific Community in Action (APCA) co-sponsors the event and is accepting donations of children’s books for its new learning center. Donations get you $1 off entry. See Wong’s story at 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 16, in the Third Street Theater at Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 North Third Street. Admission is $10 in advance, $11 for students with ID, and $12 the day of the screening. Visit the Brown Paper Tickets. Amy Young

Summer is heating up.EXPAND
Summer is heating up.
Alexandra Gaspar

100 Days of Summer Party
The folks at Hotel Palomar are hosting a celebration of 100 Days of Summer by making their rooftop hangout Lustre a hot destination for cooling down. Splash in the pool, soak up the sun, or take a seat at the bar and try a craft cocktail. Special events during the 100-day stretch include yoga on Wednesdays and Industry Appreciation Mondays, which means extra discounts for those who work in hospitality. On Monday, July 17, the pool opens at 11 a.m. and happy hour drink and snack specials are available from 3 to 6 p.m. at 2 East Jefferson Street. Admission is free, and cabana rentals are available. Visit the Lustre Rooftop Bar for details. Amy Young

“Fake News: Why We Click It, How to Stop”
Last year’s presidential election was tainted by “fake news.” Now, President Trump uses the term to describe work from any journalist that endangers his agenda. Join KJZZ’s Lauren Gilger, Arizona Republic reporter Mary Jo Pitzl, Arizona State University professor Jessica Pucci, and ABC 15 anchor Allison Rodriguez in a discussion presented by the Valley of the Sun chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists on how to better detect fake news and how Facebook and mainstream news organizations are making audiences aware of the threat.

“Fake News: Why We Click It, How to Stop” starts at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 18, at Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 North Central Avenue. Admission is free. Visit the Phoenix Society of Professional Journalists website for more details. Jason Keil

See art with staying power at ASU Art Museum.EXPAND
See art with staying power at ASU Art Museum.
Fiamma Montezemolo/Photo by Lynn Trimble.

“Staying Power”
Fiamma Montezemolo is one of more than a dozen artists featured in an exhibition called “Staying Power” at ASU Art Museum, 51 East 10th Street in Tempe. The free exhibition highlights new museum acquisitions, including sculpture, prints, ceramics, and video.

“Staying Power” includes work by nearly 20 artists or collectives, including Denmark’s SUPERFLEX and the CultureStrike network led by migrant artists. Siri Dev Khandavili, an artist represented by Lisa Sette Gallery, also has work in the show. Several pieces were created by Latin American and Latinx artists. In other words, it’s a compelling mix. Take a look between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 18. Visit the ASU Museum website. Lynn Trimble

Become a kid again.EXPAND
Become a kid again.
Courtesy of Arizona Science Center

“Get Animated!”
If you never stopped loving cartoons (hey, zero judgment on this end), the Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington Street, has something you’ll wanna see.

“Get Animated!” is an interactive exhibit in which participants learn about voice acting from Bill Farmer, who’s voiced Disney’s Goofy since 1987; visit the Stop Motion Stations; develop storyboards; and design on-screen art. Other cool stuff includes the world’s largest touring 3-D zoetrope, original Clokey Studios puppets (so, Gumby), and photos ops in Bikini Bottom, The Simpsons’ living room, and the “That’s All Folks” closing screen.

“Get Animated!” is on display on the center’s third floor in the Sybil B. Harrington Galleries till Monday, September 4. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19, and admission is $18 for adults. Call 602-716-2000 or see the Arizona Science Center website. Lauren Cusimano

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

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