The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Puppetry meets pole dancing in Avenue Q.
Puppetry meets pole dancing in Avenue Q.
Courtesy of Phoenix Theatre
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Need plans this week? Primarily, need plans that involve alcohol? You're in luck, because this week is all about the booze. Get inspired and a little wine drunk at the Georgia’s Skull Night, get a taste for different brews at the Real, Wild & Woody Indoor Beer Festival, or grab your wands and cloaks and hit the town with Wizards and Wands Bar Crawl. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

Avenue Q
Sometimes theater asks hard-hitting questions. Other times, it’s just a barrel of laughs. But some of the best musicals do both. Avenue Q blends sometimes-naughty puppets with people facing existential crises for hilarious effect, with songs that ponder everything from racism to limited career prospects for English majors.

Robert Lopez, of The Book of Mormon and Frozen fame, co-wrote Avenue Q lyrics with Jeff Marx. In 2014, it earned the Tony Award for Best Musical. See Phoenix Theatre’s take, at 100 East McDowell Road, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 26. Tickets are $56 to $86. Don’t take the kids unless you’re cool with puppet sex and potty mouths. Visit the Phoenix Theatre website. Lynn Trimble

Robert Gentile's art makes it easy to spot the Nile Theater.
Robert Gentile's art makes it easy to spot the Nile Theater.
Amy Young

Summer Screen: Dinner and a Movie
Travel back to 1985 at The Nile Theater, 105 West Main Street in Mesa, where the Summer Screen: Dinner and a Movie lineup for 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 26, includes a fresh pairing of The Goonies with eats by Queen’s Pizzeria. The Goonies pits greedy developers against adventurous kids and a treasure map that could help save their ’hood from demolition. For $20, you’ll get a movie ticket and your dinner choice from the event menu. Plus you can buy craft beer, cocktails, coffee, and tea while you’re there. Take note: The event is for the age 18-plus crowd. Visit the Downtown Mesa website. Lynn Trimble

A Night in Havana with Josiel Perez’s All-Stars
Music was more than just a part of Josiel Perez’s life growing up in Pinar Del Rio, Cuba. It consumed him. “Every time we shared food, we shared music,” Perez said in a 2014 interview. His grandfather is a talented flautist and his uncle, Andres Perez, is a prominent baritone saxophonist in Cuba. “In Cuba we love music,” Perez said. “Music is in the air. We take every opportunity we can to share music.”

And he’ll have another sharing opportunity when The Nash, 110 East Roosevelt Street, presents A Night in Havana with Josiel Perez’s All-Stars at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 27. Perez now resides in Phoenix and holds a Ph.D from Arizona State University. He plays trumpet with Alan Acosta on tenor sax, Marcos Crego on piano, Max Beckman on bass, Caleb Michel on percussion, and special guest Keith Kelly also playing sax. Tickets are $20, and $10 for students with ID. Visit The Nash website. Stuart Warner

You may know her as @girlwithnojob.EXPAND
You may know her as @girlwithnojob.
Courtesy of StandUp Live

Claudia Oshry Soffer
Chances are that cool internet meme with a picture of Kim Kardashian or Kris Jenner on your social media feed that made you guffaw might have originated from the social media account of Claudia Oshry Soffer, better known by her Instagram handle @girlwithnojob. The frequent daytime talk show guest thought of it after she was fired from her fashion company internship. Now she has shifted her focus from finding a standard career to maintaining her status as a social media influencer, with nearly 3 million followers waiting for her next post.

Go viral beginning at 10 p.m. on Friday, July 27, at StandUp Live, 50 West Jefferson Street. Tickets are $25 with a two-drink minimum. For more information, visit the StandUp Live website. Jason Keil

Picture this idyllic scene, with wine.EXPAND
Picture this idyllic scene, with wine.
Courtesy of Carrie Curran Art Studios

Georgia’s Skull Night
Once upon a time, famed artist Georgia O’Keefe painted her first animal skull. Now you can try it yourself, during Georgia’s Skull night at Carrie Curran Art Studios, 8300 North Hayden Road, Suite A100, in Scottsdale.

It’s a pairing of painting with wine, where a studio artist will guide you through the process of painting a skull inspired by O’Keefe’s iconic work. You bring the wine. They provide the wine glasses, openers, and art supplies as part of your $32 registration. It’s happening from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, July 27, as part of the studio’s Van Gogh Vino series. Visit the Carrie Curran Art Studios website. Lynn Trimble

Kurt Braunohler
Comedian Kurt Braunohler is a nerdy dude who’s into pet-o-philia. Regarding that nerd tag, he’s got a podcast on the Nerdist network called The K Ohle. The latter part of that statement sounds salacious, but it’s just the name of a segment on his show where guests discuss their animals. He also lends his sharp wit to a variety of TV shows like Bob’s Burgers and Chelsea Lately. He’s stopping in Tempe to inspire some laughs as part of The Fat AZ Tour, which only has two other stops — Flagstaff and Tucson.

Go down a K-hole at 10 p.m. on Friday, July 27, at Tempe Improv, 930 East University Drive. Admission is $20 for age 18 and older; a two-drink minimum required. Call 480-921- 9877 or visit the Tempe Improv website. Amy Young

Wizards and Wands Bar Crawl
You don’t have to be at Hogwarts to make merriment like a pixie, house elf, or wizard. During the 21-and-older Wizards and Wands Bar Crawl on Saturday, July 28, you can get connect with your inner Harry, Hermione or Ron as you explore different bars in Downtown Scottsdale with fellow Harry Potter enthusiasts. You may feel inspired to dress up as your favorite character from the book or movie series. The bar crawl starts at Bevvy, 4420 North Saddlebag Trail, #100. With registration, you will receive a patch knit scarf, no cover at participating bars, and drink specials throughout the evening. The event starts at 5 p.m. and costs $20 to $25 plus fees. For groups of four or more, tickets are $16 plus fees. To find out more, go to the Wizards and Wands Bar Crawl website. Laura Latzko

Real, Wild & Woody Indoor Beer Festival
More than 75 brewers will be pouring 350 kinds of beer from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 28, at the Real, Wild & Woody Indoor Beer Festival at the Phoenix Convention Center, 100 North Third Street. There will be music and food. There will be games. There will be a rock wall, just what you need after putting away lots of heady booze. Barrel-aged brews and specialty casks are the focus of this festival, which is indoors and out of the sun. General admission tickets cost $57 and come with 20 tastes of beer and food. Designated drivers can get in for $25. As wild ales, casks, and all kinds of funky offbeat beers will dominate the event, things could get weird. Visit the Real, Wild & Woody Indoor Beer Festival website. Chris Malloy

Harry Potter Birthday Party
You don’t have to be a Divination student in order to predict that this will be fun. On Saturday, July 28 at 9 p.m., the Rose and Crown Pub will toast The Boy Who Lived a few days before his birthday with a Harry Potter-themed party. Drink specials will be served, and there will be a character look-alike contest. Local DJ Noah’s Arcade will provide the music for the British pub. Break out your wands, striped scarves, and lightning-bolt-scar temporary tattoos. Sure, Harry Potter was born on July 31, according to Rowling’s canon, but who’s counting? Make your journey by broomstick or Floo Powder to 628 East Adams Street. Visit the Rose and Crown website. Joe Flaherty

Teen Witch
Teen Witch is one of those movies that those of a certain generation love despite the fact that it falls squarely in the category of “so bad, it’s good.” Join The All Puppet Players as they skewer the 1989 flop about a teenager who uses her magical powers to cause impromptu (and poorly synced) musical and rap numbers, increase her popularity at school, and get the hottest boy in her class to fall in love with her. Despite the film’s PG-13 rating, this is an R-rated event.

Top that at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 28, at Playhouse on the Park at Central Arts Plaza, 1850 North Central Avenue. Tickets are $12. For more information, visit the Phoenix Theatre website. Jason Keil

Proof we're not living through America's first con artist.
Proof we're not living through America's first con artist.
Courtesy of Arizona Broadway Theatre

Catch Me If You Can
Catch up on your Broadway showtunes at Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 West Paradise Lane in Peoria.

They’re performing the musical Catch Me If You Can, based on the 2002 film that starred Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s the tale of Frank Abagnale, Jr., a real-life con artist in the 1960s who passed himself off as a doctor, lawyer, and airplane pilot. See the show, which had a short Broadway run in 2011, at noon or 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 28. Ticket prices vary, depending on whether you’re just seeing the show, or pairing a show with dinner. Visit the Arizona Broadway website. Lynn Trimble

NXT Live
Professional wrestling isn’t considered to be strictly lowbrow culture anymore. Far from it. These days, it’s attained more of a legit status in geekdom alongside pursuits like anime as comic books. (Heck, you can even read about it these days on sites like Nerdist and The A.V. Club.) And in recent years, the wrestling that a lot of folks have been geeking out about has been taking place in NXT. The developmental league for WWE, it often features more intense action, better characters, and better storylines than elsewhere in wrestling.

You can experience it for yourself on Sunday, July 29, during NXT Live at Comerica Theatre, 400 West Washington Street. Many of the NXT top talents are scheduled to wrestle during the event including its current champ, Aleister Black, as well as Velveteen Dream, EC3, Shayna Baszler, Adam Cole, and the vile Tommaso Ciampa (who has made assholery an art form). Bell time is 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 to $40. See the Comerica Theatre website. Benjamin Leatherman

War...but fabulous.
War...but fabulous.
Courtesy of Mike Fornelli/BS West

Drag Wars
It’s not a new idea for drag queens to put on wigs and makeup for charity. Many of them do it all the time. Drag Wars, an annual event at Scottsdale bar BS West, brings together more established and emerging drag performers to raise money for charity. The bar staff also get in on the fun by dressing in drag. In the last nine years, the event has raised almost $30,000. This year, proceeds will benefit fundraising efforts for Dancing for one•n•ten, a ballroom dance competition for local LGBT youth organization one•n•ten. Held on Sunday, July 29, at 7125 East Fifth Avenue, Drag Wars will have a performer show from 8 to 10 p.m. and an employer turnabout show from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Admission is free, but tips are highly encouraged. For more information, call 480-945-9028 or go to the BS West website. Laura Latzko

Play ball.EXPAND
Play ball.
Jim Louvau

Arizona Diamondbacks v. Texas Rangers
So far this season, the Arizona Diamondbacks have won more games than they’ve lost. The same can’t be said for the Texas Rangers. They’ve got 41 wins to Arizona’s 53. When these teams take the field to battle it out, the visitors are going to be looking for a victory. Hopefully the home team’s superior stats won’t find them resting on their laurels. Grab a ticket to see what happens when Arizona messes with Texas at 6:40 p.m. on Monday, July 30, at Chase Field, 401 East Jefferson Street. Tickets start at $13. Teams meet for a second game on July 31.

Visit the Diamondbacks website. Amy Young

See Hank's work hung at Shortcut Gallery.
See Hank's work hung at Shortcut Gallery.
Courtesy of Travis Ivey

Travis Ivey
Often, artists have a single identity and characteristic style. But Travis Ivey, who holds a master of fine arts degree from Arizona State University, has an alter ego he’s dubbed Hank. Ivey uses unconventional materials like glitter, postage stamps, and utility tape to create mostly abstract works or landscapes. But Hank puts a new twist on old-school landscape painting, often capturing scenes of Phoenix neighborhoods or desert environments. See Ivey’s work created in Hank-mode in his free solo exhibition presented by Megaphone PHX at Shortcut Gallery, a space shared by Phoenix General and Framed Ewe inside The Colony, 5538 North Seventh Street. It’s open on Monday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit the Phoenix General website. Lynn Trimble

Dinner and a show.EXPAND
Dinner and a show.
Courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

So I Married An Axe Murderer
The term “fake news” may have originated 25 years ago when So I Married An Axe Murderer was released. After reading a story in the Weekly World News about a woman who travels across the country murdering her many husbands, Mike Myers’ character (in one of two roles he plays onscreen) suspects he’s dating the article’s subject. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Chandler will lift its strict “no talking” policy so you can yell your favorite quotes back at the screen.

Fire up the Spin Doctors starting at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 30, at 4955 South Arizona Avenue. Admission is $13.48, which includes props to use during the movie. There is an additional screening on Wednesday, August 1. For more information, visit the Alamo Drafthouse website. Jason Keil

Feeling sunny with Sabrina Hernandez's art.EXPAND
Feeling sunny with Sabrina Hernandez's art.
Courtesy of Grotto Gallery

“Walking on Sunshine”
Turn your eyes toward fresh art in Tempe as Grotto Gallery inside the F.A.B.R.I.C. building, 132 East Sixth Street, presents a group exhibition called “Walking on Sunshine.” It’s filled with works in diverse media by 10 emerging Arizona-based artists you’re not used to seeing during First and Third Friday art walks in downtown Phoenix. Participating artists include Andie Olson, Dori Jung, John Mainieri, Marie Provine, Marlena Robbins, Paige Reesor, Rebecca Murphy Keith, Sabrina Hernandez, Savannah Atencio, and Sylvia Mousseux. Gallery hours on Tuesday, July 31, are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show continues through September 27. Visit the Arizona Artisans Collective website. Lynn Trimble

Just as South Park became a national phenomenon, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone starred in a movie about the greatest sport ever invented: BASEketball. The comedic duo play jobless nitwits who accidentally invent a hybrid of basketball and baseball complete with depraved sportscasters, crude insults (“SQUEAK!”), and scantily-clad cheerleaders. The hilarity begins when the purity of the sport is threatened by an unscrupulous team owner who tries to find questionable new streams of revenue.

The psych-outs begin at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 31, at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Tempe, 1140 East Baseline Road. Tickets are $11.89, which includes a collection of props to enjoy a sport free of corporate sponsorship. For more information, visit the Alamo Drafthouse website. Jason Keil

Sing your heart out (like this guy).EXPAND
Sing your heart out (like this guy).
Melissa Fossum

Love Connection: Karaoke for a Cause
If you have the need to entertain — or perhaps torture — others with karaoke versions of your favorite songs, at least do it at Love Connection: Karaoke for a Cause. Whether you can belt it out like Bey or you sound like a broken lawnmower, songs equal monetary donations at this event. The funds raised benefit the Kino Border Initiative (KBI), an organization that strives to foster humane migration between Mexico and the U.S. If drinks help you loosen up, get some. A portion of money from adult-beverage purchases also gets kicked to KBI.

Croon for a cause from 8 to 11 p.m. on Tuesday, July 31, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Admission is free for age 21 and older. Visit the Crescent Ballroom website. Amy Young

Imagining life before TV dinners and luxury condos.EXPAND
Imagining life before TV dinners and luxury condos.
Lynn Trimble

“Plate Expectations: Victorian Dining, Decorum & Dishes”
Dining was vastly different more than 100 years ago, when the Rosson House in Phoenix was a family home. But its residents did enjoy some modern conveniences, such as electricity and indoor plumbing. And they could put out a fancy food spread as well, complete with dishes and other décor. Get a glimpse during the “Plate Expectations: Victorian Dining, Decorum & Dishes” exhibit at Rosson House, 113 North Sixth Street. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, August 1. The exhibition is free with paid $9 tour admission. Visit the Heritage Square website. Lynn Trimble

Wild Women Wednesday
Just because the famous quote, “Well-behaved women seldom make history,” has been misattributed to everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Eleanor Roosevelt doesn’t make it any less prophetic.

Raise a toast to the rule-breaking, history-making ladies at 5394 South Lakeshore Drive in Tempe during Wild Women Wednesday. Every week at 6 p.m., Pier 54 offers drink specials like $4 cocktails and glasses of wine or Champagne, and a chance to win an interior design consulting session, a yoga session, nail and hair services, and a LuLaRoe gift card.

Best part? There’s no cover. For more information, visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts

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