Nerd Culture

Best Things to Do This Weekend: Cheech and Chong, BlakTina Dance Fest, ISSA Pool Party

Issa, Molly, and frosé. Enough said.
Issa, Molly, and frosé. Enough said. Deanna S. Reid
This weekend, there's a little something for everyone. You can get lit at the Ethan Roads Zine Release Party, let the good times roll with Cheech and Chong, or celebrate the return of a the return of Insecure with a pool party. For more things to do, visit our curated calendar.

Cheech and Chong
It’s difficult to wax philosophical about the comedy duo Cheech and Chong. Sure, the pair have tasted success outside of “Basketball Jones” and Up in Smoke. Cheech Marin owned anchor Anderson Cooper in Celebrity Jeopardy several years ago, and his private Chicano art collection has been a part of some touring exhibitions. Tommy Chong was a touring musician who once opened for the Jackson Five. Yet the humorous minds behind Nice Dreams will always be associated with marijuana, which they have exploited to great success with a line of officially licensed glassware.

Expect plenty of pot jokes when the duo perform at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 21, at Talking Stick Resort, 9800 East Talking Stick Way in Scottsdale. Tickets start at $45. Visit the Talking Stick Resort website for more details. Jason Keil

click to enlarge A young Alejandro Jodorowsky gets a Chile reception in Endless Poetry. - COURTESY OF FILMBAR
A young Alejandro Jodorowsky gets a Chile reception in Endless Poetry.
Courtesy of FilmBar
Poesía sin fin (Endless Poetry)
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s been a clown, mime, puppeteer, poet, performance artist, and successful professional filmmaker. You’re forgiven for thinking maybe he’s already burned all the way through life. (He hasn’t, though.) He’s kind of mythic. He also claimed he raped his co-star, Mara Lorenzio, on camera in the acid Western El Topo in the ’70s. Or he just made stuff up about it like a weird sexist loser.

Very few of us U.S.-ians would even know about Jodorowsky if it weren’t for John Lennon’s ardent fandom re: El Topo. Oh, if these walls could talk.

Jodorowsky has a brand-new film out, Poesía sin fin (Endless Poetry), which is a semiautobiopic about his experiences as a young poet in Santiago, Chile. It’s visually drenched in color and energy, seductive and surprising.

The screenings on Friday, July 21, start at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Admission is $9. At press time, the engagement is scheduled to continue through Thursday, July 27. See the FilmBar website. Julie Peterson

The Sink or Swim
If you’d wager a bet that desert rock involves singing about saguaros, it might be time to leave the house for a spell. We’d recommend seeing The Sink or Swim at The Rebel Lounge, 2303 East Indian School Road.

On Friday July, 21, the Tempe band will perform with guests The Ricky Fitts, Good Boy Daisy, and Nothing on the Moon. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30. Tickets range in price from $10 to $12 and are available in advance at Stinkweeds or online at Ticketfly.? Lindsay Roberts

click to enlarge Lee Cooley, Jim "Doc" Coates, and Donna Kaufman share A Bench in the Sun. - CHERYL SCHARR
Lee Cooley, Jim "Doc" Coates, and Donna Kaufman share A Bench in the Sun.
Cheryl Scharr
A Bench in the Sun
Living in a retirement community and dealing with aging has its downsides, to be sure, but under the right circumstances, you can sit on a bench all day in your pajamas and nobody gives you a hard time about it. So there’s that.

In Ron Clark’s popular play A Bench in the Sun, the comfortable if cranky routine of two residents is disrupted by the arrival of a retired movie star. Silly competitiveness turns to unity when the trio faces a new threat. As you, the audience, laugh and sympathize, keep an eye out for life hacks, too, like getting fully dressed for courtship activities.

The comedy’s presented by Don Bluth Front Row Theatre through Saturday, August 26, at 8670 East Shea Boulevard #103 in Scottsdale. Showtime is 7 p.m. for the performance on Friday, July 21, and tickets are $25 at 480-314-0841 or the Don Bluth Front Row Theatre website. Julie Peterson

click to enlarge Constance McBride, Between Two Worlds, 2016. Ceramic, iron oxide, steel, wood. - COURTESY OF SHEMER ART CENTER
Constance McBride, Between Two Worlds, 2016. Ceramic, iron oxide, steel, wood.
Courtesy of Shemer Art Center
“Annual Student & Instructor Exhibition”
See the latest iteration of Shemer Art Center’s “Annual Student & Instructor Exhibition” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, July 21. It’s a chance to explore works by emerging and established artists working in diverse media, including ceramics, sculpture, painting, colored pencil, and mixed media.

Featured Shemer instructors include Constance McBride, Turner Davis, and Danielle Wood. More than a dozen Shemer students will also be showing their work. The show continues through Thursday, September 7, at 5005 East Camelback Road. Admission is free, but Shemer suggests a $7 donation or $10 per couple. Visit the Shemer Art Center website. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Funderburk Dance Artists performance. - RENE NORMAN
Funderburk Dance Artists performance.
Rene Norman
BlakTina Dance Festival
Phoenix choreographer and dancer Liliana Gomez wished that the local arts scene showcased more artists of color. So she set out to do something about it. Gomez reached out to Licia Perea of the Los Angeles-based Latina Dance Project. Perea started the BlakTina Dance Festival back in 2013 to spotlight black and Latinx choreographers and dancers.

Now Gomez and Perea are producing Phoenix’s first BlakTina Dance Festival at the Black Theatre Troupe’s Helen K. Mason Center for the Performing Arts, 1333 East Washington Street. It features a dozen pieces and a video by Eva Tessler.

The lineup includes pieces by Arizona choreographers Ashley Baker, Angel Castro, Elisa Cavallero, Malikah Fernandez, Jenny Garcia, Sydney Jackson, Taimy Miranda, Reyna Montoya, Alexander Patrick, and Joan Rodriguez. California choreographers include a four-member collective called Primera Generación Dance and Michelle Funderburk of Funderburk Dance Artists.

Check it out at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 22. Tickets are $15. Visit the Blaktina Festival website. Lynn Trimble

Get down and dirty. - COURTESY OF THE DREAD FLEET
Get down and dirty.
Courtesy of The Dread Fleet
Pirate Mud Wrestling
Don’t like getting dirty? Maybe you’d feel better about standing on the sidelines and cheering on some other humans as they roll around in spa-grade mud at a wrestling match hosted by some local buccaneers.

Find out when The Dread Fleet hosts a Pirate Mud Wrestling battle that allows registrants 18 and older to compete. Yes, even non-pirates. The group is a local nonprofit organization that focuses on education, entertainment, and, yes, pirate-oriented matters. They also help raise funds for other area charities. These lively bouts will determine the competitors who will take one another on in the squishy, slimy final round. The halftime show will feature live entertainment that does not involve mud. Support your local swashbucklers from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 22, at Revolver Records, 918 North Second Street. Visit the Dread Fleet website. Amy Young

Get lit. - JOSH LOESER
Get lit.
Josh Loeser
Ethan Roads Zine Release Party
Not only are there some prolific Phoenix-area zine makers, there are some hubs to find their work along with that of creative indie publishing zinesters from around the world.

Wasted Ink, a zine library and store that celebrates the DIY ethic, hosts the Ethan Roads Zine Release Party to celebrate the artist, skateboarder, and author’s creations Over the Shoulder and One Push. The former showcases his photographic work, which has also been exhibited in galleries. The latter has a skateboarding focus. Get a peek at his new offerings, take home copies, and get to know other literary-minded members of the community from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 22, at Wasted Ink Zine Distro, at the Hive, 2222 North 16th Street. Admission is free. Visit Wasted Ink Zine Distro website. Amy Young

click to enlarge Gemma Arterton stars in Saint Joan. - COURTESY OF NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE
Gemma Arterton stars in Saint Joan.
Courtesy of National Theatre Live
Saint Joan
Joan of Arc was burned at the stake after being convicted of cutting her hair and wearing men’s clothing. That’s all; it’s like Al Capone going down for tax evasion. When you’re on the road with a passel of French soldiers, then riding unarmed in battle, then imprisoned by enemies, men’s clothes can keep you safer, and that’s what authorities later concluded when they posthumously absolved her of wrongdoing.

Joan’s calling, though, was to stand up for French interests during the Hundred Years’ War, and once her patriotic fervor had given morale a desperately needed smack on the butt, victory was not too far behind.

Phoenix Art Museum presents an encore screening of the U.K.’s National Theatre Live filmed simulcast of George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan, starring Gemma Arterton, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 23, at 1625 North Central Avenue. Tickets are $15 to $18. Call 602-257-1880 or visit the Phoenix Art Museum website. Julie Peterson

click to enlarge Brews, beats, and inner peace. - COURTESY OF SUTRA STUDIOS
Brews, beats, and inner peace.
Courtesy of Sutra Studios
Sutra Studios’ Brew and Beats
Not that you need an excuse to hang out by a pool or to do yoga, but an event combining the two should be a no-brainer. If you’re on the fence, perhaps craft beers can be the deciding factor.

At Sutra Studios’ Brew and Beats, you’ll find some inner peace outdoors during the studio’s Central Flow class, which is followed by meditation. After that, the Sutra Social is on, and you can mix and mingle with other attendees. A DJ will provide the energetic beats while you unwind and enjoy some of the brew offerings. Class is in session starting at 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 23, at Found:RE Hotel, 1100 North Central Avenue. Admission is $20, and one beer is included in the ticket price. Call 602-253-9525 or visit the Sutra Studios website. Amy Young

click to enlarge Issa, Molly, and frosé. Enough said. - DEANNA S. REID
Issa, Molly, and frosé. Enough said.
Deanna S. Reid
ISSA Pool Party
Can’t wait to watch the season-two premiere of Insecure? There’s a pool party for that.

Black Girl Magic Phoenix hosts an ISSA Pool Party on Sunday, July 23, and it’s part social event and part pop-culture bash. Held at Scottsdale’s Hotel Valley Ho, 6850 East Main Street, the 21-and-over event will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. on Sunday, July 23. The pool party will feature a live DJ playing R&B, hip-hop, neo-soul and pop music — as well as a photo booth, drink specials on frosé and a special summer punch, and food deals. What better way to catch up with Issa and Molly and their misadventures?

The episode will screen poolside, and a talk-back will follow. General admission tickets cost $50 and four-person daybeds and 10-person cabanas with bottle service are $250 and $650, respectively. For more information, see the Black Girl Magic Phoenix website. Laura Latzko

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Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Rob is a Phoenix native, husband, dad, and an active member in the local music scene. He's written original songs for feature films.
Contact: Rob Kroehler
Laura Latzko
Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young