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The 20 Best Things to Do in Phoenix This Week

Come see everyone's favorite art house queen.EXPAND
Come see everyone's favorite art house queen.
Adam Ouahmane

No plans? Don't fret, Phoenix. We've got you covered. This week, you can listen to stories about taking risks at Bar Flies, watch derby gals battle it out, pay tribute to the late Adam West, and even watch a puppet show. The choice is yours. For more things to do, visit our curated events calendar.

Sasha Velour
Let’s face it. Season Nine of RuPaul’s Drag Race was a little rough. It featured, like, a thousand queens, a lot of crying, bad outfits, and worse jokes. However, the final four frontrunners were really the cream of the crop-top, and the crown winner was arthouse queen (and our personal favorite) Sasha Velour.

Club VOLT, 3108 East McDowell Road, hosts the thinking queen’s artist, performer, poet, and Drag Race winner at 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 6. Opening the show is the house 4Some Revue, composed of Miley Mitchells, Piper M’Shay, Gia, and Luna St. James. Tickets start at $25 for general admission, and there’s an optional meet-and-greet for $10 extra. For more information, see the Club VOLT website or call 602-244-1465. Lauren Cusimano

Bar Flies
Bar Flies, New Times’ monthly reading series, is back. And this month, the theme is “Calculated Risk.” Readers on the bill, curated by Tania Katan, will include Leslie Barton, Molly McCloy, Anwar Newton, Chris Schnick, and Katan herself. Jason P. Woodbury will provide the music. Odds that this’ll be one to remember? They’re good.

Valley Bar’s basement theater doors open at 6 p.m., and showtime is 7 on Thursday, July 6,at 130 North Central Avenue. Tickets are $5 and available through ticketfly.com. For details, see the Valley Bar website. Lindsay Roberts

Work by Lynda Burruss featured in the “Modern Perspectives” exhibition at Shemer Art Center.
Work by Lynda Burruss featured in the “Modern Perspectives” exhibition at Shemer Art Center.
Lynda Burruss

“Modern Perspectives”
The “Modern Perspectives” exhibition at Shemer Art Center, 5005 East Camelback Road, includes more than 80 watercolor and mixed-media works created by 25 members of an artist group called Contemporary Watercolorists of Arizona. Curated by Pat Cain, the show highlights a variety of water-media styles.

Participating artists include several whose work isn’t regularly shown during First or Third Fridays. Which means this show will likely introduce you to a new crop of artists working in and beyond the Valley of the Sun.

See “Modern Perspectives” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 6. The exhibition is free, but Shemer Art Center suggests a $7 donation. Visit the Shermer Art Center website. Lynn Trimble

My Pet Dinosaur
It’s not so weird to think that a dinosaur, were it not extinct, would be a great pet. Lizards, snakes, and chickens are beloved by their human companions (so the genetics are there), and provided our dino was not too big and/or bitey, we’d get along just fine. In My Pet Dinosaur, an original show from Great Arizona Puppet Theater, young human Arthur is eagerly awaiting the hatching of an alleged dinosaur egg he got for his birthday, but will his pet parrot be as excited?

The show, suitable for people of preschool age and older, continues through Sunday, July 16. Showtime is 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 6, at 302 West Latham Street. Reserve your tickets, $7 to $10, at 602-262-2050. Visit the Arizona Puppet Theater website for more information. Julie Peterson

Join the artsy party.
Join the artsy party.
Joseph Maddon

First Friday
It’s been a long time since First Friday meant leisurely strolling to galleries to check out some art. That event morphed into a huge party years ago, and now everyone’s in on the action.

Revolver Records gets in the mix on July 7, with an artsy party hosted by creative Leyla Havok, who works under the moniker, I Am Havok. She will show and sell prints, paintings, and some fashion items. Join the creative chaos from 4 to 11 p.m. on Friday, July 7, at 918 North Second Street. Admission is free. Visit the Facebook event page. Amy Young

Celebrate Frida Kahlo’s birthday with the Phoenix Fridas at Heard Museum.EXPAND
Celebrate Frida Kahlo’s birthday with the Phoenix Fridas at Heard Museum.
Courtesy of Heard Museum

Fiesta de Frida
Before there was Beyoncé or Madonna, there was Frida. Just a single name is all it takes to conjure images of the Mexican artist famous for self-portraits channeling a life marked by physical and emotional pain. Like her husband, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo is one of the best-known painters of the 20th century. And for her fans, celebrating the artist’s birthday each year is a must.

The Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue, is commemorating the 110th anniversary of her birth with Fiesta de Frida. The free event, happening from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, July 7, includes music, poetry, and artwork by members of the Phoenix Fridas art collective. There’s also an 8 p.m. Marcha de las Fridas procession.

Museum admission is free, and there’s special $7 pricing for the “Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera” exhibition that night. Visit the Heard Museum website. Lynn Trimble

Reminisce on all things Adam West.
Reminisce on all things Adam West.
Melissa Fossum

Adam West Tribute
Small-screen legend Adam West died on June 9 at the age of 88 after a battle with leukemia. For many viewers, his campy portrayal of Bruce Wayne and his famed alter-ego on the hit 1960s television show Batman is considered the best.

West’s tongue-in-cheek take on the Caped Crusader is perfect territory for Dan Stone, the mind behind “The Unfathomable Film Freakout.” Stone has curated a tribute to the beloved actor, combining footage from all the weird and unusual movies, television shows, and variety specials the actor appeared in.

Enjoy the kitschy side of Bob Kane’s creation and zip on over to the Adam West tribute at 10 p.m. on Friday, July 7, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Admission is $9, with a portion of proceeds benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Arizona. Visit the Film Bar website for more information. Jason Keil

Laurel and Hardy Go to Heaven
Classic Hollywood comedy duo Laurel and Hardy played off their physical appearances — one big guy, one little guy — and their personality differences — one oafish, one haughty — to get laughs. In writer Paul Auster’s interpretation, their ridiculousness goes next level, to stone cold absurdity.

In this production of Laurel and Hardy Go to Heaven, Ernesto Moncada directs Dennis Frederick and Ashley Naftule, as the duo gets metaphysical. Set in the afterlife, these two enter heaven and engage in conversation as they complete their assigned task of building a wall. Hear what they have to ramble on about at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 7, at Space 55, 636 East Pierce Street. Admission is $10. The show runs through Saturday, July 15. Visit the Space 55 website. Amy Young

ArizonaDrag.com Diamond Crystal Awards
Movies have the Oscars. Television has the Emmys. Music has the Grammys. And the Grand Canyon State’s drag community has the ArizonaDrag.com Diamond Crystal Awards, of course.

On Friday, July 7, The Rock hosts the ceremony, featuring 20 categories to honor local entertainers, at 4129 North Seventh Avenue. The awards event will begin at 7 p.m. and will include performances by Afeelya Bunz, Kristofer V. Lee, J Krawford, and Eva Angelica Stratton. Tickets are $10 at the Arizona Drag website. For more information, visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts

Are you down to downward dog?
Are you down to downward dog?
Courtesy of Urban Yoga

LUNARology: Full Moon Yoga, a Sacred Ceremony
At LUNARology: Full Moon Yoga, a Sacred Ceremony, yoga practitioners of all levels will flow through the moon salutations, designed to sync with the astronimical body’s rhythm. You’ll set a specific intention and work on releasing whatever’s holding you down. The evening also includes a sound-healing component.

Tap into some lunar power from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 8, at Urban Yoga, 3225 North Central Avenue. Admission is $15 in advance, and $20 on the day of the event. Call 602-277-9642 or visit the Urban Yoga website. Amy Young

Read on for more awesome things to do and see in metro Phoenix this week.

Jake Bonar and Brandon Wyatt star in Catch Me If You Can.EXPAND
Jake Bonar and Brandon Wyatt star in Catch Me If You Can.
Renee Ashlock

Catch Me If You Can
At first glance, Frank Abagnale Jr. seems to have gotten off easy — the globe-trotting, self-employed con man swindled his way into $2.5 million (in the ’60s!), had Bond-style adventures, and spent less than 10 years in prison, with only about six months of it in a really shitty cell in France. But he earned that punishment with a spree of impersonation and flight that endured only five astonishing years, from age 16 to 21.

Abagnale’s partially reliable autobiography, Catch Me If You Can, became a popular film and then a musical that continues at Desert Stages Theatre through Sunday, July 30. Showtimes are 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 8, at 4720 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $20 at the Desert Stages website or 480-483-1664. Julie Peterson

Rollin' with the homies.EXPAND
Rollin' with the homies.
Mr. Ravelyn

Arizona Roller Derby
All good things are rewarded with multiple seasons, and that’s why the Arizona Roller Derby is in its 14th season. Up next? Game Four.

The home match features the Bad News Beaters versus the Whiskey Row-llers, followed by the Skate Riot Project against the Copper Queens. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. at Ability360, 5031 East Washington Street, and elbows will fly from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 8.

Tickets are $10 in advance at Brown Paper Bag tickets, and $12 at the door. Kids 12 and younger get in free with a paying adult. Attendees are welcome to attend the after-party at Tempe’s Shady Park, 26 East University Drive. Visit the Arizona Roller Derby website. Lauren Cusimano

Calling all hilarious ladies.
Calling all hilarious ladies.
Torch Theatre

Riot Jam: All Female Improv Jam
Calling all hilarious ladies who can deliver off-the-cuff humor and are on the hunt for a little mic time. There’s a Central Phoenix stage with your name on it.

Riot Jam: All Female Improv Jam is the regular event hosted by the Torch Theatre, where Arizona’s improvisers show off their skills. Torch education director Jacque Arend says their group sees the event as a great way to showcase and celebrate the wealth of female talent that exists in our local improv community. Participants show up, drop their name in a bucket, and then names are drawn to form the teams. The performances start immediately. Watch this impromptu hour of fun from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, July 8, at 4721 North Central Avenue. Admission and participation are free. Visit the Torch Theatre website. Amy Young

Constance McBride, Balasana, 2016. Ceramic, under glaze, stains, wax, wire. Courtesy of the artist.
Constance McBride, Balasana, 2016. Ceramic, under glaze, stains, wax, wire. Courtesy of the artist.
William LeGoullon

“2016 Contemporary Forum Artist Grant Winners”
Maybe you’ve seen everything from Michelangelo to Kehinde Wiley at Phoenix Art Museum. That’s great, but it’s hard to top the thrill of seeing pieces by Arizona artists exhibited at the CenPho institution. And now’s the time to do it.

Contemporary Forum, one of the museum’s many support groups, gives grants to several Arizona artists annually. The following year, it presents a group exhibition of their artwork. See “2016 Contemporary Forum Artist Grant Winners” from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 9. It includes work by David Emitt Adams, Christine Cassano, Bryan David Griffith, Constance McBride, and Mary Meyer. They work with hair, oil drums, and forest-fire embers, among other media.

Museum admission is free that day. The exhibition is on view through Sunday, September 17. Visit the Phoenix Art Museum website. Lynn Trimble

Chat with the author of Down a Dark Road.EXPAND
Chat with the author of Down a Dark Road.
Courtesy of Linda Castillo

Linda Castillo
What happens when man escapes from prison and returns to the Amish community he’s fallen out of favor with? He goes on a kidnapping spree, of course.

Or at least that’s what he does in Down a Dark Road, by Linda Castillo. The best-selling author’s new novel keeps the excitement on high, as escaped convict Joseph King grabs five children as hostages and lures a detective into an ambush. As the cop gets closer to King, she discovers there’s more to the story. From 2 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 9, Castillo will discuss and sign the book at the Poisoned Pen, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard in Scottsdale. Admission is free, and a copy of the book costs $26. Call 480-947- 2974 or visit the Poisoned Pen website. Amy Young

Found Feather, Number 14 (Found on 4.24.17 at Granada Park), Wood Burning, 3 x 5 in., 2017EXPAND
Found Feather, Number 14 (Found on 4.24.17 at Granada Park), Wood Burning, 3 x 5 in., 2017
Alexandria Bowers

“Found Feathers”
Artists often find beauty in everyday objects. For her newest body of work, local artist Alexandra Bowers drew inspiration from bird feathers she encountered. Practical Art will exhibit Bowers’ work in “Found Feathers,” on view through Monday, July 31. The artist developed the 45 pieces by photographing the feathers she came across, drawing them, and then burning the images onto wood with a soldering iron. The collection is meant to inspire viewers to notice the little things around them, to think about the destination and purpose of birds, and to contemplate larger issues of existence. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, July 10. For more information, call 602-264-1414 or see the Practical Art website. Laura Latzko

Judy Rollings and Patti Davis Suarez are two old broads who play two old broads in Two Old Broads: Unsolicited Advice.EXPAND
Judy Rollings and Patti Davis Suarez are two old broads who play two old broads in Two Old Broads: Unsolicited Advice.
Mary Robinson

Two Old Broads: Unsolicited Advice
Can’t break away from the office for Herberger Theater’s Lunch Time Theater? Then Lunch Time Theater’s After Dark series is strictly from heaven. Each Herberger Lunch Time production previews on a Monday evening.
Turns out there’s also a cozy cash bar with snacks to make a great idea better, and the current show is particularly cocktail-friendly, as the characters onstage may seem as well-lubricated as you are. Two Old Broads: Unsolicited Advice marks the return of Judy Rollings and Patti Davis Suarez with a new cabaret that looks back and forward at edifying experiences.

Showtime is 7 p.m. Monday, July 10, at 222 East Monroe Street. The play continues at 12:10 p.m. through Thursday, July 20. Admission is $6 at the Herberger Theater website or 602-252-8497. Julie Peterson

Library patrons break the first rule of Book Club.EXPAND
Library patrons break the first rule of Book Club.
Courtesy of Phoenix Public Library

July Book Club
Graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi is best known in the U.S. for Persepolis, her multi-volume memoir about coming of age in post-revolutionary Iran that became an Oscar-nominated animated film. Satrapi’s Embroideries, a narrative with a more leisurely feel, eavesdrops on her grandmother’s friends sipping tea and discussing love and sex — because that apparently remains a fascinating mystery for our whole damn life. The latter work is the topic of July’s Book Club meeting at South Mountain Community Library.

Book Club at the library is a commitment-free, episodic experience that focuses on an entire book at each meeting. Check it out (library joke!) from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 11, at 7050 South 24th Street. Admission is free. Visit the Phoenix Public Library website or call 602-243-8187. Julie Peterson

Game on.EXPAND
Game on.
Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE

Phoenix Mercury v. Atlanta Dream
Diana Taurasi recently told reporters that she is over becoming the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer. She appreciates the kudos from Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, as well the huge banner hanging over Phoenix City Hall, but she’d prefer it if the Phoenix Mercury were winning this season. And Taurasi beat the scoring record during the team’s worst game so far this year. The guard, who also holds the league’s record for three-pointers, is eager to turn things around. Shattering the Atlanta Dream when they arrive in town this week would be a good start.

Watch the action starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 12, at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. Tickets are $18 and up. Visit the Mercury website for more details. Jason Keil

Meet the comedian who confronts stereotypes with comedy.EXPAND
Meet the comedian who confronts stereotypes with comedy.
Courtesy of Hari Kondabolu

Hari Kondabolu
Hari Kondabolu’s comedy walks a fine line. It’s edgy enough to make you feel uncomfortable watching with your conservative parents but smart enough for the NPR crowd. The Brooklyn comic incorporates into his act hate mail he has received accusing him of generalizing white American males. Offstage, he co-hosts a WNYC podcast called Death, Sex, and Money in which he answers listener questions with his immigrant mother, Uma.
By comically confronting the stereotypes that unfortunately accompany his Indian heritage, Kondabolu continues to break humorous new ground. The former immigrant-rights organizer is currently working on his recently greenlit TruTV documentary tentatively titled The Problem With Apu, which will concentrate on the controversial convenience store clerk on The Simpsons.

Get ready for some awkward laughs when Kondabolu takes the stage at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 12, at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street. Admission is $22, and there’s a two-drink minimum. Visit the Stand Up Live website for details. Jason Keil

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