Just ... act natural.EXPAND
Just ... act natural.
Alexandra Gaspar

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Need plans? Try acting natural at the storytelling series Bar Flies, sip on some afternoon tea, or test your knowledge at Math Wars. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

Bar Flies
All you gotta do at Bar Flies is … Act Natural. That’s the theme for this month’s readings on Thursday, June 21. It’s also good advice for performing in the longstanding monthly series at Valley Bar … just be yourself and share true stories about your life. Award-winning journalist Amy Silverman is curating this month’s event, which is sponsored by Phoenix New Times.

Reading original essays will be April Atwood, Cindy Dach, Molly Mudick, Alex Tuchi, and Tiara Vian. Deborah Sussman will emcee. Valley Bar is located at 130 North Central Avenue. Admission is $5 and 21-and over. For more information, go to the Bar Flies website. Stuart Warner

NBA Draft Party
The Phoenix Suns will settle the argument between two 7-footers and former teammates at Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix about who will be the number-one pick in the NBA draft on Thursday, June 21. DeAndre Ayton, who also played one season of college ball at the University of Arizona, assured everyone it will be him. Marvin Bagley III, who did his pro basketball undergraduate work for a year at Duke University, says Ayton’s comments are disrespectful. The last-place Suns are just happy to have the top choice for the first time in team history.

Fans are invited to witness the pick at a free NBA Draft Party at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. Register to attend at the Suns website. Stuart Warner

Test your nerdy skills.EXPAND
Test your nerdy skills.
John Chakravarty

Math Wars
Turns out your guidance counselors were right. Some mathematical know-how really helps in life, if for no other reason than figuring out how many loot boxes you can afford in Overwatch. But math doesn’t have to be boring, says local teacher and experimental educator Joey Grether. Hence his event Math Wars, a competition aimed at multiplying the fun of mathematics.

“I feel that we just need to bring it out of the classroom, make it relevant, and point out that we are all constantly using math, to purchase things, budget our lives, cook in the kitchen,” Grether says. “[So] why not game it? Incentivize it.”

The event, which takes place on Thursday, June 21, at Jobot, 333 East Roosevelt Street, will be centered around a card game similar to War. Two players will draw a single card and the first one to multiply the numerical values of both cards (jacks are 11, queens are 12, and so on) will win each round. Double-elimination tournaments for both kids and adults will be conducted and prizes include more than $200 in cash and gift cards.

Do the math from 6 to 8 p.m. Participation is free. Call 602-281-7127 or see the Facebook event page. Benjamin Leatherman

Drink in all those fun bird facts.EXPAND
Drink in all those fun bird facts.
Rio Salado Audubon Society

Birds ’n Beer
Try happy hour with a twist as the Rio Salado Audubon Center, 3131 South Central Avenue, presents a free Birds ’n Beer shindig from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 21. You can sample cold beer from Gilbert-based AZ Wilderness Brewing Company, enjoy light refreshments, or purchase additional drinks. Be there by 6:30 p.m. to hear Mark Brehe of the Arizona Forest Service share insights about watershed protections after damaging flooding.

It’s a chance to up your environmental IQ, meet fellow nature advocates, support the local craft brewery scene, and show off your bird brain. Visit the Rio Salado Audubon Center website. Lynn Trimble

Emerald Knights.EXPAND
Emerald Knights.
Luis Perez

Mega Ran and Bag of Tricks Cat
Sequel albums in hip-hop can be a tricky thing. For every successful continuation, like Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 2 or Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter II, there’s crap like Onyx’s Bacdafucup Part II that never should have seen the light of day.

Local hip-hop artists Mega Ran and Bag of Tricks Cat hope their newest collaboration, the recently released Emerald Knights 2, falls into the first category. And they’ve got every reason to believe so, considering the critical and commercial success of the album’s predecessor, 2015’s Emerald Knights.

Decide for yourself when Ran and Cat perform tracks off the album at the Monarch Theatre, 122 East Washington Street, on Friday, June 22. Doors open at 8 p.m. and Dirt Squad and RoQy TyRaiD will open. Tickets are $10. See the Mega Ran website. Benjamin Leatherman

The Power of Punctuation
Need surefire ways to kill your chance of taking a budding romance from texting to sexting? Bad grammar and lousy spelling are a couple that might get you ghosted before you can ask what an Oxford comma is. In Natalie Margolin’s play, The Power of Punctuation, three friends spend late summer nights, fueled by booze, hovered around a white board analyzing the hell out of the romance-oriented texts they’ve received.

After developing a rigorous rating system, the trio collectively dissect each message. From tone and sentiment to speed of response, the texts are put through the wringer. See who makes the cut at 7:30 p.m. on June 22 at Space 55, 1524 North 18th Avenue. Tickets are $20. The show runs through July 1. Visit the Space55 website. Amy Young

Feeling the laser karaoke love.EXPAND
Feeling the laser karaoke love.
Arizona Science Center

Laser & Liquor
Britain’s Alan Parsons Project gave us their Eye in the Sky earworm back in the ’80s. Maybe you missed that whole scene, or you’re eager to relive it. Either way, the Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington Street, can set you up. They’re presenting laser light shows in their planetarium, complete with preshow karaoke, during Laser & Liquor starting at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 22. Fright Light, complete with a monster-theme medley, starts at 8 p.m. And Metallica, featuring several of that band’s hits, rolls at 9:30 p.m.

Admission is $10 per laser show, but bring money for cocktails and snacks, too. Visit the Arizona Science Center website. Lynn Trimble

A Beat at the Table
Ever wondered how flavor entwines with sound? If you have, you better get to A Beat at the Table, a dinner going down at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, at the Nile Theater, 105 West Main Street, Mesa.

The meal will feature five courses “paired with a soundtrack for the soul.” The way things work is that you get wireless headphones provided by your hosts, and these pump in tunes throughout your meal. You keep your headphones on the whole time. Yes, this means you can’t hear or talk to other diners (unless you know sign language). Tirzah Love, local private chef and caterer, will be hosting.

If you go, dress to impress. Tickets are $65 for individuals, $120 for couples, plus handling fees. Cocktails will be available at additional cost at the 21-and over event. Visit the Tirzah Love website or Eventbrite. Chris Malloy

From the last '90s night.EXPAND
From the last '90s night.
Benjamin Leatherman

Clueless Night Phoenix
Stay at home on a Saturday night and not go to Clueless Night Phoenix? Ugh, as if!

Bettys, Baldwins, Cake Boys, and Loadies are all welcome to party at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, to celebrate the classic film. DJ Jeffery will be spinning the Clueless soundtrack and late ’90s anthems. There will be a themed photobooth and free pins for the first 300 babes.

And you are totally buggin’ if you don’t think that you can dress up in your favorite ’90s outfits. Bonus points if you pick out your outfit using an outfit-picking program. Tickets are $13 via Ticketfly. Lindsay Roberts

Museum Yoga
Strolling to ogle art is a pretty chill activity. You can soak up the artsy surroundings while getting into an even deeper stage of relaxation at Museum Yoga. Hosted by the Rooted Community Yoga Project, this morning session takes place at a location on the Heard Museum’s campus and is open to all skill levels. After, you can take a look at all the things you didn’t see while in the lotus position. Breathe deep from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 23, at the Heard, 2301 North Central Avenue.

The class is $10 and includes museum admission. Registration is required. Call 602-252-8840 or visit the Heard Museum website. Amy Young

Phoenix Amplified Jazz Experience
His name was Prince, and like his own song said, he was funky. Though the Minneapolis sensation has passed away, his style and spirit are alive and ever-inspiring other musicians. Danny Kusz is one of ’em. The saxophonist’s jazz blend incorporates Prince’s funk grooves and other sounds from that region to create sharp and velvety jazz tunes. Neo-soul vocalist Tracy Cruz is also on the roster of the Phoenix Amplified Jazz Experience double bill, using her powerful voice to show why she took home the award for “Best Neo Soul Female” at last year’s Bay Area Black Music Awards.

The soulful sounds abound, starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Tickets are $35. Call 480-350-2822 or visit the Tempe Center for the Arts website. Amy Young

Bill Schenck brings the cowboy vibe.
Bill Schenck brings the cowboy vibe.
Mountain Shadows

Spirit of the West
Maybe Western art isn’t your thing, because you figure it’s all about spurs and lassos. Put those thoughts to pasture, then make your way to Mountain Shadows, 5445 East Lincoln Drive in Scottsdale. That’s where a lovely breezeway off the resort’s main lobby features an art gallery curated by Reyes Contemporary. Show up anytime on Sunday, June 24, to explore new takes on traditional Americana created by artists Fritz Scholder, Bill Schenck, Jim Rapp, and Richard Laugharn.

Gallery admission is free, and it’s a relaxing way to see artistic interpretations of the West you might have missed in your everyday travels. Visit the Mountain Shadows website. Lynn Trimble

City of Women

Forced to roller skate? It could happen. It is certainly part of the plot in Federico Fellini’s 1980 Italian comedy-drama, City of Women. Marcello Mastroianni plays main character Snàporaz, who follows a woman off a train after it stops abruptly. He loses the woman but winds up at a surrealistic feminist convention. There, he’s made to strap on some skates before getting surrounded by a group of women on wheels who demonstrate their opinions of men using a dummy. That’s just the start of the wacky trip. There’s parties, sleds, telekinesis, and hot air balloons. Most importantly, Snàporaz encounters several female characters who make him confront his attitude toward women.

The absurdity unravels at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 24, at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue. The movie is included in the general admission of $9 to $18; free for kids 5 and younger. Call 602-666-7104 or visit the Phoenix Art Museum website. Amy Young

Find your type.
Find your type.
Cameron Peacock

National Typewriter Day
It’s been 150 years since the U.S. Patent Office approved Christopher Latham Sholes, Carlos Glidden, and Samuel W. Soulé’s design for the typewriter. Since then, the once-ubiquitous office staple has transitioned from being an invaluable tool used by authors, musicians, and poets to bring their thoughts to life, to a relic more often seen gathering dust at your local Goodwill store. But for those who enjoy the nostalgic clack and bing of a carriage return, Changing Hands Phoenix is celebrating National Typewriter Day with a party. There will be demonstrations, discussions, and drink specials at their First Draft Bar.

Bring your white-out from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 24, at 300 West Camelback Road. This is a free event. For more information, visit the Changing Hands website. Jason Keil

See Ann Osgood's work at ASU Gammage.
See Ann Osgood's work at ASU Gammage.
Lynn Trimble

“Just Ten”
Wanting women to be a perfect 10 is old-school, at best. On the other hand, seeing work by Arizona’s accomplished women creatives never gets old. Typically, that means having to travel from gallery to gallery. But you can find works by 10 women artists in one place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Monday, June 25. It’s your last chance to see the free “Just Ten” exhibit at ASU Gammage, 1200 South Forest Avenue in Tempe.

It’s a mix of colorful abstract and realist works ranging from landscapes to figurative art. Featured artists include Laura Cohen-Hogan, Linda Farber, Dyanne Fiorucci, Sandy Garvey, Joyce Hergert, Barbara Bayless Lacy, Marnelle North, Ann Osgood, Beverly Robb, and Carolyn Tolliver. It’s best to call ahead before you go. Visit the ASU event page. Lynn Trimble

Drawing Night
Calling all casual doodlers, Van Goghs, and everyone in between. Everyone’s favorite late-night coffee joint is hosting a weekly drawing night. Cozy up with a cup of joe on the patio and mingle with other creative souls. Who knows, you may even score some free drawing lessons. Drop in to Jobot, 333 East Roosevelt Street, on Monday, June 25,and let your creativity flow.

The event is free, but you may want to bring some cash to enjoy some happy hour drinks or ice cream. For more information, visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts

Be Part of What You Love
Show your love for historic Grand Avenue during the free Be Part of What You Love event happening from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26, at ThirdSpace, 1028 Grand Avenue. You’ll get to hear guest speakers share their Grand Avenue stories, make a little something for a collaborative art project, and enjoy complimentary refreshments.

It’s a chance to meet fellow fans of Grand Avenue and learn more about how you can help the area filled with artist studios, historic buildings, street art, small businesses, art galleries, and other wonders thrive. And you can share your Grand Avenue tales, too. Visit the Facebook event page. Lynn Trimble

When tea time beats tee time.
When tea time beats tee time.
The Phoenician

Afternoon Tea
You say tee time, I say tea time. Golfing is all good and fine, but sometimes the day calls for a spot of tea. Head to The Phoenician, 6000 East Camelback Road, for afternoon tea from 2 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26. The summer special, which includes a trio of menu items plus your choice of traditional tea, is just $30 per person. It’s a chance to get a wee bit fancy, beat the heat, and nibble on daintier fare than your typical diet, while you catch up on conversation with treasured friends who join you.

Reservations are required. Visit the Phoenician website. Lynn Trimble

This is the greatest show.
This is the greatest show.
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Big Gay Sing-A-Long: The Greatest Showman
The Greatest Showman did not come close to getting a “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but don’t tell that to anyone who has seen it. The film became one of the surprise hits of last year thanks to its empowering musical numbers. If you found yourself resisting the urge to belt out “This Is Me” the third time you watched the Hugh Jackman film in the theater, now is your chance to let loose: The musical is the latest installment in FilmBar’s Big Gay Sing-A-Long series. Dress up as your favorite character and enjoy drink specials all night.

Visit the big top at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27, at 815 North Second Street. Admission is $14. For more information, visit the FilmBar website. Jason Keil

Laura Cohen-Hogan's take desert life.EXPAND
Laura Cohen-Hogan's take desert life.
Lynn Trimble

“Arizona’s Desert Beauty”
See how Arizona artists render Arizona’s high and low deserts in the “Arizona’s Desert Beauty” exhibit at Shemer Art Center, 5005 East Camelback Road. The art show features more than 45 works capturing desert landscapes, trees, plants, and flowers, created in fiber, bronze, colored pencil, photography, fused glass, and other media. Works were selected by Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Jack Dykinga.

Participating artists include Kimberly Harris, Shachi Kale, Jaime Glasser, Sue Hunter, Sandra Luehrsen, Alice Pelchat, Lauren Cohen-Hagan, and more. Check it out between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27. Admission is free but donations are welcome. Visit the Shermer Art Center website. Lynn Trimble

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