Lauren Henshen and Joseph Bates of Phoenix Center for the Arts, which is nominated for a Governor's Arts Award.
Lauren Henshen and Joseph Bates of Phoenix Center for the Arts, which is nominated for a Governor's Arts Award. Ben Arnold
Need plans? Go see John Mulaney, check out the annual Tour de Coops, or cheer on local creatives at the Governor's Arts Awards. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

2018 Governor’s Arts Awards
See the ways art works in Arizona during the 2018 Governor’s Arts Awards on Thursday, March 22. Co-presented by Arizona Citizens for the Arts and the office of Doug Ducey, this year’s ceremony runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Arizona Biltmore, 2400 East Missouri Avenue.

“This is the only statewide recognition honoring working artists in Arizona,” says Catherine Foley, executive director of the statewide arts advocacy group.

The awards also highlight contributions by organizations, educators, and supporters. Several dozen finalists are up for awards, including choreographer Liliana Gomez, Detour Company Theatre founder Sam, and PSA Art Awakenings, which operates the Warehouse 1005 studio and gallery space in Roosevelt Row. Two recipients — poet Alberto Rios and philanthropist Judith Hardes — have already been named.

Tickets are available online, and cost $250 for individuals. Visit the Arizona Citizens for the Arts website. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Shari Watts and Alison Campbell are far from tongue-tied in Gidion’s Knot. - JOHN GROSECLOSE
Shari Watts and Alison Campbell are far from tongue-tied in Gidion’s Knot.
John Groseclose
Gidion’s Knot
It’s sad when plays about horrible things become timely. Or more timely than they already were, which is the case with Gidion’s Knot, a script centering on a schoolchild who is indeterminate parts abuser and abused. (You might discern a parallel to the legendary Gordian Knot, which seemed impossible to untangle. Alexander the Great took a sword to it, which some think was cheating.)

As the play commences, Gidion’s mom sits down with his teacher to learn what they can from his actions. Perhaps all they can agree on is their guilt — because art, free speech, and how we can help each other endure are matters of endless debate.

Stray Cat Theatre’s production runs through Saturday, March 24, in a co-production with Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Showtime on Thursday, March 22, is 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $25 at 480-350-2822 or the Stray Cat Theatre website. Julie Peterson

click to enlarge Get ready to rock. - ROSE TORRES
Get ready to rock.
Rose Torres
Scorpius Dance Theatre is best known for its sexy take on vampires. But for the returning show ROCK, artistic director Lisa Starry has choreographed pieces to rock music from the ’90s and 2000s.

The production takes audiences through a range of emotions and explores deeper topics such as destructive relationships. All 17 troupe members, including veteran and emerging dancers, will take part in the performance, which will include rock-infused lyra, silks, and aerial hammock numbers.

ROCK runs from Thursday through Saturday, March 22 to 24, at Phoenix Theatre’s Hormel Theatre, 100 East McDowell Road. Tickets start at $25. For more information, call 602-254-2151 or visit the Scorpius Dance website. Laura Latzko

John Mulaney
John Mulaney knows the art of the rebound. You can find the former Saturday Night Live writer and erstwhile network sitcom star on Netflix with Nick Kroll. The pair star in the adult animated comedy Big Mouth and Oh, Hello On Broadway, in which they play disturbing and hilarious seniors with a public access show titled Too Much Tuna. Mulaney and Kroll have hosted the Film Independent Spirit Awards twice now. And this year, they made headlines taking digs at Harvey Weinstein and Brett Ratner.

Mulaney is currently touring his show Kid Gorgeous, which mixes hilarious personal stories from the comedian’s life with bits of topical humor. Showtime is 8 p.m. on Friday, March 23, at Comerica Theatre, 400 West Washington Street. Tickets are $38.50. For more information, visit the Comerica Theatre website. Jason Keil

Markus Schulz
The Valley’s nightlife scene has produced its fair share of superstar DJs over the years. Besides old-school cats like Z-Trip and Eddie Amador, both of whom were staples of local clubs back in the ’90s, there are more recent success stories like Mija, Bijou, and Ghastly.

Markus Schulz, however, tops ‘em all. Long before the trance mixmaster became one of the highest-paid DJs in the world and a regular at high-profile festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival and Ultra, he was honing his craft at raves and club gigs around town (including a residency at the old Scottsdale nightspot The Works).

On Friday, March 23, Schulz returns to the Valley for a gig at Maya Day & Nightclub, 7333 East Indian Plaza in Scottsdale, in support of his latest album, Dakota: The Nine Skies. Doors open at 10 p.m. and local DJs Danny Stephen and Munition will open. Admission is $10. See Steve Lee Entertainment website. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Joshua Murphy plays Hotspur (a.k.a. Sir Henry Percy) in Henry IV, Part I. - LAURA DURANT
Joshua Murphy plays Hotspur (a.k.a. Sir Henry Percy) in Henry IV, Part I.
Laura Durant
Henry IV, Part I
William Shakespeare knew enough to throw us a bone by giving fictional characters with distinctive names. In the histories, though, accurate names are obligatory, giving us multiple dudes named Edward. Or Richard. Or Henry. That’s one of many reasons you should see the works staged live — for example, Southwest Shakespeare Company’s production of Henry IV, Part I through Saturday, April 7.

No two of the cast members share so much DNA that you’ll have trouble telling Henry the king from Henry his son or Henry their enemy. And unlike nowadays, numerous people craved the throne of England, so the story’s action-packed and conflict-ridden. The play also introduces Falstaff, the young prince’s hedonistic wingman and one of the great characters of the English drama.

Showtime on opening night, Friday, March 23, is 7:30 p.m. at Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street. Tickets are $29 to $47 at the Southwest Shakespeare Company website or 480-644-6500. Julie Peterson

click to enlarge Mikail Morgan, Age 16, Na’hookos Bi’aadii (Northern Female), Watercolor/ Pen, 2017 (detail). - HEARD MUSEUM GUILD
Mikail Morgan, Age 16, Na’hookos Bi’aadii (Northern Female), Watercolor/ Pen, 2017 (detail).
Heard Museum Guild
2018 American Indian Student Art Show & Sale
Show your support for young emerging artists from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, March 23, when the Heard Museum Guild presents a free public preview for its 2018 American Indian Student Art Show & Sale. The event features traditional and fine art made by students in grades seven through 12. All hail from Native communities, primarily in Arizona and New Mexico.

“Many schools don’t have art programs, so this gives kids an avenue for making and showing artwork,” guild volunteer Jane Przeslica says. “Several past participants have become established artists who show and sell their work at Heard Museum fairs.”

Sales start the next day and run through Monday, March 26, at the Heard, 2301 North Central Avenue. Visit the Heard Museum website. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge B-B-Q. - COURTESY OF HDE AGENCY
courtesy of HDE Agency
Great American Beer and Barbecue Festival
You’ll have plenty of saucy, chewy items to sink your teeth into when more than 40 pit masters convene to showcase signature barbecued meats. Those carnivorous delights are only one component of the annual Great American Beer and Barbecue Festival. Beer is the other, obviously.

But boozy drinks won’t be limited to the hops-oriented. This year, spirits like vodka and bourbon are in the mix. Country music acts will serve up entertainment on two stages. The headliner is Rodney Atkins, known for his No. 1 hit “Yours.” Bands Honeygirl and Pick and Holler also will keep the festival crowd revved up.

This saucy party runs from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 24, at 178 East Commonwealth Avenue in Chandler. Tickets are $10 to $20. Kids 12 and younger get in free. A VIP pass is $175. Visit the Chandler BBQ website. Amy Young

Michael Rincon/
Phoenix Rising vs. OKC Energy
Given the impressive manner in which the Phoenix Rising finished last season, the team has some lofty goals for 2018. The team have an ambitious preseason, including games against MLS teams. That’s only served to galvanize an already formidable USL team — and lend some daunting credibility to their “championship or bust” mentality.

There’s a lot to like about the Valley’s premier soccer team. Here’s hoping their moniker continues being more prescient than predictable. Catch the Rising’s home opener against the OKC Energy at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 24, at Scottsdale’s Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex, 751 North McClintock Drive. Tickets are $17 and up. Visit the Phoenix Rising website or call 602-900-0083 for details. Rob Kroehler

click to enlarge Peach, plum, and apricot trees are in bloom. - AIRI KATSUTA PHOTOGRAPHY
Peach, plum, and apricot trees are in bloom.
Airi Katsuta Photography
Haru in the Garden
At the Japanese Friendship Garden, spring is a time of renewal, when colorful peach, plum, and apricot trees are in bloom. Celebrate the season during Haru in the Garden, an Asian fusion cultural festival that runs from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 24.

Expect pink and white lanterns scattered throughout the garden, 1125 North Third Avenue, and an installation of flower art resembling cherry blossom trees. The festival will highlight different styles of music and dance, including jazz, flamenco, taiko drumming, and traditional music on Chinese string instruments. The tea garden will offer matcha cappuccino, Shakuhachi flute music, and an antique Chirimen doll exhibition.

Tickets cost $25 to $30 for general admission, $5 for children 3 to 12, and free for children younger than 3. For more information, see the Japanese Friendship Garden website. Laura Latzko

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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
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
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
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