The 20 Best Things to Do This Week in Metro Phoenix

The kids are not all right in bare: a pop opera.
The kids are not all right in bare: a pop opera. Laura Durant
This week, Phoenix is all things artsy. There are opportunities to unleash your inner artist, whether it's creating a collage with Cut + Paste PHX, rocking the karaoke stage with a live band, or having a chat with Phoenix artist Patricia Sannit. For more things to do, see our curated calendar of events.

bare: a pop opera
Romeo and Juliet is the English language’s benchmark for teenage repression and rebellion. No wonder other stories mesh with it. West Side Story and High School Musical keep the basic storyline, as does the Royal Shakespeare Company’s recent, ephemeral Such Tweet Sorrow.

In Jon Hartmere and Damon Intrabartolo’s bare: a pop opera, presented by Nearly Naked Theatre through Saturday, June 17, high school students struggle with coming out, drugs, sex, and love, while rehearsing and performing Romeo and Juliet. The parallels work to illuminate both scripts, and the music reinforces the emotional peaks and fleshes out the characters.

Unconvinced? Well, you kinda have to see a play whose composer also wrote Ann E. Wrecksick and the Odyssey of the Bulimic Orphans.

Showtime is 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 1, at Phoenix Theatre, 100 East McDowell Road. Prices start at $22 but may increase with demand. Call 602-254-2151 or visit the Phoenix Theatre website. Julie Peterson

Live Band Karaoke
Do you love doing karaoke so much that you don’t care whether the crowd is laughing with you or at you? Either way, if you’re having fun, you might as well go full rock star and try it out with a live band behind you.

The Instant Classics are a local rock outfit who host Live Band Karaoke, a regular event that allows them to show off how deep their catalog of cover tunes goes. With hundreds of songs to pick from, surely there’s a song in there that you’re ready to take the lead on. Grab the mic at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 1, at Copper Blues, 50 West Jefferson Street, on the second floor of CityScape. Admission is free. Call 480-719-5005 or visit the Copper Blues website. Amy Young

click to enlarge Roma if you want to: The Tamburitzans kick out the jams in the finale of  “Jubilee.” - THE TAMBURITZANS/RICK ARMSTRONG
Roma if you want to: The Tamburitzans kick out the jams in the finale of “Jubilee.”
The Tamburitzans/Rick Armstrong
Tamburitzans’ "Jubilee”
You’re saying you can’t pack a bag and visit the Balkans yourself? It’s okay. Really. The 80-year-old Tamburitzans troupe tours folkloric music and dance of multiple cultures through the U.S. and abroad. Part of Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University since 1937, the group of local college students became independent last year for development reasons.

American cities boast beaucoup pockets of profound ethnic diversity, and the ’Burgh’s no exception, with descendants of 12 nations in this season’s Tamburitzans. Old hands at the lightning costume changes that are currently so trendy, the kids travel with 400 or 500 outfits.

The Tamburitzans’ “Jubilee” production blazes through Mesa Arts Center, One East Main Street, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 1. Tickets are $30 and $35 at the Mesa Arts Center website or 480-644-6500. Julie Peterson

click to enlarge Get ready for Literally the Worst thing you'll ever see - COURTESY OF ANWAR NEWTON
Get ready for Literally the Worst thing you'll ever see
Courtesy of Anwar Newton
Literally the Worst Show Ever Vol. 14
The 14th of something is hard to promote. It’s not the inaugural, but it’s already in the double digits, and so close to 15. That’s where the comedians behind Literally the Worst Show Ever Vol. 14 find themselves.

Local comedy hero Anwar Newton, producer Dan Thomson, and house band Killer Cam & Those Guys Over There will present a show stacked with comedians including Derek McFarland, Jill Kimmel, Chris Thayer, and Jericho Davidson.

The show runs from 8 to 11 p.m. on Friday, June 2, at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. Doors open at 7:30. Tickets for the 21-and-over event are $20 at the door or $15 in advance at For more information, see the Facebook event page. Lauren Cusimano

Detail of Laura Dragon’s portrait by Jon Wassom. - JON WASSOM
Detail of Laura Dragon’s portrait by Jon Wassom.
Jon Wassom
“Heart of the Dragon”
When gallerist Laura Dragon announced that she has cancer, artists rallied around her. Several dozen donated work for an exhibition and art auction, which takes place from 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday, June 2, to benefit Dragon. It’s happening at {9} The Gallery, 1229 Grand Avenue. Dragon founded the art space, where she’s shown work by hundreds of artists for the past five years. She’s also co-founder of a studio and gallery space called Grand ArtHaus.

Participating artists for the “Heart of the Dragon” show include Joe Holdren, Lauren Lee, Jon Wassom, Niki Woehler, and Yuko Yabuki. Some are donating new work created just for the silent auction. In Yabuki’s case, she’s drawing a dragon to support the cause. But take note, bidding closes at 9 p.m. Every dollar raised will go toward helping Dragon with medical expenses. The free event also includes live music, small bites, and beverages. Visit the {9} The Gallery website. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Rick Davis is Macbeth. - HEATHER BUTCHER
Rick Davis is Macbeth.
Heather Butcher
Ever mentally sort your friends into categories? Like “probably won’t ever kill anyone” and “given their current path, will eventually have to kill someone”? Okay, maybe that’s just us. Then there are people who, like characters in a crime show, wind up having to kill over and over, tipping those dominoes, helpless in the face of gravity.

That plot element — over-the-top gory yet hyper-logical — has helped make Shakespeare’s Macbeth a blockbuster ever since its 1606 premiere. Sitting safely in the audience, unable to look away from the Scottish carnage, you observe an epic loss of control by a guy who was probably pretty nice to begin with. Magic, marriage, and madness provide something for everyone at Desert Stages Theatre through Sunday, June 4.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 2, at 4720 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $22 to $28 at the Desert Stages' website or 480-483-1664. Julie Peterson

click to enlarge Collage Vibes, created by Kristl Cherie Chavez during a Cut + Paste PHX event. - CUT + PASTE PHX
Collage Vibes, created by Kristl Cherie Chavez during a Cut + Paste PHX event.
Cut + Paste PHX
Cut + Paste PHX
Maybe kindergarten was the last time anyone trusted you with paste and scissors. You could try years of therapy, but there’s an easier way to move past it. Go to Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue, for the next Cut + Paste PHX collage event, where you can use all the paste and scissors your little heart desires. Basically, it’s a modern-day equivalent of bygone bridge clubs or bowling nights. And it’s simple to take part, because the Cut + Paste crew provides all the supplies.

It’s happening from 6 to 9 p.m. on First Friday, June 2. While you’re there, check out the “Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera” exhibition for just $7, and get a little inspiration from Kahlo’s collage work. Visit the Heard website. Lynn Trimble

Live And Let Die: A Tribute to the Music of Paul McCartney
With and beyond his work with The Beatles, Paul McCartney bridged the gap between orchestral and pop music. It only seems fitting, then, that the Phoenix Symphony would accompany a rock quartet, led by singer and McCartney look-alike Tony Kishman, through the pioneering singer-songwriter’s popular back catalog. Titled Live And Let Die: A Tribute to the Music of Paul McCartney, the show has received raves from music directors and audiences alike for interpretations of “Hey Jude” and “Maybe I’m Amazed.”

The magical mystery tour of McCartney’s music takes the stage on Friday and Saturday, June 2 and 3, at Symphony Hall, 75 North Second Street. Tickets start at $33. Showtime is at 7:30 p.m. both evenings, with a 2 p.m. matinee on June 3. Visit the Phoenix Symphony website or call 602-495-1999. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Way better than a Trump rally. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Way better than a Trump rally.
Benjamin Leatherman
Lucha Libre
Grandstanding, false bravado, body slams, and grown men taunting one another? Nope, we aren’t talking about a Trump rally, but something that’s actually fun.

It’s a night of live Lucha Libre wrestling, and these masked marauders need you there to cheer them on as they engage in spirited bouts. The battles are announced by Tony ‘Le Tigre and include wrestlers Chris Evans, Chano Cota, Fox Stars, Lord Drako, Krazy Fly, The Prophet, and Red Miracle. Revved-up rock and rollers Grave Danger provide some high-fueled live musical entertainment, and DJ Nico delivers the recorded sounds. Catch the action at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 3, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Admission is $12; $20 for ringside seats. Call 602-716-2222 or visit the Crescent Ballroom website. Amy Young

click to enlarge During Floo-id Yoga’s Glow with the Flow sessions, practitioners can wear glow-in-the-dark paint and bracelets while practicing poses. - KARLI HORNER
During Floo-id Yoga’s Glow with the Flow sessions, practitioners can wear glow-in-the-dark paint and bracelets while practicing poses.
Karli Horner
Glow with the Flow
“Yoga” and “nightlife” might sound mutually exclusive, but they don’t have to be. At Floo-id Yoga’s Glow with the Flow sessions on the first Saturday of every month, you can practice your poses in a room glowing with black lights while listening to upbeat music and wearing glow-in-the-dark bracelets, paint, and necklaces.

The classes are rooted in vinyasa, which involves flowing movement between poses and controlled breathing techniques. Each class is an hour long and costs $20 for drop-ins. The studio offers a special introductory rate of two weeks for $30 and monthly unlimited access for $119. The next class is from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 3, at 7077 East Mayo Boulevard, #130. Call 480-515-9642 or visit Floo-id Yoga website. Laura Latzko

click to enlarge D'oh-n't miss out. - FOX
D'oh-n't miss out.
Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi Con Classic Simpsons Trivia
You know all that useless information that’s piled up in your head? Like the fact that Matt Groening got many Simpsons characters’ last names from street names in Portland, Oregon, or how Michael Jackson co-wrote “Do The Bartman”? Turns out, these factoids are no longer useless. And you can use them to your advantage during The Coronado’s Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi Con Classic Simpsons Trivia. This pub-style trivia event kicks off Saturday, June 3, from 8 to 10 p.m at 2201 North Seventh Street. The event is free. For more information visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts

Read on for more of the best events this week — including ThirdSpace's anniversary and the Girls Rock! Phoenix showcase.
click to enlarge The band BowCat will be performing at the ThirdSpace Third Anniversary. - COURTESY OF ARIZONA MOONSTOMP
The band BowCat will be performing at the ThirdSpace Third Anniversary.
Courtesy of Arizona Moonstomp
ThirdSpace Third Anniversary
If your wardrobe includes any items that might classify you as a “Rude Boy” or “Beat Girl,” then you already have your outfit and mindset for the ThirdSpace Third Anniversary.

The café meets coffee shop meets bar meets music venue at 1028 Grand Avenue will host local ska, funk, rocksteady, and soul band BowCat for a night of ska-centric music. Expect bands, DJs, dancing, drinks, and probably some neat hairdos.

The anniversary bash runs from 8 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, June 3. Entry is $5 at the door, and entertainment includes the L.A.-based Angel City Revue Records Revue, Mama Melody, and Phoenix City Sound System. For more information, call 602-258-1536 or see the Facebook event page. Lauren Cusimano

click to enlarge During the Girls Rock! Phoenix Summer Camp Showcase, girls ages 8 to 17 will perform. - KRISTI WIMMER
During the Girls Rock! Phoenix Summer Camp Showcase, girls ages 8 to 17 will perform.
Kristi Wimmer
Girls Rock! Phoenix Summer Camp Showcase
During the Girls Rock! Phoenix Summer Camp Showcase, local girls will have the chance to show off their powerful vocals and musical chops after a week-ong summer camp. Leading up to the performance, summer camp participants form bands, write original music, learn new instruments, practice together, collaborate, and bond with fellow female musicians. Featuring 42 girls between the ages of 8 and 17, the second annual showcase will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 4 at the Trunk Space, 1124 North Third Street. A $5 donation is suggested. Find out more the Girl's Rock website. Laura Latzko

Outliars Fifth Annual Improv Fest
Events you can set your watch to help put a little dent in the chaos of life. When it’s something that involves improv comedy, even better. Leave the spontaneity to the performers.

This year’s Outliars Fifth Annual Improv Fest features Paul Brittain and Andy St. Clair. The former of these two stand-up comedians was a Saturday Night Live cast member from 2010 through 2012 and has also appeared on the talk show parody program Comedy Bang! Bang! St. Clair has written for several humorous shows, including Dr. Ken, where he also appeared in a couple of episodes.

The fest of fun begins at 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 4, at Tempe Improv, 930 East University Drive. Admission is $20 for the 18-and-over event. A two-drink minimum is required. Call 480-921-9877 or visit the Tempe Improv website. Amy Young

The Last Picture Show
Forty-four years ago, the Phoenix city attorney declared the ground-breaking film The Last Picture Show obscene, thanks to a skinny-dipping scene featuring both male and female nudity. To be fair, the screening was reportedly playing at a drive-in theater, but the controversial ruling cemented director Peter Bogdanovich’s coming-of-age classic — based on the Larry McMurtry novel — as one of the films that ushered in the gritty realism of 1970s cinema. Join Arizona State University film professor Joe Fortunato in an analysis of the movie that made stars of Jeff Bridges and Cybil Shepherd and made our desert metropolis collectively blush.

FilmBar Film School returns on Monday, June 5, at 815 North Second Street. Admission is $9. Visit the Film Bar website. Jason Keil

Songs from the B Side
It’s called Lunchtime Theater, but sometimes it happens in the evening. That’s the case on this day for the performance of Songs from the B Side. The rest of the show’s run has a midday time slot.

Produced by Annie Moscow, this show is about 45 RPM vinyl records, also known as singles. It focuses on great songs that never became big hits because they were designated for the B-side of the record, often considered a throwaway track from an album. The A-side was reserved for hits only. Hear the flip side at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 5, at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Admission is $6. The show runs through Thursday, June 15. Call 602-252-8497 or visit the Herberger Theater website. Amy Young

click to enlarge See Robert Motherwell’s The Blue Door (1973) at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. - LYNN TRIMBLE
See Robert Motherwell’s The Blue Door (1973) at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
Lynn Trimble
“[dis]functional: Products of Conceptual Design”
What do wine, chewed gum, a lawnmower, and an emu egg have in common? They’re all part of a new exhibition called “[dis]functional: Products of Conceptual Design,” which explores the porous border between art and design. Other intriguing materials include roses, a Geiger counter, felt hats, combs, chamomile, sand, and casters.

Several Arizona artists are part of the mix, as are renowned artists Louise Nevelson and Robert Motherwell. Collectively, they touch on subjects ranging from commerce to the irony of politics. And they’ll likely change the way you think about everyday objects, from chairs to cardboard boxes.

See the exhibition between noon and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6, at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street. It’s on view through Sunday, September 24. Museum admission is $10. Visit the SMoCA website. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Watch the Diamondbacks take on the Padres. - JIM LOUVAU
Watch the Diamondbacks take on the Padres.
Jim Louvau
Arizona Diamondbacks versus San Diego Padres
Major League Baseball’s regular season is 162 games. That’s a lot of peanuts and Cracker Jack. Heck, that’s probably more than the number of times your weird aunt invites you to play Candy Crush on Facebook each year.
Point is, there are still a lot of innings left to be played for the Arizona Diamondbacks, but so far, so good. The team have weathered the season’s early storms admirably, including a season-ending injury for starting pitcher Shelby Miller, and they’ve sat comfortably above .500 pretty much all season. An upcoming homestand against the putrid Padres —seriously, their point differential is atrocious — bodes well for the snakes as they set their distant sights on the postseason.

The San Diego Padres visit Chase Field, 401 East Jefferson Street, at 6:40 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6. Tickets are $15 and up. Visit the Diamondbacks website or call 602-514-8400 for details. Rob Kroehler

Western Wednesdays
What defines the Old West? Is it brazen outlaws and heroic sheriffs, rugged cowboys and cowgirls, westbound journeys on the Oregon Trail, or is it skilled Native American artisans?

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West’s Western Wednesdays series explores the different sides of the Old West with interactive programming that includes historian lectures, hands-on covered-wagon making, pioneer-themed bingo, burlap journal-making, a “stolen” saddle-bag hunt, Western-themed painting sessions, lasso-making and throwing, bead-making, and basket-weaving.

During the series, attendees can learn more about the lives of ranchers and cowboys, Native American art and culture, and what it was really like traveling the Oregon Trail. The series takes place every Wednesday in June at 1 p.m. at 3830 North Marshall Way. Admission is $5 for those 6 and older, and it’s free for children 5 and younger. Call 480-686-9539 or visit Scottsdale Museum of the West's website. Laura Latzko

click to enlarge Phoenix artist Patricia Sannit surrounded by ceramics in her studio. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Phoenix artist Patricia Sannit surrounded by ceramics in her studio.
Lynn Trimble
Patricia Sannit
Phoenix artist Patricia Sannit says her most important tools are her hands. It makes sense, because that’s what she uses to shape and mark ceramic forms, before layering them into sculptures that channel the intersection of cultures throughout human history.

She’ll talk about her work at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central, at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 7. It’s part of a free evening with a museum support organization called Contemporary Forum, which recognizes mid-career artists in Arizona who exhibit sustained excellence in their work. Sannit received the top honor, the Arlene and Morton Scult Contemporary Forum Artist Award, in 2016.

Stick around after Sannit’s talk to learn who the organization is honoring this year. Then check out an exhibition of works by Sannit — as well as 2016 grant winners David Emitt Adams, Christine Cassano, Bryan David Griffith, Constance McBride, and Mary Meyer. Space is limited, so visit the Phoenix Art Museum's website for reservations. Lynn Trimble

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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.
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