Claudio Dicochea, whose "Acid Baroque" exhibit is showing at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, places real people in his artwork for social commentary.
Claudio Dicochea, whose "Acid Baroque" exhibit is showing at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, places real people in his artwork for social commentary. Courtesy of the artist and Lisa Sette Gallery
Why be bored when there is so much to do? This week you can see the epic Les Misérables, eat your heart out at the Bacon and Beer Classic, and go see a very special edition of Bar Flies. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

Claudio Dicochea
Claudio Dicochea’s “Acid Baroque” is one of this season’s must-see exhibits. It’s filled with poignant yet playful mashups of pop culture with history, politics, science, and a host of human foibles. Now you can meet the artist, who’s represented by Lisa Sette Gallery, and hear him talk about his work. Dicochea is doing a free artist talk at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 10.

You can explore his work while you’re there, which features real people and fictional characters such as Ronald Reagan, Bambi’s bunny pal Thumper, Michael Jackson, and Lewis Carroll’s Alice. They’re all part of the artist’s exploration of race, colonialism, national identity, and fandom. “Acid Baroque” continues through Sunday, May 20. Visit the SMoCA website. Lynn Trimble

Bar Flies
It’s that time of month again. That’s right, the famous Phoenix New Times’ reading series Bar Flies is back on Thursday, May 10.

At 7 p.m., Elly Finzer, Julia Fournier, Jennifer Longdon, Leah Mapstead, Robrt L. Pela, and Deborah Sussman will be sharing their special stories, curated by Amy Silverman. New Times contributor Amy Young will be providing the soundtrack for the evening.

What’s so special about these stories? You will just have to head down to the basement of Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue, and see for yourself. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 via Ticketfly. Lindsay Roberts

Thunder from Down Under
While the outback and kangaroos are enough to create Australian intrigue, it’s a much flashier package — or set of packages — that has grabbed the attention of many: the Thunder from Down Under dance troupe. Whether they’re doing a Las Vegas show or taking their act around the world, the group’s popularity has been on the rise since they started in 1991. These oiled-up and barely dressed dudes have been heating up full houses, moving their buff bods through erotic, flashy dance routines.

Come for the choreography and stay for the muscular biology at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 10 at Talking Stick Resort, 9800 East Talking Stick Way in Scottsdale. Tickets are $25, $300 for a table, and $400 for the Bubbly VIP Experience. Amy Young

Fly by Night
Ever wondered what Romeo and Juliet would be like if the Shakespearean tragedy was a lot more cynical and featured rock music? And no, we aren’t talking about West Side Story.

The Brelby Theatre presents Fly by Night, a toe-tapping rock musical that combines all the forbidden romance of Romeo and Juliet, but with a lot more biting comedy. Perfect for date night for the most sarcastic couple.

Go see the dark comedy in action at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 11, at 7154 North 58th Drive in Glendale. Tickets are $25 at the website. Lindsay Roberts

DeFrancesco + The People
The jazz organ? It wasn’t very popular until Joey DeFrancesco began pumping the keys of his vintage Hammond a few decades back. The 47-year-old got his first record contract at age 16 and has been performing and recording ever since. DeFrancesco + The People will play two shows at The Nash on Friday, May 11, featuring his Grammy-nominated CD release Project Freedom.

The four-time Grammy nominee has toured or recorded with artists like Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Diana Krall, and George Benson. The shows start at 7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. at 110 East Roosevelt Street. VIP tickets are $250 each for the early show, which includes a $160 donation to The Nash Education programs. General tickets start at $40. Order at the Nash website. Stuart Warner

click to enlarge Colin Chillag, Family Portrait, 2017, oil on canvas, 60 x 72 inches. - COURTESY OF MESA CONTEMPORARY ARTS MUSEUM
Colin Chillag, Family Portrait, 2017, oil on canvas, 60 x 72 inches.
Courtesy of Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum
Fantastic Planet
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum celebrates figurative art this season, with several exhibitions showing diverse takes on the human form — and the human condition. The official opening reception happens at Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street, from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, May 11. The free event includes a large-scale installation of illuminated humanoid figures called Fantastic Planet, created by Australian artist Amanda Parer. But you can also enjoy live music by the Jaime Cortez Band, plus light refreshments and a cash bar.

The exhibition lineup includes “Adventure and Control” featuring works by Rachel Bess, “It Is Important to Be Nobody” featuring works by Colin Chillag, and “Life & Death Portraits” featuring work by Marilyn Szabo. They’re all based in metro Phoenix. There’s also a group show called “We the People,” which includes works in diverse media by contemporary American artists. Plus, you’ll see wry, whimsical ceramics by Patti Warashina. Visit the Mesa Arts Center website. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Stiletto embellished by Kathy Cano Murillo for Chingona Soles 2018. - PHOTO: DANIEL ROBLES
Stiletto embellished by Kathy Cano Murillo for Chingona Soles 2018.
Photo: Daniel Robles
Chingona Soles Annual Art and Fashion Show
See how professional artists and designers transform black stiletto pumps into works of art, as Torres Multicultural Communications presents its Chingona Soles Annual Art and Fashion Show at Luna Culture Lab, 803 East Washington Street. It’s happening from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, May 11. Admission is free, but wear your nice duds.

The evening includes an auction of decorated stilettos, including some created by elected officials and community leaders. Proceeds benefit Los Diablos, the Latino chapter for ASU’s alumni association. There’s also a fashion show featuring local designs. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton will be there (wearing flats, we suspect), as will city councilmember Kate Gallego. Odds are, everyone will want to run home and paint a pair of shoes after the shindig. Visit the Luna Culture Lab website. Lynn Trimble

Phoenix Mercury v. Seattle Storm
Phoenix and Seattle are two cities whose dramatic climates are probably too often topics of conversation. Weather has also been conjured when creating names for their respective WNBA teams: our home team, the Mercury, and the visitors, the Storm. When these players hit the court, it will be skills that everyone cares about, not temperatures or rainfall amounts. This is the second of two preseason battles between the teams.

Get an early look at the Mercury’s 22nd season at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. Tickets start at $11. Visit the Talking Stick Resort website. Amy Young

Peach Pop-Up and U-Pick
Peaches will be the laser focus of the Peach Pop-Up and U-Pick coming to Agritopia from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 12. The urban farm in Gilbert will be inviting people to pick their own fruit for $3 per pound.

Sounds like a party, yes, for there’s nothing like chomping into juicy peaches in a field on a sunny day. This event, though, goes next level. The sweet, orange-fleshed star will be showcased in other peachy ways.
Iconic Cocktail Co. will be distributing peach-sour sodas. SEE SALT and Tempe-based caterer Chef Phoenix will incorporate peaches into various concoctions. Finally, M&J Chocolate Couture (based in Gilbert) will be passing out “chocolate creations.”

For more information, visit the Facebook event page. Chris Malloy

click to enlarge See "Pompeii: The Exhibition" throughout May at the Arizona Science Center. - COPYRIGHT EXHIBITIONS INTERNATIONAL
See "Pompeii: The Exhibition" throughout May at the Arizona Science Center.
Copyright Exhibitions International
"Pompeii: The Exhibition"
"Pompeii: The Exhibition" transports visitors to the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius over the ancient Roman city in 79 A.D. In addition to the 4-D simulation of the disaster, there are displays of preserved artifacts that were buried under the layers of ash.

“There is a level of reverence that comes over you when you see the body casts,” says Chevy Humphrey, President, and CEO of the Arizona Science Center. “It reminds you that we are powerless over nature. You get chills because that could be you.”

See the devastation before time runs out on Saturday, May 12, with timed entry from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 600 East Washington Street. Adult tickets are $18. For more information, visit the AZ Science website. Jason Keil

Coffee & Crime Book Club
True crime has been having a major pop culture moment, and we are here for it. Mindhunter? Binged in one sitting. Golden State Killer? Fully obsessed. My Favorite Murder? SSDGM is our life motto. And we’re definitely not alone. If anything, it’s become apparent that a lot of other people share our “creepy” interests.

If you’re looking to mix things up a little, consider joining the Coffee & Crime Book Club. Hosted by Scottsdale’s The Poisoned Pen, the monthly gathering assembles voracious readers who very well might have spent hours in the EAR/ONS Reddit, too. On Saturday, May 12, they will meet up to discuss A Curious Beginning, the new novel from Deanna Raybourn, who’s best known for penning the Lady Julia Grey mystery series.

Bring your theories and insights to 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard, #101, Scottsdale, at 10:30 a.m. See the Poisoned Pen website for details or call 480-947-2974. Becky Bartkowski

click to enlarge We know you still love the song Pony by Ginuwine. - PHOTO BY GSQUARED EVENTS
We know you still love the song Pony by Ginuwine.
Photo by GSquared Events
'90s Block Party Tour
R&B musicians and groups of the ’90s made a whole generation of people want to dance, party, get romantic or jam out in their car. The ’90s Block Party tour on Saturday, May 12, will bring a little taste of ’90s to the Valley with R&B, hip hop, and soul group Guy, best known for “I Like,” “Round and Round (Merry Go ‘Round of Love),” “Teddy’s Jam” and “Groove Me.” The concert also has 112 of “Peaches and Cream” and “It’s Over Now” fame; “Pony” and “In Those Jeans” singer Ginuwine; “Where the Party At” and “He Can’t Love U” group Jagged Edge; and Next of “Too Close” and “Butta Lova” fame.

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at Comerica Theatre, 400 West Washington Street. Tickets run from $59.50 to $195.50. For more information, call 602-379-2800 or go to G-Squared Events website. Laura Latzko

Scottsdale Bacon and Beer Classic
Like bacon? Like beer? This weekend, a festival aggressively devoted to the two best words that begin with “B” will be blitzing Scottsdale Stadium, 7408 East Osborn Road. On Saturday, May 12, the Scottsdale Bacon and Beer Classic will kick off with more than 50 regional beers and 20-plus dishes featuring bacon. There will be all kinds of beer-and-bacon-themed events as well, including a beer blind-taste test, a bacon-eating contest, lawn games, and more.

General admission costs $55 and gets you all the bacon you can eat, and all the craft beer you can fit in your stomach. Gates open at 1 p.m. Visit the Bacon and Beer Classic website. Chris Malloy

The Sound of Music
Alamo Drafthouse, classic movies, singing to famous songs, your mom. If these are a few of your favorite things, you are in luck. The Sound of Music is coming to Alamo Drafthouse, 4955 South Arizona Avenue, Chandler on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13. Say so long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye to any bad ideas you were planning to celebrate with your mother, and sing “Do, re, mi.” along with Maria and the von Trapp children. Just not in the theater, since Alamo has a quiet-zone policy.

It’s not just a movie screening, though. You can combine your love for your mother with brunch. The movie, screening at 1 p.m., will have a specific brunch menu with wine pairings. The hills will be alive with the sound of your mom being wine-drunk. Head over to the Alamo Drafthouse website to see what’s on the menu. Dillon Rosenblatt

Arizona Diamondbacks v. Milwaukee Brewers
Arizona Diamondbacks fans may get to see one of the hottest pitchers in baseball when the Milwaukee Brewers come to town for a three-game series May 14-16. On April 30, lefthander Josh Hader did what no pitcher had done before, striking out eight of nine batters in a relief appearance against the Cincinnati Reds. Hader entered May with 39 strikeouts in only 18 innings of pitching. Of course, he usually only comes into a game when the Brewers are ahead, so the D-backs can keep him in the bullpen the entire series at Chase Field if they just score a lot of runs first.

The May 14 and 15 games at Chase Field, 401 East Jefferson Street start at 6:40 p.m. and first pitch for the May 16 contest is 12:40 p.m. Tickets start at $13. Go to the Diamondbacks website. Stuart Warner

Yoga Sutras Class
If you are a long-time yoga lover, it’s time to study up to improve your yoga game at Sutra Midtown, 2317 North Seventh Street.

On Monday, May 14, the yoga gods and goddesses will be teaching an entire introductory course on the Yoga Sutras or the roots of yoga. This philosophical lecture workshop will navigate the foundational traditions of yoga including the Eight Limbs of Yoga and Karma Yoga.

If you are down (ward dog), this course is open to the public and starts at 6:30 p.m. You can enroll for the $30 course at the Sutra Studios website. Lindsay Roberts

click to enlarge Explore the interplay between humans and nature. - PHOTO BY ALEXANDER IZILIAEV
Explore the interplay between humans and nature.
Photo by Alexander Iziliaev
The illuminated movements of trained ballet dancers and the surrounding desert landscape, combined with the music of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, heighten the theme of contemporary humanity and provide a multisensory experience in Ib Andersen’s newest site-specific work Eroica-An Evening at The Garden. Held at the Desert Botanical Garden from Tuesday, May 15, to Saturday, June 2, at 8 p.m. nightly, the Ballet Arizona production explores the interplay between humans and nature similarly to Round and Topia. Prior to the performance, dancers will warm up in front of the audience, as the sun sets in the garden.

Tickets start at $40, and general admission stadium-style seating and table seating are available. The Desert Botanical Garden is located at 1201 North Galvin Parkway. To find out more, call 602-381-1096 or go to the Ballet Arizona website. Laura Latzko

Rooftop Bingo
Taking in gorgeous views while playing a game for all ages sounds delightful.

On Tuesday, May 15, you can play the timeless game of bingo on the rooftop bar at the Clarendon Hotel and Spa, 401 West Clarendon Avenue. History enthusiast Marshall Shore will be hosting, so you can expect some fun Arizona history facts along with each ball being called. Vertical, horizontal, diagonal, or four corners gets you the victory, but everyone’s a winner when you get to look at the gorgeous Arizona night sky.

The family-friendly event begins at 7 p.m. and is completely free. For more information, visit the the Facebook event page. Dillon Rosenblatt

Les Misérables
Victor Hugo’s novel Les Misérables, considered by scholars to be one of the greatest works of the 19th century, is a thick, intimidating tome that runs over 1,500 pages. The musical about redemption and revolution takes a significantly shorter amount of time to digest. It has been performed onstage worldwide for more than three decades, with epic numbers that have not lost their impact over the years. Watch Phoenix native and Arizona State University alumnus Nick Cartell play peasant Jean Valjean in this new production of the Tony Award-winning classic.

Dream a dream at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16, at Gammage Auditorium, 1200 South Forest Avenue in Tempe. Tickets are $35 to $175. For more information on additional showings, visit the Gammage website. Jason Keil

KABARETT: A Strange Show for Strange Times
When you see Kanye West’s mad ramblings about slavery being discussed on CNN, there is no doubt that we are in some very strange times. This day and age we are constantly urged to ask, “Is this real life?”

If only there was a musical and visual show that matched the tone of the world today. Oh wait, there is — KABARETT: A Strange Show for Strange Times. On Wednesday, May 16, Crescent Ballroom will put on a very peculiar evening of sight and sound. All of the music has been selected and arranged by Christopher Norby and will be performed by a group of Phoenix artists.

The free show starts at 8 p.m at 308 North Second Avenue. For more information, visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski
Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Laura Latzko
Chris Malloy, former food editor and current food critic at Phoenix New Times, has written for various local and national outlets. He has scrubbed pots in a restaurant kitchen, earned graduate credit for a class about cheese, harvested garlic in Le Marche, and rolled pastas like cappellacci stuffed with chicken liver. He writes reviews but also narrative stories on the food world's margins.
Contact: Chris Malloy
Dillon Rosenblatt was the social media editor at Phoenix New Times from 2016 to 2018. Originally from New Jersey, he is a graduate of Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble
Stuart Warner is editor of New Times. He has been a journalist since the stoned ages of 1969, playing a major role on teams that won three Pulitzer Prizes. He is also the author of the biography JOCK: A Coach's Story.
Contact: Stuart Warner
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