“Southwest Contemporary Today”
After years of curating art shows at other venues, Nicole Royse has started her own gallery. Her new downtown Scottsdale art space’s inaugural exhibition is called “Southwest Contemporary Today.” The free opening happens from 5 to 10 p.m. on Thursday, September 14, at Royse Contemporary, 7077 East Main Street, #6. It’s located in Marshall Square, a complex that’s home to other art venues, including Tilt Gallery and Lotus Contemporary Art.
“Southwest Contemporary Today” includes work by six artists, including Texas-based Angel Cabrales. Charmagne Coe, Monica Aissa Martinez, Daniel Shepherd, Marilyn Szabo, and Fred Tieken are based in metro Phoenix. They work in diverse media such as photography, painting, and sculpture.
The reception includes live music, light bites and refreshments, a chance to talk with featured artists, and opening remarks by Royse. “Southwest Contemporary Today” continues through Saturday, September 30. Visit the Nicole Royse website. Lynn Trimble
Turn It Around: The Story of East Bay Punk
When it comes to making a scene, no one does it better than punk rockers. For decades now, the angst-riddled music genre has been a cornerstone on which an entire social movement has thrived — a movement that, despite its gruff exterior, has often stood on the right side of history.
The Bay Area music collective 924 Gilman, for instance, has served as an exemplary DIY community center for over 30 years. Progressive, open-minded, and decidedly antiestablishment, it’s run entirely by crusty punks. The nondescript nonprofit center has had a hand in launching arena-filling acts such as Green Day and Metallica, all the while giving marginalized youth a home away from home.
To delve deeper into the legendary Bay Area punk scene, stop by FilmBar, 815 North Second Street, on Thursday, September 14, when they screen Turn It Around: The Story of East Bay Punk at 7 p.m. Tickets are $9 to the 21-and-over event. Visit the FilmBar website or call 602-595-9187. Rob Kroehler
Through song lyrics, stories, and verse, artists can give greater insight into who they are and the world around them. WordPlay Café, a second Thursday event with its next installment on September 14, lets local poets, storytellers, and musicians share work and connect with audiences on a deeper level. Each session focuses on one of the seven deadly sins, with envy taking center stage in September. A 6 p.m. performance, storytelling ,or writing workshop precedes each open mic, which begins at 7.
Featured storytellers, spoken word artists, and musicians will also perform during the monthly event. The open mic night takes place at Volstead Public House, 105 West Main Street, through February 8 and moves to Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street, on March 23 for a final Story Slam. The event is free to the public, but donations are encouraged. For more information, go to the Mesa Arts Center website. Laura Latzko
Some people need a daily coffee fix. Others get a similar jolt from creativity. That’s the thinking behind “Rise and Grind,” an exhibition of work by more than 50 artists opening on Friday, September 15, at Grand ArtHaus, 1501 Grand Avenue.
Join the free opening reception, which doubles as the venue’s first anniversary party, from 7 to 11 p.m. Beside the art show, the evening will feature an art raffle, music from DJ Fact 135, and other festivities. Above all, it’s a celebration of the rugged grit and drive shown by creatives amid an ever-changing urban landscape. Visit the Grand ArtHaus Facebook page. Lynn Trimble
While most of his Saturday Night Live friends relaxed on their summer vacation, Weekend Update co-host Michael Che went back to work early for some prime-time television specials. While watching Tina Fey devour a sheet cake in response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Che channeled his point of view with a relaxed, stoner-esque delivery with enough bite underneath to keep his face free of frosting. His Netflix special Michael Che Matters explores the country’s deeper issues that he doesn’t always have time to touch on from behind the news desk — gun rights, inequality, and racism, to name a few.
Che is scheduled to perform at 7:30 and 10 p.m. on Friday, September 15, and 7 and 9:30 on Saturday, September 16, at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street. Tickets are $25 with a two-drink minimum. For more information, visit the Stand Up Live website. Jason Keil
Having grown up in Chile under Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship in the ’70s and ’80s, playwright Guillermo Calderón has a solid handle on oppression, and his work crosses cultural lines to prove relatable to all disenfranchised humans. Kiss features two couples in Damascus who have a standing date to watch their favorite soap opera (which is what people in this country used to do, pre-streaming, when they had friends who’d come to their house). But one evening, boundaries get crossed and passions rage.
The play is way funny and also treats big ideas, but what those are and why they’re entertaining to listen to are matters best left for you to resolve in your opening night seat, 8 p.m. Friday, September 15, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Stray Cat Theatre’s production continues through Saturday, September 30. Tickets are $20 to $30 at 480-350-2822 or the Stray Cat website. Julie Peterson
We can’t quite capture with words how wonderful this event might be, so we’ll just get right to it: It’s bingo with drag queens and cats in a coffee and wine bar.
Drag Queen Bingo is a friendly game of chance with cat-themed prizes. It’s hosted by Freddy Prince Charming and Felicia Minor. Also cats will be, like, everywhere.
The games run from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, September 15, at the La Gattara Cat Lounge & Boutique, 1301 East University Drive, #136, in Tempe. The venue also has desserts, items for sale, and cats looking for a permanent home. Tickets are $25, but space is limited. For more information, call 480-659-0150. Visit the La Gattara website and the Facebook event page. Lauren Cusimano
2017 Diaspora Showcase Africa
U.S. news coverage of Africa these days tends to focus on the negative and not much else. The 2017 Diaspora Showcase Africa is shining a light on the great fashion, food, art, and music that comes from the world’s second-largest continent. Focusing on jazz and the classics, this event will feature music by composer and multi-instrumentalist Tunde Jegede and popular world music vocalist SOMI. You can also check out fashion designs by VanElse and watch a performance by dancer Wade Hampton.
Get cultured at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 15, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Tickets are $49 to $69. For more information, visit the Diaspora Showcase website. Jason Keil
There’s nothing wrong with bonding over a shared love of old stuff. That’s how Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market got started.
More than five years strong, this shopping paradise was founded by Coley Arnold and Lindsey Holt. The two moms met at a church group and discovered a shared love of hunting for vintage treasures. After joking about creating their own backyard shopping spot, they put the plan into action, and it’s grown from there.
Now hundreds of vendors participate in their events in Scottsdale, San Diego, and Pomona, California. Clothes, jewelry, home goods, and furniture are just a few of the types of items vendors have to offer.
Save up to spend from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 16, at WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 North Pima Road. Admission is $8. If you can’t wait until 9 a.m., there’s an early-bird option from 8 to 9 a.m. for $20 to $25. Visit the Junk in the Trunk website. Amy Young
Maybe dance has never really moved you. Chances are, that’s about to change, thanks to Fall Forward. It’s an evening of new dance work, created by five choreographers who explore an exciting range of aesthetics, movement vocabularies, and new media platforms. They’re all faculty, staff or students at Arizona State University.
Prepare to be moved, as creatives Carley Conder, Marcus White, John Mitchell, Yingzi Lang, and Akeliz bring fresh choreography to ASU’s Paul P. Galvin Playhouse, 51 East Tenth Street in Tempe. Check it out at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 16. Tickets are $16.
Conder’s Leaving the Table duet tackles a relationship as it unravels, in reverse time. She’s performing as well, in a new work by Pamela Pietro. The Fall Forward lineup also includes work by Marcus White, who specializes in postmodern contemporary dance and urban styles such as waacking, vogue, and house. Visit the ASU Events page. Lynn Trimble
Read on for more of the best things to do in metro Phoenix this week.