Just because it's a short work week doesn't mean there's a shortage of cool things to do. This week, you can catch Literally the Worst Show Ever, hear sleepover stories at Bar Flies, or watch the Arizona Diamondbacks take on the San Diego Padres. Time to plan up. For more things to do check out Phoenix New Times' curated calendar.
A group slumber party where you’re afraid to doze and fall victim to a classic prank is one scenario where spending the night is involved. Passing out or hooking up are a couple of others.
The possibilities for waking up in a bed that’s not yours are endless. Five storytellers share personal stories based on the theme Sleepover at this month’s edition of New Times’ Bar Flies event. Join Trejon Dunkley, Diana Martinez, Beth May, and Joe Schmidt to hear about memorable sleepover experiences from their histories. Curated by Katie Johnson, DJ Salvador Bravo provides the musical soundtrack. Be wide awake for these sleepy tales at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 7, at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. Tickets are $5. Visit the Valley Bar website. Amy Young
“Keith Dines: Arizona Yellow Hues”
Yellow has inspired plenty of art through the years — from van Gogh’s sunflowers to Warhol’s banana. In the ’60s, radios blasted Donovan’s Mellow Yellow and The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine. Today, Pantone’s primrose yellow is all the fashion rage.
Of course, nature nailed it first. And Arizona photographer Keith Dines took notice. He’ll be at West Valley Art Museum, 8401 West Monroe Street in Peoria, from 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 7, for a free open house to celebrate his exhibition titled “Keith Dines: Arizona Yellow Hues.” It’s a chance to meet the artist and explore his images of Arizona landscapes, along with other elements of the natural world. Visit the West Valley Arts website. Lynn Trimble
If you’ve never been to CenPho danceteria Karamba Nightclub, 1724 East McDowell Road, you should know the spot hosts lively club bashes six nights a week. Sound like your vibe? Mark your calendar for Tejano Thursdays.
Starting at 10:30 p.m. on September 7, the weekly party is set to include the Ruby Reynolds Show for drag fans, and DJ Jesus for those looking forward to a night of Tex-Mex, norteña, salsa, cumbia, old school, country, oldies, hip-hop, and R&B.
There’s no cover for the 21-and-over event. For more information, call 602- 254-0231 or the Karamba Nightclub website. Lauren Cusimano
Epic Lip Sync Battle
Imagine what a sight it would be to watch Mayor Greg Stanton and Councilman Daniel Valenzuela decked out in leotards, shaking their hips, and lip-syncing to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies.”
We’re not saying that’ll actually happen at the Epic Lip Sync Battle to benefit local nonprofit CO+HOOTS on Friday, September 8, at 6:30 p.m. But it’s definitely a possibility, as the duo is slated to perform at the third annual edition of the event.
Costume-clad and microphones off, 11 teams will battle it out for dubbing domination. Intrigued? It’s going down at the Found:RE Hotel, 1100 North Central Avenue, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available via Eventbrite. For more info, visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts
After years of planning and building, the Tempe Center for the Arts opened on September 9, 2007. Since then, it has hosted hundreds of concerts, events, and art exhibitions. At 8 p.m. on Friday, September 8, the arts and entertainment venue will host a 10th Anniversary Celebration, with a concert featuring local American Idol winner Jordin Sparks.
During a preshow reception starting at 5:30 p.m., the center will have complimentary hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and champagne, as well as live entertainment in its lobby, lakeside, and studio spaces. The Gallery at TCA will kick off its season with a preview of “Tempe Xhibition,” a display of works by artists who have shaped the art scene in Tempe. Many of the exhibiting artists will be in attendance to meet with patrons.
Tickets for the gala start at $75. The center is located at 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. For more information, call 480-350-2822 or visit the City of Tempe website. Laura Latzko
“Break up with your girl / It ended in tears / Vincent van Gogh, go and mail that ear.”
Even the Beastie Boys knew what a badass act it was when the 19th-century Dutch painter chopped off his own ear and gave it to a lady. New Times contributor Ashley Naftule’s new play, Ear, has some loose ties to that story, with a boy giving a beloved his fleshy, hacked hearing device. But his take heads down an even nuttier path. While the ear-cutting boy in this story is in a mental hospital, the girl in possession of the bloody ear begins to hear some very strange things.
Hear what the Ear has to say at 8 p.m. on Friday, September 8, at Space 55, 636 East Pierce Street. Admission is $15. The show runs through Sunday, September 24. Visit the Space 55 website. Amy Young
El Zaribah Shrine Circus
If cool hats and little cars don’t make you think of fraternal organization the Shriners, we’re not sure what would.
You’ll see those velvety fezes and small vehicles at the El Zaribah Shrine Circus, and the entertainment doesn’t stop there. The annual event includes some standard circus fare, like animal attractions and acrobats performing chill-inducing feats. There’s also some preshow and intermission fun, like pony rides, food vendors, and face-painting for the kids. This year, the circus goes indoors for the first time ever.
Enjoy an air-conditioned good time at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, September 8, at WestWorld of Scottsdale’s Equidome, 16601 North Pima Road. Admission is $18, $15 for military and seniors, and free for kids 12 and younger. The event runs through Sunday, September 10. Call 480-946-3696 or visit the AZ Shriners website. Amy Young
Watch and learn as artists infuse Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum with creative takes on alternative realities. Be the first to see them between 6 and 10 p.m. on Friday, September 8, during the fall opening reception. The museum will present a free mix of visual and performing arts on the Mesa Arts Center campus, 1 East Main Street.
Highlights include “Slang Aesthetics!” featuring art by California-based Robert Williams, the founder of contemporary art magazine Juxtapoz. A self-described conceptual realist, Williams is credited with launching the lowbrow art movement that’s steeped in marginalized styles, alternative art, and underground cultures.
There’s also “AltRealities,” a group exhibition exploring fantastical worlds and creatures in contemporary art. It includes work by Phoenix creative Bill Dambrova. The evening includes music, dance, surreal short films, food trucks, and art demonstrations — plus Rachel Bowditch’s Vessel and the Taylor Family Circus. Visit the Mesa Arts Center website. Lynn Trimble
Bat Walk with Ambur Gore
The end of summer means the end of bat season. Make sure you don’t miss it by joining the Bat Walk with Ambur Gore.
The Arcadia area is home to the Phoenix Bat Cave, where thousands of Mexican free-tail bats emerge from a storm sewer beginning at dusk. Interpretive ranger Gore will give an informational talk on this migrating bat population at 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 9, at the entrance to the Arizona Canal north of 40th Street and Camelback Road. A short canal walk (so wear comfortable shoes) to the bat cave follows at 6:20 p.m.
The walk and talk are free and hosted by the Museum of Walking. To attend, RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Bat Walk.”See the Museum of Walking website or the Facebook event page. Lauren Cusimano
Gallerist Lisa Sette is marking the year’s diurnal progression toward a darker season with an exhibition of work that resonates with what she calls “our present moment of ecological and moral uncertainty.” The exhibition features Phoenix artist Rachel Bess, as well as the collaborative duo Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick. Each conjures historical and retrofuturist aesthetics of the occult, drawing on the fantastic and unknown to address cultural upheaval.
Bess paints oil portraits whose subjects reflect both contemporary times and an enchanted time beyond history. Kahn and Selesnik work in photo collage, creating scenes that blur the boundaries between current anxieties and their historical antecedents. For Sette, these places of darkness beckon with compelling beauty and seductive whimsy.
See “Future Arcana” between noon and 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 9, at Lisa Sette Gallery, 210 East Catalina Drive. The free exhibition continues through Saturday, October 28. Visit the Lisa Sette Gallery website. Lynn Trimble
Literally the Worst Show Ever
Nickelback is playing in Phoenix on Saturday, September 9, but it will not be the worst show in town that evening.
The local sketch comedy showcase Literally the Worst Show Ever will indisputably triumph over the Canadian rockers. So hipsters, put away your ironic but misguided protest signs requesting Chad Kroger and his band leave town, and go to Crescent Ballroom. Comedian Anwar Newton will be joined by Dan Thomson, Michael Turner, Jessie Johnson, Shapel Lacey, Charles Engle, and house band Killa Cam and Those Guys Over There to celebrate two uproarious years of live music and comedy.
Literally the worst anniversary party begins at 7 p.m. at 308 North Second Avenue. Tickets are $15 to $20. For more information, visit the Crescent Ballroom website. Jason Keil
Read on for more of the best things to do in metro Phoenix this week.
Fall Concert Series
At Scottsdale Quarter, listening to live music becomes a shared outdoor experience with favorite tunes from different decades. The shopping plaza will kick off its annual Fall Concert Series on Saturday, September 9, with Rock Lobster, a local cover band known for their renditions of ’80s pop music.
The free Saturday night series will spotlight local cover bands playing hits from the ’60s through today. The lineup includes Shallow Water on September 16, the Crown Kings on September 23, Vinyl Station on September 30, The British Invasion on October 7, Obadiah Parker on October 14, Stanley Serrano on October 21, and Rock Lobster again on October 28.
The concerts run from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Quad at 15059 North Scottsdale Road. For more information, call 480-270-8123 or go to the Scottsdale Quarter website. Laura Latzko
Gypsy isn’t predominantly about its title character, real-life burlesque artist Gypsy Rose Lee. GRL and her sister, June Havoc, were shepherded into show business by the mother of all stage mothers, Mama Rose, who retained an outsize and complex personality as the girls grew up. If Mama were brought down to human scale, the play (based on Gypsy Rose Lee’s own memoir) would actually be less believable.
Gypsy’s writing team — Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents — hold impeccable pedigrees in the world of American musical theater. The original 1959 run was nominated for a crate of Tony awards, but a bagatelle called The Sound of Music rolled through and snagged most of the statuettes.
Theater Works’ production continues through Sunday, September 24, at 8355 West Peoria Avenue in Peoria. Showtime is at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 9. Tickets, $14 to $36, are available at 623-815-7930 or the Theater Works website. Julie Peterson
To the Max!
To the Max! is filling one night to the brim with local spoken-word artists, lyricists, vocalists, and comedians. The event will be hosted at The Rebel Lounge, 2303 East Indian School Road, and will feature The Color 8 Band, spoken word by Truth B Told, and music by DJ Godzilla. So, go ahead and get your fill on Saturday, September 9.
Doors open at 8 p.m.Tickets are available at the door for $10. For more info, visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts
The Lady’s Not for Burning
Unless your neighbors have applied an ointment made from babies’ blood, taken the form of a fly, and ridden a demon into the treetops like the late Matteuccia de Francesco, they’re poor witches indeed. Meanwhile, women and children on our planet continue to be persecuted and murdered for alleged witchcraft. Actual magic powers are rare, explaining how witches can be captured and why they die when killed.
In Christopher Fry’s 1948 play, The Lady’s Not for Burning, the prisoner is thought to have turned a man into a dog. Her rescuer is convicted of being depressing, but that doesn’t stop him. And the whole thing’s in rhyming verse.
Enjoy a staged reading at Mesa Encore Theatre’s Black Box space, 933 East Main Street. Admission is free, but donations toward expenses are gratefully accepted. The event begins at 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 10.
Visit the Mesa Encore Theatre or call 480-834-9500 for more information. Julie Peterson
Arizona Diamondback v. San Diego Padres
There are few things in life that are unchanging: HBO churning out quality television, NBA players fooling around, and the music and the appearance of Weird Al Yankovic. And if the San Diego Padres don’t right the ship soon, you can add their steadfast ineptitude to that list.
It’s almost as if the fine denizens of San Diego have better things to do, like bask in perfect weather and drink smoothies, than fret over the shortcomings of their lone professional sports franchise. And shortcomings are in no short supply with the Padres.
The Arizona Diamondbacks will look to pounce on their guests at Chase Field, 401 East Jefferson Street, on Sunday, September 10, at 1:10 p.m. Tickets are $9 and up. Visit the Diamondbacks website or call 602-514-8400 for details. Rob Kroehler
Raiders of the Lost Ark
If you live in the Phoenix area long enough, you’ll hear stories of how Arcadia High School student Steven Spielberg would screen his Super 8 films in his home while his mother served attendees popcorn in recycled milk cartons.
Over five decades later, cinephiles will gather at FilmBar with snacks and beers on hand to discuss another selection from the director’s filmography: Raiders of the Lost Ark. Arizona State University film professor Joe Fortunato will lead an in-depth discussion on cinema’s introduction to the swashbuckling and snake-hating archaeologist Indiana Jones.
Have a face-melting good time at 7 p.m. on Monday, September 11, at 815 North Second Street. Admission is $9. For more information, visit the Film Bar website. Jason Kiel
“Tension and Territory”
For decades, no jaguars were spotted (jaguar joke!) in the United States, and we figured they’d written us off. But in the last several years, a few lone males have appeared on Arizona wildlife surveillance cameras. These furry gentlemen can’t start families by themselves, though, and existing fencing at the U.S.-Mexico border inhibits their natural movements and courtship behavior. That fencing threatens several other organisms, as well.
Artist Lauren Strohacker has created an installation, including time-based digital artwork, that illuminates the jaguar’s situation vis-à-vis border issues. “Tension and Territory” continues through Friday, October 20, in the Art Gallery at Mesa Community College, 1833 West Southern Avenue. Hours on Monday, September 11, are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Call 480-461-7294 or visit the Mesa Community College website. Julie Peterson
“An Outburst of Color”
Maybe you’ve heard this old joke: “What’s black and white and red all over?” It’s a trick question, of course, and the answer is usually “the newspaper.” But art lovers might give a different reply, naming renowned 20th-century artist Alexander Calder, whose work often features this classic trio of colors, along with splashes of yellow or blue.
Calder’s best known for hanging kinetic sculptures often called mobiles. But Calder also created two-dimensional work, demonstrating his flair for whimsy and wonder.
Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue, is showing 20 Calder lithographs primarily from the ’60s and ’70s in an exhibition titled “An Outburst of Color.” It’s a chance to explore the artist’s work, which reflects his fascination with movement, space, and color. Check it out between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, September 12. Museum admission is $18 for adults. Visit the Phoenix Art Museum website. Lynn Trimble
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Proof of Life
Think when retirement comes, you’ll be ready to chillax? What if you had the chance to get embroiled in a murder mystery?
That’s the dilemma faced by investigator J.P. Beaumont, the main character in author J.A. Jance’s new mystery, Proof of Life. Beaumont’s one step away from post-employment lounging when his nemesis, a Seattle crime reporter, dies in a fire. Beaumont gets dragged into the investigation by none other than the deceased victim. He travels some dark paths to discover what really happened to his adversary.
Get a signed copy for your crime collection from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 13, at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard in Scottsdale. Admission is free; books for the signing are $27.99. Call 480-947-2974 or visit the Poisoned Pen website. Amy Young