Nerd Culture

Best Things to Do This Weekend: “Chaos Theory,” Arizona Dance Festival, Monster Market

Gallery-goers checking out works by William LeGoullon (left) and Jehu at last year's "Chaos Theory."
Gallery-goers checking out works by William LeGoullon (left) and Jehu at last year's "Chaos Theory." Lynn Trimble
Don't let your weekend go to waste. Check out the annual art exhibition “Chaos Theory," get cultured at the Otsukimi Moonviewing Festival, or jumpstart your Halloween at the Monster Market. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' curated calendar.

“Chaos Theory”
One night each year, Legend City Studios becomes the epicenter of the metro Phoenix art scene. It’s happened every First Friday in October for nearly two decades, thanks to a trio of artists who started the free “Chaos Theory” exhibition that’s become an annual must-see.

The show is named for a mathematical principle that says small changes can produce large effects. Today, “Chaos Theory” is organized by Randy Slack, who helped launch it. He chooses dozens of artists to participate, mixing up the roster just enough each year to keep people coming back for more.

Make your way to 521 West Van Buren Street anytime after 6 p.m. on Friday, October 6, to check it out. You’ll see works by some of Arizona’s best-known creatives, and get the chance to rub elbows with fellow art lovers, collectors, and creatives. Visit the Legend-City-Studios Facebook page. Lynn Trimble


click to enlarge During the annual Otsukimi Moonviewing Festival, the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix highlights traditional Japanese music and dance. - JAPANESE FRIENDSHIP GARDEN OF PHOENIX
During the annual Otsukimi Moonviewing Festival, the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix highlights traditional Japanese music and dance.
Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix
Otsukimi Moonviewing Festival
In Japan in September, people observe the practice of otsukimi, or moon viewing, to show appreciation for and to ask for a good harvest. The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix pays tribute to the tradition each year with its Otsukimi Moonviewing Festival.

The event will be held Friday and Saturday, October 6 and 7, and features an array of things to do. The Phoenix Astronomical Society will lead a stargazing session. Throughout the garden, performers will showcase traditional Japanese dance and music, including the art of playing taiko drums, pipa guitar, Shakuhachi flute, and a stringed instrument called the koto.

The celebration also will have lantern, bamboo, and calligraphy displays. Traditional Japanese tea ceremonies on Saturday night will have limited seating.

Hours are 6 to 9 p.m. each night at 1125 North Third Avenue. For the general public, admission is $25 in advance and $30 at the entrance, and kids 3 to 12 get in for $5. Discounts are available for garden members. The tea ceremonies cost an extra $15 per person. For more information, visit the Japanese Friendship Garden website. Laura Latzko

click to enlarge See Julia Chacon perform during the Arizona Dance Festival. - MICHEL SARDA
See Julia Chacon perform during the Arizona Dance Festival.
Michel Sarda
Arizona Dance Festival
Why stay home with your reality TV dance competitions when you can experience the real thing? It’s nearly time for this year’s Arizona Dance Festival, a two-night affair that showcases work by emerging and established dancers from Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, and other cities around the state. It kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 6, at Tempe Center for the Arts.

The opening night lineup features more than a dozen performances in styles that include ballet, contemporary, and modern dance — as well as flamenco, Indian dance, and swing. Companies with dancers performing Friday night include CONDER/dance, Desert Dance Theatre, and Movement Source. The festival is organized by Lisa Chow, artistic director for Desert Dance.

Saturday, October 7, features a whole other program. Both nights, there’s a post-performance discussion with dancers. Tickets are $20 for a single performance, or $30 for both. Visit the Desert Dance Theatre website. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge The America's Got Talent judge shows off his own talent. - COURTESY OF KOVERT CREATIVE
The America's Got Talent judge shows off his own talent.
Courtesy of Kovert Creative
Howie Mandel
It’s hard to picture Howie Mandel without hearing the words “Deal or No Deal,” the name of the NBC game show he hosted for several years. His career has been steeped in TV, from roles on the defunct hospital drama ER to a current stint as a judge on America’s Got Talent.

When he’s not busy appearing on television, Mandel hits the road — typically about 200 days a year — to entertain crowds with his energetic stand-up show. He takes his off-the-rails style through a range of subject matter.

Enjoy the comedic roller-coaster ride at 7:30 or 10 p.m. on Friday, October 6, at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street. Admission for the 21-and-older show is $40; a two-drink minimum is required. Call 480-719-6100 or visit the Standup Live website. Amy Young

click to enlarge Charles Phoenix slips us a Mickey. - COURTESY OF CHANDLER CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Charles Phoenix slips us a Mickey.
Courtesy of Chandler Center for the Arts
Retro Disneyland Slide Show
Someday, a bunch of you will die off, and things from the 1950s won’t be so blindingly popular. (Though Formica may be the indestructible cockroach of decor.) Until that day, there’s Charles Phoenix, a cheerful, disarming fella who sealed his fame by championing the cherpumple, a.k.a. the turducken of desserts. Three pies inside three cakes is a no-brainer -— of course it caught our attention!

Shockingly, Phoenix isn’t from Phoenix, but he’ll visit us again Friday, October 6, to share his slides and “lecture” spotlighting the early days of The Happiest Place on Earth. See his Retro Disneyland Slide Show at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Arizona Avenue, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $28 and $38 at 480-782-2680 or the Chandler Center for the Arts website. Julie Peterson

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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
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