The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

What's going on in Iran?EXPAND
What's going on in Iran?
Courtesy of Changing Hands
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Need plans? This week you can go see the Arizona Diamondbacks, laugh with Chris Tucker, or get your fill at the Rockin’ Taco Street Festival. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

“21 Days In Iran”
Most Americans’ knowledge of Iran and its citizens comes from the news. If you have been watching the television lately, the media has been painting a less-than-rosy picture of the country. Tempe residents Sassan Afshin, who left Iran at the age of 12, and Frances Lechner, a former teacher, want to share a different story. They will each present a recap of their recent trips to Iran during the presentation “21 Days In Iran.” They will discuss their unique viewpoints and how America’s actions affect people halfway around the world.

The journey begins at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 13, at Changing Hands, 6428 South McClintock Drive in Tempe. This is a free event. For more information, visit the Changing Hands website. Jason Keil

National Coloring Day
Coloring books are experiencing a renaissance. And why shouldn’t they? The sociopolitical order is collapsing around us, so it’s only natural to want to bury yourself in a coloring book, where everything fits into a neat set of lines. Try the coloring craze for yourself — and have a drink while you’re at it — on Friday, September 14, from 6 to 8 p.m., when BottleShop48 hosts an event in honor of National Coloring Day. The Tempe beer and wine outfit promises that prizes will reward the best coloring job. But don’t expect that the world’s problems will be resolved by the time you look up from your masterpiece. BottleShop48 is located at 3316 South McClintock Drive in Tempe. For more information, visit the BottleShop48 website or call 480-820-0804. Joe Flaherty

Chris Tucker
Chris Tucker, for a brief time, was the highest paid actor in the world, receiving a reported $25 million for 2007’s Rush Hour 3, the third installment in the popular buddy-cop movie series with Jackie Chan. So what’s he doing in Phoenix at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street? “I will always do stand-up,” he once said, according to IMDB.com. “Stand-up is my life.” So don’t worry about his career — he spends much of his time raising money for charity, and besides, he’s already signed to do Rush Hour 4. Tucker will be in Phoenix for four shows, at 7:30 and 10 p.m. on Friday, September 14, and at 7 and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 15. Tickets are $45 and there is a two-drink minimum. Visit the Stand Up Live website. Stuart Warner

Stamp and Scrapbook Expo
There’s more to scrapbooking than just placing pictures, stickers, and colorful pieces of paper in an album. The Stamp and Scrapbook Expo is meant for those who take scrapbooking and stamping seriously or those who want to explore the hobby more. Inside the creativity center, you can design your own unique project. Vendors will offer the latest scrapbooking and stamping products and make-and take projects, and workshops will have hands-on instruction in card- and album-making, scrapbooking, watercolor painting and mixed-media design. The expo will also have special events such as a Thursday make-and-take night, Friday prom, and Saturday Kentucky Derby party. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, September 14, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, September 15, inside the Mesa Convention Center’s Centennial Hall, 263 North Center Street. Tickets run from $8 to $15. Admission to the show is free with preregistration for one or more workshops. For more information, go to the Stamp and Scrapbook Expo website. Laura Latzko

Watch Joe Willie Smith play his sonic sculptures at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.EXPAND
Watch Joe Willie Smith play his sonic sculptures at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.
Mesa Arts Center

Jazz-Inspired Art
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum is opening its fall exhibition season with five jazz-inspired art shows, plus several jazz performances, on Friday, September 14. The free celebration happens from 6 to 11 p.m. at Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street, where you’ll also find food trucks, hands-on activities, and art demos. Featured musicians range from the Chicago-based ensemble Sidewalk Chalk to Arizona’s own Dennis Rowland and Friends. Hit the museum to explore jazz-inspired artwork by renowned fiber artist Faith Ringgold, plus a group show featuring Arizona artists such as Fred Tieken and Tato Caraveo. In one gallery, you’ll witness Joe Willie Smith playing sound sculptures made with found objects. In another, you’ll see how artist Reyes Padillas drew on a condition called synesthesia to paint the music he heard while working in the space. There’s another art show, too, featuring urban landscapes created by illustrator Frank Morrison. Visit the Mesa Arts Center website. Lynn Trimble

Cool down and catch a movie at CityScape in downtown Phoenix.
Cool down and catch a movie at CityScape in downtown Phoenix.

The Incredibles
Watching a movie outdoors harks back to the days of drive-in movie theaters. Cityscape’s City Lights Movie Nights offers a similar experience for you and family but in a more urban environment. The series will kick off on Friday, September 14, with a screening of Pixar’s 2004 superhero extravaganza The Incredibles. Held every second Friday, each movie night has special giveaways and contests tailored to the night’s theme. Try to arrive early to get an optimal spot and bring blankets and lawn chairs to make your movie-viewing experience even more enjoyable. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. at the splash pad at 1 East Washington Street. Admission is free. For more information, go to the Cityscape website. Laura Latzko

Like a bit of art with your booze and pancakes?EXPAND
Like a bit of art with your booze and pancakes?
Bunny Mast

Pancakes and Booze Art Show
We’ve come a long way from the “making moonshine in a homemade still” days. But alcohol still pairs well with just about everything, except driving and job interviews. See how it complements pancakes and art as the Pancakes and Booze Art Show returns to The Duce, 525 South Central Avenue, from 8 p.m. on Friday, September 14, until 2 a.m. the next morning. Get your $10 ticket at the door (you’ll need to be at least 21), then check out the free pancake bar, live music, body painting, and art displays featuring hundreds of works by dozens of local artists. Visit the Pancakes and Booze website. Lynn Trimble

Something to taco 'bout.
Something to taco 'bout.
Jim Louvau

Rockin’ Taco Street Festival
Celebrating all things taco isn’t something that has to be limited to just Tuesdays. After all, the Mexican-born staple is beloved by millions and worthy of its own festival. Hence the annual Rockin’ Taco Street Festival this weekend at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, 3 South Arizona Avenue in Chandler, which will offer tons of tacos and plenty of fun.

A total of 18 different restaurants and food trucks (including Las Palmas Cantina, Mr. Mesquite, El Jefe, and Casa Rey’s) will serve up tacos, as well as other Mexican food offerings at the fest, which takes place on Saturday, September 15. There will also be a lowrider car show, tequila tastings, live music, and eating contests for cash prizes involving burritos, elote, and (of course) tacos.

The event runs from noon until 9 p.m. General admission is $10 online and $15 at the gate. Children 12 and under are free and VIP admission is $100 and includes private shaded area, six drinks, and catered food. Visit the Rockin’ Taco Street Festival website for more details. Benjamin Leatherman

Louise Lawler, Anonymous, 1991. Cibachrome. Lenhardt Collection.EXPAND
Louise Lawler, Anonymous, 1991. Cibachrome. Lenhardt Collection.
Louise Lawler and Metro Pictures, New York.

“Present Tense: Selections from the Lenhardt Collection”
Get a good look at 10 of Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s soup cans prints when you head to Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue, for a new exhibition called “Present Tense: Selections from the Lenhardt Collection.” The show includes paintings, prints, photographs, and sculptures by several additional artists, such as Damien Hirst, Rashid Johnson, Louise Lawler, Roy Lichtenstein, Shara Hughes, Ugo Rondinone, and Sterling Ruby. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 15. The exhibit is free with museum admission, which is $18 for adults. Racing home to name-drop with all your artsy friends? Well, that’s priceless. Visit the Phoenix Art Museum website. Lynn Trimble

Doing good with the Rio Salado Audubon Center.EXPAND
Doing good with the Rio Salado Audubon Center.
Chantal Duquette

Conservation Workday
Admit it. You once threw a straw into the grass or let a crumpled-up receipt slip your grasp in a hot parking lot. Now you can make up for it, by helping to clean up some of the litter others have left behind. The Rio Salado Audubon Center, 3131 North Central Avenue, is holding a free Conservation Workday from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, September 15. It’s a chance to meet fellow environment-friendly types, while helping to clean up the river that runs through the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area. All you need is comfy clothes, closed-toe shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and drinking water. RSVP to Cathy Wise at 602-468-6470, extension 109, before you go. Visit the Rio Salado Audubon Center website. Lynn Trimble

Lasers and Liquor: Led Zeppelin
Lasers and Led Zeppelin are nothing new. The band incorporated the effect when Jimmy Page whipped out his violin bow during guitar solos for live renditions of “In The Evening.” Lasers and Liquor: Led Zeppelin at the Dorrance Planetarium inside the Arizona Science Center takes the light show to the next level. Grab your favorite adult beverage, sit back, and let the music and colorful lights take you to the top of the Misty Mountain.
Ramble on beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday, September 15, at 600 East Washington Street. General admission tickets are $10 and student and member tickets are $8. For more information, visit the Arizona Science Center website. Jason Keil

Look, you did it, we did it, and probably everyone else did it, too. We all made messes at some point during our respective childhoods, much to the chagrin of our parents. And y’all probably had fun while doing so, owing to the purely childlike glee that comes from making said mess.

This weekend, you can experience that feeling once again, whether you’re 8 or 48 years old, during the annual Messyfest on Saturday, September 15, at Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Centre, 20464 East Riggs Road in Queen Creek. The family-friendly event will feature activities and attractions like an ice cream slide, slime dump, and a tug-of-war in the mud where participants can engage in some good clean dirty fun. You can also play around with shaving cream, flop into pools filled with SpaghettiOs, or even engage in a food fight. Needless to say, you’ll want to wear clothes you don’t mind getting messy.

Messyfest runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is open to all ages. Admission is $20, which includes access to all activities and attractions. Spectators are $5. See the Messyfest website. Benjamin Leatherman

Timothy Chapman painted prickly pears for a mural near Southwest Gardener.EXPAND
Timothy Chapman painted prickly pears for a mural near Southwest Gardener.
Lynn Trimble

Prickly Pear Fare
Master cook Tanya Chakravarty has a way with cactus. So Southwest Gardener, a charming boutique at 300 West Camelback, invited her over for some Prickly Pear Fare. That’s the fancy name for the 10:30 a.m. gathering she’ll hold on Saturday, September 15. It’s just $45, which gets you tips for picking, handling, and preparing prickly pear cactus — plus recipes and demonstrations for culinary options like prickly pear molasses, hot sauce, and drinks. You’ll spend three hours learning, sampling, and making new friends. Check out artist Timothy Chapman’s blooming prickly pear cactus for a nearby mural while you’re there. Visit the Southwest Gardener website. Lynn Trimble

Exploring exhibitions inside Pueblo Grande Museum.EXPAND
Exploring exhibitions inside Pueblo Grande Museum.
Lynn Trimble

Mudslinging at the Museum
Mudslinging has a bad name thanks to politicians who play dirty. But slinging actual mud is an entirely different matter, especially when undertaken to help preserve structures from the past. Learn to sling mud for good, not evil, as Pueblo Grande Museum, 4619 East Washington Street, hosts Mudslinging at the Museum from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 15. It’s a chance to volunteer for a few hours, helping the museum to stabilize the ancient Hohokam platform mound located on the site. RSVP to 602-945-0901, then grab your closed-toe shoes, hat, sunscreen, and water bottle. Visit the Phoenix Parks website. Lynn Trimble

Heading towards the entrance to Desert Botanical Garden.EXPAND
Heading towards the entrance to Desert Botanical Garden.
Lynn Trimble

Berry Gardening Workshop
Get ready to make your favorite berry-based drinks and deserts. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, is presenting a Berry Gardening Workshop from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 16. It’s a chance to glean tips for site selection, soil, and irrigation, from instructor and Arizona native Jeff Ho, who’ll also talk about the best varieties to grow in the state’s arid climate. Ho studied agriculture and biological engineering at Cornell University, and runs a home-based nursery in Gilbert, where he specializes in growing berries, vegetables, and herbs. The class costs $38, and space is limited. Visit the Desert Botanical Garden website. Lynn Trimble

Arizona Diamondbacks v. Chicago Cubs
Skip those awful Chicago dogs. Say no to that stuff the nation’s Second City calls pizza. And do not let the Cubs fans, who never seem to leave the desert, turn Chase Field into Wrigley South when their team visits the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field, 401 East Jefferson Street, for a critical three-game series beginning Monday, September 17. The D-backs are in a dogfight for first place in the National League West division, while the Cubs have been the leaders in the National League Central for much of the season. The series could go a long way to determining who’s in and out of the playoffs come October. All three games begin at 6:40 p.m. Monday to Wednesday. Ticket prices start at $22. Visit the Diamondbacks website. Stuart Warner

Looking back at Red for Ed protests in Phoenix.EXPAND
Looking back at Red for Ed protests in Phoenix.
Vivian Spiegelman

“#RedforEd: The Journey Toward Equity”
Never fear if you didn’t make it to the Arizona Capitol for recent Red for Ed rallies supporting increased funding for Arizona teachers and classrooms. Scottsdale Public Art is showing photographs taken by educators involved with the Red for Ed movement, as part of its “#RedforEd: The Journey Toward Equity” exhibition. The free exhibition also includes #RedforEd-inspired artworks, as well as actual protest signs used by local teachers. Stop by the ArtReach Space inside Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18, to get a good look. Then try making your own protest sign using magnetic poetry (all G-rated, of course). And feel free to rock your best red attire. Visit the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts website. Lynn Trimble

Return of the Living Dead
Last month’s Terror Tuesday at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Tempe quickly sold out, so the theater decided to offer an additional showing of September’s selection: Return of the Living Dead. Join AZ Cult Classics’ Victor Moreno for this stylish ’80s horror flick with an amazing punk soundtrack. When a toxic cloud rains over a graveyard, the dead rise from the grave to unleash hell on an unsuspecting Kentucky town. This punk fright-fest has its tongue firmly planted in its cheek.

The spazz-out begins at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18, at 1140 East Baseline Road with an additional showing at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $7.57. For more information, visit the Alamo Drafthouse website. Jason Keil

The Devil Wears Prada
An alternate title for The Devil Wears Prada could have been The Princess Internship, where Anne Hathaway’s character goes through a metamorphosis after she lands a job at an influential magazine led by the ruthless Miranda Priestly, played as brilliantly as always by Meryl Streep. Keep in mind this isn’t a sweet Disney film aimed at a preteen audience, but a dark, hilarious comedy that gives audiences a peek into the cutthroat world of high fashion.

Slip on some Jimmy Choos and sell your soul at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 19, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Tickets are $14 with a portion of sales benefiting an LGBT organization. For more information, visit the FilmBar website. Jason Keil

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