A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Death Star
Relive the original Star Wars trilogy as Kansas City’s Mesner Puppet Theater performs A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Death Star. It’s an hour of musical parodies and groan-inducing puns, according to Mike Horner, the group’s artistic director. Horner adapted for puppets Curt Bright’s musical. Now you can witness a handheld C-3PO sing to R2-D2 — a la ABBA’s Mamma Mia — and get your fill of jokes about Chewbacca’s fuzzy butt.
“It’s a good time even if you don’t know Star Wars that well,” Horner says. Showtime is 8 p.m. on Friday, April 6, at the Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 West Latham Street. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. The show is open to those 12 and older. Visit the AZ Puppet Theater website. Lynn Trimble
Do you ever look up at the night sky and wonder what the hell you’re supposed to be looking at? Leave the specifics to the pros at Mesa Community College.
On Friday, April 6, they’ll host MCC Astronomy Night, when experts will be on hand to help you distinguish the features of the night sky with both binoculars and the unaided eye. Expect an assortment of out-of-this-world activities like planetarium shows, telescope viewing, and other hands-on things to do.
The free event runs from 6 to 10 p.m. at 1833 West Southern Avenue. For more information, visit the Mesa Community College website or call 480-461-6220. Lindsay Roberts
The sheer enormity of Richard Wagner’s masterwork Der Ring des Nibelungen makes it nearly impossible to play. In its entirety The Ring Cycle, as it’s often called, lasts around 15 hours and took the controversial composer 26 years to write.
From April 6 through 8, the Arizona Opera Orchestra will tackle the first and shortest musical drama of the cycle, Das Rheingold. The performance marks the 20th anniversary of Arizona Opera Orchestra’s first go at the massive Norse mythology-based undertaking.
Performances will take place at 1636 North Central Avenue, with shows at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. A 2 p.m. matinee is scheduled for Sunday. Tickets are $25 and up via the Arizona Opera website. Tanner Stechnij
Learn how to collage a hand-stitched zine book using art, text, and printed materials during the Text and Image Zines workshop at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Phoenix artist Annie Lopez will lead the class in the gallery, where her work is part of the “Walk in My Shoes” exhibition that continues through May 12.
Lopez has long been an integral part of the developing Valley arts scene. Her work combines printmaking, writing, photography, and mixed media. But she’s best known for creating cyanotype photographs on tamale paper, then sewing them into garments that reflect her personal and family history. The free workshop runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 6. Visit the Tempe Center for the Arts website. Lynn Trimble
Phoenix Pride returns to Steele School Indian Park on Saturday and Sunday, April 7 and 8, with more than 150 performers taking over six stages and party pavilions.
Bebe Rexha will headline the main stage at 8 p.m. on Saturday, following performances by Los 5 and Thelma Houston. Local DJs will spin Top 40 and dance hits at the Pride Dance Pavilion, and local drag queens will show off their lip-sync abilities on the Tish Tanner Community Stage.
One of Pride’s main attractions, Erotic World, will return for its eighth year. The 18-and-up kink-safe zone will feature a full weekend of fetish demonstrations and erotic dance revues.
Single-day tickets for Phoenix Pride start at $15. Gates at 300 East Indian School Road will open at noon, and programming will run until 9 p.m. See details at the Phoenix Pride website. Tanner Stechnij
Back in 2009, Nick Kizer launched When in AZ. The music compilation assembled tracks from 55 Arizona-based bands who had to follow just one directive: Cover a song by another act from the Grand Canyon State. This year, Kizer’s
When in AZ Vol. 2 features covers from 100 locals. And the sprawling compilation will have a release party at Valley Bar on April 7. Saturday night’s lineup features Treasure Mammal, Lana Del Rabies, and Amethyst Seer. (A Sunday release party at Crescent Ballroom has been postponed.)
Admission to each 21-and-over event is free with a donation to the nonprofit Ryan House. You can name your price at the door, which opens at 6:30 p.m. both nights. See details at the Valley Bar website and the Crescent Ballroom website. Becky Bartkowski
The Arizona Coyotes haven’t had a praiseworthy season. Since day one of the National Hockey League’s grueling 82-game season, the team has floundered, never quite emerging from the cellar. But in the waning weeks of the season, Arizona has shown considerable improvement, with rookie Clayton Keller emerging as a genuine offensive force. Not bad, considering half the roster probably was born after the Spice Girls broke up.
Now, with few games remaining in an otherwise disappointing season, head coach Rick Tocchet finds himself in the precarious position of nurturing his young roster while maintaining Arizona’s enviable position in 2018’s loaded draft.
The Coyotes host the Anaheim Ducks at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, at Glendale’s Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue. Tickets are $14 and up. Visit the Coyotes website or call 623-772-3800 for details. Rob Kroehler
Given its name, one might expect that the annual Fetish Formal is a black-tie only affair that’s strictly limited to gowns and tuxes only. That ain’t the case, however, as the dress code at the kink-friendly soiree taking place on Saturday, April 7, at the Monarch Theatre, 122 East Washington Street, will be quite permissive, much like the atmosphere. Attendees are encouraged to “dress to express” and sexy and stylish outfits are encouraged, particularly those featuring leather and lace.
In addition to flocks of freaky folks dressed to the nines, the event will also feature performances by burlesque artists, aerialists, sideshow acts, and DJs in Monarch’s main room. The fetish fun starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 at the door. Visit the Sinful Dreams website. Benjamin Leatherman
Saturday in the park, but it’s not the Fourth of July. On Saturday, April 7, gather up your friends, family, and pets for a free screening of the Oscar-winning animated film Big Hero 6 at Goodyear Community Park, 3151 Litchfield Road.
The fun begins at 4 p.m., and the movie starts at dusk. Snacks will be available from a selection of Valley food trucks. And attendees can participate in the superhero costume contest; maybe you’ll win a hug from Baymax. For more information, see the Facebook event page. Dillon Rosenblatt
Phoenix Suns v. Golden State Warriors
Sunday, April 8, will be your last chance to see the Phoenix Suns lose at Talking Stick Resort Arena this season, and it could be the team’s most significant defeat of the year. The Suns are in a battle with the Memphis Grizzlies for the worst record in the NBA and the best chance of drafting one of two former Phoenix high school phenoms, DeAndre Ayton from U of A or Marvin Bagley of Duke.
Normally, this would be a sure loss
Game time is 6 p.m. at 201 East Jefferson Street. Tickets are $39 and up at the
If the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “fermenting” is bootleg alcohol, well, you’re not alone. But during Fermenting 101, you can learn about the fermentation process beyond booze. Specifically, the course will cover how to make your own fermented brine and sauerkraut.
Garden Goddess Ferments will host the two-hour course at McDowell Market, 1736 East McDowell Road, starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 8. The class costs $53.79. For more info and tickets, visit the Facebook event page. Melina Zuñiga
Reuniting to bury their only brother, the Bradshaw sisters are attending their third funeral in as many years. This trio of women must now put away their differences in Three Sistahs, a modern reimagining of the similarly titled play by Anton Chekhov. Nominated for the Helen Hayes Award for Best New Musical in 2002, the production utilizes gospel, folk, and R&B to tell a story about love, war, and making peace with the past while finding hope in the future.
The curtains go up at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 8, at The Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 East Washington Street. And the show runs through Sunday, April 22. Tickets are $38. For more information, visit the Black Theatre Troupe website. Jason Keil