7 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Experience Polynesia at MIM.
Experience Polynesia at MIM. Courtesy of Musical Instrument Museum
No plans this weekend? Have no fear, Phoenix. From an animalistic dance to a feminist perspective on how the West was won, we have your guide to keep you entertained all weekend long. For more things to do, see our curated calendar of events.

Experience Polynesia
It’s not the same as staring into clear blue waters while letting your feet sink into the sand, but a trip to north Phoenix for Experience Polynesia does get you immersed in island-oriented fun.

This annual celebration of Pacific island culture features performances of dance and music, including guitar and ukulele playing by Patrick Ki. Take a ukulele lesson and learn how to play traditional sounds. Get crafty and decorate your own slit drum to take home. The museum’s café offers Polynesian fare. It’s all a pretty good way of pretending you’re not in the desert from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard. Admission is $10 to $20 for adults, and free for kids 3 and younger. Call 480-478-6000 or visit the Musical Instrument Musuem website. Amy Young

Faith Christiansen Smeets
“Facing West: The Feminine Perspective of the Frontier”
There’s no shortage of artworks by men exploring Wild West themes. But how often have you seen women tackle similar subject matter? That’s just what Phoenix artist Faith Christiansen Smeets does, but through the eyes of pioneer women rather than men. See her works inspired by diaries of frontier women, plus academic texts, during an exhibition titled “Facing West: The Feminine Perspective of the Frontier.”

The free opening reception for “Facing West” happens from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, at Megaphone PHX. It’s a studio and gallery space operated by artist Andy Brown, which is located at 4700 North Central Avenue. Smeets will be showing abstract works inspired by the “hope, tragedy, and triumph” of women who traveled westward during the mid-19th century. Visit the Faith Christiansen Smeets website. Lynn Trimble

The young lovers of unexpected, before it hits the fan. - SHELBY MATICIC
The young lovers of unexpected, before it hits the fan.
Shelby Maticic
John Perovich’s unexpected
So many literary traditions have given us the star-crossed lovers — a couple whose love is as epic as it will later become fucked up. Greek mythology is no different, and all you can hope for is that after you’ve angered the gods, and your innocence, hubris, or inept bad luck has separated you from bae, you’ll become constellations in the sky.

Brelby Theatre Company throws Cupid, Psyche, Pyramus, Thisbe, Orpheus, and Eurydice into a fresh plot in John Perovich’s unexpected. Three of the characters are now sisters whose mom would rather they stay at home unwounded than step into the world of love. Then a ship lands, as they do.

The play’s directed by venerable theater artist Gerald Thomson and continues through Saturday, June 10. Showtime on Saturday, May 20, is 7:30 p.m. at 7154 North 58th Drive in Glendale. Tickets are $17 to $25 at the Brelby website or 623-282-2781. Julie Peterson

Arizona Rattlers v. Salt Lake Screaming Eagles
When the Arizona Rattlers made the leap from the Arena Football League last offseason, they knew well what they were leaving behind — a foundering league that they had dominated for years. This season, however, they’re discovering what they’ve gotten themselves in to. Not only is the competition stiffer, there’s also twice as many teams to contend with in the Indoor Football League. Still the Rattlers have fared well in their inaugural run, winning six of their first 10 games. And with conference punching bags the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles visiting Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street, at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, the Rattlers face a golden opportunity to pad the win column as they battle for their first IFL playoff berth. Tickets are $8 and up. Visit the Arizona Rattlers website or call 602-379-7800 for details. Rob Kroehler

click to enlarge Scorpius Dance Theatre’s show ANIMAL highlights the movements of animals through dance. - ROSE TORRES
Scorpius Dance Theatre’s show ANIMAL highlights the movements of animals through dance.
Rose Torres
Scorpius Dance Theatre’s newest show, ANIMAL, explores the interactions between beasts and humans — and the behavior and physicality of domestic and wild animals through nine dance pieces. The show also explores the connection between pets and their owners through a series of funny interludes and a short film. Inspired by artistic director Lisa Starry’s love of animals, the show is upbeat in tone but also delves into the experiences of caged animals through a multidisciplinary piece combining dance and film at Phoenix Theatre. A visual art display in the lobby will feature animal-inspired artwork by Metropolitan Arts Institute students, and a portion of the proceeds from the show will go to the Lost Our Home Pet Rescue. Showtime is 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, at 100 East McDowell Road. Tickets are $25 and up. For more information, call 602-254-2151 or see the Scorpius Dance Website. Laura Latzko

click to enlarge Treat yo' self. - THE R2 STUDIO
Treat yo' self.
The R2 Studio
Bubbles and Beats Yoga Brunch
You don’t have to be a Parks and Rec fan to treat yo’ self in 2017. That’s because downtown’s art-filled Found:RE hotel has teamed up with Sutra Studios to provide a day of mimosas and exploratory meditation set to chill jams from a DJ. Bubbles and Beats Yoga Brunch kicks off at 9 a.m. with flow yoga and then a meditation session. Then it’s time to sit down for brunch and cocktails at Match Cuisine & Cocktails. Find your center and a mimosa or two at 1100 North Central Avenue, on Sunday, May 21. Tickets ($20) and more information are available at the Sutra Studios website. Lindsay Roberts

Arizona Historical Society/Winnie Ruth Judd Collection
History Underground: Obscure Anecdotes
If you love finding lesser-known details from Arizona’s history, but haven’t heard the true-crime story of Winnie Ruth Judd, then it’s time to get schooled.

Judd became known as the Trunk Murderess and the Blonde Butcher after she was caught hauling two dead bodies (one dismembered) in her luggage on a train to Los Angeles. She was arrested, tried, and convicted, but her story didn’t end there. Phoenix history buff Marshall Shore will share the scoop on the so-called murderess during History Underground: Obscure Anecdotes. Hear all the dark and crazy details at 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 21, at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. Admission is $5 for the 21-and-over event. Visit the Valley Bar website. Amy Young

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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
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