Need plans? This week, you can catch a flick at Peoria Film Festival, explore the paranormal at PoeFest Séance, or nerd out at Scary Spelling Bee. For more things to do, visit
When Matangi/Maya/M.I.A premiered at Sundance in January, the documentary’s subject infamously stated during a Q&A that it “was not the film she would have made.” In the months since, M.I.A. has come around on director Steven Loveridge’s masterpiece, but is reportedly not promoting it. This movie is not the Tamil artist in concert. Instead, it is a commentary on what happens when politics and music mix and how the controversial “Paper Planes” singer navigated those uncharted waters.
The rapper’s origin story begins at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 18, with an additional screening at 9:40 p.m., at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Admission is $10. For more information, visit thefilmbarphx.com. Jason Keil
Don’t lose your faith just yet, Birdgang. Granted, the Arizona Cardinals are off to one of their worst starts in franchise history, including racking up four straight losses to begin the year, and are considered to be one of the more awful teams in the NFL. Oh, and don’t even get us started on the quarterback situation (hope you enjoy the bench, Sam Bradford).
All that said, there have been a few rays of sunshine. The defense has put on a respectable effort (more or less) thus far and the Cardinals managed to grind out a victory against San Francisco a few weeks back. So when Arizona hosts the Denver Broncos on Thursday, October 18, at State Farm Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive in Glendale, there’s a good chance the Redbirds can eke out another win. Maybe. (One can always hope, right?)
Kickoff is at 4 p.m. Tickets are $40 to $556. Call 623-433-7101 or see ticketmaster.com. Benjamin Leatherman
Awards season is upon us again, but Valley cinephiles living on the west side of town have to travel to Scottsdale to see a film in limited release or wait weeks until, hopefully, a small movie opens wider. The Peoria Film Festival aims to address the need by bringing the arthouse to the avenues. For three days, audiences can catch short films, worldwide premieres, and festival favorites weeks before they open.
The opening night screening of the film What They Had, starring Hilary Swank and Michael Shannon, begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 19, at the Harkins Arrowhead Fountains 18, 16046 North Arrowhead Fountains Center Drive in Peoria. Tickets are $40 and feature food, drink, and a silent auction. VIP passes to see all the films playing festival weekend are $75. Single tickets are $12. For more information and the full schedule of films, visit peoriafilmfest.com. Jason Keil
Sonoran Champion Wrestling
Professional wrestling is something of a major draw in Arizona, hence the half-dozen or so indie promotions that currently operate in our state, each offering its own brand of spandex-clad action inside the squared circle. That includes Sonoran Championship Wrestling, which has been serving up matches and mayhem a venues around the Valley since launching in 2016.
This weekend, the promoters and wrestlers at SCW will celebrate two years of laying the smack down during its “Run the Gauntlet” event on Friday, October 19, at The Nile Theater, 105 West Main Street in Mesa. Grapplers slated to appear include SCW champ Sergio Vega, Alex Salyers, and Gynesis, as well as Arizona wrestling legends Hawaiian Lion and Navajo Warrior. SCW’s Impulse Champion Thugnificent and EJ Sparks are also scheduled to battle.
Bell time is 8 p.m. General admission is $13 while kids tickets are $8. See scwwrestlingaz.com for more details. Benjamin Leatherman
Phoenix Rising FC
What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago, the dreams of local pro soccer squad Phoenix Rising FC were crushed after a heartbreaking first-round loss on the road that eliminated them from the United Soccer League playoffs. Fast-forward to today, and their situation is much improved.
After earning a better record than last year, Phoenix has clinched a higher seed in the USL’s Western Conference playoffs, as well as home-field advantage during the opening round of the postseason. So when the club hits the grass at Phoenix Rising FC Soccer Complex, 751 North McClintock Drive in Tempe, on Friday, October 19, for a quarterfinal matchup against a yet-to-be-determined opponent, they’ll have the crowd on their side. Plus, it’s also $1 beer night, which should help fuel the Rising faithful cheer their team on to victory.
The game starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $19.50 to $101.50. Call 623-594-9606 or see phoenixrisingfc.com. Benjamin Leatherman
Since he left office in 2009 after his controversial two terms in the White House, President George W. Bush has spent retirement painting portraits of soldiers. The former commander-in-chief personally met some of the men and women who served in the military in the wake of 9/11, and he tells the personal stories of their bravery, sacrifice, and recuperation through words and brushstrokes in a collection of 66 color portraits and a four-panel mural titled “Portraits of Courage.”
The exhibit opens on Friday, October 19, and will continue until Saturday, December 29, at the Arizona Historical Society’s Arizona Heritage Center at Papago Park, 1300 North College Avenue in Tempe. Admission to the exhibit is included with your ticket to the museum. For more information, visit portraitsofcourageaz.org. Jason Keil
You don’t need a medium to appreciate the works of Edgar Allan Poe, the famed 19th-century writer whose macabre offerings include “The Raven” and The Tell-Tale Heart. But there’s an added thrill to enjoying his work with fellow fans, like those who’ll be gathering for a PoeFest Séance at the San Carlos Hotel, 202 North Central Avenue, at 10 p.m. on Saturday, October 20. It’s a series of demonstrations exploring paranormal and extrasensory phenomena, capped off with an entertaining séance that conjures Poe’s spirit without actually making the dead poet drop his plans in the afterlife to spend a night in Phoenix. Tickets are $39.95. Visit poefest.org. Lynn Trimble
It is officially fall in Phoenix. The leaves won’t change, but there will be more cyclists on the road. For those who prefer to travel on two wheels instead of four, you can gear up at the Fourth Annual Bike Bazaar presented by the Phoenix Spokes People. Vendors will be there with the latest clothing and equipment to make your ride a smooth one. The Phoenix Police Department will be on hand to help you register your bike. There will also be a bike swap and a raffle.
Pedal on down from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 20, at Phoenix Public Market, 721 North Central Avenue. Admission is free. For more information, visit phoenixspokespeople.org. Jason Keil
For some, rainbows prompt memories of watching The Wizard of Oz and hearing Dorothy sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” But they’re also a symbol the diversity and pride within the LGBTQ community. That’s what Phoenix Pride is celebrating from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 20, during the Rainbows Festival happening at Heritage Square Park, 113 North Sixth Street. That’s day one of the two-day event, which includes live entertainment on two stages, plus more than 150 exhibitors. Typically the event, which is free and open to the public, draws more than 25,000 people, including friends, family members, and other allies. If you’ve got rainbow gear, now is the time to rock it. Visit phoenixpride.org. Lynn Trimble
There’s a lot of talk these days about intersections between art and science, especially as schools boost S.T.E.M. programs while cutting the arts. Now, there’s an exhibit that captures the very real ways art and science are intertwined, showing it’s not an either-or proposition. Head to ASU Art Museum, 51 East Tenth Street in Tempe, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 20, to see how contemporary Argentinian artists Guillermo Faivovich and Nicolas Goldberg have been exploring a meteor shower that happened 4,000 years ago, while working with ASU’s Center for Meteorite Studies. Their “Decomiso” (meaning “seizure”) installation comprises sculpture, video, sound, and more than 400 photographs. Museum admission is free. Visit asuevents.asu.edu. Lynn Trimble
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
There isn’t a way to quantify the influence of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari without sounding like a pretentious film snob. Considered by film critics to be the peak of German Expressionism, the silent movie’s reach is felt in everything from the works of M. Night Shyamalan to Tim Burton. When this black and white classic screens at the Tempe History Museum, its surprises will be heightened by a haunting live score performed by the Tetra String Quartet.
The show begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 20, at 809 East Southern Avenue in Tempe. Admission is free. For more information, visit tempe.gov/museum. Jason Keil
Be sure to get all the rest you can on Saturday afternoon because you’ll be too scared to sleep at the Scream All Night Slumber Party 2: Electric Boogaloo at FilmBar. For 10 hours, you will witness the scariest sights ever committed to the big screen, including the classics Sleepaway Camp and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. There will be fun and games to keep your eyes open into the wee hours of Sunday morning. Hopefully, you can stomach the continental breakfast when the marathon comes to its gory end.
The festivities begin at 10 p.m. on Saturday, October 20, at 815 North Second Street. Tickets are $17. For more information, visit thefilmbarphx.com. Jason Keil
Bored with his usual routine, Jack Skellington, the King of Halloween Town, comes across a place called Christmas Town, where everything is happy and bright instead of dark and morbid. Naturally, the king decides to bring Christmas traditions to his own town, with unexpected results. That’s the gist of a Tim Burton tale transformed into The Nightmare Before Christmas, the film from 1993 that remains a fan favorite to this day. Check it out on the big screen at Symphony Hall, 75 North Second Street, while the Phoenix Symphony plays Danny Elfman’s film score. It’s happening at 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 21. Tickets start at $48. Visit phoenixsymphony.org. Lynn Trimble
Scary Spelling Bee
Word nerds unite for a fright at the Scary Spelling Bee. Step inside Carly’s Bistro and witness costumed adults stepping up to the podium and naming the letters of the most bone-chilling words in the English language. There will be great drink specials, so the word for this event is F-U-N.
The festivities begin at 6 p.m. on Sunday, October 21, at 128 East Roosevelt Street. This is a free event. If you wish to participate, please send an e-mail to [email protected] with “Spelling Bee” in the subject line. The first 20 people will be chosen. For more information, visit carlysbistro.com. Jason Keil
Between memorizing all of the 118 confirmed elements on the periodic table and using algebra to analyze chemical reactions, chemistry has to be the least-loved subject in school. The Arizona Museum of Natural History wants to change the perception around this much-maligned branch of science with Chemistry Day. This year’s theme is “Chemistry Is Out of This World.” There will be special events and activities throughout the day to show everyone young and old the value of chemistry in everyday life.
Mix things up from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 21, at 53 North MacDonald in Mesa. This event is free with museum admission. For more information, visit arizonamuseumofnaturalhistory.org. Jason Keil
Long and Short of it Book Club
The unique concept of the Long and Short of It Book Club separates it from other literary groups. The group will meet bi-monthly to discuss a novel and a story collection that are united by a common theme. Moderators Adam Vitcavage and Shelley Baugh will kick things off with “Rural Life in the American South.” Jesmyn Ward’s book Salvage the Bones explores an impoverished family’s life in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Sweet and Low, the debut collection from Nick White, uncovers the secrets of a group of characters living in Mississippi.
Turn the page at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 22, at Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road. This is a free event. For more information, visit changinghands.com. Jason Keil
The CALA Alliance is once again presenting an engaging discussion between artists in their Crossfade Lab series. Music critic Josh Kun will be moderating a conversation between award-winning experimental Canadian musician Lido Pimienta and Los Angeles-based artist Carolina Caycedo. The women are connected by their shared Colombian heritage and each crates work that deals with issues of identity, gender, resistance, and community. The goal of the dialogue between these two talented women is to create understanding within the diverse Phoenix community through artistic expression.
The event begins at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 21, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Admission is $15. For more information, visit crescentphx.com. Jason Keil
With their bright orange wings and black markings, monarch butterflies look like slivers of stained glass in motion. In several cultures, they’re symbols of change, transformation, or migration. They’re even part of a migration-theme mural Lucinda Yrene painted in south Phoenix earlier this year. Turns out, there’s a fall exhibit filled with monarch butterflies at Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, which is free with garden admission. It’s called “Mighty Monarchs and the Plant Protectors,” and you can check it out between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 23. General admission is $24. 95. The exhibit runs through November 18. Visit dbg.org. Lynn Trimble
‘Round Midnight Jazz Series Presents: A Tribute to The Count Basie Orchestra
‘Round Midnight Jazz Series Presents: A Tribute to The Count Basie Orchestra features local jazz ensemble The New Guard Big Band playing the work of one of the most influential bandleaders in the history of music. Basie performed for presidents, movie stars, and royalty. Swing down to Valley Bar, grab a drink, and go back in time to an era where the big trumpets blared and saxophones swung to stomping beat.
The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 22, at 130 North Central Avenue. Admission is $10 in advance and $12 the day of the show. For more information, visit valleybarphx.com. Jason Keil
Jimmy O. Yang is best known for playing Jian-Yang on the hit HBO comedy Silicon Valley. The character who began as the comedic foil to T.J. Miller’s pontifical Erlich Bachman transformed into a villain in the show’s fifth season, returning to China with a stolen algorithm and a plan to milk it for all it’s worth. The accolades came rolling in, kicking off a big year for the Crazy Rich Asians actor. He is currently touring in support of his memoir, How to American: An Immigrant’s Guide to Disappointing Your Parents, which came out over the summer.
The show begins at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 24, at StandUp Live, 50 West Jefferson Street. Tickets are $22 with a two-drink minimum. For more information, visit phoenix.standuplive.com. Jason Keil
Stuff You Should Know
Josh Clark, avid reader of the “Uncle John” series of bathroom trivia books, and writer Charles “Chuck” Bryant are recording an episode of the immensely popular Stuff You Should Know podcast in downtown Phoenix. The friends and co-hosts, who have questioned and researched everything from the Ebola virus, Spam, and fecal transplants (gross), will take the stage of the Orpheum Theatre to simplify the complicated through their use of quick quips and pop-culture bromides.
The quest for knowledge begins at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 24, at 203 West Adams Street. Tickets are $30 to $40. For more information, visit phoenixconventioncenter.com. Jason Keil