The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix, October 24 to 30

Your guide to how to spend this week is here, Phoenix. Get ready for basketball, Día de los Muertos, photography, a theatrical Trump takedown, and some quality time with the man behind Ron Swanson. Looking for more? See New Times' curated calendar

"One World, Many Voices"
Geek out on music history as much as you do the tunes themselves? “One World, Many Voices: The Artistry of Canyon Records” is a multimedia exhibition that should top your must-see list.

Canyon Records started in 1951 and is still going strong, producing and distributing Native American music. Their roster features artists like R. Carlos Nakai, Tony Duncan, and Radmilla Cody. A cultural institution, the renowned label won the first Governor’s Arts Awards for small businesses. Hear music composed exclusively for this exhibition, and tour its history through photographs, instruments, and videos. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Monday, October 24, at the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, 4619 East Washington Street. Exhibition access is included with museum admission, $3 to $6, and the exhibit runs through May 31, 2017. Call 602-495-0901 or visit Amy Young

See works by three photographers who’ve embraced the dark instead of fearing it. Darkroom-focused photographers Philip V. Augustin, B.K. Skaggs, and Melanie Walker are showing works exploring abstract formalism, intimate landscapes, and creative narratives as part of the “(Re)View: Abstract, Land, and the Narrative” exhibition at Art Intersection, 207 North Gilbert Road in Gilbert.

Each photographer uses media of traditional or historical photographic processes to explore and express their distinct creative visions. For Walker, that sometimes takes the form of objects she calls househeads, which couple house imagery with home as metaphor to explore memory, family, dreams, and fiction.
You can explore “(Re)View: Abstract, Land, and the Narrative” between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 25. The exhibition continues through December 3. Visit Lynn Trimble

Nick Offerman
Fans of the Leslie Knope-led universe, Parks and Recreation, remember mustachioed Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) as the epitome of manliness: a guy who could down a bottle of scotch in his woodshed and emerge, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, with a meticulously crafted canoe in hand.

Turns out, much of the woodwork featured on the show came from Offerman’s own business, the appropriately named Offerman Woodshop, which the actor and accomplished woodworker has worked out of for 15 years.

Offerman takes readers on a journey of how-tos and life lessons in a new book about that shop, Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop. He’ll bring the memoir to a reading and signing at Mesa Arts Center, One East Main Street, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 25.

Admission packages are $42 for single entry or $50 for two people; the ticket includes a hardcover copy of Good Clean Fun. Visit for tickets. Janessa Hilliard

Phoenix Suns vs. Sacramento Kings
Any hypochondriac can tell you that it’s better to know you’re screwed than to wonder if you are. Phoenix Suns fans entered last season with a nagging sense that the season was doomed. This year, we know the prognosis is grim, but nothing ameliorates frustration like low expectations. Ultimately, the 2016-17 Suns are young, inexperienced, and a little too green to compete in the Western Conference. Yet, with Devon Booker poised for stardom and Eric Bledsoe healthy, this team has plenty of upsides. It might not appear in the win column, but these young Suns should be entertaining from the season’s opening tip, which is at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26, against the Sacramento Kings at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. Tickets are $14 and up through or 602-379-7800 for details. Rob Kroehler

P.C. Cast
With two books out this month, YA author P.C. Cast is keeping busy.

The first, A Scent of Salt and Sand, is a novella co-authored with her daughter Kristen, blending Greek mythology and romance in a paranormal San Francisco.

When she arrives in Tempe for a signing at Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 South McClintock Drive, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26, she will be promoting her latest solo venture, Moon Chosen. The first in her new “Tales of the New World,” the novel follows Mari, an Earth Walker who falls in love with a mortal boy.

Moon Chosen is available in hardcover for $18.99, which includes two tickets for the signing. For more information, call 480-730-0205 or visit Michael Senft

Veronica's Room
Ira Levin is best known for Rosemary’s Baby, his 1967 novel that ignited the horror/thriller craze we still enjoy today. Levin also penned Deathtrap (a nice murdery play that became a film starring Christopher Reeve and Michael Caine), The Stepford Wives, and Veronica’s Room, a mystery running through Saturday, October 29, in a production by iTheatre Collaborative at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street.

As happens all too often, a young couple visits the creepy house of an older couple they’ve never laid eyes on before, and they get more than they bargained for. These people will never learn. Tickets are $20 at or 602-252-8497. Showtime on Thursday, October 27, is 8 p.m. Audiences should keep the astonishing twist ending to themselves. Seriously. Julie Peterson

Dave Wagner
As terrifying or bizarre as any piece of crime fiction might be, it’s often derived from real-life occurrences or within the realm, unfortunately, of what twisted minds could accomplish.

Author and newsman Dave Wagner knows all about crimes of the nonfiction variety. Formerly, he served as city editor at the Phoenix Gazette and metro news editor at the Arizona Republic. This week, he discusses his new book, The Politics of Murder: Organized Crime in Barry Goldwater's Arizona. The book explores the 1976 murder of Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles and its ties to then-senator Barry Goldwater and Navajo president Peter MacDonald. Learn about this local mystery at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 27, at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road. Admission is free; the book is $17.95. Call 602-274-0067 or visit Amy Young

A Vampire Tale
Feeling exhausted by the mere thought of another holiday season looming? A cheesy but seasonally appropriate motivational poster might encourage you to “fang in there,” but we’ll settle for recommending some fun with Scorpius Dance Theatre’s A Vampire Tale. It follows the adventures of a mere mortal lured into the world of seductive bloodsuckers. Created by Scorpius artistic director Lisa Starry, it’s been a staple of the Valley dance scene for more than a decade.

Scorpius promises “the look and feel of a live rock concert” during this full-length contemporary dance production, featuring 22 dancers performing to a soundtrack created by local musician Kristofer Hill. Expect a mix of dance, drama, storytelling, and aerial arts – plus biting performances by returning favorites Nicole Olson and Gavin Sisson.

Sink your teeth in on opening night at 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 27, at Phoenix Theatre’s Hormel Theatre, 100 East McDowell Road. Tickets are $33, and are available through the Phoenix Theatre box office at 602-254-2151. Visit Lynn Trimble

Arizona State Fair
Any fair worth its lines must offer crazy rides, experimental gut-busting food, and plenty of people watching. Luckily, you’ll find all three — and then some — during the final weekend of the Arizona State Fair.

The fairgrounds at 1826 West McDowell Road play host to everything from petting zoos to a “Backyard” of dinosaurs and shopping to the United States Armwrestling Championships, all next to rides that spin you around and upside down — at the same time.

In addition to its all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-ride opportunities (pro tip: ride, then eat), the fair features a packed calendar for Thursday, October 27, with two live storytelling sets from the Storyline Collective and a concert from Garbage, the woman-fronted ‘90s alt-rock band that wasn’t No Doubt.

Gates open at noon and close at 9 p.m., plenty of time for an evening of fried food and fun. General admission is $10; discounts are available on a per-day basis. For advance tickets and details, see Janessa Hilliard

The Trump Card
Ever wondered what makes Donald Trump tick? So did playwright Mike Daisey. So he wrote The Trump Card, which explores the rise of The Donald within the context of an American oligarchy ruled by dark money. Stray Cat Theatre opens its production of the show at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 28, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway.

The play features Stray Cat artistic director Ron May, who previously starred in the Actors Theatre production of Daisey’s play about Apple wunderkind Steve Jobs. It’s being directed by Katie McFadzen, another powerhouse of the Valley theater scene.

For Daisey, Trump is more than an alleged huckster. He’s a new American archetype whose story illuminates the ways American society has sold out its own beloved American dream.

Tickets start at $20, and are available through the Tempe Center for the Arts box office at 480-350-2822. Visit Lynn Trimble

Funny Girl
Funny Girl is a flashy, funny, emotional musical that we don’t get to see often enough. Based on the career of real-life vaudeville star Fanny Brice, the story has several production numbers and a love affair built right in. The show ran for 1,348 performances on Broadway and transported a young Barbra Streisand into her Oscar-winning role in the movie version, the highest grossing film of 1968.

Arizona Broadway Theatre presents the frisky tuner through Sunday, November 13, at 7701 West Paradise Lane in Peoria. Ticket prices, which may increase with demand, range from $46.50 to $95. (The higher price tier includes dinner.) Showtimes on Saturday, October 29, are noon and 5:30 p.m. For additional information or to order seats, call 623-776-8400 or visit Julie Peterson

Día de los Muertos
There will be plenty to do at the Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, during its 2016 Día de los Muertos celebration. Attendees can expect music, dancing, crafts, face painting, storytelling, a massive mercado, and of course, La Procesión.

The live entertainment and a community altar will be found in the Boppart Courtyard. The Garden’s mercado – spanning the Boppart Courtyard and Dorrance Hall – will include Southwestern, Mexican, and Latin American art, sculptures, jewelry, housewares, and food.

On, Sunday, October 30, the Día de los Muertos celebration runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and La Procesión follows from 5 to 6. Entrance is included with the price of admission, which is $22 for adults, $20 for seniors, $12 for students, $10 for children 3 to 12, and free for kids 2 and younger. For more information, call 480-941-1225 or visit Lauren Cusimano

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski
Evie Carpenter is a visual journalist. Using photography, videography, design, and sometimes words, she tells stories she hopes make a bit of difference in the world, even if those stories are in list form and include GIFs.
Contact: Evie Carpenter
Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Janessa is a native Phoenician. She joined New Times as a contributor in 2013. You can connect with her on social media at @janessahilliard, and she promises you'll find no pictures of cats on her Instagram — but plenty of cocktails.
Contact: Janessa Hilliard
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
Michael runs the Sci-Fridays Book Club at the Poisoned Pen, and volunteers at local pop-culture conventions. He can be found at the occasional prog-rock concert.
Contact: Michael Senft
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble