Events

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

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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 www.scorpiusdance.com. 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 www.azstatefair.com. 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 www.straycattheatre.org. 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 www.azbroadway.org. 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 www.dbg.org. 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