The Best Events and Things to Do in Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa January 11 to 17 | Phoenix New Times

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The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

New Times picks the best arts and culture events from January 11 to 16. Naughty or Nice Bingo It's barely two weeks into 2016 and we're willing to bet you've already settled into a boring routine. Don't give up! Buy a motorcycle! Get a tattoo! Live the dream! Or just make...
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New Times picks the best arts and culture events from January 11 to 16.

Naughty or Nice Bingo
It's barely two weeks into 2016 and we're willing to bet you've already settled into a boring routine. Don't give up! Buy a motorcycle! Get a tattoo! Live the dream! Or just make your Monday a little less ordinary with Naughty or Nice Bingo, no bigs. Lezbien McKenzie and Olivia Gardens host (and bring glam to) the fun and games. With plenty of sass, free popcorn, and prizes of men's swimwear and intimate apparel from Off Chute Too, your week's gonna be shaken up enough to chill until the weekend.

Naughty or Nice Bingo is at Kobalt, 3110 North Central Avenue, on Monday nights starting at 9:30 p.m. Admission for this 21-and-over event is free. Visit for more details. Jose Gonzalez

Tony-winning Idina Menzel (whom you may recognize from little things called Wicked, Rent, Frozen, and Glee) is touring with her recent project If/Then, featuring a score by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, the songwriters for Next to Normal (and the upcoming Magic Mike musical).

The alternate-reality plot is less relevant than the kickass songs, which led the cast recording to debut higher on the charts than any Broadway album since 1996’s Rent. It’s rare for a show’s original star to hit the road, so give yourself something to tell your grandkids about on Tuesday, January 12, at 7:30 p.m. at Gammage Auditorium, 1200 South Forest Avenue in Tempe. Scarce tickets run from $30 to $200 at 480-965-3434 or Performances continue through Sunday, January 17. Julie Peterson

Talk Cinema
If you’re the kind of movie geek who barrels out of the theater to immediately open your Rotten Tomatoes app and log some post-flick discussion time, then Talk Cinema might be your new favorite thing. Curated by film critic Harlan Jacobson, the monthly series features films from leading festivals before they’re released to the masses. Best part? You don’t know what you’re seeing until you arrive. A moderated conversation follows. Get cinematically surprised at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $17. Call 480-499-8587 or visit Amy Young

Improv Drop-in Class
Perhaps you’ve found yourself benefiting from a funny bone in otherwise awkward or tense situations. Maybe you miss the days of high school theater classes (“You’re a tree! You’re a wheelbarrow! You’re dying!”). Could be you’ve decided to put yourself out there more. Whatever the reason, this new weekly improv class could be just the ticket.

The ongoing drop-in class, aptly named “Improv Drop-in Class,” offers tips and guidance, tackling the f-u-ndamentals of improvisation and situational comedy.

Class is in session at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 13, at The Comedy Spot, 7117 East Third Avenue in Scottsdale. Participation is $10 per person; no registration is required. Interested improv-ers should plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early. Call 480-945-4422 or visit for details. Janessa Hilliard

The Paw Project
Chartreuse Gallery’s “Cats & Guitars” art show is doubling — tripling? — as quite a few things. Not only is it the backdrop for curator Kate Benjamin’s wedding reception, but it’s another opportunity for the cat lover to promote proper “catification” practices. And declawing your cat is not among them.

She calls declawing “barbaric” and has teamed up with The Paw Project, a documentary about its inhumane nature, to speak truth to paw-er. The film will be screened at the gallery show this week, and a conversation about declawing alternatives and how to cohabitate more effectively with cats, will follow.

The free screening starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 14, at Chartreuse, 1401 Grand Avenue. For details on the documentary or “Cats & Guitars,” visit and Janessa Hilliard

Jackalope Ranch Bingo
How’s this for a Throwback Thursday? Jackalope Ranch bingo is back on
January 14.

The series New Times’ arts blog started a few years ago returns to Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, with super-special host Marshall Shore. We know, we know. You have a lot of questions, including but not limited to: Will Shore wear his infamous trolls-adorned blazer? Will the prizes be awesome? Will there be jokes about O-69? We can say: possibly, most certainly, and, um, duh. Doors open at 7:30, play starts at 8 p.m., and participation is free. Drinks and burritos, however, will cost you. See or call 602-716-2222. Becky Bartkowski

Elvis Costello Detour: Live at Liverpool Philharmonic
The average living room is made for entertaining guests, and singer-songwriter Elvis Costello is a most gracious host. His latest tour set the stage with an mock-up of a 1960s British living room and an oversize television displaying previously unseen family photos. The concert film Detour: Live at Liverpool Philharmonic captures the icon in his mother's hometown sprinkling stories between his hits and rarities, including  the Paul McCartney co-written "Pads, Paws and Claws" with sisters Megan and Rebecca Larkin of soulful rock band Larkin Poe. Just make sure to wipe your feet at the front door.

Elvis Costello Detour: Live at Liverpool Philharmonic screens at 8 p.m. at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street, on Thursday, January 14. Admission is $12.50. For more information, visit Jose Gonzalez

A pro tip for art in Phoenix: Anytime world-renowned and Arizona-based art collector Stéphane Janssen is involved with an exhibition, go. Frankly, we could just leave it at that regarding ASU Art Museum’s latest, “Participant,” an exhibition of images created by Spencer Tunick that’s culled from Janssen’s collection. (You might recall seeingTunick’s work in Phoenix Art Museum’s “Vanitas,” which also drew on Janssen’s collection.) Even so, we’ll indulge your curiosity.

Tunick’s work entails traveling around the world to organize “human installations,” often involving groups of nude people, and photographing them. “Participant” displays more than 20 of such works and has an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 14, 51 East 10th Street in Tempe. The free show remains on view through May 28. See for more. Becky Bartkowski

Taiyou Con 2016
The first rule of kicking it with geeks and hardcore enthusiasts at various gatherings is to not totally gawk at their cosplay. If you dig someone's outfit, hair, and makeup, you can instead smile, say hello, and compliment the person. Even a request to snap a quick pic is preferable to being stricken with a slack jaw. You can have fun testing your restraint at Taiyou Con 2016, where all manner of Japanese pop culture — anime, manga, and video games — are celebrated. In addition to the requisite costume-centric events, there'll be music from video game rap hero Mega Ran, live game show panel The Newlyfriend Game, and left-field, 18-and-over fare like Blurry Rick F'ks Up Anime.

On Friday, January 15, Taiyou Con 2016 touches down at the Mesa Convention Center, 263 North Center Street, running from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Day passes are $30 with $40 weekend passes good through Sunday evening. Visit for more information. Jose Gonzalez

Grease was originally filled with a great deal more gritty Chicagoness – think raw sexuality and profound vulgarity. And its mid-century nostalgia pre-dated American Graffiti and Happy Days by a few years. The Broadway run broke records. But mostly, Grease is adorable and, if you’re lucky, very funny. The ASU School of Music’s Lyric Opera Theatre is currently presenting a student workshop production, and that means the singers and accompaniment will be top-notch and the teenage characters will be played by roughly age-appropriate actors.
The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 15, and continues through Sunday, January 17, with tickets, $8, available at or 480-965-6447. Join the Pink Ladies and the T-Birds in the Evelyn Smith Music Theatre, 50 East Gammage Parkway in Tempe. Julie Peterson

Free Flow Yoga
You could say that yoga has come a long way since its Eastern roots. Whether the Californication of the practice is your style or not, you have to admit it has given that artsy girl in your crew purpose — at least until she discovers Pilates. Ever think she’s onto something?
Start the New Year off the bendy way with Feel Good Flow Yoga at Practical Art, 5070 North Central Avenue, on Friday, January 15, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. @DJ will be spinning alongside Downward Dogs and Warriors at the all-skill-level class with a long, relaxing savasana. Plus there will be snacks. (Guys, snacks!)

The event is technically free, but we hear tossing a few bucks into the donation jar is good karma. Visit Christina Caldwell

Pancakes & Booze Art Show
Angeleno and artist Tom Kirlin returns to The Valley with his long-running traveling art show, “Pancakes & Booze.” The event hosts more than 50 emerging artists to a backdrop of live DJ sets, creating a sort of sensory overload mixed with that unmistakable scent of syrup. Lots of syrup.

Like years past, attendees can expect live body and canvas painting, and late-night breakfast food thanks to two kinds of bars: pancake and, well, booze — which, we have to admit, work pretty well together.

The art show runs from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday, January 15, at The Duce, 525 South Central Avenue. Admission to the 21-and-older event is $5 and includes the all-you-can-eat pancake bar experience with toppings like bananas, strawberries, and chocolate. For more information, visit Janessa Hilliard

Map of Broken Glass
Map of Broken Glass is a cool name for a program of dance, if not a place one might literally choose to dance. But the name’s relevant, as well, because CONDER/dance crafted the performance from ideas that they deconstructed and reassembled, in collaboration with filmmaker Perry Allen. Carley Conder’s choreography was also influenced by the Sufi poet Rumi. The show’s part of a residency sponsored by [nueBOX], which is not merely yet another venture into creative punctuation and capitalization but also an organization assisting visual and performing artists who need a place to raise their profile and goose their process.

This time around, CONDER/dance performs in the venerable but updated space on the third floor of Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 North Third Street. The glass breaks at 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday, January 16. Tickets are $15; order them at or call 480- 420-8353 for more information. Julie Peterson

The Secret of the Ooze
Vanilla Ice's one-hit wonder stardom was swift — and the aftermath was pretty rough. Right before the complete disappearance of the rapper (but before his brief rap-rock and reality show revivals), the man also known as Robert Van Winkle infamously cameoed in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze. The 25-year-old live-action feature starring the chopsocky, wisecracking reptiles just gets better with age. The sweet limited edition poster and T-shirt graphics created by Cult Classics domo Victor Moreno pretty much make this shindig's VIP posse the only one worth joining.

Cult Classics presents The Ninja Turtle Pizza Party on Saturday, January 16, at Pollack Tempe Cinemas, 1825 East Elliot Road. The pizza-fueled fury starts at 9:30 P.M. Admission is $11 with VIP packages ranging from $20 to $40. For advance tickets and more info, visit Jose Gonzalez

"Stradivarius: Origins and Legacy of the Greatest Violin Maker"
You probably never thought of violins as particularly controversial, right?

Well, when it’s a Stradivarius, there has long been plenty to discuss. As the best-known name in violins, many have speculated as to what gives it its distinct sound and whether it truly does outshine the others. On view through June 5, “Stradivarius: Origins and Legacy of the Greatest Violin Maker” will give you the opportunity to learn all about the Stradivari family and their beautiful instruments through displays, programs, and performances. The opening weekend fun runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, January 17, at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard. A $10 ticket grants access to the “Stradivarius” exhibition only, or if you spring for museum admission ($10 to $20), the special exhibition costs $7 more. For details, call 480-478-6000 or visit Amy Young
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