New Times picks the best arts and culture events in metro Phoenix from February 29 to March 4.
Leap Day suggests leaping about the dance floor. But it’s Monday, and you’re wiped. The next best thing is listening to dance music — beats from assorted cultures and historical periods, to improve your mind if not your body.
You may recall that Mary J. Blige don't need no hateration, holleratin' in this dancery. In this case, The Danserye is a program of dance tuneage from around the world, played by Tempe Winds, a renowned ensemble made up of much the same instruments as a marching band, but without the marching.
Get it crunk and have fun upon it at 7:30 p.m. Monday, February 29, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Tickets are $3 and $5 at 480-350-2822 or www.tca.ticketforce.com. Julie Peterson
Diamondbacks vs. U of A Men's Baseball
While it’s doubtful that the Diamondbacks’ most prized — and pricey — off-season acquisition, Zack Greinke, will take the field when the ‘Backs host the University of Arizona men’s baseball team on Tuesday, March 1, there’s little doubt that the collegiate squad will be aglow at such a unique opportunity. That the Wildcats aren’t projected to be all that great (even by college standards) only enhances the matchup’s David-and-Goliath narrative. Still, it is an exhibition game — against D-Backs manager Chip Hale’s alma mater no less. So even the most ardent fans would do well to show the boys from Tucson some Valley hospitality when they visit Chase Field, 401 East Jefferson Street. Fortunately, Diamondbacks fans are accustomed to rooting for the underdog. Game time is 3:10 p.m. Tickets are $11 and up. Visit www.dbacks.com or call 602-514- 8400. Rob Kroehler
Trump vs. Bernie Debate Tour
Could our young democracy even handle the sheer boisterous lunacy of a Trump/Sanders debate? If the mock debates put on by comedians James Adomian and Anthony Atamanuik during their Trump vs. Bernie Debate Tour 2016 are any indication, not in the slightest. Adomian and Atamanuik’s impressions are so scary-good (and depressingly accurate) that whether you’re feeling the Bern or you’re a yuge Trumpeter, you’ll leave hating both of them — so, in the end, not really that different from how you feel after the actual debates. At least you can drink at this one.
Cast your vote for the Trump vs. Bernie Debate Tour 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street. Tickets are $20. Call 480-719-6100 or visit standuplive.com for more. Zach Fowle
Daughters of Eve
Center Dance Ensemble’s Daughters of Eve focuses on the female aspect of life, encompassing everything from the book of Genesis to the Platonic idea of soulmates. Three choreographers’ creation of six modern dance pieces, including four world premières, guarantees a variety of styles and perspectives. The headliner, Frances Smith Cohen's The Attic — based on Anne Frank's diary — hasn’t been seen since 2011. Two of the other pieces come with live music (a rare treat at a dance performance) composed by Eric Sandmeyer and performed by Arizona Pro Arte Ensemble.
On Thursday, March 3, Daughters of Eve will be presented at 12:10 p.m. in an abridged version as part of the Herberger Lunch Time Dance Theater series. The full-length evening performance starts at 7:30 p.m. Performances continue through Sunday, March 6, at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. For tickets, $6 to $28, call 602-252-8497 or visit www.herbergertheater.org. Julie Peterson
Lita Ford Book-Signing
“Went to a party last Saturday night, didn’t get laid, got in a fight, uh-huh – it ain’t no big thing.”
No, we aren’t stealing lines from your diary. They’re lyrics from one of rocker Lita Ford’s biggest hits, “Kiss Me Deadly.” The singer and guitarist visits to sign copies of her new memoir, Living Like a Runaway. Her career started in the 1970s with legendary, all-girl rock band the Runaways, that also featured Joan Jett. Another solo accomplishment was the high-charting “Close My Eyes Forever,” a duet with Ozzy Osbourne. Raise your heavy metal hand-horns at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, at Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 South McClintock Drive in Tempe. Books are $26.99 and are required for the signing. Call 480-730-0205 or visit www.changinghands.com. Amy Young
Don’t confuse Wittenberg with Wickenburg, known for good pie and a shortcut to Vegas. Wittenberg’s the German city where Hamlet attended college and met Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, the kind of bros your mom warned you about. It’s also a play by David Davalos that throws together some people who all resided there, if at different levels of fictionality: ur-Protestant Martin Luther, Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus, and the eventual dropout Hamlet (there was a death in the family, and he never went back. In a big way).
If you go to Germany, don’t expect pie. It’s really more of a cakey country. If you go to Wittenberg, you’ll be rewarded with a witty, thought-provoking, and deeply weird experience. Southwest Shakespeare Company’s production continues through Saturday, March 12, at Mesa Arts Center, One East Main Street. Tickets are $12.50 to $44 at 480-644-6500 or www.swshakespeare.org, and Thursday, March 3’s showtime is 7:30 p.m. Julie Peterson
"Why We Need Spike Lee"
Who better to tell you why Spike Lee is important than the man, himself?
The outspoken and often controversial director presents, “Why We Need Spike Lee,” and discusses why iconoclastic filmmakers are important, as well as the topics of higher education, and gun control in the 21st century. Lee’s latest film, Chi-Raq is a modern adaptation of the classic Greek comedy Lysistrata. His modern version takes place in inner city Chicago, amidst gang violence. Find out how valuable Lee thinks he is at 7 p.m. on March 4 at ASU Gammage, 1200 South Forest Avenue in Tempe. Admission is free. Tickets are given out from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the day of the event at the east entrance of ASU Gammage. Call 480-965-3434 or visit www.asugammage.com. Amy Young