Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

It's a secret.
It's a secret. Lamp Left Media
Need plans? We've got you covered. This week, you can find some unique treasures at Junk in the Trunk, get awkward at Pop Punk Prom, or treat your taste buds at FoodStock. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

Get Weird

It’s easier finding Avengers: Endgame spoilers on the internet than it is getting details on Get Weird, the unusual event taking place at Arizona State University Art Museum. Could it be some surrealistic exhibit? When we asked organizers for a photo, we received a picture of a card that reads “Top Secret.” We do know that snacks will be served, and word on the street is everyone will have a good time.

All secrets will be revealed from 5:35 p.m. to 9:20 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, at 51 East Tenth Street in Tempe. You must have a ticket for this free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Still image from Eden Bartok's Catoptromantic film. - COURTESY OF ASU SCHOOL OF ART
Still image from Eden Bartok's Catoptromantic film.
Courtesy of ASU School of Art

Documentary Video Art Festival

Before filmmakers hit the big screen, they spend countless hours making their work and sharing it in venues off the beaten path. Soon, several emerging artists will be showing four-minute snippets of short films created with the intermedia program at Arizona State University School of Art, during the free Documentary Video Art Festival at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street. It’s happening at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 25. More than a dozen students are showing works addressing diverse themes, including hiking, architecture, hockey, and the secondary sneaker market. Eclectic offerings also include a film by Sam Fresquez, which explores the experiences of 911 operators. Space is limited, so arrive early if you want to snag a seat. Visit Lynn Trimble

Arizona Diamondbacks

It’s still early in the baseball season, but it's already time to test the loyalty of Valley baseball fans, as the Chicago Cubs return to their home away from home to take on the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Expect to see the ballpark filled with Cubbies blue, even though the Windy City crew has struggled early in the season.  The real challenge in Phoenix, however, will be to see if D-backs fans can silence all the transplanted Midwesterners who are still drunk from the joy of their 2016 championship.  You'd never guess that the two teams have won the same number of World Series titles over the past 100 years.  But no matter who you root for, there will be a fireworks show after Friday’s game, which is always a big draw in the desert.

The first pitch goes out at 6:40 p.m. on Friday, April 26, at 401 East Jefferson Street, with additional games through Sunday, April 28. Tickets are $39 to $375. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Getting that vintage vibe. - COURTESY OF JUNK IN THE TRUNK
Getting that vintage vibe.
Courtesy of Junk in the Trunk

Junk in the Trunk

Some people are inexplicably drawn to treasures, despite the current trend of doing away with stuff. They’ve still got junk drawers, and they know the thrill of poking through objects that might not make your list of necessities on a deserted island. Soon, they’ll converge on West World, 16601 North Pima Road, for the Scottsdale market being presented by Junk in the Trunk, an enterprise that helps people connect with artisans and vintage wares. The three-day affair opens on Friday, April 26, when hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Opening night tickets cost $65 at the gate, and they’ll get you in on Saturday and Sunday, too. Ticket holders get a tote bag and free drink on Friday night, and the thrill of being first to shop with more than 150 vendors. Visit Lynn Trimble

Write On, Downtown

Write On, Downtown has collected work from the students of Arizona State University’s downtown Phoenix campus for 12 years. In the last several years, the journal has shifted its focus to include the myriad voices that make up our community (including a piece by Phoenix New Times contributor Ashley Naftule). There will be a launch party at Changing Hands Phoenix featuring readings by some of the authors and hosted by the publication’s editor and co-founder, Rosemarie Dombrowski.

Read our city’s future from noon to 2 p.m. on Friday, April 26, at 300 West Camelback Road. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil

Pop Punk Prom

Pretty much everyone had to endure the awkward adolescent rite of passage known as the prom. Not everyone got to do it while being serenaded by rowdy and raucous pop-punk bands singing emo anthems filled with three-chord riffs.

Local acts Divided Minds, Victory Tonight, Promise to Myself, Telltale, and Headspace will do just that during the Pop Punk Prom on Friday, April 26, at the Nile Theater, 105 West Main Street in Mesa. The event will feature sets by all five, as well as a DJ, photo booth, and plenty of dancing, awkward or otherwise.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. See Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Scene from Cafe Abundance. - COURTESY OF THE BRIDGE INITIATIVE
Scene from Cafe Abundance.
Courtesy of The Bridge Initiative

Bechdel Test Fest

If you’ve ever lamented the dearth of female representation in theater, you know it’s not enough to simply pop off every time the Oscars or Tony awards feel like bastions of patriarchy. Find ways you can support women theater artists in your own community, including the Bechdel Test Fest opening Friday, April 26, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. Work passes the Bechdel Test, named for the graphic novelist who conceived it, if it includes two characters who identify as female, and they talk to each other about something other than a man. The festival opens at 6:30 p.m. on Friday with a free panel discussion titled Bechdel and Beyond. Tickets are $15 for film screenings that start at 7:30 p.m., and you can stay after for an opening night party. The three-day festival is being presented by The Bridge Initiative: Women in Theatre. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Checking out World Bazaar offerings. - COURTESY OF LOCAL FIRST ARIZONA
Checking out World Bazaar offerings.
Courtesy of Local First Arizona

World Bazaar Phoenix

Broaden your world view while supporting local businesses owned by immigrants and refugees, as Local First Arizona and several partner organizations present World Bazaar Phoenix from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. It’s happening at 1813 West Camelback Road, where you’ll find vendors selling an eclectic assortment of goods reflecting diverse world cultures. Expect plenty of local art, plus handcrafted jewelry, clothing, accessories, and decorative items. The day also includes live music and dance highlighting global cultures, and the chance to sample Middle Eastern sweets and other culinary treats. Presenting organizations include the International Rescue Committee in Phoenix, which helps people fleeing human trafficking, torture, and other types of violence resettle in American communities. Visit Lynn Trimble

Puppy love.
Courtesy of Arizona Animal Welfare League

ReTAIL: A Market for Mutts

An old children’s song called “Pop Goes the Weasel” gave the furry critter its 15 minutes of fame. But puppy popularity never seems to wane. Nowadays, dogs have their own spa treatments, strollers, and Instagram accounts. So, naturally, they need their own pop-up market. Enter ReTAIL: A Market for Mutts, where you can shop for pet and people products with proceeds benefiting the Arizona Animal Welfare League. It’s happening from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, at The Churchill, 901 North First Street. While you’re there, check out adoptable dogs, food and drink samples, and prize raffle. Dogs are welcome. Weasels, not so much. Visit Lynn Trimble

Humdinger Festival

Have you ever wanted an overview of what the Valley’s music scene has to offer? Each month until June, Danny Zelisko Presents will be putting on the Humdinger Festival at the Mesa Amphitheater. The lineup is entirely made up of local talent, and April’s edition is pretty stacked. Headlining is the blues-rock outfit Japhy’s Descent and the energetic nerd-core duo Smailmate. Other performers include The Bellwethers, The Edisons, Break The Robot, Luau, Ali A & The Agency, and Terra Fractal.

The concert begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, at 263 North Center Street in Mesa. Tickets are $12 with children under 12 free with a paid adult. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Just relaxing. Thinking about food. - GET LOCAL ARIZONA EVENTS
Just relaxing. Thinking about food.
Get Local Arizona Events


The festival commemorating the 50th anniversary of Woodstock didn’t really excite music fans, but the third annual FoodStock has something for everyone’s taste buds. Billed as Arizona’s favorite food truck festival, FoodStock will play host to more than 50 vendors offering everything from açai bowls to seafood and mixed drinks. This family-friendly event will feature face-painting and a bouncy house for your little foodies.

Get your grub on from 4 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, at Peoria Sports Complex, 263 16101 North 83rd Avenue in Peoria. Tickets are $5 for adults and free for children. For more information, visit Jason Keil

Last Saturday at the Rogue Bar

The story of The Rogue Bar in Scottsdale has been a long and rowdy one. Since 2001, the scrappy, dive-y, and colorful south Scottsdale bar music venue has been filled with rock ’n’ roll and functioned as a wayward home for local bands and the fans who love ’em.

Sadly, however, that tale is ultimately coming to an end.

At month’s end, Rogue Bar owner Manny Tripodis will close the doors of his joint after close to two decades, but not before one final weekend of shows. On Saturday, April 27, a slew of local indie bands and musicians will raise a toast to the venue and send it out with a bang during the Last Saturday at the Rogue Bar. The night will feature sets by such acts and artists as The Bittersweet Way, Gladhammer, Citrus Clouds, Jackson Dife, The Psychedelephants, and Anthony Fama.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and admission is $10. Call 480-947-3580 or Benjamin Leatherman

Fiesta del Barrio

If you want to counter false narratives by politicians eager to stoke fear, train your eye on local communities. That’s where people with diverse life experiences are working together to create neighborhoods filled with hope instead of hate. Case in point: a community party called Fiesta del Barrio, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 28, at 1937 West Adams Street. The free celebration includes live music, a bounce house for the kids, and food sales in case you need to grab a bite to eat. It’s being presented by Puente Human Rights Movement, a Phoenix-based organization working to “develop, educate, and empower migrant communities.” You’ll be able to learn more about the grassroots movement while you’re there. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Time to celebrate children. - COURTESY OF HEARD MUSEUM
Time to celebrate children.
Courtesy of Heard Museum

Día del Niño

The Heard Museum is celebrating Día del Niño (Children’s Day) on Sunday, April 28, with a free celebration that includes dance, music, art, storytelling, yoga, and plenty of hands-on activities for children. You can create a print, learn about indigenous foods, make a clay doll, or watch a bow-and-arrow demonstration. Plus, you can see young musicians and ballet folklorico dancers perform at specific times noted on the museum website. Kids ages 12 and under get free museum admission during the event when accompanied by two paying parents or guardians. So it’s a good excuse to explore the latest exhibits featuring artworks with shapes, colors, and textures that family members of all ages can appreciate. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Jazz performer Jessica Kotu. - COURTESY OF MESA ARTS CENTER
Jazz performer Jessica Kotu.
Courtesy of Mesa Arts Center

International Jazz Day: A Taste of New Orleans Crawfish Festival

“All that jazz” is more than a catchy phrase at Mesa Arts Center, where they’ve been doing strong jazz programming, from live music to jazz-inspired art exhibits, for many years. Next up is International Jazz Day: A Taste of New Orleans Crawfish Festival, a free outdoor celebration of jazz happening at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 28. Head to the center, located at 1 East Main Street right off the light-rail line, to enjoy vocal and music performances by Donald Harrison, Jessica Kotu, and other creatives whose credentials include playing for several U.S. presidents and major sporting events. Guest chef Louis Rainey will be on hand, too. Visit Lynn Trimble

The Groove Theory

ZeeDubb of the local band The Stakes once told Phoenix New Times that the duo wanted to be a hip-hop band that can play to any crowd. Now he and his bandmate Lord Kash are out to prove that they can play with any musician with their latest project, The Groove Theory. Each month, local artists work out new rhythms right before your eyes. This month’s lineup hadn’t been announced at press time, but last month’s show featured collaborations with members of Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra and Jerusafunk.

Feel the beat at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil

Talking food and farming. - COURTESY OF LOCAL FIRST ARIZONA
Talking food and farming.
Courtesy of Local First Arizona

Food & Farm Forum

Farming has been an integral part of American history, and it’ll be an essential element of American society moving forward. But people are finding new ways to farm, and connect with the land and people at the heart of it all. Here in the Valley, growers, marketers, and community food supporters will be gathering for a two-day Food & Farm Forum, where key food- and farming-related issues will be up for thoughtful, creative discussion. The event kicks off on Tuesday, April 30, at The Farm at Agritopia, 3000 East Ray Road, Gilbert. That day’s highlights include keynote speaker Gary Paul Nabhan, whose expertise includes indigenous farming and foraging on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Single day tickets are $59, or you can attend both days for $99. Visit Lynn Trimble

“All Your Favorite Gameshows”

Did the friend that you phoned fail you that one time you were on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? There is no need to fret. The Grid has an event that will keep your brain limber until your next audition. “All Your Favorite Gameshows,” hosted by local comedian Paul Goebel, isn’t your typical trivia night. You’ll have to guess the right price and make some deals so you can avoid the whammies to win it all.  Hit the buzzer at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 30, at 525 South Gilbert Road in Mesa. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Wicked is back at ASU Gammage. - JOAN MARCUS
Wicked is back at ASU Gammage.
Joan Marcus


The most compelling stories give you multiple ways to look at characters and situations, which often shift each time you revisit them. That’s certainly the case with Wicked, the musical that puts a fresh twist on the fictional account of Oz, a land where people, animals, and witches aren’t always what they seem. If you haven’t seen the musical during the Trump era, you might have missed its many political overtones. That’s reason enough to check it out. But there’s also the spectacular music, scenery, costumes, and special effects. The latest Wicked run at ASU Gammage, 1200 South Forest Avenue in Tempe, includes a 7:30 p.m. performance on Wednesday, May 1. Take a friend along, lest they turn green with envy. Ticket prices vary. Visit Lynn Trimble
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Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble