Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Having a blast at Bar Flies.
Having a blast at Bar Flies. Melissa Fossum
Hey Phoenix, it's time to make some plans. This week, you can put your knowledge to the test at IPA Day Trivia Night, enjoy water activities with the family at Slide the Rails, or add a kick to your fruit punch at Fruit Craft Cordials to Sip & Stir. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

click to enlarge Pierce Brown is bringing Dark Age to Mesa. - JOAN ALLEN
Pierce Brown is bringing Dark Age to Mesa.
Joan Allen

Pierce Brown

Maybe you’ve binged all your summer TV shows, and you’re looking for a whole new story to consume your heart and mind. It’s a good time to launch into a love affair with “Red Rising,” a series of science fiction books exploring life in a color-coded society, where the Reds at the bottom rung of society are working to break free of their oppression.

California author Pierce Brown is coming to Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street, to celebrate the release of the fifth book in the series, titled Dark Age. Changing Hands Bookstore is presenting his appearance, which runs from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, August 1. For $36.34 (plus fees) you get one ticket and signed hardcover copy of Dark Age. For $41.34 (plus fees), you get two tickets and the single signed copy. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Look for Carrie Marill's work at Chandler Museum. - VISION GALLERY
Look for Carrie Marill's work at Chandler Museum.
Vision Gallery

'Inspired by History'

Artist Carrie Marill has been keeping busy lately, painting a new mural at Practical Art and showing artwork at Lisa Sette Gallery. Now, she’s exhibiting a piece called Packed, which was inspired by a historic valise from the Chandler Museum’s collection. It’s part of the “Inspired by History” exhibit that runs from July 30 to October 12, which includes works by more than two dozen artists, including Sarah Hurwitz, Saskia Jorda, Jacob Meders, Ann Morton, and Rembrandt Quiballo.

Participating artists created works in various media, inspired by objects in the museum’s collection, for this collaboration with the city’s Vision Gallery. Meet the artists and see their work during the free opening reception at the museum, 300 South Chandler Village Drive, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 1. Light refreshments will be served. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Test your knowledge of all things beer. - FOUR PEAKS BREWING COMPANY
Test your knowledge of all things beer.
Four Peaks Brewing Company

IPA Day Trivia Night

The first Thursday in August is National IPA Day. If you want to do more than raise a glass to celebrate, gather your friends and head over to the Four Peaks Wilson Tasting Room for IPA Day Trivia Night. Put your knowledge of craft brews to the test with a quiz of all things beer. The top three teams will take home some Four Peaks gift cards and swag.

Hop to it from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 1, at 2401 South Wilson Street in Tempe. Tickets are $20 and include an IPA charcuterie flight (four beers and four food items), a tour of the brewery, and access to the appetizer buffet. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Throwback to 2018 "Desert Dwellers" exhibit. - JOSE ROMERO
Throwback to 2018 "Desert Dwellers" exhibit.
Jose Romero

'Desert Dwellers III'

Big props to the artists from different fields who get out there every day to support each other’s work. If you want to celebrate collaborations between visual and literary artists, and the artists whose talents flow within both realms, head over to The Hive, 2222 North 16th Street, for an art exhibit called “Desert Dwellers III.” The free event is happening from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, August 2, when you can explore art inside The Hive gallery and surround yourself with zines inside the Wasted Zine Ink Distro that’s a hub for zine culture here in metro Phoenix.

Artists will be selling their works, with proceeds helping to support PHX Zine Fest 2019, a day of all things zines coming to Unexpected Gallery on October 20. More than a dozen artists are participating in this exhibit, including Kyllan Maney, whose symmetrical glow-in-the-dark mural was a standout at the recent Chalk Art Festival on Grand Avenue. Lynn Trimble

Phoenix Mountains Preserve

Just because we’re in the middle of August doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the great outdoors. REI Co-Op will be guiding beginners through a beautiful evening at the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. If you’ve never gone on a hike, this is the perfect opportunity to learn some basics, meet some new people .and get inspired for a bigger adventure when the weather cools down. There will be refreshments served afterward.

Take a walk from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, August 2, at 3902 East Dunlap Avenue. This is a free event, but you must reserve your spot online. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Talented dancers ahead. - TLC MEDIAWORKS
Talented dancers ahead.
TLC MediaWorks

USA Hip Hop Dance Championship

Are you ready to pop and lock? The USA Hip Hop Dance Championship is returning to Phoenix. The most talented dancers in the country will take the stage to show what they’ve got. The winners not only bring home a medal but have gone on to tour with performers like Jennifer Lopez. Last year, two Valley-based crews, The Rise and Exiles, took home gold and silver, respectively. Will history repeat? There’s only one way to find out.

Bust a move for the preliminary rounds from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 3, and the finals at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 4, at the Arizona Grand Resort, 8000 South Arizona Grand Parkway. Tickets are $25 to $40. Jason Keil

Bike Maintenance Class

Keeping a bicycle in working condition is just like taking care of a car — you have to give it a tuneup regularly. Bike Saviours offers a monthly Bike Maintenance Class to help you know what your two-wheeled ride needs (and keep you from lining the pockets of your local shop). The volunteer-run center will provide everything from equipment to hands-on instruction.

Learn how to take control of your bike from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 3, at 1930 South Roosevelt Street in Tempe. The class is $20, which includes the tools necessary to fix a flat tire. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Get ready to slide the rails in Scottsdale. - CITY OF SCOTTSDALE
Get ready to slide the rails in Scottsdale.
City of Scottsdale

Slide the Rails

Before your kids pack up their pencils and notebooks for back-to-school time, take them over to McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 North Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale. Typically, it’s all about exploring vintage trains, plus riding the park’s carousel and miniature train. But the park is upping its game, adding seven water activities for a free event called Slide the Rails, which runs from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, August 3.

The lineup includes a monster slide, splash pool, and special pool for the wee ones. Wristbands are $10, which gets you access to the water fun, plus free train and carousel rides. Tykes age 2 and under are free with a paying adult. Don’t forget the sunscreen, hats, and water bottles — nobody wants to go back to school looking like a lobster. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Checking out James Muir’s Truth sculpture in downtown Mesa. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Checking out James Muir’s Truth sculpture in downtown Mesa.
Lynn Trimble

'FRANK Talk: The Spread of Fake News'

The FRANK Talks series organized by Arizona Humanities has tackled some weighty topics in recent years, from gun ownership to diverse religious beliefs. Now the group is presenting “FRANK Talk: The Spread of Fake News,” a discussion being led by Gail Rhodes from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Media. The free presentation happens from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 3, at Desert Broom Library, 29710 Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek.

It’s a beautiful desert setting for engaging in civil discourse about the impact of fake news on community members, the prevalence of fake news across social media platforms, and related topics. Rhodes will also discuss standard journalistic practices, and offer tips for becoming a more savvy consumer of news. It’s all part of Arizona Humanities’ larger effort to promote civic dialogue and community engagement through thoughtful consideration of multiple perspectives. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Your pretty plant markers can make a cute cocktail stirrer. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Your pretty plant markers can make a cute cocktail stirrer.
Lynn Trimble

Fruit Craft Cordials to Sip & Stir

Your next fruit punch might have a little kick, after you get some fresh tips from mixologist and plant whisperer Gregory Ware. He’s teaching a two-and-a-half hour class called Fruity Craft Cordials to Sip & Stir, starting at noon on Sunday, August 4, at Southwest Gardener, 300 West Camelback Road. That way, you’ll have another excuse to hit your local farmers market, where you can stock up on summer fruits that make swell ingredients for liqueurs, cordials, and scrubs.

Scrubs, by the way, are acid-based mixtures that incorporate fruit, berries, and other elements to give cocktails or nonalcoholic drinks a bit of tang. You’ll also learn to make Irish Cream and Kahlua, and enjoy samples along the way. Check out store offerings while you’re there, in case you want to bring home some colorful plant markers that double as cute cocktail stirrers. The class costs $45. Lynn Trimble

Teacher Appreciation Day

The Phoenix Mercury will be honoring local educators by raising money for schools and wearing one-of-a-kind shooting shirts for their first annual Teacher Appreciation Day. The team will hopefully teach the Washington Mystics a thing or two about bouncing back from a rough season start. Things are coming together as Brittney Griner and DeWanna Bonner step up their shooting game while Diana Taurasi, who led in scoring last year, recovers from back surgery.

Tip-off is at 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 4, at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. Tickets are $10 to $240.25. Jason Keil

Clean Comedy Night

If you love stand-up comedy but hate all the [expletives deleted] and f-bombs, then Stir Crazy Comedy Club’s monthly Clean Comedy Night is the show for you, because there are no earmuffs required. This month’s edition features Michael Bailey, a teacher who tells relatable stories about his family life. Also appearing is Andrew Norelli, who gave a TED Talk about computers in 2016, and has made numerous appearances on the late-night talk show circuit.

The laughs begin at 7 p.m. on Sunday, August 4, at 6751 North Sunset Boulevard, Suite E-206, in Glendale. Tickets are $10. Jason Keil

2019 Training Camp

With Kliff Kingsbury taking over as head coach and Kyler Murray as the team’s new quarterback, there is a lot of anticipation going into the Arizona Cardinals’ new season. If you want a sneak peek, you can spend the afternoon watching things unfold at 2019 Training Camp. There will be games for the kids, and select players will be signing autographs.

You can catch practice from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, August 5, and 1 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, August 6, at 1 Cardinals Drive in Glendale. This is a free event. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Look for Jon Linton's exhibit at Arizona Heritage Center. - JON LINTON
Look for Jon Linton's exhibit at Arizona Heritage Center.
Jon Linton

'I Have a Name'

There’s been a lot of name calling in the political realm lately, rooted in part in tiresome stereotypes. But name-calling happens in communities too, including metro Phoenix. That’s where Jon Linton often rides around the city, behind the wheel of a painted bus that reads “Let’s Be Better Humans” on the side. Linton passes out water, food, clothing, and other essentials to people in need. But he also takes the bus to peaceful protests, where its message of compassion is meant to counter bigotry and hate.

In his travels, Linton photographs people living on the streets in order to help humanize the sometimes-sanitized discussions of homelessness. You can see his compelling portraits in the “I Have a Name” exhibit at the Arizona Heritage Center, 1300 North College Avenue, Tempe. Check it out on Monday, August 5, when center hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibit is free with $12 admission. Save extra time to explore additional exhibits, exploring myriad aspects of Arizona history and culture, while you’re there. Lynn Trimble

Classic Cuba

The music of contemporary Latin artists such as Luis Miguel can be traced to the classic Bolero and Danzon styles that originated on the island of Cuba. Caleb Michel and his band Trio Los Cubichis, which includes Marcos Crego on piano and bassist Max Beckmann, pay tribute to these timeless sounds with their show Classic Cuba. You can expect classics by Ernesto Lecuona and Tito Rodriguez along with music by contemporary artists.

Get lost in the sound at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, August 5, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. This is a free event. Jason Keil

Step Brothers Trivia

Do you think you know everything there is to know about the greatest comedy of the 2000s?  (In case you didn’t know, here’s a hint: it stars Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly.) Then it’s time to start snapping necks and cashing checks at Step Brothers Trivia. Gather your best friends for five rounds of questions about everything from the Catalina Wine Mixer to making bunk beds. But remember, bringing your samurai sword autographed by Randy Jackson is frowned upon.

Get ready for the funnest night ever starting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 6, at Growler USA, 5415 East High Street, #101. This is a free event. Jason Keil

click to enlarge Throwback to The Book of Mormon national tour in 2017. - JULIA CERVANTES
Throwback to The Book of Mormon national tour in 2017.
Julia Cervantes

The Book of Mormon

There’s an unholy trinity of irreverence in musical theater, comprising South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, along with Robert Lopez, who helped bring those naughty Avenue Q puppets to stage. Together, they gave the world The Book of Mormon, which uses Mormon tenets and practices to explore human foibles fueled by egoism and ignorance.

The national tour for the wildly popular musical returns to Tempe in August, where there will be eight performances at ASU Gammage, 1200 South Forest Avenue. Be the first to see it on Tuesday, August 6, when the curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices fluctuate based on demand and availability. Be there by 5 p.m. to enter a lottery for $25 tickets. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Tales, meet cocktails. - EVIE CARPENTER
Tales, meet cocktails.
Evie Carpenter

Bar Flies

If being a bartender has ever crossed your mind, you’ve likely considered the ways customers can talk bartender’s ears off with tales of childhood trauma and contemporary woes. But really, why should bartenders have all the fun? Everybody has a story to tell, and lots of people never get to stand behind a bar to hear them. So Bar Flies is bringing the stories from barstool to big stage, with a monthly reading series that tackles a different subject every time around.

This month’s Bar Flies, which kicks off at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7, is all about Child’s Play. We’re picturing tales of exploding chemistry sets and dollies who got their heads pulled off, but that may only be the half of it with this month’s speakers, who include Kent Nicholas, Jon Pathius, Genevieve Rice, Elsie Stooks, and Wendy White. DJ Deborah Sussman will also be in the house. You need to be at least 21 years old to attend. Tickets are $10, and doors open at 6 p.m. Lynn Trimble

Beverly Hills 90210

Crank up the Color Me Badd and head on down to see Nat at the Peach Pit because Beverly Hills 90210 is back. (We’re serious about this. They’ve revived the show with the original cast.) So pour one out for Dylan McKay and bring your friends to CB Live to test your knowledge of the teen soap that started it all at Beverly Hills 90210 Trivia.

The greatest high school reunion ever starts at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7, at 21001 North Tatum Boulevard. This is a free event. Jason Keil
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble