Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Anything for Selena.
Anything for Selena. Michelle Sasonov

Welcome to 2019. This week, you can celebrate your favorite Mexican-American singer at Selena Night Phoenix, enjoy a few laughs at Love Stick, or experience the Cuba of the past at Classic Cuba. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

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The Second City in comedy improv mode.
Courtesy of Phoenix Theatre
It's Not You, It's Me
In matters of the heart, people rarely tire of the blame game. It’s inspired books, reality TV shows, and comedy sketches galore — including a touring improv show called It’s Not You, It’s Me. It’s the work of The Second City, a comedy club launched in Chicago in 1942, whose alumni include Stephen Colbert and Tina Fey. The Second City tackles falling in love, plus modern takes on dating, during the show. See it at the Phoenix Theatre’s Hormel Theatre, 1825 North Central Avenue, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, January 3. Tickets start at $36. Visit Lynn Trimble

Coyotes versus Devils
We’re approaching the halfway point in the NHL’s current season and, let’s face it, the Arizona Coyotes have been pretty middling thus far. It’s no surprise, considering our hometown hockey heroes are hurting when it comes to offense and are currently one of the worst teams in the league when it comes to goals. That’s not to say the ’Yotes don’t have the ability to overcome their faults and pull out a clutch win now and again, like when they took down the playoff-bound Colorado Avalanche last month in a hard-fought victory.

Here’s hoping Arizona has that same sort of gritty spirit when they hit the ice on Friday, January 4, at Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue, Glendale, against the hapless New Jersey Devils, who are currently one of the worst teams in the Metropolitan Division. The pucks start flying at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $13. See Benjamin Leatherman

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Feeling the Selena love.
Selena Night Phoenix
Born in Texas in 1971, Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was murdered in 1995 by the founder of her fan club. Known simply as Selena, and oft-lauded as the “Queen of Tejano,” she was a versatile artist whose creative talents included singing, songwriting, acting, and fashion design. Join fellow Selena fans at 10 p.m. on Friday, January 4, as they converge at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street, for a night of Selena music, video, and dance. It’s all part of Selena Night Phoenix, presented by Club ’90s, for patrons ages 18 and up. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 day of show, or $18 at the door. Visit Lynn Trimble

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Mike Enders reveals the funny side of love.
Courtesy of Mike Enders
Love Sick
Once a week, you can hear comedians and co-hosts Mike Enders and Charles Engle riff on what they call “the modern dating scene” during their Please Send Nudes podcast. To see them perform in person, just head over to Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue, for their 7:30 p.m. show on Friday, January 4. The Love Sick comedy show, for patrons ages 21 and up, will also feature comedians Gene Moore and Ben Anderson riffing on “love, loss, and laughter.” Love has a wicked sense of humor, and these guys are making the most of it. Tickets are $10 in advance, or $15 the day of show. Visit Lynn Trimble

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Puppet therapy is a thing now.
Courtesy of Great Arizona Puppet Theater
Self-Help Adult Slam
Think you could use a little post-holiday puppet therapy? Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 West Latham Street, has you covered. They’re presenting a Self-Help Adult Slam at 8 p.m. on Friday, January 4. Featured performers Michael and Valerie Nelson founded California-based Magical Moonshine Theatre in 1979, and they’ve traveled the world in puppet mode. Adult slams fill up fast, so get reservations if you can. Tickets are $12 in advance, or $15 day or show. If you’re at least 21, you can even get a drink with a suggested donation. Visit Lynn Trimble

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Flamenco artist Andres Vadin.
Sari Makki
Lluvia Flamenca
To anyone who’s ever taken a flamenco class, its beautiful complexity becomes clear after just a few minutes of wrist work. Of course, it’s filled with fabulous footwork as well. Celebrate all things flamenco as Flamenco Por La Vida presents Lluvia Flamenca at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 5. Featured performers include Cuba-born guitarist and composer Andrés Vadin, who’ll perform with several additional flamenco artists. Flamenco Por La Vida artists Angelina Ramirez and Olivia Rojas will take to the stage as well. Tickets are $25 general admission, or $30 reserved seating. Visit Lynn Trimble

Talking film at Western Spirit.
Lynn Trimble
The American West in Film & Television: Is Star Wars a Western?
Is the most famous sci-fi franchise in history actually inspired by the great American West? That’s the crux of a conversation coming to Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, 3830 North Marshall Way, Scottsdale. During The American West in Film & Television: Is Star Wars a Western?, film historian and author Charlie LeSueur will share insights about what makes a film a western. Turns out, the Star Wars saga shares several characteristics with westerns, which makes for an interesting dialogue among film buffs and pop culture fans. LeSueur’s talk, happening at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 5, is free with museum admission, which is $15 for adults. Take some time to explore museum exhibits while you’re there. Visit Lynn Trimble

So excited for National Theatre Live telecasts.
Lynn Trimble
The Madness of George III
Maybe all you know of King George III is that he’s a character in the hit musical Hamilton. It’s a fabulously funny part, but there’s far more to the king’s story, captured in a drama called The Madness of George III, written by The History Boys playwright Alan Bennett. You can see a live telecast of the new National Theatre production at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue, at 1 p.m. on Sunday, January 6. Tickets are $18, which does not include museum admission. It runs more than two hours, but you’ll leave reminded that erratic leaders don’t last forever. Lynn Trimble

Elvis Birthday Celebration
It’s been more than 40 years since Elvis Presley shuffled off this mortal coil and the undisputed king of rock ’n’ roll is still being feted to this day. Country superstar Blake Shelton is gearing up to host a star-studded celebration of the 50th anniversary of Presley’s legendary ’68 Comeback Special next month on national television. Meanwhile, a slew of local rockabilly, blues, and Americana artists will pay tribute to the King with an Elvis Birthday Celebration on Sunday, January 6, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School Road.

Local pinup queen Brenda Lee will emcee the affair, which will include performances by Jimmy Pines and Washboard Jere, Mario Moreno, Brea Burns, Kevin Daly, D.L. Marble, Ukebilly Gypsies, Steve Larson, Hank Topless, and others. The show starts at 6 p.m. and tickets are $8. Call 602-265-4842 or visit Benjamin Leatherman

Phoenix Suns
Don’t fret Planet Orange, there’s still plenty of time for the Phoenix Suns to stage a comeback. Granted, they’re currently at the bottom of the Western Conference standings with one of the worst records in the NBA (despite the great play of rookie Deandre Ayton), but hope always springs eternal right?

This weekend, the Suns have the opportunity to begin a possible turnaround this weekend when they welcome the Charlotte Hornets to Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street, on Sunday, January 6. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. and tickets are $23 to $422. Call 602-379-2000 or see for more information. Benjamin Leatherman

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Nature as stress-buster.
Courtesy of Japanese Friendship Garden
Tai Chi Class
Hoping for a bit more body/mind harmony this year? Try an ancient healing art called Tai Chi, practiced in China to reduce stress, improve body alignment, promote calmness, and enhance balance. Ping Wei, who trained in China before coming to the U.S. in 1992, is teaching a tai chi class at the Japanese Friendship Garden, 1125 North Third Avenue, from 10 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, January 6. Give it a try, if you’re game for stretching-type movements designed to facilitate energy flow and self-healing. It’s especially relaxing when undertaken outdoors, within the garden’s peaceful environment. The $25 class fee includes garden admission. Visit japanesefriendship-? Lynn Trimble

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Mariachi time.
Courtesy of Phoenix Zoo
Night of the Three Kings/Noche de Reyes Magos
Wishing you could recapture some of that holiday magic? Head to the Phoenix Zoo, 455 North Galvin Parkway, during its Night of the Three Kings/Noche de Reyes Magos celebration, happening from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 6. It’s a holiday inspired by the story of three kings who gifted baby Jesus with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The evening includes live mariachi music, games, and activities. Be there at 6 p.m. if you want to see three kings arrive atop camels. The event is included with ZooLights admission, which is $12.95 online or $14.95 at the gate that night. Visit Lynn Trimble

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Scene from The General.
Courtesy of FilmBar
The General
Back in 1862, Confederate soldiers sought to regain a train stolen by the Union army. That event, dubbed the Great Locomotive Chase, inspired a Disney movie back in 1956. But first, it inspired a silent film called The General, named for the locomotive that fell into Yankee hands. It stars Buster Keaton, an actor renowned for his physical comedy. His character’s girlfriend is on the stolen train, and he wants her back. It’s a fine piece of historical parody that’s part of the Art House Society series at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Check it out at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 6. Tickets are $9.95. Visit Lynn Trimble

Classic Cuba
Change is coming to Cuba. Everyone who goes to the Caribbean island, seemingly stuck in amber since Fidel’s revolución, agrees that, thanks to the dictator’s death and the ensuing liberalization of the economy, times are bound to move forward, for better or worse. If you want to experience the Cuba of the past, head over to Valley Bar, 308 North Second Avenue, for a night of sounds titled Classic Cuba. Caleb Michel and Trio Los Cubichis will take listeners on a journey through the streets of Havana, playing bolero and danzon from the likes of Tito Rodriguez and Ernesto Lecuona. The free show starts at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 7. Visit Douglas Markowitz

Getting comfy.
Lynn Trimble
Champagne Cinema: Pride & Prejudice
See Jane Austen’s 1813 novel come alive on the big screen as Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 4955 South Arizona Avenue in Chandler, presents Champagne Cinema: Pride & Prejudice, at 6:40 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8. Directed by Joe Wright, the 2005 film stars Kiera Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet and Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy, but you’ll recognize the names of several additional cast members as well. Donald Sutherland, best-known to some as President Snow of The Hunger Games films, plays her father. And then there’s Judi Dench — that’s reason enough to see it, even if you’re not an Austen fan. Tickets are $7. Visit Lynn Trimble

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Hello, Dolly! touring production.
Julieta Cervantes
Hello, Dolly!
Hello, Dolly! earned 10 Tony Awards, including best musical, after premiering on Broadway in 1964. And its most recent revival is still going strong. There’s also a national touring production, which is coming to Tempe. Your first chance to see it is 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8, at ASU Gammage, 1220 South Forest Avenue. The touring show stars Betty Buckley as New York matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi. Buckley originated the role of glamour cat Grizabella in the Broadway musical Cats, and portrayed gym teacher Miss Collins in Brian De Palma’s 1976 film Carrie. If Buckley isn’t on your must-see performer list, she should be. Tickets start at $20. Visit Lynn Trimble

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Ragnar Kjartansson, Scandinavian Pain, 2006.
Cathy Carver
Arctic Superstar
What if only 20,000 people on the planet could speak your language. It’d be hard to strike it rich as a rapper, right? Hold that thought, then head over to Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue, for Arctic Superstar, a film exploring life for Nils Rune Utsi (a.k.a. SlinCraze). He’s an indigenous Sami rapper living with his mother in Norway’s Arctic Highlands, hoping to make a living from his music or even make it big one day. The film is part of a four-part series inspired by the museum’s “Ragnar Kjartansson: Scandinavian Pain & Other Myths” exhibit. The Wednesday, January 9, screening takes place at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5. Visit Lynn Trimble

Promises, promises.
Valley Bar
Bar Flies: A Monthly Reading Series
Promises made, promises broken. They’re the stuff of stories for Bar Flies: A Monthly Reading Series presented by Phoenix New Times with Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. It’s happening at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 9, but doors open at 6 p.m. This month’s Promises theme features eclectic offerings by Katie Campbell, Ada Martin, Sativa Peterson, Maren Showkeir, and Jesse Teer. So, will they recount childhood disappointments and trust issues, or veer into political falsehoods? With a $10 ticket, you can be among the first to know. Please note that this event is for ages 21 and up. Visit Lynn Trimble
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Douglas Markowitz was born and raised in Broward County, Florida, he studied at Sophia University in Tokyo before graduating with honors from the University of North Florida with a bachelor's degree in communications. He began writing for Miami New Times while in college and served as their music and arts editorial intern in 2017.
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble

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