The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week: January 30-February 5 | Phoenix New Times

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

We’ve planned your week.
Just some friends enjoying the nice weather during Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Just some friends enjoying the nice weather during Waste Management Phoenix Open. Melissa Fossum
Share this:
Hey Phoenix, we’ve planned your week. You can enjoy the cool weather during the Waste Management Phoenix Open, get your most important plant questions answered at a Gardening Q&A Event, or explore the best wine spots in Scottsdale during Scottsdale Wine Crawl. For more things to do, visit

click to enlarge
History is happening.
Lynn Trimble

Phoenix Past and Present

Have you ever driven past an iconic Phoenix building like Tovrea Castle or Rosson House and wondered about its history? Now you can learn the backstory behind some of the city’s best-known places, during a free presentation by authors for a book called Phoenix Past and Present.

They’ll talk about the Orpheum Theatre, San Carlos Hotel, and much more from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 30. The free event is happening inside the Lath House classroom located behind the Rosson House, 113 North Sixth Street. You can purchase a book after the presentation if you like. Lynn Trimble

Arizona Coyotes

It’s been an epic season so far for the Arizona Coyotes, but not without some cracks in the ice. After skating to the top of the NHL’s Pacific Division standings back in December, the Desert Dogs spent the first month of 2020 racking up a middling 4-5 record thanks to inconsistent play.

One thing that’s remained constant is their dominance of the Los Angeles Kings. Save for a single loss to L.A. in the preseason, the Coyotes have reigned over their Pacific Division rivals, beating the team three times this season. Arizona will attempt to continue the trend on Thursday, January 30, at Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue in Glendale, when they face-off against the Kings. It’s the Coyotes’ first game back after the NHL All-Star Break, and hopefully they’ll start the second half of the season with a much-needed win.

The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $20. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge
All smiles.
Melissa Fossum

Waste Management Phoenix Open

To some, it’s known as “The Greatest Show on Grass.” To others, it’s “The People’s Open.” Whatever moniker you prefer, the Waste Management Phoenix Open is one of the Valley’s most popular sporting events and one helluva party.

The PGA-affiliated event is notorious in the golf world for its boisterous crowds and the convivial atmosphere that occurs at the TPC Scottsdale, 17020 North Hayden Road, during the four-day tournament. Tens of thousands gather inside party tents and skyboxes dotting the course (including at the infamous, arena-like 16th Hole) or crowd greens to cheer and boo competitors.

The 2020 Open takes place from Thursday, January 30, to Sunday, February 2, and will feature pros like Jon Rahm, Gary Woodland, and last year’s winner, Rickie Fowler. The action starts at 7:30 a.m., Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. General admission ranges from $45 to $60, depending on the day. Visit for details. Benjamin Leatherman 

Come Back to Earth

Halloween may still be months away, but that doesn’t mean we can’t already summon the dead. The Come Back to Earth event is described as a “hip-hop celebration of life,” with DJs M’Rocka, J-Me Lee, HartBreaks, and AW.DRE spinning tunes from deceased greats like Mac Miller, Nate Dogg, Lil Peep, and Adam Yauch, among others. Will you actually see ghosts? No, but you just may hear some.

The event is set for 9 p.m. on Friday, January 31, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Tickets are $3 in advance and $5 at the door. Chirs Coplan

Damon Wayans Jr.

Sometimes funny just runs in the family. This is the case for Damon Wayans Jr., who like his father has made a significant career in both film (Big Hero 6 and the classic Let’s Be Cops) and TV (New Girl, Happy Endings, and Happy Together). And just like daddy dearest, Wayans Jr. also performs stand-up, blending hilarious observations with cutting wit. Missing his work would be an insult to the entire Wayans clan.

Wayans Jr. is in town on Friday, January 31, and Saturday, February 1, at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street. Showtimes are 7:30 and 10 p.m. on Friday, and 7 and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge
Think outside the envelope.
Space 55

The Envelope Play

Picture a sealed manila envelope containing a prediction about your future. Would you open it, even if it might say that your love affair was doomed to fail? That’s the dilemma facing a fictional couple in The Envelope Play, which is being presented by Space 55 in collaboration with Howl Theatre Project.

The play imagines a couple planning to marry, who agree to participate in a psychological study. Cleo is an introverted musician, and Dennis an extroverted realtor. Discover how the study impacts their relationship, and their decisions about the future, during the 7:30 p.m. performance on Friday, January 31. It’s happening at Space 55, 1524 North 18th Avenue. Tickets are $20. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge
Fushicho Daiko drummers.
Stephanie Yamamoto

Full Moon Lantern Fest

Festive lanterns will line the streets of historic downtown Glendale during the inaugural Full Moon Lantern Fest from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 1. It’s a free family-friendly event celebrating the Year of the Rat with cultural festivities, hands-on activities, and demonstrations. The lineup includes lion dancers, taiko drummers, and martial artists. Expect food, fashion, and yoga, as well.

Hit the information booth at 5836 West Palmaire Avenue to get an event map and activities list. While you’re downtown, check out merchant discounts and a silent auction benefiting an organization that provides acupuncture to global communities impacted by disaster or human conflict. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge
Calling all car fanatics.
Phoenix New Times Archive

Vee Quiva Cruisin’ Classic Car Show

There’s plenty of sweet car shows year-round in the Valley. While some events focus primarily on trucks or muscle cars, or even a certain magical era, the Vee Quiva Cruisin’ Classic Car Show has a much broader interest. At this show, every make, model, and year will be represented, a massive collection of automotive marvels for your slack-jawed perusal. If that weren’t enough, the show also features food trucks, vendors, and live entertainment. You may feel so welcome and overjoyed that you try and jump behind the wheel of a Camaro or two. But please don’t actually try.

This free show is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 1, at Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino, 15091 South Komatke Lane in Laveen Village. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge
Explore the murals while you're at Mesa Urban Garden.
Lynn Trimble

Gardening Q&A Event

Shifting weather patterns can make gardening in the urban desert a challenge, which is why Mesa Urban Garden is hosting a gardening Q&A event with Catherine, The Herb Lady. Catherine specializes in edible landscaping in the desert Southwest. She’ll be sharing techniques for sowing, planting, and gardening.

She’s also got tips on maintaining the ideal level of moisture in your soil, handling spikes in daytime temperatures, and dealing with episodes of hail and frost. The free event happens from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 1. It also include a seed share, so you’ll be able to pick up some seeds while you’re at MUG, 212 East First Avenue in Mesa. Lynn Trimble

Scottsdale Wine Crawl

It’s been said that the best wines are the ones enjoyed with friends. You can test that empirically this weekend while tipping back some vino with your pals during the Scottsdale Wine Crawl, an afternoon-long experience aimed at those who think varietals are the spice of life.

Would-be oenophiles and wine connoisseurs alike will gather at the Social Tap, 4312 North Brown Avenue in Scottsdale, on Saturday, February 1, at 2 p.m. before uncorking a six-hour jaunt through the various bars of the city’s entertainment district. Stops include such nearby drinkeries as Wasted Grain and Casa Amigos.

Tickets to the 21-and-over event are $20 per person and include a wristband, three one-cent vouchers for glasses of wine, and other perks. Benjamin Leatherman

Game Day Tailgate

Heads up NFL fanatics of the Valley – the biggest game of the seasons is about to kick off. The Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers will square off on Sunday, February 2, for their shot at gridiron glory during Super Bowl LIV. Tens of millions will be watching every play (and all those nifty commercials), including the crowds at Desert Ridge Marketplace, 21001 North Tatum Boulevard.

The outdoor mall will host a Game Day Tailgate with all the action being broadcast on giant LED screens in both the District Stage and Barnes & Noble Courtyard. Football-season staples like grilled brats will be available for purchase from eateries and pop-up bars will sell brews and libations. They’ll also have oversized lawn games, DJs, entertainment, interactive activities, and giveaways.

The event runs from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Admission is free. Benjamin Leatherman

Lost Highway

You don’t have to understand David Lynch to appreciate his rich canon (but it helps). All of his films are sleek and sexy but also wildly bizarre, and this dynamic combination is what makes sauntering through his cinematic worlds a perplexing joy. Case in point: 1997’s Lost Highway, which Lynch himself calls more of a “psychogenic fugue” than your standard narrative approach. All you need to know is it’s got Bill Pullman as the lead, a soundtrack from Trent Reznor, and one especially trippy dream sequence because comprehension is for squares. 

A one-night screening of Lost Highway is set for 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 2, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Tickets are $10.95 (plus fees). Chris Coplan

click to enlarge
PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk is coming to Phoenix.
Lynn Trimble

Ingrid Newkirk

Ingrid Newkirk, founder and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is coming to Changing Hands, 6428 South McClintock Drive in Tempe. She’ll be talking about her new book written with Gene Stone, which is titled Animalkind: Remarkable Discoveries about Animals and Revolutionary New Ways to Show Them Compassion.

It’s a chance to hear her take on animal intelligence and emotions, and get practical tips for ways to lessen human harm to animals. Newkirk’s talk will address animals and medical research, product testing, food, clothing, entertainment, and more. Hear her speak at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 3. You can buy her books while you’re there, of course. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge
When dance meets Shakespeare.
Ballet Arizona

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Jillian Barrell has danced some plum roles since joining Ballet Arizona in 2007. Now she’s getting ready for the premiere of the company’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is based on William Shakespeare’s tale of love and mischief set in a fairy-filled forest. It was choreographed by Ib Andersen, artistic director for Ballet Arizona.

Hear Barrell talk about the story behind the ballet and how Ballet Arizona will be bringing it to life during a free presentation from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 4. It’s happening at Tempe Public Library, 3500 South Rural Road in Tempe, where you can also explore books about ballet, Shakespeare, and fairy lore. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge
Look for Bill Dambrova's painting at Center Space.
Lynn Trimble

‘I hear what you’re seeing’

Artists and community members descended on a new exhibit space inside Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts recently, eager to hear musical compositions and the artworks that inspired them. You can do the same, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, February 4. Admission is free for the “I hear what you’re seeing” exhibition, which is on view inside the Center Space gallery, 7380 East Second Street in Scottsdale.

The exhibit includes work by several artists, plus several ASU graduate students. While you’re viewing each artist’s piece, you can don headsets to hear a corresponding composition. Featured visual artists include Bill Dambrova, Monica Aissa Martinez, and Laura Spalding Best. The exhibit continues through April 26. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge
See world premiere theater at The Phoenix Theatre Company.
Lynn Trimble


The terms “local” and “theater” are taking on new meaning over at Phoenix Theatre Company, 1825 North Central Avenue, which is celebrating its 100th season with a lineup that includes a world premiere musical called ¡Americano! It’s based on the life of Tony Valdovinos, who graduated from Camelback High School then sought to achieve his dream of serving in the military.

Valdovinos’ parents moved from Mexico to the U.S. when he was just 2 years old. After walking into a Phoenix Marine Corps recruiting station on his 18th birthday, Valdovinos learned that he was an illegal immigrant. The musical follows his experiences as a “dreamer” while exploring broader themes of immigration and the American dream. It is being performed at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 5. Tickets start at $41. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge
Wasted! executive producer Anthony Bourdain.
Craig Barritt/Getty Images

Wasted! The Story of Food Waste

Local First Arizona is presenting a solid lineup of community events around the state in 2020, including a screening for Wasted! The Story of Food Waste. The film follows famed chefs including Mario Batali and Anthony Bourdain as they share creative ways to cook while minimizing food waste.

The film considers the impact of food waste on climate change, and explores small steps people can take in their everyday lives to reduce the amount of food that goes into a garbage pail rather than a hungry belly. The screening starts at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, February 5, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Tickets are $10.95. Lynn Trimble
Can you help us continue to share our stories? Since the beginning, Phoenix New Times has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix — and we'd like to keep it that way. Our members allow us to continue offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food, and culture with no paywalls.