Emo Skate NightWith their angular haircuts and penchant for extreme emotional expression, your average emo boy or girl doesn’t seem too keen on roller skating. Yet Emo Skate Night promises an evening of crab-walking to My Chemical Romance or doing the Ice Jam to the sounds of Thursday. If skating is too mainstream, there are plenty of activities available, including a photo booth, snack bar, a punk rock flea market, and other surprises. Just make sure to keep your bangs out of your eyes on the rink.
The event is set for 7 to 10 p.m. on Thursday, January 9, at Great Skate Glendale, 10054 North 43rd Avenue. Tickets are just $15 and include free skate rental. Chris Coplan
Law Rocks PhoenixFor decades, rocker Alice Cooper has been a case study of how to make it big in the music business. Now, he heads a charity called Solid Rock, which promotes youth empowerment through creative expression. The nonprofit is getting an extra assist this month, as attorneys who typically spend their days working legal cases transform into musicians for a benefit concert called Law Rocks Phoenix.
Local lawyers will compete on stage at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, during the Thursday, January 9, event that kicks off at 7 p.m. It’s part of the Law Rocks program, which launched in London in 2009, and has raised more than $3 million with concerts in nearly two dozen cities. This is the first Phoenix tour stop, and proceeds benefit Cooper’s Solid Rock teen centers. Tickets start at $30, and you must be at least 21 to attend. Lynn Trimble
Free Wine TastingsWhether you’re a wine connoisseur or novice, trying new wines is a fun way to up your wine knowledge while discovering fresh bottles to enjoy with your family and friends. The Hidden Track Bottle Shop, 111 West Monroe Street, makes it easy with casual wine tastings. They’re a great way to try new selections and talk wine with folks who make their picks based on more than pretty wine labels.
Hidden Track is doing free wine tastings between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 9. While you’re there, ask about how the owners chose the name, which was inspired in part by an album by The Beatles. The tasting is free, but bring money if you want to head home with a new bottle of wine or craft beer selections. Lynn Trimble
Bout to Defeat CancerIn 2018, Valley teenager Mia Waxman was diagnosed with leukemia. As part of her ongoing recovery, Waxman’s helped others diagnosed with cancer via her Miracles in Action company. The Duce is a regular supporter of both Waxman and M.I.A., and with their latest fundraising collaboration, they’re presenting a monumental battle of the bands. The Bout to Defeat Cancer pits “duking drummers, grappling guitarists, and sparring saxophonist” against one another to raise funds for custom clothing for sick children across the Valley. Did we mention you get to party and do a good deed?
The monthly series kicks off at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 10, at The Duce, 525 South Central Avenue. General admission is free (though a donation would be keen), and ringside VIP seating is $25. Chris Coplan
Phoenix SunsYes, the last time the Phoenix Suns battled the Orlando Magic, the latter squad proved victorious (even though the Suns were the clear favorites). But there are some real asterisks and caveats that should certainly be attached to that December 4, 2019, outing. Like, how the Suns were without a few key players, including Aron Baynes. And let’s not forget the Magic did have the home-court advantage. Are these all excuses? Totally. But if you’ve been a Suns fan long enough, context is key in eking out those much-needed wins (moral or otherwise).
The Suns have a chance to avenge their loss at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 10, at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. Chris Coplan
Rock LotteryIn Phoenix, the most wonderful time of the year isn’t necessarily the holidays. Rather, there’s a case to be made for the annual Rock Lottery, in which 25 diverse musicians assemble into five all-new bands and perform songs written that very day. This year’s festivities include members of Troubled Minds, Audrey Heartburn, Whstle, Jared & The Mill, Cheap Hotels, Doll Skin, Sad Dance Party, Harper and the Moths, and Sundressed, among others. Hey, you know who really wins this lottery? We all do.
The Seventh Annual Rock Lottery goes down at 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 11, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 the day of the show. Chris Coplan
Masters of the Musical TheaterGiants like Leonard Bernstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber changed the shape of musical theater as we know it. Now these same legends are coming to the Valley — or, more precisely, their excellent songbooks. With Masters of the Musical Theater, the Phoenix Symphony and three Broadway vocalists (Hugh Panaro, Anne Runolfsson, and Scarlet Strallen) perform a slew of cuts from Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story, Gypsy, The Phantom of the Opera, and Company. If all that great music weren’t enough, think of the sheer time saved by packing five shows into one giant-sized outing.
The concert runs for three dates on Friday to Sunday, January 10 to 12, at Phoenix Symphony Hall, 75 North Second Street. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Chris Coplan
Edge Happy HourFor most dance performances, audience members sit quietly and watch as the movement unfolds on stage. But something entirely different will happen during The Edge Happy Hour at 6 p.m. on Saturday, January 11. That’s when CONDERdance and Oh My Ears are presenting a free immersive arts experience called The Invitation at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe.
When people arrive, they’ll have the choice of sitting in the audience or participating in the performance, which will blend elements of dance, sound, and experimental music. It’s all happening inside the venue’s spacious lobby overlooking Tempe Town Lake, where guests can also pop over to the bar for drinks and small bites. Lynn Trimble
‘Ansel Adams: Performing the Print’One way to up your camera skills is by spending time with works by great photographers. It’s easily done at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue, where there’s a new exhibit featuring work by Ansel Adams. Born in San Francisco in 1902, the musician turned photographer had a passion for photographing nature, including national parks.
Adams died in 1984, but his work continues to inspire photographers and environmentalists. Get a good look between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 11, when you can explore the “Ansel Adams: Performing the Print” exhibit filled with worked culled from the Ansel Adams Archive at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson. It’s free with museum admission, which is $18 to $23 for adults. Lynn Trimble
Lady Gaga BallThe ONE Community Block Party for Equality is a chance to celebrate LGBTQ-inclusive businesses in the central Phoenix area. When the festival is all over, stick around for the Lady Gaga Ball. In addition to a monster-sized Gaga mix courtesy of DJ Jeffrey, the ball also features a photo booth and a lip-sync contest. And, of course, you should obviously rock a Gaga-inspired look of your choosing. Just maybe avoid her raw meat dress from the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.
The ball begins at 10 p.m. on Saturday, January 11, at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. Tickets are $10 in advance and $18 on the day of, with $1 from every purchase benefiting ONE Community. Chris Coplan
Troop Beverly HillsForget the usual hush hush policy for Alamo Drafthouse Cinema for a while, and quote your little heart out during a special screening for Troop Beverly Hills, the 1989 cult comedy that stars Shelley Long as a troop leader with Champagne taste. It’s happening at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 11, at the Tempe location, 1140 East Baseline Road in Tempe. Tickets are $14.60, which gets you more than mere admission. You’ll also get film-inspired souvenirs, including a beret and patch. You should be at least 18 years old to attend, but kids ages 6 and up can join the fun with a parent. Expect plenty of khakis, cookies, and odes to shopping bliss. Lynn Trimble
No Pants Light Rail Ride PhoenixPrank-minded people of the Valley, better start picking out some snazzy-looking socks and underwear. That’s because the annual No Pants Light Rail Ride Phoenix, the ridiculous event where riders will tastefully drop trou while riding public rail transit, is happening this weekend.
The M.O. of the event is pretty much spelled out in its name. A flock of locals who aren’t wearing pants, shorts, or skirts will gather at light rail stations at either side of the Valley at 1 p.m. on Sunday, January 12, before boarding Valley Metro trains and traveling into downtown Phoenix. Participants keep their unmentionables and other clothing on (to avoid any indecent exposure) while pretending like nothing’s amiss and that they simply forgot to wear pants that day. A post-ride party will follow at a downtown Phoenix bar.
The ride is organized by the local prank group Improv Arizona and is free to participate. Benjamin Leatherman
Sea Rex: Journey to a Prehistoric WorldSome adults never outgrow that childhood fascination with all things prehistoric. There’s a 3-D film called Sea Rex: Journey to a Prehistoric World that takes a deep dive into the world of marine reptiles, which means kids and adults have a fun way to feed that fascination.
It’s being shown at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. on Monday, January 13, at the Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington Street. The film imagines the adventures of a young girl named Julie as she explores sea creatures of the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods. Admission to the center is $18 for adults. Sea Rex tickets are $7.95 for adults. Lynn Trimble
Barrett-Jackson Collector Car AuctionIf you love talking about cars, you’ll get all kinds of new material during the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, which returns to Scottsdale from January 11 to 19. Head over to Westworld of Scottsdale, 16601 North Pima Road, on Monday, January 13, to enjoy a full day of classic cars and conversation. Monday hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The lineup includes an auction of automobile memorabilia, thrill rides with professional drivers on the performance track, and live vehicle builds. But you can also check out myriad exhibits and displays, enjoy live music, and hit the food court. Monday tickets are $21 for adults through January 10. After that, you’ll pay $25 online or at the gate. Lynn Trimble
‘Creature Comforts’Humans like to imagine they share certain traits with animals, especially when the animals are considered cute, funny, or smart. But artists and scientists have long explored the deeper layers of animal instincts affiliated with some human behaviors. And sometimes it’s not pretty.
Even so, Rebecca Blume Rothman brings both humor and charm to the interplay of humans and animal instincts, using mediums that include drawing and collage. Get a good look at her work during the “Creature Comforts” exhibit at Practical Art, 5070 North Central Avenue. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 14. The exhibit continues through January 31. Lynn Trimble
So I Married an Axe MurdererPlenty of movies have a cult-like level of fan interaction, but there’s another film that deserves equally fervent participation: So I Married an Axe Murderer. This 1993 classic has everything, including Mike Myers doing bad slam poetry, Myers dressed up as an old Scottish man (a prelude to Austin Powers’ Fat Bastard), jokes about oversized ’90s coffee, murder, romance, Bay City Rollers songs, and quotes galore.
Showtime is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 14, and Wednesday, January 15, at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Chandler, 4955 South Arizona Avenue in Chandler. Tickets are $14.56 (plus fees). Chris Coplan
Trump Versus BernieGiven America’s current political climate, it’s hard sometimes to laugh, no matter how bad Donald Trump’s tweets prove to be. But actors and comedians Anthony Atamanuik and James Adomian want to cut some of that tension and Make America Laugh Again with their excellent show, Trump Versus Bernie. Here, fictionalized versions of the titular politicians (Atamanuik as Trump, Adomian as Bernie Sanders) engage in a lively town-hall debate that blurs the line between comedy, politics, and reality. Will you laugh? Probably. Will you also weep openly about the state of our modern America discourse? Oh, you know it.
The show is set for 8 p.m. on Wednesday, January 15, at Tempe Improv, 930 East University Drive in Tempe. General admission tickets are $22 and VIP seating is $32. Chris Coplan