The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week: July 18-24 | Phoenix New Times

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

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High fives for the winners.
High fives for the winners. Jim Louvau
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It's time to make some plans. This week, you can enjoy a drink while you geek out at Science With a Twist, dance back in time at Stranger Things '80s Night, or celebrate drag culture at Dragalicious. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

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Look for Reid Woodward's work in "All Art Arizona."
Art Intersection

'All Art Arizona'

Maybe you’re eager to support local artists, but don’t have time to run around town visiting art spaces. A summer exhibition called “All Art Arizona” can help you with that. Head to Gilbert to see works by dozens of emerging and established artists in Arizona, including Cherie Buck-Hutchison, Scarlett Decker, Jeff Falk, Daniel Friedman, Lena Klett, Ellen Nemetz, Cyd Peroni, and Hyewon Yoon.

Featured works at Art Intersection, 207 North Gilbert Road, include paintings, photographs, sculpture, and more. Participating artists address diverse themes including personal identity, social media, and water scarcity. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 18. The free exhibit continues through July 28. Lynn Trimble

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Up close with one of Lizzy Taber's works addressing climate change.
Lynn Trimble

'Climate of Unrest'

The new “Climate of Unrest” exhibit at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt Street, includes works by eight artists who bring diverse materials and sensibilities to the issue of climate change, using photography, drawing, sculpture, and other media to consider the toll human activity is taking on the planet. Carolyn Lavender draws real animals alongside manufactured counterparts. William LeGoullon photographs objects used in desert target practice. Andrew Manning paints animals in human settings. And Lizzy Taber creates abstractions based on mapping the shifting seafloor. Additional artists include Jeff Chabot, Sean Deckert, Luis G. Hernandez, and Molly Koehn. The opening reception happens from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 19. The free group show runs through August 10. Lynn Trimble

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Celebrate the Apollo 11 astronauts at Arizona Science Center.

Science With a Twist

If staring up at the moon makes you feel a tad romantic or sends you into full-on science geek mode, grab a friend or fellow romantic type and head over to Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington Street. That’s where the 21+ event Science With a Twist is getting an Apollo-Palooza twist from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, July 19. You can celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission with live music, special talks, demonstrations, and hands-on activities. There’s even a cash bar. Arrive by 7 p.m. to hear an Apollo at Fifty presentation, or by 8:30 p.m. to hear a talk on debunking conspiracy theories. Tickets are $12. Some experiences, including a laser show with Pink Floyd music or moon-related film screening, cost extra. Lynn Trimble

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Adam Conover

Adam Conover

If you’ve watched the TruTV series Adam Ruins Everything, then the one thing you know is that everything you know is wrong. Adam Conover’s breakout show has shattered the myths that marketers would have us believe with well-researched pieces and a gentle sense of humor. Now, the comedian is hitting the road with his stand-up. You’re likely to leave with a blown mind after Conover drops his knowledge bombs, but you’re also going to learn more about the man behind the mic, which isn’t something he has time to get to on his show.

The debunking begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 19, at CB Live, 21001 North Tatum Boulevard, with additional shows on Saturday, July 20. Tickets are $22. Jason Keil

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Peeking inside the Rare Books Room at Burton Barr Central Library.
Lynn Trimble

Rare Book Room

Odds are you’ve only scratched the surface of what your local library has to offer. Consider the case of Burton Barr Central Library, the flagship branch of the Phoenix Public Library located at 1221 North Central Avenue. It’s home to a Rare Book Room filled with historical books and ephemera, contemporary artist-made books, and reference books illuminating the history of books and book arts. Get a good look when the library hosts a Rare Book Room tour from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 20.

You’ll get to see cuneiform tablets inscribed about 4,000 years ago in Babylonia, a Coptic scroll from sixth-century Egypt, a page from the 1455 Gutenberg Bible, and a Shakespeare Folio from 1632. The tour also includes time with artist books featuring summer and desert themes, created with diverse papers and techniques. The tour is free, but online registration is required. Lynn Trimble

Look for Russ Kazmierczak Jr. at Bookmans Phoenix.
Randi Lapham

Phoenix Independent Comic Show

Never fear if you couldn’t make it to San Diego for this year’s Comic-Con, because Bookmans Entertainment Exchange is doing a little something to help ease your pain. Bookmans Phoenix, 8034 North 19th Avenue, is holding a free Phoenix Independent Comic Show from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 20. Local comic book authors will be on hand to show, sell, and discuss their work. For Nick Cagnetti, that includes pre-release copies from his "Pink Lemonade" series coming out in October, plus additional titles and original art. The lineup also includes Russ Kazmierczak Jr. of Amazing Arizona Comics, plus Jessica Dzielinski and Coop Bolton. Lynn Trimble

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Checking out The Day We Walked on the Moon.
Smithsonian Channel

The Day We Walked on the Moon

In honor of the 20th anniversary of humanity’s first moon walk, completed during the Apollo 11 mission, the Heard Museum will be screening the Smithsonian Channel’s 44-minute film The Day We Walked on the Moon. The film features astronauts, their family members, and members of the mission control team recounting events of the day and sharing their own personal reflections. The free screenings will happen inside the museum’s Steele Auditorium, 2301 North Central Avenue, at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 20. Lynn Trimble

A Tribute to Larry Levan + Paradise Garage

Legendary house and disco DJ Larry Levan would be celebrating 65 years on Planet Earth this year, had he not tragically passed away in 1992. The DJ’s legacy lives on in the aesthetic he gave birth to when he started his decade-long residency at the famous New York nightclub Paradise Garage. The local vinyl collective Hi-Dreams will pay their respects to the trailblazer with A Tribute to Larry Levan + Paradise Garage, a set that includes some of the funkiest cuts from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, including Parliament-Funkadelic and The Sugarhill Gang. Mitch Freedom, Greg Wytes and Joyable Jake will be behind the tables. Let the spin begin at 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. This is a free event. Jason Keil

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So strange.

Stranger Things ‘80s Night

Unless you’ve been stuck in The Upside-Down the past few weeks, you’re undoubtedly aware that season three of Stranger Things is out. Given the show’s rampant popularity — 40 million people have already watched the latest episodes according to Netflix — it isn’t much of a shocker that the folks at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street, are putting on a Stranger Things ‘80s Night at the venue this weekend to coincide with the latest chronicles of Hawkins, Indiana.

Much like the show, the party, which takes place on Saturday, July 20, will be steeped in Reagan-era nostalgia. The DJ duo of Jeffery and Bractune will spin ‘80s tunes and songs from the show throughout the night. As you’d expect, ‘80s attire and Stranger Things costumes are encouraged. There will also be a photo booth and character buttons for the first 300 patrons. Start time is 10 p.m. Admission is $10 in advance, $15 to $18 at the door. Benjamin Leatherman

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On our way to the moon.

Apollo 11

The Arizona Science Center, 600 East Washington Street, will mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and the moon landing with a two-day celebration featuring family-friendly activities and exhibits inspired by space and the moon. The 2019 documentary Apollo 11: First Steps Edition will also be shown in the Irene P. Flinn Giant Screen Theater.

Kicking off on Friday, July 19, the event will also run on Saturday, July 20, the actual anniversary of Armstrong and his fellow Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin stepping onto the lunar surface. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission is $18 in advance for adults, $13 in advance for children 3 to 17. It’s free for kids 2 and under. Call 602-716-2000. Benjamin Leatherman

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Just hanging out with Totoro.
© 1988 Studio Ghibli

My Neighbor Totoro

A little girl named Mei climbs inside a camphor tree next to her house and discovers the furry forest spirit named Totoro. The creature takes the young girl and her sister on a series of adventures in the animated Studio Ghibli production My Neighbor Totoro. Speaking of tall wooden plants, this screening of director Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece will be presented by the non-profit Trees Matter, whose mission is “to inspire and promote an increased tree canopy in the Valley.” This delightful story branches out at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children. Jason Keil

Tequila Festival

Connoisseurs know that Cien Agaves has one of the best menus in the Valley, so the Old Town Scottsdale restaurant is going to take an afternoon to focus on liquor. Attendees of the Cien Agaves First Annual Tequila Festival will work their way through 14 of the best blancos, reposados, anejos, and mezcals, with representatives on site to help you find the right one for you. There will be drink and food specials, live music and a swag bag.

Take your shot from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, at 7228 East First Avenue in Scottsdale. Tickets are $25, which includes ten drink samples, light food and a tasting card. Jason Keil

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All about the games.
Erin Meadows and Andy

Games for Dames+

If you’ve watched Stranger Things, you may have noticed there is something missing when the three main characters play Dungeons and Dragons: the opposite sex. Women enjoy role-playing games just as much as the boys do, which is why the organization Do Better Gaming created Games for Dames+. If you’re someone who identifies as female or non-binary who is interested in learning about board gaming in a safe environment, then stop by and learn from one of the game masters on site or participate in a Dungeons and Dragons character creation station.

Roll the dice from 6 to 10 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, at Imperial Outpost, 4920 West Thunderbird Road in Glendale. This is a free event for those 16-years-old and up. Jason Keil

Arizona Diamondbacks

Even as the Arizona Diamondbacks’ playoff hopes slowly slip away, they’re staying in the race for the long haul. Both second baseman Ketel Marte and pitcher Zack Grienke have been having a stellar season and were selected to participate in the All-Star Game (though Grienke dropped out due to “personal reasons”). The Baltimore Orioles, on the other hand, sent a rookie pitcher to the mid-season classic and are one of the worst team in baseball, so things could always be worse at Chase Field. The starting pitch goes out at 6:40 p.m. on Monday, July 22, at 401 East Jefferson Street, with additional games through Wednesday, July 24. Tickets are $15-$200. Jason Keil

Reservoir Dogs

It might be Quentin Tarantino’s first film, but Reservoir Dogs still slaps 27 years later. It has everything that we’ve come to expect from the director: a pulpy plot, crackling and expletive-laced dialogue, graphic violence, and a great soundtrack. But this is going to be a little different than your typical movie screening. Attendees are encouraged (not required) to come wearing a black suit and tie like the five talkative protagonists. Grab a taco and enjoy this little caper.

Pick your color, cover your ears and come dressed to impress at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23, at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Tempe, 1140 East Baseline Road in Tempe. Tickets are $6. Jason Keil

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Heading to an event at Phoenix Art Museum.
Phoenix Art Museum

Make It!

Look for Tempe artist Mia Adams during the free Make It! event happening at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24, at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue. She’ll be helping visitors create their own artworks, inspired in part by Carlos Mérida’s Abstract Composition on view in the American Gallery. July’s Make It! features an "opposites" theme, which should give you plenty of fun ways to express your own inner artist.

Adams’ work reflects her own experiences as a black/Latina woman living in the U.S. Often, she uses photography, sculpture, and installation art to challenge social and political constructs as a means of promoting justice and equality. Museum admission is pay-what-you-wish that day, when museum hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Lynn Trimble

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, the latest selection of the First Draft Book Club, appeared on many “most anticipated novels of 2019” lists and it’s not hard to see why. Author Ocean Vuong tells the story of the immigrant experience in the form of a letter from a Vietnamese son to his illiterate mother and unearths a family’s brutal and violent history. USA Today Book Editor Barbara VanDenburgh moderates the stimulating conversation surrounding this stunning debut work. Enjoy drink specials throughout the evening.

Turn the page at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 23, at Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road. This is a free event. Jason Keil
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