Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Getting ready for a new moon (festival).
Getting ready for a new moon (festival). Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Getting ready for a new moon (festival). - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Getting ready for a new moon (festival).
Benjamin Leatherman

March is here, and there are plenty of events to help get the new month started on the right foot. From the Melrose on 7th Avenue Street Fair, SkaterCon5, and butterfly exhibits, there is something for everyone to "'spring" into. As always, check out other events on Phoenix New Times' event calendar.

Lit happens. - VALLEY BAR.
Lit happens.
Valley Bar.

Get Lit: Keeping It Classy

Poet Taric Watts-Williams will be sharing work exploring privilege and literature during the free Get Lit: Keeping It Classy gathering at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. It’s happening at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, and you should be at least 21 to attend. Watts-Williams will be addressing topics related to privilege on the lit scene, and imagining alternatives that elevate diverse voices in fresh ways.

The event is a chance to explore the prevalence of privileged protagonists, themes of wealth and attainment, the novel as a bourgeois exercise, and the current state of publishing relative to equity and inclusion. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Circus Time - GASLIGHT CIRCUS
Circus Time
Gaslight Circus

Gaslight Circus

Forget all the troubles happening out in the world, and escape for an evening at Alwun House, 1204 East Roosevelt Street. That’s where the Gaslight Circus will be doing a family-friendly performance from 7 to 11 p.m. during First Friday on March 6.

They’ve created a new theatrical tale with an eclectic cast of characters. Think clowns, jesters, mermaids, a ringmaster, and more. It’s a great excuse to visit Alwun House if you’ve never had the chance to explore this staple of the Phoenix arts scene, which is home to several creative spaces from galleries to outdoor gardens and stage. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 the day of the show. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Theater with a transit twist. - RISING YOUTH THEATER
Theater with a transit twist.
Rising Youth Theater

Light Rail Plays

Rising Youth Theatre has been exploring new theater platforms for several years now, including light rail stations and transit trains that carry diverse community members throughout the Valley. Now, it’s bringing a new series of works to the Tempe Transit Center, 200 East Fifth Street in Tempe.

The latest iteration of the Light Rail Plays launches on Friday, March 6, with a 7 p.m. performance created by local youth and professional artists. The lineup includes several five-minute, two-person plays that incorporate a wide range of art forms, including music, dance, masks, and circus arts. The Light Rail Plays continue through Sunday, March 8. Performances are free, but reservations are recommended. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Ready for an adventure? - LIVE NATION
Ready for an adventure?
Live Nation

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure

Actor Paul Reubens caused a bit of a hullabaloo last month after announcing plans for a darker, more adult version of Pee-wee Herman, his most famous character. Frankly, we prefer the kinder and gentler version of the lovable man-child and his odd naivete, as seen in 1985’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. The cult comedy classic was a perfect mix of zany fun, charming innocence, and Tim Burton quirk as Herman traveled across the country to reclaim his souped-up red bicycle.   

Relive the magic when Reubens brings the film to Arizona Federal Theatre, 400 West Washington Street, on Saturday, March 7, as part of the Pee-wee’s Big Adventure 35th Anniversary Tour. A screening of the film will be followed by Reubens telling behind-the-scenes stories about its creation. Start time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $39.50 to $79.50. Bejamin Leatherman

click to enlarge A full moon is upon us. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
A full moon is upon us.
Benjamin Leatherman

Full Moon Festival: Wormhole

If sci-fi has taught us anything, it’s that strange and unusual things can often be found after going through a wormhole. Anyone who enters the Full Moon Festival: Wormhole on Saturday, March 7, in downtown Phoenix will discover a similar scenario.

A psychedelic playground of colorful and unique thrills will dominate the interior and exterior of The Pressroom, 441 West Madison Street, during the semi-regular DIY art and music party. Expect trippy visual displays, astounding art cars, immersive environments, weird characters, and the works of numerous local artists. Various local indie bands, rappers, and DJs will perform throughout the evening across multiple stages.

The festival is for partiers age 18 and up, and runs from 8:40 p.m. to 3 a.m. Admission is $20 to $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Benjamin Leatherman

SkaterCon 5

Skateboard culture and punk rock have been BFFs for decades, dating back to the early ‘80s when both were in their infancy. This weekend’s SkaterCon 5 will feature a mix of both pursuits.

Skaters and punks alike will take over the Paradise Valley Skate Park, 17642 North 40th Street, on Saturday, March 7, for a day of sick grinds and three-chord thunder. Punk bands like Boneless Ones, Since We Were Kids, and Fat Gray Cat will perform while skaters pull some sick moves out of their tricktionaries during various competitions.

There will also be skate clinics, art displays, vendors, food trucks, and panels on the history of skateboarding. The event goes from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $20. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge There's a little something for everyone at the Melrose on 7th Avenue Street Fair. - LYNN TRIMBLE
There's a little something for everyone at the Melrose on 7th Avenue Street Fair.
Lynn Trimble

Melrose on 7th Avenue Street Fair

Every month, the Melrose District hosts a large vintage market featuring assorted decor and home goods. But once a year, the neighborhood goes all out with a giant festival. The calendar for the 2020 edition of the Melrose on 7th Avenue Street Fair is jam-packed, with a zone for all-day kid’s activities, a classic car and truck show, food trucks, the Melrose Patio beer garden, and 200-plus booths featuring locally sourced arts and crafts and other delights. If the markets are a sampler platter, then the fair is a seven-course gourmet meal.

This free event is set for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 7, at 4000 North Seventh Avenue. Chris Coplan

A most tasty brew. - CHRIS MALLOY
A most tasty brew.
Chris Malloy

Arizona Craft Beer Festival

As springtime approaches, more people hear the call of day drinking. One great opportunity to indulge will be at the annual Arizona Craft Beer Festival. This year’s festivities promise offerings from a couple of dozen breweries, including Huss Brewing Company, State 48 Brewery, Barrio Brewing, Mother Road, and Walter Station Brewery. Plus, there will be live music and a cornucopia of food offerings. If that weren’t enough, the event benefits the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild.

This 21-and over-event is set for 4 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 7, at Westgate, 6751 North Sunset Boulevard in Glendale. There are three tiers of tickets available: $35 GA (which includes a souvenir mug and 24 two-ounce samples), the $80 VIP package (adds on early entry, premium bar access, and a $20 food voucher), and $10 entry for designated drivers. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge A scene from the 2014 Indian Fair and Market. - JESSICA OBERT
A scene from the 2014 Indian Fair and Market.
Jessica Obert

Indian Fair and Market

Over the last 62 years, The Heard Museum has hosted the Indian Fair and Market, which sells wares from 600-plus Native artists representing 115 tribes in the U.S. and Canada. Artists showcase a wide array of goods, including weavings, jewelry, pottery, attire, and other works of art. Plus, the fair features artist demonstrations, a fashion show, a meet-and-greet with several authors, cultural performances, food and drinks, and a craft and storytelling zone for kids. It’s a dynamic celebration of the past, present, and future of Native culture.

The fair is set for Saturday, March 7, and Sunday, March 8, at 2301 North Central Avenue. The festivities run from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m on Saturday, and 9:30 a.m to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge Open mic time. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Open mic time.
Lynn Trimble

Infuse Open Mic

Maybe you’ve dreamed of sharing your talents during an open mic night, but worried you wouldn’t feel comfortable making it happen. You can ease into it over at Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 North Third Street, where they’re holding a casual Infuse Open Mic event from 6 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, March 8. It’s a relaxing alternative to the hustle and bustle of First Friday and a great way to meet people who share your creative vibe.

Show up at 5:30 p.m. if you want to throw your hat into the ring and perform that night. The evening typically features poets, musicians, dancers, comedians, vocalists, and more. The free event is being hosted by Racquel McKenzie, and Flipside has the DJ side covered. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge A home from the Windsor Square neighborhood. - EVIE CARPENTER
A home from the Windsor Square neighborhood.
Evie Carpenter

Windsor Square Home Tour

The Windsor Square historic neighborhood features some of the oldest and most beautiful homes in Central Phoenix, with some abodes dating back to the 1930s. Even if you’re not in the market to buy, you can still scope out this pillar of local history with the Windsor Square Home Tour. There will be 12 homes available for touring, with a solid blend between the “latest design trends” and “original classic architectural highlights.” Plus, there will be live music, a beer garden, food trucks, and various arts and crafts vendors. Just make sure to wipe your feet before entering.

The home tour is set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 8. Tickets are $20, and children ages 12 and under get in free. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge Devin Booker is ready to take on the Bucks. - JIM LOUVAU
Devin Booker is ready to take on the Bucks.
Jim Louvau

Milwaukee Bucks at Phoenix Suns

When they last met in early February, the Milwaukee Bucks handed the Phoenix Suns a rather definitive loss. As familiar as such disappointments are to the Suns squad, it was one failure that arguably affected their shot of finishing at the eighth seed in the Western Conference and securing a long-awaited championship. Now, more than a month later, losses and victories mean even more as the league winds down to the finals in June. Could the Suns use their final 20-ish games to finally secure a title? Anything’s possible. But now’s the time to avenge losses and deliver some genuine magic.

The Suns and Bucks do battle once more at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 8, at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge Now up at Modified Arts. - JASILYN ANDERSON
Now up at Modified Arts.
Jasilyn Anderson

'Oracles of the Other'

If you’ve heard the term Afrofuturism and wondered what it’s all about, make your way to Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt Street. That’s where the artist and curator Merryn Alaka is exploring Afrocentrism through the eyes of several creatives who take vastly different approaches to examining blackness “outside of the bounds of Western stereotypes.”

The “Oracles of the Other” exhibit features seven artists who “repurpose the past to tell stories about ambivalent futures.” They use diverse mediums to reflect on the past, present, and future of the black diaspora — including textiles, paintings, photography, and mixed media. You can explore their work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, March 9. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Take flight. - LAURA SEGALL
Take flight.
Laura Segall

Spring Butterfly Exhibit

Birds do it. Bees do it. And butterflies do it, too. We’re talking about hanging out at the Desert Botanical Garden, of course. That’s where you can enjoy the Spring Butterfly Exhibit, which features hundreds of butterflies that are native to the desert Southwest. Get your week off to a fun start on Monday, March 9, when butterfly exhibit hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The garden is located at 1201 North Galvin Parkway, and the butterfly exhibit is included with admission. Current garden hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and admission for adults is $24.95 to $29.95. You’re never too old for a bit of butterfly therapy, and they make fabulous subjects if you’re into taking nature photos. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge It's all in the sauce. - TRAFAGLAR RELEASING
It's all in the sauce.
Trafaglar Releasing

Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets

Drummer Nick Mason played on every studio record the band Pink Floyd ever made. Get inside his head when FilmBar, 815 North Second Street, shows Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10. The film captures the percussionist playing with musicians Gary Kemp, Dom Beken, Lee Harris, and Guy Pratt at the Roadhouse in London. Afterward, they’ll be answering questions submitted by fans.

Tickets are $15. But bring extra money if you want to hang around FilmBar for a while and ponder or pontificate about the band’s importance or ongoing influence. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge An icon in the making. - PARAMOUNT
An icon in the making.


Have you ever wondered how mild-mannered piano prodigy Reginald Dwight morphed into the over-the-top performer Elton John? There’s a film about that. Rocketman explores the early years of Elton John’s career, including his transformation into the showman best known to some for wearing outrageous spectacles and singing atop his piano decked out in a sparkling, fringe-laden jumpsuit.

Channel your inner Elton John when FilmBar, 815 North Second Street, screens the biographical musical film as part of its ongoing Big Gay Sing-A-Long series. Naturally, costumes are encouraged. But maybe leave the baby grand piano at home. The screening starts at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11. Tickets are $14. Lynn Trimble

Get ready to see some classics. - NEW TIMES ARCHIVE
Get ready to see some classics.
New Times Archive

Mecum 2020

Here’s proof that Phoenix is a city of obsessive car enthusiasts: When the Mecum Auctions debuted in the Valley in 2019, the event saw 1,300-plus cars sold to the tune of $39 million. Even if you’re not dropping that kind of cash, Mecum 2020 is still a place to drool over some of the sweetest automobiles on the collector’s market. Plus, the auction caters to the less automotively inclined with its Sunset Sessions, featuring specialty cocktails, “expertly crafted menus,” and musical performances by Billy Ray Cyrus and Lifehouse. Is that your heart thumping or just the engine of a ’68 Camaro rumbling?

The event runs from 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 11, through 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, at State Farm Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive in Glendale. Chris Coplan
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Chris Coplan has been a professional writer since the 2010s, having started his professional career at Consequence of Sound. Since then, he's also been published with TIME, Complex, and other outlets. He lives in Central Phoenix with his fiancee, a dumb but lovable dog, and two bossy cats.
Contact: Chris Coplan
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Barbara Smith
Contact: Barbara Smith
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble