Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Canal Convergence is back.
Canal Convergence is back. Michelle Sasonov
click to enlarge Canal Convergence is back. - MICHELLE SASONOV
Canal Convergence is back.
Michelle Sasonov
We’ve planned your week. This week, you can get an inside look of Flea’s rise to stardom with the Red Hot Chili Peppers during a discussion about his memoir Acid for Children, celebrate Tempe’s birthday at Tempe Town Lake, or give thanks to those who fought for our country during a Veterans Day tribute. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

click to enlarge Hear Flea discuss his memoir at the Orpheum Theatre. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Hear Flea discuss his memoir at the Orpheum Theatre.
Lynn Trimble

Acid for the Children

Life has always been circus-like for the bassist and Red Hot Chili Peppers co-founder who uses the single name Flea. First came the chaotic childhood, then the partying and petty crimes described in his new memoir Acid for the Children. It’s the Australian-born American’s look back at his formative years, and how his identity morphed through music and the people he met along the way.

Flea will be talking about the book and his rise to rock stardom during an event being presented through Changing Hands Bookstore. It’s happening from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, November 7, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams Street. Get a signed copy of the book and one ticket to the event for $37.58 plus fees, or one book and two tickets for $42.58 plus fees. Then see for yourself how myriad sideshows transformed Flea into the ringmaster of his destiny. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Broaden your horizons, then grab a beer, at Changing Hands. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Broaden your horizons, then grab a beer, at Changing Hands.
Lynn Trimble

Iron City Magazine

Prisoners are people, first and foremost. It’s a central theme for Iron City Magazine, an online and print journal featuring art and writing by incarcerated individuals. The magazine will premiere its next issue at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road, during a launch event at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 8.

The evening will include “creative expressions by and for the incarcerated.” Featured speakers will include Ken Lamberton, Cornelia “Corri” Elizabeth Vander Hoek Wells, and others. Lamberton, who was released from prison in 2000, is the author of Wilderness and Razor Wire: A Naturalist’s Observations from Prison. Wells runs an Arizona Stte University program that brings creative writing and other courses to several correctional facilities in metro Phoenix. The launch event is free, but online RSVPs are encouraged. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Throwback to an earlier Pancakes & Booze Art Show. - MELINA DELLAMARGGIO
Throwback to an earlier Pancakes & Booze Art Show.
Melina Dellamarggio

Pancakes & Booze Art Show

Chicken and waffles. Frida and Diego. The world is filled with fascinating culinary and creative couples. Now you can celebrate the intersection of comfort food with art, as another Pancakes & Booze art show rolls into town. The underground, pop-up exhibit boasts hundreds of artworks created by dozens of local artists, including some whose works you haven’t seen in mainstream settings.

The Pancakes & Booze Art Show starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 8, and runs through 2 a.m. the next morning. It’s happening at The Duce, 525 South Central Avenue, where you can get your ticket at the door for $10 (cash only), assuming you’re at least 21. The evening also includes live body painting and DJ stylings. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Scene from The Last Starfighter. - ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE CINEMA
Scene from The Last Starfighter.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

The Last Starfighter

The stars will soon align at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Chandler for fans of the film The Last Starfighter. Head to 4955 South Chandler Avenue in Chandler to catch a 35th anniversary screening, where the film will be introduced by Catherine Mary Stewart. Stewart starred in the 1984 film about a teen who gets recruited by an alien force to wage intergalactic war.

The screening happens at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, November 8. You need to be 18 years old to attend, and tickets cost $23.72. The event includes a Q & A and a meet-and-greet with Stewart. You can bring an item from home or buy something from Stewart if you’d like to get an autograph. Either way, the cost for that is $30, and a photo or selfie is included. Lynn Trimble

Check this out on opening night for Canal Convergence. - WALTER PRODUCTIONS
Check this out on opening night for Canal Convergence.
Walter Productions

Canal Convergence

For Canal Convergence, Scottsdale Public Art is transforming the Scottsdale Waterfront into a free 10-day event filled with light-based visual and performance art. It starts on Friday, November 8, when the lineup includes a performance of Water Serpent by Walter Productions, a creative team whose installations are renowned at festivals from Bonnaroo and Burning Man. The show starts at 6 p.m.

Opening night also includes several artist talks and art activities, live music, and Mesa artist Katharine Leigh Simpson doing a site-specific performance of her Earthly bird creature. Locations vary along the canal, so check the online map for the best address for starting your art explorations. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Time to celebrate the city. - NEW TIMES ARCHIVE
Time to celebrate the city.
New Times Archive

Tempe Town Lake

Do bodies of water regularly hold birthday celebrations? Only if it’s Tempe Town Lake. Yes, our beloved artificial perennial reservoir turns 20 years old in 2019, and the city of Tempe is celebrating with a grand community birthday shindig to provide a “blueprint for the future of this Tempe treasure.” On the north lake, there’ll be three zones featuring a rock wall, zip line, fishing, an ASU volleyball tournament, rowing demos, sailing tours, and yoga classes. The south lake, meanwhile, features three more zones comprised of an art walk, bird-watching, food trucks, Zumba classes, various games, and live music at Beach Park. And you don’t even have to bring a present.

This free party begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 9, at Tempe Town Lake, 80 West Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe. Chris Coplan

Mexican Workers and the Making of Arizona

Despite the prevalence of heated political rhetoric and bigotry, Mexican-American workers continue to make invaluable contributions to our rural and urban communities. Take time to honor their lives and central role in Arizona communities during a free event named for a book titled Mexican Workers and the Making of Arizona, which is published by The University of Arizona Press in Tucson.

The editors, Luis F. B. Plascencia and Gloria H. Cuádraz, will join community members to discuss their book, which addresses issues ranging from migration to economics, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, November 9. The free event happens at El Tianguis Mercado del Guadalupe, 9241 South Avenida del Yaqui in Guadalupe. Expect an evening of discovery, community, and celebration. Lynn Trimble

Head to Tempe for a little alternative musical theater fix. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Head to Tempe for a little alternative musical theater fix.
Lynn Trimble

American Psycho: The Musical

Serial killers are a dime a dozen in television and film world. But they’re less common in musical theater, which makes seeing them on stage even more delightful. Stray Cat Theatre is opening its run for American Psycho: The Musical on Saturday, November 9, when the curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe.

The musical is based on a novel by Bret Easton Ellis. By day, Patrick Bateman is a well-dressed Wall Street banker. By night, he’s a serial killer. At some point, his identities begin to collide. That’s where the real fun begins. Tickets are $40. The musical is recommended for adult audiences. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Mariachi Vargas performs at Orpheum Theater. - COURTESY OF MEGAZA LIVE
Mariachi Vargas performs at Orpheum Theater.
Courtesy of Megaza Live

International Mariachi Festival

Not all Phoenix festivals involve standing outside in the heat, consuming water bottles and sunscreen with equal ferocity. For a more reserved but nonetheless thrilling musical outing, there’s always the International Mariachi Festival. Already in its fourth year, the event brings some of the finest singers, dancers, and bands directly to downtown Phoenix, with performances by Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan, Sandra Guevara, Mariachi Tesoro, and Mariachi Rubor, among many others. And FYI: just because you’re indoors doesn’t mean you can’t get a little dance happy.

The festival begins at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 9, at the Orpheum Theater, 203 West Adams Street. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge No fries will be lost during the process. - NEW TIMES ARCHIVE
No fries will be lost during the process.
New Times Archive

French Fry Throwdown

The french fry is the ultimate form of the potato, and the Valley now has a festival dedicated to the side. The French Fry Throwdown promises to be packed to the brim with starchy goodness, with a variety of offerings from American Poutine Co., Frites Street, When Pigs Fly, Chicken Coop, Reefs Kitchen, and Mama Jim’s, among others. There will also be several dessert trucks and a wide-open beer garden. You can get your fry on and keep the kiddies entertained with a playground, face painting, balloon art, and train rides.

The festival commences at 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 9, at Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 North 83rd Avenue in Peoria. Parking and entrance are free. Don’t forget to vote for your favorites at the info booth. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge Playboy Manbaby will be there. - JIM LOUVAU
Playboy Manbaby will be there.
Jim Louvau

Full Moon Festival

Perhaps you’ve heard that all the super talented artists, musicians, and dancers emerge during a full moon. The aptly named Full Moon Festival will feature “five immersive environments,” with performances from Playboy Manbaby, Andy Warpigs, and Paper Foxes. There will also be DJ sets by META, WASH, and Social, and even a silent disco. Things are likely to get kooky (in a mostly good way).

The festival is set for 8:45 p.m. on Saturday, November 9, at The Pressroom, 441 West Madison Street. Tickets are $20 for GA, $25 the week of the fest, and $30 at the door. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge Checking out a few bookshelves at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Checking out a few bookshelves at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore.
Lynn Trimble

Boricua Book Club

When Donald Trump visited the island of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria two years ago, he threw paper towels into a crowd of survivors gathered at a chapel in San Juan. It’s an image seared into the consciousness of many Americans, who wondered how they could help the island and its inhabitants heal.

During the next Boricua Book Club at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, 1738 East McDowell Road, participants will be discussing a book called War Against All Puerto Ricans, which explores the historical and contemporary landscape of the island. The discussion will address questions ranging from civil disobedience to the exodus of Puerto Ricans to the mainland in the storm’s aftermath. It’s free and open to all. Lynn Trimble

Old Man Con

If your idea of a good time is spending hours flipping through dusty long boxes, then make your way to Old Man Con. Described as a “real old-fashioned comic con,” this event offers the devoted a chance to peruse some back issues. Come for the hourly raffles and hang with your fellow collectors. A little dust inhalation is worth finding that Uncanny X-Men #304 with holograph card.

The con goes down at 11 a.m. on Sunday, November 10, at American Legion Post 44, 7145 East Second Street in Scottsdale. Tickets are just $10. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge You can honor Native veterans at the Heard Museum. - LYNN TRIMBLE
You can honor Native veterans at the Heard Museum.
Lynn Trimble

Veterans Day Tribute

The Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue, is offering free general admission for U.S. military veterans and active-duty service members, who also can bring one guest to the museum. It’s open regular hours that day, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. But there is also a Veterans Day Tribute happening from 5 to 6 p.m.

The event, which honors veterans and their family members, is free and open to the public. It includes presentations by veterans groups and color guards, in addition to traditional performances and speakers. While you’re there, explore several large-scale sculptures created by Native artists to honor American Indian veterans from many different conflicts. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Hanging out at Changing Hands Bookstore. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Hanging out at Changing Hands Bookstore.
Lynn Trimble

Karine Jean-Pierre

Karine Jean-Pierre has a few thoughts on the lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion in American politics. She’s the chief public affairs officer for MoveOn, an organization that champions progressive policies, and a political analyst for MSNBC.

Jean-Pierre has written a book titled Moving Forward, which recounts her own foray into politics while encouraging others to get more involved. She’ll be discussing and signing copies of her book starting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 12. The free author event is happening at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road. Lynn Trimble

Hear Alberto Rios talk poetry at Chandler Public Library. - EVIE CARPENTER
Hear Alberto Rios talk poetry at Chandler Public Library.
Evie Carpenter

Alberto Rios

Alberto Rios’ poetry graces public art around the city, from South Mountain Community Library to Tempe Town Lake. His border-inspired poetry was featured during U2’s 2017 Joshua Tree tour. And he collaborated with Arizona Opera for a production called Arizona Lady.

Hear the state’s first poet laureate talk about his writing process during an author talk at Chandler Public Library, 22 South Delaware Street in Chandler. It’s happening from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, November 13. The free gathering includes Rios’ discussion and an open write-in session for National Novel Writing Month for anyone who feels inspired. Lynn Trimble
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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
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble