The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week: September 12-18 | Phoenix New Times

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Busy week ahead.
Staying hydrated at last year's Rockin' Taco Street Festival.
Staying hydrated at last year's Rockin' Taco Street Festival. Michelle Sasonov
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Phoenix, get ready for a busy week. This week, you can make your childhood dreams come true at Wyld Paint Party, expand your culinary horizons at Rockin' Taco Street Fest, or feel fabulous during Werq the World. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

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Feeling free under the stars.
Tzu Chia Huang

Ballet Under the Stars

Ballet is a stunning art form. Dancers devote their lives to interpreting beautiful stories through poise, grace, and discipline. But productions are not cheap, so Ballet Arizona wants to make ballet available to everyone through Ballet Under the Stars.

The program, now in its 22nd year, will showcase classical and contemporary styles.

“We are creating an interest for those people that may not have been exposed to ballet ever before, and hopefully it will inspire them in some way,” Ballet Arizona Artistic Director Ib Andersen says.

Get mesmerized with a free performance at Tempe Center for the Arts Amphitheater, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe, on Thursday, September 12, at 7 p.m. All ages are welcome. Melissa Fossum


The 1980 film Xanadu had the potential to be great. It had all the right elements —  a muse (a post-Grease Olivia Newton-John) prancing on roller skates with her dancing partner, Gene Kelly, to a hit soundtrack composed by Electric Light Orchestra.

It sounds awesome on paper, but the result was an extremely campy flop. The film is now a cult classic and has been adapted to a Broadway musical filled with lighthearted fun. The best part? Roller-skating is an integral part of the performance.

Channel the muses at 5:30 p.m. at Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 West Paradise Lane in Peoria, on Friday, September 13. The show continues through September 29. Tickets start at $52.99. Call 623-776-8400 for more information. Melissa Fossum

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Artwork spotted in The Millet House courtyard.
Lynn Trimble

‘Badass Latina Women’

History is filled with badass women whose stories often go untold. Now, one local artist is shining a light on Latina women, with an exhibition of artworks called “Badass Latina Women.” It’s filled with artworks that reveal her perspective on iconic Latina women and remind viewers of the struggles Latina women have overcome through the years.

Featured artist Vanessa Ortiz hopes her work will inspire fellow Latinas of all ages to embrace their uniqueness while recognizing their beauty and talents. The free opening reception, where you can see works by nine additional artists, happens from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, September 13, at The Millet House, 440 West First Street in Mesa. The exhibit continues through Thursday, October 31. Lynn Trimble

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Dodge & Fuski
Courtesy of the artist

Wyld Paint Party

Remember how fun it was to play with finger paint as a kid? What if you could take it even further by transforming your body into a canvas during a rave?

Make your childhood dreams come true during the Wyld Paint Party, a rave with a huge lineup of DJs including headliners Dodge & Fuski, Carbin, and Blaize.

Put on your best swimwear and prepare to get absolutely doused in neon paint on Friday, September 13, at 9 p.m. at The Pressroom, 441 West Madison Street. Admission to this 18-and-over event starts at $20. Price tiers include goodies like T-shirts, paint tubes, and foam sticks. Melissa Fossum

Sonoran Dogs

The theme to The Drew Carey Show led us to believe that the city of Cleveland does, in fact, rock. Today, nobody evangelizes the Rock and Roll Capital of the World quite like Ramon Rivas. Just check out his Viceland spot where he tries to entice New Yorkers to move to Cleveland to save some money on rent.

Rivas will headline Sonoran Dogs, produced by Castaway Comedy, with local support includes Kristofer Royer, Bubba McComb, and Derek McFarland.

Get ready for some laughs on Friday, September 13, at 9 p.m. at The Lunchbox, 4132 East McDowell Road, #7. Tickets are $10, and you have to be 21 or over to attend. Melissa Fossum

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The movie of the ’80s.
Warner Bros

The Lost Boys

The Lost Boys may be the definitive movie of the ’80s. It has it all — the two Coreys, meticulously coiffed hair, summertime beach romance, supernatural terror, and Kiefer Sutherland’s role as a party monster vampire. And who can forget the greased-up shirtless saxophone player?

You can relive this thrilling flick during Alamo Drafthouse’s Lost Boys movie party on Friday, September 13. The interactive experience includes goody bags filled with vampire fangs, confetti poppers, bubbles, and an inflatable saxophone.

The fun starts at 7 p.m. at 4955 South Arizona Avenue in Chandler. Tickets are $10.50. Melissa Fossum

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Javier Zamora will do a free reading at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore.
Blue Flower Arts


When he was just 9 years old, Javier Zamora traveled alone from El Salvador to the United States to be reunited with his parents. The 4,000-mile journey he undertook in 1999 informed his first poetry collection, titled Unaccompanied, and his work with the Our Parents’ Bones Campaign, which seeks justice for those whose family members disappeared during El Salvador’s civil war.

Zamora will be reading from his book at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, 1738 East McDowell Road, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 14. It’s being presented by the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, where Zamora will teach a class earlier that day. The reading is free, but you should register online before attending. Lynn Trimble

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These tacos from Hungry Monk are delicious.
Michelle Sasonov

Rockin’ Taco Street Fest

If you’re only eating tacos from the cheapest fast food joint in town, then you’re doing it wrong. The Rockin’ Taco Street Fest, happening from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday, September 14, can help you expand your culinary horizons with creative tacos from more than a dozen local restaurants and food trucks. Expect plenty of other food options, from elote to churros. Drink choices range from margaritas to horchata.

You’ll pay for food and drinks, and admission is $12. The festival also includes wrestling, a mariachi performance, a children’s play area, eating competitions, and more. Featured bands include B-Side Players, La Misa Negra, and Evil Waze. All this taco love is taking place in downtown Chandler, at 178 East Commonwealth Avenue. Lynn Trimble

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Ever wonder what happens behind the scenes here?
Courtney Sargent

Herberger Theater Center Tour

Most people head straight for the bar or the bathroom when they get to their favorite theater (unless they’re eager to get right to their seats). That means they’re overlooking some of the more interesting parts of the venue. Guided tours can help make sure you’re not missing the little details in your haste to get settled in for a show.

The Herberger Theater Center, located at 222 East Monroe Street, is offering a free four-story tour of theater performance spaces at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 14. It’s a great way to learn more about the building’s history, and discover areas you might not have explored before, such as the art gallery that often shows works by local artists. Lynn Trimble

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Look for Jaleo at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

Live & Local

When Gerd Wuestemann became the new president and CEO of Scottsdale Arts in early 2018, he talked about wanting to expand existing programs and create new initiatives. The longtime musician and arts leader, who holds a doctorate of musical arts from the University of Arizona, has already increased the focus on local musicians through a performance series called Live & Local.

The next concert in the series features Jaleo, a Scottsdale band that performs various styles of Latin music, including cumbia, salsa, merengue, and more. Founded in 2007, the band also brings a Latin twist to American pop standards. Jaleo: CubaCaribe happens on Saturday, September 14, at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street in Scottsdale. Tickets to the 8 p.m. performance start at $15. Lynn Trimble

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Part of an exhibit at the Arizona Heritage Center in Tempe.
Lynn Trimble

‘Art of the Internment Camps: Culture Behind Barbed Wire’

Nearly 125,000 Japanese-American citizens living on the West Coast in 1942 were forcibly removed and sent to internment camps after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed an executive order. Photographers including Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams documented these internments, and several artists created work reflecting life inside the camp.

The 10 camps, located in seven states, included the Gila River and Poston camps in Arizona. Learn more about these internment camps when ASU art history professor Betsy Fahlman presents “Art of the Internment Camps: Culture Behind Barbed Wire” at part of Arizona Humanities’ AZ Speaks series. The free talk on Saturday, September 14, runs from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 North Central Avenue. Lynn Trimble

History Underground: Obscure Anecdotes

Winnie Ruth Judd, a.k.a. “The Trunk Murderess,” is one of Arizona’s most infamous and fascinating residents. In 1931, she allegedly killed two romantic rivals, then took their bodies to Los Angeles in trunks.

It gets even more interesting from there — Judd was found guilty of murder, and sentenced to death. She pleaded insanity and spent a few years at the Arizona State Mental hospital, where she subsequently escaped at least six times. She was paroled in 1971 and died of natural causes at 93.

Learn more about Judd’s fascinating history during History Underground: Obscure Anecdotes of Phoenix Events at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue on Sunday, September 15, at 7 p.m. This 21-and-over show is $5 in advance. Melissa Fossum

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Put Edward Tulane on your must-see theater list.
Tim Trumble

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Everyone has their own story of being lost and found, which is why The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane resonates with audiences of all ages. It’s based on the book by Kate DiCamillo, which imagines the adventures of a beloved toy and the life of the young girl who lost him.

The Childsplay production is a poignant and charming exploration of life’s misadventures, amplified by stunning sets, costumes, and lighting. See for yourself on Sunday, September 15, when the show starts at 1 p.m. It’s being performed at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. It’s best for ages 7 and up. Tickets start at $15. Lynn Trimble

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Stretch it out.
Sara Sachs/Arizona Diamondbacks

Yoga at Chase Field

Going to an Arizona Diamondbacks game is always a good time, especially when the roof is open. Very few fans will have an opportunity to walk onto the field, let alone stretch out into downward dog. Yoga at Chase Field allows fans to enjoy a post-game one-hour instructor-led yoga class. A kids’ class is also offered.

Stretch it out at 401 East Jefferson Street on Sunday, September 15, at 5 p.m. Tickets to yoga also grant admission to the 1:10 p.m. game versus the Cincinnati Reds and a special edition D-backs yoga water bottle. All-ages tickets start at $25. Melissa Fossum

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Look for this Eric Kasper painting at Eric Fischl Gallery.
Eric Kasper


Phoenix native Eric Kasper has been exhibiting work around the Valley for more than a decade, using primarily figurative oil paintings to explore what he calls “conflicted perspectives.” He’s particularly interested in what happens to social structures when individuals break norms. For his solo exhibition titled “Belief,” Kasper is showing works that consider how a person develops within the constraints of religious doctrine, and the impact of religious belief on cultural progress.

The free opening reception runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Monday, September 16, at Eric Fischl Gallery. The gallery is located on the second floor of the fine and performing arts building on the Phoenix College campus, 1202 West Thomas Road. The exhibit continues through Thursday, October 3. Lynn Trimble

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Werq it!
Voss Events

Werq the World

Reality smash hit RuPaul’s Drag Race has been entertaining fans for over a decade and continues to challenge traditional gender and beauty roles; contestant Violet Chachki even scored a Prada campaign.

Drag Race superfans will have to wait until spring for season 12, but in the meantime, the Werq the World Tour returns to Phoenix with live performances from stars like Asia O’Hara, Detox, Kameron Michaels, Kim Chi, Naomi Smalls, Plastique Tiara, Violet Chachki, and Yvie Oddly.

You betta work at Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams Street on Monday, September 16, at 8 p.m. All ages tickets start at $52. For more information, call 602-262-6225. Melissa Fossum

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Tania Candiani, Pulso, 2016, Courtesy of the artist and Fundación Alumnos, Proyecto Líquido
Juan Pablo de la Vega

‘Pulso: Tania Candiani (I)’

Mexican multidisciplinary artist Tania Candiani, who received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011, is best known for creating large-scale multimedia installations that explore what she terms “the complex intersection of language systems.” Now you can see her work at ASU Art Museum, 51 East 10th Street in Tempe.

“Pulso: Tania Candiani (I)” features an immersive three-channel video installation that explores several themes — including “the political and historical implications of water scarcity” and “gender relationships in the context of social roles and notions of power.” Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, September 17. The exhibit runs through February 29, 2020. Museum admission is free. Lynn Trimble

Embrace your inner South Park at FilmBar.
Lynn Trimble

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

It’s one thing to see the irreverent animated series South Park on the small screen, or watch the 1999 film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut on the big screen when you’re just sitting in passive partaker of obscene humor mode. It’s quite another to dress in costumes inspired by the film for a sing-a-long and have the satisfaction of knowing it’s benefiting a local charity.

Give it a try on Wednesday, September 18, when FilmBar, 815 North Second Street, screens the movie as part of its Big Gay Singalong series. Tickets for the 8:30 p.m. screening are $14. While you’re there, check out the wine specials and raffle. Then prepare to follow the adventures of Kenny and friends as they discover the joys of seeing an R-rated movie. Lynn Trimble

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Loving these desert greens.
Desert Botanical Garden

‘It’s Not Easy Being Green’

Pantone has a pair of greens on its color list for the autumn/winter 2019/20 season, including a shade of forest green it calls “Eden” and a food-inspired color dubbed “Guacamole.” That’s bad news if you don’t want your jeans to match your avocado toast. But it hasn’t dissuaded Chef Larry Canepa from planning a class focused on greens from around the world, which he’ll be teaching from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 18, at Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway.

The chef, food historian, and culinary educator takes a farm-to-table approach. And he loves sharing the historical, social, and cultural contexts for various foods. His “It’s Not Easy Being Green” class will include recipes, cooking tips, and samples. The class is $65. Lynn Trimble
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