Architecture and Design

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

New Times picks the best arts and culture events in metro Phoenix from February 26 to 28.

Canal Convergence
The Scottsdale Waterfront will be alight with art again when Canal Convergence, an annual large-scale public art event, takes over the banks — and water — of the Arizona Canal, between Scottsdale and Goldwater roads.

The theme, aptly, is Water + Art + Light, and woven within the weekend takeover is a night of live storytelling: “Stories with a Splash: A Birthday Party!” in honor of Scottsdale Public Art’s 30th birthday. Tellers include young adult author Elizabeth Maria Naranjo, journalist Sara Palmer, New Times managing editor Amy Silverman, gallery owner and New Times contributor Robrt Pela, and R. Bradley Snyder, human development psychologist and writer. Katherine Stewart is the evening’s master of ceremonies. (New Times is an official sponsor of this event.)

Stories set sail at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 26, at Soleri Plaza at the Scottsdale Waterfront, 4420 North Scottsdale Road. Admission is $15. There will be a wine and beer garden on site. For tickets, visit or for details. Janessa Hilliard
City of Angels
City of Angels
is not just the metropolis to the west of us; it’s an extremely funny musical about mid-century Hollywood and the noir-y novels it tended to chew up and spit out, stressing out writers majorly. Deft writing and staging blend the two worlds in and out of each other — the real world, in vibrant color, and the “reel” world, in black and white. Actors double and dames make trouble. The show swept Broadway’s 1990 award season and played 879 performances, which ain’t chopped liver, as the kids say nowadays.

Peoria’s Theater Works presents the play through Sunday, March 6. For tickets, $14 to $35, call 623-815-7930 or visit Showtime on Friday, February 26, is 7:30 p.m. at 8355 West Peoria Avenue. Julie Peterson

Mary Statzer
So you’re not an expert on photography created from 1960 to the present. With people like Mary Statzer around, you don’t have to be.

The independent curator, educator, and scholar presents a critical reading from her book, The Photographic Object 1970, regarding the Photography into Sculpture exhibition that opened that year at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition was considered both radical and inspirational, as the first of its kind to feature photographic images in a sculptural manner. The book includes interviews with artists, and 79 illustrations. Soak up the knowledge and get a signed copy at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 26, at Changing Hands, 300 West Camelback Road. Admission is free. Books are $49.95, purchase is required for signing. Call 602-274-0067 or visit Amy Young

Mad Dog Grudges
At age 22, Molly McCloy asked her father to apologize for nine incidents. Those nine incidents would become nine distinct grudges McCloy would hold on to, eventually turning them into this one-woman show Mad Dog Grudges. In it, she shines a light on a storied family history of violence, addiction, and yes, grudges, studying the motives and manipulations of her own (in her words) “screwed-up family,” ultimately settling on what it takes to forgive.

The show clocks in at 45 minutes, making this the first full-length solo piece, for the three-time NYC Moth StorySLAM winner. This Phoenix show, directed by award-winning playwright Kim Porter, will be McCloy’s third live performance of the story: the show was first written and performed in New York City last fall.

Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show begins at 7:30 on Saturday, February 27, at The Trunk Space, 1506 Grand Avenue. Tickets are $8. Call 602-256-6006 or visit for more. Janessa Hilliard

"Mirror, Mirror"
It’s no great secret that Frida Kahlo’s favorite subject to paint was, well, Frida Kahlo. Lest you think such pre-selfie posing and admiring was a little Kardashian-esque, you should know she wasn’t the only one who found herself inspiring. The Mexican artist served as a striking model for an array of notable photographers, including Andre Breton, Dora Maar, and Lucienne Bloch. Bentley Gallery offers a look at their vintage snaps of the one-browed wonder in the exhibition “Mirror, Mirror.” See the artist as interpreted by other creatives in striking color and grayscale before the show closes on Saturday, February 27, at 215 East Grant Street. Hours on Saturday are from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For details, visit or call 480-946-6060. Becky Bartkowski

Second Chance Prom
If you could re-do prom without all the teen angst, wouldn’t you? This weekend, you have your opportunity at Second Chance Prom at The Duce, 525 South Central Avenue. This event is not only a chance for dancing with friends and partaking of delicious food and drink (though all of those things are certainly included) – 100 percent of the evening’s proceeds go directly to benefit the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. You can feel good about supporting a cause, while also thanking the universe that you are now an adult and, as such, can partake of alcoholic beverages freely.

Second Chance Prom is from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, February 27, at The Duce. Tickets start at $160 and include dinner, drinks, and valet parking. For more information, visit or call 602-317-4761. Katrina Montgomery

"Play Me, I'm Yours"
Play Me, I’m Yours.”

More than a title, the phrase is the ethos behind the traveling musical exhibition of the same name, created by British artist Luke Jerram. Since 2008, this street pianos project has brought more than 1,400 pianos to eight million people — professionals, amateur pianists, and listeners alike — worldwide. And for the next month, 24 playable, painted upright pianos will belong to Mesa and Valley residents.

After their unveiling on Saturday, February 27, the only time all two-dozen will be together during this art experiment, the pianos will be placed along Main Street throughout downtown Mesa. They will remain on display through Saturday, April 9. Whether you’re playing “Chopsticks” or performing Chopin, the pianos are available to the public 24/7 through the exhibition’s end.

The free opening reception is from 2 to 5 p.m. at Shadow Walk at Mesa Arts Center, One East Main Street. Call 480-644-6621 or click Janessa Hilliard

Coronado Home Tour
Oh, you think you know the Coronado Neighborhood?

Well, uh okay, so maybe you do. But just in case, we prepared to drop some knowledge — like the fact that the ‘hood actually encompasses three historic districts that span about three decades of construction and thereby three main design styles: ranch, bungalow, and Spanish revival. And that’s just the surface stuff. You can get an inside look during the Coronado Home Tour, which offers peeks at 10 houses, as well as live music, a classic car show, street fair, and picnic games for you people who are full-up on architecture trivia. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with homes opening at 11 in the morning. Get your tickets ($13 to $15 for adults and $5 for kids 4 to 12) at Circle Park, 826 East Windsor Drive. For details, see Becky Bartkowski

The Weir
Not enough plays are suffused with some sort of creepiness, especially this time of year. ? So we welcome Conor McPherson’s Olivier Award-winning The Weir, presented by Theatre Artists Studio in a regional première through Sunday, March 13. In an Irish pub, four men welcome a new neighbor by telling her scary stories. Like you do. Then she freaks them out with a story of her own.

Also, did you know a weir is a dam or fish-trap? We did not. That’s much less eerie and romantic than we’d thought. But it has nothing to do with how good the play is.

Showtime on Sunday, February 28, is 2 p.m. at 4848 East Cactus Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $10 to $20 at or 602-765-0120. Julie Peterson

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski
Janessa is a native Phoenician. She joined New Times as a contributor in 2013. You can connect with her on social media at @janessahilliard, and she promises you'll find no pictures of cats on her Instagram — but plenty of cocktails.
Contact: Janessa Hilliard
Katrina Montgomery
Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson