New Times picks the best things to do in metro Phoenix from Friday, March 11, to Sunday, March 13.
Stupid Fucking Bird
Stray Cat Theatre has roamed around various Valley venues this season, preparing for residency at Tempe Center for the Arts starting later this year. Just so you don’t get lost looking for Stupid Fucking Bird, opening on Friday and running through Saturday, March 26, we’ll note that performances take place in the Helen K. Mason Center for the Performing Arts, 1333 East Washington Street, Phoenix.
Bird is a contemporary adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull — not just an update, but a shift from repression to expression. Sweetly, when they’re able to talk about their feelings, the characters remain dysfunctional as ever, not unlike some people we know. The plot’s an inside-out The Big Chill, with people gathered together in enchanted leisure. Everyone’s crushing on someone unavailable, with about 80 percent of the love unrequited.
Showtime on March 11 is 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 to $30 at www.straycattheatre.org or 480-227-1766. Julie Peterson
Your VSCO cam game is strong, and we respect that. But, let’s be real, it’s not so impressive compared to the snaps on display at “Light Sensitive,” Art Intersection’s fifth annual juried exhibition of works created using traditional photo-making processes. Juror and acclaimed L.A.-based photog Susan Burnstine chose 75 images from 46 creatives, both national and international. Their works include cyanotype, bichromate, and wet plate collodion tintype prints. Not sure what that means? All the more reason to go check them out in the north and south galleries from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, March 11. They’ll remain on view at 207 North Gilbert Road, Suite 201 in Gilbert, through April 16. Visit www.artintersection.com or call 480-361-1118. Becky Bartkowski
Besides maybe the Komodo dragon or the crocodile, the ostrich might be the closest things to dinosaurs that we have today. The massive flightless birds get their day in the sun at Chandler’s Ostrich Festival this weekend. Originally a nod to the East Valley burg’s ostrich farming history, the celebration has grown into a three-day party with music, food trucks, and carnival rides. The time-honored tradition of ostrich racing will be taken up by brave souls in chariots and some riding bareback. Kids of all ages can get close and personal with animalia via a petting zoo, as well as camel and pony rides.
The 28th annual Ostrich Festival kicks off on Friday, March 11, at Tumbleweed Park, 2250 South McQueen Road in Chandler, from 2 p.m. to midnight. Admission is $7 for children and $10 for adults, with VIP packages for $75. Visit www.ostrichfestival.com for more info. Jose Gonzalez
Colorado Rockies vs. Cleveland Indians
t’s that wonderful time of the year in the Valley again. You know, when the sun is out but it hasn’t yet morphed into a gleaming death-ray of heat. And when spring springs in the desert, hope spring momentarily. Because for a few glorious weeks, Phoenix blossoms into a baseball lover’s paradise. So if you, like countless others, are planning on taking in a few games during a month when 15 Major League teams call Phoenix home, you might be wise to seek out the matchups that no one is talking about. For instance, parking might not be a nightmare when the Colorado Rockies host the Cleveland Indians at Scottsdale’s Salt River Fields, 7555 North Pima Road, at 1:10 p.m. on Friday, March 11. And that just might offset the overpriced booze. Consider yourself advised, spring training trainee. You’re welcome. Tickets start at $11. For a complete Cactus League schedule, visit cactusleague.com. Rob Kroehler
“Finding the Creativity in Madness"
“There is no great genius without some touch of madness,” the Greek philosopher Aristotle is said to have uttered, most likely shortly after he finished watching his DVDs of the collected works of Johnny Depp. We can’t argue with the logic — embodying eccentric characters like Edward Scissorhands, Hunter S. Thompson, Whitey Bulger, and Captain Jack Sparrow requires that you embrace some insanity. In “Finding the Creativity in Madness,” a conversation with ASU Origins project director Lawrence Krauss, Depp will reveal his experience portraying the deranged and how it can broaden our understanding consciousness and intelligence.
Find creativity in madness at Depp and Krauss’ Origins Project dialogue starting at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at Gammage Auditorium, 1200 South Forest Avenue in Tempe. Tickets start at $12. Call 480-965-3434 or visit origins.asu.edu for more. Zach Fowle
Southwest Maker Fest
If you spend your days in the studio prototyping your creations or hunched over a computer programming new technology, it might just be time to bring your ideas out into the light. The Southwest Maker Fest is a one-day festival in downtown Mesa, featuring workshops, vendors, food, and interactive activities. The event seeks to bring together a community of makers to share ideas and stimulate creativity. This year’s festival also features a special fashion show with costumes, wearable technology, and more. Come to get inspiration for your own inventions or just to enjoy what others are working on. There will be activities suitable for all ages.
The third annual Southwest Maker Fest is coming to MacDonald and Main streets in downtown Mesa on Saturday, March 12, from noon to 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit southwestmakerfest.com. Katrina Montgomery
Yoga at the Perch
If you’re the type who not only likes to be up with the birds but work out with them, then Yoga at the Perch is perfect for you. The eatery and birdhouse, home to dozens of tropical rescue birds, hosts the rise-and-shine rooftop session with Ocotillo Village Health Club. The all-levels flow class is open to everyone, with poses created to tone the body and clear the mind.
Do downward dog surrounded by flocks of feathers from 9 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, at The Perch Pub & Brewery, 232 South Wall Street in Chandler. Cost is $15 per class, but $20 includes the class and a skinny cocktail or pint of “Brewga.” The yoga series continues Saturdays through April 30. For details, call 480-773-7688 or visit www.perchpubbrewery.com. Janessa Hilliard
The comic book and pop culture events in the Valley have come a long way from when gaming tables and video game controllers were bogarted by dude-nerds. While coed shindigs are cool, the good folks of Samurai Comics are hosting their own Ladies Night, where female pop culture fans can enjoy their sisterhood of geekiness amongst their own. In addition to raffles and contests, we’re hoping a new team of superheroes emerges from Superfight, the card-based party game where players create characters and then debate whose powers would win.
From 8 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 12, Ladies Night is at Samurai Comics Phoenix, 1051 East Camelback Road. Admission is $5, and more info is available at www.samuraicomics.com. Jose Gonzalez
Seven miles east of Apache Junction on Highway 60, the Arizona Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace offers spectacles including jousting, birds of prey, jugglers and fire-eaters, melodious choral groups, silly actors, and nimble dancers. New this year are Sea Fairies — The Living Mermaids. (Which beats the alternative.) You don’t have to believe in them as much as some Kardashians do to enjoy the sirens’ damp frolicking. A petting farm and low-key rides ensure the whole family has fun. Refreshments include stuff from England, Greece, and Mexico, as well as seafood, sweets, pizza, crepes, turkey legs, and beer, please. The marketplace offers every silver, velvet, or leather thing you can imagine, and then some.
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Hours on Sunday, March 13, are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Fest continues through Sunday, March 27. Admission is $10 to $24 and free for children younger than 5. Call 520-463-2600 for more information or visit www.RenFestInfo.com. Julie Peterson
Arizona Aloha Festival
Though many of us might view their salty-sweet contribution to the cornucopia of pizza options as a blight on their cultural record, it’s safe to say that Hawaiians have things pretty well figured out. Not only have their native islands become synonymous with paradise, so has the lifestyle that has arisen from them. So if a trip to Hawaii isn’t on your horizon, of if this sprawling metropolis has you feeling browbeaten into a soul-scorching way of life, perhaps a trip to the Arizona Aloha Festival on Sunday, March 13, will do the trick. As all things Hawaiian descend on Tempe Beach Park, at Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway, you might find it pretty easy to lei your burdens down for a while. The free event opens at 10 a.m. Visit azalohafest.org or call 602-697-1824. Rob Kroehler
Good Sam 500
You’re probably familiar with the story of the good Samaritan: a man, beaten and robbed and left for dead, is helped out by an unlikely passerby. But do you also know about Good Sam? Originally an organization of RV owners who vowed to help out fellow travelers on America’s highways, the group now lends its name to the Good Sam 500, NASCAR's first short-track race of the 2016 season. The 312-lap (or 312-mile) contest is held during spring break, making it a great camping destination for RV owners as well as people who just need to bum a ride off some good Samaritan.
Love thy neighbors at the NASCAR Good Sam 500 at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, March 13, at the Phoenix International Raceway, 7602 South Avondale Boulevard in Avondale. Tickets start at $25. Call 866-408-7223 or visit phoenixraceway.com for more. Zach Fowle