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The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

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New Times picks the best arts and culture events in metro Phoenix from March 18 through 20.

Nikki Glaser
Nikki Glaser is NSFW. And we mean that outside the standard “not safe for work” acronym. The comedian, a veteran of Last Comic Standing as well as numerous late night shows and specials, is not safe for weekdays, weekends, workouts, whenever. The reason: She’s a self-proclaimed “curious perv” (one of the worst kind of pervs you can be) who, on her new Comedy Central show Not Safe, has already introduced us to fingering techniques, foot fetish parties, proper framing of a dick pic, and a short titled “comedians sitting on vibrators getting coffee.”

Get unsafe with Glaser at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 18, at the Tempe Improv, 930 East University Drive. Tickets are $20, with a two-drink minimum. Call 480-921-9877 or visit tempeimprov.com for more. Zach Fowle

Sci-Fi Friday Book Club
Attention science fiction and fantasy fans: Fun doesn’t only happen in a parallel universe. Socialize with others interested in alternate realities at the Sci-Fi Friday Book Club.

Co-hosted by New Times contributor Michael Senft of RelentlessReading.com and Poisoned Pen’s Pat King, March’s event has readers discussing V.E. Schwab’s A Gathering of Shadows . The fantasy novel is a follow-up to the author’s 2015 release, A Darker Shade of Magic. Senft says, “London is always a mysterious setting for a fantasy novel and readers get a triple dose with this book, as it follows a magician named Kell between three parallel Londons.” The earthly fun begins at 7 p.m. March 18, at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard, in Scottsdale. Admission is free. Call 480-947-2974 or visit www.poisonedpen.com. Amy Young

Now. Here. This.
TBH, we create a musical about how the cosmos was kind enough to create us every time we visit a museum. It’s more entertaining than the recorded exhibit guide but probably less entertaining than the actually-been-produced version, Now. Here. This. Created by the team that previously delivered a show called [title of show], the action (we use the term loosely) follows natural history from simple amino acids through personal angst and finding one’s tribe.

Unlike its better-known predecessor, NHT spent a mere month and a half off-Broadway. But neglected-yet-awesome is the perfect cocktail for Phoenix’s A/C Theatre Company, which specializes in the overlooked and alternative. (And not just in the authors’ punctuation of titles.)

The cozy four-handed tuner continues through Saturday, March 26, at the Hardes Theatre at Phoenix Theatre, 100 East McDowell Road. Friday, March 18’s showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $22 at www.tickets.phoenixtheatre.com or 602-254-2151. Julie Peterson

Spark! Mesa's Festival of Creativity
Creativity is in the heart — and hands — of everything we do, and Spark! Mesa’s Festival of Creativity encourages exploration of the creative thinker within all of us.

Get in touch with your inner artist through interactive sight and sound experiences in Christopher Janney’s Sonic Forest (featuring 16 electronic “trees”); The Color of Things, Daniel Iregui’s immersive tube-structure; and Human Nests, built of reclaimed wood by community members, curated by Owen Fritts with Creative Catalysts.

The two-day event features music from noted locals 76th Street, Dry River Yacht Club, and The Love Me Nots. Other performances include choreographer Elizabeth Johnson’s all-ages community dance show and pedestrian-triggered sound installations by Purring Tiger and Pop Up! Street Installation.

Sparks start to fly at noon on Friday, March 18, at Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street. Festival activities and performances are free. Tickets for indoor theater shows are available online at www.mesaartscenter.com or by calling 480-644-6500. Janessa Hilliard

Haru in the Garden
Phoenix’s sister city of Himeji, Japan, has one major influence on the downtown landscape: Ro Ho En, the tranquil Japanese Friendship Garden featuring a tea garden and tea house, stone footbridges, flowing streams and a Koi pond teeming with colorful fish. It’s at its most stunning during Haru in the Garden, the annual spring-welcoming festival that this year will include performances by Japanese bamboo flute players and fire dancers, a Kimono and Hina doll display, and lighting that enhances the garden’s utsukushi-sa — its natural beauty.

Welcome spring with Haru in the Garden from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at the Japanese Friendship Garden, 1125 North Third Avenue. Adult tickets are $30 at the gate ($25 for garden members), and kids under 12 get in for $5. Call 602-256-3204 or visit japanesefriendshipgarden.org for more. Zach Fowle

Art Detour 28
Is it really time for Art Detour 28? It feels as though we just got our freak on at Art Detour 10. Nevertheless, it’s true: The event that spawned the First Friday juggernaut is old enough to have developed good judgment and move the fuck out of the house already. On Saturday, March 19, and Sunday, March 20, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., a slew of galleries, museums, pop-ups, cafes, and funky shops in the downtown Phoenix area will be open all at once and in the daytime — a rare convergence indeed.

Bicycle and walking tours, as well as trolleys that eliminate parking concerns, will guide you around the various neighborhoods where the action is. A Kids’ Detour, vendor discounts, and live performances help round out the excitement. If you’re a newbie, it’s like a fun, trippy weekend intensive intro course. For schedules, maps, and whatnot, visit www.artlinkphoenix.com/art-detour. Julie Peterson

The Goonies
The term “cult classic” gets thrown around a lot these days, typically as means of describing a film that has garnered a devout following despite never achieving commercial success. By that definition, The Goonies is not technically a cult classic. By all accounts, the film was wildly successful and — 31 years removed — continues to be. Technicalities aside, no one’s complaining that Cult Classics and Zia Records will be screening the film at Tempe Pollack Cinemas, 1825 East Elliot Road. At 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, fans are invited to truffle shuffle their way down memory lane with fellow One-Eyed Willy aficionados as The Goonies return to the big screen. General admission is $11, but VIP packages are available for the less Slothful. Visit www.cultclassicsaz.com or call 480-345-6461 for details. Rob Kroehler

Late Nite Catechism III: ’Til Death Do Us Part
Maybe you’ve seen the blockbuster hit Late Nite Catechism. Maybe your quest for interactive nun-based humor has led you to Late Nite Catechism II: Sometimes We Feel Guilty Because We Are Guilty and/or Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold. But there’s a fair chance you still need to catch Late Nite Catechism III: ’Til Death Do Us Part.

Play a newlywed game — as well as other things — with Patti Hannon (who’s been our Sister this entire century so far) at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Matrimonial high jinks commence at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 19, and the show wraps up its run on Saturday, March 26. Tickets are $33 to $39 at www.tickets.scottsdalearts.org or 480-499-8587. Julie Peterson

"Super Indian"
As its title suggests, “Super Indian” is a far cry from the Native American-inspired tourist trap art most associate with the Southwest. Indeed Fritz Scholder, an abstract expressionist with familial roots in the Luiseño tribe, created large-scale pop art pieces that redefined how people perceived art in the American West. In this 40-piece, detailed retrospective focusing on works from 1967 to 1980, Scholder combats the stereotypical image of “Indian,” instead showcasing strong and sometimes whimsical subjects.

Organized by the Denver Art Museum, the exhibition has found a temporary home at the Phoenix Art Museum, where it’s on view through Sunday, June 5. See the collection on Sunday, March 20, from noon to 5 p.m. at 1625 North Central Avenue. Admission is $15 for adults. Call 602-257-1880 or click www.phxart.org. Janessa Hilliard

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