The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

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 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 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 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 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 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 for more. Zach Fowle

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Zach Fowle
Contact: Zach Fowle
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
Rob is a Phoenix native, husband, dad, and an active member in the local music scene. He's written original songs for feature films.
Contact: Rob Kroehler
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
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young