Tucson artist Kazuma Sambe uses ceramics to explore the intriguing connections between food and advertising. The artist earned his MFA in ceramics from ASU in 2014, and he’s an alumni of the Eye Lounge’s artist collective in Roosevelt Row. Now, he’s got a solo exhibition at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, 1 East Main Street in Mesa, where he’ll be showing works that center around the culinary element of sauce.
Get a good look on Friday, January 24, when museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s a chance to support an Arizona artist bringing a fresh voice to the contemporary arts scene while exploring the arts landscape beyond downtown Phoenix. Sambe’s “Ketchup = Red, Mustard = Yellow” exhibit continues through April 12. Museum admission is free. Lynn Trimble
Arizona Beer Pong ChampionshipsBeer pong is no mere game for wasting precious study time during your college years. No, it’s truly fierce personal combat more than deserving of its very own cutthroat tournament for those seeking eternal glory. The first-ever Arizona Beer Pong Championships will feature five rounds of up to 128 players. Over the event’s duration, a total of $20,000 in cash prizes will be awarded, including $4,000 for the first-prize winner. Don’t think you have what it takes for the main event play? There’s also side events like Switcholo and singles play. Hope you’re thirsty (for beer and competition).
The entire tourney takes place from 4 p.m. on Friday, January 24, to midnight on Sunday, January 26, at Stingers Bar, 10040 North 43rd Avenue in Glendale. It’s $100 per entrant. Chris Coplan
Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, & LouisaAfter this year’s Oscar nominations were announced, the list of snubs included Greta Gerwig, who directed the latest film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 novel Little Women. Now that the book is at the top of your mind, you can ponder what might have occurred had the famed 19th-century author literally blurred the lines between her life and those of her characters while exploring her sexuality and family angst.
That’s the premise for a play called Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, & Louisa, which opens at TIME on Friday, January 24, at Taliesin West, 12621 North Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard in Scottsdale. It’s being performed by Southwest Shakespeare Company, which has a flair for bringing literary characters to life. Tickets are $37. Lynn Trimble
Tempe FanCon 2020Nerds of the Valley, your schedules are about to get very busy. Con season will be ramping up to warp speed as a multitude of geek-oriented extravaganzas will be happening around town over the next few months. Your first destination is Tempe FanCon 2020 on Saturday, January 25, at Tempe Public Library, 3500 South Rural Road in Tempe, which will offer an afternoon of authors, artists, vendors, cosplayers, and other such nerdiness.
Followers of every fandom imaginable are welcome at the all-ages event and can participate in activities like “Superhero Jeopardy!,” show off their costumes, or just geek out. Performances, Nerf battles, a scavenger hunt, and cosplay contests for humans and pets are also planned.
FanCon runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Benjamin Leatherman
TacolandiaPhoenix New Times seeks to serve its community by providing essential, independent journalism. If that’s not enough, the paper also co-sponsors Tacolandia, an outdoor food festival for casual fans and hardcore foodies alike. The event features some of the finest taquerias in the Valley, including Caribbean Marketplace Grill, Red Fire Cookery, Taqueria el Sol, Los Sombreros, Tortas Paquime, and Bao Chow, among many others. There will also be live entertainment from Ballet Folklorico and The Hourglass Cats, ample beer and cocktails, and vendors galore. All hail tacos.
The 21-and-over festival is set for 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 25, at Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 North Third Street. GA tickets are $25 and include four hours of unlimited taco samples. You can opt for the VIP treatment for $45 and gain early access at noon. Chris Coplan
Patton OswaltPatton Oswalt’s comedy is as biting and insightful as it is imaginative. Take his likening of the Donald Trump presidency to an “an 18-wheeler full of monkeys and PCP [that’s] crashed into a train full of diarrhea,” for instance. There’s his oft-quoted description of KFC’s Famous Bowl as “a failure pile in a sadness bowl” or a desire to become “a robot that helps wolves have sex” while overdosing on Lexapro.
When Oswalt steps onstage at the Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street, on Saturday, January 25, his material will be a mix of the ingenious and the inane with plenty of geeky references, heartfelt humor, self-deprecating snark, and sociopolitical barbs.
Oswalt is scheduled to perform at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 to $95. Benjamin Leatherman
Phoenix Toy & Pop Culture ShowYes, we just recently celebrated Christmas. But if you’re a toy collector in the Valley, prepare for “Christmas II: The Christmas-ing” with this year’s Phoenix Toy & Pop Culture Show. Here, collectors and vendors from across the state will come to sell their collectible goods, from Transformers and Barbie to vintage lunch boxes and video games. So whatever item you’re seeking to complete that collection, there’s a good chance it’ll be at this show. Just be sure to bring plenty of cash and a comfortable pair of shoes.
The free event is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 25, at Collectors Marketplace, 1945 East Indian School Road. Chris Coplan
Phoenix FridasYou’ve endured all those hours racing from store to store in search of the perfect holiday gifts. Now, take some time to shop for yourself. And give it a creative twist. The Phoenix Fridas artist collective, which includes several local Latina artists inspired by Frida Kahlo, is holding a yard sale complete with clothing, accessories, art supplies, and other creative treasures.
It’s happening from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, January 25, at Mucho Mas Arts Studio, the creative home for collective members Kathy Cano-Murillo and Emily Costello. Cano-Murillo is well known for her Crafty Chica DIY creations, and Costello has created several artworks for Arizona Lottery scratchers. Mucho Mas is located at 1736 East McDowell Road. The event is free, but bring money for fun finds if you want to add more color to your life. Lynn Trimble
Bike + Beer FestivalThe pairing of bicycles and beer has been so well-established it’s up there with PB&J or Bert and Ernie. But that doesn’t mean there’s still not ample cause to celebrate these beer/bike events. As far as such outings are concerned, The Theodore’s first-ever Bike + Beer Festival seems extra-promising, with bike-centric vendors, a slew of specialty beers, and a free bike valet, among other amenities. You can never go wrong with tasty suds and responsible vehicular transportation.
The event is set for 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 25, at The Theodore, 110 East Roosevelt Street. Chris Coplan
Spring AwakeningBefore Lea Michele become a household name for playing Rachel Berry in the TV series Glee, she starred in a 2006 Broadway musical called Spring Awakening, which tackles the sexual awakening of teens living amid emotional repression in late-19th-century Germany. So did Jonathon Groff, best known to some as the voice of Kristoff in the Frozen films and King George in the original cast of the musical Hamilton.
See the musical that helped launch to their careers at Stagebrush Theatre, 7020 East Second Street, Scottsdale. Greasepaint Youtheatre performs Spring Awakening, which earned eight Tony Awards, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 26. Parental discretion is advised because the play also addresses grief, trauma, and loss. The show runs through Saturday, February 2. Tickets are $20. Lynn Trimble