Indulge your lit love at the Tempe Book Festival.EXPAND
Indulge your lit love at the Tempe Book Festival.
Courtesy of Tempe Public Library

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

It’s the weekend y’all. You can enjoy the vibes at the Third Annual Bluegrass Festival, laugh your head off with Kathy Griffin, or celebrate the (hopefully) good results at the Election Results Viewing Party. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

Get your improv fix with the Whose Line Is It Anyway? tour.
Get your improv fix with the Whose Line Is It Anyway? tour.
Courtesy of Mesa Arts Center

Scottsdale International Film Festival
Maybe the names Sandra Bullock and George Clooney spring to mind when you recall the suspenseful 2013 film Gravity, which imagined two astronauts stranded in outer space. But don’t overlook Alfonso Cuarón, the man who co-wrote and directed it. He’s got a new film called Roma, which is the opening night selection for this year’s Scottsdale International Film Festival. Calling on his own experience growing up in Mexico, Cuarón explores the life of a young domestic worker living with a middle-class family during a period of political upheaval in the early 1970s. Turns out, life on planet Earth can be far more perilous. Catch the film at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street, Scottsdale, at 7:15 p.m. Arrive at 6:15 p.m. for a preshow reception. Tickets are $25 (or $28 on the day of). Visit scottsdalefilmfestival.com. Lynn Trimble

Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Take a break from yelling at politicians on your TV for a night and put your shouting skills to better use. Cast members from the Emmy-nominated TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway? are bringing their improvisational comedy tour to Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street, Mesa, where they’ll be transforming audience suggestions into witty repartees of song and farce. The tour cast includes Greg Proops, creator of the hit podcast The Smartest Man in the World, as well as Ryan Stiles, Jeff B. Davis, Joel Murray, and Bob Derkach. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show on Friday, November 2, start at $34. Visit mesaartscenter.com. Lynn Trimble

Get a start on Thanksgiving at the Bacon, Brews, and Blues Festival.EXPAND
Get a start on Thanksgiving at the Bacon, Brews, and Blues Festival.
Courtesy of Bacon, Brews, and Blues Festival

Arizona State University Sun Devils
The Arizona State University Sun Devils commemorate Homecoming this week, but there really isn’t much to celebrate on the football field. In their Thursday night loss against Stanford University a few weeks back, quarterback Manny Wilkins cried out his frustration while head coach Herm Edwards tried to explain away the team’s careless play. With alumni descending upon Sun Devil Stadium for an exciting PAC-12 matchup against the University of Utah, fans are hopeful this once-promising team can turn it all around.

This rivalry heats up at 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 3, at 500 East Veterans Way in Tempe. Tickets are $45 to $325. For more information, visit thesundevils.com. Jason Keil

Third Annual Bluegrass Festival
Porter Barn Wood has a reputation in local home improvement circles for being the place to procure reclaimed wood for your next do-it-yourself project. The store also knows how to throw a family-friendly party: The Third Annual Bluegrass Festival will feature five bands to pick from (sorry, we can’t resist a banjo joke) along with instruments that the kids can fiddle with (yes, we did it again). There will also be food trucks and woodworking demonstrations.

Get up for this hoedown from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 3, at 901 South Seventh Street. This is a free event. For more information, visit porterbarnwood.com. Jason Keil

Punk Rock Swap Meet
Music and pop culture memorabilia hoarders who are looking to sell your wares, be sure to visit The Record Room’s Punk Rock Swap Meet. This event isn’t limited to three-chord rock classics. There will be merchants selling patches, posters, pin-ups, and other assorted items. For those interested in local music, there will be plenty of merchandise celebrating the great music of the Valley’s past.

Hey, ho, let’s go from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 3, at 2601 West Dunlap Avenue, #21. This is a free event. Vendors can reserve a table for $10. For more information, visit facebook.com/therecordroom. Jason Keil

See Lalo Cota live painting during the Dia de los Muertos Festival at Azukar Coffee Shop.EXPAND
See Lalo Cota live painting during the Dia de los Muertos Festival at Azukar Coffee Shop.
Lynn Trimble

Arizona Fall Festival
If you’re all about showing the local love, you’ll want to hit the free Arizona Fall Festival, where local businesses will be sharing their wares in a friendly, casual environment complete with food tastings, crafts, live music, lawn games, and farmers market. Presented by Local First Arizona, it’s happening at Margaret T. Hance Park, 67 West Culver Street, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 3. It’s family-friendly and dog-friendly. And it’s a great way to start your holiday shopping, while supporting local businesses and hanging out with other community members who share your commitment to localism. Expect more than 200 vendors, from Palabras Bilingual Bookstore to Practical Art. The music line-up includes Fairy Bones, Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, The Stakes, Whitherward, and many more. Visit localfirstaz.com. Lynn Trimble

Bacon, Blues, and Brews Fest
Ready for the intoxicating smell of sliced salt-cured pork? Head down to the East Valley to get your fill at the Bacon, Blues, and Brews Fest. Everything will be wrapped in everyone’s favorite breakfast protein, including lobster, burritos, and chocolate. If your heart is still beating after consuming these delicacies, there will be beer (bacon-flavored included) and music from guitarist Carvin Jones and the Moonshine Voodoo Band.

Fry up some delicious fun from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday, November 3, at Founders’ Park, 22407 South Ellsworth Road in Queen Creek. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the event. VIP packages are $90. Kids 12-years-old and under are free. For more information, visit baconbluesandbrewsaz.com. Jason Keil

Tempe Book Festival
After Sue Halpern moved to a tiny town with no public library, she helped to start one. Then she wrote a book about it. Now the Vermont-based Guggenheim Fellow and Rhodes Scholar, who holds a doctorate from Oxford University, is coming to Tempe Public Library, 3500 South Rural Road, Tempe. She’s the featured author for the Tempe Book Festival, a free event that celebrates reading, writing, books, and the communities they help create. Check it out between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 3. Dozens of vendors, including Kryptic Leaf and Wasted Ink Zine Distro, will be showing and selling their lit-related wares. Visit tempe.gov. Lynn Trimble

Checking out Frank Gonzales' unique take on birds.EXPAND
Checking out Frank Gonzales' unique take on birds.
Courtesy of Desert Botanical Garden

Día de las Muertos Festival
You’ve seen Day of the Dead, a holiday that elevates both life and those who’ve passed away, celebrated with altars, flowers, and processions. But the Día de los Muertos Festival happening from 4 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, November 3, adds a new twist. Several artists, including Lalo Cota and A-Bomb, will be live painting at Azukar Coffee Shop, 7246 South Central Avenue. The free, family-friendly event, which is being presented by Murals of Phoenix, includes art, music, entertainment, and food. Ballet Folklorico Esto Es Mexico performs at 5 p.m., and a procession from Azukar to Sagrado Galleria starts at 6 p.m. Show up wearing Sugar Skull facepaint, or have your face painted during the event. Visit muralsofphoenix.com. Lynn Trimble

“Untamed: Wild Compositions by Frank Gonzales”
Half the fun of strolling through the desert is looking for birds and other wildlife. Now you can find birds with a hint of surrealism and abstraction painted by Phoenix-based artist Frank Gonzales when you visit Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway. They’ve got a delightful art space called Ottosen Gallery, where “Untamed: Wild Compositions by Frank Gonzales” continues through January 6, 2019. Check it out between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 3, when you can also explore the garden’s majestic fall offerings, plus the ofrenda exhibit that’s part of the garden’s Día de los Muertos celebration. The exhibits are included with garden admission, which is $24.95 for adults. Visit dbg.org. Lynn Trimble

Kathy Griffin
Kathy Griffin will talk candidly about being investigated by the FBI and getting fired from her New Year’s Eve co-hosting gig with CNN’s Anderson Cooper last year when she stops in Phoenix for the final stop of her Laugh Your Head Off tour. The snarky red-headed comedian, who notoriously lost her “D-list” status when she posed for a picture holding a fake, bloody, decapitated head of President Donald Trump, has fully embraced her newfound status as a leader of the opposition against the current administration and those who seek to stifle free speech.

Laugh and resist at 7 p.m. on Sunday, November 4, at Phoenix Symphony Hall, 75 North Second Street. Tickets are $20 to $129. For more information, visit phoenixconventioncenter.com. Jason Keil

2017's celebrants at St. Mary's Basilica.EXPAND
2017's celebrants at St. Mary's Basilica.
Peter Jordan

Fifth Annual Día de los Muertos Festival
Bring pictures of loved ones who have passed on to the historic St. Mary’s Basilica Parish in downtown Phoenix and light a candle in their memory at the Fifth Annual Día de los Muertos Festival. The event features a procession to commemorate those who have gone before us.  Additionally, there will be live music, a car show featuring vehicles fashioned with trunk altars, fun activities for children of all ages, and merchandise and crafts from local vendors, including the Crafty Chica, Kathy Cano-Murillo.

The celebration lasts from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 4, at 231 North Third Street. This is a free event, but a donation of canned goods to benefit the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank is suggested. For more information, visit saintmarysbasilica.org. Jason Keil

Go Vote 2018: A Concert and Rally
It cannot be overstated how important this year’s midterm election is to the future of our country. To remind you of your most crucial responsibility as a United States citizen, The Van Buren is hosting Go Vote 2018: A Concert and Rally, an evening featuring some of the state’s finest musicians, including The Gin Blossoms, Calexico, Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, and Mariachi Pasion. Proceeds from the show benefit Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence. The leaders of the nonprofit lobbying organization, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford and Captain Mark Kelly, will be in attendance. Chris Bianco is providing the pizza.

The event begins at 8 p.m. on Monday, November 5, at 401 West Van Buren Street. Tickets are $15 with free admission to anyone wearing a Democratic candidate’s volunteer shirt. For more information, visit thevanburenphx.com. Jason Keil

Phoenix Suns
How are the Phoenix Suns faring after trading Jared Dudley for Brooklyn’s Darrell Arthur? Find out when the home team welcomes the Brooklyn Nets to Talking Stick Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. They’re playing at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 6, and tickets start at just $6. It’s a great excuse to recycle all that orange gear from Halloween with a creative purple twist, and to remind Brooklyn fans that Phoenix has its own brand of hip. Visit nba.com/suns. Lynn Trimble

Goblin
It’s probably not a coincidence that Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin is touring their score for the 1977 horror film Suspiria just as the remake is being released into theaters. The Italian progressive rock band, who frequently collaborated with the film’s legendary director Dario Argento, is performing the operatic rock composition as the colorful classic plays onscreen. Though Radiohead’s Thom Yorke is receiving rave reviews for his scoring of the 2018 version of this giallo, it is hard to top the spine-chilling original, considered by many critics to be one of the best movie soundtracks of all time.

The show begins at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 6, at Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue in Tempe. Tickets are $25 to $65. For more information, visit marqueetheatreaz.com. Jason Keil

Election Results Viewing Party
After you vote (and please tell us you did), stop by Kobalt and throw back a strong one (or five, depending on which direction the votes go) at the bar’s Election Results Viewing Party. There will be drink specials all night. Of course, if this Election Day surprises you as much it did two years ago, you can always sing away your sorrows after the results come in.

Tally up the votes from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, November 6, at 3110 North Central Avenue, #175. There is no cover charge for this event. For more information, visit kobaltbarphoenix.com. Jason Keil

Obama and Lincoln (Penny Portrait) (with detail on right) by Sonya Clark.
Obama and Lincoln (Penny Portrait) (with detail on right) by Sonya Clark.
Courtesy of Lisa Sette Gallery

Sonya Clark
When Virginia-based artist Sonya Clark decided to make a portrait of President Barack Obama, she chose to use pennies bearing the image of President Abraham Lincoln. Often, Clark uses unusual materials, such as hair and Confederate flags, to explore what gallerist Lisa Sette calls “the legacy of craft, history and race.” Influenced by her own family heritage, including Caribbean and Scottish roots, Clark plays with concepts of American identity, while addressing topics ranging from slavery to immigration. See her solo exhibition at Lisa Sette Gallery, 210 East Catalina Drive, where the hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 6. Visit lisasettegallery.com. Lynn Trimble

Meowdidation
Felines can calm a worried mind, but sometimes more guidance is needed to assist in relaxing your spirit. Every Wednesday, La Gattara Cat Lounge and Boutique offers Meowdidation, a guided meditation class that brings serenity to a busy brain while helping to revive you physically and mentally. Music plays and kittens scurry about to gently lead you to a “resting sleep.” Wear comfortable clothes and bring a blanket, pillow, and a lint roller to this hour and fifteen-minute long session.

Take a deep meow and purr away the pressure at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, November 7, at 1301 East University Drive, #136 in Tempe. This class is $15. Reservations are required. For more information, visit lagattaracatcafe.com. Jason Keil

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