Things to Do

The 18 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Partygoers at Soundwave.
Partygoers at Soundwave. Benjamin Leatherman

Your plans have arrived. This week, you can enjoy a cocktail and film at Phoenix Film Festival, have some fun in the sun at Soundwave, or experience that terrifying Craigslist sale all over again at Bar Flies. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

click to enlarge Scene from Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile. - COURTESY OF PHOENIX FILM FESTIVAL
Scene from Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile.
Courtesy of Phoenix Film Festival
Phoenix Film Festival
Ted Bundy’s longtime girlfriend had a hard time believing he was a serial killer. Her perspective drives a film called Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, which stars Zac Efron as the notorious killer. It’s being screened during the opening night for this year’s Phoenix Film Festival on Thursday, April 4, at Harkins Scottsdale 101, 7000 East Mayo Boulevard. Show up at 6 p.m. to enjoy a cocktail party before the 7:30 p.m. screening, and stay after for a Q&A with director Joe Berlinger. Expect live music and a silent auction, too. Tickets are $60. The festival continues through Sunday, April 14. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. - COURTESY OF PROJECT HUMANITIES
It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
Courtesy of Project Humanities
Won't You Be My Neighbor?
For three decades, Fred Rogers used TV as a vehicle for talking with children about weighty matters and championing the value of kindness while dressed in his trademark cardigan sweater. See how Rogers’ message remained consistent as the world around him changed, when ASU Project Humanities screens Won’t You Be My Neighbor? at Tempe History Museum, 809 East Southern Avenue. The free screening happens at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 4. Cardigans are optional, but you’re invited to bring a men’s sweater or pair of shoes for Project Humanities’ homeless outreach program. Look for new public art by Kyllan Maney while you’re there. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Neil Patrick Harris - MARK VELTMAN
Neil Patrick Harris
Mark Veltman
Neil Patrick Harris
If ever there was a modern-day Renaissance man, it’s Neil Patrick Harris. The dude’s done it all — acting, singing, dancing, award-show hosting, parenting — and has done it with aplomb. If that weren’t enough, he’s also a New York Times best-selling author, too.

In recent years, Harris has penned the “Magic Misfits” series of YA-oriented novels, which center on the adventures of a group of teenage illusionists banding together and fighting evil using their clever wits and prestidigitation skills. The latest title in the series, The Magic Misfits: The Second Story, was released last fall and Harris will visit Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street, on Thursday, April 4, to discuss the book and series with fans.

According to the folks at Changing Hands Bookstore, which is putting on the event, NPH will also conduct a Q&A session and might have a surprise or two up his sleeve. We’re certain it will be legen …wait for it … dary. The event runs from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $26.53 for one person and $41.17 to $50.90 for two with signed copies of one or both books included. See for details. Benjamin Leatherman

Arizona Diamondbacks
Opening Day (for Phoenix, anyway) is finally here. Baseball fans can see the new lineup, including outfielder Adam Jones, in action. While there is hope and optimism about the Arizona Diamondbacks’ chances in the air, they have their work cut out for them right off the bat. The Boston Red Sox, last year’s World Series Champions, are coming into Chase Field swinging. A pregame fiesta starts things off. The first 40,000 fans receive a magnet with this season’s schedule.

The first pitch is thrown at 4:10 p.m. on Friday, April 5, at 401 East Jefferson Street. Tickets are $39 to $375. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge The Dip - ABI KALKURA
The Dip
Abi Kalkura
The Soul Shabang
Need some rhythm in your life? Head down to Crescent Ballroom for The Soul Shabang. The venue is closing down Second Avenue for two nights so you can move to the beat. The B-Side Players will pay tribute to the legendary Curtis Mayfield, while Louisiana’s own Rebirth Brass Band will blow their horns. The Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra headline Saturday night’s festivities along with Seattle’s own The Dip and Son Led from Havana, Cuba. A traditional New Orleans crawfish boil will feed your feet on Friday.

Get down at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6, at 308 North Second Avenue. Tickets are $15 to 30 each night. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Alejandra Luna as Rosalind and Brian Maticic as Orlando. - SHELBY ELISE MATICIC
Alejandra Luna as Rosalind and Brian Maticic as Orlando.
Shelby Elise Maticic
As You Like It
Are you intimidated by Shakespeare? The Bard did write his fair share of lengthy head-scratchers, but he was equally adept at crafting crowd-pleasing comedies. If the title didn’t give it away, As You Like It falls into the latter category. Harassed by her uncle, Rosalind and her cousin escape to the Forest of Arden, where they encounter memorable characters who help them understand themselves. This evening of laughter is presented by the West Valley’s Brelby Theatre Company.

All the park is a stage at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 5, through Sunday, April 7, at Murphy Park at the E. Lowell Rogers Amphitheater, 5850 West Glendale Avenue in Glendale. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Marcus White will perform during DanceFest at Phoenix Art Museum. - CARLOS FUNN
Marcus White will perform during DanceFest at Phoenix Art Museum.
Carlos Funn
Dancers are bringing their best moves to Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue, during First Friday in April. Museum admission is by voluntary donation starting at 6 p.m. on April 5, and the dance performances that kick off at 6:30 p.m. are free. Six professional artists or arts groups will be performing as part of DanceFest that night, including Rashawn Hart, Jasmine Nunn, and Marcus White. But the lineup also includes students from several local high school and colleges or universities, including Arizona School for the Arts, Metropolitan Arts Institute, New School for the Arts and Academics, Arizona State University, and many more. Shoutout to Julie Akerly, Carley Conders, Jordan Daniels, Liliana Gomez, Nicole Olson, and Angela Rosenkrans for putting it all together. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Checking out Jake Early's work during a solo show at Practical Art. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Checking out Jake Early's work during a solo show at Practical Art.
Lynn Trimble
Practical Art
Practical Art, 5070 North Central Avenue, is celebrating its 11th anniversary with an exhibit featuring prints by more than two dozen artists based in Arizona, from Annie Lopez to Brent Bond. The free artist reception happens from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, April 5. You’ve likely seen murals by several of these artists — including Carrie Marill, Jake Early, and the Fortoul Brothers — around town. Expect prints by longtime staples of the metro Phoenix arts scene, such as Christopher Jagmin and Mark McDowell, but also prints by emerging artists such as Merryn Alaka and Sam Fresquez. Odds are, you’ll see everything from landscapes to political art in this show. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Enjoying Phoenix Pride. - MELISSA FOSSUM
Enjoying Phoenix Pride.
Melissa Fossum
Phoenix Pride
It’s been a long and winding road for Phoenix Pride. Back in 1981, the annual LGBTQ event started out as a march by gay and lesbian activists through downtown Phoenix before becoming a festival-like event a decade or so later. Fast forward to today and Phoenix Pride has become a weekendlong experience featuring two days of entertainment, exhibitors, education, and activities — including an annual parade — in midtown Phoenix.

This year’s edition takes place on Saturday, April 6, and Sunday, April 7, at Steele Indian School Park, 300 East Indian School Road, and will offer an arts expo, hundreds of vendors, six stages of performances, drag artists, the adult-oriented “Erotic World” area, and more. The entertainment lineup will include sets by Taylor Dane, Kim Petras, Amara La Negra, Jojo, Ada Vox, Dumblonde, Nina West, and others.

Hours are from noon to 9 p.m. Daily general admission is $25 to $30 per day and $40 for the entire weekend. VIP tickets are $50 per day, $90 for both days, and include a variety of perks and amenities. See for full details and a complete schedule. Benjamin Leatherman

Music Business Summit 2019
The music industry is changing all the time. Fervor Records are adept at helping artists get music heard in a variety of ways, including television and film. The Sunnyslope-based label is presenting the Music Business Summit 2019 with a panel of industry experts from Phoenix, New York, and Los Angeles, including tour managers, music supervisors, and entertainment attorneys. If you’re a musician looking for great advice on how to market your work, bring your questions to this informative event.

Listen in from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, at Glendale Public Library Main Library, 5959 West Brown Street in Glendale. This is a free event. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Cheers! - FOUR PEAKS BREWING CO.
Four Peaks Brewing Co.
Tartan Day
If you are of Scottish descent, you’re probably strapping on your bagpipes to celebrate Tartan Day. If you don’t have the folk instrument around your house, then lace up your shoes and lose your breath at The Kilt Chaser 5K. Runners are encouraged to don their finest knee-length skirt (thigh burn be damned) and stride along the trails at scenic Papago Park. Like the Skirt Chaser Run that preceded this race, women will get a three-minute head start. The only thing the men will be pursuing is fun.

The starting gun goes off at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 6, at 625 North Galvin Parkway. Registration is $40. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Where nature meets Tibetan singing bowls. - COURTESY OF DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN
Where nature meets Tibetan singing bowls.
Courtesy of Desert Botanical Garden
Tibetan Singing Bowl Class
All that relaxation that comes from being one with nature is about to get bumped up a notch, because Tibetan singing bowls are coming to Desert Botanical Garden 1201 North Galvin Parkway. Proponents hail the bowls for creating sounds that bring out the Theta brain wave state, helping you feel more peaceful and less tense. Give it a try during the Tibetan Singing Bowl class from 9 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 6. The $34 class includes garden admission, so you can stick around to stroll the trails or explore garden-inspired art made with found objects. Bring a blanket, pillow, or mat. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Electrifying. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Benjamin Leatherman
In case you haven’t heard, The Rogue Bar is closing its doors this month, taking with it the popular recurring fetish night, LUST. If you have ever seen one of our lurid slideshows and wondered what the fuss was about, this will be your final chance to experience it for yourself. Piercings and performance art will be on display along with industrial sounds from the Los Angeles goth band Dead Girls Corp.

Pull on your kinky boots at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, at 423 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Admission is $10. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge A couple's fish bowl. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
A couple's fish bowl.
Benjamin Leatherman
If there’s one constant to summertime in the Valley — other than all the soul-crushing, brain-melting, and skin-searing heat — it’s pool parties. They’re typically in abundance at local hotels, resorts, and any other venue with a pool over the next several months, much to the delight of any party monsters looking to enjoy some fun in the sun. That includes Maya Day & Nightclub, 7333 East Indian Plaza in Scottsdale, which boasts an enormous pool and hosts a variety of stylish swim soirees during the summer season.

Maya’s annual Soundwave pool party series kicks off this weekend and will feature a mix of drinks, dancing, poolside shenanigans, and guests DJ in the mix. The first event of the season takes place on Sunday, April 7, and will feature at set by European-born electronic dance music producer Cedric Gervais.

Gates open at noon. Admission is $10 per person. Call 480-625-0528 or see Benjamin Leatherman

Empire Records
Ah, the ’90s. A simpler time, when the things that keep us up at night — global warming, white supremacy, the neo-feudalism enacted by an out-of-control billionaire class — seemed so distant. Also, you had to go to a physical store to buy music. How quaint!

Empire Records is a perfect distillation of those halcyon days, when the assholes behind the counter were gods and anyone who didn’t listen to Pavement or whatever was a poseur. If you’d like to relive the dream of the ’90s, the film is screening in 35mm at Alamo Drafthouse, 1140 East Baseline Road, Tempe. The needle drops at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 8. Visit for more info. Douglas Markowitz

2001: A Space Odyssey
This odd fact may not motivate moviegoers who haven’t seen 2001: A Space Odyssey to check out the 35mm film screening at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Tempe, but it is important to note that there is no dialogue for nearly half of the movie. The original screenplay for Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece is only 65 pages long (a typical script is twice that size). But over 50 years later, the film is still a visual marvel that changed cinema forever. Part of Alamo’s ASU Film School series, Professor Philip Klucsarits will lead a 30-minute lecture before the show.

The journey begins at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9,  at 1140 East Baseline Road. Tickets are $11.25. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour is coming to Mesa. - COURTESY OF MESA ARTS CENTER
Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour is coming to Mesa.
Courtesy of Mesa Arts Center
Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour
Born in Santiago, Chile, tenor saxophone player Melissa Aldana became the first female and South American to win the Thelonious Monk Competition for jazz musicians. Now, you can hear her perform with the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour at Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street. The tour stops in Mesa at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9. It’s all about celebrating the joy of jazz, and the festival’s 60th anniversary, according to artistic director Tim Jackson. Expect jazz classics, plus music created by the performers, who play trumpet, saxophone, piano, bass, and drums. Naturally, jazz vocals are also in the mix. Tickets start at $36. Visit Lynn Trimble

Bar Flies
We all have a tale about that time we bartered with someone at a resale shop or on Craigslist. If you want to hear some of Phoenix’s best storytellers spin tales of their outrageous, scary, or even tender experiences with unloading the things that didn’t (or did) spark joy, stop by Valley Bar for this month’s edition of Bar Flies. This month’s theme is “Buy, Sell, Trade.” DJ Deborah Sussman will spin the tunes while Michael Anderson, Rachel Egboro, Jessica Hill, Sarah Ventre, and Jason P. Woodbury pour their hearts out onstage.

This event begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10, at 130 North Central Avenue. Tickets are $10. For more information, visit Jason Keil
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.