Benjamin Leatherman

The Best Things to Do in Phoenix This Weekend

You could spend your weekend binge-watching Netflix. Or you could dance like nobody's listening at the Silent Party, go behind the sounds of This American Life with Ira Glass, and support the local dance scene at Tempe Center for the Arts. Your call. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

Silent Party
Silent parties are a thing. Sure, those two words don’t seem to make sense together, but for those who whine about parties being too loud to have a decent conversation, these events are on the money. This Silent Party, hosted by Urban Fêtes, might be your new jam.

Here’s how it works: When you get to the club, you receive a pair of wireless headphones that allow you to switch between three different DJs playing reggae, R&B, hip-hop, and Top 40 faves. You’re also in control of the volume, making it easy to jump between dancing and chatting.

The party that’s all in your head starts at 9 p.m. on Friday, January 19, at the Monarch Theatre, 122 East Washington Street. Tickets are $20. Visit the Facebook event page or call 602-456-1991. Amy Young

Maggie Smith will visit ASU.EXPAND
Maggie Smith will visit ASU.
Studio127 Photography

Maggie Smith
In August 2016, Maggie Smith captured the shock and zeitgeist surrounding the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando and the assassination of British politican Jo Cox with the title poem of her collection Good Bones. It became a viral sensation worldwide, and has since been translated into numerous languages, from French to Tamil. It earned Public Radio International’s “Official Poem of 2016” and was even read by Meryl Streep at the 2017 Academy of American Poets Gala at Lincoln Center.

At 7 p.m. on Friday, January 19, Arizona State University’s Virginia G. Piper Center of Creative Writing welcomes Smith for an intimate poetry reading and signing at the Piper Writers House, 450 East Tyler Mall in Tempe.

Admission is free, but space is limited and RSVPs are recommended. Smith’s poetry collections will be available for purchase. For more information or to RSVP, visit the Virginia G. Piper Center website or call 480-965-6018. Michael Senft

See Julio U. Medina perform during Breaking Ground 2018 in Tempe.
See Julio U. Medina perform during Breaking Ground 2018 in Tempe.
Courtesy of Carley Conder

Breaking Ground Dance and Film Festival
Several years ago, Carley Conder launched the Breaking Ground Dance and Film Festival that’s become an annual staple of the Phoenix dance scene. Conder is artistic director for Conder/DANCE, a Tempe-based company that specializes in contemporary dance. Her festival returns to Tempe Center for the Arts, 7000 West Rio Salado Parkway, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 19. But, there’s a new twist.

After the mainstage performance ends Friday night, ticket holders can stick around for a free after-party featuring more dance performances, catered bites, and a cash bar. The after-party dance lineup features short pieces called Tiny Dances, performed on 4-by-4-foot stages.

During the first evening of a two-night festival, attendees will see eight dances and one dance film. Expect hip-hop, yarn, Bach, and psychology, among other things. If you love Friday’s show, go back Saturday, January 20, to see more dancers in motion, performing a different bill of works. Advance tickets each night are $25 for adults. Visit the Conder/DANCE website. Lynn Trimble

Ran is the final saga by legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. The filmmaker put his heart and soul into this ambitious and visually powerful award-winning 1985 film, which is a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s King Lear. Generations clash for power when a 16th-century warlord gives up his throne to his three sons.

Enjoy this influential cinematic masterpiece on Friday, January 19, at the Virginia G. Piper Theatre at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street. After the screening, Arizona State University assistant professor and film historian Jason Davids Scott will lead a discussion about Ran’s continued impact on modern filmmaking.

Admission to the 7 p.m. screening is $7. For more information, visit the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts website. Jason Keil

Alan Austin and Vanessa Benjamin are Trying.
Alan Austin and Vanessa Benjamin are Trying.
Mark Gluckman

Francis Biddle was one of FDR’s attorneys general and later presided over the Nuremberg trials. He embraced positions during wartime that he repudiated later (better late than never). During his long, productive retirement, he had trouble retaining personal secretaries, due to a trait known as “cussedness.” The final assistant, a young Saskatchewanian named Joanna McClelland Glass, eventually wrote a play, Trying, about her years working with Biddle in the 1960s.

The two-person show, at Theatre Artists Studio through Sunday, February 4, isn’t just about yelling and filing. Explorations of aging and communication will suck you in, even if super-lawyers aren’t your thing.

On Friday, January 19, showtime is 7:30 p.m. at 4848 East Cactus Road. Admission is $15 to $25. Visit the Studio website or call 602-765-0120. Julie Peterson

The science behind the sound.
The science behind the sound.
Courtesy of MIM

Discover Science: How Science Brings Music to Life
When you’re rocking out to your favorite tunes, you probably aren’t thinking about how science is involved. No worries, the folks at the Musical Instrument Museum thought about it for you.

The two-day event Discover Science: How Science Brings Music to Life will feature workshops, hands-on activities, lectures, and performances to examine how science and technology influence how music is created and heard. Make your own electronic music at a workshop hosted by AZ Beat Lab or watch the B1 Duo explore the sounds made by different metal objects. There’s also a photo booth with music- and science-themed props, to memorialize the day.

Learn about the science of sound from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, January 20 and 21, at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard. The event is included in museum admission of $10 to $20, and it’s free for kids 3 and younger. Call 480-478-6000 or visit the MIM website. Amy Young

Patrons enjoy delicious food at last years' Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival.EXPAND
Patrons enjoy delicious food at last years' Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival.
Alexandra Gaspar

Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival
Living a plant-based lifestyle is about more than just what you eat. The U.S. Veg Corp’s Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival on Saturday and Sunday, January 20 and 21, will present different facets of veganism through chef demos of various cuisines, guest speaker discussions, storytellers, arts and crafts, and vendors with innovative vegan food and beverages, beauty products, and clothing and accessories.

During the festival, attendees can participate in yoga and meditation sessions or take in performances by acoustic, pop, hip-hop, and country musicians. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at Scottsdale Civic Center Amphitheater, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $75 for VIP, and free for children 10 and younger. For more information, see the Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival website. Laura Latzko

Are you ready for some hockey?
Are you ready for some hockey?
Lauren Cusimano

Arizona State Sun Devils v. Quinnipiac Bobcats
Phoenix isn’t exactly been a hotbed for cold-weather sports, but arid desert landscapes be damned. If Dubai can have a ski resort, Phoenix can have its own professional hockey team. This season, however, the Arizona Coyotes’ play have left Valley fans feeling a little icy about the hometown team.

Luckily, there are a few backup plans, most notably the ASU men’s hockey squad. But don’t get too excited, puckheads. The Devils haven’t fared any better this season. But at least taking in a collegiate game when the Devils host the Quinnipiac Bobcats at Tempe’s Oceanside Ice Arena on Saturday, January 20, will present a change of scenery.

The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. at 1520 North McClintock Drive. Tickets are $15 and up. Visit the Sun Devils website or call 480-965-3482 for details. Rob Kroehler

Ira Glass is speaking at the Orpheum Theatre – stay calm.
Ira Glass is speaking at the Orpheum Theatre – stay calm.
Jesse Michener

Seven Things I’ve Learned: An Evening with Ira Glass
Ira Glass is best known as the host of the popular public radio show and podcast This American Life. During “Seven Things I’ve Learned: An Evening with Ira Glass,” he’ll talk about how working in every position imaginable as a 19-year-old intern at NPR led to the creation of the award-winning program.

His presentation will also include stories about the show’s most popular episodes, a multimedia presentation featuring artwork by cartoonist Chris Ware, and a Q&A session with the audience.

The show starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 20, at Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams Street. Tickets are $29 to $69. For more information, visit the Orpheum Theatre website. Jason Keil

Meet fellow resisters during the Women’s March to the Polls: Phoenix.
Meet fellow resisters during the Women’s March to the Polls: Phoenix.
Women’s March to the Polls

Women’s March to the Polls: Phoenix
“We marched to resist, and now we much march to rise.” So reads the Facebook page for Women’s March to the Polls: Phoenix, a free event designed to elevate progressive voices, inspire women to run for public office, increase voter registration, and boost solidarity among those fighting for social justice. The march kicks off at 10 a.m. on January 21 at the Arizona State Capitol, 1700 West Washington Street.

In January 2017, about 20,000 people took part in the Women’s March in Phoenix, a local event tied to a massive march in Washington, D.C., meant to resist the policies of the newly elected president, Donald Trump. He’s still around, but so are fierce activists and thriving communities.

Go to the Capitol on Sunday to hear speakers address immigration, civil rights, wage equity, LBGTQ rights, environmental justice, disability rights, and ending violence. Then, stick around to march. Visit the Facebook event page. Lynn Trimble

Wax nostalgic over Pluto’s bygone planetary days at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.
Wax nostalgic over Pluto’s bygone planetary days at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.
Mary Shindell

“As Above”
Pluto lost its planetary status several years ago, but it’s still special in the eyes of Mary Shindell. The Phoenix artist has created a mixed-media installation exploring landscapes both within and beyond Earth’s solar system.

Titled “As Above,” it’s being shown in the North Gallery at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, 1 East Main Street. The free show focuses on “the Arizona terrain and our state’s economic impact on space exploration,” according to exhibition materials. Expect botanical elements, but also nods to Earth, Mars, and Pluto.

The exhibition, which reveals the beauty of geography and topology, is equally suited to math and art geeks. Hours on Sunday, January 21, are noon to 5 p.m., and the show’s on view through Sunday, April 8. While you’re there, make time to see other art shows at the museum. Visit the Mesa Arts Center website. Lynn Trimble

Ready murderinos?
Ready murderinos?
Robyn Von Swank

My Favorite Murder
Less than two years since launching, My Favorite Murder has built a worldwide community of true crime fans who refer to themselves as “murderinos.”

These devoted followers, along with the popular podcast’s hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, seek humor in stories of savage serial killers, creepy cult leaders, and true crime tales. Don’t miss your chance to see the duo take the circular stage at the Celebrity Theatre as they inspire camaraderie, laughter, and sighs of relief in a way that bingeing episodes of Dateline never can.

Stay sexy and don’t get murdered at 7 p.m. on Sunday, January 21, at 440 North 32nd Street. Tickets are $29.50 to $180. For more information, visit the Celebrity Theatre website. Jason Keil

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