The Best Things to Do in Phoenix This Weekend

See fresh dance works by emerging artists during ASU’s “Transition Projects: Fit to be Tied.”
See fresh dance works by emerging artists during ASU’s “Transition Projects: Fit to be Tied.”
Carlos Velarde

Weekends should be fun, right? This one's no exception. You can hear some local musicians at the Pot of Gold Local Band Showcase, check out the an eclectic mix at Transition Projects: Fit to be Tied, and treat yourself to A Very Special Freakout at the Filmbar. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

Transition Projects: Fit to be Tied
There’s nothing wrong with rooting for your faves on Dancing With the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance. But it’s tough to beat the thrill of watching live dance performance, uninterrupted by mind-numbing commercials or commentary from preening judges.

Give it a try at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 26, when the Arizona State University Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts presents an evening of dance performances by 2018 bachelor of fine arts candidates.

Transition Projects: Fit to be Tied will feature an eclectic mix of original choreography, sound, and set design at the Margaret Gisolo Dance Studio Theatre, inside the P.E. East Building, 611 East Orange Street in Tempe. Tickets are $16 for adults, and you can get them online or at the event. Visit the ASU event page. Lynn Trimble

A Very Special Freakout
Drugs. Drunk driving. Teen pregnancy. These topics often mean an awkward discussion between parents and teens. But over the last four decades, After School Specials, Lifetime Original Movies, and the Hallmark Channel whipped up a solution with original dramatic productions. These kitschy stories were broadcast to adolescents looking for answers.

Not one to let such content go to waste, the Unfathomable Film Freakout has compiled campy clips for A Very Special Freakout, which includes segments of gang members sporting eye patches, addicts leaping out of windows, and tough but misunderstood student athletes. All were too tacky or cheesy to be taken seriously.

Parental discretion is advised at 10 p.m. on Friday, January 26 at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Admission is $7. For more information, visit the Film Bar website. Jason Keil

“Truth Seeking and Freedom of Expression: A Dialogue”
In this political climate, a nonpartisan discussion feels almost impossible. That’s why Arizona State University’s Cronkite School and Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law have teamed up to present “Truth Seeking and Freedom of Expression: A Dialogue.”

Led by Robert P. George and Cornel West, prominent thinkers with opposing views, the event aims to create an environment in which students can openly challenge each other and share opposing viewpoints.

Get ready to talk it out at 5 p.m. on Friday, January 26, at the ASU Student Pavilion, 400 East Orange Street in Tempe. Tickets are free are and available through Eventbrite. For more information, visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts

The Sun Devils hockey team will hit the ice this weekend.
The Sun Devils hockey team will hit the ice this weekend.
Lauren Cusimano

Arizona State University v. Boston University
There’s been a lot of recent commotion surrounding Arizona State University’s Sun Devil athletics: Bobby Hurley and the seemingly meteoric rise of the men’s hoops squad; the dismissal of Todd Graham; and the highly publicized hiring of his replacement, Herm Edwards. Which makes it easy to forget that the Devils actually compete in sports outside of football and basketball.

Attentive collegiate sports fans, however, have likely kept a close eye on the ASU men’s hockey team. One of the university’s more intriguing athletic offerings, the Devils had flirted with national dominance while part of the American Collegiate Hockey Association, but have floundered since entering Division 1 play in 2015.

ASU hosts Boston University at Glendale’s Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue, at 7:05 p.m. on Friday, January 26. Tickets are $15 and up. Visit the Sun Devil website or call 623-772-3800 for details. Rob Kroehler

Fans at the 2017 Pot of Gold Festival.
Fans at the 2017 Pot of Gold Festival.
Jim Louvau

Pot of Gold Local Band Showcase
The Pot of Gold Festival is coming to Rawhide Event Center in Chandler, with Sturgill Simpson and Phil Lesh taking the stage on the second day of what looks to be the jam band event of the year. Arizona-based bands are getting in on the action as well. The Pot of Gold Local Band Showcase is a preview of the festival’s local lineup, which includes Mind Upside, Christopher Shayne, DL Marble, Chad Rubin, Mills End, Sugarwater, and Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold. According to Donny Johnson, general manager of Lucky Man Concerts, the evening’s ticket sales and attendance at the showcase will determine when each band will perform at the festival.

Support your favorite band starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, January 27, at the Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue in Tempe. Admission is $12. For more information, visit the Luckyman website. Jason Keil

Book it to YAllapalooza.
Book it to YAllapalooza.
Lucky Business/Shutterstock

2018 YAllapalooza Writer’s Conference
If you’re looking to break into young adult publishing, don’t miss the 2018 YAllapalooza Writer’s Conference at Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road, on Saturday, January 27.

The conference will feature five YA and middle-grade authors, including local favorites Bill Konigsberg, Stephanie Elliott, and Tom Leveen, joined by out-of town authors including up-and-coming horror writer Amy Lukavics. The guests will share secrets for crafting great novels for the under-20 crowd (as well as navigating the crowded publishing field) in three sessions. Following the workshops, there will be a panel on YA literature and an autograph session.

The event starts at 9 a.m., with the panel starting at 2 p.m. Admission to the workshops is $60 per person, or $70 including lunch at the First Draft Book Bar. The panel and autograph session are free. Call 602-274-0067 or visit the Changing Hands website for more information. Michael Senft

Tacolandia is upon us.
Tacolandia is upon us.
Phoenix New Times

Taco Tuesday? More like tacos every day. We just can’t get enough of the soft or crispy shells that hold numerous delicious and creative fillings. At Phoenix New Times’ annual Tacolandia event, you get four hours to chomp tacos from a bunch of Valley taquerias. Vendors include Puffy Taco Shop from Surprise, Scottsdale’s Mr. Mesquite, and Tapacubo, located in the Graduate Hotel in Tempe. Your taco ticket allows you unlimited food sampling.

A cash bar offers adult beverages like craft cocktails starring Tito’s Handmade Vodka, or Clamato Micheladas. DJs and folklorico dancers entertain while you indulge from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 27, at Margaret T. Hance Park, 67 West Culver Street. General admission tickets start at $25; VIP tickets start at $45. Visit the Tacolandia website. Amy Young

Join the pit party.
Join the pit party.
Courtesy of Feld Entertainment

Monster Energy AMA Supercross
During supercross races, riders speed around indoor dirt tracks, performing jumps and turns at high speeds on motor bikes. Monster Energy AMA Supercross will bring professional off-road motorcycle racing to Glendale on Saturday, January 27, starting at 5:30 p.m.

The pro riders have two heat races and a last-chance qualifier to get into the final race, known as the main event. Beginning at 11 a.m., a pre-race Pit Party offers chances to meet with riders.

At 8 a.m. on Sunday, January 28, local racers will compete in 27 different classes as part of a Supercross Amateur Day. All festivities take place at University of Phoenix Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive.

Tickets for the professional race day start at $15. The Pit Party is $10 or free if you bring an empty can of Monster Energy. General admission for the amateur event is $20. For more information, see the Supercross website. Laura Latzko

Amelia Moore and Michelle Dawson mix it up in Man of La Mancha.EXPAND
Amelia Moore and Michelle Dawson mix it up in Man of La Mancha.
Tim Fuller

Man of La Mancha
Miguel Cervantes’ Don Quixote, in which an addled old man pursues a sort of bucket list of heroism, has been adapted for the theater numerous times, including as a seven-hour comedy (yikes). We 21st-centurions are most familiar with Man of La Mancha, a Broadway musical that premiered a mere 360 years after the novel’s publication. Currently on stage at Arizona Theatre Company, the show features the perennially epic “The Impossible Dream.”

ATC’s production imposes some super-fresh concepts. It’s set in the 1950s, in a scuzzy bar/holding cell full of flamenco artists, the perfect place for drifting in and out of reality. The cast plays the instruments, and the overall claustrophobic sensuality awakens dormant passions.

Man of La Mancha closes on Sunday, January 28, with a 1 p.m. performance at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Tickets start at $25, with discounts available for students, seniors, and military, at the Arizona Theatre website or 602-256-6995. Julie Peterson

Bar Flies Boot Camp
Ever wonder what it takes to be a Bar Flies storyteller? Come find out on January 28, when the newbies of the Bar Flies Boot Camp take the stage.

That’s right. You’ll see a fresh group of readers serve up true tales after participating in a one-day writing workshop. Which means you might see some flashes of stage fright, but you’re sure to hear some incredible stories.

The 21-and-over storytelling event will begin at 7 p.m. at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. Tickets are $5 at the Ticket Fly website. For more information about the bootcamp visit the Changing Hands website. Lindsay Roberts

The Hourglass Cats appear at Sunday A’Fair.EXPAND
The Hourglass Cats appear at Sunday A’Fair.
courtesy of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Sunday A’Fair
A free outdoor concert where you can buy food and alcohol sounds like enough fun for just about anybody. But Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts relentlessly offers more at Sunday A’Fair at Civic Center Park, almost every Sunday while the afternoon weather is decent (roughly January to April).

Scheduled acts for Sunday, January 28, are The Hourglass Cats and Haley Green. Arizona artists and craftspeople display work for appreciation and sale, activities for kids and families burn off energy, and docents lead free tours of the sculptures in the park. The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art also offers free admission during the event.

The official address is 3939 North Drinkwater Boulevard. Bring your chairs or blanket. Admission is free; visit the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts website or call 480-499-8587. Julie Peterson

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