This Week's Day-by-day Picks

THU 23
If you feel the need to unleash your inner diva, or if you just want a reason to wear that overpriced cocktail dress one more time, fret not -- Scottsdale's rolling out the red carpet just for you. On Thursday, June 23, Barcelona, 15440 Greenway-Hayden Loop in Scottsdale, hosts a Dress Like a Diva Contest at 7 p.m. For $20, you can get dolled up in your best duds and walk down the red carpet, possibly on your way to winning fabulous prizes like diamond jewelry, a $1,000 shopping spree, a full spa day at Pucci salon in Scottsdale, permanent makeup by Rachelle Hall, or an Orion Sailing yacht cruise for 20 people. Zowie Bowie provides the runway soundtrack, with the band's usual snazzy, sexy flair. Call 480-603-0370 or visit

FRI 24
Art imitates the artist in director Daniel Burman's latest flick, Lost Embrace, showing at Tempe Cinemas on Friday, June 24, as part of the theater's "One Night Cinema" series. Burman, co-producer of the 2003 movie about Che Guevara's youth, The Motorcycle Diaries, drew from his own background to create Ariel, the central character in Lost Embrace. Like Burman, Ariel lives and works in Buenos Aires, and has Jewish and Polish ancestry. Burman possesses a Polish passport, and his character Ariel wants to obtain one. Why? He got bored working in his mother's lingerie shop, even with all the steamy dressing room trysts. (We're not sure if that part reflects autobiography or fantasy for Burman). But something inevitably interferes with Ariel's travel plans, and he's forced to take a journey of self-discovery instead. This fresh indie flick hits the silver screen at 7:30 p.m., and tickets cost $7.25. Tempe Cinemas is located at 1825 East Elliot Road in Tempe. Visit

SAT 25
People have said that BS West -- that hip, ambisexual hangout just off Scottsdale's main shopping drag -- is hard to find because the bar's sign is so small. Best to follow the sounds of steel drums and laughter, then, when wet and wild times hit the hotspot, 7125 East Fifth Avenue in Scottsdale, during BS West's Beach Weekend, taking place Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25. Grass skirts and coconut bras dominate the landscape on Friday, when local castaways gussy up à la Ginger and Mary Ann for cash prizes in the "Gilligan's Island Blue Costume Contest," while Valley Skippers gulp down $1 Island Blue Pucker shots and $4 "Minnows" (a sweet, tropical mixed drink) in 22-ounce mugs. On Saturday, bust out that Hawaiian floral print shirt and prime your pipes on some Beach Boys or Jan & Dean tunes in the "Big Kahuna Karaoke Challenge." If you warble a wicked "Wipe Out," your caterwauling could win you some cold cash. The beachin' bash takes place from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. both days, and there's no cover. Call 480-945-9028 or visit

SUN 26
Driving cross-country to go club-hopping on a cable television station's dime must be such a tough gig. Nevertheless, touring comedian and barfly Dave Attell rambles on, and drives his "magical mystery masturbation bus" into Phoenix once again, for "The Insomniac Tour" at Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street. The stubble-faced, booze-swilling host of Comedy Central's Insomniac performs his raucous standup at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, June 26, and then hits the town for his usual after-hours antics (last year, Attell and his camera crew visited Steel Horse Saloon in Scottsdale and babbled up the biker babes). Tickets for the show cost $33. Call 602-267-1600, extension 1.

MON 27
For those who linger in the record store somewhere between the heavy metal and the hard pop, The Atomic Bitchwax comes to blow metaphorical chunks of riff-rock in your face on Monday, June 27, when the Jersey trio plays at the Hollywood Alley in support of their new album, 3. The band members' concurrent solos and spacy guitar hooks have garnered them comparisons to another three-piece jam band, Cream, but The Atomic Bitchwax churn out a harder rock sound, with clean (almost machinated-sounding) guitars and timing changes that scream "prog rock." And unlike Cream, The Atomic Bitchwax visits the Valley often, as evidenced by the lyrics of "Going Guido," where the singer rails against the "desert girl" who broke his heart: "From Phoenix, Arizona, to the pyramids and the tombs/I knew she was the devil, as she walked on in the room." Catch the riffs at Hollywood Alley, 2610 West Baseline Road in Mesa at 9:30 p.m. Mosara, Reverend Doom, and Graves at Sea share the bill. Admission costs $4. Call 480-820-7117.

TUE 28
Kathy Cone loves to see people having a good time at her gallery, whether they're tripping out on the black-light art currently installed in the downtown hub, or watching local punk bands give it up for the fans. So don't be surprised if she's armed with a camera, snapping shots as usual, when the Cone Gallery, 1324 Grand Avenue, hosts the "Fine Art Dance Jam" on Tuesday, June 28. This "free-forming dance session" takes place the second and fourth Saturday of every month, and participants are encouraged to show off original dance moves while DJ Ugly spins tunes. If you only know how to do the Running Man and the Worm, that's okay, too. Admission is $3. Bust a move from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Call 602-258-3455 or visit

WED 29
Live the proverbial dream of "running away to join the circus" without going any further than America West Arena, 201 East Jefferson, when the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus offers an "All-Access Pre-Show" shindig, free to anybody who buys a circus ticket ($11 to $75). The soiree starts an hour before show time, with fitness demonstrations by the acrobats, and chances for attendees to try their hand at some circus stunts. Ringmaster Tyron McFarlan and "America's Best Clown" Bello will then lead a backstage tour. Once you've seen behind the scenes, you can take a seat and watch the 135th edition of "the most interactive three-ring circus," including the Windy City Acrobats, the daredevil husband-and-wife duo the Misers, and "the world's first female quest for the quadruple aerial somersault." The big top starts bumpin' at 7 p.m., with shows running through July 4. Call Ticketmaster at 480-784-4444 for tickets.

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea