The Science of "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" at Arizona Science Center The world is full of strange things. Sometimes it's natures way of telling you something's wrong; other times societal traditions require, say, neck stretching. Some folks can't help carving angels on the heads of a pins or building matchstick Rolls-Royces. Explorer Robert Ripley spent a lifetime accumulating more than 50,000 unusual artifacts. Older generations read "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" in the Sunday comics, but all agree, Ripley's eye burned for the bizarre, magical, and mysterious, bringing a sense of wonder that questioned reality.
A new exhibit at the Arizona Science Center allows the curious and skeptical alike to try and make sense of it all.
Discover "The Science of Ripley's Believe It Or Not!" from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, February 10 at 600 East Washington Street. Admission for kids 3 to17 is $21.95, $28.95 for adults, $26.95 for seniors, and members get in free. Call 602-716-2000 or visit www.azscience.org. The exhibit runs through Sunday, May 4. -- Glenn BurnSilver
"Monteczuma's Revenge" at ASU Art Museum Don't even think that an art exhibit named "Moctezuma's Revenge" has anything to do with a digestive order. Instead, the first comprehensive solo exhibition of works by Mexican-American artist Eduardo Sarabia relates to the duality faced wjen exposing "clichés about Mexican culture in order to question the imaginary borders demarcated by cultural stereotypes," according to the exhibition's press materials. Sarabia, a Los Angeleno living in Guadalajara among the dominant Norteño drug culture, appears to ask in his works: Are drugs Moctezuma's revenge on America's feigned cultural superiority?
Paintings feature blurred forms distorting reality, while Sarabia's ceramic vases, distantly appearing as traditionally ornamented vases favored by American tourists, instead feature the modern hieroglyphs of cartel signs, drug symbols, skulls, and more.
Ah, revenge can be sweet. See how from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, February 11, at the ASU Art Museum, Mill Avenue and 10th Street in Tempe. The exhibit, which runs through April 26, is free. Call 480-965-2787 or visit www.asuevents.asu.edu. -- Glenn BurnSilver
International UFO Congress at Radisson Fort McDowell Resort & Casino It's been more than a decade since The X-Files went off the air, and we still want to believe. If you do, too, look no further than the 23rd annual International UFO Conference, which returns to the Valley this week.
The five-day event brings together speakers and experts in the field for conversations about abductions, from first-person accounts to the spirituality of the experience, to the governments role in -- or cover-up of -- the existence of extraterrestrial life, to a debate on the science of alien life vs. science fiction and a round-up of the most recent UFO sightings in modern history.
Channel your inner Mulder or Scully from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily, Wednesday, February 12, to Sunday, February 16, at the Fort McDowell Hotel & Casino, 10438 North Fort McDowell Road in Scottsdale. Admission varies from $25 to $125 for individual events or all-day passes; full attendance packages are $319. Visit www.ufocongress.com. -- Janessa Hilliard
ShowTime at The Bar on Central Drag queens are a dish best served live. If your only exposure to the ultra-glammed performers is via RuPaul's reality show, you owe it to yourself to make it to ShowTime, the showtune and cabaret revue, at The Bar on Central (formerly Amsterdam) on Thursday, February 13.
Preeminent Valley drag queen Barbra Seville brings the dance hits and sass, while lauded actor and singer Ian Christiansen hosts and croons with guest performers ranging from comedians to other prominent dragsters. Christiansen's versatile voice enchants with lounge-y versions of your favorite pop songs, and Seville sashays with wiggling hips and a smile-inducing schtick. Those wanting to get in on the act can even show up early for the showtune sing-along at 7 p.m.
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ShowTime gets gussied up at 9:30 p.m. at 718 North Central Avenue. There is no cover, but definitely have your dollars ready to tip performers. For more info, visit www.facebook.com/showtimeatthebar. -- Jose Gonzalez
Top Gun: Live, Abridged, and Completely Underfunded at Mesa Encore Theatre All Puppet Players, that Arizona-California troupe of low-budget lunatics, is most renowned right now for its embarrassingly popular world-première co-production (with Nearly Naked Theatre) of Fifty Shades of Felt, lauded by our competitors as not merely the filthiest puppet show in history but the filthiest play of any kind they'd ever seen in Phoenix. Although the newest expression of APP's feltanschauung -- Top Gun: Live, Abridged, and Completely Underfunded -- is remarkable for depicting, faking, or ignoring more special effects than even The Exorcist Has No Legs (another memorable puppetry homage to classic cinema), it's more remarkable for being, as its own publicity materials claim, "mostly" family-friendly (for audiences 16 and older).
This latest première, in collaboration with Mesa Encore Theatre, continues through Saturday, February 22, at MET's Black Box on Brown, 318 East Brown Road, Suite 1. Get Goosed at 8 p.m. Friday, February 14. Tickets are $15 at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/560687 or 800-838-3006. -- Julie Peterson