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Top 5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

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Waste Management Phoenix Open at Tournament Players Club of Scottsdale It's hard to imagine that home-field advantage could possibly be a thing in golf, but Phil Mickelson's performances at the Waste Management Phoenix Open certainly make the case for its existence. The former ASU Sun Devil has won the tournament three times -- including a dominant wire-to-wire win in last year's Open -- and figures to be the favorite again this year.

Mickelson will face a tough field that includes Brandt Snedeker, Keegan Bradley, Angel Cabrera, Martin Kaymer, and Vijay Singh. The weeklong event at TPC of Scottsdale, 17020 North Hayden Road, always has the most unique (read: rowdy) atmosphere of any tournament on the PGA tour. Practice rounds for the pros and the Kyocera Pro-Am kick off the weeklong event at 7 and 9:30 a.m. respectively on Monday, January 27. The tournament proper starts on Thursday, January 30, and wraps up on Sunday. Sunday's decisive round will tee off at 9 a.m. Tickets for the event start at $30 and are available via www.tickemaster.com. -- Ed Kummerer

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Mark Morris Dance at Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center Since it was founded in 1980, Brooklyn-based Mark Morris Dance has become one of the most well-known dance companies in not only dance circles, but also by mainstream audiences. Choreographer Mark Morris is celebrated primarily for his one-of-a-kind musicality and has worked with artists and companies including the San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theater, the Royal Opera, and visual artist Isaac Mizrahi.

The Mark Morris Dance Group spent three years in Brussels as the national dance company of Belgium but returned to the States to tour and perform in 1991. Now performing in dozens of cities around the country each year, the company is known for its commitment to live music, which has been a feature at every performance since 1996.

Mark Morris Dance will perform at Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street, on Tuesday, January 28. Curtain is 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $30 or $60. For more information, call 480-644-6500 or visit www.mesaartscenter.com.

Celebration for Arizona Poet Laureate Alberto Álvaro Ríos at Changing Hands Bookstore Last August, Governor Jan Brewer did something big. Something that we totally supported and thought was nothing short of great. No, really. She named writer Alberto Álvaro Ríos Arizona's first-ever Poet Laureate. The official purpose of the Arizona State University Regents' Professor and award-winning poet and memoirist's new gig is "to commemorate Arizona literary artists whose work and service best represent Arizona's values, independence and unique Western history and culture." It's also a reason for some serious state pride and most definitely a cause for celebration.

That's why Tempe's Changing Hands Bookstore will host a reception for the Nogales, Arizona, native on Wednesday, January 29. During the event, Ríos will discuss what his new role means to both him and the state in addition to reading selections from his literary works.

The reception begins at 7 p.m. at 6428 South McClintock Drive. Admission is free. Visit www.changinghands.com or call 480-730-0205. -- Becky Bartkowski

"Reimagining the Contemporary Landscape: New Views and Interpretations" at LewAllen Galleries Scottsdale For many, to think of landscape artists conjures conceptions of colorful true-to-life imagery or founding father of impressionism Claude Monet, and little in between. A new collection at LewAllen Galleries aims to expand that notion.

"Reimagining the Contemporary Landscape: New Views and Interpretations" transcends the commonplace realistic replicas hung in waiting rooms and hotel lobbies. The included works elicit the intangible emotions associated with the places depicted through both hyper-realistic and abstract approaches.

The group show features pieces from nine artists such as Christopher Benson, known for his use of color and ability to create coinciding abstract and representational pieces, and New Mexican residents John Fincher and Woody Gwyn.

The show's on view Thursday, January 30, through Saturday, March 15, at the Lew Allen Scottsdale, 7036 East Main Street. The art space is open to the public Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and on Sundays by appointment. Visit www.lewallengalleries.com or call 480-970-3600. -- Janessa Hilliard

Sci-Fi Friday at Tempe Center for the Arts It's a golden age of social acceptance for science fiction fans. Twenty years ago, being a sci-fi nerd meant shrinking your social circle and getting shoved into lockers. Now, everyone knows who Khan is, and being into science fiction isn't even a distinguishing personality trait unless you're really into it.

If you are really into science fiction, consider checking out Sci-Fi Friday at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. The weekly exhibit features pieces from local and national collectors, including a cel of Marvin the Martian hand-painted by Looney Tunes animator Chuck Jones. This Friday's event will also feature a presentation from Todd Spencer of the University of Advancing Technology. Spencer will discuss the past, present and future of human-computer interfaces in pop culture.

The presentation will begin at 6 p.m. and conclude at 7. Admission to the event is free. Visit www.tempe.gov/tca. -- Ed Kummerer

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