A West Coast showdown, Christmas raving, and airport art round out Jackalope Ranch's top picks for things to do and see in Phoenix this week. Have at 'em, and happy holidays.
Phoenix Suns vs. L.A. Lakers @ US Airways Center The first month of the NBA season often winds up confounding analysts and flummoxing prognosticators. For example, no one in his right mind could have predicted that both the Knicks and the Nets would be floundering far below .500, or furthermore that only two teams in the entire eastern conference would wrap up November with a winning record. So much for parity.
See also: 11 Must-See Holiday Light Displays in Metro Phoenix One thing that was rather easy to predict was the ongoing change of guard in Los Angeles. With Kobe hobbling his way back from a torn achilles and Steve Nash hobbling his way towards retirement with a failing back, the Lakers have all but handed the scepter of So-Cal basketball royalty over to the Clippers. But, alas, the ever brash and boisterous Lakers retinue will be out in full force when the languishing Lakers visit the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center, 201 East Jefferson Street, on Monday, December 23. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $80. Visit www.nba.com/suns or call 602-379-2000 for details. -- Rob Kroehler
"Friends of Mexican Art Celebrate 50 Years of Collecting and Giving" @ Phoenix Airport Museum, Terminal 4 Thanks to a collaboration between Phoenix Airport Museum and the Friends of Mexican Art (FOMA), there are some 60 pieces of art for you to enjoy while you're waiting to board the plane to take you home for the holidays.
"Friends of Mexican Art celebrate 50 Years of Collecting and Giving" features paintings, sculptures and prints from such famous Mexican artists such Jose Clemente Orozco, Rufino Tamayo, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Francisco Zuniga. All of the works came from FOMA members' private collections or were donated to the Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona State University Art Museum, or Heard Museum.
The exhibition can be found in the Terminal 4 Gallery on level three at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, 3400 East Sky Harbor Boulevard, and is on display until February 23, 2014. Two additional display cases on level two will be on display until March 16, 2014. Admission is free. For more information, call 602-673-5355 or www.visitskyharbor.com/Museum/ExhibitionsTerminal4.html. -- Lauren Saria
Mary X Mas @ TBA It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but your Christmas probably has a few constants: watching bratty nieces and nephews throw fits over not getting the presents they wanted, that one weird uncle getting a little too drunk and friendly, and mom overcooking, uh, just about everything. Fortunately, most Christmas traditions take place during the day, leaving an evening open to other opportunities. The 15th annual Mary X mas is a haven for EDM fans looking to have some fun. The event will feature Christmas décor, girls in red and green go-go costumes, a snow ball fight with real snow, and a headlining performance by DJ Swamp, who coordinated with The Crystal Method.
Deck the halls with glow sticks on Wednesday, December 25, at an undisclosed location for $10. Visit www.facebook.com/mary.xmas.5 for the info hotline and more information. -- Melissa Fossum
My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy @ Herberger Theater Google My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy, and you're rewarded with an ad for death and mourning support services. This is undoubtedly taken in stride by writer/performer Brad Zimmerman, who's made comedy gold out of struggle and disappointment. After decades waiting tables in New York, the underemployed actor began writing about his life and became an in-demand opener for Joan Rivers, George Carlin, and Brad Garrett, as well as playing Ron Pearse. You know, Johnny Sack's lawyer on The Sopranos!
A cozy hybrid of standup and one-man show, My Son has delighted audiences nationwide -- even gentiles who've never picked up a tray -- and now it's at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street, through Sunday, February 2. So start building that word of mouth Thursday, December 26, at 2 or 7 p.m., so this nice man doesn't have to return to answering his customer's question "What do you do when you're not here?" with "Well, I have other tables . . ." Tickets range from $43 to $53 at www.herbergertheater.ticketforce.com or 602-252-8497.
Tougher Than Leather @ FilmBar Nowadays, we kind of accept that rap stars might pop up on the silver screen. For better or for worse, Drake and Nicki Minaj are fair game for stunt casting. When legendary group Run DMC made the 1988 flick Tougher Than Leather, which screens Friday, December 28, that wasn't the case.
Early forays into rappers-on-celluloid mostly had hip hoppers as part of the scenery or as a grab bag of cameos. Tougher Than Leather, in contrast, drops Run, DMC, and Jam Master Jay right into a blaxploitation plot where they take to the streets, guns blazing, to avenge a friend's death. While featuring lauded music performances from the trio, Slick Rick, and The Beastie Boys, the movie's box office failure proved that not everything touched by Rick Rubin, who co-wrote and directed, was gold.
Tougher Than Leather screens at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street, at 10 p.m. Tickets are $9, and more info is at www.thefilmbarphx.com. Call 602-595-9187. -- Jose Gonzalez