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Top 5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

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Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Angels at Salt River Fields So, not only are you scratching your head wondering where the first two months of 2014 have gone, but now your fingers are glistening with salty, foreboding little beads of sweat, gently reminding you that the mercury is once again rising. Fortunately, you still have about a month to get some color on those pasty stems before you inevitably decry the heat and recoil back into your hermitage like the rest of us. So you might as well make the most of it.

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And what better way to spend a few hours outdoors (before it becomes a fatal enterprise) than to check out a spring training game? And as the temperatures rise, our hometown Arizona Diamondbacks are likewise hoping to improve on last season's lukewarm production. A visit from the Los Angeles Angels on Monday, March 3, oughta be quite the litmus test. Opening pitch is at 1:10 p.m. at Scottsdale's Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 North Pima Road. Tickets start at $11. Visit www.dbacks.com or call 480-270-5000 for details. -- Rob Kroehler

Mimulus at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Pain and passion; you can't have one without the other. That sentiment, beautifully and strikingly expressed by Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, is at the root of Brazilian dance company Mimulus' work, Dolores.

Drawing direct inspiration from Almodóvar's oeuvre, which includes Volver, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, and with popular Spanish songs, Dolores blends ballroom, samba, and other social dances to illustrate the complexity of relationships.

The evening-length work and the troupe make their Scottsdale debut at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street.

Should the show leave you inspired to try out the samba, stick around for the post-performance Ball in the Hall, which begins at 9 p.m. and is free to all ticketholders. Tickets to see Mimulus perform are $29, $39, and $49 via www.tickets.scottsdaleperformingarts.com or by calling 480-499-8587. -- Becky Bartkowski

Arizona's Funniest Comedian Contest at Stand Up Live You think you're funny? Arizona's Funniest Comedian Contest wants to find out.

The statewide competition features homegrown comics who have competed at comedy clubs in Tucson and the Valley throughout February and March. This week, four shows at Stand Up Live will pit more performers against one another as a panel of experts determines who moves on and who can't cut it.

The first-place winner receives a month of work at the Tempe Improv, Stand Up Live, and the Palm Beach and FTL improvs. Prizes will also be given to second and third place, the winner of college entrants, and the "rising star" award.

See who could be the next David Spade and who falls flat on their face at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street. Admission to the 21-and-over show is $10, and there's a two-drink minimum. Call 480-719-6100 or visit www.standuplive.com for tickets and see www.arizonasfunny.com for details. -- Janessa Hilliard

Paint PHX A city known for sprawling suburbs of muted desert browns is finally embracing the punches of color dotting its urban landscape.

Paint PHX, the first citywide event of its kind, hopes to encourage the Valley's rapidly growing mural movement through a weekend of public art projects from such artists as Breeze, Tato Caraveo, J.B. Snyder, and dozens more. Each painter partners with local businesses to select a wall -- like a dulceria on the corner of Sixteenth and Yale streets, which will get a full makeover courtesy of artist La Muñeca and crew. Its current façade features the likeness of Hello Kitty and Disney Princesses.

The mural takeover happens daily Thursday, March 6, through Sunday, March 9, throughout Calle 16, Roosevelt Street and Grand Avenue. It will reach as far north and south as Thomas Road and Van Buren, respectively, and as far east and west as Sixteenth Street and Fifteenth Avenue. Watching is free and open to the public; independent artists must seek out their own walls and use their own materials. Visit www.facebook.com/events/581202621960003 for details. -- Janessa Hilliard

Hormel Festival of New Plays at Phoenix Theatre The Hormel Festival of New Plays and Musicals is back! (NOTE TO EDITOR: That's all they need to know.)

Well, we tried. Okay, HFONPAM, now scheduled for temperate March, returns to Phoenix Theatre. Readings, performances, and the manic 24-Hour Theatre Project comprise the 16th annual total-immersion "where do plays come from?" experience through Sunday, March 16. Over the years, more than 70 shows that tested their damp, wobbly Bambi legs at the Festival have gone on to productions elsewhere.

Friday, March 7, features a choice between staged readings of two works at 100 East McDowell Road: Mark Cornell's comedy At Birth and Kathleen Conry and Susan Randolph Braden's three-woman musical What He Knew About Women -- The Music of Cy Coleman, both at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 each, or snag a full festival pass for $50 to $80. Learn much more (a couple of events are even free!) at www.phoenixtheatre.com/festival, or call 602-254-2151. -- Julie Peterson

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