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Top 5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

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From hotel art installations and cartoonish takes on the Southwest to outdoorsy Shakespeare and movie makeup how-tos, your weekend plans have arrived.


It's time for a new spring look. The Clarendon Hotel and Spa is once again lending itself to local creatives to become the largest art installation in the Valley. ARTELPHX is a three-day, multimedia project will encompass everything from performance and video art to neon sculpture and site-specific visual works from handpicked artists including Leslie Barton, Steve Weiss, Chris Boyd, Amy Cannestra, Angel Castro, Lisa R. Chow, Hannah Cooper, Michaela Konzal, Scarlett Decker, Daniel Funkhouser, Daniel Gottliebson, Bamboo Gate Tea Room, Bill Hemphill, Zoo, Micro Nursery, Mark Hughes, Valerie Hunt, Candy Jimenez, Nathaniel Lewis, Stephanie Moland, Steph Raptis, Ingrid Shults, Tain Barzso, Katharine Leigh Simpson, Lauren Strohacker, Kendra Sollars, Kevin Vaughan-Brubaker, Denise Yaghmourian, and Joe Willie Smith.

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ARTELPHX will return to the Clarendon Hotel and Spa, 401 West Clarendon Avenue. The event kicks off with an invite-only VIP preview night on Thursday, May 15, followed by viewings for the general public Friday, May 16, and Saturday, May 17. Admission is free. For details, visit www.artelphx.com or call 602-513-2922. -- Katie Johnson

"Cactus Hug"

Every year someone hugs a cactus for all the wrong reasons. A Tucson man last year was "hugged" to death by a falling saguaro, and a cyclist was observed dutifully removing spines from his rear after a missed corner landed him in prickly hell. But there's another kind of "Cactus Hug" in Phoenix and it comes in the form of New Mexicans Larry Bob Phillips and David Leigh's collaborative art installation.

A giant, sprawling piece of comic drawings and sculpture, this oversize work becomes "a space of cartoon horror" full of "bizarre landscapes of birds, death, undersea creatures, cacti, Cadillacs, frying pans and more," according to a press release. Unwieldy and grotesque images aim to shock and awe audiences, though wry smiles are more likely. "Cactus Hug" is open from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, May 16, at Frontal Lobe Gallery in Bragg's Pie Factory, 1301 Grand Avenue. Admission is free. Call 602-391-4016 for more information. -- Glenn BurnSilver

Shakespeare in the Garden: FairyWorlds

"The course of true love never did run smooth."

The line, from William Shakespeare's heralded A Midsummer Night's Dream, is the perfect hint of foreboding and fun that follows throughout his popular five-act play.

FairyWorlds! breathes new life into the tale of three interwoven love stories. Produced by Southwest Shakespeare Company under the artistic direction of Jared Sakren, the classic comedy takes the stage in intricate costumes and light displays befitting of fairies Oberon, Titania, and Puck. Even those who skipped the CliffsNotes can follow along -- or, at the very least, indulge in the on-site full cash bar.

Weekend performances (Thursdays through Sundays) of the 90-minute show run through Sunday, June 1.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with an 8 p.m. showtime on Saturday, May 17, at the Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway. Tickets are $40 to $55 per person. Visit www.dbg.org or www.swshakespeare.org for details and ticket reservations. -- Janessa Hilliard

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity

If you think professional wrestling's too fake, you may hold an overinflated opinion of reality. But a play about that sweaty, spandexed world -- The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, presented by Stray Cat Theatre -- places the action on stage, rendering moot any doubts about authenticity. The show (not to mention the "sport") is also about how real-world conflicts are too complex for our (or our media's) attention spans, so a cathartic spectacle with clear heroes and villains is just what we think we need. But when a nice Indian-American student is hired to portray a heel called The Fundamentalist, the patriotic, commercial, and genuinely poetic aspects of THE Wrestling collide.

Kristoffer Diaz' Pulitzer Prize finalist continues through Saturday, May 17, at Tempe Performing Arts Center, 132 East Sixth Street. Catch it at 8 p.m. Friday, May 16, for $22 or $25. Get tix at www.straycattheatre.org or 480-227-1766. -- Julie Peterson

"Hollywood Costuming with Special Effects Makeup"

Forget what you learned at the makeup counter. It's time to learn from the professionals. Join special effects makeup artists Mark Greenawalt and Casey Kaki as they demonstrate the transformative techniques of airbrushing, life casting, sculpting, and molding to create prosthetics during the two-hour workshop, "Hollywood Costuming with Special Effects Makeup." This special event offered in conjunction with Phoenix Art Museum's "Hollywood Costume" will teach guests the tools of the trade while performing a live demo that recreates the costuming and makeup of X-Men's Mystique.

The "Hollywood Costuming with Special Effects Makeup" workshop takes place from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 18, at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue. Tickets are $20 for museum members,$25 for non-members, and include admission to the "Hollywood Costume" exhibition. For more information and to reserve your spot, visit www.phxart.org or call 602-257-1880. -- Katie Johnson

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