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Top 5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

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Don Pasquale

There's something about the sheen of Old Hollywood that shines after all these years. The glamor of the golden age of the silver screen goes zany when the comic opera Don Pasquale splashes into downtown Phoenix on Friday, April 25.

See also: 2014 Big Brain Award Winners to Be Announced at Artopia Friday, April 25 (VIDEO)

Updating one of Gaetano Donizetti's 19th century masterpieces to the 1950s, Don Pasquale is a silent film star living out the rest of his days in his dusty mansion on Sunset Boulevard. When his nephew and heir, Ernesto, spurns his arranged marriage for a Hollywood starlet, Pasquale is determined to find a wife to produce a new heir, which sets off a wave of chicanery.

The Arizona Opera's production of Don Pasquale will hit all the right notes at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams Street in downtown Phoenix. The show starts tonight at 7:30 p.m., and tickets range from $27 to $104. For more info about Don Pasquale's run through Sunday, April 27, visit www.azopera.org. -- Jose Gonzalez

New Times' 5th Annual Artopia

New Times is throwing a party, and you're invited.

Artopia is an evening of art, entertainment, food, and drink. The party also features the 2014 Big Brain Award finalists, a group of 15 up-and-coming creative types who are excelling in visual art, performing art, culinary art, design, and, this year's shiny new special category, urban vision.

There will be plenty of eye-catching art, chances to mingle with said finalists, and vendors hawking things like handmade buttons, skateboard decks, and letterpress cards. The bash also includes the announcement of this year's five Big Brain Award winners (one from each of the aforementioned categories), who will each go home with $500 to support their creative endeavors. Also receiving honors are the first-ever Urban Legends, five established creatives who have made a lasting impact on Phoenix.

The fun runs from 8 p.m. to midnight at Bentley Projects, 215 East Grant Street. Tickets are $25 in advance via www.ticketfly.com and $35 at the door. Admission includes access to all art and entertainment, food samples, and a wondrous thing called a drink passport that is good for a bevy of cocktail, beer, wine, and sprits samples. For complete details, visit www.phoenixnewtimes.com/artopia. And for more info on this year's Big Brains, visit www.phxculture.com. -- Becky Bartkowski

Dark of the Moon

Myriad versions of the 300-year-old ballad "Barbara Allen" have come down to us. Our dad sings that Ms. Allen's suitor dies of lovesickness after her rejection. Guilt-ridden and lonely, she swiftly follows suit, and the plants that spring from their graves twine together forever. Awww.

The 1942 play Dark of the Moon locates the tale in the Appalachians. Babs' squeeze is a witch boy turned human by love (once played by Paul Newman!). The other characters, supernatural and mortal alike, will never, never understand. The horrible, sad denouement's unsuitable for small children, but the story is beautiful and enlightening, with occasional eruptions of old-timey song. Peoria's Theater Works' production, through Sunday, May 11, employs both live actors and puppets to pump up the dreamy, haunted mojo. The Saturday, April 26, performance begins at 7:30 p.m. at 8355 West Peoria Avenue. For tickets, $13 to $31, call 623-815-7930 or visit www.theaterworks.org. -- Julie Peterson

"Emerge 2014"

Focusing on the next big gets a bad rap. Sure, trends come and go. But keeping an eye out for, say, burgeoning talent is another matter. And that's precisely what Gilbert gallery and photography lab Art Intersection does with its annual student showcase.

Juried by photography professor Rosalind Shipley of Arizona State University and Mesa Community College, "Emerge 2014" features pieces by students as young as high schoolers and as old as senior citizens. The exhibition offers three prizes: $250 for best in show; $100 for best in show by a high schooler; and $100 for best in show by a post-high schooler.

Get a look at some fresh photographers when the free show opens from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at 207 North Gilbert Road, suite 201. An opening reception is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 7. For more information, visit www.artintersection.com or call 480-361-1116. -- Becky Bartkowski

Phoenix Library Friends Spring Book Sale

Holy paperback, Batman! Yes, that time has come. Time to clear off the coffee table, empty out the closet and reorganize the laundry room, because you're going to need all that space. Why? Another Friends of the Phoenix Public Library Spring Book Sale is upon us. Even if you haven't finished reading everything from the last sale, resistance is futile when it comes to what's perhaps the greatest sale in the west (at least the desert). With more than 200,000 books, CDs and DVDs, from $1 paperbacks and $2 hardcovers to rare and collectible offerings (even better -- it's all half price on Sunday!), it's hard not to fill all those empty spaces with word candy. All proceeds benefit the many programs and services offered by Phoenix's 17 public libraries.

Bring some boxes and a hand truck from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 27, at the Friends Warehouse, 1330 North 29th Drive. Visit www.facebook.com/phoenixlibraryfriends. -- Glenn BurnSilver

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