"(pre)Occupation" at The Hive We won't tell, but right now you're procrastinating. We can't fault you for it, as we find ourselves quite entertaining, too. But your to-do list? It's not getting any shorter.
If you'd like to further shirk responsibilities (we're on your side), why not go full-on meta and attend an exhibition whose premise involves addressing the distractions that mar our well-laid plans? That show's fittingly called "(pre)Occupation" and it opens Third Friday, January 17, at The Hive.
Curator Jo Novelli-Blasko can sympathize with your desire to do anything but the task at hand. The writer, scholar, and artist was supposed to work on her Ph.D. dissertation, but things didn't go exactly as planned over the past few years. Among other things that kept her preoccupied, she says, were watercolor painting, embroidery, writing letters, falling in love, and a cancer diagnosis. Illustrating those (and other) pastimes are works from artists including Casebeer, La Muñeca, and Novelli-Blasko herself.
Get preoccupied from 7 to 10 p.m. at 2222 North 16th Street. The free exhibition remains on view through Saturday, February 15. Additional programming includes a screening of Borat at FilmBar, a journaling workshop, and a reading. For the full rundown, visit www.preoccupation-theshow.com. -- Becky Bartkowski
15th Annual Automobiles of Arizona at Arizona Biltmore No matter how jaded you get, there's something exciting about seeing something worth a ton of money. It's why the Federal Reserve gives tours, it's why cash booths are a thing, and it's why they have previews for events like Friday's Automobiles of Arizona Auction at the Arizona Biltmore, 2400 East Missouri Avenue.
Friday's auction will feature dozens of classic cars, including a 1966 Porsche 906 estimated at $1.6 million; a 1961 Chaparral 1 valued at $2.5 million; and a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT valued at $7 million. The free-to-the-public preview on January 1will run from 10 a.m. until the auction begins at 5. If you've got loads of money burning a hole in your pocket -- or really want to see the bidding -- you can register as a bidder for $200 and view the auction. Registration information and a full listing of the cars up for auction is available at www.rmauctions.com. -- Ed Kummerer
The Second City: Happily Ever Laughter at Queen Creek Performing Arts Center Plenty of grade-A hilarity has come from Chicago's Second City sketch comedy troupe. For a sampling, let's look at just a few of its alumni: Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and Bill Murray. Another piece of history this trio shares? At various points in their sketch comedy careers, they packed up and hit the road with Second City's traveling troupe to deliver jokes to those outside the Windy City.
A fresh crop of Second Citians comes to the Valley to perform Happily Ever Laughter, a show that comprises newsy bits and classic scenes. And when they're in town, best keep in mind that the next Tina (or Stephen or Bill) could be gracing a stage in Queen Creek, of all places.
The troupe's traveling cast performs at 7:30 p.m. January 18, at Queen Creek Performing Arts Center, 22149 East Ocotillo Road. Tickets are $28 to $32. Call 480-987-7469 or visit www.qcpac.com. -- Becky Bartkowski
Desperado LGBT Film Festival at Paradise Valley Community College Gay cinema is pretty closely associated with films like To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything and Blue is the Warmest Color. Not that there's anything wrong with those flicks, but there's so much more to LGBT cinema than girls experimenting with sexuality and burly guys getting into drag. Desperado, Arizona's only LGBTQ film festival, shows the gay community in a positive and diverse light with films that promote conversation and social change. The four-day festival features a mix of local and national films that span a variety of genres, including the cheeky Who's Afraid of Vagina Wolf and the political Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia. Festivities also include live music and an art showcase.
Embrace the gay community at the Desperado Film Festival starting Saturday, January 18, at Paradise Valley Community College's Center for the Performing Arts, 18401 North 32nd Street. Single tickets are $12. Call 602-787-7738 or visit www.desperadofilmfestival.com. -- Melissa Fossum
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PF Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon & 1/2 Marathon @ CityScape There aren't many places in the country where you can go for a 26.2 mile-run outdoors in January without getting frostbite. But here in the Valley thousands do just that by participating in the annual PF Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.
Runners (and their cheering squads) will gather at CityScape, 1 East Washington Street, to see the race begin at 7:50 a.m. on Sunday, January 19. Finishers will then reconvene at the finish line at Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway at Tempe Beach Park. Multiple courses -- for the marathon, half-marathon, and bike course -- feature live music at every mile and will mean street closures throughout the day in Phoenix and Tempe.
Race registration costs $150 for the full and half-marathons, if spaces are still available, at the Health & Fitness Expo at Phoenix Convention Center on Friday, January 17, and Saturday, January 18. For more information, visit www.runrocknroll.competitor.com/arizona. -- Lauren Saria