Herberger Theater Center

Y’all are familiar with the “P” word, right? You know, that one. The one referring to a ladies’ nether regions? In Jessica Holter’s Don’t Say the “P” Word, it refers to the slang term for “vagina,” which is known to some folks as “punany.” There. We said it.

Holter’s performance dissects sexual attitudes, spirituality and self-worth in a society where Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl nip slip set off a nationwide scandal.

Say the “P” word around some women and you might get a cringe in return. But Holter, an activist and author, pretty much lives her life around the “P.” As the creator of the Punany Poets, her cast investigates the sex lives of conservative Christian housewives, uninhibited lovers and other sexual stereotypes to break down the frigid wall of conventional sexuality.

Sat., Aug. 27, 8 p.m., 2011
Sail Inn
Remember the ‘90s? Those were the days – back when a bro could have frosted hair and not look like a brosef, when women could show nothing but their midriff without looking like a gypsy hooker, alternative rock reigned supreme, and the term “indie” was mostly used to describe race cars. Remember 1967? I’d venture to say that most rock fans were dropping acid and peace-loving during that storied era do not. Maybe that’s why Phoenix local alt-rock 1967 band decided to name their artistic endeavor after that particular year. Everyone was far too high to remember what the music actually sounded like – they just knew it was legendary. Unfortunately for 1967 the band, we have recorded proof that music from 1967 the year sounds nothing like their music. They’re reminiscing about the wrong decade. No, 1967 is a band name intentionally set out to mindfuck. They operate in 2011, sound like they’re from the ‘90s and confuse people with the name 1967. But hey, it doesn’t really matter which decade they’re from. Metal-infused alt rock will never go out of style, so long as 93.3 KDKB is around (even though they didn’t start rocking until 1971).
Thu., Dec. 15, 9 p.m., 2011
Gotham City Comics & Coffee
Jack Bauer, the ass-kicking scourge of fictional bad guys everywhere, had a penchant for packing a ton of action in a single 24-hour period. And while participants in this weekend’s 24 Hour Comics Day won’t have to stop any worldwide terrorist plots, they too will have exactly a single day to accomplish a seemingly impossible mission: Creating and publishing a comic book from scratch.

What started as a dare in 1990 has now blossomed into an international phenomenon. Sequential cell scribes, both pros and amateurs alike, will gather at stores across the country on Saturday, October 1, and attempt to produce a 24-page creation in as many hours. A half-dozen Valley shops will host the event, including Gotham City Comics and Coffee, 46 West Main Street in Mesa.

“The challenge is just to see if you can pull an all-nighter and come up with a comic,” says Gotham’s Chelsea Alongi. Participants will work alongside local artists at the store, and the best comic books produced across the world will be published in an anthology.

Gotham will also offer deals on coffee drinks at its espresso bar, which will surely come in handy. The timer starts at 11 a.m. Admission is free. Visit www.24hourcomicsday.com for other participating Valley stores.
Sat., Oct. 1, 11 a.m., 2011

You don’t need a PhD or thirty hits of acid to appreciate the sheer wonderment of the human body (although that would help). Thousands of scientific miracles occur from the time we open our eyes upon waking to our last conscious thought into dreamland.

The Arizona Science Center is currently showing The Human Body, an IMAX film that will bring a new realization of how our bodies function and adapt to the overwhelming amount of frivolous materialism around us. The film is a compilation of cinematic astonishment, combining state of the art computer graphics and amazing real life images on an enormous big screen that will move you to your core. It will also make you wonder if you should have gotten pissed that your local barista put low fat foam on your breve macchiato.

Jan. 21-March 10, 12, 2 & 4 p.m., 2011
Changing Hands Bookstore
What were you doing the morning of September 11, 2001?

Phoenix resident and Gangplank co-founder Derek Neighbors was working at home for the Free Software Foundation, communicating with a global team online. "One of the guys from Austria said, 'Go turn your TV on,'" says Neighbors. "And I said, 'Why, what's going on?' And then a guy from Tennessee said, 'No, you really need to go turn your TV on.' And I turned on the TV when the second plane was hitting one of the towers."

Nick Blumberg, Public Insight Journalist for KJZZ-FM, was a child in Chicago at the time. "I was eating breakfast before school, and I heard on the radio that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center," he says. "I turned on the TV, and a couple minutes later, the second plane hit the second tower ... we sat and watched ABC news all day long."

Few people have forgotten what they were doing when they heard about the attacks on the World Trade Center. Ten years later, many people still feel the impacts of that day, including Neighbors and Blumberg, who are two of six panelists on the "10 Years After 9/11" Community Discussion, taking place Thursday, September 8, at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe.

Other panelists include federal prosecutor Mike Morrisey (who's worked on National Security cases since 2005); local artist Safwat Saleem; Changing Hands Web developer Jennie Tetreault; and Christopher Toward, who served as director of New York Cares' disaster recovery program.

Neighbors was brought on board for his role as a business owner and social media expert. "They wanted insight from somebody who employs Generation Y millennials, and how it's impacted that generation," says Neighbors, who also serves as the President of the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership. "A lot of people don't remember the world before 9/11, especially when it comes to airport security. Some people were used to seamless, faster travel, without all the security checks. It's interesting to see the differences between them. For one set, it's a difficult hassle, and for another, it's just par for the course."

Airport security changes will be just one aspect of the panel discussion. Neighbors says he'd also like to discuss the differences in mentality by generation. "During 9/11, people who came from the Cold War generation, they tended to be much more judgmental about race," he says. "But millennials, though it impacts them, are still blind to those issues, and fear of Muslims."

"From my perspective, it's interesting -- a ten-year anniversary is arbitrary, but also very important," Blumberg says. "It's a time to sit back and reflect on how this changed us, and what does it mean?"

Other panelists will likely discuss things like rescue efforts at Ground Zero, and the impact of 9/11 on art and popular culture. Each will likely have his or her own reasons they feel the community discussion is important. For Nieghbors, this panel is important for a couple reasons.

"I think we gave up a lot of freedom and bold thinking out of fear after 9/11," he says. "It's important to talk about it so we don't continue to go down a path of fear and the further eroding of freedoms."

Neighbors adds that 9/11 also put the United States into a more global perspective for its residents. "I think 9/11 showed that the way we operate and are seen in the world does have consequence," Neighbors says. "Just because we're the biggest and most powerful doesn't mean we're untouchable. The world is watching."

For Blumberg, the panel provides an opportunity for deeper discussion. "The panel can create a space where people can sit and talk and reflect in deeper ways, more nuanced ways," he says. "It's nice to create a space where we can have dialogue."

Thu., Sept. 8, 7 p.m., 2011

If you feel like First Fridays have become more party than arty, or if you just hanker to poke your head into galleries and hot spots that usually bar their doors against the art walk rabble, then turn your toes toward the 23rd annual Art Detour, one of the longest-running self-guided art tours in the country.

Part of a push by Artlink to promote Phoenix as a thriving arts community and destination, Art Detour is your opportunity to sample a soupcon of the standout galleries and studios of downtown Phoenix, including Deus Ex Machina, Artlink A.E. England Gallery and Bragg’s Pie Factory. One caveat: Abandon all hope for a map, ye who enter here. Instead, keep your eyes peeled for the yellow balloons with which many galleries plan to signal their involvement.

There are no shuttles this year, but you can still start your tour from Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 N. Third St. It’s convenient to the Central/Roosevelt light rail stop, if you are feeling festive and crave the full experience.

March 19-20, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 2011
Lord Naritsugu (Gorô Inagaki) is a royal terror, and the court fears Caligula-like horrors should he come into his royal succession. Samurai Shinzaemon Shimada (Koji Yakusho) is secretly recruited to preclude this possibility with his sword, leading the title's dirty baker's dozen on a hit-job quest. Set in 1844, in the closing days of the Shogunate, the expository chapters show a world where the great battles have already been fought—so bored Naritsugu whiles the hours away with unblinking sadism. (Otherwise closely adapting a 1963 film, Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins shows a much more graphic interest in Naritsugu's perversions.) As samurai live to die in battle, so the first two-thirds of Miike's Assassins exists to set up the final butchery, when Naritsugu and his entourage army are lured into a booby-trapped boarding town to face Shimada's outnumbered men, making their last stand. The fleetly shot climax is a true carnival of destruction, but an alienating spectacle, as Miike doesn't find a fresh way to engage with the material when laying out the characters and their personal codes. Perhaps something important was spirited away with the 20 minutes of footage shorn for this U.S. release, but the combatants are scarcely distinguishable here even before disappearing under layers of mud and guts.
Fri., May 27, 9 & 11:45 p.m.; Sat., May 28, 7 & 9:30 p.m.; Sun., May 29, 5 p.m.; Tue., May 31, 6:30 p.m.; Wed., June 1, 7 p.m.; Thu., June 2, 9 p.m.; Fri., June 3, 6:30 p.m.; Sat., June 4, 5 & 11 p.m.; Sun., June 5, 7 p.m., 2011

7 Minutes in Love @ Space 55 Theatre

Space 55 Theatre presents its annual ode to love/not love during the 7 Minutes in Love production.
Sat., Feb. 12, 2011
The theatrical version of Agatha Christie's best-selling murder mystery classic, where guests at a lonely mansion are killed off one-by-one, is performed by the actors and actresses of Desert Stages Theatre.
Fridays-Sundays. Starts: June 3. Continues through July 25, 2011
The ninth edition in the series of musical revues featuring songs from Broadway productions.
Tue., March 8, 12:10 p.m.; Wed., March 9, 12:10 p.m.; Thu., March 10, 12:10 p.m.; Tue., March 15, 12:10 p.m.; Wed., March 16, 12:10 p.m.; Thu., March 17, 12:10 p.m.; Tue., March 22, 12:10 p.m.; Wed., March 23, 12:10 p.m.; Thu., March 24, 12:10 p.m., 2011

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