H.B. Hanratty's Pub
Benjamin Leatherman

Bicycles, by design, are one of the most efficient means of transportation ever created. So ditch your jalopy and feel like a champ when you pedal your way to the Arizona Beer Week Bike-In at HB Hanratty’s.

The rustic uptown bar ups the ante on experiencing locally-based brews with a 7:30 p.m. screening of Three Amigos, the Western adventure comedy starring Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short. An array of Amigos-inspired á la carte snacks from renowned chef Jeff Kraus will be available (and likely delicious) at no more than $5 per item.

Admission is free, but a prix fixe snack sampler accompanied by one Arizona-brewed beer is available for $10 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 24, 6:30 p.m., 2012

It’s easy to spot the beast known as the Douchebagus scottsdalia while traveling the wilds of Old Town on any given weekend. Simply look for their standard adornments of popped collars, fake bake tans, and spiky hair.

Avoid trying to corner the Douchebagus, however (as it tends to puff out its chest and start shouting “Step off, bro!” when threatened) and instead head for their usual nesting spot over at Smashboxx. The curious creature will be in extreme abundance inside the club on Friday, June 1, for the annual Douchebag Party, which will also serve as a fundraiser for the Valley’s Imaginations charity.

You’re likely to hear their usual mating call of “How you doing?” during the affair, which will feature patrons dressed as douches while dancing to house music spins from DJs Tranzit and Michael James. The party will also encompass the neighboring Dollhouse, where she-jay Missy Sparks will be in the mix all night.

Fri., June 1, 7 p.m., 2012
Dr. A.J. Chandler Park

With four punk/ska punk bands performing — Buck-O-Nine, Voodoo Glowskulls, Goldfinger, and headliner Face to Face — plus local acts on a separate stage, a custom bike show, and an all-ages kid-friendly hangout, more than just barbeque will cook under the hot sun at Chandler’s third annual Great American Barbeque and Beer Fest.

While the music plays, more than 50 vendors from across Arizona expect to dish out 10 tons of mouth-watering ribs, pulled pork, brisket, and chicken, plus all the fixin’s. SanTan Brewing Company leads a pack of AZ microbrewers serving suds to wash it all down.

Eating contests, including pie and bratwurst, are also on the menu. And speaking of gross out, don’t let Junior over indulge before rolling around inside a Wow Ball or it’s destined to become a Wow “did he really puke up all that barbeque?” Ball.

Sat., March 24, 12-8 p.m., 2012
Phoenix Suns Arena

If there's anything positive for the Phoenix Suns to take away from closing out 2012 on the road against the Western Conference's most formidable team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, it's that their first matchup of the new year is bound to be against a less daunting opponent. Turns out it is. But don't tell that to the Philadelphia 76ers.

With a newly revived b-ball rivalry in NYC and the hoopla in South Beach hogging all the headlines, the Sixers are well poised to be the dark horses of the Eastern Conference. Led by budding all-star Jrue Holiday, this season's young Philly squad has ardently embraced coach Doug Collins' blue-collar style and consequently jelled into a playoff contender with a roster only slightly more stacked than the Suns. Holiday's crew comes to US Airways Center on the heels of the holiday.

Wed., Jan. 2, 7 p.m., 2013
Chandler Center for the Arts

You'd recognize her pulled, pinched, and smoothed face anywhere. Her loud and raspy voice with its thick New York accent making jokes about eyesores of outfits, unfortunate events, celebrity stupidity and, of course, herself. Sometimes they laugh. Sometimes they don't. So it goes in the life of Joan Rivers.

Rest assured that when Rivers brings her stand-up act to Chandler Center for the Arts nothing will be off the table. The 78-year-old comic still riffs on cultural taboos like there's no tomorrow.

So it's probably best to leave the kiddies and those easily offended at home during her performance on Friday.

Fri., March 30, 8 p.m., 2012
Phoenix Art Museum

Halloween, 1978. In the sleepy town of Haddonfield, Illinois, a man named Michael Myers goes fruit-ninja with a butcher knife on three babysitters. And a dog. And a boyfriend. And a truck driver. A half-dozen gruesome murders later, the precursor to the modern slasher movie is born.

While we’ve come a long way since then, the terror caused by the original Halloween is still impossible to replicate -- but you can relive it in all the digitized and remastered glory of today’s technology when Dr. Diabolic, Phoenix’s go-to horror host, leads a screening of Halloween in the Phoenix Art Museum’s Whiteman Hall on Wednesday, October 31. Prior to the screening, there will be a Halloween costume contest with a cash prize.

Wed., Oct. 31, 7 p.m., 2012
Poverty and misfortune mark the social study that is Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens' novel about an orphan who wanted more and got it -- but not without a terrible adventure as a precursor to happiness. See the story in its musical form, Lionel Bart's Oliver!, featuring local players at Queen Creek Performing Arts Center.
Fri., June 22; Sat., June 23; Mon., June 25, 7 p.m., 2012
W Hotel Scottsdale
W Scottsdale Hotel 7277 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale www.wscottsdalehotel.com A convivial atmosphere of luxe libations and Prohibition-era stylishness will ensue at the W on New Year’s Eve during the ultra-stylish Great Gatsby soiree. Inspired by the iconic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, the star-studded affair takes place both in the lobby and up on the hotel’s second floor Wet Deck and will boast a “speakeasy reminiscent of the Roaring Twenties,” as well as posh cocktails, and the chance to spot celebs. 8 p.m. Admission to the event only is $75 for ladies, $100 for guys. See www.wscottsdaletickets.com. A slew of VIP and cabana options are available for the affair -- ranging from $1,000 reserved tables inside the Living Room (which includes Belvedere, Dom Perignon, two bottles of Veuve Clicquot, and four tickets) to primo $5,000 seating arrangements at Shade Lounge (featuring magnums of Dom Perignon Luminous and Belvedere, as well as admission for 10). Call 602-405-0099 for reservations. Special room packages are also planned and include a variety of posh perks and amenities. See www.wscottsdalehotel.com/newyears.
Mon., Dec. 31, 8 p.m., 2012

In a culture where female nudity is revered as art and male nudity is a punch line, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that dudes can be super sexy, too. Still, women snag up almost all of the opportunities to wear very little in public. Up until this weekend, Scandalesque, a circus-themed burlesque show that celebrates sexuality, comedy and unconventional arts, mainly has focused on the ladies. But on Saturday, May 26, the girls will take a load off and let the boys do the work in Mandalesque. The dudes will perform comedy, music, dance numbers, and aerial acrobatics -- all in itty-bitty leather-bound outfits. Yowza.

Sat., May 26, 10 p.m., 2012

With few exceptions, pop lyrics have become dumber over time, even though lyricists think of themselves as having become smarter. Loudon Wainwright is modern pop's antithesis: a wryly cuttingly, often brilliant lyricist who has never taken himself too seriously -- even while tackling grave, sometimes crude subject matter. Mr. Wainwright's catalog is still unfamiliar to most, and wildly under appreciated by many more. Meanwhile, despite a decades-spanning career that has served to establish him critically as one of the most poignant American songwriters alive, Loudon's greatest success to date has come in the form of not a song, but a son. Pop music extraordinaire Rufus Wainwright is a rare example of progeny commercially outshining progenitor. Much like the late Jeff Buckley bolstered his folk singing father Tim's notoriety by virtue of his own brilliance, Rufus' achievements have served his patriarch well. Point being, you can't go wrong with a Wainwright.

Thu., May 31, 7 p.m., 2012

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