American Pastorela: The Saga of Sheriff Joe at Phoenix Center for the Arts (Friday)
For many, portly symbols of the holidays conjure up images of St. Nick and Frosty. Not for James Garcia, New Carpa Theater's founder and playwright, who's added Joe Arpaio to the list with American Pastorela: The Saga of Sheriff Joe. James Rivas plays Sheriff Joke in the topical seasonal tale. "He's got a nice, big gut," says Garcia of Rivas, "and can do that gross John Wayne [voice] that Sheriff Joe does." Mixing satire with immigration issues, American Pastorela tells the tallish tale of the deal Arpaio strikes with the Devil following a fatal heart attack: his life in exchange for stopping the Hernandez family from getting to Bethlehem by way of the Phoenix Light Rail. 7:30 p.m., $8. (1202 North Third Street, 602-262-4627) -- Laura Hahnefeld
11th Anniversary Party at Chasers (Saturday)
Not many remnants from 1998 are still alive and kicking these days, and that's goes doubly so for local nightspots. Back in those days, joints like Club Rio, Nita Hideaway, and Club Freedom were the shizzle. And they've gone the way of the dodo years ago. Chasers, on the other hand, still has it going on and will celebrate its 11th year of existence this Saturday night with music from Cousins of the Wize, Green Ears, Horizon I, Year of the Moth, Ninja Fish, and others. Three Olive Vodka and Miller High Life promos will also be offered. 7 p.m., $5. (8005 East Roosevelt Street, Scottsdale, 480-945-4985).
Chopper John's Birthday (Saturday)
Speaking of birthday parties, its been one year since CenPho dive joint transformed from the 26th Street Blues Bar into the biker-centric Chopper John's. It owners are planning a big blowout with music from Whiskey Dogz, Wooden Nickel, and The Green Lady Killers. 8 p.m., free (2547 East Indian School Road, 602-955-0881)
Que & Brew at Emerald Design Center (Saturday)
Sure, Arizona lacks certain amenities, but for those of us with ancestry of the redneck type, the dearth of barbecue ranks among the most egregious failings. Funny, too, given the history of this gol-danged place, that you really have to seek the shit out. Usually. Those with hick in their blood can simply follow their schnozzes on Saturday, December 5, to the inaugural Que & Brew: An Official Triple Crown Event BBQ State Championship. Officially sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society, the event features a cook-off with pro and backyard "throw-down divisions," a Four Peaks Brewery-sponsored beer garden, and tubs more fun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; admission is free, but tasting tickets are $2. (8425 South Emerald Drive, Tempe, 602-363-5196) -- Clay McNear
Christkindlmarkt in Downtown Mesa (Saturday)
We love the Christmas season here at New Times. Every winter we go for strolls along the snowy downtown streets, singing merry carols. We always visit with Christ, who lives beneath the underpass on 15th Avenue. He tells us all about loving thy neighbor and the breaking of bread and how we can do all sorts of unsavory things to our mothers if we don't give him change. This year, we're doing something different. We're heading to Christkindlmarkt, the traditional German Christmas market that's being held in downtown Mesa on North Macdonald Street near Main Street. There'll be all sorts of Teutonic delights, including dance, music, and Glühwein (hot mulled wine). 11 a.m., free.
Domestic Arsenal at Mesa Arts Center (Sunday)
Usually, we like to keep things smart and snarky, but today, we're thinking it's better to reign it in a bit. Reason being is that the Mesa Contemporary Art exhibition "Domestic Arsenal" showcases Eileen Doktorski's sobering work that approaches, dismantles, and investigates domestic violence. Her pieces combine found household objects into sculpture and installations that are cast as the terrifying weaponry in an abusive world. Wall panels that display news clippings and reports of domestic violence surround the works. It's an entire gallery that references human trauma and certainly isn't an art show for the light hearted. 10 a.m., $3.50 (1 East Main Street, Mesa) -- Lilia Menconi
The Kickback at Padre's Modern Mexican (Sunday)
How's this for a lazy Sunday-afternoon experience? Hang out with Power 98.3 personality Karlie Hustle and the hottie divas of the Fresh Fiends on the funky and laid-back patio of Padre's Modern Mexican Cuisine, 1044 East Camelback Road, while resident DJs M2 and Tricky T spin downtempo, hip-hop, electro, and old school with special guests like William Fucking Reed (who will be in the house on Sunday, October 25). To complement this chillax fest, $2 domestic drafts, $3.50 margaritas, $4 Sangria, and $5 Corralejo shots will be served. (A $5 Mexican food menu will also be available.) The Blunt Club's Adam "Dumperfoo" Dumper will also be on hand to transform canvases into masterpieces. Add all this awesomeness up and you'll end up with The Kickback, a weekly unwind session that will put you in the perfect mindset for the unending hell that the workweek will undoubtedly bring. 2 p.m., $5. (1044 East Camelback Road, 602-277-1749)