New Times picks the best arts and culture events in metro Phoenix from February 5 through 7.
“Screaming Hand 30th Anniversary Show”
Thirty years later, Jim Phillips Sr.’s Screaming Hand can still be heard loud and clear.
Even those with feet planted firmly on the ground will recognize Phillips’ designs, as synonymous with skateboard culture as companies like Independent Trucks, Vans, and Santa Cruz Skateboards. The “Screaming Hand 30th Anniversary Show” pays homage to that ubiquity: a sort-of re-imagined retrospective, its artistic spirit still rooted in the alternative.
Forty international artists created their own interpretation of Phillips’ angsty logo art, while event organizers Cowtown Skateboards also tapped Valley talent to try their hands at, well, the Hand. Painter and founder of Apache Skateboards, Douglas Miles; JJ Horner, who’s designed insole art for Converse; Colton Brock, third-generation Arizonan and first-generation painter; Immaculate Tattoo’s Aaron Coleman, and the part-paint, part-mixed media Molten Brothers duo will all display work.
Check out the free, one-night-only event from 6 to 10 p.m. on First Friday, February 5, at Monorchid, 214 East Roosevelt Street. For details, visit www.facebook.com/events/158327391202195. Janessa Hilliard
If Walt Whitman were around today and he launched his "Song of Myself" as a tweet storm, there's no doubt that he'd garner mad retweets. That we are large and we contain multitudes makes capturing exactly who we are a challenge, which is inherently acknowledged in by the title of Terrance Hayes' 2015 collection of poems, How To Be Drawn. The lauded 2014 MacArthur Fellow, whose Lighthead won the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry, creates poems that act as layered canvases where rumination on American life, blackness, masculinity, music, pop culture, and identity converge.
The University of Arizona Poetry Center presents Hayes at the Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue, on Friday, February 5. This free event starts at 7 p.m. Visit www.poetry.arizona.edu for more details. Jose Gonzalez
The Notebook Has No Legs
The Notebook Has No Legs would be a great title for a French absurdist drama, but that’s not what it is. It’s the latest All Puppet Players show for grownups, lampooning the most glorious turn-of-the-century romantic weepie, Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook.
The play stars Ryan Gooseling, a goose (Canada goose, apparently) who looks a lot like the goose who was in Top Gun: Live, Abridged and Completely Underfunded. Hmm, and the female lead looks a lot like the puppet (Canada puppet, apparently) from Fifty Shades of Felt. Well, that’s stardom.
If you swoon at the thought of all that woodworking, making out, and yelling – oh, the yelling! – snag a seat to the opening night of this world première at 8 p.m. Friday, February 5, at Playhouse on the Park, 1850 North Central Avenue. Performances continue through Saturday, February 20. For tickets, $18 to $50, call 602-254-2151 or visit www.tickets.phoenixtheatre.com. Julie Peterson
"Origins: Chapter I"
We know what you’re thinking: The third episode of the rebooted X-Files is where things really fell into place, it’s so good now, omg just think about aliens for, like, one second, will Scully and Mulder get back together, where is their kid anyway? Right there with you, pal, and instead of rattling off theories to your very bored spouse, you might want to bring them with you to Aztec Smurf’s art show at The Hive, 2222 North 16th Street. His new body of work, called “Origins Chapter I” just so happens to touch on some of your current faves, including the intersection of ancient knowledge with religious icons and extraterrestrials. Get ready to geek out at the reception, which runs from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, February 5. For more information, see www.facebook.com/thehivephoenix. Becky Bartkowski
Georges Bizet’s Carmen is an opera full of lust, along with other heightened emotions such as jealousy, fury, and overall passion. It has an aria or two that you’d recognize (“Toreador-a, don’t spit on the floor-a”), which will make you feel like a genius. So it’s a good choice if your opera-craving chops are not what they might be. If, on the other hand, you have an educated and nuanced appreciation of the form, thanks for reading this paper.
Arizona Opera points out that Carmen is three hours, 20 minutes long and that this production is set during the Spanish Civil War. Does that mean Hemingway will stroll by? Ask the fortune-teller.
Use the cuspidor-a at Symphony Hall, 75 North Second Street, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 5. Performances continue through Sunday, February 7. Tickets are $25 to $160 at 602-266-7464 or www.azopera.org, where there’s a synopsis – just sayin’. Julie Peterson
If you don’t know anything about Arizona’s racist history, it’s time to get educated. In honor of Black History Month, North Town, a documentary about the history of a segregated black community in Mesa, Arizona, will screen at Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 North Central Avenue. North Town includes interviews with residents of what is now the Washington-Escobedo Park neighborhood about their connections to the national Civil Rights Movement and their experiences with segregation and racism in Arizona. Following the screening, there will be a discussion with filmmaker Bruce Nelson facilitated by Clottee A. Hammond.
North Town will screen from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, February 6, at Burton Barr Central Library. Admission is free. For more information, call 602-262-4363 or visit www.phoenixpubliclibrary.org. Katrina Montgomery
Monster Energy AMA Supercross
Supercross is a dirty sport. Like, literally dirty. In the days leading up to the Monster Energy AMA Supercross competition on February 6, about 500 truckloads of dirt will be dumped inside University of Phoenix Stadium and shaped into giant ramps, brutal turns, bone-rattling washboards, and 70-foot jumps. The soil will be soft, rock-hard, rutted, muddy, or sandy, depending on what portion of the track the 20 to 40 riders racing at any given time are tackling. The riders will sweat profusely and breathe in copious amounts of dust as they undertake one of the most physically demanding activities around, and you’ll have a perfect view of it all from your clean, pristine stadium seat.
Get dirty at Monster Energy’s AMA Supercross at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, February 6, at University of Phoenix Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive in Glendale. Tickets start at $20 for adults and $10 for kids aged 2 to 12. Call 623-433-7101 or visit supercrosslive.com for more. Zach Fowle
Looking Over the President’s Shoulder
Before Lee Daniels’ The Butler, inspired by real-life White House butler Eugene Allen, came to our movie screens, a one-man show about Alonzo Fields, the real-life White House butler who hired Allen, took to the American stage. Adapted by James Still from Fields’ memoir, Looking Over the President’s Shoulder follows a career that spanned the presidencies of Hoover, FDR, Truman, and Eisenhower.
Fields’ pre-Brown v. Board of Education career didn’t feature the civil-rights tumult of Allen’s, though the Great Depression and World War II weren’t exactly a picnic. His memories are brought to life by Walter Belcher, who recently played Billy Flynn in Phoenix Theatre’s Chicago.
Black Theatre Troupe’s production of the play, directed by Pasha Yamotahari, continues through Sunday, February 21, at the Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 East Washington Street. For tickets, $32, visit www.blacktheatretroupe.org or call 602-258-8129. Showtime on Saturday, February 6, is 8 p.m. Julie Peterson
If you’re having dinner at a Phoenix restaurant and you catch notorious mobster Sammy the Bull Gravano strolling through, it’s cause to raise an eyebrow.
It definitely gives reporter Joya Bonner a jolt. She’s the main character in Funeral Hotdish, the new mystery and award-winning journalist Jana Bommersbach. The book finds Gravano in the federal Witness Protection Program while maintaining a profitable career as a drug lord. Bonner becomes determined to shut down his operation. Bommersbach won awards in 2004 for non-fiction articles she penned on the infamous crime figure. She visits to sign copies from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 7, at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard, in Scottsdale. Admission is free; the book is $26.95; purchase required. Call 480-947-2974 or visit www.poisonedpen.com. Amy Young