It's time to plan up, Phoenix. Fill up those calendars this week with a nighttime ballet performance, making eye contact with strangers for science, and hearing from proud B-list actor Bruce Campbell. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' curated calendar.
“Mechanization, Material, and the Matrix”
Artists have always relied on diverse materials to bring their creative visions to life. But today’s technology affords new ways of formulating ideas — and creating and sharing work.
Explore how creatives mesh technology with more traditional approaches in the new “Mechanization, Material, and the Matrix” exhibition at ASU’s Harry Wood Gallery, 900 South Forest Mall in Tempe.
Participating artists include Sydney Allendorf, Kimberly Callas, Madison Creech, Miranda Clark, and Stephanie Gonzales.
Collectively, these artists’ work reveals how technology is used and addressed by contemporary artists, and it explores the infinite possibilities for dialogue between technology and material. The exhibition is on view through September 29. Hours on Thursday, September 21, are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit the ASU Events page. Lynn Trimble
Melrose Third Thursday
The Melrose shopping district along Seventh Avenue shares its name with a popular Los Angeles retail destination. But theirs doesn’t have Charlie’s Phoenix or Wag ’n’ Wash.
That gay country bar and pet goods store are just a couple of the interesting local businesses on this strip. For a closer look at what the area has to offer, the monthly Melrose Third Thursday event offers extended hours at many of its shops and restaurants, as well as some added live music, family-fun events, outdoor vendors, and food trucks.
Kick off your weekend a day early at this neighborhood party from noon to 8 p.m. on September 21 in the Melrose District, which runs along Seventh Avenue between Indian School and Camelback roads. Admission is free. Visit the Melrose Third Thursday website. Amy Young
A breakout star of the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Tatianna proved you could be “sweet in the streets and a freak in the sheets” as she sashayed her way to stardom. The 28-year-old diva proved again and again she was a threat to her fellow competitors. Her scarily accurate portrayal of Britney Spears during a round of “Snatch Game” won her the hearts of judges (and the internet) and drew contempt from her competitors.
Now you can see the Washington, D.C., native and All-Stars 2 queen take the runway in person, alongside Nevaeh McKenzie, Coco St James, and Claudia B.
You better work starting at 10 p.m. on Thursday, September 21, at Charlie’s Phoenix, 727 West Camelback Road. There is no cover charge, but a meet-and-greet photo op costs $10. For more information, visit the Charlie's Phoenix website. Jason Keil
Fall home decor typically falls somewhere between two extremes: the decked-out Halloween home with spiderwebs, jack-o-lanterns, and skeletons; or the quaint autumn look featuring orange leaves, scarecrows, and everything pumpkin spice.
Wherever your taste lands on that spectrum, you can find all things fall at the Wicked Faire. Visit Sweet Salvage, 4648 North Seventh Avenue, on Friday, September 22, to see what’s in store. But don’t delay: The themed vintage sale is only open through Sunday, September 24.
The shop opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. For more information on the free-to-attend marketplace, visit the Sweet Salvage website. Lindsay Roberts
If you’re the nosy sort who loves to hear personal reveals that make people tick, find a seat at one of the many storytelling events happening around town.
The Storyline Collective’s Storyline Slam will give you a deeper look at storytellers’ lives as they give personal accounts tied to a central topic. Friday, September 22’s show theme is “Fresh,” and it has storytellers performing in a slam-style competition. You can get involved, too. Anyone with a story to share based on the theme can have six minutes to run their mouth. The audience does the judging, and the story with the most points at the end of the show is the winner, taking home a cash prize.
Share or judge at 7 p.m. at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road. Admission is $8 at the door or $6 in advance. Call 602-274-0067 or visit the Changing Hands website. Amy Young
Unity Kickoff Festival
When talking about Tempe as an arts and culture hub, you’ll often find yourself speaking in past tense. Mill Avenue’s long been a stretch dedicated to clubs and restaurants instead of venues where musicians can pour their hearts out.
But the collective Unity Through Community wants to prove that artistic expression isn’t dormant in the college town. To jump-start their mission of providing the tools creatives need to connect, they’re putting on the Unity Kickoff Festival, a showcase of Tempe talent. Scheduled performers for the two-day event include national electro-funk musician Marvel Years, Japhy’s Descent, Banana Gun, painter Deon Doughty, and burlesque performer Ana Marie Bendova.
Everything comes together on Friday and Saturday, September 22 and 23, at Shady Park, 26 East University Drive. Admission is $15 for a single-day pass and $20 for both days. For more information, visit the Unity Through Community website. Jason Keil
Coronado Art Show
Visiting The Hive Gallery will put you smack in the middle of the Calle 16 mural scene — and a neighborhood that’s filled with creative types.
That’ll be especially true when the Hive presents the 2017 edition of its annual Coronado Art Show. It’s designed to showcase work by artists who’ve lived or worked in the Coronado neighborhood, located north of McDowell Road between Seventh and 16th streets. This year’s lineup features 30 artists working in diverse media, including Christine Cassano, Phil Freedom, Janel Garza, Maggie Keane, Ed Taylor, and Mykil Zep.
Check it out on Friday, September 22, during the free opening reception from 7 to 10 p.m. The show continues through Sunday, October 15, at 2222 North 16th Street. Visit the Hive Facebook page. Lynn Trimble
Lasers and Liquor
Music geekery meets science nerdiness when the Arizona Science Center hosts Lasers and Liquor on Friday and Saturday, September 22 and 23. During the events, songs by Pink Floyd will sync up with multicolored laser projections. Saturday’s event will toss some Led Zeppelin into the mix.
Along with two laser shows each night, the Center will offer trivia and karaoke in its planetarium. The first laser show starts at 8 p.m. and the second at 9:30 p.m. at 600 East Washington Street. During the event, the concessions area will have beer, specialty cocktails, and snacks available for purchase. Tickets to each show are $10, and you get $2 off for the second show if you buy tickets to the first. To find out more, call 602-716-2000 or see the AZ Science Center website. Laura Latzko
Ballet Under the Stars
“Free ballet” is not a rallying cry to spring the dancers from their brutal captivity, appealing as that proposition may be. It’s an annual treat from your friends at Ballet Arizona, which presents Ballet Under the Stars at Valley parks through Monday, September 30, free of charge. This year’s fully staged program includes two George Balanchine-choreographed works from the 1950s: Western Symphony (featuring cowboys, horses, and saloon girls) and Square Dance.
On Saturday, September 23, the tutus will shake at Steele Indian School Park, 300 East Indian School Road, beginning at 7 p.m. The family-friendly event may be under the stars, but it’s over nothing but lawn, so bring a blanket or a chair. Visit the Ballet Arizona website or call 602-381-0184. Julie Peterson
World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment
Most of us are already plenty awkward, but if you’re hoping to welcome even more awkwardness into the mix, look no further than the World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment.
In an effort “to rebuild our sense of shared humanity,” the event’s organizers — The Liberators International — have put together a worldwide event in which strangers gather to stare unflinchingly into one another’s eyes for a minute at a time.
Perhaps it will serve its purpose of instilling peace and unity. It could also reinforce precisely why we go to great lengths to avoid eye contact with complete strangers in the first place. You be the judge starting at 10 a.m. at Encanto Park, 2605 North 15th Avenue, on Saturday, September 23. Visit Eye Contact Experiment website for details on this free event. Rob Kroehler
Urban Ale Trail
Want a craft beer tasting with a side of adventure? Mark your calendar for the Urban Ale Trail on Saturday, September 23. During the self-guided walking tour, you can visit different bars and restaurants in the downtown area, and try a variety of craft beers while getting a feel for local spaces and neighborhoods close to the light rail. From 1 to 6 p.m., participating establishments will have sample-size brews available for purchase, with costs ranging from $1 to $2.
The event has no designated starting point, but the District American Kitchen and Wine Bar, 320 North Third Street, will give away growlers to the first 300 visitors. Along with beer samples, snacks and appetizers will be available for purchase. Expect street tacos, pretzels, stuffed tater tots, ceviche, grilled cheese bites, peppers in ponzu, pulled pork tostados, pizza, and potato skins. Some locations will also have live music or DJs. For more information, visit the Urban Ale Trail website. Laura Latzko
What happens when activists confront systemic racism? It’s a question at the heart of Más, a play that portrays the real-life controversy surrounding a Mexican-American studies class in Tucson.
The Arizona legislature banned the class in 2010, claiming it promoted both resentment towards “a race or class of people” (meaning white people) and overthrowing the U.S. government. In August, a federal judge in Arizona deemed the ban unconstitutional. That’s good news for activists, but it’s only part of the story.
Written by Milta Ortiz and directed by Marc David Pinnate, Performance in the Borderlands’ presentation of the play depicts how that ban affected people’s everyday lives. It’s a revealing glimpse into ways systemic racism affects the struggle for social justice.
See Más at 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 23, at Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 North Third Street. Tickets are $15. Visit the Cultural Coalition website. Lynn Trimble
Ultimate Wine Run
At the Ultimate Wine Run, you can whine before the 5K jaunt and wine after.
The 3.1-mile run takes place throughout the stadiums at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, 10710 West Camelback Road. After the run, there will be an after-party with music, food trucks, a mechanical bull, and as much wine as you can drink.
The gates will open at 4 p.m., and the running starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 23. Registration for the race ranges from $20 to $45. Admission to post-run festivities is free. Register at the Ultimate Wine Run website. Lindsay Roberts
“Infinite Light: A Photographic Meditation on Tibet”
Twelve thousand feet. That’s the elevation of Tibet, where Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Marissa Roth created poetic depictions of her 2007-2010 travels through the autonomous region of China that borders India and Nepal.
Now, those photographs — including images of art, nature, and Buddhist practices — are part of an exhibition called “Infinite Light: A Photographic Meditation on Tibet.” It’s a series of 72 images, presented in their original sequence. Roth used Kodachrome film, which reveals dramatic highlights and deep shadows that punctuate the visual landscape of duality and contradiction.
See “Infinite Light” on Sunday, September 24, from noon to 5 p.m. at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue. It’s free with museum admission, which is $18 for adults. The exhibition continues through February 18, 2018. Visit the Phoenix Art Museum website. Lynn Trimble
Ginger, Sporty, Baby, Posh, and Scary. Not just adjectives to describe your latest Tinder hook-up, those are the Spice Girls’ nicknames, the ’90s pop stars who blew up with the release of the single “Wannabe.”
A giant cherry atop their sundae of success was starring in their own movie, Spice World. The ladies play themselves in this Hard Day’s Night-style romp, which finds the band frustrated with the trappings of success days before a big performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
What you want — what you really, really want — is to celebrate the 1997 musical comedy’s 20th birthday with an 8 p.m. screening on Sunday, September 24, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Admission is $9. Call 602-595- 9187 or visit the FilmBar website. Amy Young
Arizona Cardinals v. Dallas Cowboys
There are few professional sports teams that Arizonans despise more than the Dallas Cowboys. This isn’t exactly earth-shattering news; the Cowboys have long been one of the most polarizing sports franchises around. Their fans charmingly refer to them as “America’s team,” and if you look up “smug” in the dictionary, you’ll likely find a picture of the well-veneered Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones.
To make matters worse, the Cowboys are actually good again after years of paltry play — which Cardinals fans relished immensely. Moreover, the Arizona Cardinals lost their most potent offensive weapon in running back David Johnson, who was injured in week one.
The prognosis is grim for the Cards as they host their rivals at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, September 25. Tickets are $200 and up. Visit the Cardinals website or call 623-433-7101 for details. Rob Kroehler
Kiss and Tell
Until you think about it, you might not expect “frothy midcentury stage comedy” and “chronic slut-shaming” to go hand in hand. Once you do think about it, though, it seems natural that audiences of 1943 flocked to relish the hilarious, rumor-plagued antics of 15-year-old Corliss Archer in J. Hugh Herbert’s Kiss and Tell, at Gilbert’s Hale Centre Theatre through Tuesday, November 14. (Child star Shirley Temple played Archer in the film version.)
The plot’s almost Shakespearean when it comes to the convoluted misunderstandings and the innocent truth, and it includes the familiar situation of your parents thinking your BFF is a bad influence. Showtime is 7 p.m. on Monday, September 25, at 50 West Page Avenue. Tickets are $20 to $32 at 480-497-1181 or the Hale Theatre website. Julie Peterson
Star Trek Trivia
If you’re a fan of Star Trek (any of them), it’s a given that you know a bunch of trivia. Trot that erudition out of the house and clean up in a minor way at Star Trek Trivia at Valley Bar on Tuesday, September 26.
The 21-and-over event offers theme prizes and $1 off craft beer cans. We don’t want to give our readers an unfair advantage, but we’ll just say if you’re choking, pin your hopes on the Enterprise captain’s brain and/or body being taken over by someone or something malevolent — you can’t go too far wrong.
Sign up at 130 North Central Avenue starting at 7 p.m. The spirited (bar joke!) competition begins at 8. Admission is free. Visit the Valley Bar website or call 602-368-3121. Julie Peterson
WWE’s SmackDown Live
Big personalities, intense storylines, and high-flying action continue to make WWE’s SmackDown Live popular among wrestling fans. At 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, September 26, the show will visit Gila River Arena. During the event, you can see fan favorites such as WWE Champion Jinder Mahal, U.S. champ AJ Styles, SmackDown women’s champion Natalya, and tag-team champs The Usos.
The live show will also feature top-rated superstars like The New Day tag team, former NBA dancer and diva Naomi, and mixed-martial artist Shinsuke Nakamura. The event takes place at 9400 West Maryland Avenue, and tickets start at $20. For more information, call 623-772-3800 or visit the Ticketmaster website. Laura Latzko
Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher
Take My Wife, the semi-autobiographical comedy from Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher, has wrapped its second season. Unfortunately, the groundbreaking series doesn’t have a platform to stream the episodes because its previous home, Seeso, has closed up shop.
As fans eagerly refresh their Twitter feeds for any news about the show’s future, they also have the opportunity to see the married (to each other) comedians on their “Back To Back” tour. Esposito and Butcher will take the stage separately to chat about love, individuality, politics, and pop culture. Then, the duo will end the evening by performing new material together.
A night of hilarity awaits at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, September 26, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Tickets are $35. For more information, visit the Crescent Ballroom website. Jason Keil
Geek superstar and actor Bruce Campbell embodies cool — from his perfectly coifed hair and iconic chin to any of the badass characters he’s portrayed, ranging from Ash in the Evil Dead series to Elvis Presley in Bubba Ho-Tep.
Campbell’s other endeavors over the years have been just as cool, including writing books like 2001’s If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor. Its sequel, Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor, debuted in 2016 and picks up where the previous tome left off.
Campbell visits the Valley on Wednesday, September 27, for a reading at the Dobson High School Auditorium, 1501 West Guadalupe Road in Mesa. He’ll also host a session of “Last Fan Standing,” a live geek-oriented game show.
Hail to the king starting at 7 p.m. Admission is $42, and includes a signed copy of the book. (Additional seats are $12, and can only be purchased in combination with regular admission.) See the Changing Hands website. Benjamin Leatherman