Nerd Culture

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Feel the rhythm at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.
Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra
Feel the rhythm at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

Don't be lame. This weekend you can have a bitchin' time at ’90s Bar Crawl, support your scene at Live and Local Fridays, or watch the carnage of Party Hard Wrestling. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar.

Live and Local Fridays
Maybe you’ve seen big-name artists play the fancier venues around town, and wished more Phoenix-based bands got that same opportunity. It’s happening over at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street, where there’s a series called Live and Local Fridays. Head over at 8 p.m. on Friday, September 7, to hear Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra perform their unique blend of jazz, funk, soul, and African rhythms created with trumpet, trombone, saxophone, guitar, bass, keyboards, congas, shakers, and more. Think West African sounds, chanted vocals, and sophisticated percussion, all from this vibrant 16-member ensemble. Tickets start at $12. Visit the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts website. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Actors rehearse The First Annual Bookburners Convention, premiering at Space55 on September 7. - JOHN PEROVICH
Actors rehearse The First Annual Bookburners Convention, premiering at Space55 on September 7.
John Perovich
The First Annual Bookburners Convention
Working in a bookstore, whiling away the hours blabbing about pop culture sounds like a righteous employment scenario. Any job, though, can become monotonous. In the play The First Annual Bookburners Convention, the Opera Street Bookstore staff is feeling the grind. Excitement happens via a strange customer who sells them a bizarre book. Turns out, the tome is in demand: A sinister, non-human contingent wants it badly. This show was written and directed by the Zoni award-nominated team behind last year’s dark comedy, Ear — Ashley Naftule (a Phoenix New Times contributor) and Dennis Frederick. Naftule says the show is like “a lost Twilight Zone episode with a killer soundtrack.” The show goes on at 8 p.m. on Friday, September 7, at Space 55, 1524 North 18th Avenue, and runs through September 30. Tickets are $20. Visit the Space 55 website. Amy Young

click to enlarge The Party Ranger, better known as Party Hard Wrestling's current "champion of the multiverse." - MEGAN MURRAY
The Party Ranger, better known as Party Hard Wrestling's current "champion of the multiverse."
Megan Murray
Party Hard Wrestling
Party Hard Wrestling is unlike any other indie wrestling league in the Valley. For starters, there’s the name, which references the music and ethos of rocker Andrew W.K. Then there’s the fact that PHW dubs its titleholders “champions of the multiverse.” They emphasize humor and currently feature a character called the Party Ranger as the main hero and champ.

This weekend, PHW will get even more unique when they kick off their third season on Friday, September 7, at the Nile Theater, 105 West Main Street in Mesa, during Party Kingdom. The event will feature the latest matches in an ongoing tournament to crown Party Hard’s new Charizona State Champion. Elsewhere on the card, the Party Ranger will defend his belt against a man “from one of the sleaziest corners of the multiverse.”
Party on starting at 7:30 p.m. General admission is $15 and kids 12 and under are $8. See the Party Hard Wrestling website. Benjamin Leatherman

Phreekn First Fridaze
At most dance nights, DJs use tunes to get bodies moving on the dance floor. However, at this weekend’s Phreekn First Fridaze affair at the Yucca Tap Room, 29 West Southern Avenue in Tempe, local selector DJ KNS Bigandbad uses music videos to drive the party.

A nonstop stream of music vids will play over the monitors inside the Yucca’s side lounge during the monthly event, which takes place on Friday, September 7, offering a mix of “flix and beatz,” not to mention a laidback vibe, to get people in the mood. According to the event’s Facebook page, the theme of night is to allow folks to “let it all hang out after a long week.” We’re definitely down for that.

The Phreekn fun starts at 10 p.m. and goes until 2 a.m. Admission is free. Call 480-967-4777. Benjamin Leatherman

Free Weekend
Visit the Arizona Science Center on the dime of your local grocery store on the weekend of September 8 and 9. General admission is free of charge at the multi-story science center located in downtown Phoenix, so take advantage of the free weekend — ordinarily, nonmembers have to pay $18 for adults and $13 for kids. The center is offering reduced prices for the planetarium and giant screen theater, where viewers can marvel at shows about the solar system and volcanoes. And if you flash your Fry’s membership card, you can also get special offers at the science center’s gift shop and cafe. The science center is located at 600 East Washington Street and hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the Arizona Science Center website. Joe Flaherty

Freshen up your look by making your own scarves. - SOUTHWEST GARDENER
Freshen up your look by making your own scarves.
Southwest Gardener
Artisan-Dyed Silk Scarves Class
Soon it’ll be time to transition to your fall wardrobe, which means you can sling a scarf over that tank top. Instead of grabbing something from your closet, or heading to the nearest department store, try making your own at Southwest Gardener, 300 West Camelback Road. That’s where artist Alice Sweeney will be teaching her artisan-dyed silk scarves class from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 8. The $65 class includes materials for making two scarves, including one made with dye paper, and another created with dye from Sharpie markers. For $13, you can add lunch. Visit the Southwest Gardener website. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge You'll find the Second Saturday Arts Market near this sculpture. - LYNN TRIMBLE
You'll find the Second Saturday Arts Market near this sculpture.
Lynn Trimble
Second Saturday Arts Market
There’s a new place for local artists to show and sell their work. Once each month, the Open Air Market adjacent to Phoenix Public Market, 14 East Pierce Street, will include a Second Saturday Arts Market. It’s a new twist on the farmers market presented every Saturday, from 8 a.m. to noon, by a nonprofit called Community Food Connections. The first arts market happens on September 8. While you’re there, look for Jesse Perry’s veggie-theme mural at Phoenix Public Market, and a public art installation called Bloomcanopy, designed by Brooklyn-based Matter to double as a shade structure. Visit the Phoenix Public Market website. Lynn Trimble

Turtle power. - COURTESY OF THE '90S BAR CRAWL
Turtle power.
Courtesy of the '90s Bar Crawl
’90s Bar Crawl
Growing up, did you wear ripped jeans, baggy pants, a bucket hat, a tube top, a long chain, a flannel shirt, or dungarees? Maybe you listened to alternative rock bands like Nirvana or Pearl Jam or hip hop groups like the Wu-Tang Clan. At the ’90s Bar Crawl on Saturday, September 8, you can sport your favorite old school fashions as you party with other ’90s kids in Downtown Phoenix. You will receive a commemorative cup, koozie, and slap bracelet. Participating bars will offer drink specials of $3 to $5 on beers, cocktails and shots and play ’90s music throughout the day. Registration goes from 3 to 5 p.m. at The Churchill, 901 North First Street, and tickets are $30 to $40. For more information, go to the ’90s Bar Crawl website. Laura Latzko

Legally Blonde
Lead character Elle Woods dons a suit and briefcase when she heads to Harvard University, hoping to win back the ex-boyfriend who left her behind for law school. That’s the premise for the musical Legally Blonde, based on an Amanda Brown novel that also inspired a 2001 film. Woods charms her way into law school, then relies on brains rather than beauty to defy expectations along the way. See Mesa Encore Theatre’s take on Woods’ transformation at Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street. Showtime is 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 9. Tickets start at $32 for adults. Visit the Mesa Arts Center website. Lynn Trimble