Kevin Smith: Hollywood Babble-On
If you’ve seen the comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, you are aware that indie director Kevin Smith hates show business and loves weed. The comic book nerd, along with actor and former radio host Ralph Garman, has crudely channeled these themes into the podcast Hollywood Babble-On. For nearly nine years, the duo have been offering their takes on the latest in entertainment news, celebrity gossip, and marijuana. The show arrives in Phoenix just in time for awards season, where they are sure to discuss this year’s crop of prestige pictures.
Light it up at 8 p.m. on Thursday, January 17, at StandUp Live, 50 West Jefferson Street. Admission is $37 with a two-drink minimum. For more information, visit phoenix.standuplive.com. Jason Keil
Struggled to get through high school history class? That’s because Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds weren’t your teachers. The comedic duo get together to reveal the truth and have a good laugh about the past on their popular podcast The Dollop. Topics can range from Harriet Tubman of the Underground Railroad to actor George Lazenby, the only actor to play James Bond once. Laugh along with them when they record a live episode at the Orpheum Theatre. Might be the only time you hear a podcast without advertisements.
The show begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, January 18, at 203 West Adams Street. Tickets are $25.50 to $73. For more information, visit dolloppodcast.com. Jason Keil
Cellos aren’t just for symphony halls anymore. Portland Cello Project is all about bringing cello music to unconventional spaces, playing music people don’t normally associate with the cello, and collaborating with musicians across diverse musical communities. It started with nine cellists performing what they thought would be a one-time gig back in 2006. Now they’re touring with a repertoire of over 1,000 pieces. You can hear them perform music from Radiohead’s iconic OK Computer album at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 18, at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard. Tickets start at $38.50. Visit mim.org. Lynn Trimble
“Pussy claws back!” It’s a mantra you might hear during the 2019 Women’s March in Phoenix, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 19, at the Arizona State Capitol, 1700 West Washington Street. Expect speakers, music, performances, food trucks, and plenty of inspiration. Organizers have partnered with March For Our Lives and Red for Ed, so common-sense gun reform and education funding will be part of the conversation. The march is free, and there are a few FYIs worth noting: no pets (only service animals), signs without support sticks are best, and parking won’t be pretty. Nix your large bags or backpacks, and make friends with public transportation. Visit facebook.com/womensmarchphx. Lynn Trimble
Stavros Halkias ruptured a tendon in his foot last year, but that didn’t slow down the proudly portly comedian from posting nude selfies on his Instagram account. Now the only thing covering the co-host of a podcast whose title might be the one thing even we can’t print is the bandage on his foot. The online nudity is in support of Halkias’ efforts to promote body positivity even though his own struggles with his diet are part of his act. He brings his unrestrained stand-up to Valley Bar with a routine dubbed “The But the Breakfast Tour.” Local comic Anwar Newton will be the opener.
The show begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 19, at 130 North Central Avenue. Tickets are $18 to $20. For more information, visit valleybarphx.com. Jason Keil
Friends of the Chandler Public Library launched the Chandler Multicultural Festival in 1995, hoping to help community members learn more about the city’s rich cultural diversity. Today it’s part of the city’s annual Celebration of Unity event honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. This year’s festival happens between 2 and 9 p.m. on Saturday, January 19, at the city’s downtown stage, located at 178 East Commonwealth Avenue. The Chandler Film Festival is showing short films with civil rights themes at 7 p.m. The free event also includes art, music, and dance. Bring your blanket or lawn chair, plus money for food and drinks. Visit chandleraz.gov. Lynn Trimble
There’s a beautiful color palette inside Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, where shelves are filled with books in Spanish and English, and the walls are lined with artwork. Check it out on Saturday, January 19, when the bookstore’s POC It to Me: POC Open Mic Night runs from 6 to 9 p.m. It’s an evening filled with poetry, storytelling, music, and other creative offerings by people of color (hence, the POC title). Everyone age 18 and up is welcome, and there’s a single guiding principle: no hate speech. It’s a free event, but donations will go to the evening’s performers. Visit palabrasbookstore.com. Lynn Trimble
The Humana Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon is back with another pairing of races and rock music, including the 5K race taking place from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, January 19. The Tempe course starts at the Mill Avenue Bridge, then finishes at Rio Salado Parkway and Ash Avenue. Saturday’s lineup also includes the marathon’s health and fitness expo at Phoenix Convention Center, 100 North Third Street. Head over to North Hall A and West Halls A-D between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday to check out vendors focused on running gear, nutrition, training, and other topics near and dear to runners’ hearts. Visit runrocknroll.com. Lynn Trimble
Haul out your best spy wear, because Mystery in the Museum: The Counterspy Code is returning to Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street. It’s an espionage-theme evening filled with intrigue that includes searching for symbolism in artworks to help solve a mystery. It starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday, January 19. Tickets are $15 per person or $25 per pair, which includes light eats. Naturally, there will be a cash bar, in case you think a drink or two might sharpen your powers of deduction. No actual espionage experience is required. Just wear black, and look really pensive while you’re solving puzzles and cracking codes. Visit smoca.org. Lynn Trimble
The entirety of the moon will be obscured by the earth’s shadow during the evening of Sunday, January 20, resulting in an awe-inspiring sight to behold. It’s the first total eclipse of the moon visible over Arizona in several years, and can be seen from anywhere in our state with just the naked eye. The eclipse will commence at 7:39 p.m. and reach totality at 10:12 p.m.
If you’d like to witness the magnificence up close, the Astronomy Club of Verrado will offer a special lunar eclipse viewing party starting at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday at Redmond Ball Field, 20895 West Hamilton Street in Buckeye. Telescopes will be set up for viewing the eclipse and local astronomers will also discuss the cosmic mechanics of what’s happening in the heavens above. The free event is open to the public. See theastronomyclubaz.com for more. Benjamin Leatherman
Founded in 2014 by Arizona-based artists Angela Ellsworth and Steven Yazzie, the Museum of Walking “fosters relationships between people, land, action, and site” through group walks, exhibits, and other activities. Their next contemplative walk, the January Full Moon Walk, takes place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Arizona Falls, 5802 East Indian School Road. It’s a chance to walk silently with others while experiencing the local landscape, and to consider the ways walking together can deepen community while heightening divergent thinking. It’s a free event, but you should RSVP online so organizers know you’re coming. Visit museumofwalking.org. Lynn Trimble
Ever wish you had more time to explore the local music scene? You can see dozens of Arizona-based bands perform during PhxArt Amplified: Volume 2, happening from noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday, January 20, at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue. The lineup includes Jerusafunk, Las Chollas Peligrosas, RPM Orchestra, and plenty more. Visual artists and dancers are taking part, too. So add Liliana Gomez, Sierra Joy, Tyson Krank, and Nicole Olson to the list of local legends whose work you can explore that day. Performances take place throughout the museum, and you can check out the exhibits while you’re there. Tickets are $23 in advance, or $28 day of show. Visit phxart.org. Lynn Trimble
Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the MLK March and Festival on Monday, January 21. The march starts at 9 a.m. at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, 1401 East Jefferson Street, and proceeds to Hance Park, 1202 North Third Street. The festival, which elevates the importance of cultural diversity and civil rights, happens from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hance Park. The festival lineup includes speakers and entertainment. Both events are free, but bring money for food and drinks. It’s a chance to meet other people who champion civil rights, and explore ways you can walk the talk moving forward. Lynn Trimble
Ava DuVernay’s film Selma isn’t just a Martin Luther King Jr. biopic. It’s also about a march that changed the momentum of the civil rights movement, with a game-changing portrayal of the iconic leader by David Oyelowo that should have earned him an Academy Award nomination. After the film, there will be a discussion led by the East Valley NAACP.
This special screening begins at 6 p.m. on Monday, January 21, at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Tempe, 1140 East Baseline Road. Admission is $8 with a portion of the proceeds going to the East Valley NAACP. For more information, visit drafthouse.com. Jason Keil
Tyler Perry's Madea's Farewell Play Tour
Before Tyler Perry’s Diary Of A Mad Black Woman became a huge hit, he took his work on the road. He would put on a purple dress and go onstage as Madea, the gun-packing grandma that launched his career into the stratosphere. The writer and director is saying goodbye to the character in 2019 with a new movie and a touring production called Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Farewell Play Tour. The actor isn’t tired of putting on Madea’s wig and glasses; the 49-year-old recently said in a statement, “I just don’t want to be her age playing her.”
Say goodbye at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 22, at Comerica Theatre, 400 West Washington Street. Tickets are $48.50 to $98.50. For more information, visit comericatheatre.com. Jason Keil
Lay down the tarp and turn up the Huey Lewis and The News, because the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Tempe is bringing American Psycho back to the big screen for a movie party. Christian Bale plays a Wall Street banker with a great business card, but it can’t get him a reservation at the best restaurant in Manhattan. The soullessness of his shallow yuppie lifestyle leads him to shift his focus to murders and executions. This controversial and violent satire takes an unflinching look at what horrors the ’80s created.
Sharpen your axe at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 22, at 1140 East Baseline Road in Tempe. Admission is $12.43, which includes props you can use at the event. For more information, visit drafthouse.com. Jason Keil
March on West
ASU launched March on West back in 1991 as a way to honor Martin Luther King Jr. This year’s march takes place Wednesday, January 23, on the ASU West campus, 4701 West Thunderbird in Glendale. Marchers, who will include hundreds of middle school students re-creating MLK’s historic 1963 march in Washington, D.C., will set out from the Paley Gate at 11 a.m. and march to the Sands/Kiva Courtyard on campus. The march concludes with a re-enactment of MLK’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech by prolific, award-winning interdisciplinary artist and ASU faculty member Charles St. Clair. It’s free and open to the public. Visit asuevents.asu.edu. Lynn Trimble
Michelle Obama: Becoming
In a recent poll, Michelle Obama was named America’s most admired woman, which may explain why her memoir Becoming is such a huge bestseller. Through empowering stories, the former First Lady looks back on her working-class childhood in Chicago to her rise as a crusader for families to live more active lives. Grab a beer at the First Draft Book Bar as moderator Barbara VanDenburgh leads a discussion of this powerful book.
The conversation begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23, at Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road. The book is $32.50 at the event location, but this is a free event. For more information, visit changinghands.com. Jason Keil
Who doesn’t love tamales and art? Enjoy both at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue, during Ancestral Tamales with chef Maria Parra Cano. It’s a tamale-making demonstration, with tastings, taking place at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23. The chef will be sharing the process of making tamales, along with tips for creating traditional Mexican dishes using plant-based ancestral foods, which is the focus of her local Sano Sano Foods business. Born in Phoenix, the chef and community organizer holds a culinary arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale. The demonstration is $10. Visit phxart.org. Lynn Trimble
It’s often overlooked, but American music is filled with indigenous inspirations, influences, and artistry. They’re the subject of a film called Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, which is being screened from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23, at Tempe History Museum, 809 East Southern Avenue. The film features musical artists such as Jackson Browne, Quincy Jones, Steven Tyler, and Stevie Van Zandt. All knew and played with artists profiled in the film, who include Robbie Robertson, Buffy Saint-Marie, Link Wray, Jesse Ed Davis, and more. This free screening of the PBS Independent Lens documentary is being presented by ASU Project Humanities, which works to facilitate conversations across diverse communities. Lynn Trimble
Brooklyn 99 Trivia Night
Fans of Brooklyn Nine-Nine can use their knowledge of the show (which was rescued from cancellation by NBC) to win cash and prizes. The Ultimate Human/Genius is a quiz night with questions about the first five seasons of the funniest cop show since … ever. Put down your game of Kwazy Cupcakes and gather some of your “noice-est” friends together and study up on the cases of Detectives Jake Peralta and Rosa Diaz, preferably while eating some yogurt (because Terry loves his yogurt).
The hijinks ensue at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23, at Bonus Round, 24 West Camelback Road, Suite DE. Each participant must pay $5 to play, with six people maximum to a team. For more information, visit geekswhodrink.com. Jason Keil