Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Randy and Jason Sklar on the road.
Troy Conrad
Randy and Jason Sklar on the road.
There's fun to be had this week. You can share your story at The Moth: Phoenix Storyslam, find some exciting entertainment at Lucha Libre Voz's Blood Night, or eat snacks from ’85 during The Goonies Chunk Food Feast. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

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Welcome to the animal house.
Megan Leetz

The Moth: Phoenix Storyslam

Maybe your pet didn’t make David Letterman’s Stupid Pet Tricks, but we’re guessing you’ve still have some outrageous animal tales to share. Maybe it was that rattlesnake encounter while hiking, a brush with death with a shark on a trip to the beach, or a parrot who let its potty mouth rip during a party for your more refined friends. Take ‘em over to Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, for the animal edition of The Moth: Phoenix Storyslam. It’s happening at 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 15. Throw your name into the hat if you want five minutes of open mic time to share your animal story; they’ll draw names at random to decide who gets stage time. Tickets are $15, and you have to be at least 21 years old to attend. Lynn Trimble

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Before there was Twitter...
National Archives

‘The Constitution and Donald Trump’

For the 10th talk in his series titled “The Constitution and Donald Trump,” attorney and author Robert McWhirter will be discussing recent events in Trump world — including the Mueller report, tax returns, and the question of whether presidents can be charged with crimes while they’re still in office. Check it out at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 15. It’s a free event, and it just so happens that you can buy McWhirter’s book titled Bills, Quills, and Stills: An Annotated, Illustrated, and Illuminated History of the Bill of Rights while you’re there if you get inspired to learn more about the law. By the way, the talk could also veer into other topics related to headlines and social media fodder. Lynn Trimble

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What's that there?
Troy Conrad

Randy and Jason Sklar

It’s sometimes hard to stand out in the world of stand-up, considering the sheer number of comics working the comedy circuit today. Randy and Jason Sklar, however, don’t have that problem, considering they’ve got a unique shtick going. The pair are identical twins who perform onstage together, finish each other’s jokes, and have a two-man stage banter that’s hilarious to watch.

Witness their routine for yourself when the Sklar brothers play Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street, during a three-night stint that starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 15. Additional performances take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 16, and 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 16. Admission is $22 for each show and there’s a two-drink minimum. Benjamin Leatherman

Lucha Libre Voz's Blood Night

Want to see some wrestling matches that are far more entertaining and action-packed than the smackdowns that go down on TV? Bust out your best Bullet Club T-shirt and head for Sun Studios of Arizona, 1425 West 14th Street in Tempe, on Friday, August 16, for Lucha Libre Voz’s Blood Night.

Masked luchadores will face off in several matches, like when Drago battles Lucha Voz Ultra Champion Black Taurus and Chaoz and Vary Morales take on Lord Drako and a mystery partner in a tag team contest. Other grapplers (masked or otherwise) scheduled to participate include Septimo Dragon, Sairus, Hawaiian Lion, Gabriel Gallo, and Jack Evans from All Elite Wrestling.

The rope opera begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 to $30 and a meet-and-greet with the wrestlers is an additional $10. Benjamin Leatherman


When it comes to revenge films, the 1976 supernatural horror flick Carrie ranks up there as one of best. Long before The Bride wielded her first samurai sword in Kill Bill or John Wick wiped out legions of mobsters, there was telekinetically gifted teenager Carrie White’s twisted tale of cinematic payback.

If you’ve never seen the film, which was based on the novel by Stephen King, White (played by Sissy Spacek) gets deadly revenge on the mean kids at her high school after being bullied and being drenched in pig’s blood at the prom.

Relive this slice of horror at 8 p.m. on Friday, August 16, at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street, when local podcast BS Movies presents a special screening of Carrie. There will be a trivia contest for prizes and live podcast recording following the movie. Tickets are $10. Benjamin Leatherman

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Cool down at The Churchill.
Lynn Trimble

The Summer Cooldown

Expect to see some impressive rides during an ice cream social and car show coming to The Churchill, 901 North First Street, on Friday, August 16. They’re part of a free 6 to 10 p.m. event organizers are calling The Summer Cooldown, which also includes live DJ sets and a chance to check out new murals filling an adjacent alley. That’s Third Friday, by the way. So get to Roosevelt Row well before 6 p.m. if you’re driving and dreaming of finding a free parking space. While you’re out and about, check out other art offerings nearby, from street music to gallery exhibits. Lynn Trimble

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It's all in the lighting.
Republic Records

Thank U, Next: An Ariana Grande Pop Dance Party

The Valley’s Ariana Grande fans are definitely getting spoiled this year. Not only is the pop star bringing her Sweetener World Tour back to town in December (after already performing here in May), but the folks from Club ’90s are putting on a glamtastic Grande-themed dance party this weekend at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street.

The 18-and-over affair, which has been dubbed Thank U, Next: An Ariana Grande Pop Dance Party, takes place on Friday, August 16, and will feature DJs spinning her tracks, as well as a mix of other pop and R&B songs. Attendees are asked to get dolled up in Ariana-inspired looks and there will be a photo booth and free giveaways for the first 300 people.

The party starts at 10 p.m. and admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Benjamin Leatherman

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What a time.
James M Shelley/CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Creative Commons

50-Year Anniversary Celebration of Woodstock

Woodstock, arguably the most monumental music festival in history, is hitting an equally monumental milestone this month as it turns 50. And there are plenty of celebrations marking the occasion taking place across the U.S. this week, including here in the Valley.

Many of the same rock ‘n’ roll anthems that were performed back in ’69 will be performed inside The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street, on Saturday, August 17, during the 50-Year Anniversary Celebration of Woodstock.

Tribute acts The Who Experience, Creedence and Company, and the Jimi Hendrix-style act Anthony Aquarius Mystery — all of whom pay homage to legendary bands that were at the original Woodstock — will perform during the event, which starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $25. Benjamin Leatherman

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Checking out the social justice section at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore.
Lynn Trimble

Do Work That Matters!

Palabras Bilingual Bookstore is celebrating its fourth anniversary by shining a light on people and groups working for social justice in local communities. Join the fun, and learn more about what’s happening in your own backyard and beyond, during the free Do Work That Matters! event happening at the bookstore, 1738 East McDowell Road, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, August 17. Expect a day filled with performances, art, culinary offerings, and healing. From 6 to 9 p.m., Palabras will present an open mic event featuring poetry, music, storytelling, and more shared by people of color, as part of its ongoing POC It to Me series. Lynn Trimble

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Trench coats optional.
Charles Darr

Mystery in the Museum: The Cryptic Caper

Maybe you missed the casting call for your favorite detective show, but you still jump at every chance to rock your best trench coat and spy gear. You’ll fit right in at Mystery in the Museum: The Cryptic Caper, happening at 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 17, at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street, Scottsdale. It’s a chance to hone your detective skills while you work with others on solving a museum mystery with a fun twist. Tickets are $20 each or $30 for a couple. Matching trench coats aren’t mandatory, but we want to see your best selfie if you go there. Lynn Trimble

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The Senators enjoying life after high school.
z0a Photography

The Senators

Music brought The Senators, a folk band that recently traded the desert for New York’s Catskill Mountains, together as high school band geeks in Phoenix. Now they’re on tour, making music geeks everywhere burst with pride. Hear more about their adventures in music and life when The Senators, who recently collaborated with Phoenix artists the Fortoul Brothers for their latest album cover, share stories and songs at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road. They’ll be joined by several Phoenix poets and writers. It’s happening on Saturday, August 17, when doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets for the 8 p.m. event are $12, plus fees. Lynn Trimble

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Wax nostalgic with Peanuts at FilmBar.
Spotlight Cinema Networks

A Boy Named Charlie Brown

There’s a long list of noteworthy 1969 happenings, including Woodstock, the Manson murders, Apollo 11, and the founding of PBS. It’s also the year the Peanuts comic strip gang, created by Charles M. Schulz, made it to the big screen in the animated film A Boy Named Charlie Brown. It follows the adventures of Charlie Brown after he enters the school spelling bee, even as he’s berated by Lucy and cheered on by Linus and the ever-loyal Snoopy. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the beloved film at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 18, with a screening at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Tickets are $9.95, and they’ll throw in a healthy dash of nostalgia for no extra charge. Lynn Trimble

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Brittney Griner was suspended for three games.
Lorie Shaull/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr Creative Commons

Phoenix Mercury Fighting for Playoffs

It’s been a tumultuous season for the Phoenix Mercury. Its roster has been decimated by injuries, including Diana Taurasi, Sancho Lyttle, Essence Carson, and Briann January. Meanwhile, the healthy players on the court have had some trouble with rebounding and scoring. Making it even worse, star center Brittney Griner is serving a three-game suspension and Taurasi was suspended for one game for a brawl with Dallas.

Despite these issues, the Mercury are still very much in the hunt for the WNBA playoffs later this month. To lock up a postseason berth, however, they’ll need to lock down some more wins, starting with their game against the New York Liberty on Sunday, August 18, at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. Tipoff is at 3:30 p.m. and tickets are $9 to $216. Benjamin Leatherman

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Eyes on the prize.
Jim Louvau

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks have something of a dysfunctional relationship with their fanbase. The team is constantly breaking hearts with its disappointing efforts, threatening to leave town if it doesn’t get its way, and — worst of all — flirting with other cities on the sly (most recently with Henderson, Nevada).

And because locals still love the D-backs, no matter what, they’ll still keep cheering them on. They start a three-game series against division rivals the Colorado Rockies on Monday, August 19, at Chase Field, 401 East Jefferson Street. The Rox are worse off than Arizona in the National League West standings, but have beaten the Diamondbacks numerous times this year and hold an 8-5 edge in the season series. Here’s hoping the D-backs can sweep Colorado to even things out.

The first pitch is at 6:40 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $155. Benjamin Leatherman

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That time The Doors' Ray Manzarek grabbed a beer in Tempe.
Bruce Liddil

‘Time Fades Away’

Bruce Liddil moved to Tempe in 1970 so he could attend ASU. He then spent over four decades photographing everyday goings-on around town. At the time, that included popping into a record store called Odyssey, where he once spotted Ray Manzarek of The Doors holding a beer. And seeing live music at Sun Devil Stadium, where he photographed the concert made famous in the 1976 film A Star is Born. Now, Liddil’s photographs are featured in the “Time Fades Away” exhibit at Tempe History Museum, 809 East Southern Avenue, Tempe. Check it out on Tuesday, August 20, when museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Lynn Trimble

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Never hurts to stop by the book bar.
Lynn Trimble

Long and Short of It Book Club

Every other month, readers converge on Changing Hand Bookstore for the Long and Short of it Book Club, which pairs a book and a collection of stories that share a common theme. This month, they’ll discuss two titles by Chanelle Benz, and anyone is free to join them. The Gone Dead imagines a young woman discovering family secrets during a return to her childhood home in the American South. The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead explores “lives across history marked by violence and longing.” Head to Changing Hands, 300 West Camelback Road, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 20, if you want to take part. The event is free. Lynn Trimble

The Goonies Chunk Junk Food Feast

Summer is the time of pure escapist thrills, especially those found at the movies. And back in the summer of ’85, people flocked to theaters to watch seven kids from the Goon Docks of Astoria, Oregon, search for pirate ships and treasure in the Richard Donner-directed film The Goonies.

Some of those same people will be in attendance when the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 1140 East Baseline Road in Tempe, presents The Goonies Chunk Junk Food Feast on Tuesday, August 20. Patrons can watch the film while enjoying a selection of the same junk food treats seen on screen, including cheese pizza, potato chips, and a Baby Ruth candy bar. Rocky road ice cream, which is Sloth’s favorite, will be served after the feast.

Take the Goonie oath at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20.41. Benjamin Leatherman

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Time for some friendly family competition.
Lynn Trimble

Family Board Game Night

Games have been around for thousands of years, perhaps starting with simple dice and sticks made of materials like wood and stone. Even after the advent of video games, board games remained a mainstay of leisure time for families who just wanted an affordable way to relax together, albeit with a bit of fun competition thrown into the mix. If it’s been a while since you’ve bonded over Battleship or Scrabble, it might be time to head over to Booksmans Entertainment Exchange, 1056 South Country Club Drive, Mesa. They’re having a free Family Board Game Night from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, August 21. You can bring your own snacks and drinks; just promise that you’ll play nice and not unleash the crocodile tears if your kids beat you at a game of checkers. Lynn Trimble

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Getting French and fancy.
Marcy Makoviecki

French Macaron Workshop

It’s fun to get fancy when you hit the local bakery and order macarons. But there’s something special about making your own French treats and showing them off for family and friends. Mix Cooking School, located at 4995 South Alma School Road in Chandler, offers plenty of French macaron workshops so they can share the French culinary love. Learn to make the French cookies with the “intense flavors and complex textures” during a 10 a.m. to noon workshop on Wednesday, August 21. It’s a great way to meet fellow foodies, and up your cookie skills before holiday giving time rolls around.Lynn Trimble

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Victoria Joelle performs burlesque at The Lost Leaf.
Dean Goodwin

Hump Day Burlesque

If you’re only going to The Lost Leaf for First Friday concerts and art exhibits, you’re not doing it right. They’ve also got a robust lineup of offerings from poetry to burlesque performance, which you should be checking out other nights of the week. Beat the midweek slump on Wednesdays, when they present Hump Day Burlesque. It’s happening at 9 p.m. on August 21, which means you can have your fun at The Lost Leaf a full two days before people who only hit Roosevelt Row on First and Third Fridays get their acts together. Expect an eclectic mix of burlesque and vaudeville performance, which might just make you forget that Thursday even exists. Lynn Trimble