Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Benjamin Leatherman
Posing for a pantsless photo before climbing on board.
Hey Phoenix, your plans have arrived. This weekend, you can rock out during the annual Rock Lottery, grab a drink and immerse yourself in art during Edge Happy Hour, or get weird at the Lady Gaga Ball. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

Bout to Defeat Cancer

In 2018, Valley teenager Mia Waxman was diagnosed with leukemia. As part of her ongoing recovery, Waxman’s helped others diagnosed with cancer via her Miracles in Action company. The Duce is a regular supporter of both Waxman and M.I.A., and with their latest fundraising collaboration, they’re presenting a monumental battle of the bands. The Bout to Defeat Cancer pits “duking drummers, grappling guitarists, and sparring saxophonist” against one another to raise funds for custom clothing for sick children across the Valley. Did we mention you get to party and do a good deed?

The monthly series kicks off at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 10, at The Duce, 525 South Central Avenue. General admission is free (though a donation would be keen), and ringside VIP seating is $25. Chris Coplan

Phoenix Suns

Yes, the last time the Phoenix Suns battled the Orlando Magic, the latter squad proved victorious (even though the Suns were the clear favorites). But there are some real asterisks and caveats that should certainly be attached to that December 4, 2019, outing. Like, how the Suns were without a few key players, including Aron Baynes. And let’s not forget the Magic did have the home-court advantage. Are these all excuses? Totally. But if you’ve been a Suns fan long enough, context is key in eking out those much-needed wins (moral or otherwise).

The Suns have a chance to avenge their loss at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 10, at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. Chris Coplan

The Wet Delicates performed at the 2017 Phoenix Rock Lottery. - MICHELLE SASONOV
The Wet Delicates performed at the 2017 Phoenix Rock Lottery.
Michelle Sasonov

Rock Lottery

In Phoenix, the most wonderful time of the year isn’t necessarily the holidays. Rather, there’s a case to be made for the annual Rock Lottery, in which 25 diverse musicians assemble into five all-new bands and perform songs written that very day. This year’s festivities include members of Troubled Minds, Audrey Heartburn, Whstle, Jared & The Mill, Cheap Hotels, Doll Skin, Sad Dance Party, Harper and the Moths, and Sundressed, among others. Hey, you know who really wins this lottery? We all do.

The Seventh Annual Rock Lottery goes down at 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 11, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 the day of the show. Chris Coplan

Masters of the Musical Theater

Giants like Leonard Bernstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber changed the shape of musical theater as we know it. Now these same legends are coming to the Valley — or, more precisely, their excellent songbooks. With Masters of the Musical Theater, the Phoenix Symphony and three Broadway vocalists (Hugh Panaro, Anne Runolfsson, and Scarlet Strallen) perform a slew of cuts from Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story, Gypsy, The Phantom of the Opera, and Company. If all that great music weren’t enough, think of the sheer time saved by packing five shows into one giant-sized outing.

The concert runs for three dates on Friday to Sunday, January 10 to 12, at Phoenix Symphony Hall, 75 North Second Street. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge Let's dance. - CONDERDANCE
Let's dance.

Edge Happy Hour

For most dance performances, audience members sit quietly and watch as the movement unfolds on stage. But something entirely different will happen during The Edge Happy Hour at 6 p.m. on Saturday, January 11. That’s when CONDERdance and Oh My Ears are presenting a free immersive arts experience called The Invitation at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe.

When people arrive, they’ll have the choice of sitting in the audience or participating in the performance, which will blend elements of dance, sound, and experimental music. It’s all happenings inside the venue’s spacious lobby overlooking Tempe Town Lake, where guests can also pop over to the bar for drinks and small bites. Lynn Trimble

‘Ansel Adams: Performing the Print’

One way to up your camera skills is by spending time with works by great photographers. It’s easily done at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue, where there’s a new exhibit featuring work by Ansel Adams. Born in San Francisco in 1902, the musician turned photographer had a passion for photographing nature, including national parks.

Adams died in 1984, but his work continues to inspire photographers and environmentalists. Get a good look between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 11, when you can explore the “Ansel Adams: Performing the Print” exhibit filled with worked culled from the Ansel Adams Archive at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson. It’s free with museum admission, which is $18 to $23 for adults. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Lady Gaga performing at Coachella 2017. - MATHEW TUCCIARONE
Lady Gaga performing at Coachella 2017.
Mathew Tucciarone

Lady Gaga Ball

The ONE Community Block Party for Equality is a chance to celebrate LGBTQ-inclusive businesses in the central Phoenix area. When the festival is all over, stick around for the Lady Gaga Ball. In addition to a monster-sized Gaga mix courtesy of DJ Jeffrey, the ball also features a photo booth and a lip-sync contest. And, of course, you should obviously rock a Gaga-inspired look of your choosing. Just maybe avoid her raw meat dress from the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.

The ball begins at 10 p.m. on Saturday, January 11, at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. Tickets are $10 in advance and $18 on the day of, with $1 from every purchase benefiting ONE Community. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge Still shot from Troop Beverly Hills. - ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE CINEMA.
Still shot from Troop Beverly Hills.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

Troop Beverly Hills

Forget the usual hush hush policy for Alamo Drafthouse Cinema for a while, and quote your little heart out during a special screening for Troop Beverly Hills, the 1989 cult comedy that stars Shelley Long as a troop leader with Champagne taste. It’s happening at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 11, at the Tempe location, 1140 East Baseline Road in Tempe. Tickets are $14.60, which gets you more than mere admission. You’ll also get film-inspired souvenirs, including a beret and patch. You should be at least 18 years old to attend, but kids ages 6 and up can join the fun with a parent. Expect plenty of khakis, cookies, and odes to shopping bliss. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge No pants are the best pants. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
No pants are the best pants.
Benjamin Leatherman

No Pants Light Rail Ride Phoenix

Prank-minded people of the Valley, better start picking out some snazzy-looking socks and underwear. That’s because the annual No Pants Light Rail Ride Phoenix, the ridiculous event where riders will tastefully drop trou while riding public rail transit, is happening this weekend.

The M.O. of the event is pretty much spelled out in its name. A flock of locals who aren’t wearing pants, shorts, or skirts will gather at light rail stations at either side of the Valley at 1 p.m. on Sunday, January 12, before boarding Valley Metro trains and traveling into downtown Phoenix. Participants keep their unmentionables and other clothing on (to avoid any indecent exposure) while pretending like nothing’s amiss and that they simply forgot to wear pants that day. A post-ride party will follow at a downtown Phoenix bar.

The ride is organized by the local prank group Improv Arizona and is free to participate. Benjamin Leatherman