Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

click to enlarge Spend some time with some ostriches in Chandler. - CHANDLER CHAMBER OSTRICH FESTIVAL
Spend some time with some ostriches in Chandler.
Chandler Chamber Ostrich Festival

Another week is here, and there are plenty of things to celebrate. Plenty is going down on Friday the 13th and St. Patrick's Day, plus there's the Chandler Ostrich Festival, Downtown Mesa Brew Fest, and Trixie Mattel will grace downtown Phoenix with her presence. As always, check out Phoenix New Times' event calendar to stay up to date.

click to enlarge Add some musical theater to your life. - ARIZONA BROADWAY THEATER
Add some musical theater to your life.
Arizona Broadway Theater

La Cage Aux Folles

Harvey Fierstein wrote the book for musical La Cage Aux Folles, for which the actor won the Tony Award. Based on the French play and the hit 1978 French film, it’s a tale of a family, identity, and acceptance, laced with plenty of splashy song and dance numbers.

Arizona Broadway Theatre will perform the musical at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Tickets prices vary. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Time to party hard. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Time to party hard.
Benjamin Leatherman

Party Hard Wrestling

Party Hard Wrestling is unlike any other indie wrestling promotion in Arizona. Aspects such as violence, mayhem, and hyperbole common to the world of sports-entertainment are imbued with humor, shenanigans, and rowdy fun at PHW’s events. For proof, check out the title of Party Hard’s latest card, Bash at the Clash, which parodies pro wrestling’s penchant for naming its events after violent-laden phrases.

There’s also tongue-in-cheek humor at the event itself, which takes place on Friday, March 13, at the Nile Theater. The eight-match event will feature tag team action starring the Bayside Besties (a pair inspired by Saved By the Bell) and a five-way bout involving characters like Super Beetle and the Macho Mouse. PHW’s Champion of the Multiverse Mr. Classic faces off against Kikutaro in the main event. Bell time is 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 for kids 12 and under, $15 for adults. Benjamin Leatherman

Trixie Mattel is ready to be a grown-up. - NEW TIMES ARCHIVE
Trixie Mattel is ready to be a grown-up.
New Times Archive

Trixie Mattel

Trixie Mattel is the Dean Martin of drag queens. She acts in film and TV, performs stand-up comedy nationwide, and writes and records music. (Not to mention she has a cosmetics line, so beat that, Dino.) She’s bringing every trick in her designer bag to the Valley as she presents her Grown Up variety show. The massive outing not only features comedy as well as song and dance routines but also “ambitious reveals, costume changes, and wigs on wigs on wigs.” You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll likely be amazed at how anyone does all that with a foot-tall bob of hair.

The show is set for 8 p.m. on Friday, March 13, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams Street. Tickets run from $39.50 to $175, and include several VIP packages featuring a meet and greet, Trixie-themed swag, and autographed headshots. Chris Coplan

Mid-Century Is My Muse

Writer and humorist Charles Phoenix is the Ambassador of Americana, having spent a career chronicling and celebrating the food, fashion, and lore of midcentury America. But why read about the past when Phoenix is bringing those retro vibes to life as part of his Mid-Century Is My Muse tour. This trip down memory lane is a nostalgic celebration of “classic and kitschy American life and style,” with Phoenix touching on everything from “space-age style” and car culture to roadside attractions and foods. It’s like traveling back to 1956, only without breaking the laws of physics or worrying about the Cold War.

Phoenix visits the Valley on Friday, March 13, at the Third Street Theater at the Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 North Third Street. “Dapper dress” is encouraged, but nothing with mustard stains should suffice. Tickets are $40. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge Maybe keep the ostriches off the rides. - CHANDLER CHAMBER OSTRICH FESTIVAL
Maybe keep the ostriches off the rides.
Chandler Chamber Ostrich Festival

Chandler Ostrich Festival

The music festival season is upon us, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mix it up a bit. Check out the first day of the three-day Chandler Ostrich Festival between 11 a.m. and midnight on Friday, March 13. It’s happening at Tumbleweed Park, 745 East Germann Road in Chandler. Start by checking out the ostrich exhibit, where you’ll learn all about the big birds’ longtime presence in Chandler.

The festival also features more than 40 rides, including classics like carousels and Ferris wheels, plus animal, art, science, and circus attractions. The band 98° perform on the main stage Friday night. Single-day tickets for adults are $15, and ride tickets are $1 each. Only service animals are allowed, so leave your pets at home. Lynn Trimble

Sneaker Con

Sneakerheads of the Valley, rejoice. The Phoenix Convention Center, 100 North Third Street, will transform into a Mecca of fresh footwear on Saturday, March 14, during Sneaker Con. Hundreds of sellers and vendors offering a slew of stylish kicks await you, including an overabundance of Jordans, Yeezys, Air Force Ones, and Chuck Taylors. Rarities, variants, and vintage shoes will also be available for purchase, as will a variety of streetwear and accessories. Beat your feat down to the event, which runs from noon to 7 p.m. Admission is $20 per person. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Here come the brides. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Here come the brides.
Benjamin Leatherman

The Brides of March

Picture this scene: a chaotic mass of men and women dressed in wedding gowns engaging in drunken antics, including singalongs, footraces, and playful banter. Is this a scene from the latest reality TV shitshow? Nope. Just a sample of the nuptial-themed bar crawl known as The Brides of March.

The annual event, organized by the Arizona Cacophony Society, sees males and females alike donning wedding regalia and touring the bars of midtown and downtown Phoenix. It pokes fun of bridal culture, and (like most Cacophony Society events) is an excuse to drink heavily.

Brides of March 2020 starts at noon on Saturday, March 14, when participants will gather at Charlie’s, 727 West Camelback Road, before boarding the light rail bound for other nearby bars. It’s free to join in the fun, although you’ll have to pay for the drinks and dress. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Decisions, decisions. - DOWNTOWN MESA
Decisions, decisions.
Downtown Mesa

Downtown Mesa Brew Fest

Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve been the main drag in Mesa. The Downtown Mesa Brew Fest is a perfect excuse to swing back that way so you can see all the ways it has evolved. Head to 1 North MacDonald Road on Saturday, March 14, if you want to explore Mesa’s emerging brewery scene, sample the food truck offerings, enjoy relaxing game time, and hear some live local music.

The festival runs from 1 to 6 p.m. It’s free, but tickets for 12-ounce pours are $5 each (cash only). Expect nonalcoholic drink options, too. The music lineup includes Jacob Morris, Some Dark Hollow, and Kyle Phelan, plus DJ My God Complex. While you’re there, scope the local art offerings from sculptures to murals. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Irish eyes are smiling. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
Irish eyes are smiling.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

St. Patrick's Day Parade and Faire

It’ll be shamrocks galore during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Faire on Saturday, March 14. Head to Third and Sheridan streets if you want to watch the parade, complete with floats, bagpipers, and Irish dancers. The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. and the faire runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Margaret T. Hance Park, 67 West Culver Street.

You can expect song and dance on three stages. There will also be Irish food, beverages, step dance classes, tea ceremonies, and plenty of activities for the wee ones. There’s even a book sale, craft beer tastings, and a bit of genealogy thrown into the mix. Faire admission is $12 for adults. Lynn Trimble

Ain't no Palooza like an ArchiePalooza. - SIMEON ELSON
Ain't no Palooza like an ArchiePalooza.
Simeon Elson


There’s little exaggeration in saying Archie Bradley is a local legend. As such, his friends, family, and teammates at the Arizona Diamondbacks are celebrating Bradley’s contributions by organizing the second annual ArchiePalooza. This all-day family-friendly event is described as a “street carnival feel with an Archie Bradley twist,” and features live music, tailgate games, and food and drinks. If you’re into competition, there will be golf, archery, and ax throwing contests. The only thing not fun about this event is that they didn’t call it Saint Bradley’s Day or Archie Gras.

Archie’s big day is set for 4 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, at the Arizona Boardwalk, 9500 East Via de Ventura in Scottsdale. Tickets range from $10 to $100 VIP packages featuring drinks, meals, and a commemorative tee. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge Time to prep for Pride. - NAN PALMERO/CC BY 2.0/VIA FLICKR
Time to prep for Pride.

Miss and Mister Phoenix Pride

Each year, the Valley’s LGBTQ community helps select Miss and Mister Phoenix Pride to serve as much-needed cultural ambassadors. But forget elections, or even a Hunger Games-style battle royale: The local royalty can only be chosen via the wonders of a pageant. There’ll be dancing, a little Q&A, some talent showcases, and, if we’re really lucky, at least some amount of R-rated puppetry. Plus, proceeds from the show help benefit the Phoenix Pride Scholarship Fund.

The pageant is set for 3 to 10 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, at the Doubletree by Hilton, 2100 South Priest Road in Tempe. There’ll be food and drink available (cash and credit are accepted). GA tickets are $15 or snag a VIP table for 10 for $200. Chris Coplan

click to enlarge Roughing it at Camp Dreamtree. - ROY WASSON VALLE
Roughing it at Camp Dreamtree.
Roy Wasson Valle

Scottsdale Arts Festival

If you like a little sunshine with your art, make your way to the Scottsdale Arts Festival at Scottsdale Civic Center Park, 3939 North Drinkwater Boulevard in Scottsdale. Your last chance to check it out this year is Sunday, March 15, when festival hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Single-day tickets are $12 for adults.

Expect art by more than 180 artists, including several based in Arizona, plus plenty of live music, food vendors, and children’s activities. This year’s highlights include Camp Dreamtree, an interactive art installation created by local artists Roy Wasson Valle and Koryn Woodward Wasson of Fireweather Studio. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Expand your horizons. - ERIC FISCHL GALLERY
Expand your horizons.
Eric Fischl Gallery

'Mono + Mono: Drawn to Print'

Expand your local art horizons at Eric Fischl Gallery, one of many Phoenix galleries located off the beaten path at Phoenix College, 1202 West Thomas Road. It’s hosting free opening receptions for two new exhibits from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Monday, March 16. The openings typically draw a fascinating mix of local creatives, in addition to highlighting art you haven’t seen rotated around every arts space in town.

The “Mono + Mono: Drawn to Print‘’ exhibit includes monoprints by Wade Carter and Harold Lohner, who deliver an intriguing mix of materials and subject matter. “Carrying On” features works by George Strasburger, who puts a classic twist on modern themes. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge All in for Irish culture. - LYNN TRIMBLE
All in for Irish culture.
Lynn Trimble

St. Patrick's Day at the Irish Cultural Center

There’s more to St. Patrick’s Day than drinking green beer. The Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library, 1106 North Central Avenue, has plenty of Irish offerings to prove it. It’ll be celebrating with a free event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, in its distinctive center modeled after a Norman castle. Head over to explore live entertainment, genealogy resources, crafts, family storytime, and more. Bring money for extras like Irish tea and the book sale. If you circle back that night between 5 and 8 p.m., you can try a beginner’s class in family-oriented Irish dancing. The Ceili dance event costs $6, and you can buy beverages at the bar. Lynn Trimble

The Crescent Ballroom in downtown Phoenix. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
The Crescent Ballroom in downtown Phoenix.
Benjamin Leatherman

Let's Pretend There's a Beach 2

It doesn’t take much time living in Phoenix to recognize we’re without a beach. Until now, that is. The return of warm weather means Crescent Ballroom is once again transforming into a beach right in the very heart of downtown. Let’s Pretend There’s a Beach 2 will feature a slew of musical performances, including Like Diamonds, Pearl & The Oysters, Herbert Walker, and The Summoning Orchestra. There will also be a photo booth, live visuals by Dirty Work, a limbo contest, and plenty of tubular beach vibes. And if you come home with 11 pounds of sand in your shoes, what’s the big deal?

This 21-and-over event is set for 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Tickets are $8 in advance and $12 at the door. Chris Coplan

Gracie in her (tax) bar. - GRACIE'S TAX BAR
Gracie in her (tax) bar.
Gracie's Tax Bar


As a rule, drunken karaoke is mostly about vanity and making strangers believe in your modicum of singing talent and musical savvy. But sometimes, it can be used as a genuine force for good. Case in point: Care-E-Oke, a monthly series of karaoke events held at Gracie’s Tax Bar. The evening benefits an as-yet-undetermined local charity, with the bar contributing donations as well as $1 from every Miller High Life sold. And remember, even if you set out to perform in the name of a good cause, there are several rules to proper karaoke. For instance, avoid songs from overly technical singers (think Mariah Carey), and when you mess up a lyric, just dance it out. Care-E-Oke is set for 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, at Gracie’s, 711 North Seventh Avenue. Chris Coplan

Geeks Night Out/ Tempe STEAM Festival

Don’t let anyone ever tell you education isn’t fun. (Unless it’s geometry. Blergh.) Already in its ninth year, the Geeks Night Out/Tempe STEAM Festival is a family-friendly celebration of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. There will be scientific and technical demonstrations, live entertainment and musical performances, and a slew of hands-on activities, with topics ranging from coding and robotics to solar-powered vehicles (because acts of geekery are boss).

This free event is set for 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, at the Tempe Community Complex, 3500 South Rural Road in Tempe. Chris Coplan