13 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix, November 28 to December 4

Plans? They're right here. From lectures on old-timey sea beasts and flamenco festivals to a healthy helping of William Shatner and some holiday-approved theater-going, New Times has rounded up the best events this week has to offer. (Though you'll find more still on our curated online calendar.)

"Sea-Lore of Old France"
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts urges patrons to “Discover France” this season, with offerings ranging from hip, beatnique-style musical performances to kickass cooking events, screenings of overlooked contemporary films, and, on Monday, November 28, a presentation called “Sea-Lore of Old France.” Anthropologist Sharonah Fredrick of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies will illuminate one of the world’s legendary creatures of the damp: a pissed-off freshwater mermaid named Mélusine, from whom the ability to claim descent remains a badge of honor among some pedigreed French folk. Mel’s New World analogs will make an appearance, as well.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. on Stage 2 at 7380 East Second Street. Admission is free, but reservations are requested. Visit or call 480-499-8587. Julie Peterson

Silent Book Club
Book clubs and booze are a great combination. But bars are noisy, and if you are an introvert, you probably don’t want to have too much social interaction, anyhow.

Changing Hands Phoenix has the solution, however, with its Silent Book Club. At 6 p.m. on Monday, November 28, the bookstore is extending its happy hour pricing and offering 15 percent off your first book purchase so readers can enjoy a relaxing hour of quiet time with drinks. There’s no pressure to finish, or come up with a clever analysis. Just get lost in a good book.

Admission is free to the event at 300 West Camelback Road. For more information, call 480-730-0205 or visit Michael Senft

"John Coleman: Past/Present/Future"
Tip your cowboy hat to John Coleman, award-winning member of the Cowboy Artists of America, as Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West presents an exhibition titled “John Coleman: Past/Present/Future.” Coleman’s work blends his passion for American mythology and Native traditions with his love for story, metaphor, and history.

See works in charcoal, graphite, oil, and bronze spanning more than four decades from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29, at 3830 North Marshall Way. Museum admission is $13, and includes access to several additional exhibitions. “John Coleman: Past/Present/Future” continues through May 31, 2017. Visit Lynn Trimble

Twist Your Dickens
When it comes to holiday entertainment, magical and awe-inspiring is one way to go, but it gets old fast. Irreverence is a refreshing palate-cleanser. The gang from A Christmas Carol gets to try out its comedy chops in Twist Your Dickens, brought to us by Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort, writers from The Colbert Report who created the show for Second City a couple of years back. We’re particularly interested in the sketch that pays a visit to the Island of Misfit Toys, as that was the name of our house in grad school.

Phoenix Theatre’s production continues through Saturday, December 24, at 100 East McDowell Road. Showtime on opening night, Wednesday, November 30, is 8 p.m. Tickets start at $30 at 602-254-2151 or Julie Peterson

Alli Ortega Empty Bowls 2016
Local middle and high school students have been busy making ceramic bowls for the Alli Ortega Empty Bowls 2016 event on Wednesday, November 30, which raises money for Vista Del Camino Social Services, a Scottsdale group that provides emergency food, clothing, and shelter to Scottsdale residents in need. Ortega was a community volunteer who died in 2014 at the age of 31.

Show up at the Scottsdale Community College cafeteria, 9000 East Chaparral Road, between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., then buy your favorite bowl for $10. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (while supplies last), they’ll fill your bowl with a modest pasta meal at no extra charge. Go at noon to hear speakers including Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane. Visit Lynn Trimble

A Christmas Story
From frozen tongues and puffy snowsuits to pink bunny jammies and a beloved BB gun, the crazy-popular 1983 film A Christmas Story is jam-packed with episodes that, now that we mention it, make fantastic musical production numbers. Ralphie’s daydreams are even more lively when everybody’s tap-dancing or elaborately costumed, and the surreal kick line of multiple “leg lamps” must be seen to be believed. “Enthusiastic” is a word that comes to mind.

Peoria’s Arizona Broadway Theatre presents the musical onstage through Wednesday, December 28, at 7701 West Paradise Lane. Ticket prices, which may increase with demand, range from $80 to $98. (Non-dining seats are also available.) Showtime on Thursday, December 1, is 7:30 p.m., with dinner served at 5:30 p.m. Call 623-776-8400 or visit Julie Peterson

Read on for a documentary film fest, flamenco, and your weekly dose of William Shatner.