Let's say you're looking to stretch your brain, laugh your butt off, and stroll through some of Phoenix's loveliest historic homes. Sound about right? Good. Because that's exactly what this week's best events offer. Now, it's up to you to put these plans in motion (or find a few more options on New Times' calendar of events).
Whether you’re fighting through an NFL hangover or a case of the Mondays, Mill Avenue’s Blasted Barley Beer Company has the cure: beer and bragging rights.
The locally owned microbrewery hosts weekly trivia on Monday nights at its 404 South Mill Avenue location in Tempe. School all your friends and a selection of strangers starting at 7:30 p.m.
Placing in the top three earns each team a coveted gift card, valued at $30 (first place), $20, or $10. And with game-night menu specials like half-off wing platters and select pitchers, that card will pay for plenty of rounds.
Sip on a Blasted Wit and take everyone to school during this free-to-play trivia event. See the Blasted Barley website or call 480-967-5887 for more. Janessa Hilliard
Matilda the Musical has been running in London’s West End for five years, and the U.S. tour is now visiting ASU Gammage, to the delight of those of us who never get out of town. It’s based on a charming and subversive novel by Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) in which a small bean of a girl stands up to adult bullies at home and at school, making the world safer for the marginalized. So it does work sometimes, if fictionally.
The score is by Tim Minchin, a delightful Australia-born singer-songwriter whose popular hits include one with the lyric, “Praise be to magic Woody Allen zombie Superman Komodo dragon telepathic vampire quantum hovercraft Jesus.” Minchin’s next project: the musical version of Groundhog Day. Seriously.
Matilda opens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 7, at 1200 South Forest Avenue in Tempe. Tickets start at $30 at Ticketmaster or 480-965-3434. Julie Peterson
So, you think you’re funny? Prove it on Wednesday, February 8, during Drop-in Improv Class at the Comedy Spot, 7117 East Third Avenue in Scottsdale.
This hilarious how-to is for everyone, from those struggling with public speaking to stand-ups trying out situational comedy or improv veterans looking for more stage time.
The weekly 6 p.m. classes are led by actor and comedian Sean Dillingham, who has appeared in FOX’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine and spent time studying with the legendary Los Angeles improv and theater company the Groundlings, whose famous alumni include Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, and Will Ferrell.
Participation is $10 to play, $5 for a friend. No advance registration is required, but plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early. Sign up online at The Comedy Spot website or call 480-945-4422 for details. Janessa Hilliard
FuckUp Nights Phoenix, which began last fall on the “International Day for Failure,” is a monthly un-conference and outside-of-the office party for those who want to learn from failure — with drinks.
Think of it as a fun, after-hours PowerPoint presentation (yes, they do exist) from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, February 9, featuring stories from Terrance Martin, a master’s graduate with a background in entrepreneurship and global management; Julia Garcia, founder of The Rewrite Project and winner of the Audience Award at Seed Spot’s biannual “Demo Day”; and Aaron Hopkins-Johnson, owner of Lawn Gnome Publishing, who has worked with arts and culture nonprofits for more than a decade.
Bring your business cards (and sense of humor) to Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. Attendance is free, but registration is encouraged at Eventbrite. Janessa Hilliard
Arizona Drag Stars
Save RuPaul’s Drag Race for your weekend binge-watching, and venture downtown to get up close and personal with a group of wickedly fierce performers from the local drag scene.
Get righteously entertained by the ultra-glamorous Arizona Drag Stars. Nevaeh McKenzie, Luna Love St. James, Barbra Seville, Eddie Broadway, Mya McKenzie, and Dee Jae Galaxy all have at least one thing tucked under their belts: tons of experience entertaining crowds with their diverse talents. Their respective fashion skills aren’t anything to shake a stick at, either. Hair, clothes, and accessories — these ladies are on fucking point. On Thursday, February 9, they’re gonna shake things up with a full night of performances that include comedy, live singing, and seriously sassy behavior. Get ready to get rowdy and raunchy at 9 p.m. sharp at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Admission is $10 in advance online and $15 at the door. Call 602-716-2222 or visit Crescent Ballroom's website. Amy Young
Still sitting on a pile of unsent thank-you notes from the holidays? Mackenzie Lind of Unika Collections may have just the thing to get you excited to send those off. On Thursday, February 9, Lind will be leading a Modern Calligraphy Class at the Farm at South Mountain, 6106 South 32nd Street. Plus, this class is Galentine’s Day themed, so ladies, we’re looking at you. From 6 to 8 p.m., you’ll learn the fundamentals of the art and walk away with everything you need to create your own style. The class is $70, and tickets and more information can be found at the Unika Collections website. Evie Carpenter
Read on for more things to do this week — including a romantic ballet, historic home tour, and appreciation for our neighbors to the north.