#1: Viva PHX at various locations, March 12
In one night, 65 bands will perform at 15 venues around Downtown Phoenix for this second-annual audio extravaganza. A sonic spectrum of national acts including edgy electro duo Crystal Castles (pictured), seminal garage punkers Rocket from the Crypt, a DJ set by Biz “Just a Friend” Markie, hip-hop and breakbeat godfather Afrika Bambaataa, and Brooklyn-based indie rockers Beach Fossils will blast across the stages, along with performances by some Arizona favorites including indie rock band Lydia, avant jazz-punk outfit Playboy Manbaby, global-music ensemble Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, and eclectic multinstrumentalists Dry River Yacht Club. $22 general admission, $45 fast pass (priority access at venues). 7 p.m. March 12 at multiple venues. vivaphx.com
Combining Hamlet, Doctor Faustus, and Martin Luther and creating a comedy is the equivalent of mixing lead, nickel and iron and making gold. Playwright David Davalos has indeed achieved theatrical alchemy in this über-literary romp packed with witticisms that fly as fast as Hamlet’s tennis balls (more on that later).
#1: Paint PHX at various locations, March 4-6
More than half a dozen of Phoenix's finest artists will paint the town red – and a kaleidoscope of other colors – in this citywide, artist-organized event. Over the course of two days, areas around Phoenix including 16th street between Van Buren and Thomas roads, Roosevelt Row, and Grand Avenue will get multiple new murals decked across their walls, courtesy of such aerosol artisans as El Mac, Pablo Luna, Lalo Cota, Thomas “Breeze” Marcus, Angel Diaz and Jeff Slim (pictured: Slim's mural from the 2015 Paint PHX event). Free. facebook.com/paintphx
Phoenix may not have the same “sports town” reputation as Chicago or L.A., but thanks to our gorgeous weather we have one thing other cities can’t offer baseball fans: spring training. Come March, the Phoenix metro area becomes home base for 15 teams including the Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Lorien Krueger, 33, sets a large, blocky speaker on the dry grass of a soccer field at Kiwanis Park in Tempe. She syncs her phone via Bluetooth and sets it down. Ten players peruse a variety of “weapons,” varying in lengths and shapes.
#1: Canal Convergence: Water + Art + Light at Scottsdale Waterfront, Feb. 25-28
Now in its fourth year, this annual al fresco arts extravaganza will fill the Scottsdale Waterfront between Soleri Bridge and Goldwater Boulevard with 12 large-scale artworks. They include “Blooms” by British artist Bruce Munro (seven circular arrays of one hundred, 10-foot multi-colored fishing rods, which glow in the evening); “Spiraling Droplets” by L.A. artist Aphidoidea (a collection of 10-foot-high buoys arranged in a whirlpool formation); artist Edina Tokodi's mixed-media “Billboard Mindscape” (freestanding wooden panels featuring triangular modules filled with living plants); and the interactive “Your Secret Is Safe with Me” by artist Christopher Jagmin, in which strangers share their sealed, written secrets with each other inside the privacy of the installation. Myriad workshops are offered, including free dance worskhops led by renowned dance collective Pilobolus. Free admission. 5-10 p.m. Feb. 25-26, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Feb. 28, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 28. canalconvergence.com
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