It's not you, it's us.
You were really, really hot, we'll admit, perhaps more so than any summer we can remember. And sure, you had your perks – we'll miss the lighter traffic on our morning commutes, and the weekend escapes to cool, breezy hikes up north were downright pleasant, and, of course, the heavily-discounted deals on local resort staycations made us feel like high rollers. But no amount of trips to AC-blasted grocery stores or $11 poolside piña coladas or reclining seat movie theaters could truly make us compatible (besides, your blockbusters this year stunk).
OK, fine. It is you. You're clingy and persistent; overbearing and stifling. We always had to do what you wanted. Did you ever consider that sometimes we didn't feel like hibernating inside just to maintain a normal body temperature? Netflix and chill took on a new, very un-sexy meaning with you.
#1: “Extra Layers” at MonOrchid Gallery, September 29
Almost every artistic medium gets repped at this young, urban event – there’s a fashion show featuring styles by Sillin Inc., Ecosavage and Urban Style Boutique; an interactive art display by My Boy B blogger Brandon Greer; poetry readings by Jay Tatum, Chantell Monique and Banq Fortune; music from DJ Godzilla; and even champagne and hor d’oeuvres. Presented by local creative collective Square 1 Phx. $10 in advance; $12 at the door. 7-10 p.m. September 29 at MonOrchid Gallery. monorchid.com
Every four years, two things happen: The United States holds a presidential election and the Summer Olympic Games take place. While election coverage has dominated the headlines for months on end, for a couple of weeks in August, five pint-sized powerhouses managed to distract us. They were the U.S. women gymnastic team at the Rio games, dubbed “The Final Five”: 2012 Olympians Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas, along with first-time Olympians Madison Kocian, Laurie Hernandez and Simone Biles. We held our breath and marveled at every tumble and vault, twirl and landing. They were invincible and they stole our hearts.
Now that the Olympics are in the rearview mirror, the Five will take part in the 36-city Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions, an exhibition of more than 30 gymnasts, including members of the men’s and women’s 2008, 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic teams as well as other world-class gymnasts. If you’re one of the many fans who caught Final Five fever this summer, you’ll have a chance to see them let loose in a non-competitive setting.
On Thursday, Sept. 22, the tour will stop at Gila River Arena in Glendale. Tickets start at $28.50 and go up to $143.50. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit kelloggstour.com.
#1: Brazilian Day Festival at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, September 24
Brazil’s Independence Day and Carnival are feted at this festival featuring live music, costumed characters, dancers, films, art and more. $15, adults; $7, children 11 and younger. 2 p.m.-10 p.m. September 24 at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. sccarts.org
German techno pop pioneers Kraftwerk were the cream of the “krautrock” scene in the early 1970s, and last night, they demonstrated why they remain one of the most influential musical groups in history.
The setting: The gorgeous, historical Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Phoenix. With its Baroque Revival architecture, magnificent murals and molding, and balcony seating, this former vaudeville venue (built in 1929) provided classy, old world ambience for the show. Perfect for purveyors of art pop.
Have you ever wanted to check out a ballet performance, but aren’t ready to shell out the dough for tickets? Don’t get me wrong – performing arts groups need paying patrons, but Ballet Arizona has been making it possible for Valley residents to get a taste of arabeques and pirouettes for free over the past 18 years in order to foster an appreciation of ballet as an art form.
Spontaneous cinematic magic – and messes -- can happen when you give groups of Phoenicians a line of dialogue, a prop, and a requirement to make a three-minute film (including titles and credits) in 48 hours. Such is Welcome Diner’s recipe for its Dinerfest film challenge – plus beer and fried food, of course. Now on its fourth fling, the festival is so popular people fill bleachers on the diner’s lawn in summer to see who will win the year’s Best Film Award and cash prize. Sponsored by Downtown Phoenix, Inc. and Pabst Blue Ribbon. $1 PBR tall cans all night. 6 p.m. September 14 at Welcome Diner. welcomediner.net
Although music-centric eat-and-drink spots seem to be universal and plentiful, the few that grace Phoenix with their tunes are unique and far between. From dueling pianos and impromptu stage crashers to the traditional sound of the Wurlitzer organ, the “piano bars” and restaurants across the Valley won’t leave you flat.
“If Aphra Behn were here tonight, I hope she’d forgive our trespasses,” the groovy hippie chick says in the prologue, touching a white marble bust perched nobly next to a hot pink lava lamp with a zebra-striped base.
So opens Liz Duffy Adams’ play “Or,” in which there are many trespasses -- terrific trespasses and glorious liberties, which historical muse Aphra Behn, if she be anything like legend and this character portrayal, would no doubt forgive but downright appreciate. The play is an entertaining exploration of themes including identity and disguise, feminism and sexuality, and societal paradigms, built around a fascinating female figure from the literary canon and packed with witticisms and dashing dialogue. And Southwest Shakespeare Company’s production of “Or,” is a buoyant and brilliant testament to the talent of the company.
Bring your best improv ideas to the cast of Emmy-nominated show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” on their tour, and you could contribute to the crack-ups. Cast members Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Jeff B. Davis, and Joel Murray will perform 90 minutes of gut-busting on-the-spot skits and songs, with the help of audience suggestions. $32-$52. 7:30 p.m. September 11 at Mesa Arts Center. mesaartscenter.com
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