Things To Do June 11-12,2016

    10 Best Things to Do This Weekend in Metro Phoenix

    Avenue Q
    It’s Q time again! Avenue Q has become Phoenix Theatre’s equivalent of A Christmas Carol. The musical’s a wonderful twofer of giving audiences what they want and, thereby, selling tickets. And it’s a marvelous production — you might as well see it when it comes around every two or three years, because you’ll want to be delighted that frequently.

    A sort of grownups-only musical parody of Sesame Street (but existing in a world of its own), the show focuses on a group of diverse young adults who work, play, drink, angst, and hook up in their NYC neighborhood. Most of the characters are played by puppets, and the operators are also acting. Very cool.
    Much of the knockout cast from 2011 and 2014 is still on board for this year’s engagement, which runs through Sunday, July 10, at 100 East McDowell Road. Showtime is 8 p.m. on Friday, June 10. Tickets start at $30 at 602-254-2151 Julie Peterson

    Supernatural Convention
    If you aren’t down with concrud or are looking for more Supernatural signatures after meeting Timothy Omundson and Mark Pelligrino at Phoenix Comicon, take solace in the fact that another dozen stars of the long-running show will be in town as Creation Entertainment’s Supernatural Convention returns to the Valley.

    Enjoy candid spotlight panels from Sam and Dean themselves (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles), a karaoke party featuring Rob Benedict, and a concert from Benedict’s band, Louden Swain, which will feature other cast members, including Mark Sheppard. Cosplayers will have a chance to show off their talents at the costume contest.

    The convention runs from Friday through Sunday, June 10 through 12, at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel, 9495 West Coyotes Boulevard. Daily tickets range from $40 to $120, with weekend packages costing up to $1400. Autographs and photo ops are not included with daily admission. Visit for more information. Michael Senft

    Femme Fotale Release Party
    When a group of women noticed a lack of female representation in the photography scene, they developed a project called Femme Fotale. Now, they’re releasing the Femme Fotale Volume II photo book. The theme? Relationships.

    The 60-page book is a collection of work by 26 photographers from across the U.S., and it’s published by the four Femme Fotale creators (forefemmes?). The objective is to explore “relationships from emotional and abstract perspectives.”

    The free Femme Fotale Volume II Release is from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 10, at Taste of Tops – that cozy beer and wine joint at 403 West University Drive in Tempe. Sit and sip, or just admire the work. See details at, or visit

    Arte y Vino
    If you can paint a red line with one hand, and hold a glass of red wine in the other, you’re good to go for Arte y Vino with artist Kathy Cano-Murillo, better known to her massive online following as the Crafty Chica.

    She’ll be helping people paint their own masterpieces at Xico Arte y Cultura, 1008 East Buckeye Road, Suite 220, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 10. Leave your closed-up paint tubes and open wine bottles at home, because all supplies are included with your $60 workshop fee. If you’re a sloppy drunk, feel free to bring an extra apron. No painting or drinking experience is required, but make sure you register online before showing up. Visit Lynn Trimble

    Salt River Pirates
    Though there are a few more months before “International Talk Like a Pirate Day,” those who prefer to swashbuckle through life needn’t worry. Skip the “shiver me timbers” routine and act like one instead.
    Stock up on (plastic) swords, eye patches, and everything you need for a proper pirate’s life, and take to the waters of the Salt River with Salt River Tubing during their annual Salt River Pirates adventure on Saturday, June 11.

    Grab some mateys and the kids. The family-friendly affair sets sail as early as 8:30 a.m. from the terminal building, 9200 North Bush Highway in Mesa. (Last tube rental is 2:30 p.m.; last bus pickup is 6:30 p.m.) The $17 fee admits one person or tube and includes rental cost, shuttle transport, and parking. Children must be at least 8 years old and 4 feet tall to participate. For details and future events, call 480-984-3305 or Janessa Hilliard

    Smart City Hack Ideathon
    While we’re sure that you love your little corner of Phoenix, you probably have a few ideas for improvement. Well, now’s your chance to speak up at the Smart City Hack Ideathon.

    The Ideathon is a way of putting developers, city council members, related organizations, and you in the same space. The event includes a rapid-fire pitch of problems and solutions – plus lunch, beer, and some actual work – from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 11. This free, all-ages event is hosted by CO+HOOTS, 221 East Indianola Avenue, which is a “community-supported collaborative co-working space.”

    For more details, visit, call 602-688-2825, or see what’s up

    Beta Dance Festival
    Forget the ballet barre. It’s all about new and innovative works, as 16 different dancers or companies bring fresh choreography to the stage for the Beta Dance Festival at Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 North Third Street.

    It’s a chance for Valley dance audiences to experience diverse artistic voices on the local dance landscape. The festival includes works by both established and emerging dance artists working with various dance styles and movement vocabularies.

    This year’s line-up includes CONDER/dance, Melissa Britt, Fumihiro Kikuchi, Rosenkrans Dans, JAMovement, Ignite Collaborative, CaZo Dance, Anthony Kelly, MAC & Company, Shauna Meredith, Dreams of Arabia, Chelsea Ness, Emily Spranger, SWEXY Squad, All Bodies Dance Collective, and Leanne Schmidt and Marlene Strang.

    Who knows? You might end up witnessing Phoenix’s next big dance or choreography sensation. The festival starts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 11. Tickets are $15. Visit Lynn Trimble

    Since Peter Bugg joined Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the curator of programming has made a point of bringing fresh events to the museum’s hangout space, SMoCA Lounge. Formerly home to Lit Lounge, recently the nook has hosted stand-up comedy, workshops, artist talks, and — much to the delight of those looking to stretch both their minds and bodies — yoga. On Saturday, June 11, instructor Nicole Ballantyne brings to the lounge SMoCAsana, an hourlong, all-levels flow class that concludes with an exhibition tour and mimosa toast. Attendees should bring their own mats and arrive by 10:45 for the 11 a.m. class. For details and tickets ($20 per person), visit Becky Bartkowski

    “Aerosol Exalted”
    Back in the 1990s, El Mac was painting street art, sometimes illegally, in the American Southwest. Now he’s being commissioned to paint murals around the globe, from Italy to Vietnam. Talk about street smarts.
    You’ve probably seen his murals, characterized by concentric rippling lines, around Phoenix. He actually grew up here, and used to spend a lot of time exploring the Phoenix Art Museum.

    Now, many of his works are featured in the “El Mac: Aerosol Exalted” exhibition at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, where he painted a two-story mural earlier this year. Exhibition hours on Sunday, June 12, are noon to 5 p.m. Museum admission is free. Visit Lynn Trimble

    The Dying of the Light
    Light is photography’s medium; it makes the images visible. Although digital images employ a kind of illumination, nothing beats the result of shining light through a negative to expose photo paper. Or watching a film on real film, light and shadow thrown onto the screen by a large projector. But soon, we’ll have reached a sad milestone when “movie-theater projectionist” is no longer a job title.

    The Dying of the Light, Peter Flynn’s 2015 documentary about career projectionists, continues through Sunday, June 19, as the kickoff event of the new Scottsdale Cinematheque series, bringing you acclaimed international films all summer long. Screenings have reserved seating and complimentary popcorn and iced tea. (Your date is unlikely to consider that dinner and a movie.)

    Tickets are $7 for the showing Sunday, June 12, at 2 p.m. at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street. or call 480-499-8587. Julie Peterson

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