Get ready to get your geek on.EXPAND
Get ready to get your geek on.
Benjamin Leatherman

Best Things to Do This Weekend: Game On, Bring It! Live, Steve Martin and Martin Short

Don't let your weekend go to waste, Phoenix. Instead, cheer on the Cardinals as they take on the Oakland Raiders, unleash your nerdy side at the Game On Expo, or get metaphysical with an intro to palm reading class. For more things to do, check out New Times' curated calendar.

Game On Expo
Gamers and joystick Jedi of the Valley, you might want to start getting your wrists limber. Oh, and honing your pwning techniques might come in handy, too. After all, you’ll want to be prepared for the latest edition of the Game On Expo, the annual three-day extravaganza devoted to all things gaming.

The 2017 version of the event, which runs from Friday, August 11, to Sunday, August 13, will feature its biggest selection of games to date, as well as even more space at its new home at the Phoenix Convention Center’s South Building, 33 South Third Street. This year’s Expo will also feature an expanded vendor hall, additional tournaments and competitions, and a larger array of special guests, which range from voice actors like Mark Meer and Patricia Summersett to YouTube stars like Pat “The NES Punk” Contri. Daily admission is $20 to $30, weekend passes are $80 to $85, and children 2 and older pay $10. Event hours vary. See the Game On Expo website. Benjamin Leatherman

Fans at a 2016 Arizona Cardinals game.EXPAND
Fans at a 2016 Arizona Cardinals game.
Jim Louvau

Arizona Cardinals v. Oakland Raiders
For the first time in what feels like forever, the Arizona Cardinals won’t enter the new season as the toast of the town. Or at least, not as long as the Diamondbacks maintain one of their winningest seasons in franchise history. Last year, pigskin prognosticators were swooning over the Cards’ postseason prospects while the Snakes floundered, but forecasts aren’t so sunny this time around. No surprise, given that last season’s vaunted roster lost more games than they won.

Still, there’s plenty to be optimistic about with Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald lacing up their cleats for another — possibly final — season. For the time being, there’s one winner in town. If Coach Bruce Arians does his due diligence this preseason, there will be two. The Cards’ preseason officially begins with a 7 p.m. home game at Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive, on Saturday, August 12, against the Oakland Raiders. Tickets are $41 and up. Visit the Cardinals website or call 623-433-7101 for details. Rob Kroehler

The ensemble rehearses a mystery number for The Fourth Annual Miscast Concert.EXPAND
The ensemble rehearses a mystery number for The Fourth Annual Miscast Concert.
Shelby Maticic

Miscast Concert series
Musical theater, when the stars align, can be phenomenal. An evening of songs pulled out of musicals faces more hurdles. It’s like how you should order a burger, fries, and a shake, not just a burger, in an unknown cafe.
Happily, Brelby Theatre Company adds onion rings to its Miscast Concert series, now in its fourth year: The songs are sung by people you wouldn’t expect. Whether it’s gender, race, body type, or some other tradition-bound characteristic that might keep a performer from being cast in a particular role, those boundaries will be transgressed, with fascinating results, through Saturday, August 26.

Smash the patriarchy at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 11, at 7154 North 58th Drive in Glendale. Tickets are $15 at the Brelby Theatre website or 623-282-2781. Julie Peterson

Help Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art turn its SMoCA Lounge into a playground during Yard Games for Art.EXPAND
Help Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art turn its SMoCA Lounge into a playground during Yard Games for Art.
Sean Deckert/Calnicean Projects

Yard Games for Art
Maybe it’s been a while since you tossed around a beanbag or built a tower with wooden blocks. There’s good reason to polish your skills, because winning the yard games wars could snag you an original piece of art.

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street, is putting a creative twist on classic games with Yard Games for Art at SMoCA Lounge at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 11. Tickets are $10, and the person with the best game skills goes home with a new piece of art.

Proceeds benefit the museum’s Good ‘N Plenty Awards, a fall event that features local creatives pitching their best ideas so audience members can vote for a favorite, who wins a cash prize. Visit the SMoCA website. Lynn Trimble

The Desert Sleuths chapter of Sisters in Crime will celebrate 30 years.EXPAND
The Desert Sleuths chapter of Sisters in Crime will celebrate 30 years.
Clark Lohr

SoWest: Killer Nights
Three decades ago, Sara Paretsky noticed a lack of diversity in crime and thriller genres. So the creator of famous female detective V.I. Warshawski and a group of fellow authors founded the organization Sisters in Crime. The group’s mission is to fight discrimination and “raise the level of awareness” about women writing in the mystery genre, while pushing to see more women nominated for awards recognizing their literary contributions. The Desert Sleuths chapter of the organization will celebrate 30 years with the release of SoWest: Killer Nights, the next edition of a locally set anthology series, with New York Times best-selling authors Clive Cussler, Lee Goldberg, and Robin Burcell.

Desert Sleuths’ 30th anniversary celebration is at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 11, at Changing Hands, 300 West Camelback Road. Admission is free. Visit the Changing Hands website for more details. Jason Keil

Can't help falling in love?EXPAND
Can't help falling in love?
Courtesy of MIM

Musical Icon: Elvis
You know Elvis Presley was one of the biggest musical celebrities of all time, but are you aware that he has his own week?

Yep, Elvis Week is a thing. It originated at Graceland, the late rocker’s Memphis mansion, with a series of events, including a massive candlelight vigil. Peripheral events happen worldwide. In honor of this multiday celebration, the Musical Instrument Museum hosts a tribute, too. Musical Icon: Elvis celebrates the musician with curator talks, hands-on activities, a trivia contest, and a movie.

Bask in all things “The King” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, August 12 and 13, at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard. The event is included in regular museum admission of $10 to $20, and it’s free for kids 3 and younger. Call 480-478-6000 or visit the MIM website. Amy Young

One-Year Anniversary Party
In a city overflowing with craft breweries, Helio Basin Brewing Company made a name for itself by foregoing the typical variations on pub fare and offering its ales alongside a Southwest-inspired menu. To celebrate their smashing success, the Arcadia-area establishment is putting on a One-Year Anniversary Party. Festivities include live music, the introduction of a new anniversary brew, and a pig roast prepared by award-winning chef Tammy Stanger. Don’t fret, herbivores, there will be vegetarian options, and you can enjoy a slice of cake for dessert (while supplies last).

See what’s on tap starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 12, at 3935 East Thomas Road. VIP tickets start at $25. Visit the Helio Basin Brewing website for more details. Jason Keil

Read on for more things to do in metro Phoenix this weekend.

See the Dancing Dolls in action.EXPAND
See the Dancing Dolls in action.
Courtesy of Bring It! Live

Bring It! Live tour
If you’re a fan of the Lifetime TV show Bring It!, you’ve probably wondered what it would be like to see the Dancing Dolls in action, performing their synchronized, high-energy choreography. During the Bring It! Live tour, members of Dianna “Miss D” Williams’ famous dance crew will showcase the moves that propelled them to the top of hip-hop majorette dance competitions. The live show features new choreography and interactive moments with the audience.

The tour will visit the Valley at 8 p.m. on Saturday, August 12, at Comerica Theatre, 400 West Washington Street. Tickets start at $32.75, and VIP packages come with a photo op with Miss D and members of the Dancing Dolls. For more information, call 602-379-2800 or visit the Bring It! Live tour website. Laura Latzko

A New World: Intimate Music From Final Fantasy
Last September, video game enthusiasts gathered to hear the Phoenix Symphony play a Nobuo Uematsu score in a performance titled Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy. This year, fans of the role-playing video game have another chance for a high-art take on their favorite pastime. A New World: Intimate Music From Final Fantasy is licensed by game developer Square Enix and produced and arranged by the creators of Distant Worlds. The show brings a multimedia experience to audiences and is accompanied by a chamber ensemble instead of an orchestra. This means there will be almost no overlap between the two productions’ playlists, ensuring those who attended the Symphony Hall performance are in for something new.

The performance begins at 8 p.m. on Saturday, August 12, at Ikeda Theatre at Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street. Tickets start at $42. Visit the Mesa Arts Center website for more details. Jason Keil

Learn to read palms.EXPAND
Learn to read palms.
Robin Selby - Purple Lotus Productions

Intro to Palm Reading class
Time to get metaphysical. Consider starting with something simple like palm reading before you start aligning chakras or reading off those terrifyingly intimidating tarot cards.

This week, there’s an Intro to Palm Reading class happening at Everything Just Rocks, 2235 West First Street, #2, in Tempe. The three-hour beginners’ class covers hand lines, creases, and folds — and what they can tell us about the past, future, personal strengths, and what situations to avoid. It’s all overseen by Reverend Erin McNamara.

Hosted by Purple Lotus Productions, the course runs from 5 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, August 13. Cost is $30. Call to register with Athena at 602-418-4186. For more information, see the Facebook event page. Lauren Cusimano

Two Martins for the price of one.EXPAND
Two Martins for the price of one.
Ticketmaster

Steve Martin and Martin Short
Free on Sunday night? You should see two living legends with “Martin” in their names.

Veteran comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short will deliver a double dose of humor through a night loaded with stand-up comedy, film clips, and conversation about their lengthy show-business careers. There will also be music. Martin fans may already know that the funny fellow is also a banjo player. The Steep Canyon Rangers, the band he performs with, will join the two for some of the evening’s musical fun. The humorous actors appeared together in the 1986 movie The Three Amigos, with Chevy Chase as the third member of that on-screen buddy trio.

Watch each Martin complement the other’s unique comedic style at 8 p.m. on Sunday, August 13, at Comerica Theatre, 400 West Washington Street. Tickets are $55 to $125. Call 602-379-2800 or visit the Comerica Theatre website. Amy Young

Leaving Iowa
Dying is a way to shuffle your problems onto a succeeding, already aging generation. It’s just another shitty experience for them to look forward to. The play Leaving Iowa, at Fountain Hills Theater through Sunday, August 27, manages to inject humor into that concept with an extremely relatable plot involving an attempt to take someone’s cremains back to the Midwest, only to discover that the old homestead is now a grocery store. As our hero cruises the highways and byways of the Hawkeye State, he’s visited by flashbacks of childhood road trips (again, all too relatable).

Hit the road, and then hit the road, at 2 p.m. Sunday, August 13, at 11445 North Saguaro Boulevard. Tickets are $18 to $25 at 480-837-9661, extension 3, or the Fountain Hills Theater website. Julie Peterson

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