APRIL 3 TO MAY 5
This “Wizard of Oz” spinoff recounts the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda a bit differently than its source material. This hit Broadway musical soars through Tempe once more with its larger-than-life sets, fantastic costumes and Tony Award-winning story. Whether you’ve seen the show before or are new to “Defying Gravity,” you won’t want to miss this.
ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Avenue, Tempe, 480.965.3434, asugammage.com, times vary, $39-$129.
Christian rockers MercyMe—who’s behind “I Can Only Imagine,” the movie and song—have nine albums under their belt and energetically show off their inspirational music. Their “Imagine” tour is no exception, with Crowder and Micah Tyler set to open.
Gila River Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Avenue, Glendale, 623.772.3800, gilariverarena.com, 7 p.m., $15.25-$95.25.
APRIL 5 AND APRIL 6
Relentless Beats’ ultra-popular fest is returning for a fifth year, celebrating the weird, wild and intergalactic with a mad dance party. This year’s lineup features artists like ASAP Ferg, Kaskade and Throttle.
The Park at Wild Horse Pass, 5040 W. Wild Horse Pass Road, Chandler, 323.908.0607, phoenixlightsfest.com, $99-$649.
APRIL 6 AND APRIL 7
Phoenix’s pride festival is the state’s largest LGBTQ celebration, uniting members of the community with allies, businesses and other local organizations in a weekend of support. This year’s festival looks to maintain the usual fabulous atmosphere with over 300 exhibitors, live music, an arts expo and food truck favorites. Pop singers Kim Petras and JoJo will perform, as well.
Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, 602.277.7433, noon to 9 p.m., $25-$90.
Phoenix Film Festival
APRIL 4 TO APRIL 14
Arizona’s largest film festival is back for 10 days of amazing movies from across the globe. In between filmmaking seminars, parties and events, the festival screens over 300 films and shorts, with a movie for everybody. This year’s festival opens with Zac Efron’s Ted Bundy movie, “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile,” and closes with Awkwafina’s new flick, “The Farewell.”
Harkins Scottsdale 101, 7000 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix, phoenixfilmfestival.com, times vary, $45-$450 for passes, $15 single tickets.
“Barefoot in the Park”
APRIL 5 TO APRIL 13
Catch Glendale Community College’s take on the Neil Simon classic about Paul and Corie Bratter — two newlyweds who couldn’t be more different — as they try to settle into their new house. They are quickly interrupted by a surprise visit from the mother-in-law.
Glendale Community College Performing Arts Center, 6000 W. Olive Avenue, Glendale, 623.888.7000, bit.ly/2JlasBY, times vary, $5-$8.
Shakespeare in the Park: “As You Like It”
APRIL 5 TO APRIL 13
Brelby Theatre Company presents a special Shakespeare in the Park series, just in time for the spring weather. “As You Like It” is a play filled with passion and lies, following the story of Rosalind, who ends up in a forest with her cousin, where all havoc breaks loose. Admission is free, but online reservations are recommended.
Murphy Park at the E. Lowell Rogers Amphitheatre, 5850 W. Glendale Avenue, Glendale, 623.282.2781, bit.ly/2UzTp0h, 7 p.m., free.
“The Toxic Avenger”
APRIL 5 TO APRIL 21
This show is based on the 1984 cult film of the same name. In a polluted town off the New Jersey Turnpike, Melvin, an aspiring earth scientist, gets dumped into a vat of toxic waste and gains super-human strength. What follows can only be described as a series of chaos and crack ups — the best ingredients for a solid rock musical.
Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500, mesaartscenter.com, times vary, $25-28.
The Kilt Chaser 5K
This special 5K is modeled after “skirt chaser fun runs of yore,” giving ladies a 3-minute head start, and requiring all runners to race while wearing kilts. All race participants will receive a custom shirt, medal and a post-race pint at the Eighth Street Four Peaks.
Papago Park, 625 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, 480.404.9967, bit.ly/2ChyQyJ, 7 to 10 a.m., $35-$40.
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show”
APRIL 6 TO APRIL 21
The iconic and colorful stories of Eric Carle’s children’s books come to life on stage. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” is magically transformed for the stage, as is “The Very Lonely Firefly.” The show runs one hour, including a Q&A, and is recommended for ages 3 and older.
Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe Street, Phoenix, 602.252.8497, herbergertheater.org, times vary, $12-$30.
The award-winning former late-night host takes a break from the TV screen to appear in the flesh in a brand new show. Catch Ferguson with never-before-heard material on the “Hobo Fabulous Tour,” during which the goofy comedian promises to spout off like the “aging unhinged vagrant” he is.
Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams Street, Phoenix, 602.262.6225, phoenix.ticketforce.com, 7:30 p.m., $38-$78.
Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”
APRIL 10 TO APRIL 14
Ariel, Flounder, Prince Eric and Sebastian take the stage with dazzling costumes, special effects and puppetry. Be prepared to drift away with the show’s irresistible tunes, like “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl.”
Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500, mesaartscenter.com, times vary, $18.
My Nana’s Salsa Challenge
In its 35th year, the My Nana’s Salsa Challenge is a showcase of over 100 different freshly made salsas, all vying for the $1,500 grand prize. Along with the action, there’s live music, a kids’ zone, and a margarita mixoff. Proceeds benefit the Arizona Hemophilia Association.
Sloan Park, 2330 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa, 602.955.3947, salsachallenge.com, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., $12-$15.
Support independent artists with this roadshow of handmade goods by minority creators. Vendors include Oh Comadre Candles, Candy’s Kloset, and a pop-up shop sponsored by Nalgona Positivity Pride and Friends.
Mucho Más Art Studio, 1736 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix, bit.ly/2u3DmfJ, noon to 4 p.m., free entry.
Donut Judge Me 5K
We donut judge if you eat while running during this 5K! Sponsored by Doughnut Peddler, this race takes runners through Chandler with donuts at two stops along the course, and more at the finish line. Participants receive an oversized medal to top it off.
Dr. AJ Chandler Park, 178 E. Commonwealth Avenue, Chandler, bit.ly/2TC87aw, 8 a.m., $10 kids 10 and younger, $30-$35 general admission.
This English pop rock band specializes in heartbreak anthems and sad night sound waves. The group kicks off its tour here in preparation for its fourth album, set for release in May. With tracks like “Sex,” “Chocolate,” “The Sound” and “Give Yourself a Try,” the boys certainly have a stacked setlist of singalongs to turn to. Pale Waves and No Rome open the show.
Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, 602.379.2800, comericatheatre.com, 7 p.m., $39.50-$59.50.
Bacon Bits Improv
Catch improvisational comedy from the best of the best with Bacon Bits, the house team at Laughing Pig Theatre Improv. The shows are never the same. Improv may include adult content.
Laughing Pig Theatre at Mesa Art Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500, bit.ly/2O537VZ, 7:30 p.m., $10.
Potato haters need not apply! This new festival is exclusively dedicated to everyone’s favorite greasy concoction – French fries – and will feature over 20 different fry creations at $2 to $3 each. Brews and chill zones will be aplenty, and the musical lineup is a curated mix of great music by Fairy Bones, decker., Please, Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold, Gus D. Wynns and The Breakers, Weird Radicals, Maintenance, Reverse Cowboy and Stoneypie. Fry vendors not available as of press time.
Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 N. Third Street, Phoenix, 602.495.1500, friedfestival.com, 2 to 10 p.m., $15.
Phoenix Night Market
APRIL 20 AND APRIL 21
This one’s for the night owls! A street in downtown Phoenix transforms into a nocturnal night market with Asian and foodie-inspired entertainment, shopping and cuisine. Don’t wait to snag your ticket— last year’s inaugural event drew over 13,000 attendees.
Downtown Phoenix, 310 S. Fourth Street, Phoenix, phxnightmarket.com, times vary, $10-$125.
Throw it back to the early 2000s with this pop rock band fresh out of the MySpace era. Hitting the road once more, the California group behind viral hits like “Here (In Your Arms)” and “When We First Met,” is just as charming. Hala, a 21-year-old singer-songwriter, is set to open.
The Rebel Lounge, 2303 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, 602.296.7013, therebellounge.com, 7 p.m., $18.
“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”in Concert
APRIL 26 TO APRIL 28
Forget the BluRay experience, these special symphony shows take your “Harry Potter” watching up to 11. The fourth installment in the series will play projected on the big screen, accompanied by the Phoenix Symphony. Join Harry Potter as he participates in the Triwizard Tournament, after his name is drawn in the goblet of fire.
Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second Street, Phoenix, 602.495.1999, phoenixsymphony.org, times vary, $25-$93.
reFABRICate Fashion Show
Reduce, reuse, recycle, then work it! FABRIC throws this annual fashion show highlighting brands and designers creating sustainable and eco-friendly clothing. Catch designs of all types, from avant garde to lingerie, created from scraps from the cutting-room floor. The best part? Every piece is for sale.
FABRIC, 132 E. Sixth Street, Tempe, 602.743.4638, fabrictempe.com, 6 to 9 p.m., designated driver $8 and admission $12-$50.
Arizona Craft Spirits and Cocktails Festival
Enjoy the finer spirits your state has to offer with this festival comprised of local and national distilleries. Class it up a notch from your “usual” with craft cocktails and premium gin, whiskey, vodka and rum. Admission includes 20 drink tickets.
Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, 148 E. Commonwealth Avenue, Chandler, arizonacraftspiritsandcocktailfestival.com, 3 to 9 p.m., $26-$100.
Arizona Sangria Craft Beer Food Truck Festival
Kick back with this festival devoted to eating, drinking and soaking up the good times. Enjoy concoctions of every type, including cocktails, sangria, craft beers and growler fill ups. Shop vendors and top it off with grub from local food trucks. As if it couldn’t get better, the festival is dog friendly, and will feature a doggy costume contest and Chihuahua racing.
Riverview Park, 2100 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa, 480.644.7529, bit.ly/2TEXlzR, 4 to 10 p.m., $40-$50.
Sunday Funday at The Duce
The Duce hosts a themed monthly dance class perfect for those wishing to burn calories and then refuel with brunch. Admission includes two classes with different instructors, as well as food and drink specials. The Duce’s delicious restaurant serves Sunday brunch until 3 p.m.
The Duce, 525 S. Central Avenue, Phoenix, 602.866.3823, theducephx.com, noon to 2 p.m., $20.