Here are our suggestions for the top 25 things to do in the Valley in February 2020.
FEBRUARY 1 TO FEBRUARY 23
This musical follows Tony, a child of immigrants who realizes he’s undocumented after trying to enlist in the Marines. With everything he’s ever known thrown into question, Tony is forced to rethink his family, his heritage and his country in this heartwarming and human true story.
Phoenix Theatre, 1825 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, 602.254.2151, phoenixtheatre.com, times vary, $41-$118.
Black Renaissance: “The History of Us”
February is Black History Month, and what better way to celebrate than a special program curated by black creatives? Black Renaissance, an Arizona art collective, uses tech and media to weave a tale reminding us of the past and future, highlighting black artists’ talents and accomplishments.
Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Avenue, Phoenix, 602.716.2222, crescentphx.com, 7:30 p.m., $15.
To know irreverence and unfiltered commentary is to know Jackie Schimmel. The beloved and fiery host of “The B*tch Bible” podcast takes her show on the road with an off-the-deep-end evening dishing about reality TV, pop culture and millennial life. This one is not for the easily offended!
Stand Up Live, 50 W. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 480.719.6100, phoenix.standuplive.com, $35-$85.
Dashboard Confessional celebrates 20 years of emo rock goodness with an anniversary tour. Expect to hear cuts from the group’s latest offering, “Crooked Shadows,” as well as the hits we know and love, like “Hands Down” and “Vindicated.” Piebald will open the show.
The Van Buren, 401 W. Van Buren Street, Phoenix, 480.659.1641, thevanburenphx.com, 7:30 p.m., $35-$38.
Phoenix Suns vs. Houston Rockets
The Phoenix Suns have brought the heat this season, and all eyes will be on them as they square off against the Houston Rockets once more. While they didn’t emerge victorious in their previous outings this season against the Rockets, they have home court advantage and the Arizona sun on their side this time around.
Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 602.379.2000, talkingstickresortarena.com, 7 p.m., $29-$688.
Indie Film Fest
FEBRUARY 7 TO FEBRUARY 9
Support the filmmakers on the fringes with this inclusive gathering of creative storytellers and diverse perspectives. Featuring dramatic and documentary features, shorts, music videos, VR experiences and workshops, this three-day event has quickly become one of the freshest festivals on the circuit.
FilmBar, 815 N. Second Street, Phoenix, 602.595.9187, theindiefilmfest.com, times vary, $25 opening night and $15-$50 per screening.
With a silky, charming voice and quirky tunes, Nellie McKay has carved out a niche for herself in music. Her sound and cutting wit harken back to a different era while maintaining the social consciousness of today’s world. Her tracks have appeared on soundtracks for “Mad Men,” “Boardwalk Empire” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” Sister Orchid is set to open.
Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Avenue, Chandler, 480.782.2680, chandlercenter.org, 7:30 p.m., $36-$42.
Smosh: Try Not to Laugh Live
Since the early days of YouTube, Smosh has dominated the internet with its hilarious sketch comedy and gimmicks. In honor of its 15th anniversary, co-founder Ian Hecox ventures out IRL with Courtney Miller, Damien Hass and Shayne Topp for their first tour. Expect to hear new songs, witness local food ratings and laugh a lot. VIP entry includes a meet-and-greet photo, autographed poster and special merch.
Stand Up Live, 50 W. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 480.719.6100, phoenix.standuplive.com, 7 p.m., $40-$140.
You don’t find K-pop, K-pop finds you. Korean pop octet Stray Kids have made a splash in the United States and across the globe with its hip-hop and electronic influences and show-stopping dance performances. Their District 9: Unlock world tour, which finds the group performing tracks from its “Clé” series, swings through Phoenix for one night.
Arizona Federal Theatre, 400 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, 602.379.2800, arizonafederaltheatre.com, 7:30 p.m., $72-$183.
“Harry Potter” Trivia
Still waiting on your Hogwarts acceptance letter? We can’t guarantee your admission, but you can become a prefect in your own right with this special “Harry Potter” trivia night. With more than $1,000 in prizes, participants can either play solo or as a team, putting their Potter cinema knowledge to the test. As Luna Lovegood said, “Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure!”
Tempe Improv, 930 E. University Drive, Tempe, 480.921.9877, tempeimprov.com, 8 p.m., $5.
“The Bachelor” Live on Stage
The drama, gossip and romance of “The Bachelor” comes to Arizona with this special fan party hosted by show alums Ben Higgins and Becca Kufrin. Local ladies in the audience will have the chance to vie for the heart of one eligible Arizona bachelor. You can get ahead on your wine drinking for the night with a special preshow dinner at Alliance Terrace for an additional $25.
Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500, mesaartscenter.com, 7:30 p.m., $40-$80 and $150 VIP.
Dolla Dolla Dance Party
If your Valentine’s Day is looking a little lame, we’ve got a deal for you! Blunt Club, Arizona’s longest-running hip-hop party, will pay you to party at the first Dolla Dolla Dance Party. Attendees will receive $1 to dance to the best beats from DJs like Pickster and Tricky T, with live art, drink specials and photo ops.
The Van Buren, 401 W. Van Buren Street, Phoenix, 480.659.1641, thevanburenphx.com, 10 p.m., free with online reservations.
Grab your crush and get ready to party at Arizona’s premier EDM celebration of the season. Featuring performances from Audien, Carbin, Habstrakt, Jauz and Tynan, this annual Valentine’s Day party is for the lover in all of us.
Rawhide Event Center, 5244 S. 48th Street, Chandler, 480.502.5600, rawhide.com, 6 p.m., $49-$1,500.
Grammy Award-winning blues musician Jonny Lang has garnered a reputation as a real-life guitar hero since releasing his first platinum album at age 15. Having shared the stage with artists like B.B. King and Aerosmith, his unique and passionately performed tunes like “Lie to Me” and “Before You Hit the Ground” have made his live act one not to be missed.
Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Avenue, Chandler, 480.782.2680, chandlercenter.org, 7:30 p.m., $38-$78.
Angry Crab Shack Southwest Cajun Fest
This day-long Chandler festival is all about the heart and soul of New Orleans, with a bit of Arizona flavor. Celebrating Cajun culture, cuisine and beer, the fest guarantees plenty of tasty catfish and crawfish, as well as live jazz, blues and swing performances, eating competitions, and a kids’ zone. You might want to break out the bib for this one!
Dr. AJ Chandler Park, 250 E. Commonwealth Avenue, Chandler, 480.782.2727, southwestcajunfest.com, noon to 9 p.m., $8-$55.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth and $7, you’re in luck! Gilbert’s Sweets Festival is here for sucrose cravings big and small, with sweet servings for the whole family. Whether you’re in the mood for cotton candy tacos, fudge, shakes or cakes, or if you’re looking for some 21-and-older options like donuts and drafts or craft cocktails, there’s a treat to eat. The fest will also host live music, photo ops, a kids’ zone, and savory options for balance.
Gilbert North Civic Center Campus, 50 E. Civic Center Drive, Gilbert, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., $7 and free for kids 12 and younger.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
It might be winter, but it’s never too early for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The Southwest Shakespeare Company presents the classic rom-com in the forest as lovers entangle with fairies, magic and theater in a romp that has to be seen to be believed.
Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500, mesaartscenter.com, times vary, $38-$48 and $13 for ages 25 and younger.
Totally ’80s Live
We can’t go back to the ‘80s, but we can sure try! “Only the Lonely” will miss out on this blast from the past as The Motels, Bow Wow Wow and When in Rome hit the stage. You can relive the days of cheesy pop, big hair and shoulder pads, and that’s “The Promise,” but you might want to bring your own candy!
The Van Buren, 401 W. Van Buren Street, Phoenix, 480.659.1641, thevanburenphx.com, 7:30 p.m., $25-$28.
FEBRUARY 21 AND FEBRUARY 22
Steve-O did whatever it took to become famous—even if it meant being a bit of a “jackass.” Now in his 40s, he’s sober and dedicated to tackling his outlandish stunt bucket list. Part multimedia, part performance, Steve-O uses his Bucket List Tour to showcase his new larger-than-life stunts—and the emotional distress they’ve been causing his fiancée!
Copper Blues Live, Desert Ridge Marketplace, 21001 N. Tatum Boulevard, Phoenix, 602.910.5161, cblive.com, times vary, $30-$55.
FEBRUARY 22 AND FEBRUARY 23
The Arizona Roots arts and music festival returns for a second year of show-stopping performances, provocative art pieces and green initiatives. Get ready to rejoice in the good vibes with this year’s headliners, including Damian Marley, Rebelution, Steel Pulse and Collie Buddz.
The Riverwalk at Rawhide Western Town, 5700 W. North Loop Road, Chandler, 480.502.5600, rawhide.com, noon, $109-$629.
Mesa Bazaar: Artisan Market
This free artisan market is all about keeping it local, featuring handmade items ranging from art to jewelry to home décor. Here, you can find your new favorite tchotchke, enjoy craft beer and cocktails from local spots like Downtown 12 West and Iconic Cocktail, and top it off with a ring around the food trucks.
Downtown Mesa, 1 N. MacDonald, Mesa, bit.ly/2Rcyy2C, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., free.
It’s a great day to be alive! Grammy Award-winning country musician Travis Tritt swings by Mesa Arts Center for an intimate solo show, letting the tunes do the talking with acoustic renditions of his biggest hits like “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” and “Best of Intentions,” in between personal stories and anecdotes.
Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500, mesaartscenter.com, 7 p.m., $36-$66.
“Shrek: The Musical”
FEBRUARY 28 TO MARCH 1
If animated fairytale-with-a-twist “Shrek” is a constant fixture in your household, you’re going to love this musical adaptation. With larger-than-life sets, magical puppetry and plenty of laughs, this tells the story of an ogre leaving his swamp to save a princess.
Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500, mesaartscenter.com, 7 p.m., $32-$34 adults, $29-$31 seniors and students, and $8 children 13 and younger.
We dare you to try and stay still during this exquisite showcase of Brazilian dance, performance and tradition. Professional samba dancers will show off their hypnotizing footwork and choreography in authentic costume alongside Brazilian Carnaval drums, even taking the party outside with a stomp-worthy parade.
Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Avenue, Phoenix, 602.716.2222, crescentphx.com, 8 to 11 p.m., $15-$20.
FEBRUARY 29 TO MARCH 1
There’s no time in Arizona quite like Spring Training, and for the past few years, the Innings Festival has been the ultimate destination for baseball fans and music lovers. This year’s line-up is a who’s who of alt-rock faves like Dave Matthews Band, Portugal. The Man, Weezer and Death Cab for Cutie. MLB players like Jake Peavy, Bret Saberhagen and Rick Sutcliffe will also make appearances.
Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, inningsfestival.com, times vary, $99-$1,200.