While downtown Phoenix continues to carve out a unique identity as a bustling urban center, one little bar has stood quietly amid the shadows of a shifting skyline. There are hotspots with more panache that — deservedly or otherwise — draw more buzz, but ever so unflinchingly the Lost Leaf, 914 North Fifth Street, has stayed true to its modest roots.
A fine purveyor of burgeoning local talent, the bar has provided Valley artists with nightly proving grounds since 2006. But even the most welcoming of crowds need to know they can let their hair down from time to time, which is why every second Thursday of the month the Lost Leaf throws one helluva dance party. Featuring DJ KNS, Thump Daze is an ’80s- and ’90s-themed dance party, and as always, there’s no cover. The 21-and-over event starts at 10 p.m. Visit the Lost Leaf website or call 602-258-0014. Rob Kroehler
Channel your inner Al Beadle during a Midcentury Modern garden design class at Desert Botanical Garden.
Midcentury Modern Garden Design
Can’t get enough of Midcentury Modern design? Try bringing the look to your garden or other outdoor spaces. Landscape designer Erin Hutton is teaching a Midcentury Modern Garden Design class at Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 13.
Hutton will share information on Midcentury Modern architecture in Phoenix and the principles of landscape design, as well as desert plants and materials that lend themselves to modern landscapes. It’s a chance to explore balance, scale, and proportion — while learning how they function in modern outdoor spaces.
The class includes hands-on activities that help reinforce new knowledge and skills, as well as time for creating a plot plan for your own garden or landscape. The class costs $75, and preregistration is required. Visit the Desert Botanical Garden website . Lynn Trimble
Dangers await in Dogfight.
Courtesy of Brelby Theatre Company
Art can mean so much more than a stuffy gallery exhibition. For an event that encompasses a range of art — from performance and music to makeup — mark your calendar for RAW Phoenix’s upcoming art blowout FIXATE.
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From 7 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, July 13, the event will bring more than 60 local artists, including those working in visual art, dance, music, drag, makeup, hair, and fashion, to The Pressroom, 441 West Madison Street. Cocktail attire is requested for the 18-and-over event. Admission for the event is $22 in advance, $30 at the door. Visit the RAW Artists website for more information. Lindsay Roberts
Brelby Theatre Company fosters a lot of new, local playwrights, but it also brought us the world-famous Ghost the Musical. Along those lines, the company’s current production is the Arizona premiere of Dogfight, an early work by songwriting team Pasek and Paul (La La Land, Dear Evan Hansen), based on a 1991 River Phoenix movie.
It’s 1963 in San Francisco. Three young Marines engage in a dogfight that might not be what you’re thinking. There’s also a traditional “I dated you to win a bet but I really like you” plotline. We’re just happy to see a show with a Vietnam War setting that doesn’t take place in the jungle.
Admission is $30 for the opening night gala on Friday, July 14, at 7:30 p.m. at 7154 North 58th Drive in Glendale. Tickets for the rest of the run, through Saturday, August 5, are $17 to $25 at the Brelby website or 623-282-2781. Julie Peterson
In the throes of grief, self-doubt, and addiction following the death of his partner, Patrick Roland contemplated jumping off the ledge of his Las Vegas hotel room. In Unpacked Sparkle, Roland writes a raw, emotional, and sometimes humorous memoir detailing the events that brought the writer to that moment above the lights of the Vegas strip and how he found his way back down. Roland honestly discusses LGBT rights, mental health, acceptance, and recovery.
Roland will sign Unpacked Sparkle starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 14, at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road. Admission is free, and the book costs $19.95. Visit the Changing Hands website for more details. Jason Keil
Imagine your everyday objects transformed into fossils.
Zach Valent/Photo by Lynn Trimble
RoRo Shipping Container Gallery: Zach Valent, Christina Kemp Sullivan, Josh Loeser
One day, all those modern-day must-haves like laptops and cars will be obsolete. Artist Zach Valent gets it, as evidenced by his fictitious fossils of semi-recent history. For one exhibition, he transformed a rotary-dial telephone into what looked like an ancient artifact. For another, he created floor-to-ceiling paper sculptures referencing the demise of print media in the digital age. He’s even fossilized a seated, solitary man whose hand holds a cellphone. Basically, Valent uses concrete, ceramic, wood, paper, and other media to create icons of contemporary consumer culture.
Valent is one of three artists with exhibitions opening on Friday, July 14, at the shipping-container galleries near the intersection of Roosevelt and Fourth streets. Stop by between 6 and 10 p.m. to see work by Valent, Christina Kemp Sullivan, and Josh Loeser. Each of these free exhibitions, presented by Rhetorical Galleries, holds important object lessons for viewers. Visit the Rhetorical Galleries website . Lynn Trimble
Courtesy of Metta Yoga
If music helps you relax, think of what it will do to you when you combine it with yoga. This Live-Music-Flow class led by Alissa Will lets guests of all levels practice yoga to the live guitar sounds of Kurt Kleinhans. Stay after to class to meet others involved in the yoga community, as well as guests from benefiting charities.
Stretch to the sounds from 6 to 7 p.m. on Friday, July 14, at Metta Yoga, 4041 East Thomas Road, #106. Admission is free, and donations are accepted to benefit the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. Call 602-252-0662 or visit the New Metta Yoga website . Amy Young
Do you know what happens at Taliesin West after dark?
Night Lights Tour
Do you know what happens at Taliesin West after dark? We’re not sure about six out of seven nights, but on Fridays, the Frank Lloyd Wright home in Scottsdale is open for its Night Lights Tour.
Explore the Midcentury Modern masterpiece at 12621 North Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard as the sun sets. On Friday July 14, tours leave at 6:30, 7, and 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $40, and the tour isn’t intended for children younger than 13. For reservations, call 888-516-0811 or visit the Taliesin West website for tickets. Lindsay Roberts
Support local arts by attending the Creative Catalysts Gallery Project exhibition.
Creative Catalysts Gallery Project
Want to inspire and assemble an arts community? Give local artists plenty of places to show and sell their work, then find creative ways to encourage people to explore them. For the city of Mesa, that includes Second Friday art walks and the Creative Catalysts Gallery Project.
Creative Catalysts is a Mesa Arts Center initiative geared toward the 40-and-under set. It’s all about bringing more art to the suburb’s downtown area and supporting its arts scene. Next up for the project is a free selfie-themed art exhibition taking place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 14. The group show is on view at K’é, 126 West Main Street, a small business center that takes its name from the Diné (Navajo) word for a system of kinship. The night includes not only visual art but live entertainment as well. Visit the Creative Catalysts Facebook page . Lynn Trimble
Read on for more things to do and see this week — including Doug Benson, a salsa festival, and a Game of Thrones trivia night.