By Miranda Cyr
Ella Mai w/Kiana Lede
Unwind with Ella Mai’s sweet and easy voice on her first tour. You don’t have to be “Boo’d Up” to see this up-and-coming star perform some of her top hits in the Marquee’s small venue for a more intimate experience. “She Don’t” “Trip” with her smooth R&B style earning her two Grammy nominations in 2018. Opening the show is Ahwatukee’s own Kiana Lede.
Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Avenue, Tempe, luckymanonline.com, 8 p.m. Friday, February 22, $80-$221.
Arizona Matsuri Festival of Japan
Get a taste of Japan at the 35th annual Matsuri Festival in Downtown Phoenix. This colorful event is a celebration of Japanese traditional and pop culture. Foodies, artists, animal lovers and anime fanatics alike can take part in enjoying the festivities with over 60 vendors and exhibits. Four stages feature nonstop entertainment including musical performances, dance performances, acrobatics, poetry readings and traditional karate.
Heritage & Science Park, 115 N. Sixth Street, Phoenix, azmatsuri.org, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, February 23, to Sunday, February 24, free.
If you enjoy playful pups, darling dogs, precious pooches or barking boys, then your heaven might be this dog festival. Whether you have a dog of your own to show off, or just love petting some good boys, this event really hits the spot. DogFest promotes working dogs and their jobs with shows, speeches and snacks.
Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Boulevard, Scottsdale, support.cci.org/dogfestphoenix, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, February 23, free.
Rockin’ Taco Rumble
Take a trip to flavor town at this spicy event that serves tacos and cocktails. You can release your inner food critic while enjoying and voting for your favorite treats at this taco competition. You can sign up to submit your own taco creation or simply show up to stuff your face and rock out to live music.
Unexpected Art Gallery, 734 W. Polk Street, Phoenix, rockintacorumble.com, 6 p.m. Friday, March 1, $45 online and $55 day of event.
Scottsdale Arts Festival
Over 170 artists bring their best work to this annual art festival. Paintings, photography, sculptures, jewelry, music and all other art forms are found throughout the venue. This art show doubles as a concert/dance party with two stages that feature a variety of live music. Tasty treats can be found at the gourmet food trucks and vendors when you need a reprieve from the art.
Scottsdale Civic Center Park, 3939 N. Drinkwater Boulevard, scottsdaleartsfestival.org, Scottsdale, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, March 8, to Saturday, March 9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 10, students $6 per day, single day $12 and two-day $20.
Arizona Aloha Festival
The mix of Hawaiian and Pacific Islander cultures are celebrated at the 25th annual Arizona Aloha Festival. Held at the most tropical location in Arizona – Tempe Beach Park – the feel of island living is brought to life. This nonprofit event holds performances on three stages – Mountain, Lakeside and Discovery – so attendees can find entertainment at all times.
Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, azalohafest.org, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 9, to Sunday, March 10, free.
Harry Potter-Inspired Beer Festival
Grab your brooms and fly over to this fun Harry Potter-themed night complete with scene designs, characters from the movies and wizard-inspired beers. This traveling festival, run by Rock Star Beer Festivals, attracts muggles across the country with its quirky concept and promise of a magical night. They offer unlimited samples of over 20 winter, pumpkin and holiday-themed ales.
Monarch Theatre, 122 E. Washington Street, Phoenix, eventbrite.com, 5:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 9, $35.
Easel for You to Paint Party at The Farm
Relax and express yourself at this adult painting class. Painting experience is optional, but the love to be creative is required. Artist, graphic designer and singer Rhonda Hitchcock-Mast will lead the class with her expertise in creativity and fun.
The Farm at South Mountain, 6106 S. 32nd Street, Phoenix, thefarmatsouthmountain.com, 12:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 16, $35-$45.
Unleash your inner – or outer – punk at this traveling event by jamming to your favorite emo rock music from the past three decades. Based in Los Angeles, Emo Nite makes its way to Tempe, ensuring a screaming good time. Started by three friends, Morgan Freed, Babs Szabo and T.J. Petracca in 2014, the party has swept the emo scene ever since, hosting over 150,000 attendees in Los Angeles over the years.
Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Avenue, Phoenix, emonite.com/, 9 p.m. Saturday, March 16, $15.
The Play That Goes Wrong
This Broadway comedy is stumbling its way to Tempe. This play within a play is a series of mistakes and missteps that leaves the audience laughing nonstop. The play, written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, won Best New Comedy at the Laurence Olivier Awards in 2015, and it is Broadway’s longest-running play.
ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Avenue, Tempe, asugammage.com, times vary, Tuesday, March 19, to Sunday, March 24, $20-$200.