Happily ever after happens in Ballet Arizona's season finale, Tales in Motion, which revisits Sleeping Beauty and the Prodigal Son. You remember: Princess Aurora pricks her finger on a spindle, and the castle sleeps for 100 years. Meanwhile, the Prodigal Son debauches himself in the moral equivalent of freshman year at NAU. But help comes from two fine choreographers and a couple of Russian composers. Balanchine and Tchaikovsky throw the wedding of the century for Aurora and the kissy prince, while Petipa and Prokofiev cater Pop's welcome-home party for the wayward son. The production also features the world première of 2B, a new ballet by Ballet Arizona artistic director Ib Anderson, with music by Francis Poulenc. Dress like a prince or princess for opening night, or just grab the kids and head to Phoenix Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday, April 18; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, April 19; and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 20. Tickets, $7 to $45, are available through www.ticketmaster.com and 480-784-4444. - Kim Toms
Phoenix College production makes much of time
Struggling to make sense of love, death, relationships and the meaning of life? Phoenix College has you covered: Dump the philosophy books and head to the campus theater, where All in the Timing opens Friday, April 18. Though it addresses life's heaviest issues, David Ives' play keeps the mood light with quick timing, clever word play and quirky comedic plots. The award-winning collection of six short comedies -- long on wit, intellect, satire -- is "a collection of some of the most hilarious and cleverly written comedy sketches in modern theater," says director Gerald Burgess.
All in the Timing runs through April 26 at Phoenix College's John Paul Theatre, 1202 West Thomas. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for students. Call 602-285-7300 to purchase. - Jill Koch
Open Up and Say "Ha"
"Extreme" may be the most tired expression in the modern American lexicon (soon to be followed by "shock and awe"), but the comedians of Xtreme Comedy, Kirk Noland and Steve Brewer (pictured), may well have earned the description with their over-the-top antics. Brewer's outspoken commentary takes on sacred cows such as the war in Iraq, religion, drugs and the American dream, sparing nothing on the way. Noland, who appeared in his own Showtime special last fall, channels characters including an Old West midget gunfighter, and mixes live prank phone calls into his stage act.
Catch Xtreme Comedy Friday, April 18, and Saturday, April 19, at Rascals Phoenix, located in the Crowne Plaza Hotel at 100 North First Street. Showtimes are 8 and 10:30 p.m. For tickets, $13, call 602-254-0999. - Brendan Joel Kelley
Landlord of the Dance
Blending energy, athleticism and (egads!) humor, Nederlands Dans Theater puts a refreshing spin on the ever-serious nature of contemporary dance. Fusing the talents of 13 young dancers with the vision of choreographers Jirí Kylián and Hans van Manen, the troupe swoops into Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street, at 8 p.m. Friday, April 18. Tickets are $40; call 480-994-ARTS. - Jill Koch
Riot girls leave folks bleu in the face
It's said that laughter is the best medicine. Bas Bleu Productions -- the state's leader in gay and lesbian comedy entertainment -- believes it, and is giving out doses on Saturday, April 19. The Arizona Come Out Laughing Tour is a side-splitting showcase of the funniest women on the gay comedy circuit. All-stars Georgia Ragsdale, Vickie Shaw and Susan Jeremy headline the event. A 6 p.m. preshow celebrating the tour's 10th anniversary features autograph signings by Phoenix Mercury players, giveaways and special offers from a variety of Valley businesses. Proceeds benefit women's organizations and gay and lesbian groups.
So come on, get happy, and get to the Come Out Laughing Tour at Phoenix College Auditorium, 15th Avenue and Thomas. Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. See www.basbleuproductions.org for ticket outlets.- Eric Schandel
Lovers of the limelight have a new opportunity to bask. On Friday, April 18, Studio One Performing Arts Center launches Phoenix Rising, a cabaret-style show featuring the Valley's most promising performers.
The showcase of "full production numbers, from ballads to full show-stopping choreography" continues on Friday and Saturday evenings through May 3. Showtime is 8 p.m. at the center, 4520 East Thomas; tickets are $10.
Those who gotta sing, gotta dance -- acts of "all types," in fact -- are encouraged to call 602-468-6021 to get a piece of the performance pie. - Jill Koch
If Those Walls Could Talk...
Poor Mr. Roper would be horrified. Actress Joyce DeWitt -- a.k.a. Three's Company's Janet Wood -- takes center stage in The Vagina Monologues as the touring production rolls into town. Based on 200 interviews with women from around the world, Eve Ensler's collection of vignettes explores the "humor, power, pain, wisdom, outrage, mystery and excitement" of the female anatomy. The play is the centerpiece of the worldwide V-Day antiviolence movement, which, through more than 1,000 productions over a four-week period, is expected to raise $10 million. The Monologues runs Tuesday, April 22, through Sunday, April 27, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams. For tickets, $25 to $49.50, call 602-262-7272. - Jill Koch