It's hard to understate the vast influence of legendary raunch rockers The Cramps. From psychobilly greasers and neo-garage bands to glammed-out goth groups and headbangers in fetish gear, weirdoes all across the music underground owe their existence to the iconic Lux Interior (who gave punks an excuse to load on the eyeliner and dye their hair black) and Ivy Rorschach (who brought latex and leopard print lingerie out of the bedroom and onto the stage). The dynamic duo, backed by throbbing bass and drums, bring their swaggering, sweat-drenched show to Nita's Hideaway on Friday, April 18; all ages are welcome. They'll be joined by opening acts Tijuana Bullfight, and the Gore Gore Girls. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. performance. Tickets are $17 at the door or $15 in advance. To purchase, call 480-966-7715. Nita's is located at 3300 South Price in Tempe.
Back in 1976, the national climate was tense because of turmoil in the Middle East, rising gas prices, partisan politics, debates on fair education and the war on drugs. Sounds awfully familiar, doesn't it? Well, that's exactly the point of Good 'N Plenty, the latest production by the theater department at ASU's Herberger College of Fine Arts. Another message in the wacky political comedy is the basic human need for a good, hard laugh -- because of and in spite of tough times. Written by Jeff Hatcher and directed by Jack Reuler, the story jumps back and forth between the '70s and the present day, focusing on a high school teacher who is hired to teach Principles of Democracy at his alma mater. In the process of discussing the Constitution, the whole class learns how to laugh at the government and use humor to calm anxiety about current events. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 19, at the Paul V. Galvin Playhouse, 51 East 10th Street in Tempe. Admission is $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, faculty and staff, and $5 for students. For details on tickets and additional performance dates, call 480-965-6447.
After you've gorged on too many Easter eggs, jelly beans, marshmallow Peeps and chocolate bunnies, you'll likely need to get out of the house and work off that frantic sugar high. Your hyperactive self will find plenty of things to see and do at the Easter Weekend Arts & Crafts Festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, April 17, through Easter Sunday, April 20, at the Arizona Center. Expect 100 vendors showcasing paintings, pottery, sculptures, furniture, jewelry and holiday gifts, plus the Make & Take Easter Craft Tent to keep the little ones occupied. The Easter Bunny makes a special appearance on Saturday and Sunday, posing with tiny tykes for free Polaroids. Admission is free at the Arizona Center, located at the intersection of Third Street and Van Buren. To find out more, visit www.magicbirdfestivals.com or call 480-488-2014 for more information.
You don't have to wait until First Friday to see cutting-edge art by young Valley talent. Arizona State University's Harry Wood Gallery features a new exhibit every week, with work by graduate students in the Herberger College of Fine Arts. On Monday, April 21, MFA candidate in sculpture Matthew Coon presents "The Scattered Furniture of Nature and History," his thesis exhibition. The show, which continues through April 25, explores "our evolution with information technologies," and features installations of Victorian architecture and furniture interspersed with high-tech gizmos. The gallery is located in the Art Building at the intersection of Forest and Tyler malls on the ASU main campus in Tempe. For more information, call 480-965-3468.
Here's an original spin on the various beauty and booze events that seem to be cropping up all over town: Margaritas and Makeovers on Tuesday, April 22. For $12, sip your tart tequila cocktail as makeup artists from the up-and-coming local brand UR Cosmetics give you a new look; for another $8, you can get even more glam with an updo hair style by Leidan Mitchell stylists. Other highlights include a fashion show and raffle tickets for girlie prizes. All proceeds benefit Muralcles, a nonprofit that brings music and art to hospitalized children -- now that's truly beautiful. Festivities happen from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at Tequila Grill, 4363 North 75th Street in Scottsdale. Call 480-303-1444 to find out more.
If you have a taste for the new and exotic, then trying Nuevo Latino cuisine -- one of the hottest trends in the culinary world -- is a must. These chic Latin-inspired eats, including luscious Cuban dishes, stylish South American soul food and creative ceviche, make up the delectable menu at Deseo, which opened late last year at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa. On Wednesday, April 23, at Deseo's Winemaker Dinner, oenophiles and adventurous foodies alike can savor five courses created by chef de cuisine Mark Dow, along with wine pairings selected by guest speaker Ivo Jeraman of Napa Valley's Grgich Wines. The evening starts at 6:30 p.m. at 6902 East Greenway Parkway in Scottsdale. Dinner is $95 per person, and reservations are necessary. For details call 480-624-1030.