A Rose By Any Other Nombre . . .
Shakespeare receives a Spanish makeover
Not to offend Shakespeare aficionados, but Romeo & Juliet has been told so many times that William's words no longer cut it. So, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 9, Teatro Bravo presents the tragic love story told in the language of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Guillermo Reyes directs Neruda's Spanish translation of Romeo y Julieta, adapting the setting to a Caribbean Verona, with the Brazilian martial art form of capoeira performed in the background. Romeo y Julieta runs through April 18 at Phoenix College's John Paul Theatre, 1202 West Thomas. Tickets are $10 to $15. Call 602-258-1800. -- Joe Watson
Hansel and Gretel are brought into the 21st century
Although Scottsdale Community College's production of Hanky and Girlo might be intended for a younger audience, no one should be surprised by the large number of adults in the crowd who can relate to keeping a pair of whiny brats chained to a lead pipe next to the water heater. Art is relative, right? Okay, maybe a large number is a stretch, but the majority of those paying to see Hanky and Girlo will connect with this modern-day adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, in which the title characters -- while their dad is away at work -- must confront a scary broad who lives in the basement of their New York apartment. The show opens Friday, April 9, at 6 p.m. at SCC's Performing Arts Center, 9000 East Chaparral in Scottsdale, and runs through April 18. Tickets are $5. Call 480-423-6359. - Joe Watson
Radio returns to limelight
Brian Nissen's homage to old-time radio programs, Citrus Valley Playhouse on the Air, isn't just a trip down memory lane. It's a prototype, says the show's producer, John Middleton. "These shows we're doing are to create a buzz for something new and unique, but nostalgic at the same time," he says. "And, hopefully, it will create some sponsorship so that we can actually get Citrus Valley on the radio." In the meantime, audiences will have to be satisfied with Citrus Valley onstage, where it will be presented live and in stereo Wednesday, April 14, and Thursday, April 15, and again April 28 and 29, at ASU's Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. The show includes live music and sketch comedy reminiscent of 1940s radio shenanigans. Nissen, who wrote Citrus Valley, stars in the show, alongside Ben Tyler, Jim Bigler and Leah Long. Tickets are $18.50 to $20.50. Call 480-965-5933 or visit www.asukerr.com. -- Joe Watson
Even the Heights are Better
Gravity Dance Theatre presents Brontë's classic story of love
"Happily ever after"? Where's the fun in that? For some, heart-shaped pancakes in the breakfast nook just don't stack up to lone figures stalking the moors, crazed with lost love. When Emily Brontë's Heathcliff tells Cathy's ghost, "Haunt me, then," he speaks for those of us who prefer passion to predictability, including Melissa Cesarano of Gravity Jazz Dance Theater.
This season, Cesarano, who specializes in bringing classic literature to life with the Valley's only professional jazz dance company, sets Wuthering Heights to movement -- and, in the process, adds contemporary music. "For example," she says, "when Cathy is intrigued by Edgar Linton's lifestyle, we use 'Stairway to Heaven' -- and 'Bring Me to Life' by Evanescence when Cathy haunts Heathcliff."
Head for the moors Thursday, April 8, through Saturday, April 10, at New School for the Arts, 1216 East Apache in Tempe. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for children and seniors. Performances start at 8 p.m. For more information, call Melissa at 602-316-0846. -- Kim Toms