At first glance, we assumed that ASU's Evelyn Smith Music Theatre, 40 East Gammage Parkway in Tempe, was hosting some sort of organic Asian buffet. Turns out that the rice bowls, chopsticks, pods, gourds and chiles on hand will whet our appetites for new music, not chicken teriyaki. Krustá, "a dynamic, electro-acoustical new music/modern dance ensemble," begins its third season of original choreography performed to live music this Thursday, September 2, at 7:30 p.m. The group, founded by ASU's Madeline Williamson and Elina Mooney, along with Glendale Community College music professor Doug Nottingham, pays tribute to late American composer Lou Harrison and experimental icon John Cage, enlisting the talents of student dancers and other ASU music faculty members. Harrison's "Varied Trio" features a percussionist playing small water-tuned rice bowls with chopsticks, while Cage's "Child of Tree" is "uniquely scored for various amplified plant life."
Tickets are $5. Call 480-965-8863. --Joe Watson
Laugh at the losers--because they're really funny
Just because they lost doesn't mean they're not funny. And to prove it, three of the laughable losers from NBC's Last Comic Standing hit the stage at the Tempe Improv, 930 East University, Thursday, September 2, through Sunday, September 5. Some of the material may be a repeat of their television performances, but they only had two minutes on the series. Now Alonzo Bodden, Gary Gulman and Jay London each get about 30 minutes to tickle your fancy. For tickets to "the Still Standing Tour," $17 to $20, call 480-921-9877. --C. Murphy Hebert
Aqua man: Scott Sanders' "H20" exhibition opens September 3
Scott Sanders' inspiration for his upcoming show at the Paper Heart, 750 Grand Avenue, was a bit of a gimme. "Well, we live in the desert," says Sanders, curator of "H2O," a free exhibition of mixed media, oils, photography and sculpture that corresponds with the theme of water, which runs Friday, September 3, through September 28. "I think just having that concept might cool things off here." Works by local artists, including Brad Garner, JA Jurewicz and Jen Sanders, as well as a mixed-media piece by L.A. artist Nora Novak, and the painting Abstract Koi by Tucson's ELM (pictured), will be on display. Opening-night festivities, starting at 7 p.m., include spoken word and "downtempo grooves" by DJ Seduce and live music from jazz bands Verigated, and Sonorous. "H2O" also coincides with the Paper Heart's September 11 fund raiser for iTheatre Collaborative, "Mermaids and Martinis." Call 602-262-2020 or see www.thepaperheart.com. --Joe Watson