Scorpius Dance brings the sting
Astrology buffs claim that Scorpio is the sexiest sign of the Zodiac, that there's some cosmic mojo emanating from their loins that draws the rest of us into their magnetic intensity. Appropriate, then, that Scorpius Dance Theatre's upcoming production is titled Intimate. Choreographer Lisa Starry created dances that reflect "the great mysteries to be discovered of life, love, fear, and joy" (but not the Scorpio sex stigma) for the edgy production, which seduces audiences Thursday, May 19, through May 28 at Phoenix Theatre's Little Theatre, 100 East McDowell. Intimate opens at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $20. Call 602-254-2151. -- Niki D'Andrea
Grandma loves Maktub
Mom's love is unconditional. But Grandma's a tougher sell. Which means that Kevin Goldman -- a Shadow Mountain High School and ASU grad, and founding bassist for Seattle's Maktub -- really has his nana snowed. Then again, maybe Granny's reading Maktub's press clips, which hail the soulful quintet as the Pacific Northwest's hottest act. At 87, Grandma Goldman's "never missed a show," according to Kevin's mom -- which makes Maktub's performance on Monday, May 23, at the Clubhouse Music Venue, 1320 East Broadway in Tempe, a truly "all-ages" event. The band is touring in support of its third album, Say What You Mean. Skratch Track opens the show at 7 p.m. Admission is $8. Call 480-968-3238 or see www.clubhousegigs.com. -- Joe Watson
Five times the jive
Play a country song backward, and you get your wife, your kid, your truck, and your dog back. But play the blues back and forth, and you're still abandoned by your woman, broke, drunk, and awake at 5 a.m. So why the hell is a low-down cat named Nomax, hero of the play Five Guys Named Moe, smiling? He turned on his radio and heard the music of cheeky rhythm and blues innovator Louis Jordan. Nomax might be bummed, but songs like "I Like 'em Fat Like That," "Pettin' and Pokin'," and "Push Ka Pi Shi Pie" aren't exactly wrist-slitters. Celebrate Jordan's whimsical hits in the Black Theatre Troupe production, opening at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 19, at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. Tickets cost $26 to $32. The show runs through June 5. Call 602-252-8497.
Circus is original extreme sport
What's that you say, little Alice? The clowns are scary? Well, if you hadn't eaten that "special brownie," they might not all look like Phyllis Diller with giant, gnashing teeth. Just relax and watch the high-flying Moldovian Troupe perform a quintuple somersault on the teeterboard (that's five full revolutions, Alice, maybe 20 with the tracers). After all, the Moscow State Circus' slogan is "people entertaining people," so we can assure you that everybody here is human, even that contortionist named Elian who keeps folding herself in fourths. And if you look up in the air, you can see the acrobatic Wallendas! No, not wallabies, Wallendas. There are no talking animals here, just gymnasts, jugglers and aerial artists. Really, Alice, you should stop eating and drinking everything somebody hands you. The Moscow State Circus performs Saturday, May 21, and Sunday, May 22, at Glendale Arena, 9400 West Maryland. Tickets cost $7.50 to $30. Visit www.moscowcircusstars.com. -- Niki D'Andrea