En pointe well taken
We're not sure how an ugly duckling like Russia produced a stunning swan like the Moscow Ballet, but we're glad that something good came out of Communism. Led by choreographer Anatoli Emelianov, the Ballet offers the Valley a pre-Christmas present with its performance of the Great Russian Nutcracker. In addition to prima ballerinas and their male counterparts prancing around in those way-too-revealing leotards, the show incorporates larger-than-life puppets and local kids in small roles such as mice and snowflakes.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Friday, November 11, at Dodge Theatre, 400 West Washington. Tickets are $60. Call 480-784-4444 or visit www.ticketmaster.com. -- Clay McNear
Coffee and folk
Lilith Fair lovers who missed seeing Catie Curtis on the vaunted estro-tour can hear the fantastic folk songwriting they missed when Curtis plays the Cave Creek Coffee Bar, 6033 East Cave Creek Road in Cave Creek, on Friday, November 11. The introspective Americana songstress takes the stage at 7 p.m. in support of her latest album, Dreaming in Romance Languages. Admission costs $20 to $22. Call 480-488-0603. -- Niki D'Andrea
Thou shalt laugh aloud
Although Shakespeare might not be synonymous with crack-up comedy in this era of slapstick and slang, local actor and comedian Mike Bailey manages to wade through the "thees" and "thous" to bring out Willie's wit as a member of the Southwest Shakespeare Company. Still, don't expect any stuffy sonnets on Friday, November 11, or Saturday, November 12, when Bailey performs at The Comedy Spot, 7117 East Third Avenue in Scottsdale. There's nary a strophe to be found in Bailey's standup shtick, which he's been honing for more than a decade now, touring colleges throughout the country and appearing on Comedy Central and on shows like VH1 Stand-up Spotlight With Rosie O'Donnell. Local laughmeisters Marc Lyncheski, Terry Bauer, and Juan Saldana are also on the bill. Shows are scheduled at 8 and 10 each night. Tickets cost $10. Call 480-945-4422 or visit www.thecomedyspot.net. -- Niki D'Andrea