If spoken-wordsmith Adam Gnade was a gunfighter, you wouldn't want to engage him in a stare-down at high noon. Though the slim wordslinger looks like he'd blow away in a gentle breeze, he's made of pretty stern stuff. Gnade (pronounced "Gaw-na-dee") speaks softly but packs a literary wallop with his Bukowski-style poetry slams against war, oppression, apathy, and the general poverty of the human soul. Touring in support of his latest velvet yowl, the CD Run Hide Retreat Surrender, the San Diego-based poet visits Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt Street, for a show at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, November 10. The cover is $5. Call 602-462-5516 or visit www.modified.org.
There's a hell of a lot of scarification going on these days -- tats, piercings, subdermal implants and other forms of decorative self-abuse -- and the Valley's Strange Family Circus specializes in the stuff. Like a freak show of old (with a few regional culinary flourishes, like scorpion eating), the members of the Circus are firm believers in the theory of "no pain, no gain." In addition to arachnid gnawing, expect discomfiting feats of razor swallowing, broken-glass walking, fire eating, and bare-flesh nail hammering on Friday, November 11, at the Trunk Space, 1506 Grand Avenue. Says the troupe's founder, Dr. Reverend Stephen D.F. Strange, "The Circus embraces a variety of talent that resurrects the spirit of vaudeville updated for a cynical, multicultural world." As for the scorpions, we have it on good faith that they taste like chicken. Showtime is 8 p.m. Admission is a $5 donation at the door. Call 602-256-6006 or visit www.thetrunkspace.com.
Mingle with world-class car models this weekend at the Silver Collector Auction and Show. Spokane, Washington's Silver Auctions sponsors about 30 collectible-auto auctions a year, and this is one of its largest, so you can salivate over and/or bid on approximately 200 vintage "exotics," muscle cars, and street rods on Saturday, November 12, and Sunday, November 13, at Fort McDowell Casino, 10424 North Fort McDowell Road in Fountain Hills. The gates open at 8 a.m. each day, and admission is $5, which provides entree for the entire weekend. Call 800-843-3678 or 800-255-4485, or visit www.SilverAuctions.com.
The New Times 10K has grown into one of the Valley's signature sporting events, and celebrates its 30th anniversary with the 2005 incarnation. Relocating from the comfy confines of Steele Indian School Park to Tempe's Mill Avenue district and nearby Town Lake, this year's event features the namesake 10K run, a wheelchair 10K, a kids' dash, a team-challenge 5K run, a 5K walk, a 5K stroller stroll, and a costume contest sponsored by Easley's Fun Shop. Race-day registration starts at 6 a.m. Sunday, November 13. Call 602-744-6531 or visit www.phoenixnewtimes.com/10K for early registration and a complete schedule of events.
Are we not men -- created out of whole cloth and plunked down from Heaven to rule the Earth -- or are we apes who received an evolutionary kick in the tail? As hard as it is to believe, the controversy continues to rage 80 years after the infamous "monkey" trial, in which a high school teacher named John Scopes was put on trial for espousing evolution over creationism. The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial, a timely and topical docudrama presented by L.A. Theatre Works, was adapted by Peter Goodchild from the transcripts of the original 1925 trial, in which Scopes was defended by Clarence Darrow and prosecuted by William Jennings Bryan. The touring show features a rotating cast of Hollywood actors in the lead roles. Ed Asner (The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Mike Farrell (M*A*S*H), and Sharon Gless (Cagney & Lacey) are the stars of the version that plays at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on Monday, November 14, and Tuesday, November 15. Showtime is 7:30 each night. The center is located at 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $65. Call 480-994-2787 or visit www.scottsdalearts.org.
Old-school soul and Chez Nous go together like, well, old-school soul and Chez Nous -- a double blast from the past. Add a martini or three and you've got yourself a real wingding. The throwback cocktail lounge, built in '63, is approximately the size of a telephone booth, so prepare yourself for a lot of sweating, grinding and bumping into fellow revelers as Valley band Soulful Horizons takes the postage-stamp-size stage on Tuesday, November 15. The bar is located at 675 West Indian School Road. There's no cover. Call 602-266-7372 or visit www.cheznouscentral.com.
Robert Greenwald has come a long way since his fluffy 1980 flop Xanadu starring Olivia Newton-John. His new indie effort, WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price, is the latest in a series of controversial, hard-hitting documentaries that the filmmaker has produced since the turn of the millennium. Perhaps influenced -- or at the least inspired -- by the dragon-slaying of Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 9/11, Bowling for Columbine, Roger & Me, etc.), Greenwald has transformed himself into a one-man wrecking crew with recent works like Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, Uncovered: The War on Iraq, and The Crooked E: The Unshredded Truth About Enron. High Cost has the feel -- and zeal -- of a Moore flick, taking viewers behind the scenes of the big-box behemoth and addressing issues such as the plight of the typical Wal-Mart worker and the blight the world's largest retailer has cast on the American landscape, particularly Smalltown U.S.A. It screens at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 16, at the Paper Heart, 750 Grand Avenue. Admission is free. Call 602-262-2020 or visit www.thepaperheart.com or www.walmartmovie.com. (Additional screenings of WAL-MART are scheduled at 6 p.m. Monday, November 14, in Bulpitt Auditorium at Phoenix College, 1202 West Thomas Road, and at 8:45 p.m. Saturday, November 19, at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt Street. The Phoenix College showing is free; a $3 donation is requested for the Modified Arts screening.)