By Benjamin Leatherman
By Robrt L. Pela
By Katrina Montgomery
By Robrt L. Pela
By Kathleen Vanesian
By New Times
By Ray Stern
By Eric Tsetsi
Dog Sees God: Subtitled Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, this irreverent, unsanctioned spoof of the Peanuts comic strip is this season's surprise breakout. Originally slated to close last week, this turncoat cartoon has proved so popular that Stray Cat has extended the show's run with two extra performances on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. In this version of Charles Schulz's world, Charlie Brown — known here simply as C.B. — is busy ruminating on life after death after his dog dies from rabies. Neither his goth sister nor best friend, Van, offers much solace; his girlfriend has recently been institutionalized, and his other friends are too drunk to care. Drug abuse, suicide, eating disorders, teen violence, rebellion, and an ambiguously gay kid named Beethoven are among the highlights of C.B.'s life that are, if Stray Cat's track record is any indication, here for our entertainment. Through November 24 at Metro Arts, 1700 N. Seventh Ave. Call 480-820-8022 for reservations, showtimes, and to ask for The Little Red-Haired Girl.
Crazy for You: Playwright Ken Ludwig's tale of Bobby Child, a well-to-do 1930s playboy who only wants to dance, provides the backdrop for this book musical that's held together with a slew of George and Ira Gershwin's most memorable tunes. Originally conceived by Ludwig and Mike Ockrent, the show was an instant Broadway smash that's had a solid second life in community and dinner theaters — thanks in good part to goofy plot twists (mistaken identity, anyone?), great big giant dance numbers, and all that classic Gershwin music. Songs include "I Can't Be Bothered Now," "Bidin' My Time," "I Got Rhythm," "Naughty Baby," "They Can't Take That Away From Me," "But Not for Me," "Nice Work if You Can Get It," "Embraceable You," and "Someone to Watch Over Me." Visit the fictional (and very musical) town of Deadrock through December 30 at Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 W. Paradise Lane in Peoria. Dinner is served 1 hour and 45 minutes before curtain; showtimes are Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Saturday matinee at 2 p.m., Sunday matinee at 1 p.m., and Sunday twilight shows at 7 p.m. Ticket prices include dinner, show and tax. Call the box office at 623-776-8400 for a price schedule.
Metamorphoses: Nearly Naked's much-anticipated production of writer/director Mary Zimmerman's pastiche-translation of the works of Ovid (a largely forgotten Roman poet who lived 2,000 years ago) was originally slated for last season, but scheduling issues prevented Damon Dering and company from presenting it then. At last, we can mark our calendars for real and witness what will surely be a stunning set (I hear it involves an actual swimming pool onstage) and a likely irreverent look at an already irreverent reworking of classical literature. Zimmerman's script uses Story Theater techniques (narration, oration, interpretation) to piece together a dozen Ovid tales in a play that typically runs a little more than 90 minutes. Nearly Naked's production opens this weekend and plays through December 22 at the Little Theatre at Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Rd. Call 602-254-2151.
Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical: Artists Theatre Project launches its fifth season with a reprise of the company's popular 2004 staging of this campy tuner about a whorish teen with her eyes on the big prize. This adaptation of the classic 1978 skin flick was already old news when @Pro (as this thespian collective likes to be called) dusted it off a few years ago, but its production was a hot commodity for weeks on end that got loads of press attention — so why not do it again? The company performs out of Soul Invictus Gallery at 1022 Grand Ave. in Phoenix. Tickets to see Debbie strut her stuff through November 25 are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. For more information, call 602-441-4598.