Comedy, rugby, and a little profanity round out Jackalope Ranch's top picks for things to do this weekend.
Between his spot-on impersonations of drunk chicks who just don't care to Brits who are pissed, Chris D'Elia is gaining the laughs and attention he deserves. In 2011, D'Elia appeared in Variety's "Top 10 Comics to Watch" alongside comedy notables Amy Schumer and Rebel Wilson. Since his days as the lead opposite Whitney Cummings in the NBC sitcom Whitney, D'Elia can be found on tour, on NBC's Undateable, and this coming fall in his one-hour stand-up special for Comedy Central.
D'Elia will visit the Valley Thursday through Saturday, April 10 through 12, at Tempe Improv, 930 East University Drive, Tempe 85281. Showtimes are 8 p.m. on Thursday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. on Friday, and 7 and 10 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $22 with a two-drink minimum. For details and tickets, visit www.tempeimprov.com or call the box office at 480-921-9877. -- Katie Johnson
If you've noticed a resurgence of flannel shirts and Doc Martens, you're not in a time warp to the early 1990s -- it's the cycle of what's old being new again. Space 55 Theater's solo performance extravaganza A Bitch in Time abides and goes way old school on April 11 and 12.
A Bitch in Time has been tops in featuring awesome women performing solo pieces that incorporate comedy, theater, dance, poetry, and almost any other discipline you can think of. In its latest edition, each performer has been assigned one of nine Muses from Ancient Greek mythology to inspire them. Lucky audiences will see Muses such as Calliope (representing epic poetry), Melpomene (tragedy), and Thalia (comedy) meet performers including Leslie Barton, Anthony Desamito, and Harmony DeLeon.
A Bitch in Time: 9 Muses sasses up Space 55, 636 East Pierce Street in Phoenix, at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $10. For more info, visit www.space55.org. -- Jose Gonzalez
In 1980, Phoenix-based video game company Amstar Electronics released an upright cabinet called, what else, Phoenix. This vintage descendent of Space Invaders and cousin of Galaga will be right at home at the ZapCon Arcade & Pinball Convention on Saturday, April 12.
Your smartphone has more processing power than any machine at this second edition of ZapCon but playing Flappy Bird can't compare with landing a well-timed shoryuken punch in Street Fighter II in front of a gaggle of onlookers. In addition to some official competitions and some compelling arcade-centric film screenings, all of the games are set to free play. The biggest game of all might be using your time wisely.
The ZapCon Arcade & Pinball Convention levels up at the Renaissance Downtown Phoenix Hotel, 50 East Adams Street, from 10 a.m. to midnight on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. A one-day pass is $25, while the weekend pass is $35. See more info at www.zapcon.com. -- Jose Gonzalez
The best and worst of fringe sporting events are the gimmicks they pick up to attract an audience. On the one hand, you'll at least have a story to tell if the game is boring. On the other hand, there's probably a German word for the special type of guilt that you feel when you realize you're paying more attention to the guy riding a buffalo on the sidelines than you are to the game.
Saturday, April 12's Rugby Bowl at WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 North Pima Road, is a prime example of how a fringe sport can be gimmicky without going overboard. The event will feature a bunch of motorcycles on display Mad-Max style, and on the field Arizona State's rugby team will take on top-ranked Brigham Young University. The game will kick off at 1:10 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance ($18 at the door) and are available through www.ticketforce.com. -- Ed Kummerer
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If Arizona Theatre Company's productions sometimes don't feel Arizona-y enough, Around the World in 80 Days should balance that out. It features hyperlocal wunderalterkocker Jon Gentry as Passepartout, along with Valley-nurtured perennial fave Bob Sorenson and the talented and beautiful Kyle Sorrell (Xanadu) and Yolanda London, directed by Childsplay founder David P. Saar.
Jules Verne's inherently steampunky novel, scripted by Mark Brown, moves at breakneck speed, particularly for its cast of five (including perfectly good but non-Arizonan actor Mark Anders as Phileas Fogg), three of whom play 29 characters altogether. We do object to the plot, which zooms across North America without visiting Arizona at all. But the story's biggest surprise is that, despite containing none of the elements of Verne's other works that defined science fiction, it does involve time travel, kinda sorta.
Remain unspoiled if you can, and partake of the Phoenix run through Sunday, April 13, at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Thursday, March 27's performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Visit www.ticketmaster.com or call 602-256-6995 for tickets, $40.50 to $72. -- Julie Peterson