Who didn't think about running away to the circus at least once when they were a kid? Thankfully, Zoppé An Italian Family Circus is making it easy to live out those childhood fantasies by bringing the circus to you. Led by sixth-generation circus performer Giovanni Zoppé, this one-ring circus will captivate audiences with acrobatics, dazzling animals, clowns, and more as the performers follow the 170-year-old Zoppé traditions. Audiences will also be wowed by the Osorio family flying through the air in rings, on swings, and off a teeterboard.
The circus is kicking off its 2014-15 tour at the Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Arizona Avenue, on Friday, December 26 at 7 p.m. For tickets, starting at $22, and more information, visit chandlercenter.org or call 480-782-2680. Evie Carpenter
Scottsdale's award-winning story sharing slam Lit Lounge rounds out a year of high-energy true tale telling with a post-holiday performance. The monthly series gathers writers and artists -- both local and national talent -- to open up about life, love, and everything in between. Featured performers include Ali Liebegott, a writer for the Amazon-distributed comedy series Transparent, Joy Young, a Phoenix-based poet who can often be caught onstage at Lawn Gnome, and Jimmy Doyle, who has cracked up audiences from Chicago's Second City to cable's Comedy Central. Showtime starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 26, at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art's SMoCA Lounge, 7374 East Second Street. Tickets are $10 ($8 for museum members) and tend to sell out fast. Get yours at www.smoca.org or call 480-874-4666. Janessa Hilliard
There is nothing worse than getting your skates all laced up, stumbling out onto the ice, and proudly making that first lap around the rink without falling on your ass only to get shown up by a preteen in a sparkly tutu whose triple Salchow jump is obviously headed for the Olympics. But have no fear because every Saturday now through February 2, 2015, you can skate to your heart's content without getting outdone by someone a third your age during Adult Skate at CityScape, 1 East Washington Street. The CitySkate Ice Rink will be open from 9 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, December 13, and tickets for adults are $12, which includes your skate rental. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit cityskatephx.com. Evie Carpenter
Irreverent comedy is the best kind of comedy, especially when it focuses on the holidays. Think about it: Now is a time of joy, happiness, sadness, silliness, contemplation, thievery, and mixed emotions all washed down with plenty of mixed drinks, which, when rolled together can create a combustible combination ripe for the sketch comedy of local yuksters Bully Mammoth. As the six-person crew is fond of saying, "Nothing is safe." Expect the holidays to be picked apart with uproarious mockery and dry wit. Twisted? Like a candy cane! Now that's getting into the holiday spirit. Catch the annual show at 8 p.m. Saturday, December 27, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway. General admission is $10, and students pay $8. Visit www.bullymammoth.com. Glenn BurnSilver
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History is rife with dramatic splits between siblings: Cain and Abel, Remus and Romulus, Mario and Luigi. The tragic gravitas of brother being pit against brother meets Japanese monsters in Kamen Rider Black, which screens on Sunday, December 28. In the eighth edition of the Kamen Rider series, the criminal cult Gorgom kidnaps stepbrothers Kotaro and Nobuhiko to enhance them with cybernetics and force them to fight to determine the next Creation King. Kotaro escapes before being brainwashed and takes on the name Kamen Rider Black as he fights various kaijin and later on faces his brother as the Shadow Moon. Tokusatsu Theater presents Kamen Rider Black at FilmBar, 815 North Second Avenue, at 4 p.m. Admission is $9. To purchase tickets in advance or for more info, visit www.thefilmbarphx.com. Jose Gonzalez