There's nothing a contemptuous incumbent politician fears more than a huddled mass eager to learn from Brutus' mistakes after seeing a modern interpretation of Julius Caesar. Whether it's timely election-year fodder, or merely a lesson in how not to execute a coup d'état, the Shakespeare Theatre's production of Julius Caesar "resonates powerfully with a modern audience," says the play's director, Wes Martin. "It deals directly with issues we still face today. Do the ends justify the means, especially where political or social change is involved?" Starring Joseph Kremer, Michael Sherwin and Barry Finnegan, the timeless tragedy runs Friday, March 26, through April 11 at Phoenix Theatre's Little Theatre, 100 East McDowell. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, students and military personnel. Call 602-796-2038 or visit shakespeareaz.tripod.com for more information. -- Joe Watson
ASU displays some fancy feet in latest productions
ASU dance professor Cliff Keuter is saying Farewell to a long career and to a colleague whose time has already passed. As part of ASU's Spring Dance Collection, Keuter, who is retiring after 34 years at ASU, dedicates Farewell to Kathy Lindholm Lane, a fellow dance professor who died of cancer in January. The concert's other works include Unraveled, a solo ballet that incorporates hip-hop and acrobatics. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 25, through Saturday, March 27, with a 2 p.m. start time on Sunday, March 28, at ASU's Galvin Playhouse, 51 East 10th Street in Tempe. Tickets are $14 for adults, $5 for students. For more information, call 480-965-6447. -- Joe Watson
James Joyce musical is no joke
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Although it ain't no Riverdance, ASU West's musical production of James Joyce's The Dead, opening Thursday, March 25, sounds as goofy as a dozen Irish lads kickin' it to "Cotton Eyed Joe." But The Dead, which turns the short story from Joyce's Dubliners into a tour de force of Irish folk melodies, won a Tony Award in 2000. The show, starring ASU West students, staff and faculty, is set in 1904 and follows a pair of sisters who gather 'round their friends and families for some holiday grub, then arrive at life-changing epiphanies. The Dead runs through April 4 at Second Stage West on the ASU West campus, 4701 West Thunderbird. Call 602-543-ARTS for tickets -- $12 for adults, $9 for seniors and $6 for students.-- Joe Watson