Austin Powers can switch himself off, because when it comes to spy send-ups, there was none better than Get Smart. Maxwell Smart (a.k.a. Agent 86) never needed pinkie-biting evil doctors or midget clones to get the big laughs, and we'll bet you yearned for your very own shoe phone and the "cone of silence" just as much as we did. In a welcome blast from the past, the North Valley Theatre Company presents Christopher Sergel's stage adaptation of the 1960s TV classic, which continues Friday, September 24, through Sunday, September 26, at Scottsdale's Entertainment Alley, 2200 North Scottsdale Road. This time around, Smart and Agent 99 must save the world from the forces of KAOS and the perilous "Inthermo" device.
Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and kids. Call 602-301-8199 or see www.nvcplayhouse.org for more information. -- Benjamin Leatherman
Lonely Hearts Club
It's a Lang thang; you wouldn't understand
It's National Singles Week. Depressed? Why not trick yourself into laughing, compliments of the raunchy Artie Lang? Lang will take over the Tempe Improv, 910 East University, Friday, September 24, and Saturday, September 25 with an act sure to make even the most hopeless romantic forget his bed is empty back home. Thanks to Yahoo! Personals and the Improv teaming up nationwide, single folk can feel they have someplace to go in this cruel world. Couples are invited, but cautioned against cuddling and exchanging "googly" eyes. For tickets, $27, call 480-921-9877. --Erika Wurst
Rayn Dance Theater showers down on Scottsdale
Monsoon returns, with more Rayn on the way. Rayn Dance Theater, founded by ASU alum Rayn Hookala, returns to the Scottsdale Center for the Arts this Saturday, September 25. Last year's show precipitated an outpouring of acclaim that followed the group to San Diego's Celebrate Dance Festival. Saturday's show consists of repertory pieces and five new works, including Under DeConstruction, a storm of motion inspired by the modern phenomenon of multitasking. Video backdrops and soundtracks impart a full-body message.
Scottsdale Center for the Arts houses our lofty selves at 7380 East Second Street. Shows start at 2 and 8 p.m. For more information, see www.rayndance.org. Call 480-994-2787 for tickets -- $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors. --Kim Toms
It's not such a gay old time
Will and Grace have lied to us all! Apparently, not all gays are well-coifed and equipped with zany hags and amazing apartments. Joe Marshall's The Player shows how quickly a small-town gay boy can fall from grace when surrounded by prostitution, drug abuse and sex addiction. The Alternative Theatre Company production at The Space, 4700 North Central, takes a serious look at the seedy side of the underground gay life. And it's not for prime-time audiences -- 18 and over only. The final performances are Thursday, September 23, through Saturday, September 25. For tickets, $20 to $25, call 602-279-1409. -- C. Murphy Hebert
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A piece of history, set to music
Long before white-boy hepcats aped the Swingers craze and bought their first porkpie, the zoot suit was the ultimate sign of rebellion among Hispanic teens in 1940s Los Angeles. The colorful and comically proportioned ensemble of knee-length jackets and billowing, high-waist trousers was worn by pachucos in a combination of pride and defiance, drawing the ire of the police and "the man."
This attitude and style of dress is at the heart of Luis Valdez's Zoot Suit, which comes to Tempe's Gammage Auditorium, 1200 South Forest, on Saturday, September 25. Set in the aftermath of the Sleepy Lagoon Murder in 1942, the musical documents how some 300 Chicano youths were rousted by the fuzz -- and portrays the anti-Mexican hysteria that gripped the city and sparked the massive "Zoot Suit Riot." (Thankfully, the Cherry Poppin' Daddies won't be involved.) A pre-party, complete with historical displays and commemorative giveaways, starts at 6 p.m., and the play follows at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30. Call 480-965-3434 or see www.asugammage.com. --Benjamin Leatherman