Last fall, Valley comics Josh Skalniak and Josh McDermitt got the chance to compete at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival, and both felt a little out of place. To the surprise of many -- mostly themselves -- Skalniak won first place in the Wild Card category and McDermitt took second in the entire festival. McDermitt got his start as a prank caller on KNIX's Tim & Willy in the Morning, then went to work as a writer for the show that he'd punk'd. His style is dark and sardonic. Skalniak's standup bits are more feral and off-the-wall. The Joshes will present their yin-and-yang techniques at Entertainment Alley, 2200 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, in what's appropriately titled the Josh World Tour. Showtime is 8 p.m. Saturday, August 20. Admission is $12. Call 888-800-5653 or visit www.joshmcdermitt.com. -- Evan Wyloge
Combo plate of dance fusion
Leave your leotard at home (please!) for Nebellen Dance Company's "The Dancer's Choreographic Workshop" on Saturday, August 20. "It's a performance that's called "The Dancer's Choreographic Workshop,'" explains Ellen Rath, who usually creates Nebellen's dances with co-artistic director Ben Howe. "We have 19 dancers, and 14 of them are choreographing. They're choosing music that Ben and I maybe wouldn't have chosen, and doing things we wouldn't do, so it's a really diverse program." The performance starts at 8 p.m. at Phoenix College's John Paul Theater, 1202 West Thomas. Tickets cost $10 at the door. Call 602-285-7300 or visit www.nebellen.com. -- Julie Peterson
Chris & Aurore channel Dylan
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The musical duo of Chris & Aurore sounds like a genetic splicing of early Dylan and the Mamas & the Papas, with Aurore Ounjian's mouth harp adding biting counterpoint to Chris Keene's funky folkhouse vocals, and both of their voices ringing like church bells in harmonic synch. Keene even looks eerily like Highway 61 Revisited-era Dylan, with his scruffy face and beat-up fedora. The two multi-instrumentalists hail from Boston via New York via Boston (they bailed on the Big Apple because of the high cost of living). They play a lyrical mix of folk, rock and R&B, and are definitely worth a listen. Touring in support of To Never Again, Chris & Aurore perform Tuesday, August 23, at the Trunk Space, 1506 Grand Avenue. Eric Douglas, Sage Gentle-Wing, and Blackfeet open. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets cost $5. Call 602-256-6006 or visit www.thetrunkspace.com. -- Clay McNear