Need plans, Phoenix? This weekend theater, poetry, and a thrillshow by way of Houston await.
How do you take tragic and turn it into magic? You hand over it over to a bunch of Shakespeare rookies, give them only a month to practice, then sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.
Shakespeare's King Lear is about to get a local makeover thanks to a bunch of sketch comedy performers from such downtown Phoenix institutions as Space 55, First Friday Night Live, and Comedy on Fire. Will this troupe of talented performers descend into madness like King Lear or will they produce the best rendition of Shakespeare ever to see the stage? There's only one way to find out.
Shakespeare's King Lear takes to the stage Friday, May 30, and Saturday, May 31, at the Firehouse Gallery, 1015 North First Street. Shows start at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15, with a discount for previous Firehouse performers. For details, visit www.facebook.com/firehousephoenix or call 602-300-7575. -- Katie Johnson
The Balboa Poet House in Tempe, run by Deborah Berman and Joe Montaño III, has been hosting salon-style poetry readings in an intimate, domestic setting since 2012. The poetic crew teams up with downtown Phoenix's Great Arizona Puppet Theater to go even bigger with Rise! A Night of Hispanic Poetry, Music, & Art on Friday, May 30.
The GAPT itself is housed in a former LDS church built in the Spanish Colonial architectural style in 1929 that will serve as the backdrop for the Latino and Latina voices of Rise! Distinguished wordsmiths like Susanna Velarde Covarrubias, Ernesto Moncada, and Michelle Ponce will raise the rafters while acoustic duo Revizor bring together haunting vocals and moodily melodic instrumentals. Estevan Curiel will provide the visuals via his live painting to heighten the sonics throughout the night.
Rise! A Night of Hispanic Poetry, Music, & Art runs from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 West Latham Street. While there is no admission fee, there is a suggested donation of $5. For more information about this event, visit www.balboapoethouse.weebly.com. -- Jose Gonzalez
If you find yourself zombie-ing out in front of the various screens in front of you, you might need less traditional entertainment to shake up your routine. Just imagine a carnival barker beckoning you and touting the amazing feats of The Strange Danger Thrill Show who make tracks to the Valley on Saturday, May 31.
Straight out of Houston, Jay Braggart and Ginger B. Goode make with the old-timey sideshow flair. The dapper pair toss daggers, eat fire, and trot out other surprises intent on wowing the crowd. This is Braggart & Goode's last show of their southwest tour before their summer residence on the Black Pirate Ship sailing the high seas of South Padre Island, Texas.
The Strange Danger Thrill Show excites and delights at 8 p.m. at The Trunk Space, 1506 Grand Avenue. Doors open at 7:30 p m., and admission is $6. Visit www.thetrunkspace.com for more info or call 602-256-6006. -- Jose Gonzalez
The Arizona Rattlers and San Jose Sabercats have never quite been able to stay out of each other's way. The Rattlers have knocked the Sabercats out of the playoffs three times in the past 11 seasons; the Sabercats have knocked the Rattlers out four times in that same time span. This season does not look like it will be any different: Arizona and San Jose are clearly the class of their conference, and a date in the playoffs seems almost certain.
You can see a preview of that likely playoff match-up on Saturday, May 31, when Arizona and San Jose will square off at US Airways Center, 201 East Jefferson Street. The Rattlers figure to have the edge (they bested the Sabercats in San Jose earlier this season), but being favored rarely matters in this rivalry. The game will kick off at 6:30. Tickets start at $5 and are available online through www.ticketmaster.com. -- Ed Kummerer
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Garrison Keillor has fantastic eyebrows. Big, bushy, salt-and-pepper-flaked numbers that seem purpose-chosen for his expressions, as if he has a variety of them in a drawer at home and grabs a pair before leaving the house each morning. Of course, you'd never know this if you hadn't seen him in person. No, all you'd know is that Keillor's the founder and host of A Prairie Home Companion (which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year) and a New York Times bestselling author of 19 books of fiction and humor. But grab a ticket to Keillor's upcoming appearance hosted by Changing Hands Bookstore -- in which he'll present excerpts from his new collection, The Keillor Reader -- and you'll know both.
Keillor (and his eyebrows) will appear at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 1 at Dobson High School, 1501 West Guadalupe Road in Mesa. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. Entrance is free when you purchase The Keillor Reader from Changing Hands Bookstore. Visit www.changinghands.com or call 480-730-0205 for more. -- Zachary Fowle