Something fishy this way comes, when the Tuna Helpers flop onto the stage at the Emerald Lounge, 1514 North Seventh Avenue on Thursday, February 17. The female trio call themselves a "pop-goth, performance art, puppet-wielding band," and intersperse their own songs with performances by homemade puppets, some of which have two heads, legs that kick, or blinking eyes. The band also has someone onstage who translates their lyrics into American Sign Language. Given Helper Adrienne Sneed's propensity for singing opera, the show promises to be a multilingual, bipolar experience. "There are some serious songs and some silly songs," Sneed says. "But we do not take ourselves seriously, or things will go wrong. My guitar will break or something." Get seriously hooked when the Tuna Helpers share the bill with Jake and Paperboy Jack. Admission is free, and the music starts at 10 p.m. Call 602-256-9705. -- Niki D'Andrea
Stray Cat revives groundbreaking work
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Stray Cat Theatre's production of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart is a living history of sorts. The 1985 chronicle of the genesis of the AIDS epidemic opens on Friday, February 18, at Stray Cat Theatre, 1121 North First Street, and follows the story of writer and activist Ned Weeks, who is waging a lonely war against apathy toward the disease. Director Ron May says, "The issues, the ravages of this horrific disease, sadly, are not over." Think of the play as shock treatment for the complacent or an antidote to Valentine's Day sappiness. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 480-820-8022. -- Patricia Beck
Devil May Care
Chanteuse company at Rhythm Room
Beware, all you punkers, hepcats and male members of the Cocktail Nation: The sensual siren song of the Devil Doll -- a.k.a. Colleen Duffy -- will beckon when the vintage vixen visits the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School, on Thursday, February 17. A punky princess and self-described Queen of Pain, Duffy takes a (Bettie) page from the vampy retro style with jet-black hair, dangerous curves, and come-hither stare. Her satanically satiny voice also entices as it croons along to brassy big band, tortured torch songs, jazzy jump beats, or even raucous rockabilly. But don't do her wrong, boys, since this sultry sex kitten has claws, and like the heroines of noir-film lore, she'll steal your heart and drive you to drink, purring oh-so-seductively, "I want to kiss you, then punch you in the face." The femme fatalities start at 9 p.m. and admission is $10. Call 602-265-4842. -- Benjamin Leatherman