Hey, Mom and Dad, does your mini-me have too much rock and not enough opera in his cultural stew? Strike a balance by checking out In the Kingdom of Clouds, a rock opera for and performed by kids at Scottsdale's Desert Stages Children's Theatre, 8473 East McDonald. Written by Desert Stages artistic director Gerry Cullity, the production builds on the idea that children lying on their backs and staring at clouds can change the shapes using their imaginations. What if the children stopped imagining? That's the question Cullity poses. Cumulus, Queen of the Clouds, sends her son Cirrus to Earth to find out why the clouds have stopped changing shapes. Cirrus wants to help the Earth children regain their imaginations, but Thunderhead, Ruler of the Dark Clouds, will do all he can to prevent that from happening. In the Kingdom of Clouds runs Friday, June 20, through July 27. Tickets are $12; call 480-483-1664 or see www.desertstagestheatre.com for reservations. - Brendan Joel Kelley
Lions, bears and clowns, oh my!
The 133rd time's a charm. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, version 133, swings into America West Arena, 201 East Jefferson, Wednesday, June 25, through July 6, with the requisite clowns and beasts -- plus five motorcyclists zooming within the subtly named Globe of Death. Tickets are $10 to $50; call 480-784-4444. - Jill Koch
A Novel Idea
Books vs. Movies, the title bout
Catch a title fight at Chandler's Sunset Library, where a semimonthly program asks critics 8 and older, "Which Is Better? Book or Movie?" Participants register at the library, 4930 West Ray, and read a specified book before meeting to view the video. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler --based on the 1967 Newbery winner about siblings who move into the Metropolitan Museum of Art -- rolls at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 24. Call 480-782-2840 or see www.chandlerlibrary.org. - Jill Koch
Hey Man, Nice Trot
Zany b-ball antics from the masters
When the Harlem Globetrotters formed in the late 1920s, it wasn't in Harlem (Illinois, actually), and globe trotters was a stretch (the team didn't travel overseas until 1946). Geographical inaccuracies aside, the 'trotters know a thing or two about roundball -- and select players and coaches will share their skills during the team's Summer Youth Basketball Camp, Monday, June 23, through Friday, June 27, at North Phoenix Baptist Church, 5757 North Central. In addition to game fundamentals, the camp emphasizes "life skills" through classroom sessions on leadership and self-esteem. Campers ages 6 to 16 can attend morning or afternoon sessions; registration is $185. Call 602-707-5901 or see www.harlemglobetrotters.com. - Jill Koch
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