Comedian George Carlin wrote in his 1991 book Napalm & Silly Putty, "In Rome today, Pope John Paul removed his little hat and revealed he has a small map of Tombstone, Arizona, tattooed on his head." We can only hope for another Arizona mention in his upcoming book, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?. Carlin, once known as simply a standup comic, is now known more as a social critic and actor. He makes a significant appearance in the upcoming Kevin Smith movie Jersey Girl and keeps busy doing voice-overs for animated films. Carlin comes through the Valley on Friday, March 5, to remind us what we don't know, what we've missed in the news and who needs to die. The show begins at 8 p.m. at the Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street. Tickets, $35 and $50, are available through www.ticketmaster.com or 602-267-1600. -- Maidi Terry
Samuel Beckett's play takes the stage
Summarizing Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot is difficult. "It sits out there as 'that weird play,'" says Charles Sohn, the actor who plays Estragon in the Is What It Is Theatre production, opening this weekend. "It looks at the difficulty of making sense out of life -- but don't make me defend that." Director Tim Butterfield has modernized the 50-year-old play to "give it a kick in the ass" -- directing the message to today's "slacker generation."
Waiting for Godot runs Friday, March 5, through March 27 at Studio One Performing Arts Center, 4520 East Thomas. Tickets are $10 to $12; call 480-994-9495. -- Quetta Carpenter
Youth of a Nation
Children of Uganda visit Scottsdale
In an age when "LOL" is considered an acceptable form of communication, a group of children from Uganda is coming through Scottsdale to remind us of what is lost when a culture abbreviates its stories. The Children of Uganda performance troupe was founded to teach orphans the songs that were in danger of being lost to an entire generation. Not simply songs, these verses are primers on ideals such as social stability, courtship and the importance of community. The members of the troupe range in age from 8 to 18, and their abilities have been hailed as "inspiring" by the New York Times. At 8 p.m. Friday, March 5, their performance at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street, promises to shine some light on our own looming loss of traditions. Tickets, $28, can be purchased by calling 480-994-2787 or by visiting www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org. -- Maidi Terry
Comedian brings his unique brand of comedy to Gammage
John Leguizamo, one of few to have seen Wesley Snipes up close in a dress, made his name by playing characters such as Chi-Chi Rodriguez, Toulouse-Lautrec, Spider Mike and Sid the Sloth. His writings -- including Sexaholix, Freak, Spic-O-Rama, The Pest, and House of Buggin' -- are just as inspired. ASU's Gammage Auditorium, 1200 South Forest in Tempe, invites you to spend an evening with the actor-slash-comedian-writer-producer-songwriter at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 8. Tickets are $25 to $100; call 480-965-3434 or see www.ticketmaster.com to purchase. -- Quetta Carpenter
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Nearly Naked enters The House of Yes
Every branch on this family tree is twisted: The siblings are alarmingly close, the sister thinks she's Jackie Onassis, and the whole clan is obsessed with the dead Kennedys (the politicos, not the punks). A hurricane magnifies the madness, and an unsuspecting guest is in for a Thanksgiving to remember at The House of Yes, Wendy MacLeod's dark comedy about a different kind of love shack. Nearly Naked Theatre stages the freak show from Friday, March 5, through March 20 at Phoenix Theatre's newly renovated Little Theatre, 100 East McDowell. Call 602-274-2432 for tickets, $15 general admission, $12 for students, seniors, military personnel and teachers. -- Jill Koch
Monologues offers the lowdown
When Eve Ensler interviewed 200 women about their experiences as females and turned it into a live stage show, she chose a name guaranteed to attract attention. At first glance, The Vagina Monologues might sound off limits to the non-vagina-sporting population, but the show has become a phenomenon by appealing to women and men interested in a hilarious, sad and real look at the female experience. The V-Day Campaign presents The Vagina Monologues at Neeb Hall on Tempe's ASU campus. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 6, and 1 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, March 7. Proceeds go to the establishment of Homesafe, ASU's new anti-violence center for women. For details call 480-965-6447. -- Craig Wallach