Adult puppetry is all the rage these days, but the folks at Skeleton Puppetry Theatre don't think the genre's sexual innuendo or macabre humor would have any appeal outside the nightspots of downtown Phoenix. "This stuff is more for late-night crowds," says puppeteer Nathan Greene. "It's definitely after-dark entertainment you wouldn't see at your Sunday school in the midafternoon."
So until Jesus Christ Super Marionette debuts at local churches, Greene and company will occupy themselves with the premi're of their short film Flesh Eating Ghouls From Outer Space on Friday, August 27, at the Paper Heart, 750 Grand Avenue.
Ghouls, a musical comedy, centers on a pair of green-skinned, dreadlocked aliens who unleash a rampage of man-eating and boogie-dancing upon the Earth, with only the U.S. military and a little girl to oppose them.
The film's followed by a staging of the absurd dating game "Louie's Love Zone," with the ghetto-fabulous Larry The Human Potato Chip and the flatulent Frank The Lower Intestine making a love connection with Gash-In-Ya, a knife-thrower's assistant "trying to get stuck."
Despite all this double-entendre and toilet humor, Greene stiffens at any comparison between their efforts and the high jinks of Crank Yankers or even Peter Jackson's Meet the Feebles, although Greene wouldn't mind if Ghouls paved the way to a blockbuster trilogy of fantasy epics some day.
"I don't try to dream that big," says Greene. "But it's certainly encouraging, and this is a very early step towards that kind of success."
The show starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $5. Call 602-262-2020 or see www.thepaperheart.com. --Benjamin Leatherman
Electric Kodak moments on display
Since lightning allegedly doesn't strike twice in the same place, it's always handy to have a camera. That is, if you're Susan Strom and Cathy Franklin, photographers from Fountain Hills and Phoenix, respectively, who'll have their photos of Mother Nature's electric fury on display through Tuesday, August 31, at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, just west of Superior. Nearly three dozen images are on display, including several by Strom that have been published in local and national magazines. Admission to the arboretum, including the photo exhibition, is $7.50, $3 for kids 5 to 12, and free for kids 4 and younger. Call 520-689-2632 or see arboretum.ag. arizona.edu for directions. --Joe Watson
AZ charities need a hand
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While it probably isn't your last shot at being the do-gooder you've always wished to be, Saturday, August 28, is the final day to be a part of the Make A Difference "Something Good" community project. For the past three weeks, more than 1,000 volunteers have donated their time to organizations like the Lost Boys of Sudan, the Prehab of Arizona General Store, and the Phoenix Rescue Mission. On Saturday, the final day of the project, volunteers can help out at St. Mary's Food Bank, Paz de Cristo and the Salvation Army, among others. Working in groups is always a plus, so wake your pals from their hung-over slumber. Visit www.azfamily.com/somethinggood to sign up, or call 602-973-2212. --Joe Watson
Witness the rousing tact of the abstract
If abstract art makes your eyes glaze over, local artist Kim Vigil can help. Vigil often sees people walk away from abstract exhibits, she says, shaking their heads because they just don't get it. But Vigil promises her show "Light," at Studio Hub at 130 North Central, isn't "too out there." Vigil uses organic shapes, patterns and themes in her paintings, which are easy for art connoisseurs and casual observers alike to comprehend. So don't feel like an idiot once you've seen the "Light." Studio Hub is open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. "Light" is on display through Tuesday, August 31. Call 480-242-6137. --C. Murphy Hebert