It's heroine versus heroin in Needles, Guns & Grass . . . , a dark new comedy taking the stage this weekend at ASU. The "live action graphic novel," written and directed by playwriting master's student Laurelann Porter, re-creates a post-apocalyptic world, where "the government is conspiring with the corporate fascists to dope the people on anti-depressants." Putting the "vice" in vice squad, the story's superheroes find their powers in meth, ecstasy, mushrooms and opium. X-Woman, Meth Man and the rest of the Rebel Anarchists League must battle their own addictions while fighting external evils. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Thursday, December 4, through Saturday, December 6, at ASU's Lyceum Theatre, located on Forest Mall south of University in Tempe. Admission is free, but reservations are required; call 602-525-2557.
Dance benefits Toys for Tots
Still not in the holiday spirit? Get cracking. Ballet & Friends presents its 22nd annual production of The Nutcracker, this Friday, December 5, through Sunday, December 7, at Horizon High School, 5601 East Greenway Road in Scottsdale. Admission is a new, unwrapped toy to benefit Toys for Tots. Call 602-996-8000 for more information. - Jill Koch
Crossing the Lines
New dance production explores relationships
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Tired of dancing around the issues of boundaries and connection? Let someone else step in. Scottsdale Community College's resident dance companies -- Instinct Dancecorps, SCC Moving Company and Scottsdale Arizona Jazz Ensemble -- partner with Physical Graffiti Dance Company to present Between the Lines, a collection of new dance works exploring interpersonal boundaries. Showtime is 8 p.m. Saturday, December 5, and Sunday, December 6, at the Scottsdale Community College Performing Arts Center, 9000 East Chaparral in Scottsdale. Call 480-423-6600 for tickets, $6 to $8. - Jill Koch
New production takes a look at Jesus
Dreaming of a white Christmas? Broaden your holiday horizons -- check out Black Nativity, a Black Theatre Troupe production recounting the birth of Jesus through Scripture, verse, song and dance. Melding verses old (the Gospel of St. Luke) and new (the poetry of Langston Hughes), the musical opens Thursday, December 4, at the John Paul Theatre on the Phoenix College campus, 1202 West Thomas. Performances continue at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through December 14. Tickets are $22 to $27, with discounts for groups, students, seniors and military personnel. Call 602-258-8128 for reservations. - Jill Koch