1/14 - 1/30
Some people say they'll wear purple when they grow old. We say we'll wear leopard print, poke the opposite sex in the buttocks with our canes, and meet at the retirement-home bench for daily arguments. That's what Harold and Ben, the lead characters in the play A Bench in the Sun, do, and if it's half as much fun as they make it look, we'll take bickering over bingo any day. The rivalry between the two old fellows intensifies when a once-famous actress named Adrienne moves into the retirement home and they begin vying for her affection. But when they receive word that their home is about to be sold, the three retirees join forces to prevent the sale. As the play unfolds, the wily elders show that there's more than liver spots up their sleeves. A Bench in the Sun opens Friday, January 14, at the East Valley Institute of Technology, 1601 West Main in Mesa. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $13 to $15. The production continues through January 30. Call 480-834-9500. -- Niki D'Andrea
Rantmaster storms into Celebrity Theatre
Not everybody on the loony left was devastated by the results of last year's presidential election. Take Lewis Black, for instance. While the caustic comedian likes to unleash plenty of his trademark sputtering diatribes about the collective boners that have been pulled by Dubya and company, thanks to 51 percent of American voters, Black will have plenty of material for at least four more years. So expect a bounty of Bushwhacking when Black attacks the Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street, starting at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, January 16. Tickets, $32, are available by calling 602-267-1600 or visiting www.celebritytheatre.com. -- Benjamin Leatherman
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Farewell doesn't always mean goodbye
The astounding success of her "Living Proof Farewell Tour" of a few years back has apparently convinced Cher not to throw in the towel quite yet. The hardworking diva is bringing what she again claims will be her final tour to the Glendale Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 18. The "Can Never Say Goodbye" extravaganza promises a retrospective of Cher's four-decades-long recording career (from "I Got You, Babe" to "Turn Back Time" and "Believe"), augmented by glitzy production numbers -- along with the Village People as the opening act. For an entertainer who has demonstrated amazing longevity in the fickle entertainment world, it's hard to believe this is Cher's swan song. In fact, we wouldn't bet on it. Tickets are $32.25 to $75.25. Call 480-784-4444 or see www.glendaleareaaz.com. -- Douglas Towne