"I prefer to write plays that fuck with the audience's mind on the drive home afterwards," says Chris Danowski, writer of ApoCalypso, Theater in My Basement's latest surrealistic production. "I know when I see a play, I like to be bombarded with a lot of ideas, emotions and images, and then try to wrap my mind around it." Those who witness Danowski's 90-minute exercise in existentialism are in for a similar experience, as the play melds the mind-bending subjects of memory, cultural amnesia and post-colonialism with clips of news shows and cooking programs, all set to a Caribbean hip-hop soundtrack. The plot centers on six characters stuck on an airplane in midflight, which serves as a metaphor for a state of spiritual limbo. The audience won't have to understand the play to appreciate it, however. "That's not the point," says Danowski. "What I'm hoping for is that it'll be pleasurable to watch." ApoCalypso takes the stage at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt. Tickets are $5. Call 602-462-5516 or visit www.timb.org. -- Benjamin Leatherman
Latino Comedy Night takes the stage at the Improv
Chalk it up to life experience or natural selection, but the truth is that some cultures are simply funnier than others. How best to tell if your heritage can bring the laughs on a consistent basis? Why, its own comedy night, of course -- something not unlike Latino Comedy Night, Tuesday, April 20, and Wednesday, April 21, at the Tempe Improv, 930 East University. Ralphie May, a finalist on NBC's Last Comic Standing, headlines a lineup that includes Patrick DeGuire and Edwin San Juan. Partial proceeds benefit the Nine Beans and a Burrito Foundation Educational Scholarship Fund. Showtimes are 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. (ages 21 and over). Call 480-921-9877 or visit www.latinocomedynight.com. -- Craig Wallach
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Take a drag at Desert Stages
If high heels, feather boas, sequins, and the toe-tapping transvestites who don them ever become not-so-fabulous, we'll let you know. But now just ain't that time, as Desert Stages Theatre presents its production of the 1983 Tony-winning musical La Cage aux Folles, opening Friday, April 16, and running through May 9. The comedy, set in an ab fab she-male nightclub on the island of Saint-Tropez, follows club owner Georges, his female-impersonating lover Albin, and their straight son Jean-Michel as they pretend to be a "respectable" family for Jean-Michel's fiance's conservative parents. The hometown version stars Gerry Cullity and Roger Prenger. Desert Stages is located at 8473 East McDonald in Scottsdale. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 the day of the show. Call 480-483-1664 or visit www.desertstagestheatre.com. -- Joe Watson