Reel to Real
Monica Long Ross admits she's a voyeur. The playwright has been collecting other people's home movies for years and watching them in her basement. "I remember thinking, "These are beautiful images. Someone should see these,'" says Ross. So she used the films of one particular family that she purchased at an estate sale and created a play based on the images. In the Arizona Women's Theatre Company production Complications, Ross used the footage to create the story of Emma (played by Delores D'Amore Goldsmith, pictured), a dying matriarch who revisits her life through the video images. "It's an interesting juxtaposition, remembering your past and conjuring it up in dreams that are induced by morphine," says Goldsmith. "It's an exciting experiment with film and theater."
Complications shows at 8 p.m. Friday, November 25, and Saturday, November 26, and 2 p.m. Sunday, November 27, in Suite J at the StableArts Complex, 7610 East McDonald in Scottsdale. Tickets range from $10 to $20. Call 602-840-7800. -- Niki D'Andrea
Laugh at him
Ronn Vigh's nicknames include "The San Francisco Treat" and "The Other White Meat" (don't ask), and he's often compared to a young, Botox-free Joan Rivers. At 98 pounds soaking wet, comedian Vigh looks like a pushover, but underneath the pretty-boy features lurks an acerbic wit that doesn't pull any PC punches (an example is his "trademark" joke about how he looks so young that the Catholic Church hired him as its poster boy, and he was so "touched" -- literally). The California-based comic's résumé includes city finalist for NBC's Last Comic Standing II. Vigh headlines Gay Comedy Night at 8 p.m. Wednesday, November 30, at The Comedy Spot, 7117 East Third Avenue in Scottsdale. Tickets range from $12 to $15. Call 480-945-4422. -- Wynter Holden
Cup o' Hot Joe
We hate whiz kids, those smarty-pants brats who beat computers at chess and make the rest of us look like the apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey who're flinging bones at one another. However, not all wunderkinds are snots, and one we highly recommend is guitarist Joe Bonamassa, a baby-faced bluesician who, despite earning an opening gig for B.B. King at the tender age of 10, has turned out to be a regular -- ahem -- Joe. Now in his mid-20s, New York's Bonamassa has been heavily influenced by Southern-fried boogie-men such as Gregg Allman, Duke Robillard, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and that musical omnivore Robben Ford. Bonamassa's tornadic sound is a sublimely schizophrenic fusion of funk, roadhouse rock, and Chicago, British and Delta blues. Touring in support of his latest disc, Had to Cry Today, Bonamassa performs on Tuesday, November 29, at Martini Ranch, 7295 East Stetson in Scottsdale. Shawn Johnson & The Foundation open. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $22 at the door. Call 480-784-4444 or visit www.eveningstarproductions.com. -- Clay McNear
God bless Amurica
Clinton couldn't keep his pants zipped, but at least he could play the sax and balance the budget. It almost seems unfair to lampoon his successor, as Dubya does such a fine job of it himself. Nevertheless, "Amurica's" first citizen and his chuckle-headed administration provide fertile ground for the Capitol Steps, a ferociously funny comedy troupe that baits elephants, donkeys and other political fauna. The group's members know whereof they spoof, as they're all politicos themselves, former aides to Beltway bigwigs who, according to the Steps, "have since been defeated or placed under investigation." Showtime is 8 p.m. Friday, November 25, and the same time Saturday, November 26, at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $42. Call 480-994-2787 or visit www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org. -- Clay McNear
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