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The Great Puppet Caper

No kids' show: The Pacific Southwest Regional Puppet Festival.
courtesy of Bali & Beyond/Maria Bodman

Games children play often have very grown-up connotations. Playing "doctor" is an easy way for kindergartners to cop a feel, and, apparently, puppetry is a way for grown-ups to play with dolls. From Thursday, June 24, through Sunday, June 27, "Puppets for Everyone: The Pacific Southwest Regional Puppet Festival" comes to Chandler's San Marcos Resort, proving that adults can carve entire careers out of child's play. With workshops such as "Characterization Through Improvisation" and shows such as Alice in the Shadows -- a psychedelic retelling of Alice in Wonderland set to live '60s-style rock 'n' roll -- the festival is a little more mature than an episode of Lambchop's Play-Along.

Performances are $16 for adults, $8 for students. Call 602-262-2050 or see azpuppetfest.com for a schedule. --Megan Irwin

For Those About to Mock . . .

Cover bands rock nostalgic

Fri 6/25
AC/DC shook us all night long, but the most we can expect from TNT -- "not a cover band, but a full tribute show" -- is 45 minutes, an hour tops. Still, we'll keep our motors clean for the boys, who come "complete with costumes, instruments, and stage moves, including the famous Angus antics and strip routine." They open for L.A.'s Led Zepagain (pictured) -- the songs remain the same, as do the outfits -- this Friday, June 25, at the Venue of Scottsdale, 7117 East Third Avenue. 68 Guns trigger frightening flashbacks -- á la Mötley Crüe, Ratt, and Poison -- to open the 9 p.m. 21-and-up show. Tickets are $12 at the door. Call 480-945-5150 (long live Sammy!) or see www.venueofscottsdale.com. --Jill Koch

Wheel Life

Theater troupe rolls with it

Ever caught yourself staring at someone disabled, confined to a wheelchair and seemingly hopeless? Ditch the preconceived notions of depression and angst this Tuesday, June 29, when the Improbable Theatre troupe presents Sex, Death and Wheelchairs at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. In fact, gawk as long as you like, as seven disabled actors present the comedy, based on a collection of monologues presented to playwright Wendy Myers. "I don't think we made light of the disabilities," says Myers. "Although, if you're not laughing, you're crying. [The actors] find a real joy in life. It's part of what they've come to -- an appreciation for life."

The show, directed by Anthony Runfola, runs through July 8 as part of the Lunchtime Theater program. Tickets are $5. Call 602-254-7399. --Joe Watson

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