2 Live Crews

Audiences love epic showdowns. Ali versus Frazier. Jerry Springer brawls. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. This weekend, National Comedy Theater-Phoenix (NCT for short) squares off against NCT-San Diego in what Dorian Lenz, founder and director of NCT-PHX, says should be a "high-energy, very exciting and fun show."

Lenz's performing history spans more than a decade, and includes time with FLD Productions, a seminal comedy stable in the East Valley. After a stint in San Diego, where he performed with NCT-SD, Lenz returned to establish his own branch here. He celebrated the grand opening this past February in the same location that FLD had its first show in the late ’90s.

A typical NCT shindig showcases teams facing off in short improv scenes and games. A ref keeps things moving and family-friendly while the audience provides suggestions to inspire the onstage action. The fast-paced whirlwind of creativity keeps comedy fans involved and performers on their toes.

Fri., July 11, 7:30 & 9:45 p.m.; Sat., July 12, 7:30 & 9:45 p.m., 2008
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Jose Gonzalez