A Many Splintered Thing

12/30- 2/12

Paul and Corrie just got married. She's beautiful, and he's a hotshot lawyer who just won his first case, a whopping 6-cent settlement. But their life as newlyweds quickly digresses into one long, hilarious argument in Neil Simon's classic comedy Barefoot in the Park, opening Thursday, December 30, at the Hale Centre Theatre, 50 West Page in Gilbert. The problems begin when the newlyweds discover that their new apartment is unfurnished and there's a hole in their skylight. Worst of all, Paul refuses to join Corrie in the aforementioned walk through the park, barefoot. Corrie labels Paul "a stuffed shirt," and Paul refuses to indulge Corrie's confrontational streak ("You have an argument. When you're done, turn off the lights."). The cast includes Hale Centre Theatre veterans Joe Kremer (the Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance) and April Shepherd (Sarah in Beau Jest). Director Allan Dietlein says the cast brings out "the timeless themes of compatibility and compromise." Go Barefoot through February 12. Tickets cost $14 to $25. Call 480-497-1181 for showtimes. -- Niki D'Andrea

Frank Impressions

Man of many voices lands at Tempe Improv

12/30 - 1/2

Funnyman Frank Caliendo will be yukking it up at the Tempe Improv, 930 East University, from Thursday, December 30, through Sunday, January 2. Impersonations are Caliendo's bread and butter. Well, that and Mad TV and Fox NFL Sunday. In fact, he does a John Madden impersonation that's almost as annoying as John Madden himself. Performances are at 8 p.m. on Thursday and Sunday, and 8 and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with dinner shows on New Year's Eve, so you can eat, drink (there is a two-drink minimum) and be merry. For tickets, $20 to $45, call 480-921-9877. -- C. Murphy Hebert

Six-String Samurai

Ax legend in concert at Celebrity Theatre

THU 12/30

Counting the likes of Steve Vai, and Kirk Hammett from Metallica as some of his many students, Joe Satriani has been making us want to pick up a used six-string and start strumming for years now. It's only natural, considering this guitar god started learning his craft after hearing Jimi Hendrix at age 14. Maybe he'll even consider giving us a lesson before performing at the Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street, on Thursday, December 30. While a stint with David Lee Roth in the mid-'80s made Satriani a household name (to guitar freaks, at least), he eschewed the usual outrageousness and pretension of the cock-rock mindset, putting soulful artistry into albums like Surfing With the Alien, backing it up with flawless precision and technique. Show starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $25 to $30. Call 602-267-1600. -- Benjamin Leatherman

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea
C. Murphy Hebert
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.