Creature Great and Small

1/9-1/25
Stuart Little -- everyone's favorite mouse, adventurer and exceptionally good guy -- has taken to the boards, hoofing and singing in the musical adaptation of E.B. White's beloved book. Just like in the book, Stuart dodges the malicious Snowbell in search of his wren friend Margalo and, on the way, he proves that pluck and a Little love go a long way, even in New York. No matter how grown up you are, you'll root for the diminutive hero in this moral tale that doesn't play like one. Stuart Little: The Musical plays at Fountain Hills Youth Theater from Friday, January 9, through January 25. Performances take place at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays at the Fountain Hills Community Theater, 11445 North Saguaro. Call 480-837-9661 for tickets, $10 for adults and $8 for children. Though reservations are required, seats are not assigned, so arrive early. See www.fountainhillstheater.com for more information. - Kim Toms

The Inside Track

Track club begins training

Sat 1/10
While fame, riches and glory are reserved for the best in each given sport, the basic tenets of competition are building blocks on which kids can build a lifelong foundation. Creating a positive self-image is the main emphasis for the Arizona Cheetahs, a Chandler-based track club committed to the physical and emotional development of Valley youth. Training for the 2004 season begins in earnest at the Arizona Cheetahs Track and Field Clinic for Kids, at 9 a.m. Saturday, January 10, at Chandler High School, 350 North Arizona Avenue in Chandler. Admission is free. For details visit www.azcheetahs.com. - Craig Wallach

Beauty Call

Childsplay brings back a hit

1/10-1/18
Childsplay is interested in what its name suggests. However, the children's theater company is not interested in sidestepping serious topics. Now approaching its 26th season, Childsplay is bringing The Beauty Machine, by Raymond Plante, back for a repeat performance. Last season, the play was a surprise hit, and the theater is giving Valley residents another chance to see the production. Often compared to The Music Man, this French-Canadian moral fable revolves around the ideas of self-image and vanity in an unassuming small town. Beginning with the arrival of a huckster selling beauty, the play investigates the comedic possibilities as the members of the community subject themselves to a machine to achieve beauty. The show runs from Saturday, January 10, through January 18 at the Tempe Performing Arts Center, 132 East Sixth Street in Tempe. For tickets and showtimes, call 480-350-8119 or visit www.childsplayaz.org. - Maidi Terry

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Maidi Terry
Kim Toms
Craig Wallach