Thanks to a Valley pioneer in lace exploration, adventurous theatergoers soon will see London, France and beyond. Beginning Friday, July 18, On the Spot Productions presents Skimpies, a brief treatise on underpants. The cheeky comedy, which swept the Zoni awards after its 1990 première, returns with new music and costumes. The "magically weird story" finds Aphrodite returning to Earth to open a lingerie business. Her undies change the lives of a drag queen, a nun, a housewife and a sexually unfulfilled widow, but comic complications arise when Aphrodite's son, Cupid, sticks his nose where it really doesn't belong.
Skimpies runs through August 20 at 4700 North Central. Tickets are $13 and $15. Call 602-564-6606 for reservations.Jill Koch
Climbing the ladder of success has never been funnier
Who better to recognize a window of opportunity? A window washer ascends the corporate ladder -- with help from the original how-to book -- in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, a stage production benefiting literacy outreach programs in the Maricopa Community College District. The Mesa Community College English and music departments present the musical comedy Friday, July 18, through July 26 at Phoenix Theatre, 100 East McDowell. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students; call 602-254-2151 for reservations. - Jill Koch
Puppets portray existential search
When you come across an event titled Map Making, you might expect pencils and tracing paper to be involved. This première production by the Omnipresent Puppet Theater does involve mapping -- but the kind that goes on in the soul. Puppeteers Don and Kamala Kruszka debut this tale of Zedwin and his search for his friend Star on Friday, July 18, and Saturday, July 19, at the Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 West Latham. It's a story we all know: the search for the other, the encounter with trials along the way, and the eventual finding of oneself. But you rarely get to see this story line portrayed through the art of puppetry, and encounters with "Despair," "Want" and "Control" give this PG-13 show appeal to a much broader audience. Call 602-262-2050 or visit www.azpuppets.org.