Island Bopping

Seeing as how we don't have children, we feel infinitely qualified to tell parents everywhere how to indulge theirs in a little something called "culture." Far from suggesting near-impossible tasks such as getting them to read more and watch TV less, our suggestion comes in the form of music culled from a primitive culture and waiting in child-size doses just around the corner. Immersion into the world of Polynesian music awaits your little ones at "Shake, Rattle, and Roll," happening daily at Makutu's Island Family Fun Center, 6919 West Ray in Chandler. Within this Britney- and Justin-free zone, the music flows more deeply and with much more soul. And thanks to introductions to instruments such as the uli uli and Tongan nafe drums -- plus dances including the "rhythm stick dance" and the Samoan "siva fa'a taupati" -- whatever brain cells your child has lost to excessive video-game playing are certain to be gleefully reinvigorated.

"Shake, Rattle, and Roll" is free with center admission. Call 480-893-0106 or visit -- Craig Wallach

Funny Thing Is...
Young improv players take the stage

If spontaneity is indeed the essence of wit, prepare for the wit to hit the fan when 15 of the Valley's most talented young improv players take the stage for Theatre Gameshow, 7 p.m. Saturday, February 14, at Valley Youth Theatre, 525 North First Street. The quickest wits prevail when VYT's finest break into two teams and compete for laughs in a number of improvisational situations. Best of all, those in attendance choose the evening's winners. Admission is $5. The series continues on the second Saturday of the month, through April. For details call 602-253-8188, extension 2, or visit -- Craig Wallach

Famous Footwear
A working girl finds the man of her dreams

It's The Jerry Springer Show, Extreme Makeover and The Bachelor, all rolled into one happily ever after. She escapes family dysfunction, undergoes a fashion transformation and successfully snags her man -- Cinderella's entertainment value could stand the test of prime time.

See her story set to song at Scottsdale's Stagebrush Theatre, 7020 East Second Street, where Greasepaint Scottsdale Youtheatre presents Rodgers and Hammerstein's take on the tale. Featuring songs such as "Ten Minutes Ago," "In My Own Little Corner" and "The Stepsisters' Lament," the musical continues through February 22. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Fridays, and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Call 480-990-7405 for tickets -- $15 for adults, $12 for children and students, with group discounts available. See for more information. -- Jill Koch

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Jill Koch
Contact: Jill Koch
Craig Wallach