What's black, white and red all over? A penguin in a blender? A zebra with diaper rash? No, it's a world-première drama presented by Is What It Is Productions at the Studio One Performing Arts Center, 4520 East Thomas. Black, White and Read All Over is a story that relates to anyone who has lost a loved one. Evan is a typical twentysomething -- unattached, unencumbered, and practically a youth himself until he falls in love with Bianca, the single mother of an 8-year-old boy. Their happily-ever-after dreams come crashing down when Bianca is murdered, thrusting Evan into dual roles as widower and father. Aided by his therapist and family, Evan attempts to overcome the haunting memories of "that night." An inside tip -- bring tissues, lots of 'em. When cast member Ted Herbig (who plays Evan's brother, Steve) read the script for the first time, he cried -- and it wasn't the token BW&RAO is certainly tragic, playwright and director Michael Peck has attempted to keep the dialogue witty and lighthearted. "The show really comes off like a comedy with some real sucker punches to the gut throughout," says Peck. "[It is] guerrilla theater at its rawest." If many dramas tend toward black-and-white, this one's written in shades of gray. The play opens Friday, August 12, and continues through August 27. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets range from $10 to $12. Call 480-994-9495. -- Wynter Holden

Blazing Arizona
Firing retros now

THU 8/11
Of all the runway shows at all the dance parties in all the Valley, why should you pick the Blazing Retro Fashion Party at the Paper Heart, 750 Grand Avenue? "It's going to be off the chain. Really hot," explains Iman Whitmore, marketing director for the show's sponsor, Sophistikatz Fashion Boutique. "We have fashions anyone can wear every day and be yourself." Along with vintage threads and local designs from R Lucien, KD Creations, and others, the big to-do on Thursday, August 11, will also feature a soundscape of alternative hip-hop and funk by DJ Mantis Claw. Admission is $7 before 10 p.m., $10 after. Visit www.so-phis-ti-katz.com for more information. -- Julie Peterson

Vicious Cycle
Tour de cure

SAT 8/13
How 'bout that Lance Armstrong? Not only can the guy ride a bike through mountains for three weeks at the Tour de France, but he survives cancer to win the tour seven times. We figure that's worth our seven bucks to see some local bands at the "Perfect Day for a Cure" concert (benefiting the Lance Armstrong Foundation) on Saturday, August 13. Local recording artist Ben Araiza (pictured) organized the show as part of the LAF's Peloton Project, which assists people living with cancer. He'll headline the show after sharing the stage with Valley acts Twig, and Seven Secrets. Rock strong at 7 p.m. at Alice Cooper'stown, 101 East Jackson. Call 602-253-7337. -- Niki D'Andrea

Brahms Away
Music at an exhibition

8/11-8/14The venue-hopping Downtown Chamber Series, its stated goal to stimulate collaboration between the musical and visual arts, stimulates again with concerts at 7 p.m. Thursday, August 11, and 2 p.m. Sunday, August 14, at the Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central. The program's centerpiece is Brahms' lovely Clarinet Quintet, with additional works on the program by George Gershwin and Mark O'Connor. Tickets cost $10, which includes admission to the concert and the museum (the current featured exhibition is "Surrealism USA"). Call 602-254-1491 or visit www.downtownchamberseries.org. -- Clay McNear

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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
Wynter Holden
Contact: Wynter Holden
Clay McNear
Contact: Clay McNear
Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson