The nuptial mood can go to hell in about two seconds when the bride's ex is in the honeymoon suite next door, as in Noel Coward's play Private Lives. "It's what I call quaint comedy," says actress Maren Maclean. "It's not slapstick or falling-down funny, it's intelligent, witty humor." Maclean plays Amanda, a divorced woman honeymooning with her new husband while her ex-husband is in honeymoon suite number 2.
Because of the play's setting in 1930s England, the dialect and language work has been challenging, says Maclean, as the characters have to speak in High British dialect and pronounce bits of French -- as well as master 1930s British colloquialisms. "It makes my brain hurt at times," says Maclean. "But I love doing the show."
Private Lives plays Wednesdays through Sundays at Phoenix Theatre, 100 East McDowell, from Wednesday, November 5, through November 23. Tickets are $25 to $29 and may be purchased by calling 602-254-2151.-Quetta Carpenter
New dance performances are showcased at ASU
ASU's School of Dance presents a fall cornucopia of multimedia dance performances choreographed by its MFA candidates, incorporating social and political themes with the movement and grace of dance. Grad student Jennifer Walker choreographed two pieces, "Blue Canteen," inspired by 1960s dance trends, and "Shell Shocked," exploring the impact of war on the human psyche. Student Apryl Seech performs her composition "Tracks," about addiction and inspired by her brother's death, and "Bread and Roses," addressing the struggle for dignity in the workplace. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 5, through Saturday, November 8, and 2 p.m. Sunday, November 9, at ASU's Dance Theatre, PE East 132, 551 East Orange in Tempe. Tickets are $5 to $14; call 480-965-6447 or visit http://dance.asu.edu. - Brendan Joel Kelley
Get your locks off with Urban Bush Women
They're exploring roots, but not as Alex Haley would. The Brooklyn-based Urban Bush Women let their hair down on Saturday, November 1, presenting HairStories at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts. Through humor, dance, poetry, and the funky sounds of James Brown and George Clinton, the performance piece about black women and their hair gives audiences more than the shaft -- it delves deeper to address the African-American experience of beauty, heritage and self-esteem.Showtime is 8 p.m. at the center, 7380 East Second Street in Scottsdale. Tickets are $34; call 480-994-ARTS to purchase. A companion exhibition continues through January 4 at the adjacent Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. See www.scottsdalearts.org for more information.- Jill Koch