Theater Scene

The Death Bite: Hal Corley's unfortunately named drama is not about vampirism, but rather about 18 hours in the life of Robyn Fair, an oddball who longs to launch her life from the New Jersey suburb where she lives. First, she has to untangle herself from her deceitful foster daughter, her New Age-y mother, and her high-maintenance neighbor. Directed by D.R. Rebilas and featuring Delores Goldsmith, Danielle Mess, and Theatre Artists Studio cofounders Judy Rollings and Patti Suarez, this piece debuted at Phoenix Theatre's New Plays Festival last year. Its new production plays through February 11 at Theatre Artists Studio, 4848 E. Cactus, Suite 406, in Scottsdale. Call 602-765-0120 for reservations.

4.48 Psychosis: Stray Cat founder Ron May is directing what promises to be a disturbing production of Sarah Kane's final play, written shortly before she, at age 28, hanged herself in a mental hospital in 1999. A short, fragmented, non-linear poem with no plot and no cast of characters (its jagged, psychotic monologues can presumably be read by one or a dozen different actors), 4.48 Psychosis is essentially an artful, hour-long suicide note in which its author attempts to make something beautiful out of pain. Through February 17 (with a special midnight show on Friday, February 2) at the Exit Theatre on the first floor of Metropolitan Arts Institute, at 1700 N. 7th Ave. Call 480-820-8022 for reservations.

Marriage à Trois: The folks who brought us last year's The Confessions of Saint Verizon are back, this time with a gimmick: Three playwrights have each employed the same line of dialogue and the same prop — an electric blender — in three different tales of marriage, all of them comedic. This entry from Friendly People Productions runs through February 8 as part of the Herberger's Lunch Time Theater program at its Performance Outreach Theater space, 222 E. Monroe St. Call 602-254-7399 to reserve a seat and order lunch, which is available for an additional charge.

Kiss Me Kate: Cole Porter's famous score for this backstage musical about a theater troupe's performance of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew is bursting with now-classic original tunes. In between choruses of "Another Openin', Another Show," "Wunderbar," "Too Darn Hot," and "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" are some of musical theater's most cleverly crafted quarrels, each of them designed to prove once and for all that theater people are the most terrifying creatures on earth. Through March 4 at Arizona Broadway Theater, 7701 W. Paradise Ln. in Peoria. Dinner is served one hour and 45 minutes prior to curtain. Shows are Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Saturday matinee at 2 p.m., Sunday matinee at 1 p.m., and Sunday twilight shows at 7 p.m. Ticket prices are $39-$49, which includes dinner, show and tax. Call the box office at 623-776-8400.

Suds: Local critics haven't much liked this goofball extravaganza of tunes from the 1960s, and who can blame them? Of the innumerable inane musical revues that attempt to wrap era-specific pop songs around a slim story, this one's the hokiest. To sell its silly tale of a Laundromat owner who attempts suicide and is cornered by a trio of guardian angels, a troupe really needs talented singers with a wide range of singing styles. Reportedly, Desert Stages has chosen a different route. But there are always audiences who don't care who's crooning "Please Mr. Postman," "You Can't Hurry Love," or "Wishing and Hoping"; they just want their big slice of '60s pie. This one may be mincemeat, but it'll be playing for months on end: Desert Stages has extended Suds, and plans to keep it afloat through the end of February in its Theatre's Actor's Cafe at 4720 N. Scottsdale Rd. in Scottsdale. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; tickets are $20 to $25. Call 480-483-1664 for reservations.

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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela