Laughter and, well, gaiety are guaranteed at Hamburger Mary's, 5111 North Seventh Street, when Toronto-based comedian David MacLean takes the stage for a one-night standup stint. While MacLean admits that his comedy -- rooted in his experiences as a gay guy -- hasn't always been openly embraced on the mainstream comedy circuit, the times, as they say, are a-changin'. With programming such as Queer As Folk -- on which MacLean has appeared -- and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy burning up the airwaves, gay entertainment is becoming more and more mainstream. Though there's certainly nothing wrong with that, the comic comments: "I think the most original comedy voices are those that spring forth from marginality and difference." Showtime is 10 p.m. Thursday, November 6; admission is free. Call 602-240-6969 for details.
Friday, November 7
Mix the pretty glow of the moon with the giddy glow of a good wine buzz at the debut to-do of Carefree's Luna Gallery. The new space adds to the artsy atmosphere of the area, where the weekly Art Night attracts gallerygoers to 12 venues in Cave Creek and Carefree. From 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, November 7, Luna's Opening Celebration and Moonlight Wine Tasting treats guests to apéritifs from Cartwright's Restaurant, Spanish vintages from AZ Wines, and the aesthetic expressions of Sonoran Arts League members Holly Brynjulfson and Susan Falcon-Hargraves. The artists will display oil and acrylic originals, as well as giclee prints on canvas and paper, and 10 percent of the gallery's opening-week proceeds will benefit Foothills Animal Rescue. Luna Gallery is located at 7208 Ho Road, Suite 13, in Carefree's Spanish Village. See www.thelunagallery.com or call 480-575-2775 for details or directions. Visit www.artnightaz.com for a map of Art Night attractions.
saturday, November 8
Sex, money, corruption, blood and betrayal take center stage -- as does the audience -- in the International Confederation of Theatre Association production of Boris Godunov. Part of ASU's American Express "Beyond Broadway" series, Alexander Pushkin's 1825 play is brought to life with the audience members -- limited to 250 at each show -- seated right on stage, in the midst of the considerable action. (The set incorporates a suspended catwalk and onstage pool as well.) Set in Tsarist Russia, the story chronicles the title character's quest for power, which motivates him to murder a child heir to the throne; his subsequent guilt trip takes him all the way to crazy -- no return ticket. A cast of Russian film, theater and television stars performs the play in Russian with English supertitles. Curtain times are 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, November 8, at Gammage Auditorium, located at Mill and Apache on the ASU campus in Tempe. Tickets are $45; call 480-965-3434 or see www.ticketmaster.com to purchase.
Sunday, November 9
It's a sad, sad, sad, sad world. Get down -- way down -- at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School, where the Phoenix Blues Society presents the 13th Annual Arizona Blues Showdown. In Sunday's portion of the contest -- the Band Division -- acts of three or more members sell their sob stories in two preliminary rounds running from 1 p.m. 'til midnight. The top six acts return to the stage the following Sunday, November 16, for the finals, with the winner advancing to January's International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Cover charge for the show -- a veritable "who's blue" of Arizona musicians -- is $5. Find more information (or an application) at www.phoenixblues.org.
Monday, November 10
Whether your passions fall to film, footwear or foreign lands, the Foothills Film Society has your ticket. The group's seventh season gets rolling with a screening and discussion of the 1997 film Children of Heaven, the first Iranian feature to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film. In Farsi with English subtitles, Children of Heaven follows the plight of 8-year-old Ali, a poor schoolboy in Tehran who tries to conceal the fact that he's lost his little sister's newly repaired shoes. Dr. Penelope Price, film studies professor at Scottsdale Community College, will introduce the film and take questions upon its conclusion; a dessert and coffee reception wraps up the evening. Showtime is 7 p.m. Monday, November 10, at Cave Creek's Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center, 33606 North 60th Street (one-half mile south of Carefree Highway). Tickets are $8 at the door; call 480-488-1090 for details.
Tuesday, November 11
Witness bold Fusion in the Laboratory (Theater), as the enterprising members of ASU Student Production perform a collection of new dance works envisioned by the dance department's undergraduate choreographers. Fusing elements of hip-hop, jazz and modern dance with character routines, Fusion explores the realms of relationships and emotion through rhythm and humor. The production gets moving at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 11, in the Ritter Building's Student Laboratory Theater, located on the northwest corner of Rural and Terrace on the ASU campus on Tempe. Tickets are $5 at the door. Call 480-727-6115 for more information.
Wednesday, November 12
Hit him with your burning questions. SMoCA's "Contemporary Art Encounters" brown-bag lecture series continues as Aaron Eurton, a U.S. Forest Service "hot shot" shares an inside view of the controversial practice of controlled burns in national forest lands. The lecture precedes a docent-led tour of "In Response to Place: Photographs From The Nature Conservancy's Last Great Places" -- a traveling exhibition of 48 photographs showcasing the world's most sensitive and spectacular natural settings -- on display at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art through December 7. Guests are welcome to bring lunches to the lecture, which begins at noon Wednesday, November 12, at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7374 East Second Street in Scottsdale, before moving to the adjacent museum. The program is free with museum admission. Call 480-874-4641 or see www.sccarts.org for more information.