Just because it's a four-day working week doesn't mean your options for going out are limited. Au contraire, there's plenty to do this week, whether you're looking for some ring-bound action, pop culture-inspired burlesque, or something a bit more bookish.
There aren't a lot of sports institutions whose rulebooks explicitly state, "speedos only." Thank God. Sure, the Cards' linemen are athletes, but "Speedo only" athletes they are not. Mixed Martial Arts athletes, however, embrace a workout regimen grueling enough to terrify even the most ardent of gym rats. Thus their mandatory scantily clad-ness has hardly been an impediment to the sport's success. In fact, the machismo of the cage coupled with images of exceptionally fit men in speedos has culminated into a perfect storm tearing through the sports world in recent years, with the allure successfully reaching across the gender aisle.
It's strangely diplomatic, actually: The men generally tolerate the speedos for the sake of the violence, while the ladies do precisely the opposite. Either way, MMA fans can witness the carnage live when King Of The Cage comes to Scottsdale's Talking Stick Resort, 9800 East Indian Bend Road, at 5 p.m. Monday, May 26. Tickets start at $51. Visit www.kingofthecage.com or call 480-850-7734 for details. -- Rob Kroehler
Stories about writers aren't always fun -- the pitfalls include conceited, oblivious, and incestuous points of view. But tales about stage folk are often entertaining, because those people are nuts. The current Herberger Lunch Time show, Life in the Theatre, comprises three tiny plays presented by Theatre Artists Studio. John J. Wooten's "The Role of Della," about a botched audition, is one of the most-produced one-acts ever. Two shorts by Studio members, "How to Quit Writing (for the Theater)," set at an unusual workshop, and "Presbyopia," examining the challenges faced by an aging and perhaps delusional actress, round out the program.
Snag yourself a $6 seat for the 12:10 p.m. performance Tuesday, May 27, at 602-254-7399 or www.herbergertheater.org/lunch_time_theater, where you can also learn about ordering an optional catered meal. The production closes Thursday, May 29, in the Kax Stage on the Van Buren Street side of 222 East Monroe Street. -- Julie Peterson
There's an art oasis in the desert, and you can find it on view now at the ASU Art Museum. With one of the most pervasive collections of contemporary Cuban art anywhere outside the country, ASU first showed its impressive stockpile of Cuban works in 1998, and now it has much of the art from that historic show back on view along with some new additions.
Titled "Rhythm and History," the exhibition focuses on both Cuban roots and dreams, with about 20 pieces showcasing a variety of media including painting and sculpture and featuring such influential Cuban artists as Los Carpinteros and K'cho.
"Rhythm and History" will be on view at the ASU Art Museum, 51 East 10th Street, through Saturday, August 9. Admission for the exhibition is free. Hours on Friday, March 14, are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the museum's website at www.asuartmuseum.asu.edu or call 480-965-2787. -- Heather Hoch
For Britain, most of the 19th century was marked by peace, growth, and, above all, opulence. We layfolk might be familiar with that time in British history as the Victorian Era. But there are two sides to every story.
American author Alex Grecian has taken it upon himself to tell the dark side of the Victorian Era's story. Grecian has churned out three acclaimed novels based on Scotland Yard's Murder Squad, a group of 12 detectives tasked with traversing the underbelly of late 19th century London, investigating one grisly murder after another. While fictitious, the stories provide a meticulously accurate historical setting and piggyback a very palpable sense of dread that Jack the Ripper had cast over London at the time, giving the novels a bone-chilling air of believability.
Grecian will be on hand at Scottsdale's The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard, to sign copies of his latest Murder Squad novel, The Devil's Workshop, at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 29. Visit www.poisonedpen.com or call 480-947-2974 for details. -- Rob Kroehler
Arguably two of the most influential female celebrities of our time come to life in downtown Phoenix this week, with a sultry performance presented by Scandalesque. Emceed by Camille Sledge (daughter of singer Debbie Sledge of '70s sensation Sister Sledge) M: an Homage to Madonna and Marilyn Monroe promises to be a sexy variety act worthy of its namesakes.
Founded in the winter of 2004 by Julianna Curtis and Christy Zandlo, Scandalesque is a true variety show including comedic commentary, circus-like stunts, and live music and dance theater. The show tends to, er, experiment with the sensual, and M is no different. Audience members should expect to participate and are encouraged to dress as their versions of the infamous idols.
Get scandalized and tantalized at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) Friday, May 30, at The Pressroom, 441 West Madison Street. Tickets are $20 to $100. Visit www.thepressroomaz.com or www.scandalesque.com for details. -- Janessa Hilliard