Drum Rush

A new beat generation gets its message across loud and clear when Taikoproject presents the world première of (re)generation at Gammage Auditorium this weekend. For their debut creative work, a multimedia stage show combining dynamic taiko drumming, spoken word and hip-hop dance, the young performers of Taikoproject give their own unique interpretation of American Taiko, an art form that began in the late 1960s when Asian Americans embraced a modern take on traditional Japanese drumming.

The group's creative director, Bryan Yamami, perfectly embodies Taikoproject's youthful irreverence. Only 25, he's already known across the country for his work with Kinnara Taiko and the Asian-American theater company hereandnow, and he's led taiko across new boundaries by combining it with hip-hop and electronica music.

Get a glimpse of the groundbreaking show at a free Brown Bag Rehearsal at 12:30 p.m. Friday, November 21. A 6 p.m. pre-party kicks off the 7 p.m. performance on Saturday, November 22, at Gammage. Tickets are $20 and $30; call the box office at 480-965-6678 to purchase.- Michele Laudig

A Pose By Any Other Name . . .

The love story of all time comes to the Valley

Putting a new spin on Shakespeare, the Scorpius Young Dancers and Metropolitan Arts Institute are setting the story of Romeo & Juliet in motion. Showtime is 7 p.m. Thursday, November 20, through Saturday, November 22, at the Phoenix Center for Community Arts, 1202 North Third Street. Call 602-266-9698 for tickets, $8. - Jill Koch

Cruising Central

Dodge Theatre welcomes two TV comedians

Sat 11/22
What passes for comedy on the networks these days could put a laugh track in a sullen mood. Fortunately, basic cable remains a safe haven for laughs, thanks largely to the good folks at Comedy Central. Laugh out loud when stars from Insomniac and The Daily Show bring their sardonic splendor to the Valley for Comedy Central Live starring Dave Attell and Lewis Black, Saturday, November 22, at the Dodge Theatre, 400 West Washington. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the box office or through Ticketmaster at 480-784-4444. -Craig Wallach

O Mother, Where Art Thou?

Play examines the model for da Vinci

Was the mother of all Renaissance portraits inspired by a mother? One theory holds that Leonardo da Vinci's birth mother, a peasant who gave up her illegitimate son for a better life, served as the model for his Mona Lisa. The relationship between the Renaissance man and his mother -- the two were reunited when Leo was in his 40s -- has inspired a musical drama premièring this weekend at ASU's Lyric Opera Theatre. Caterina's Son runs Friday, November 21, through December 6 at the Evelyn Smith Music Theatre in the ASU Music Building, 40 East Gammage Parkway in Tempe. Call 480-965-6447 for tickets, $5 to $14. - Jill Koch