"I can't remember the last time I saw the sun rise," Valley comic and impresario Jimmy Danelli says. "When the sun comes up in the morning, I'll be wearing my sunglasses." Danelli, host of the Funniest Person in the Valley comedy series, is talking about his upcoming stint MCing the Stand Up for MDA 24-hour comedy marathon, at The Sets, 93 East Southern in Tempe, from 7 p.m. Sunday, August 31, to 7 p.m. on Labor Day, Monday, September 1. Admission is a mere $5 minimum donation. Culling his comic lineup of nearly a hundred from Funniest Person in the Valley entrants and other local comics was the easy part. Staying on his toes to introduce each comic every 15 minutes or so will be the tough part for Danelli, who's been featured on television sitcoms such as Welcome Back, Kotter and Ellen.
Besides the door admission, all proceeds from food and drink sales will also benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Call 480-982-7257 for more information. - Brendan Joel Kelley
Cuisine of the Crime
Dining out can be murder
Dinner is being served with a hearty side of homicide at Monti's La Casa Vieja. On Friday and Saturday evenings, Dead Duck Producktions brings interactive comedy to the table, presenting Murder at the Milford's. Sleuthing diners can take a stab at solving the mystery at the Tempe restaurant, 1 West Rio Salado Parkway. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 7:30 show; tickets, $39.95, include a three-course dinner and beverage. Log on to www.dduckproductions.com or call 602-434-5595 for reservations. (Inquire as to whether the butler did it and save $5 per ticket.) - Jill Koch
Music fills the air in Prescott
Four seasons? Clearly, Vivaldi didn't find inspiration in the Valley . . .
This Thursday, August 28, the Second Annual Red Rocks Music Festival opens with a little Four play. Set for 7:30 p.m. at Church of the Beatitudes, 555 West Glendale Avenue in Phoenix, a "festival sampler" pairs Vivaldi's The Four Seasons with Brahms' Sextet for Strings. Elmira Darvarova (pictured), the first female concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera New York, performs with Peter Rosato, principal viola with the Phoenix Symphony; Audubon String Quartet violinist David Ehrlich; and Philadelphia Orchestra cellist Ohad Bar-David. Tickets -- $15 for adults, $5 for children -- are available at the door.
The celebration of string orchestra and chamber music continues Friday, August 29, and Saturday, August 30, at the Sedona Creative Life Center, and wraps up Sunday, August 31, at Prescott's Yavapai College. See www.redrocksmusicfestival.com or call 602-787-1577 for event information. - Jill Koch