On a Role


The macabre tale of Tosca - strewn with love, murder, jealousy and evil, exacting revenge from beyond the grave -- has left audiences weeping for two centuries.Allan Glassman, the tenor playing Mario Cavaradossi in Arizona Opera's production, has played the role many times but jumped at the chance to reprise it.

"It is one of my all-time favorite roles," says Glassman, who debuted on the stage 22 years ago at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Cavaradossi, Tosca's lover, is a painter whose good intentions are his tragic flaw. "He's a very caring man," says Glassman, "and it gets him in trouble." Trouble like enraging the vicious Scarpio - which leads to Cavaradossi's demise.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, through Saturday, April 5, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 6, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Tickets are $25 to $110; to order, call Arizona Opera at 602-266-7464. -- Quetta Carpenter

Flat Out Romance
Eavesdropping inspires onstage drama


Nothing beats having your lover move into your flat - that is, until her husband shows up. That's what happens when Cecil invites the much older Emily to shack up in London in Awkward Pauses, an original work by ASU professor Jay Boyer.The play, inspired by an overheard conversation in a Mayfair tearoom, has been workshopped at festivals from Alaska to London. This final evolution is an intricate drama exploring the nature of love as it suffers the struggles of class, race and, of course, sex.

Performances at Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, take place Friday, April 4, through Sunday, April 6. For tickets, $15, call the box office, 480-596-2660. -- Quetta Carpenter

Tap Route


Urban Tap is putting tap on the map - and drawing inspiration from across the globe. The dance troupe's current show, fusing the talents of dancers, musicians and singers from around the world, hits the Scottsdale Center for the Arts this weekend. Full Cycle merges movement (tap, capoeira, African dance and hip-hop) and sound (Haitian drumming, world percussion, didjeridoo, cello, trumpet and vocals) with live video. At the helm of the high-energy hybrid is Herbin "Tamango" Van Cayseele, hailed as "one of the great tap artists performing today, a dancer of astonishing speed and lightness."

Urban Tap takes the stage at 8 p.m. Friday, April 4, and Saturday, April 5, at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $32; call 480-994-ARTS. -- Jill Koch

Shine On
Ron Brown trips the light fantastic

Fri 4/4

"Go toward the light," said the Poltergeist psychic, and it isn't bad advice. Dim, cavelike places get lonesome, as choreographer Ron Brown demonstrates in Walking Out the Dark, a dance program about rites of transformation. A recipient of NEA and Guggenheim fellowships in choreography, Brown says of his conversion: "I came to believe I could tell stories and inspire awareness through the language of dance."With his company, Evidence, Brown blends ballet with African, Caribbean and American dance forms, such as hip-hop and disco, into a singular style. For a behind-the-scenes, insider look at this electric performance, catch the free Brown Bag Rehearsal at Gammage Auditorium from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, April 4, or dress up and buy a ticket for the 7 p.m. show. Glimmers of understanding will dawn long before the lights come up.

Gammage is located at Mill and Apache in Tempe. Tickets, $9, $29 and $35, are available at the box office or through Ticketmaster; students pay half price. For information call 480-965-3434. -- Kim Toms

Spring Fever

Sat 4/5

At 54 years old, he's no spring chicken. But for his legions of (mostly female) fans, Rick still puts the spring in Springfield. On Saturday, April 5, he springs into Fort McDowell Casino, Highway 87 and Fort McDowell Road, to promote his new live album. See www.ticketmaster.com. -- Jill Koch



Since - as rumor has it - it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing, the latest Broadway hit bound for the Valley must be dripping with meaning. A salute to the music and movement of the 1930s and '40s, Swing sets a stage full of dancers jumping, jiving and/or wailing to music contemporary and classic.

Swing swings into Tempe's Gammage Auditorium, at Mill and Apache, Tuesday, April 8, through Sunday, April 13. Get tickets, $21.75 to $59.50, through www.ticketmaster.com or 480-784-4444. -- Jill Koch

A Bard Day's Night


All-around sensitive guy William Shakespeare is on quite an extended career roll. Conduit of love's pros and cons, and architect of prose so pure it ascends to the level of poetry, the Bard has had works on the charts longer than Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, and he continues to speak to those for whom love is both siphon and salvation.

Matters of the heart will take center stage when the Southwest Shakespeare Company, under the direction of Leslie Bratt, presents Love's Labour's Lost, Thursday, April 3, through April 12 at Mesa Amphitheatre, 251 North Center. Showtime is 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. For ticket information, call 480-644-2560. -- Craig Wallach