Nice Piece of Oz

Thu 6/17
Sure, New York strip is plenty tasty, as is Omaha steak. But ladies with a taste for beefcake of a foreign flavor best tie on the drool bib. The Thunder From Down Under -- Australia's world-famous male revue -- gets local juices flowing this Thursday, June 17. The boys Thunder -- whose ongoing gig at Excalibur puts a girl-friendly "strip" on Vegas' Strip -- are renowned for their "dynamic dance routines, colorful costumes, state-of-the-art lighting, hilarious humor and hard bodies." Oh, how that lighting gets us going. Pulsing, piercing, probing lighting.

"A visual spectacular for those who appreciate the fine male form," the show unveils the "valiant hearts, washboard abs and sensitive souls" of the strapping Aussies, who include a "sexy resident vampire who happens to be an expert in martial arts." As the boys' Web site reminds us: "Let's not forget that humor is a large part of the Thunder happening." Not likely.

Showtime is 8:30 p.m. at the Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street, for fans 18 and older. Tickets are $30 to $65; see --Jill Koch

Back in Black

Richard Lewis headlines the Improv

The black silk shirts buttoned all the way to his throat are, thankfully, long since out of style. The mullet? Yeah, that too. But there's just something about witnessing Richard Lewis pacing back and forth across a stage like an OCD on a caffeine high, yanking his locks from the roots of his fragmented mind, that never seems to get old. Okay, sorry, Richard. That's a lie. The rantings of a Madman in Black do tend to be a bit grating. But thanks to his most recent appearances on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, alongside Larry David, Lewis has reenergized a career thought to be as dead as the original Man in Black.

Lewis proves he's got plenty of miles left to pace, Thursday, June 17, through Sunday, June 20, at the Tempe Improv, 930 East University. Call 480-921-9877 for showtimes and tickets, $17 to $20, or see --Joe Watson

Master of Puppets

Political puppet show invades the Trunk Space

Tommy Cannon doesn't play with puppets like other kids do. Then again, Cannon's no kid, and the performances he stages as a director and writer with the Elastic Theater aren't for kids, either. "Most of the subject matter is political in nature," Cannon says of his show, part of the "Puppets! Puppets! Puppets!" affair -- three days of marionettes and sock-puppet adult-themed improv -- at the Trunk Space, 1506 Grand Avenue, from Wednesday, June 23, through June 25. "But other puppeteers dabble with quantum physics, or you might even see two puppets going at it" -- sexually, he means. Now, that's enough to make Pinocchio's, uh, nose grow. Ticket prices and showtimes vary. Call 602-256-6006 or see for details. --Joe Watson