Through October 4
The Brothers Size
Two brothers, the Louisiana bayou and West African mythology swirl together in this hot-blooded, tough and tender, music-filled drama staged by Stray Cat Theatre. Th, 7 p.m.; F-Sa, 8 p.m.; Su, 2 p.m. $12-$20. Tempe Performing Arts Center, 132 E. Sixth St., Tempe, straycattheatre.org, 480-227-1766.
Through October 12
Filled with laughter, emotion and roof-raising vocals, this Broadway musical celebrates the birth of rock 'n' roll with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love. Call for times. Tickets start at $30. Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, phoenixtheatre.com, 602-254-2151.
Through October 12
A successful lawyer balances ambition and history as he announces his mayoral candidacy and plans to develop high-end real estate on blighted properties. Presented by Black Theatre Troupe, this is the final play in August Wilson's epic 10-play cycle chronicling the African-American experience in the 20th century. Call for times and ticket prices. The Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 E. Washington St., Phoenix, blacktheatretroupe.org, 602-258-8129.
Through October 26
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
A free-spirited con – who fakes insanity and moves in with what he calls the "nuts" to avoid a stretch in the pen – rallies the patients to take on the oppressive head nurse in this powerful, gritty drama. F-Sa, 7:30 p.m.; Su, 2 p.m. $25, adults; $22, seniors and students. Desert Stages Theatre, 4720 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, desertstages.org, 480-483-1664.
Through October 26
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Melancholy turns into mayhem when Vanya and his sister Sonia – along with their clairvoyant housekeeper Cassandra – are paid a surprise visit by Hollywood star sibling Masha and her 20-something boy toy Spike. Regret and sibling rivalry fan the flames of laughter in the play, which is presented by Arizona Theatre Company. Through Oct. 4, Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave., Tucson, 520-622-3823; and Oct. 9-26, Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix, 602-256-6995. Call for times and ticket prices, arizonatheatre.org.
Lyric Opera Theatre
This opera double-bill features Dido and Aeneas, a tragic opera based on the Greek myth of Dido and Aeneas; and La Serva Padrona (The Servant Turned Mistress), a fun comedy in which a sharp-witted maid sees herself as the mistress of the household, and attempts to win over her master and marry him. Th-Sa, 7:30 p.m.; Su, 2 p.m. $21, adults; $12, seniors; $8, students. ASU Evelyn Smith Music Theatre, 40 E. Gammage Pkwy., Tempe, 480-965-6447.
The laughs will be flowing with John Caparulo, Oct. 2-5; and Ralphie May, Oct. 9-12. Call for times. $22-$50. Tempe Improv, 930 E. University Dr., Tempe, tempeimprov.com, 480-921-9877.
October 2-November 8
Arsenic and Old Lace
The play centers on two dotty spinsters who poison lonely old gents with elderberry wine and bury them in the cellar; and their crazy but harmless brother, who suffers from delusions that he is Theodore Roosevelt and that the Panama Canal runs through the cellar of the home. Th-Sa, 7 p.m. $23, adults; $18, seniors and students; $15, children 12 and younger. Don Bluth Front Row Theatre, 8670 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, donbluthfrontrowtheatre.com, 480-314-0841.
Expect the unexpected as this event for adults only brings together cutting-edge puppeteers presenting new short works that are outrageous, moving, bawdy and controversial. 8 p.m. $10, advance; $12, day of show. Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 W. Latham St., Phoenix, azpuppets.org, 602-262-2050.
A rich widow witnesses a murder in this suspenseful thriller, which builds steadily in menace and suspense until the final, breath-stopping moment of its unexpected twist ending. Call for times. $25-$30, adults; $20-$25, youth 17 and younger. Fountain Hills Theater, 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills, fhtaz.org, 480-837-9661.
October 3-November 2
A newcomer teen takes on the town's high-powered minister in a tough uphill battle to bring music and dance to a sleepy rural community. Hardened hearts are transformed, the ban is lifted and everyone ultimately kicks off their Sunday shoes to cut loose. F-Sa, 7:30 p.m.; Su, 2 p.m. $18. Desert Stages Theatre, 4720 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, desertstages.org, 480-483-1664.
The politically incorrect host of HBO's Real Time shares his scathing satire, controversial comedy and unflinching honesty. 8 p.m. $41-$98. Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix, ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000.
Into the Woods
Fractured fairy tales intersect through unexpected new plot twists in this witty and irreverent production, which reveals what happens when fairy-tale characters live beyond the page. Call for times. $18, adults; $15, seniors, students and children 12 and younger. Musical Theatre of Anthem, 42323 N. Vision Way, Anthem, musicaltheatreofanthem.org, 602-743-9892.
Scottsdale Film Festival
Celebrating its 14th year, the festival offers a combination of international and domestic cinema, and celebrity-attended parties. Call for times and ticket prices. Th, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale; F-M, Harkins Shea 14, 7354 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, scottsdalefilmfestival.com, 602-410-1074.
Cruzar la Cara de la Luna
Arizona Opera opens its season with the world's first mariachi opera, which blends the passion and artistry of mariachi with the emotionally touching story of a Mexican immigrant family. Oct. 10-12, Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix, 602-266-7464; and Oct. 18-19, Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave., Tucson, 520-293-4336, azopera.org. Call for times and ticket prices.
This opera in two acts focuses on change and letting go of the past as composer Mark Adamo revisits Louisa May Alcott's tender coming-of-age story about growing up female in post-Civil War New England. F-Sa, 7:30 pm.; Su, 2 p.m. $12. Ethington Theatre, Grand Canyon University, 3300 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, gcu.edu, 602-639-8880.
Southwest Shakespeare Company presents this Arizona premiere, which centers on the strikingly cold-blooded and brutal struggle for the English crown that occurs upon the death of Richard the Lionheart. Call for times and ticket prices. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, mesaartscenter.com, 480-644-6500.
October 10-November 9
This take-no-prisoners stage adaptation of the 1968 film tells the story of a scheming, down-on-his-luck Broadway producer, his mild-mannered accountant and their plot to produce the most notorious flop in history – making themselves millionaires in the process. The only thing they didn't bargain for? Success! Call for times and ticket prices. Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria, azbroadway.org, 623-776-8400.
Two young cowboys win the hearts of their sweethearts in this musical, which is set in 1875 pioneer territory. Proceeds from the show benefit abused and unwanted horses. Sa, 7 p.m.; Su, 2 p.m. $25-$50. Wildhorse Ranch Rescue, 11811 S. Lindsay Rd., Gilbert, wildhorseranchrescue.org, 866-926-8007.
Carnival of Illusion
Enjoy an evening of Old World magic as this program blends an international theme with the charm of a Vaudeville-inspired roadshow. Oct. 11 and 25, Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, 2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix; and Oct. 18, Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Call for ticket prices, carnivalofillusion.com, 480-359-SHOW.
On the Trail of Big Cats
The National Geographic Live series opens with a program by award-winning photographer Steve Winter, who has tracked tigers in the jungles of Asia, searched for snow leopards in the Himalayas and gone to Hollywood in pursuit of a cougar. 7:30 p.m. $26-$40. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, mesaartscenter.com, 480-644-6500.
High School Musical
Mayda del Valle
A unique, powerful spoken-word artist, the acclaimed writer fuses personal and thought-provoking work with the rhythm and pulse of hip-hop culture. 7:30 p.m. $22-$35. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, mesaartscenter.com, 480-644-6500.
The bold, sassy and blunt comedian brings her smart-witted stand-up act to Phoenix. 8:30 p.m. $46-$96. Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix, celebritytheatre.com, 602-267-1600.
The stand-up comedian shares his wit, spontaneity and larger-than-life comedic style. Call for times. $25. Stand Up Live, 50 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix, standuplive.com, 480-719-6100.
The Hungry Woman: A Mexican Medea deftly weaves together themes of Chicana/o, Native American and lesbian cultural identities with the myths of the Mexican La Lorona, the Aztec Coatlicue and the Greek tragic hero. Th-Sa, 7:30 p.m.; Su, 2 p.m. $16, adults; $12, seniors, $8, students. ASU Lyceum Theatre, 901 S. Forest Mall, Tempe, herbergerinstitute.asu.edu/events, 480-965-6447.
October 17-November 2
Speed the Plow
Two Hollywood insiders and a seemingly innocent newcomer straddle the chasm between business and art while they debate whether to produce a spiritual novel or a surefire blockbuster. Call for times and ticket prices. Theatre Artists Studio, 4848 E. Cactus Rd., Scottsdale, thestudiophx.org, 602-765-0120.
October 17-November 9
How to Succeed in Business
J. Pierpont Finch climbs the ladder of corporate success from window washer to the executive suite in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. The delightfully irreverent musical satire is presented by Theater Works. Call for times and ticket prices. Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, 8355 W. Peoria Ave., Peoria, theaterworks.org, 623-815-7930.
Daniel Lawrence Whitney – better known as Larry the Cable Guy – captivates fans with his high-energy, one-liner style of stand-up. Despite his stage name, the Blue Collar comedian with the heavy Southern accent has never worked for a cable company in any capacity. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $55-$100. Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler, chandlercenter.org, 480-782-2680.
October 18-November 8
Wait Until Dark
This gripping mystery focuses on a woman – tragically blinded in an automobile accident – who unwittingly becomes the key player in a dangerous game threatening all she holds dear. The production is staged by Arizona Theatre Company. Call for times and ticket prices. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave., Tucson, arizonatheatre.org, 520-622-3823.
Penn & Teller
For nearly 40 years, the dynamic duo has defied labels – and at times physics and good taste – by redefining the genre of magic and inventing their own very distinct niche in comedy. 8 p.m. $30-$45. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, mesaartscenter.com, 480-644-6500.
October 24-November 2
The Soul of Broadway – Act II
This musical revue takes the audience on a journey through classic and contemporary shows, including Porgy and Bess, Dreamgirls, Ain't Misbehavin', The Color Purple, Passing Strange, The Lion King, Once on This Island, Aida, Hairspray and The Wiz. Call for times. $20, adults; $15, youth 17 and younger. Fountain Hills Theater, 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills, fhtaz.org, 480-837-9661.
October 24-November 9
Wordplay is not the only thing that turns vicious as innocence collides with experience in this biting Broadway comedy. Presented by Actors Theatre, the play focuses on four aspiring young novelists who sign up for private writing classes with an international literary figure. Call for times and ticket prices. The Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 E. Washington St., Phoenix, actorstheatrephx.org, 602-888-0368.
Blending the worlds of traditional European-style circus acts with contemporary electronic dance music, the performance explores the relationship between humans and the computer upon which they are so dependent. 7 p.m. $38-$65.80. Higley Center for the Performing Arts, 4132 E. Pecos Rd., Higley, higleyarts.org, 480-279-7194.
October 29-November 23
Taking place in a hairstyling salon, this unique comedy whodunit is packed with up-to-the-minute spontaneous humor. The outcome is never the same as the audience spots the clues, questions the suspects and helps solve the funniest mystery in the history of crime. Call for times. Tickets start at $30. Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, phoenixtheatre.com, 602-254-2151.