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Through October 1
Stray Cat Theatre unleashes its season with this contemplative new work by Annie Baker. Set in a bed-and-breakfast near the Gettysburg battlefield, the drama examines the omnipresence of loneliness in human life and the troubled search for love and lasting connection. Call for times and ticket prices. Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, straycattheatre.org, 480-350-2822.
Through October 2
Church Basement Ladies
A celebration of the church basement kitchen and the women who work there, the play focuses on four distinct characters and their relationships as they organize the food and sort through the problems of a rural Minnesota church. Call for times and ticket prices. Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 W. Paradise Ln., Peoria, azbroadway.org, 623-776-8400.
Through October 2
Sleep has never been so funny as when this creative comic/hypnotist takes the stage. With an act that is hip and edgy, Orley leads volunteers through unforgettable twisted scenarios, getting reactions that are almost beyond belief – all without humiliating anyone. Th, 8 p.m.; F, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.; Sa, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; Su, 7 p.m. $20. Tempe Improv, 930 E. University Dr., Tempe, tempeimprov.com, 480-921-9877.
Through October 2
Gilbert and Sullivan’s celebrated maritime blockbuster is loved for its dynamite songs, gleefully entertaining story and saucy satire. The comic opera takes place onboard a British ship, where a navy captain’s daughter falls in love with a lower-class sailor instead of her father’s choice. Call for times. $8-$21. ASU Evelyn Smith Music Theatre, 40 E. Gammage Pkwy., Tempe, herbergerinstitute.asu.edu, 480-965-6447.
Through October 2
In the Heights
This Tony Award-winning play about chasing your dreams and finding your true home focuses on a young store owner in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood, who watches the joys and heartbreaks of his tightknit community as they pass through his bodega. Call for times and ticket prices. Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, phoenixtheatre.com, 602-254-2151.
Through October 8
The Drowsy Chaperone
Described as “a love letter to musical comedy,” this celebrated production flashes back to song-and-dance musicals of yesteryear. Call for times. $18-$30. Hale Centre Theatre, 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert, haletheatrearizona.com, 480-497-1181.
Through October 9
Meet the man behind the grand in this entertaining and moving tribute to the infamous American performer known for his charm, glitz and glamour. Call for times and ticket prices. Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, phoenixtheatre.com, 602-254-2151.
Through October 9
Come for the pomp and circumstance and stay for the rabble-rousing debates at this staged political convention that gives audience members a chance to vote for their favorite candidates and even run for president themselves. Call for times. $15-$18, Space 55, 636 E. Pierce St., Phoenix, space55.org.
Through November 15
You Can’t Take It With You
This classic comedy revolves around the antics of a quirky family living in Depression-era New York City. Call for times. $18-$30. Hale Centre Theatre, 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert, haletheatrearizona.com, 480-497-1181.
The comedian is known for her razor-sharp wit and spontaneity. 8 p.m. $30.50-$40.50. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, mesaartscenter.com, 480-644-6500.
Oddball Comedy Fest
Funny or Die presents The Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival, featuring Dane Cook, Sebastian Maniscalco, Jim Jefferies, Bridget Everett, Iliza Shlesinger and more. 5 p.m. $29.95-$125. Ak-Chin Pavilion, 2121 N. 83rd Ave., Phoenix, ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000.
Scottsdale Film Festival
Celebrating its 16th year, the festival offers award-winning dramas, thrillers, comedies, documentaries and kid-friendly flicks from around the globe, as well as an opening-night party. Call for times and ticket prices. Th, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale, 480-499-TKTS; F-M, Harkins Shea 14, 7354 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, scottsdalefilmfestival.com.
King Charles III
This provocative new drama of political intrigue explores the people beneath the crowns, the unwritten rules of democracy and the conscience of Britain’s most famous family. Written in the style of one of Shakespeare’s history plays, the production is staged by Arizona Theatre Company. Call for times and ticket prices. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix, arizonatheatre.org, 602-256-6995.
Adult Puppet Slam
Expect the unexpected as this adults-only event brings together quirky, edgy puppeteers presenting 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.
Hilarious and frantic, this comic farce focuses on the behind-the-scenes shenanigans of a tattered troupe of actors and the play they are desperately trying to stage in front of the footlights. The production is presented by Theater Works. Call for times. $38, with discounts for seniors, students and groups. Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, 8355 W. Peoria Ave., Peoria, theaterworks.org, 623-815-7930.
This thriller skillfully balances racial tensions with razor-sharp humor as it follows the story of two co-workers – one black, the other white – in a power struggle that takes an unexpected and wild turn. The production about racial paranoia in the workplace is staged by Black Theatre Troupe. Call for times and ticket prices. Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 E. Washington St., Phoenix, blacktheatretroupe.org, 602-258-8129.
October 7-November 13
Lost in Yonkers
Set in Yonkers, N.Y., in the summer of 1942, this Neil Simon play tells the story of two teen boys who are forced to live with their austere grandmother. A clash of generations and a battle of wills lead the whole family to learn important lessons about duty, devotion, trust and love. Call for times. $22-$28. Desert Stages Theatre, 4720 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, desertstages.org, 480-483-1664.
October 13-November 26
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Set in 1850s Oregon wilderness, this rambunctious musical love story focuses on a young bride whose plan to civilize and marry off her six rowdy brothers-in-law backfires when the brothers, in their enthusiasm, kidnap six women from a neighboring town to be their brides. Call for times. $18-$30. Hale Centre Theatre, 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert, haletheatrearizona.com, 480-497-1181.
International Film Festival
Gary Zaro, director of The Film Festival at Paradise Valley Community College, introduces each film and leads a post-viewing discussion, with special culinary treats representing each film’s culture. Showing this month is Nine Queens from Argentina. 4:30 p.m. $15. Holland Community Center, 34250 N. 60th St., Scottsdale, azfcf.org, 480-488-1090.
The South African comedian and host of The Daily Show brings his unique world view and global analysis of American culture to the forefront in Lost in Translation – Finally Getting a Job. 8 p.m. $35-$55. Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix, ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000.
The production is based on a 1612 transcript of 10 women on trial for the crime of murder by witchcraft. F-Sa, 8 p.m.; Su, 5 p.m. $15-$18, Space 55, 636 E. Pierce St., Phoenix, space55.org.
The Merchant of Venice
The scales of justice and the bonds of family, friendship and love are tested in a world of deception, faithlessness and treachery. The classic tale is staged by Southwest Shakespeare Company. Call for times and ticket prices. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, swshakespeare.org, 480-644-6500.
A young couple is enticed to visit a mysterious mansion by an older couple who are not as sweet and harmless as they appear to be in this chilling mystery thriller staged by iTheatre Collaborative. Th-Sa, 8 p.m.; Su, 2 p.m. Call for ticket prices. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix, itheatreaz.org, 602-252-8497.
The Glass Menagerie
A drama of great tenderness and beauty, this Tennessee Williams’ classic about a mother, her son and daughter, and her daughter’s suitor brings to life human beings who cling to a dream world that can so easily be shattered into jagged pieces. Call for times and ticket prices. Fountain Hills Theater, 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills, fhtaz.org, 480-837-9661.
With compassion, humor and rare insight, Arthur Miller’s classic play examines the tale of two brothers whose past still governs their present. Call for times and ticket prices. Theatre Artists Studio, 4848 E. Cactus Rd., Scottsdale, thestudiophx.org, 602-765-0120.
October 14-November 13
Funny Girl, The Musical
Fanny Brice follows her dreams of becoming the greatest star despite the discouragement of friends and neighbors in this triumphant story of success and a bittersweet love. Call for times and ticket prices. Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 W. Paradise Ln., Peoria, azbroadway.org, 623-776-8400.
Speed Killed My Cousin
Memories and flashbacks unfold before a young African-American female veteran of the Iraq War. The moving tale explores multiple issues related to war, including the history of African-Americans in the military and the experiences of women in combat. 7 p.m. $20. ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe, asugammage.com, 480-965-3434.
The Sound of Music
This classic musical follows the life of a young nun, her duties as a governess, and the subsequent loves of her life – the children, their father and music. Call for times and ticket prices. ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe, asugammage.com, 480-965-3434.
National Geographic Live!
Lynsey Addario shares the heart-pounding reality of working in war zones and foreign cultures, and explains what keeps her going back to places most of us would never venture in A Photographer’s Life of Love and War. The Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist has survived two death threats and two kidnappings to bring back powerful images from such hot spots as Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan. 7:30 p.m. $24-$38. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, mesaartscenter.com, 480-644-6500.
Battle of the Sexes
Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus is a one-man fusion of theater and stand-up comedy, blending funny domestic tales with retro stand-up. 7:30 p.m. $59. Higley Center for the Performing Arts, 4132 E. Pecos Rd., Gilbert, higleycenter.org, 480-279-7194.
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. F, 7:30 p.m.; Sa, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. $49-$60. Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, 2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix, carnivalofillusion.com, 480-359-SHOW.
The gutsy stand-up comedian picks apart the absurdity of human behavior and gender inequality. Schumer is the creator and star of the sketch comedy series Inside Amy Schumer and also wrote and stars in the movie Trainwreck, a romantic comedy about a hard-drinking, promiscuous young magazine writer who has her first serious relationship with a sports doctor. 8 p.m. $59-$109. Gila River Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale, ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000.
Planet Poe Theatre
Dramatizations of iconic Edgar Allan Poe classics highlight this evening of dramatic readings by costumed professional voice actors, enhanced by an original sound score. 7 p.m. $12 in advance; $15 at the door. Alwun House, 1204 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, alwunhouse.org, 602-253-7887.
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Get ready to do the “Time Warp” as Barry Bostwick dishes on his best behind-the-scenes stories. The film screening celebrates four decades of the phenomenon that has sparked fans to dress up and shout lines in movie theaters across the world. 7:30 p.m. $42. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, mesaartscenter.com, 480-644-6500.
October 22-November 12
An Act of God
God has arrived and she’s not holding back as she sets the record straight about some of the deepest questions that have plagued mankind and delivers a new Ten Commandments. The sinfully hilarious new play is staged by Arizona Theatre Company. Call for times and ticket prices. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave., Tucson, arizonatheatre.org, 520-622-2823. The production moves to Phoenix, Nov. 17-Dec. 4.
This popular series re-creates the movie-going experience of the early 20th century, with musical accompaniment on the Wurlitzer theater pipe organ by Ron Rhode. This month’s showing on the silver screen is The Lodger, a thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock. 2:30 p.m. $20, adults; $15, students; free, children 11 and younger. Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St., Phoenix, silentsundays.vots-atos.org, 877-840-0457.
The Pump and Dump
There’s a lot of laughter about sex, poop, throw-up and more as Shayna Ferm and her sidekick MC Doula take an unflinching look at the reality of raising small children. The outrageous, irreverent, raucous celebration of the trials of parenthood is filled with comedy, music, games, prizes, drinking, swearing and commiseration. 7:30 p.m. $22-$75. Stand Up Live, 50 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix, standuplive.com, 480-719-6100.
October 28-November 6
Feathers and Teeth
ASU School of Film, Dance and Theatre presents this biting horror comedy about a young teen girl who hates her new stepmother. Th-Sa, 7:30 p.m.; Su, 2 p.m. $10. ASU Nelson Fine Arts Center, 51 E. 10th St., Tempe, herbergerinstitute.asu.edu, 480-965-6447.