You want eclectic? We’ve got eclectic. A musical about a spelling bee? Sure thing. A circus in the rain? Coming right up. An old-timey radio variety show that isn’t actually broadcast? OK. Puppets talking dirty? Dancing vampires? David Sedaris? You want fries with that?
Forget all the grousing we arts lovers tend to make about how far too many Valley arts groups love to play it far too safe with the same old thing season after season. This year, there’s something for everybody — literally — and we can’t wait to sink our teeth into it.
Not only has Get Out compiled the most comprehensive roundup of the Valley’s performing arts events (see page 19) we’ve combed the schedules for our picks for the coolest, most gotta-see events of the season.
From horror movie tributes to an angelic comedy, here are the shows you’ll want to catch.
‘So You Think You Can Dance’
SEPT. 17 AT DODGE THEATRE
Reality TV meets high art — it had to happen. The top 10 finalists, including eventual winner Benji Schwimmer, pictured, from Fox’s summer hit (“American Idol” with dancing instead of singing) will boogie their best in a variety of styles, including hip-hop, contemporary, ballroom, mambo and salsa.
‘Scream Queens — The Musical’
OCT. 5-28 AT SOUL INVICTUS
Artists’ Theatre Project, the plucky, irreverent theater troupe that brought us “Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical,” is back with another campy cinema send-up. This time, it’s Scott Martin’s musical about the D-cup starlets of B-movie horror, and what happens when six of them — with performances by East Valley faves Andi Watson and Nicole Lang — decide to host their own horror fan convention in Ohio.
‘Completely Hollywood (Abridged)’
SEPT. 15-OCT. 1 AT ACTORS THEATRE
First, they gave the speed treatment to Shakespeare. Then they took a silly quick-trip through the Bible. Now the Reduced Shakespeare Company — yes, the guys themselves — take on Hollywood blockbusters in their latest rapid-fire slapstick show.
‘Hitchcock for Halloween’
OCT. 27-28 AT SYMPHONY HALL
Can you hear the screeching violins of the “Psycho” shower scene already? Movie buffs will do well to check out the Phoenix Symphony’s performance of the distinct scores from some of revered thriller auteur Alfred Hitchcock’s beloved films, many of which were composed by the legendary Bernard Herrmann.
‘Sankai Juku: Kagemi — Beyond the Metaphors of Mirrors’
NOV. 7 AT GAMMAGE AUDITORIUM
Sankai Juku is the most notable of the Japanese butoh groups — a subversive dance form known for playfully grotesque imagery and white makeup (yet adhering to no set style). They’ll combine this tradition with modern Western dance for their latest show, touring the world and set to stop in the East Valley.
‘Sister’s Catechism Christmas’
NOV. 30-DEC. 31 AT THEATER 4301
Patti Hannon, the longtime star of the riotous papal comedy “Late Nite Catechism,” brings her third Sisterly incarnation to the East Valley, this time a Christmas show at Theater 4301. Subtitled “The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold,” the show allows Sister — a nun’s version of insult comic Don Rickles — to wax Catholic on all things Nativity.
DEC. 5-JAN 7 AT MESA ARTS CENTER
The Valley’s favorite comic actor expatriate, Bob Sorenson, came back last year to steal a few scenes in Southwest Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and he’s back at the MAC to reprise the hilarious one-man show he did for Arizona Theatre Company in 2002, about a flustered reservation-taker at a hip Manhattan restaurant.
APRIL 10-11 AT MESA ARTS CENTER
Talk about April showers: Cirque Eloize — not to be confused with that other French Canadian circus troupe, Cirque du Soleil — will create a downpour at the MAC with its arty collection of acrobatics and clowning that climaxes with a torrential rainfall in the theater
APRIL 21-22 AT SCOTTSDALE CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
This genre-bending show returns to the Valley — it starts with the rich tradition of Japanese taiko drumming, but throws in contemporary elements such as spoken word, hip-hop choreography, video multimedia and dance to really make it a unique experience.
‘Bat Boy: The Musical’
JUNE 1-30 AT NEARLY NAKED THEATRE
Nearly Naked’s Damon Dering — who ended last season with a boffo “The Who’s ‘Tommy’ ” — has been trying to land this show for years. And for good reason: What’s not to love about a musical based on the beloved freak mascot of the Weekly World News?