Villainous vapors don’t stand a chance against the sagacious, singing scientists of Gaslight theater’s Ghostblasters. They have light sabers!
The production, and it’s Friends-themed olio, run through Sunday, Aug. 28, with shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 6 and 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 3 and 6 p.m., Sunday. Tickets are from $17 for a seat with a restricted view to $27 for a seat in the front row. Make reservations and find details at thegaslighttheatre.com.
Ghostblasters opens with a group of misfit scientists mustering to take on a pack of pernicious ghosts in New York City. Someone has to do it. The gang teams up but finds its first hurdle in naming themselves. Next they discover that it isn’t clear who is the real threat to the metropolis. Hint: It’s not all about ectoplasm, but, shocker, it soon involves a train, a damsel in distress, and a villain soaring through the heights of the theater’s ceiling. Armed light sabers with light sabers, the Ghostblasters and their marks wreak havoc, complicating the chase with shifting identities. Who is the mayor, really? Who will prevail? There’s more than ectoplasm at stake.
Gaslight always puts on a great show, with wall-to-wall action and effects to entertain all ages. The theater also has an extensive menu of snacks and beverages, including alcohol.
Steven Wright returns to the Rialto Theatre
Steven Wright’s laconic delivery belies the whimsically detailed thought he endows to aspects of daily life that we routinely ignore. Who even has bandwidth to examine all the quirks and lint-sized gordian knots we navigate daily? Maybe we should be grateful to Wright for being that guy, the one who pays attention so we don’t have to, and then cracks us up about what we might call the “ridiculum” beyond our focus.
When he came to town in 2018, we spoke about one of his favorite authors, Charles Bukowski. He seemed puzzled and asked how he and Bukowski wound up in the same thought. I answered that I sensed a similar energy. I was thinking that Bukowski’s brusque, cryptic written voice might be a flimsy cover for an overwhelming burden of intelligent rage. Wright’s response was a feather-light, haiku-like joke about the attitude of a butterfly. If he were a band, he might be Parquet Courts, brilliantly inscrutable, but a whole lot of fun.
Wright delivers dry jokes in brittle strips. They can make a listener think twice, but sometimes also wonder if he’s awake. He knows his affect is deeply mellow, but he says he’s always wired, and has the coffee habit to prove it. Still, the efficiency of his jokes and the drowsiness of his delivery sometimes make it seem that he’s conserving energy. Then he delivers an hour of his snippets and we might start thinking that other comics’ lead ins, punchlines and extra beats may be wasting our time.
Wright appears at 8 p.m., Friday, June 24 at The Rialto Theatre. Tickets are $34 to $52 via rialtotheatre.com.
Your Crazy Best Friends: What Are They Thinking?
Six of the funniest nutcases we know let you in on the secrets to their comedy success: Childhood trauma, chemical imbalance and assorted other mental health maladies might have laid the rest of us low, but they have failed to stifle these folks’ self-aware sense of humor.
We literally can’t imagine how they see the world, but they promise to “normalize and humorize mental health in a real and relatable way!” We are totally there for it. Allana Erickson, sketch-comedy producer, improviser and standup comedian, heads a bill including Anthony Jenkins, Ly Johnson, Morgan and Phoenix comic Can Medina. Bianca Marie hosts.
The show is at 8 p.m. Friday, June 17, at The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St. Admission is $8. There will be strong language.
Lady Ha Ha Goes to a Brewery
The ever-adventurous women of Lady Ha Ha, the folks who last brought us a comedy show in a den of adoptable cats, this week take their showcase to Moto Sonora Brewing, 1015 South Park Ave. The free event, at 7 p.m. Friday, June 17, features a rainbow lineup including Andrea Carmichael, Laurie Diener, Lux Shree, Redd, Stacy Scheff and Lady Ha Ha hosts Priscilla Fernandez and Mo Urban. The Lady Ha Ha open mic continues on Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. at The Rock.
Funny at The Fox
The Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St., has opened its fall and winter comedy series for advance ticket sales foxtucson.com. The series includes Fortune Feimster’s “Hey, Y’all” show, rescheduled from June 24 to Sunday, Sept. 11, but it begins on August 6 with The Drive (KDRI) Tucson’s Third Anniversary show featuring Jeff Allen on his 2.0 tour. On Friday, September 30, Tucson favorite Lewis Black presents “Off the Rails”. Thursday, October 15 features “False Negative”: An Evening with John Waters, who will be in Tucson for The Loft Film Festival. Fox’s 2022 comedy programing winds up with Brian Regan on Tuesday, November 20, but The Smothers Brothers are already booked for Wednesday, January 18, 2022.
In our listing of open mics, we omitted one of the most popular. It’s a mic that Cory Lytle has been running for two years on Tuesday nights at House of Bards, 4915 E. Speedway. 6:30 p.m. sign up; 7:15 p.m. start.
THE REST OF THE WEEKEND
Laff’s Comedy Caffe (presales, reservations and performer details are at laffstucson.com) $15. $20 preferred seating. Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11, 8 and 10:30 p.m., features B.T.
Tucson Improv Movement/TIM Comedy Theatre (presales at tucsonimprov.com) Thurs., June 16, $5 shows: 7:30 p.m., The Dirty Tees (short form); 8:30 p.m., Open Mic (standup, etc.). Fri., June 17, $7 shows: 6:30 p.m., free, Improv Jam!; 7:30 p.m. The Soapbox featuring J.P. Martin; 9 p.m., Standup Comedy Showcase. Sat., June 18, $7 shows: 7:30 p.m., Your Favorite Movie Improvised plus The Meeting); 9 p.m., The Match Game (zany pop-culture characters).
Unscrewed Theater (presales at unscrewedtheatre.org), , $5 kids, $8, live or remote/ Fri., June 10, 7:30 p.m., Family Friendly Improv Comedy; 9 p.m., Unscrewed Fridays After Dark. Sat., June 11, 7:30 p.m., Family Friendly Improv Comedy; 9 p.m., Uncensored, feat. NBOJU, The Big Daddies. clean house team Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed; $5 kids, $8 adults, in person or online.
(You know you want to!)
6 p.m. signup, 7 p.m. start, Lady Ha Ha at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave., Priscilla Fernandez, Mo Urban host.
6:30 p.m. signup, 7 p.m. start. The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress, Chris Quinn hosts.
6:45 p.m. writing workshop and signup, 8 p.m. start, Laff’s Comedy Caffe, 2900 E. Broadway Blvd., Casey Bynum hosts.
8 p.m. signup, 8:30 p.m. start, Tucson Improv Movement, 414 E. 9th St., Jennifer Blanco Thomas and Kurt Lueders host. Alternating weeks; next mic is June 30.
6:30 p.m. signup, 7 p.m. start, The Kava Bar, 4376 E. Speedway Blvd., Connor Hannah hosts.
5:30 p.m. signup, 6 p.m. start, The Music Box, 6951 E. 22nd St., Tony Bruhn hosts.
6:30 p.m. signup, 7:15 p.m. start, Home Room mic at Arte Bella (420 friendly), 340 N. 4th Ave., Rebecca and Paul Fox host.
First and second Mondays, 7 p.m. signup, 8 p.m. start, The Mint, 3540 E. Grant Rd., Joey G hosts.
6:30 p.m. signup, 7:15 p.m. start, House of Bards, 4915 E Speedway, Cory Lytle hosts.