Andr-Michel Schub With Phoenix Symphony: Schub, the grand-prize winner of the 1981 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, joins the orchestra and conductor James Sedares for four concerts this week. The program at all of the shows includes Daniel Asia's Piano Concerto (receiving its Southwestern premire) and Aaron Copland's Symphony No. 3. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Friday at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams, and at 3 p.m. Sunday in La Sala in University Center Building on Arizona State University West campus, 4701 West Thunderbird in Glendale. Tickets for the Symphony Hall shows range from $11 to $36. Tickets for the ASU West show, part of the university's "Musics for a Sunday Afternoon" series, are $15, $12 for seniors, $8 for students. More information: 262-7272 or 543-2787.
Phoenix Suns: Charles Barkley, Kevin Johnson and crew kick off preseason play with two games this week at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. They face the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday and the New Jersey Nets on Saturday; both games tip off at 7 p.m. The next home game is at 7p.m. October 27 against the Denver Nuggets. The regular-season home opener is at 7 p.m. November 5 against the Houston Rockets. Tickets are available at arena and Dillard's box offices. For details call 379-7867, 379-7800 or 678-2222.
Los Straitjackets: The 'jackets wear Mexican wrestling masks onstage. Influenced by Link Wray and Ray Coniff, they play surf music. They hail from Nashville, where there is no surf. They play only instrumentals. Many of you are probably exiting the bus about now--but wait. Los Straitjackets have a snappy sound that goes a long way toward recapturing the low-tech sonics of true surf-rock; check out "Rampage," "Jetty Motel" and the other tasteful cuts from their Upstart debut, The Utterly Fantastic and Totally Unbelievable Sound of Los Straitjackets. Del Vamps, and Brakemen share the bill. Showtime is 9p.m. Thursday at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. Cover is $4. Call 265-4842.
Sick and Sane Halloween: This seasonal package deal from Planet Earth Playwrights' Circle members Laraine Herring, Greg Paxton, Ron Peer, Carol Anne Perini, Elaine Romero and David Salcido is a sweet dream of a nightmare. Planet Earth Multi-Cultural Theatre, 909 North Third Street, presents the saucy, irreverent and occasionally downright sick scare fest, featuring vignettes directed by Kent Kemmish, Trinie Yanez Hale, Suzette Hunt and Rick Tobin, at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 6 p.m. Sundays, through October 28. Tickets are $9, $7 for students and seniors. Call 241-1828.
Ballet Folclorico Do Brasil: The acrobatic, highly athletic Brazilian troupe, informally known as Do Brasil, performs Afro-Latin dances and traditional songs in shows at 8p.m. Friday and Saturday at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $18 and $22, available at the center and Ticketmaster. Call 994-2787 or 784-4444.
Nokuthula Ngwenyama: The 18-year-old, Philadelphia-based violist, winner of the 1994 Young Concert Artists International Competition, performs at 8 p.m. Friday at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. Tickets are $14, available at Gammage and Dillard's. Call 965-3434 or 678-2222.
Empty Bowl Project: The fifth annual fund raiser, commemorating World Food Day, is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday in tents located outside Lombardi's at Arizona Center, 455 North Third Street. Those who pay $8 for lunch, consisting of tube pasta, tomato sauce and a slice of bread, keep the ceramic bowls it's served in and raise money for Waste Not. There will also be a silent auction of bowls decorated or autographed by members of the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals and other local celebs. Call 257-8323.
Road Trip: Il Trovatore in Tucson: Arizona Opera opens its silver-anniversary season with Verdi's great tragedy about the price of vengeance. Performances, in Italian with English surtitles, are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Tucson Convention Center Music Hall, 260 South Church; the production moves to Phoenix's Symphony Hall for shows at 7:30 p.m. October 19 through 21 and 2 p.m. October 22. Eduardo Villa and Pamela Kucenic-Motisi sing the roles of Manrico and Leonora in Friday's and Sunday's performances; Robin Reed and Maria Williams assume the parts on Saturday. Preshow lectures are planned an hour before each show. Tickets range from $14 to $56, available at TCC and Dillard's box offices. Call 1-520-791-4836 or 678-2222.