"Muertos de Gusto! Day of the Dead: Memory and Ritual" and Da de los Muertos Festival: On loan from Chicago's Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, "Gusto!" features 60 mixed-media works by Mexican and U.S. artists celebrating the traditional Catholic day of commemoration for the dearly departed, which falls on November 2. The installation opens Saturday and continues through February 5, 1996, at Heard Museum, 22 East Monte Vista. In conjunction with the opening, the Heard hosts the largest Day of the Dead fest in the Valley from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on Shaffer Green and at Scott L. Libby Jr. Amphitheater on the museum's grounds. Highlights include folk art, hands-on crafts, a mercado, performances by Zum Zum Zum and Primavera Dance Company, and "La Danza de Los Voladores" ("the Dance of the Flying Men," in which Los Voladores fly around a pole with ropes tied around their waists). Admission to the outdoor fest is free; craft-making sessions cost $1. Regular admission prices are in effect at the museum proper. Call 252-8840.
Fowl Play: Fiesta Bowl Duck Race and Hi Jolly Daze Duck Drop: The odds in the wildly popular Duck Race are against you, but if you adopt a rubber duck for $5, and if it's one of three in each 10,000 sold containing a grand-prize promissory note, and if your rubber duck crosses the finish line before the other 64,999 rubber ducks, you win $1 million and a 1995 Isuzu pickup. Prerace activities at the eighth annual event begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at PERA Park, 68th Street and Continental in Tempe, and the duck launch follows at 3 at the nearby Salt River Project canal. Duck-adoption forms are available at all Bank of America branch locations; proceeds benefit Scottsdale Prevention Institute and the Fiesta Bowl. A related Halloween festival starts at dusk and continues until approximately 9:30 p.m. Call 350-0900. The highlight of Saturday's eighth annual Hi Jolly Daze in the desert town of Quartzsite, west of Phoenix on I-10, is a drop of rubber ducks from a hot-air balloon at dusk. Closest duck to the painted bull's eye at Town Park wins the pot. Cost to adopt one of the duck missiles is $5. Lots of other activities are planned throughout the day; call 1-520-927-5600 for details.
The Practical Bohemian: Ed Metzger (Dog Day Afternoon, TV's St. Elsewhere), who also does a decent Hemingway, has been portraying brilliant klutz Albert Einstein in this solo tour de force since 1979. Showtime is 8 p.m. Saturday at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $16 and $20, available at the center and Ticketmaster. Call 994-2787 or 784-4444.
Fiddler's Dream Folk Festival: A who's who of Valley folk musicians, with a few blues and bluegrass acts mixed in, is planned at this event, scheduled for noon to 11 p.m. Saturday at Fiddler's Dream Coffee House, 1701 East Cactus Wren, one block north of Glendale Avenue. John Savoy, Gypsy Wind, Joe Bethancourt, Ned Beatty and the Inbreds and 18 other acts are slated to perform (see Music listing for a complete list and details about other Fiddler's Dream happenings). Admission is $3, free for kids under 12. Call 997-9795 or 277-4991.
Arizona Cardinals: It's a bird fight, as Buddy's Cards host the Seattle Seahawks at 2 p.m. Sunday at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. Tickets are $29, $39 and $54, available at Dillard's. Upcoming home games are scheduled at 2 p.m. November 12 against the Minnesota Vikings, 2 p.m. November 26 against the Atlanta Falcons, 6 p.m. November 30 against the New York Giants and 7 p.m. December 25 against those gol-danged Dallas Cowboys (the latter match is sold out). Call 379-0102 or 678-2222.
Charlie Musselwhite: San Francisco's Musselwhite is one of the few contemporary blues performers hoeing the deep-blues field--certainly, he's one of the best; see the story on page 109. The "ace of harps" performs on Monday at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. Hans Olson opens at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 the day of the show, available at the door and Ticketmaster. For details call 265-4842 or 784-4444.
"Tales of Mystery, Suspense and Horror": Geoffrey Platts hosts a special, tenth-anniversary edition of his traditional Halloween reading of tales of the macabre and supernatural at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. The program includes the best of the decade, including Edgar Allan Poe's "Masque of the Red Death," "The Raven" and "The Cask of Amontillado," Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Case of Lady Sannox" and Saki's "The Open Window." Tickets are $10 and $11, available at Kerr and Dillard's. Call 965-5377.
Night of the Living Dead and The Rocky Horror Picture Show: George A. Romero's Dead redefined the term "chewing the scenery." Watching this clammy, claustrophobic flick about a group of people trapped in a farmhouse by zombies trying to scratch their way in is the second-best way to spook yourself on Halloween (the best: finishing the last line of the last chapter of Stephen King's Pet Sematary at the stroke of midnight). A free screening of Dead is planned at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Valley Art Theatre, 509 South Mill in Tempe. A costume contest follows at 10, and a special showing of Rocky Horror (R) follows that; admission to the latter is $5. For details call 829-6668.