The Turn of the Screw: Arizona State University's Lyric Opera Theatre continues its season with Benjamin Britten's opera, based on Henry James' ghost story. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at ASU Music Theatre, Mill and Gammage Parkway in Tempe. More performances are planned at the same time December 1 and 2. Tickets are $11, $8.50 for ASU faculty and staff, $6 for students and seniors, available at ASU and Dillard's box offices. Call 965-6447 or 678-2222.
Steve Allen: The vintage funnyman and songsmith, host of The Tonight Show in its earliest incarnation (when it was titled Tonight), performs a rare local gig on Wednesday atthe Improvisation, Rural and University (at Cornerstone mall) in Tempe. Showtimes are 7 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $10, $15 and $20. For details call 921-9877.
James McMurtry: The son of novelist Larry McMurtry is a highly literate writer of songs. He kind of croaks 'em out, à la John Prine--it would be an insult to steel wool to compare James' voice to the cleaning pad--but, like Prine, his creations are always worthy, and occasionally brilliant. Showtime is 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Rockin' Horse, 7000 East Indian School in Scottsdale. Tickets are available at the scene and Ticketmaster. For details call 949-0992 or 784-4444.