Capitol Steps: If you consider Newt Gingrich unintentionally hilarious and stuff like the recent shutdown of the government funny as a crutch, this troupe's for you. The Washington, D.C.-based Steps were born in 1981, when three congressional aides were drafted to provide entertainment for a Senate Foreign Relations Committee Christmas party. In desperation--they had planned to stage a Nativity play, but quip that they couldn't find three wise men or a virgin in all of Congress--the staffers turned to cheeky digs at their then-bosses. The rest issatirical history. Performing numbers like"Fools on the Hill" and "The Sony Side of the Street," Capitol Steps perform at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets range from $20 to $25, available at the center and Ticketmaster. Call 994-2787 or 784-4444.
Arizona State University "Pass in Review": TheSun Devil marching band reprises the best performances from its fall halftime shows in concerts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe, and3 p.m. Saturday at the Sundome, 19403 R.H. Johnson Boulevard in SunCity West. ASU Wind Ensemble also performs. Tickets are $5, $2 for students, available at Gammage, Sundome and Dillard's. Call 965-3434, 975-1900 or 678-2222.
Phoenix Roadrunners: Arizona's International Hockey Leaguers host the Cleveland Lumberjacks Thursday, the Minnesota Moose Saturday and the Milwaukee Admirals Wednesday. All games start at 7 p.m. at Veterans' Memorial Coliseum, 19th Avenue and McDowell. Tickets range from $10 to $19, available at the coliseum and Ticketmaster. Call 340-0001.
Phoenix Symphony: Pianist Garrick Ohlsson joins the orchestra, conducted by James Sedares, in performances of Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 in D major, Opus 36, and Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Opus 83. Shows are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Friday at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Friday morning's program is a "Coffee Classics" concert, with tickets specially priced at $11and $15. Regular tickets range from $12 to $36. They're available at the symphony box office and Dillard's. Call 264-6363, 262-7272 or 678-2222.
Valley Art Theatre: Meet the Feebles (unrated), the first film by director Peter Jackson, continues with daily screenings at the cinema, 509South Mill in Tempe. Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey (unrated), director Steven M. Martin's ode to the instrument responsible for many of the schlocky sci-fi-flick soundtracks of the '50s, opens Friday. Stop Making Sense (unrated) screens at midnight Friday, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (R) plays at midnight Saturday. Call 829-6668.
Day Without Art: In honor of World AIDS Day 1995 and those who have fallen to AIDS and HIV, many local arts facilities will be dark or hold special commemorations Friday. For details about the related "Light the Mountain" event, see Events listing. For information about other local World AIDS Day events, call Commitment to Life Foundation at 951-6986 or Arizona AIDS Foundation at 483-8306.
Noches de las Luminarias: Desert Botanical Garden's phenomenally popular fund raiser, in its 18th year, features an elbow-to-elbow stroll on luminaria-lighted paths, plus live music by a hand-bell choir, mariachis and other musicians. It's scheduled for 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, in Papago Park. Tickets are $8, $4 for kids; all proceeds benefit DBG. Advance purchase is suggested, and early arrival is of the essence. Park at Phoenix Zoo; a free shuttle service runs from the zoo to the garden. Call 941-1225.
The Tempest: Ethington Theatre at Grand Canyon University, 3300 West Camelback, continues its 45th season with composer Lee Hoiby's operatic take on one of the Bard's most dramatic works. The play is the latest installment in Ethington's "Reconstructing Shakespeare" series, which includes upcoming presentations of Richard II and a musical titled Shakespeare and Friends. The Tempest is performed at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. December 8 and 9. Tickets are $8, $6.50 for seniors and kids. For details and reservations, call 589-2871.
Old Town Tempe Fall Festival of the Arts: The 27th annual blowout, featuring artisans and craftspeople from around the country, isscheduled for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday in the area surrounding the intersection of Fifth Street and Mill. Also on the agenda: kids' activities in Kidspace, health and environmental displays in FitZone and Ecotopia, wine tasting and live music. Call 967-4877.
Phoenix Suns: Charles Barkley and company host the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday and the expansion Vancouver Grizzlies Tuesday. Both games tip off at 7 p.m. at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Afree party at Symphony Hall Terrace, Second Street and Adams, precedes Friday's game; it starts at 5 and continues 'til 10:30. If game tickets are available, they're at the arena and Dillard's. Call 379-7867.
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. Final performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at ASU Music Theatre, Mill and Gammage Parkway in Tempe. 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.