Arizona Christmas Mariachi Festival: Everyone's favorite hot number, Vikki Carr (real name: Florencia Bisenta de Casillas Martinez Cardona), headlines this fourth annual fest. Also on the bill: the stellar Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose L. Hern‡ndez, the all-female Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, Mariachi Campanas de America, Mariachi Tlaquepaque, Ballet Folklorico de San Juan, and Arizona Girls' Chorus. Showtime is 8p.m. Saturday at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Tickets range from $15 to $50, available at the arena and Dillard's. Call 379-7800.
Bad Xmas Pageant 10: Appropriately subtitled "Peace on Everybody: The Tenth Annual Trashing of the Yule Season," the foul-mood fest at Metropophobobia, 621 North Third Street, features performance-art grinches Mike Darrah, Peter Ragan, Ralph Cordova, Leslie Barton, Jeff Falk, Annie Lopez, Chad Bush, Michele Delgado, and New York ArtJunkies, plus vile videos and films. Showtime is 9 p.m. Saturday. Admission is a $5 donation, $4 with a canned-good item for Andre House. For details call 252-9851.
Phoenix Feline Fanciers Cat Show: The acrobatic Friskies Cat Team and the refined Fancy Feast Cat, bewhiskered stars of big and small screens, are special guests at this year's show, slated for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in Exhibit Hall A at Phoenix Civic Plaza, Second Street and Adams. Trainer Scott Hart puts the famous felines through their paces in performances at 1 and 3 p.m. each day. The show proper features more than 450 cats competing for the Fancy Feast Cup and the Friskiest Cat Award, honoring the top pedigreed and nonpedigreed animals, respectively. Admission is $6, $4 for seniors, free for accompanied kids under 12; proceeds benefit Winn Feline Foundation. Call 262-7272.
Lorie Line and Her Pop Chamber Orchestra: At the dawn of the Nineties, pianist Line was playing background music at a Minneapolis department store. Today, the new-age performer/composer heads her own multimillion-dollar company--she markets herself--and the 11member Pop Chamber Orchestra. Shows are scheduled at 5 and 8p.m. Saturday at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $25, available at the center and Ticketmaster. Call 994-2787.
Phoenix Roadrunners: Arizona's International Hockey Leaguers host the Las Vegas Thunder at 7 p.m. Saturday and the Michigan KWings at the same time Wednesday at Veterans' Memorial Coliseum, 19th Avenue and McDowell. Tickets range from $10 to $19, available at the coliseum and Ticketmaster. For details call 340-0001, 258-6711 or 784-4444.
Silverchair: The Australian trio plays aggressive, surprisingly decent stuff, given that not a single one of the members has facial hair or a driver's license. All in their mid-teens, the 'chairs are on a (chaperoned) tour of America in support of their Murmur/Epic debut, Frogstomp. See the story on page 99. Smile shares the bill. Showtime is 3 p.m. Sunday at Party Gardens, 5555 East Van Buren. Tickets are $12, available at the club and Ticketmaster. For details call 231-0488 or 784-4444.
John Bayless: The Texas-born pianist, best known for his Bach Meets the Beatles series, joins conductor James Yestadt and Sun Cities Symphony of the West Valley for a performance at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Sundome, 19403 R.H. Johnson Boulevard in Sun City West. The program includes works by Ibert, Tchaikovsky and Gershwin. Tickets are $12, $16 and $20, available at Sundome and Dillard's box offices. For details call 975-1900 or 678-2222.
Fiesta Bowl 10K: The 14th annual romp across downtown Tempe and the Arizona State University campus starts at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of Fourth Street and Mill. A one-mile fun run and a 5K walk are also planned. Registration precedes at 7:30. The fee is $15, which includes brunch. A health/fitness fair follows. Call 277-4333.
Messiah Sing-along: Conductor Irving Fleming and Scottsdale Symphony and Chorale present this performance of Handel's masterwork. Audience members are invited to bring their own scores and add their voices to the mix. Showtime is 3 p.m. Sunday at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Admission is free; seating is limited. For details call 994-2787 or 945-8071.
Anthrax: Death metal is dead, but this groundbreaking group, one of the movement's founders, lives. Onstage, the New York quartet--John Bush, Scott Ian, Frank Bello and Charlie Benante--concocts a keen mix of razor-edged topicality and head-banging parody, as any band named after a cattle disease should. Deftones, and Life of Agony share the all-ages bill. Showtime is 8 p.m. Monday at Electric Ballroom, 1216 East Apache in Tempe. Tickets are $12.50 in advance, $15 the day of the show, available at the club and Ticketmaster. For details call 894-0707 or 784-4444.
Ballet Arizona's Nutcracker: The troupe continues its tenth season with this presentation of Tchaikovsky's classic, choreographed by the ballet's artistic director, Michael Uthoff. Phoenix Symphony, conducted by James Sedares, performs the score. This week's performances are at 7p.m. Tuesday and 2 and 7 p.m. Wednesday at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. The show continues with daily performances, except on Christmas, through December 29. Tickets are $18, $26 and $33, available at ballet and Dillard's box offices. For details call 381-1096 or 678-2222.