Pic Hits for the week

thursday
january 4
Little Shop of Horrors: Arizona Theatre Company continues its season with the dark and delicious musical about lovelorn Seymour Krelbourne and the voracious plant named Audrey II. Based on Roger Corman's 1960 film, the play was penned by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. This week's performances are at 2and 8 p.m. Thursday, 8p.m. Friday, 2 and 8p.m. Saturday, 1 and 7p.m. Sunday and 8p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday in Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. Tuesday's show is a fund raiser for Arizona AIDS Foundation; it's preceded by a sampling of desserts by top Valley chefs. Specially priced tickets are $50, $75 and $125, with all proceeds going toward HIV/AIDS education and prevention (call 256-6899 for reservations). Regular tickets range from $25 to $35, available at Herberger and Dillard's. Call 252-8497 or 678-2222. (Note: ATC's next show, Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Other Identities, opens Saturday in Tucson; see the Theatre listing.)

Arizona National Livestock Show and PRCA Senior Rodeo: The livestock show, scheduled for 8a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday at Arizona State Fairgrounds, 19th Avenue andMcDowell, celebrates the state's ranching and agricultural heritage with the Li'l Buckaroo rodeo, a display of Western art, a livestock competition and auction, trade and gear shows and more. Daily admission is free. Tickets to the related PRCA Senior Rodeo, scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Veterans' Memorial Coliseum, are $7 and $10, available at Coliseum and Dillard's box offices (call 258-6711 or 678-2222). Fairgrounds parking is free Thursday and Friday, $2 Saturday and Sunday.

The Phantom of the Opera: Andrew Lloyd Webber's phenomenally popular musical, based on the novel by Gaston LeRoux, stars Rick Hilsabeck as the title spook, a spiteful composer who haunts the catacombs beneath the Paris Opera House and loves young soprano Christine (Teri Bibb and understudy Rita Harvey alternate performances). Broadway vet Harold Prince directed the touring production, which continues with shows at 8p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2and 7:30 p.m. Sunday and8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. Phantom continues through January 27. Tickets range from $15 to $65, available at Gammage and Dillard's. Call 965-3434 or 678-2222.

Phoenix Symphony: Flutist Paula Robison joins the orchestra, conducted by James Sedares, in performances of Schubert's Symphony No.8 in B minor, D. 759 ("Unfinished"); Griffes' "Poem" for Flute and Orchestra; Beaser's "Song of the Bells"; and Debussy's "La Mer." 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; tickets are specially priced at $11and $15, and the Beaser work is not performed. Regular tickets range from $12 to $36, available at the symphony box office and Dillard's. Call 264-6363 or 678-2222.

Phoenix Suns: Charles Barkley and company host the Minnesota Timberwolves at 7 p.m. Thursday and the Los Angeles Clippers at 7p.m. Tuesday at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. The team's next home game is January 12 versus the Dallas Mavericks. If tickets are available, they're at the arena and Dillard's.Call 379-7867 or 678-2222.

friday
january 5
Neurotic Boy Outsiders featuring Steve Jones, John Taylor, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum: Jones is an ex-Sex Pistol. Taylor was formerly with Duran Duran and Power Station. McKagan and Sorum are best known for their Guns N' Roses ties. The four got together for a one-off benefit, but the affiliation's jelled into a real deal. The L.A.-based group performs Friday at Nile Theater, 105 West Main in Mesa. Theall-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at Alternatix. Call 649-2766 or 266-8111.

"Octofungi": A single work composes this exhibit, but what a marvelous piece. The "living sculpture" by France-born, Phoenix-based Yves Amu Klein, an Arizona State University grad, is the latest step in the artist's ongoing attempt to develop an evolving autonomous art form. "Octofungi," billed as "an intelligent sculpture which interacts with its audience and surroundings," is formed of shape-memory metal alloys and powered by microprocessors. Klein's piece and Helme Prinzen's "Mandala" display of mixed-media works open with a reception from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday at CRASHarts at the Icehouse, 429 West Jackson. Admission is a$1 donation for the MILK Fund. "Octofungi" and "Mandala" continue through January; regular viewing is by appointment only. Call 256-6333.

Bullriders Only Championship: It's the most dangerous game: The cowpokes try to show the sassy bulls who's boss, and the bulls try to stomp the bossy cowpokes senseless. The next chapter in the eternal battle of thewills commences at 8 p.m. Friday and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Tickets range from $10 to $30, available at arena and Dillard's box offices. For details call 379-7800 or 678-2222.

Antigone: Planet Earth Multi-Cultural Theatre, 909 North Third Street, continues its season with Sophocles' tragedy about the daughter of Oedipus, who is forced to choose between society's law and the law of the gods. Peter James Cirino directed his own contemporary adaptation. Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 6 p.m. Sundays, through February 3. Tickets are $9, $7 for students and seniors.Call 241-1828.

World of Wheels: The 27th annual hot-rod expo features appearances by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, counterculture icon and creator of the"Rat Fink" cartoon; David Chokachi, whoportrays Cody Madison on Baywatch; Phoenix Sun Elliot "Socks" Perry; and the Suns' Gorilla. Other attractions: the "Globe of Terror," a hollow, steel-mesh ball in which motorcyclists play a high-speed game of chicken; a special Harley display, courtesy ofEast Valley Hog Chapter 101; and, naturally, tons of historic and customized vehicles. Hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to10p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday at Phoenix Civic Plaza, Second Street and Adams. Tickets are $8.50, $4 for children under 12. For details call 262-7272.

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