Pic Hits for the week

John Muir Festival: Sierra Club's Grand Canyon chapter pays homage to the late naturalist with a program of dramatic monologues and readings by Valley author Geoffrey Platts and Prescott College instructor Doug Hulmes. The rain-or-shine celebration begins with a series of interpretive nature walks at 10 a.m. Saturday; the readings start at 2 p.m., and a Bean Burro Fest wraps things up at 5. All events are centered on Seven Springs Campground, located in Tonto National Forest east of Carefree. Take Cave Creek Road until it turns into Seven Springs Road and follow the "Muir" signs; the last nine miles are graded dirt. Admission is $15, $5 for those ages 10 to 19, free for younger kids; proceeds benefit the chapter and Scotland's John Muir Land Trust. For details call 253-8633.

Arizona Renaissance Festival and Artisan Marketplace: The eighth annual re-creation of a medieval village is populated by a cast of royals, peasants, thespians, equestrians, maidens fair, rogues, jousters and other appropriate types. This week's hours are 10a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday through Monday at the festival grounds, located off Highway 60/89 east of Apache Junction. The fest continues weekends, through March 24. Tickets are $10.95, $3.95 for children ages 5to 12, available at Fry's stores; they're $1more at the gate. Kids under 5 are admitted free. For details call 1-520-463-2700.

Fiesta Bowl Classic: See Thursday.
Hall of Mirrors: An Evening of Strindberg andGenet: See Friday.
Richard II: See Friday.
Scottsdale All-Arabian Horse Show: See Friday.
State Basketball Championships: SeeThursday.
Stomp: See Thursday.

sunday
february 18
Nils Lofgren: The Chicago native truly cranks on the guitar, and he's come tantalizingly close to success via separate gigs with Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, but fame and fortune continue to shun the cult fave after 27 years in the biz. Lofgren makes a rare Valley stop on Sunday at the Rockin' Horse, 7000 East Indian School in Scottsdale. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, $14 the day of the show, available at the scene and Ticketmaster. For details call 949-0992 or 784-4444.

Jerry Jeff Walker: The cosmic/outlaw cowpoke, composer of "Mr. Bojangles" and founder of the Lost Gonzo Band, has lost a few steps since his hard-core Viva Terlingua daze, but the chops are ingrained. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Red River Opry, Mill and Washington in Tempe. Tickets are $20, available at the scene and Dillard's. For details call 829-6779 or 678-2222.

Arizona Renaissance Festival and Artisan Marketplace: See Saturday.
Blues Blast '96: See Saturday.
Fiesta Bowl Classic: See Thursday.
Hall of Mirrors: An Evening of Strindberg and Genet: See Friday.
Richard II: See Friday.
Scottsdale All-Arabian Horse Show: See Friday.
Stomp: See Thursday.

monday
february 19
Frank Black: Pseudonym master Black (former alias: Black Francis; birth name: Charles Michael Kitteridge Thompson IV) was both creator and destroyer of the dynamically superior, much-mourned Pixies--whose untimely demise, on the other hand, led to the formation of the Breeders and Cracker. Ironically, the offshoots have trounced Black's own work, including the albums Frank Black and Teenager of the Year, but that's karma and the record business. See the story on page 84. The eccentric songsmith performs Monday at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. Jonny Polonsky opens the all-ages show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 the day of the show, available at the scene and Ticketmaster. Call 968-8664 or 784-4444.

Phoenix Suns: The Suns host the Vancouver Grizzlies at 7 p.m. Monday and the Boston Celtics at the same time Wednesday at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. If tickets are available, they're at the arena and Dillard's. Call 379-7867, 379-7800 or 678-2222.

Arizona Renaissance Festival and Artisan Marketplace: See Saturday.
Scottsdale All-Arabian Horse Show: See Friday.

tuesday
february 20
"The Fiery Passion of Robert Schumann": Pianist/lecturer Jeffrey Siegel continues his 17th season of "Keyboard Conversations" with this program at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Siegel performs and discusses the Romantic composer's Fantasy Pieces, Opus 12; and Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Opus 22. Tickets are $20, available at the center and Ticketmaster. Call 994-2787 or 784-4444.

Scottsdale All-Arabian Horse Show: See Friday.

wednesday
february 21
Eric Burdon: The England-born founder of the Animals and War isin the midst of what he terms his "Greatest Hits Tour," and there were a ton of 'em. Burdon sings "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," "Sky Pilot," "Monterey," "Spill the Wine" and others in arelocated show on Wednesday at Electric Ballroom, 1216 East Apache in Tempe. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $16 the day of the show, available at the club and Ticketmaster; those already purchased will be honored. Call 894-0707 or 784-4444.

Keith Terry's Crosspulse: Percussionist/tap dancer Terry and his "body music" troupe synthesize rhythm, dance and performance art, creating a seamless whole. Showtime is 8 p.m. Wednesday at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. The show is part of the venue's "On-Stage" series, in which audience members are seated onstage with the performer; space is limited. Tickets are $14, available at Gammage and Dillard's. Call 965-3434.

Phoenix Suns: See Monday.
Scottsdale All-Arabian Horse Show: See Friday.

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