Pic Hits for the week

thursday
february 15
Stomp: To twist an old phrase, this London-born, Big Apple-based dance/performance-art troupe could milk the percussive possibilities of a telephone book--and undoubtedly has. The appropriately named, Doc Martens-wearing, joyful-noise-making octet brings the metaphorical kitchen sink and literally boots it around the stage at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street, in performances at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $26 and $30, available at the center and Ticketmaster. Call 994-2787 or 784-4444.

Billy Boy Arnold: The Chicago harp man, a master of the hard-driving, loose-limbed blues, was a Windy City staple in the golden '50s. Though he basically sat out the mid-'70s and the '80s, Billy Boy made a strong comeback with the 1992 Alligator release Back Where I Belong, following it up with the recent Eldorado Cadillac, also on Alligator. Showtime is 9 p.m. Thursday at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $8. For details call 265-4842.

State Basketball Championships: Arizona's top boys' and girls' high school teams from divisions 1A to 5A collide in the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) tournament, scheduled Thursday through Saturday and February 22 through 24 at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Tickets are $5, available at the arena and Dillard's. Call 379-7800 or 678-2222.

Ben Folds Five: The backward-leaning, forward-thinking keyboards-bass-drums trio isbased in North Carolina and headed by pianist Folds, who's banned the electric guitar from his alternative mission--with groovy results. 3Lb. Thrill, and the Customers share the all-ages bill, which starts at 9 p.m. Thursday at the Mason Jar, 2303 East Indian School. The cover is $6. For details call 956-6271.

Fiesta Bowl Classic: Pat Murphy's Arizona State University baseball squad hosts Nebraska, Northwestern and Texas Tech in this annual tourney, scheduled Thursday through Sunday at Packard Stadium, First Street and Rural in Tempe. Tickets range from $2 to $5. The Sun Devils' next home game is at 2:30 p.m. February 22 against Wyoming. For details call 965-2381.

Phoenix Symphony: Guest conductor Hermann Michael leads the orchestra and 16year-old violinist Yoon-Kyung Kwon in performances of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, Opus 64; and Bruckner's Symphony No. 4 in E-flat minor ("Romantic"). Shows are planned at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Tickets range from $12 to $36, available at the symphony box office and Dillard's. For details call 264-6363, 262-7272 or 678-2222.

friday
february 16
Hall of Mirrors: An Evening of Strindberg and Genet: Planet Earth Multi-Cultural Theatre, 909 North Third Street, continues its season with this production, featuring the one-acts Ghost Sonata and Deathwatch. August Strindberg's Sonata is a waking nightmare of a work, brimming with complex symbolism and rampant paranoia. Deathwatch, the first play by onetime convict Jean Genet, is a drama about hierarchy and tyranny behind bars. Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 6 p.m. Sundays, through March 16. Tickets are $9, $7 for students and seniors. For reservations and details, call 241-1828.

Scottsdale All-Arabian Horse Show: About 2,000 of the world's top show equines compete in categories like cutting, jumping and driving at this 41st annual event, the country's largest. It starts Friday and continues daily,through February 25, at WestWorld, 16601 North Pima Road. Outside the two big-top arenas, vendors hawk clothing, jewelry, art and other "horseware." General-admission tickets are $5, $3for seniors, $2.50 for kids under 12. Reserved-seating tickets are available at Dillard's. Proceeds benefit various Valley charities. For details call 951-1180 or 678-2222.

Richard II: Ethington Theatre at Grand Canyon University, 3300 West Camelback, continues its "Reconstructing Shakespeare"-themed season with the Bard's tragedy about the poisonous power struggle between the title figure and his cousin, the future Henry IV. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. February 23 and 24. Tickets are $8, $6.50 for seniors and kids. For reservations and details, call 589-2871.

Fiesta Bowl Classic: See Thursday.
Phoenix Symphony: See Thursday.
State Basketball Championships: SeeThursday.
Stomp: See Thursday.

saturday
february 17
Blues Blast '96: Phoenix Blues Society's Blast, now in its fifth year, kicks off Saturday with an indoor dance party starring Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Mike Morgan and the Crawl, and Lucius Parr and First Choice featuring George Bowman; showtime is 7 p.m. at Mesa Centennial Hall, 201North Center. The big outdoor show starts at 11 a.m. Sunday at Mesa Amphitheatre, Center and University. Lone Star greats Charles Brown and Angela Strehli, the latter backed by California's Soul Drivers, co-headline. Texas City native Brown, 73, is a world-class pianist/raconteur and one of the founders of California's blues scene. Lubbock-born Strehli is one of the globe's great white wailers, augmenting herdead-on readings of classics like "Bigtown Playboy" and "Mean Mistreater" with abone-dry west Texas twang. Also on the bill: W.C. Clark Blues Revue, Sam Taylor Band featuring Heather Hardy, Big Nick and the Gila Monsters, and Rob Rio and the Revolvers. Tickets to each show are $8.50 in advance, $10 at the door; a two-day pass costs $15. All are available at Dillard's. Kids under 12 are admitted free to Sunday's show. For details call 252-0599, 644-2560 or 678-2222.

Dream Game '96: Pete Rose, Vida Blue, Lou Brock, Whitey Ford and many other former pro baseball stars are scheduled to play inthis annual fund raiser for Phoenix Memorial Hospital's Young Company center. The first pitch is at noon Saturday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, 5999 East Van Buren. Tickets are $8, $10 and $12, available at Dillard's; call 678-2222. The free, interactive Baseball Experience precedes at 11 a.m., continuing 'til 3 p.m. For details about the Dream Game '96 Card Show, see Events. For general information, call 238-3215.

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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