Pic Hits for the week

thursday
march 7
Cactus League Baseball: They struck out in 1995, but the real boys of spring are back for this year's slate of preseason games, which continues daily, through Friday, March 29, at venues in the Valley and Tucson (two matches are planned in Las Vegas, Nevada, this week). For the schedule and other information, see the "Cactus League" subsection in the Sports listing.

Those Darn Accordions!: The San Francisco-based group features a veritable smorgasbord of squeezebox players, two of them former members of Polkacide. Its Flying Fish album Squeeze This! includes weird, wheezy versions of Grand Funk's "We're an American Band" ("We're an Accordion Band"), Elvis Costello's "Pump It Up" and Jimi Hendrix's "Fire," plus ditsy little ditties like "TheStory of Lawrence Welk," "Autumn inVilnius" and "Grodno in the Moonlight." If Myron Floren joined the B52's, the result would sound something like this. Two shows are scheduled on Thursday, March 7, at the Mason Jar, 2303 East Indian School. Call 956-6271.

Lisa Sette's "Tenth Anniversary Exhibition": Sette's Scottsdale gallery, 4142 North Marshall Way, celebrates a decade as one of theValley's top contemporary exhibitors this month. An installation of works by artists from the venue's stable opens with areception from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 7, and continues through Saturday, March 30. Contributors include William Wegman, Kevin Sloan, Mayme Kratz, Luis Gonzalez Palma, Frances Whitehead, Liz Birkholz and Masao Yamamoto; a number of the artists will attend thereception. For more information, see the Art Exhibits listing or call 990-7342.

Chandler Arizona Ostrich Festival: The eighth annual homage to those fast, flightless, funny-looking avians includes bird races, the Ostrich Festival Parade, concerts by Silk, Three Dog Night, and Tower of Power (see the Music listing), a carnival, a computer fair and more. Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday, March 7; noon to 11 p.m. Friday, March 8; 9 a.m. to 11p.m. Saturday, March 9; and 10 a.m. to 10p.m. Sunday, March 10. Events are centered on the intersection of Arizona Avenue and Chandler Boulevard. Admission is free, but fees are charged for rides and races. Call 963-4571.

friday
march 8
Candida: Arizona Theatre Company continues its season with George Bernard Shaw's comedic battle of the wills between young poet Eugene Marchbanks (Raymond L. Chapman) and the good Reverend James Morell (Mark Capri). The objective: the hand of the title character (Robin Goodrin Nordli), beloved wife of the preacher, apple of the wordsmith's eye and one of the theatre's great roles. The Valley run opens with a preview at 8 p.m. Friday, March 8, in Center Stage atHerberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. The official opening is at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 9. The rest of this week's performances are at 1 and 7 p.m. Sunday, March 10; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 13. A discussion follows Sunday's matinee. The production continues through Saturday, March 23. Tickets range from $20 to $30, available at Herberger and Dillard's. For details call 252-8497 or 678-2222.

Bush, and Goo Goo Dolls: The last flannel-shirt-wearing band to leave Seattle might have flipped the switch, but nobody bothered to enlighten Britain's Bush, which could be decent if it stopped copping Kurt Cobain's licks and started cultivating its own promising pop muse, which it didn't do nearly enough of on its '95 debut, Sixteen Stone. Bush is packaged goods for the grunge-boutique market--and pretty obvious about it--which can't be said of Buffalo, New York's Goo Goo Dolls, a band that's paid its dues, with interest. The Dolls have been on a steady rise since the early '90s, partially filling the gaping Replacements vacuum with a couple of killer discs titled Superstar Car Wash and A Boy Named Goo. No Doubt shares the bill, which starts at7:30 p.m. Friday, March 8, at Veterans' Memorial Coliseum, 19th Avenue and McDowell. Tickets are $21.40 in advance, $23.75 on the day of the show, available at the coliseum and Dillard's. Call 258-6711 or 678-2222.

Phoenix Suns: The Suns host the Los Angeles Lakers at 7 p.m. Friday, March 8, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. A free tip-off party is planned prior to the game; it starts at 4:30 at Hooters, located at Arizona Center, Third Street and Van Buren (call 257-0000). If tickets are available, they're at the arena and Dillard's. Call 379-7867 or 678-2222.

Celia Cruz, and Jose Alberto and His Orchestra: Cruz, the Cuban Sarah Vaughan, has recorded 74 albums with the likes of Tito Puente and David Byrne, each one spicier than the last. She shares the stage with Dominican Republic-born, Puerto Rico-based Alberto, whose ensemble is noted for its swingin' salsa. The rumba jumps at 8 p.m. Friday, March 8, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. Tickets are $19, $23 and $28, available at Gammage and Dillard's. For details call 965-3434 or 678-2222.

Three Hotels: Playwright Jon Robin Baitz's dismantling of the ugly-American dream centers on an amoral corporate executive's campaign to hawk baby formula in Africa. This week's performances are at 8p.m. Friday, March 8; and the same time Saturday, March 9, at St.George Actors Showcase, 4700 North Central, Suite 112. The production continues through Saturday, March 30. Tickets are $12, $9 for students and seniors. Call 956-9168.

Cactus League Baseball: See Thursday.
Chandler Arizona Ostrich Festival: See Thursday.
Lisa Sette's "Tenth Anniversary Exhibition": See Thursday.

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