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.

saturday
march 9
"Bill Viola: Buried Secrets": Technology is Viola's friend, and the Long Beach, California-based video artist plumbs the relationship for all it's worth. Viola's ironic forte is transmitting raw emotion and cultural commentary through his cold view screens, and the lovely, often disturbing and always challenging results beat the heck out of CBS' Saturday-night lineup. The American premiere of "Buried Secrets," which represented the U.S. at the 46th Venice Biennale, opens with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 9, and continues through Sunday, June 9, at Arizona State University Art Museum at Nelson Fine Arts Center, located at Tenth Street and Mill, on the ASU campus in Tempe. For more information, see the Art Exhibits listing or call 965-2787.

dog's eye view: Peter Stuart, manic centerpiece of the New York ensemble, started out crooning at coffee houses and worked his way up to opening for acts like Tori Amos and Cracker--and stealing a little bit of theheadliners' thunder. With the success of the single "Everything Falls Apart," from the group's Columbia debut, Happy Nowhere, this dog's on the rise. The group performs on Saturday, March 9, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. For details call 968-8664.

"Big Night in America": Screen gems from the archives of Lew Alquist, a collector of educational and industrial films from the '50s through the '70s, highlight this happy skewering of American family values, scheduled for 9 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at Metropophobobia, 621 North Third Street. Also on the agenda: performance art by Jeff Falk, Annie Lopez, David Chorlton, Leslie Barton, and New York Art Junkies. Admission is a donation of $4, $3 with a canned good; proceeds benefit Valley homeless shelters. For details call 252-9851.

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

sunday
march 10
Lost Dutchman Gold Mine Superstition Mountain Trek: The Dons of Arizona host this 60th annual lost cause, a good-natured search for the elusive title hole in the ground. The hike to the Weaver's Needle overlook in the Superstitions starts between 8 and 8:30 a.m. Sunday, March 10, at Peralta Trailhead, located off Highway 60/89 east of Apache Junction. Related activities at base camp continue 'til about 9:30 p.m., and include gold panning, Native American arts and crafts, anappearance by the Powder Horn Clan (agroup of mountain men), a mariachi band, storytelling, fireworks and the odd "firefall," in which 3,000 pounds of burning charcoal are dumped down a cliff face. Tickets are $32, $16 for kids age 11 and under, and include lunch and dinner. They're available by calling the Dons at 258-6016 or any local Arizona Automobile Association branch.

Jack Logan: The Georgian, a swimming-pool-pump repairman moonlighting as a musician, knocked critics on their ears with his home-recorded 1994 masterpiece, the appropriately named, 42-song Bulk. Logan's unlikely fairy tale continues with the relatively stripped-down follow-up, the 17-song Mood Elevator (Medium Cool/Restless), which bucks the already extravagant odds by being both more conventional and better. Perfect shares the bill. The all-ages show is scheduled at 9 p.m. Sunday, March 10, at the Mason Jar, 2303 East Indian School. The cover is $6. For details call 956-6271.

"In Praise of Nature: Earth, Verse and Prose": England-born, Valley-based author/activist Geoffrey Platts reads from the writings of theholy trinity of Western naturalists--John Muir, Edward Abbey and John C. Van Dyke--atthis third annual event, scheduled for 7p.m. Sunday, March 10, at Tempe's Changing Hands Bookstore, 414 South Mill, Suite 109. Admission is $6. For details call 966-0203.

Cactus League Baseball: See Thursday.
Candida: See Friday.
Chandler Arizona Ostrich Festival: See Thursday.
"Bill Viola: Buried Secrets": See Saturday.

monday
march 11
Jason Bonham Band: The skin-pounding son of late Led Zeppelin drummer John "Bonzo" Bonham unveils a special Zep set and some new originals in a show on Monday, March 11, at Electric Ballroom, 1216 East Apache in Tempe. The all-ages performance starts at 8p.m. Tickets are $10.70 in advance, $13 the day of the show, available at the club and Ticketmaster. Call 894-0707 or 784-4444.

Jane Hull: The Arizona secretary of state speaks on "The Empowerment of Women in Politics" at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 11, at Temple Solel, 6805 East McDonald in Paradise Valley, continuing the 1996 Equilibrium Lecture Series. Admission is $5. For details call 788-1114.

Cactus League Baseball: See Thursday.

tuesday
march 12
Scottsdale Symphony Orchestra: Maestro Irving Fleming leads the ensemble and guest violinist Ayako Yoshida in performances of Sibelius' Concerto for Violin in D minor and Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 3 ("Scottish"). Associate conductor Mark Perlman wields the baton in the ensemble's performance ofBizet's Carmen Suite No. 1. Showtime is 8p.m. Tuesday, March 12; and the same time Wednesday, March 13, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $12 and $15. For details call 994-2787 or 945-8071.

Cactus League Baseball: See Thursday.
Lisa Sette's "Tenth Anniversary Exhibition": See Thursday.
"Bill Viola: Buried Secrets": See Saturday.

wednesday
march 13
Moonpools & Caterpillars: The quartet from Glendale, California, features three Filipinos who emigrated to the U.S. with their families: bassist Tim de Pala, guitarist Jay Jay Encarnacion and drummer Gugut Salgado. In the late '80s, the trio added Kimi Ward (who subsequently married Encarnacion), and the vocalist helped steer the group away from itssuperbleak Bauhaus period and toward what it is today: a pretty decent pop band packing a potent dose of optimism. Touring in support of its Eastwest/Elektra debut, Lucky Dumpling, M&C is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, March 13, at the Mason Jar, 2303 East Indian School. Showtime is 9p.m. For details call 956-6271.

Cactus League Baseball: See Thursday.
Candida: See Friday.
Scottsdale Symphony Orchestra: See Tuesday.
Lisa Sette's "Tenth Anniversary Exhibition": See Thursday.
"Bill Viola: Buried Secrets": See Saturday.

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