Pic Hits for the week

thursday
april 18
Dinofest International: This saurian showcase includes dino skeletons and fossils from all seven continents. Highlights include numerous pieces from the "Great Dinosaurs of China" collections of the Beijing and Inner Mongolia museums of natural history; the remains of a duckbill from the Los Angeles County Museum; robotic replicas by Dinamation International Corporation; and a display of props and visuals from Jurassic Park. Hours are 1 to 3:30 and 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, April 18; 1 to 3:30 and 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, April 19; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20; and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at Arizona State University Activity Center, First Street and Rural in Tempe. Tickets are $5, $3 for kids age 12 and under, available at ASU Public Events and Dillard's box offices; call 965-3434 or 678-2222. Paleontologist, author and Harvard professor Stephen Jay Gould gives Dinofest's keynote address, "Pattern and Lack of Progress in the History of Life," at 8 p.m. Thursday at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. Admission is free, but tickets are required; call 965-2359. The Dinofest International Symposium, featuring presentations by fossil chasers John R. "Jack" Horner, Edwin Colbert, Mark Norell and about 80 others, is scheduled Friday through Sunday; for registration and other information, call 965-5062.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd: The term "bluesman" doesn't yet apply to 18-years-young Louisiana guitarist Shepherd, a bluesboy who can't even legally imbibe at most of the bars he's booked in. But the disciple of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan is a player beyond his tender years, as documented on his 1995 disc Ledbetter Heights, a promising debut named after the area in Shepherd's hometown of Shreveport in which Huddie William Ledbetter--better known as Leadbelly--is buried. Shepherd and band perform on Thursday, April 18, at Electric Ballroom, 1216 East Apache in Tempe. The Bottle Rockets share the all-ages bill. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $12, available at the club and Ticketmaster. Call 894-0707 or 784-4444.

Desert Classic Tournament: One of the top pre-NBA draft showcases for college seniors, the classic wraps up with sessions at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 18; and the same time Saturday, April 20, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Tickets are $10, available at the arena and Dillard's. For details call 379-7800 or 678-2222.

Phoenix Symphony: Guest conductor Hermann Michael leads the orchestra in performances of "The Fixed Desire of the Human Heart" by Samuel Adler (see Saturday); Wagner's Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde; and Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 in F major, Opus 68 ("Pastorale"). Shows are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18; and 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, April 19, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Friday morning's program is a "Coffee Classics" concert; tickets are $11 and $15, and the Adler work will not be performed. Regular tickets range from $12 to $36, available at the symphony box office and Dillard's; call 264-6363, 262-7272 or 678-2222. The symphony is scheduled to perform outdoor concerts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the west Valley's North Lake Amphitheater (call 935-6384 for directions and details); and at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at Arizona Center, Third Street and Van Buren (call 264-6363).

friday
april 19
Two Errors Divine: ASU's Comedy, GCU's Boys: Arizona State University's theatre department closes its season with The Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare's low farce about twin sets of twins and the havoc they wreak. This week's performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, April 19; 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20; and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at Paul V. Galvin Playhouse in ASU's Nelson Fine Arts Center, Tenth Street and Mill in Tempe. More shows are planned Thursday, April 25, through Saturday, April 27. Tickets are $11, $8.50 for ASU faculty and staff, $6 for students, available at ASU Fine Arts and Dillard's box offices; call 965-6447 or 678-2222. Across the Valley, Ethington Theatre at Grand Canyon University, 3300 West Camelback, wraps up its "Reconstructing Shakespeare"-themed season with the vaudeville-style romp The Boys From Syracuse, an even lower farce penned by Rodgers, Hart and Abbott and based on The Comedy of Errors. This week's shows are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. More performances are scheduled Friday, April 26; and Saturday, April 27. Tickets are $8, $6.50 for seniors and kids; call 589-2871.

Jay Ungar and Molly Mason: Fiddler Ungar composed the lovely dirge "Ashokan Farewell," the musical centerpiece of Ken Burns' The Civil War, and he and guitarist Mason collaborated on the rest of the score to the PBS series. The two host a free reception at 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 19, and perform an evening show at 8 at Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Tickets to the concert are $13 and $14, available at the center and Dillard's. Call 965-5377 or 678-2222.

A Perfect Ganesh: Arizona Theatre Company continues its season with Terrence McNally's play about a couple of tragedy-haunted American women who travel to India on a quest of discovery and healing. The title is a variation on Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu god and patron of learning. The Valley run begins with a preview at 8 p.m. Friday, April 19, in Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. The official opening is at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20. The rest of this week's performances are at 1 and 7 p.m. Sunday, April 21; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 24. A discussion follows Sunday's matinee. The production continues through Saturday, May 4. Tickets range from $20 to $30, available at Herberger and Dillard's. Call 252-8497.

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