Pic Hits for the week

thursday
april 25
Maricopa County Fair: The 21st annual event--a cozier, countrier version of Arizona State Fair--opens Thursday, April 25, and continues daily, through Sunday, May 5, at the fairgrounds, 19th Avenue and McDowell. Highlights include carnival rides and games on the midway; a musical tribute to the Beatles and other musical performances; the Gale Webb Sports Show, featuring "Motocross Mom" Webb and her daredevil brood of 'boarders, skaters and cyclers; and the usual array of agriculture and livestock competitions and exhibits. See "At the Fair" in Kid Pics for details about "Pay-One-Price" days and a few of the more youth-intensive activities. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays to midnight. Admission is $5, $3 for children ages 6 to 12, free for younger kids. For details call 252-0717.

Terence Blanchard Quintet: If New Orleans jazzman Blanchard lacks a household name like that of his fellow Crescent City residents the Marsalises, he's still one of the genre's bright hopes. Though relatively young, the former member of Art Blakey's Messengers is a master of the trumpet, and he's become a hot property in the world of film after major contributions to the soundtracks of several Spike Lee joints, including Malcolm X and Crooklyn. The Columbia recording artist and his band perform at 7 and 10 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at Geckos, 7316 East Stetson in Scottsdale. Tickets are $18, available at the club and Ticketmaster. Call 947-1000 or 784-4444.

Relache: The eight-piece, Philadelphia-based new-music ensemble premires a new work by Philip Glass during concerts at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe; and the same time Friday, April 26, at La Sala, located in the University Center Building on the Arizona State University West campus, 4701 West Thunderbird in Glendale. The Gammage show concludes the venue's "On-Stage" series, in which audience members are seated onstage with the performers; tickets are $14, available at the scene and Dillard's (call 965-3434 or 678-2222). Tickets to the Glendale show are $10, $8 for seniors, $5 for students with ID (call 543-2787).

friday
april 26
Country Thunder USA: The three-day, outdoor twang fest in Queen Creek is one of the Southwest's top showcases for contemporary country, Nashville-style. Performances by Martina McBride, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Billy Ray Cyrus, Asleep at the Wheel, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and many others are planned (see the Music listing for the daily lineups). The entertainment commences at noon Friday, April 26; 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 27; and 9:30 a.m. Sunday, April 28. Reserved seats and primitive camping sites are available. Call 966-9920 or Dillard's at 678-2222.

The Boys From Syracuse: Ethington Theatre at Grand Canyon University, 3300 West Camelback, wraps up its "Reconstructing Shakespeare"-themed season with the vaudeville-style romp, penned by Rodgers, Hart and Abbott and based on the Bard's The Comedy of Errors; see the dual review of The Boys and Arizona State University's production of The Comedy on page 65. Final performances of Syracuse are at 8 p.m. Friday, April 26; and the same time Saturday, April 27. Tickets are $8, $6.50 for seniors and kids; call 589-2871.

Desert Bloom '96: Model gardens and landscaping tips and exhibits galore are the attractions at the sixth annual affair, scheduled Friday, April 26; Saturday, April 27; and Sunday, April 28, at Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, in Papago Park. Daily hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $10, $6 for seniors, $4 for garden members, $2 for children ages 5 to 12; regular garden admission is included. Younger kids are admitted free. Gratis parking and shuttle rides are available at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, 5999 East Van Buren. For details call 266-2644, 234-0840 or 941-1225.

Phoenix Roadrunners Playoffs: The International Hockey Leaguers continue their first-round, best-of-five series against the Las Vegas Thunder with game three at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 26, at Veterans' Memorial Coliseum, 19th Avenue and McDowell. Game four, if necessary, will be at the same time Saturday, April 27, at the coliseum; the deciding fifth game, if required, will be in Vegas on Tuesday, April 30. Home tickets range from $12 to $21, available at the coliseum and Ticketmaster. Call 340-0001 or 784-4444.

Queen Ida and the Bon Temps Zydeco Band: Ida Guillory, a school-bus driver turned multiple Grammy winner, brings her accordion and her San Francisco-based crew back to the Valley on Friday, April 26, for the band's annual concert 'neath the stars at Scottsdale Center for the Arts Amphitheater, 7380 East Second Street. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 in advance, $22 the day of the show, available at the center and Ticketmaster. For details call 994-2787 or 784-4444.

Maricopa County Fair: See Thursday.
Relache: See Thursday.

saturday
april 27
X Games Road Show 1996: The free, Gen X-friendly collection of exhibitions, competitions and music, formerly named the "Extreme Games," starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 27, at Encanto Park, 15th Avenue and Encanto Boulevard. The nationally touring extravaganza features in-your-face demonstrations of hot sports like mountain biking, rock climbing, in-line skating and skateboarding; participatory events; and music by Shoveljerk, Aunt Bettys, and Gravity Kills (Shoveljerk plays a separate show on Sunday, April 28; see the Music listing). Call 249-4548.

Aunt Rita's Foundation Auction and Bake Sale: The eighth annual fund raiser is slated for noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at the Icehouse, 429 West Jackson, and features appearances by various Valley media personalities, a silent auction, music and more. Admission is free; proceeds from sales benefit the foundation, a support group for those with HIV or AIDS. For details call 906-0355.

7 Year Bitch: Let us now praise the infamous women in this roaring rock crew from Seattle. Selene Vigil, Roisin Dunne, Elizabeth Davis and Valerie Agnew have the right kind of attitude (rude deluxe), the perfect band name and a powerful Atlantic debut titled Gato Negro; see the story on page 95. Steelwool, Spillblanket, and Since I Was 6 share the bill. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at Boston's, 910 North McClintock in Tempe. For details call 921-7343.

Arizona Rattlers: Coach Danny White and his minigridiron squad kick off the regular home season with a match at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 27, against the Orlando Predators at the "Snake Pit": America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Tickets range from $8 to $36, available at the arena and Dillard's. Call 379-7800 or 678-2222.

Center Dance Ensemble: The Valley troupe performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. The program includes the modern ballet "The Attic," choreographed by CDE's Francis Smith Cohen and adapted from the true story of doomed diarist Anne Frank; "Pythagorean Dances" by Michael Montanaro; and "Inside the Silence," a work based on the paintings of Charlotte Salomon and set to music by Mahler. Tickets are $15, $12 for seniors, $7 for students and kids, available at the center and Ticketmaster. For details call 994-2787 or 784-4444.

The Boys From Syracuse: See Friday.
Country Thunder USA: See Friday.
Desert Bloom '96: See Friday.
Maricopa County Fair: See Thursday.
Phoenix Roadrunners Playoffs: (If necessary.) See Friday.

sunday
april 28
Pinchas Zukerman and Tokyo String Quartet: Israel-born violinist Zukerman joins the great Japanese group for a program of works by Schubert, Bartók, Beethoven and Marc Neikrug. Showtime is 7 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. Tickets are $19, $22 and $25, available at Gammage and Dillard's. For details call 965-3434 or 678-2222.

Charles Bowden and Jack W. Dykinga: Author Bowden and photographer Dykinga discuss and sign copies of their fourth collaboration, Stone Canyons of the Colorado Plateau, at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at Tempe's Changing Hands Bookstore, 414 South Mill, Suite 109. Admission is $5; all proceeds benefit the Sierra Club. For details call 966-0203.

Scottsdale Jazz Festival featuring Norman Brown, Boney James, Craig Chaquico, Andy Narell, and Tom Grant: The inaugural fest features separate sets by vocalist/guitarist Brown, sax player James, former Jefferson Starship guitarist Chaquico, Windham Hill percussionist Narell and keyboardist Grant. The sounds start at noon Sunday, April 28, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts Amphitheater, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $35, $10 for children ages 13 to 18, free for younger kids, available at the center and Ticketmaster. Call 994-2787 or 784-4444.

Country Thunder USA: See Friday.
Desert Bloom '96: See Friday.
Maricopa County Fair: See Thursday.

monday
april 29
Celebrity Jam: Stan Devereaux, and Andy Gonzales All-Stars co-host the weekly blues bash, which usually attracts plenty of worthy guests. It starts at 9 p.m. Monday, April 29, and every Monday at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $1.50, free for musicians. Call 265-4842.

Maricopa County Fair: See Thursday.

tuesday
april 30
Ain't Misbehavin': Ruth, Anita and June, the sisters Pointer, are the stars of this touring production of the Fats Waller musical, directed by Arthur Faria, choreographer of the show's original Broadway incarnation. This week's performances are at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 30; and the same time Wednesday, May 1, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. More shows are planned Thursday, May 2, through Sunday, May 5. Tickets range from $26 to $40, available at Gammage and Dillard's. Call 965-3434 or 678-2222.

Olympic Torch Relay Team: The torch and those bearing it on its journey to Atlanta for the '96 summer games will be honored during a brief pit stop at Patriots Square, Central and Washington, from approximately 11 to 11:35 a.m. Tuesday, April 30; admission is free. The team then departs for Kingman. Call 631-4840.

John G. Hanhardt: The curator of film and video art at New York City's Whitney Museum of American Art presents the fourth annual Elaine Horwitch Lecture in Contemporary American Art Criticism, a free program titled "Rewind: Three Decades of Video Art" and featuring clips from Nam June Paik, Bill Viola and Adrian Piper, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, at Katzin Concert Hall, located in the Music Building on the Arizona State University campus in Tempe; a free reception follows at ASU Art Museum at Nelson Fine Arts Center, Tenth Street and Mill. Call 965-3468.

Girls Against Boys: The rising alternative act, touring in support of its new Touch and Go disc, House of GVSB, and the breakout hit "Super-fire," performs on Tuesday, April 30, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. Salt, and Therapy? share the all-ages bill. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $7, available at the club and Ticketmaster. Call 968-8664 or 784-4444.

Maricopa County Fair: See Thursday.

wednesday
may 1
Phoenix Suns Playoffs: The Suns continue their first-round, best-of-five series against the San Antonio Spurs with game three at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. If required, the fourth game will be at the arena on Friday, May 3; the deciding fifth game, if necessary, will be in San Antonio on Sunday, May 5. If tickets are available, they're at the arena and Dillard's. Call 379-7867 or 678-2222.

"To Read, to Write, to See, to Think": In conjunction with Phoenix Art Museum's "Old Glory: The American Flag in Contemporary Art" (see the Art Exhibits listing), film buff Fred Linch hosts this three-part series at Arizona Historical Society Museum, Marley Center, 1300 North College in Tempe. Salt of the Earth (unrated), a drama about a strike at a New Mexico mine that earned director Herbert Biberman, star Will Geer and the movie's producer and writer places on the blacklist when it was released in 1953, screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 1; a discussion follows. See the related story on page 70. Tickets are $6; a series pass is $12. Call 840-4421.

Ain't Misbehavin': See Tuesday.
Maricopa County Fair: See Thursday.

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