Saguaro Film Festival 3: Arizona Film Society's annual showcase of independent works opens with a reception for the filmmakers at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2, at Planet Hollywood, located at Biltmore Fashion Park, 24th Street and Camelback. A screening of director Carmen Santa Maria's farce I Crave Rock & Roll follows at 9 at the festival screening site, AMC Town & Country 6, 20th Street and Camelback. About 15 other movies are scheduled, including Red Cherry, China's submission in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the recent Academy Awards; Hitting the Ground, featuring a soundtrack by Gordon Gano of the Violent Femmes; The Fat of the Land, a documentary about a vehicle that runs on used vegetable oil that had its Valley premiere last August; and the made-in-Arizona drama Black Day Blue Night. Showings begin at 6 p.m. Friday, May 3; 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 4; and 11:30 a.m. Sunday, May 5 (for the schedule, see the Film listing; see the related story on page 77). A one-day pass costs $15, and a run-of-the-fest pass is $25. Tickets to individual showings are also available. Call 970-8711 or Ticketmaster at 784-4444.
Maricopa County Fair: The 21st annual event--a cozier, countrier version of Arizona State Fair--continues at the fairgrounds, 19th Avenue and McDowell. Highlights include carnival rides and games on the midway; a 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, including a "maternity ward" of animal newborns. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, May 2; 10 a.m. Friday, May 3, to midnight; 10 a.m. Saturday, May 4, to midnight; and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, May 5. Admission is $5, $3 for children ages 6 to 12, free for younger kids. For details call 252-0717.
Robert Shapiro: The "Dream Team" member discusses and signs copies of his new book, The Search for Justice: A Defense Attorney's Brief on the O.J. Simpson Case, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2, at Borders Books & Music at Biltmore Fashion Park, 24th Street and Camelback, Suite 200. A press conference is also scheduled. Admission is free. For details call 957-6660.
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. Final performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 2; 8 p.m. Friday, May 3; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, May 4; and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, May 5, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. Tickets range from $26 to $40, available at Gammage and Dillard's. For details call 965-3434 or 678-2222.
Phoenix Symphony: Washington state's Black Lodge Singers join the orchestra, conducted by Clotilde Otranto, for the premiere of "Native Drumming," a work by Arizona State University instructor James DeMars. Performances of Beethoven's Overture to Egmont, Opus 84; and Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Opus 35, are also planned. The concerts start at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2; and 8 p.m. Friday, May 3, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Jeffrey Siegel conducts and performs with the symphony at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 4, at the hall; the program includes works by Gershwin and Ravel. Tickets for all shows range from $12 to $36, available at the symphony box office and Dillard's. Call 264-6363 or 678-2222.
The Celluloid Closet: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman co-produced the Oscar-winning 1989 documentary Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt, and the two collaborated again on this compilation of clips reflecting Hollywood's depictions of and long-held attitudes toward homosexuality. Based on the book by late author/archivist Vito Russo, Closet features scenes from Morocco; Sunday, Bloody Sunday; Some Like It Hot; Philadelphia; The Boys in the Band; Rope; and many other movies, as well as interviews with actors and filmmakers including Quentin Crisp, Whoopi Goldberg, Farley Granger, Tom Hanks, Jay Presson Allen, Gore Vidal and John Schlesinger. The R-rated film opens Friday, May 3, in an exclusive engagement at Harkins Camelview 5, located on Goldwater Boulevard north of Camelback in Scottsdale. For more information, see Showtimes or call 423-9900.
Conversations With My Father: Actors Theatre of Phoenix concludes its season with the fine work by Herb Gardner (I'm Not Rappaport, A Thousand Clowns). It's a wide-ranging dramedy about a Jewish immigrant, Eddie (Joseph Costa), who's torn between two cultures. A preview is slated for 8 p.m. Friday, May 3, in Stage West at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. The official opening is at the same time Saturday, May 4, and more shows are scheduled at 2and 7 p.m. Sunday, May 5. The production continues through Sunday, May 26. Tickets range from $10 to $23.50, available at Herberger and Dillard's. Call 252-8497 or 678-2222.
Kool and the Gang, Zapp and Roger, and the Tony Rich Project: The popular acts top the marquee at this funk federation on Friday, May 3, at Veterans' Memorial Coliseum, 19th Avenue and McDowell. Groove Theory, J'Son, S.O.S., Quad City DJs, Max-A-Million, and Chantay Savage are also scheduled to perform. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $16 in advance, $21.50 the day of the show, available at the coliseum and Dillard's. Call 258-6711 or 678-2222.
The Movement Source Dance Company: The troupe and Valley guitarist Joe Myers link up for a multimedia production titled "In Balance." This week's shows are on Friday, May 3; and Saturday, May 4. More performances are planned on Friday, May 10; and Saturday, May 11. All shows start at 8 p.m. at Tempe Performing Arts Center, 132 East Sixth Street. Admission is $10, $8 for students and seniors. For reservations and details, call 957-6561.