Pic Hits for the week

thursday
may 23
Six Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know: Theater League presents a special tenth-anniversary revival of the oft-revived all-woman musical inspired by soap operas, supermarket tabloids and other unfortunate by-products of pop culture's ascension. Bob Sorenson directed this Six Women reincarnation, which stars Debby Rosenthal, Renee Morgan Brooks, Melissa Spevacek, Heidi Ewart, Sherri Hildebrand and Christie Klein. The run continues with previews at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 23; 8 p.m. Friday, May 24; 8 p.m. Saturday, May 25; 2 p.m. Sunday, May 26; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, at the similarly revivified Scottsdale Playhouse, 7219 East Main. Previews continue through Thursday, June 13. The press opening is on Friday, June 14, and the production continues through Sunday, July 7. Preview tickets are $12.50. Regular tickets are $19.50. They're available at Dillard's; call 678-2222. For general information, call 952-2881.

Andrew Lloyd Webber--Music of the Night: Kevin Gray (Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera) stars in this touring showcase of works by the title composer, Broadway's reigning hit man. The "theatrical concert" includes revamped orchestrations and settings of tunes from Sunset Boulevard, The Phantom, Cats, Evita and other Lloyd Webber productions. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 23; 8 p.m. Friday, May 24; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, May 25; and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, May 26, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Tickets range from $35 to $45, available at Phoenix Civic Plaza and Dillard's. Call 262-7272 or 678-2222.

friday
may 24
Private Eyes: Like the film The Usual Suspects, with which this play by Steven Dietz shared a title until being changed recently, Private Eyes is a complex whodunit. Unlike Suspects, Dietz's work is a farce. Arizona Theatre Company presents the world premiere of the play about a gang of backstabbing characters that couldn't shoot straight with one another. The Valley run begins with a preview at 8 p.m. Friday, May 24, in Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. The official opening is at the same time Saturday, May 25. The rest of this week's performances are at 1 and 7 p.m. Sunday, May 26; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 29. A discussion follows Sunday's matinee. The production continues through Sunday, June 9. Tickets range from $20 to $30, available at Herberger and Dillard's. Call 252-8497 or 678-2222.

"Millennium: 21 Artists on the 21st Century": A horde of Valley poets and performance artists, including Bridget Carroll, David Chorlton, Jeff Falk, Leslie Barton, Bob Nelson, Mike Darrah and Paula Robinson, presents this "evening of apocalyptic apothegms and visionary vignettes." The show starts at 7 p.m. Friday, May 24, at Pickles, 2605 North Central. Admission is free. Call 241-1151 or 264-6266.

Fool for Love: Planet Earth Multi-Cultural Theatre, 909 North Third Street, continues its season with Sam Shepard's harrowing drama about tortured lovers Eddie and May--who also happen to be siblings. Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, May 24; 8 p.m. Saturday, May 25; and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 26. The production continues through Saturday, June 15. Tickets are $9, $7 for students and seniors. Call 241-1828.

Andrew Lloyd Webber--Music of the Night: See Thursday.
Six Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know: See Thursday.

saturday
may 25
Cibo Matto: This band's name, pronounced "Chee-bo Motto," roughly translates as "food crazy," and is a play on the title of a macho cheap-o Italian flick from the '70s, Seso Matto (Sex Madness). The group is as weird--in the best sense of the word--as its name. It's really a duo comprising vocalist Miho Hatori and keyboardist/sample goddess Yuka Honda, female Japanese expatriates now living in New York. Together, they make beautiful, insane--again, in the best sense of the word--noise that falls somewhere between ABBA and the current riot-grrrl rage: a dash of stupid-power-ballad pop, a splash of English-challenged hip-hop and a heavy dose of the kitchen sink; see the story on page 91. Touring in support of its recent Warner Bros. disc Viva! La Woman, Cibo Matto performs on Saturday, May 25, at Hollywood Alley, 2610 West Baseline in Mesa. The Pork Torta shares the all-ages bill. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $8, available at the club and Alternatix. For details call 820-7117 or 244-8444.

Arizona Rattlers: Coach Danny White's minigridiron squad hosts the Florida Bobcats at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Tickets range from $8 to $36, available at the arena and Dillard's. Call 514-8383 or 678-2222.

Sam Moore, and the Shirelles: The "Sam" half of the late, great soul duo Sam & Dave and the '90s edition of the '60s "girl" group co-headline a benefit for United Phoenix Firefighters on Saturday, May 25, at Desert Sky Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue. Bowzer and the Stingrays share the bill. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call 248-9191 or 254-7599.

Road Trip: High Country Stampede in St. Johns: The second annual rodeo, sanctioned by the Southwest Professional Rodeo Association and the New Mexico Professional Rodeo Association, is scheduled on Saturday, May 25; Sunday, May 26; and Monday, May 27, at the fairgrounds in the eastern Arizona town. Daily hours are 1 to 4 p.m., and admission is $6, $3 for kids under 12. Related events include a nonmotorized parade on Saturday morning, a rodeo dance on Saturday evening and a Native American dance festival on Saturday and Sunday nights. Call 1-520-337-2000.

Andrew Lloyd Webber--Music of the Night: See Thursday.
Fool for Love: See Friday.
Private Eyes: See Friday.
Six Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know: See Thursday.

sunday
may 26
"Black & White & Blues" featuring Nappy Brown: North Carolina-born R&B belter Nappy (real name: Napoleon Culp Brown) performs two sets, backed by Dr. Fish Blues Band, at this third annual fund raiser for Visual Uplift, a nonprofit group that provides free photography lessons to at-risk kids. The all-day fest also includes scheduled performances by Buddy Reed/Johnny Tanner Band featuring Big Pete Pearson, Barry Homan Band, the Lynwood Flyers, Carvin Jones Band featuring Roscoe Taylor, Sistah Blue, and Patti Williams and Delirious featuring Small Paul. The music starts at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 26, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $7. Call 265-4842.

Rocio Durcal and Her Orchestra: The Spain-born recording artist and movie star is well-known in Latin America, thanks largely to her myriad covers of songs by Mexican superstar Juan Gabriel. Durcal brings her orchestra and her mariachi to Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street, for a show at 8 p.m. Sunday, May 26. Tickets range from $35 to $50, available at the scene and Dillard's. Call 267-9373 or 678-2222.

Andrew Lloyd Webber--Music of the Night: See Thursday.
Fool for Love: See Friday.
High Country Stampede: See Saturday.
Private Eyes: See Friday.
Six Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know: See Thursday.

monday
may 27
R. Kelly, and LL Cool J: Rising star R. and hip-hop standard-bearer LL co-headline the "Top Secret Tour," which also features performances by all-woman group Xscape and all-guy act Solo. Showtime is 7 p.m. Monday, May 27, at Desert Sky Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue. Tickets range from $18 to $31, available at Ticketmaster. For details call 254-7599 or 784-4444.

The Moody Blues: The grizzled band--the Grateful Dead of the mystical-pop set--has been an operating unit since, gulp, 1963. The rock graybeards perform one of their instant-nostalgia shows, backed by World Festival Orchestra, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 27, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Tickets range from $21.40 to $42.85 in advance, $22 to $48.25 the day of the show, available at the arena and Dillard's. Call 379-7800 or 678-2222.

Raekwon the Chef and Ghostface Killa: Chef Rae came down with a bad case of strep throat prior to the Staten Island-based duo's scheduled Valley show earlier this month. Know Qwestion, Negro League, and Cyde Sho share the stage at a rescheduled bill on Monday, May 27, at Electric Ballroom, 1216 East Apache in Tempe. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the club and Ticketmaster. Call 894-0707 or 784-4444.

High Country Stampede: See Saturday.

tuesday
may 28
Stanford Prison Experiment, Limblifter, and Local H: Touring in support of its recent World Domination disc The Gato Hunch, produced by Ted Niceley (Girls Against Boys, Jawbox), L.A.-based SPE is first among equals on this bill, titled the "3x5 Tour" and featuring the age-old pitch of three relatively obscure bands for $5. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, at Nile Theater, 105 West Main in Mesa. Tickets are available at the club and Ticketmaster. For details call 649-2766 or 784-4444.

Phoenix Firebirds: The Triple A affiliate of baseball's San Francisco Giants plays home matches against the Calgary Cannons on Tuesday, May 28; Wednesday, May 29; Thursday, May 30; and Friday, May 31. All games start at 7:05 p.m. at Scottsdale Stadium, 7408 East Osborn. Tickets range from $3 to $7, available at the stadium and Dillard's. For details call 275-0500 or 678-2222.

Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, and Polvo: The Fellers aren't bad, but Polvo's the pick here. The Chapel Hill, North Carolina, outfit is an avant-pop group with tons of potential that it mostly fulfilled on its new full-length bow for Touch and Go, Exploded Drawing. The band co-headlines this bill on Tuesday, May 28, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. The all-ages show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8, available at the club and Ticketmaster. For details call 968-8664 or 784-4444.

wednesday
may 29
Mose Allison: The drawlin', deadpan, 68-year-old jazzman from Long Island by way of Tippo, Mississippi, has experienced a career resurgence in recent years--thanks mostly to the releases of the boxed sets Allison Wonderland: The Mose Allison Anthology (Rhino) and High Jinks! The Mose Allison Trilogy (Columbia). Unlike most artists whose careers have hit retrospective mode, the satirical piano whiz--perhaps best known for the jivin' jukebox gem "Parchman Farm"--is still master of his artistic domain. The Blue Note recording artist performs at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, at Timothy's, 6335 North 16th Street. Tickets are $15. Call 277-7634.

"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 presents a showing of Fahrenheit 451 (unrated), director Francois Truffaut's 1966 take on Ray Bradbury's cautionary tale about a future civilization that bans all written material. The screening, scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, at Arizona Historical Society Museum, Marley Center, 1300 North College in Tempe, concludes the series. Admission is $6. Call 840-4421.

Roy Book Binder, and Steve James: These white musicians are living lexicons of pre-World War II black blues--that is to say, country blues--and both write their own material and cover vintage songs in that vein. Book Binder's a longtime critical darling, but his performances tend toward the chatty. Austin, Texas' James lets his playing do his talking, and he bangs the rusty nail on the noggin with tunes like his own superauthentic "Midnight Blues" and a true-blue version of Willie Brown's "Ragged and Dirty"--a genre staple that fellow Texan Angela Strehli transformed into a contemporary electric standard titled "Stranger Blues" in the mid-'80s. Valley acoustician Hans Olson opens the show at 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $4. Call 265-4842.

Phoenix Firebirds: See Tuesday.
Private Eyes: See Friday.
Six Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know: See Thursday.

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