Buckwheat Zydeco, and Mem Shannon: Buckwheat (real name: Stanley Dural Jr.), a former member of Clifton Chenier's band, remains one of zydeco's leading lights, though the accordion player's star has dimmed slightly since his '80s heyday. Opener Shannon's celestial orb is on the rise, though part of that is a product of his exceptional "hook": Mem's a blues-playing New Orleans hack--he splits his time driving a cab and, when the meter stops running, performing and even recording in it. His Hannibal/Rykodisc debut, A Cab Driver's Blues, includes recorded true-life vignettes from the daily grind--grist for Mem's evolving blues muse. Showtime is 9 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School; a free, open meeting of the Phoenix Blues Society precedes at 7:30. Concert tickets are $18, $16 for blues-society members, available at the club and Ticketmaster. For details call 265-4842 or 784-4444.
Juneteenth Festivities: Juneteenth, also known as "Black Independence Day," honors June 19, 1865, the day slaves in some Southern states found out they had been legally freed on January 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Several events are scheduled:
* The City of Phoenix sponsors a basketball tournament at Eastlake Park, 16th Street and Jefferson. Final rounds are scheduled on Thursday, June 13; Friday, June 14; and Saturday, June 15. All tip off at 6 p.m.; call 256-6483.
* The 28th annual Juneteenth Tradition Festival, featuring formal ceremonies as well as activities like free swimming, arts and crafts and entertainment, is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Eastlake Park. Admission is free; call 246-0058 or 256-3130.
* Phoenix Blues Society hosts a musical celebration from 5 p.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. at Willie J's in the Century Skyroom, 4621 South Central. Scheduled performers include Small Paul and Driving Wheel with guests UVON, Ronnie Whitehead, and Duke Draper; and Dr. Fish and Friends featuring Maxine Johnson, Lay D Ja, Patti Williams, and George Bowman. Admission is $5; call 252-0599.
Six Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know: Theater League presents a tenth-anniversary revival of the oft-revived all-woman musical, a parody of soap operas, tabloid journalism and other by-products of pop culture's ascension. Bob Sorenson directed this Six Women reincarnation, which stars Debby Rosenthal, Sherri Hildebrand, Renee Morgan Brooks, Melissa Spevacek, Heidi Ewart and Christie Klein. A final preview is scheduled at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at the similarly revivified Scottsdale Playhouse, 7219 East Main. The press opening is at the same time Friday, June 14. The rest of this week's performances are at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 15; 2 p.m. Sunday, June 16; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 19. 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.
Road Trip: Arizona Opera's Der Ring des Nibelungen in Flagstaff: The opera company's general director, Glynn Ross, and maestro Henry Holt were the forefathers of Seattle's outstanding annual presentation of Der Ring, and the two have been working on this, Arizona's first presentation of the complete, four-opera Wagner cycle, for about five years. It concludes with final performances of Siegfried at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 13; and Gotterdommerung at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 15. The scene is Ardrey Auditorium on the Northern Arizona University campus, Knoles and Riordan streets. Shows are sung in German, with English surtitles. Tickets are available at the opera's Phoenix office and Dillard's; call 266-7464 or 678-2222.
Forever Plaid: This revival of the Stuart Ross musical, a tribute to the so-called "good-guy" harmony groups of the '50s and, by extension, to the polyester-wearing geeks of the world, features the production's original Valley cast (Hal Adams, Tracy C. Henry, Robert LaFrance and Matthew MacDougall) and creative team (stage director Terrance McKerrs and music director Jerry Wayne Harkey). Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, June 14; 8 p.m. Saturday, June 15; 2 p.m. Sunday, June 16; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, at Phoenix Theatre, Central and McDowell. The production continues through Saturday, June 29. Tickets are $20. For reservations and details, call 254-2151.
Mainly Mozart Festival: Jeffrey Siegel, noted for his "Keyboard Conversations" series, is artistic director of the 11th annual tribute to the great Wolfgang and friends. The fest concludes this week. R.J. Merrill speaks on "From the Court to the Revolution: The Art of the 18th Century" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 14, at Kiva Hall on the Arizona State University West campus, 4701 West Thunderbird in Glendale. Final Mainly Mozart Orchestra concerts are at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at Paul V. Galvin Playhouse in Arizona State University Nelson Fine Arts Center, Tenth Street and Mill in Tempe; and at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 16, at La Sala, located in the University Center Building on the ASU West campus. The all-Mozart program includes Symphony No. 36 in C major ("Linz"); Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat major, K. 595; and Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466. Tickets are $20 and $23 for the orchestra concerts, $5 for the lecture, available at Dillard's; call 678-2222. For general information, call 965-6447.