Pic Hits for the week

thursday
june 20
Grand Canyon State Games: The fourth annual Olympics-style competition for recreational athletes of all ages and ability levels kicks off with opening ceremonies at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 20, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. The event includes a keynote address by Phoenix Sun Danny Manning; appearances by the Suns Gorilla and the Arizona Rattlers' mascot, Fang; and the traditional parade of athletes. Tickets are $4 and $6, available at the arena and Dillard's; call 379-7800 or 678-2222. Competition in 22 sports, including basketball, diving, wrestling, flag football, archery, soccer, cycling, bowling, judo, synchronized swimming and badminton, is scheduled at various locations on the Arizona State University campus in Tempe and other Maricopa County sites on Friday, June 21; Saturday, June 22; and Sunday, June 23. Admission to all sporting events is free. For details call the GCSG hot line at 545-3700.

Shakespeare for My Father: British actress Lynn Redgrave stars in this Arizona Theatre Company-sponsored touring production of the one-woman Broadway show, an autobiographical tribute to her late thespian dad, Sir Michael Redgrave. Billed as "a daughter's search for her father's heart," the play includes a number of scenes from the Bard's works that reflect real-life parallels in the performer's life; see the related story and the review on page 69. Lynn's husband, John Clark, directed. Final performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 20; 8 p.m. Friday, June 21; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, June 22; and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 23, in Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. Tickets range from $15 to $35, available at Herberger and Dillard's. Call 252-8497.

Junior Wells and His Big Band: The 62-year-old Chicago harmonica great (real name: Amos Blackmore), best known for his collaborations with Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy and his spate of fine solo platters for the Delmark label in the '60s, can still rock a given roadhouse with the best of 'em. Showtime is 8 p.m. Thursday, June 20, at the Rockin' Horse, 7000 East Indian School in Scottsdale. Tickets are $12, available at the scene and Ticketmaster. Call 949-0992 or 784-4444.

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. This week's performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 20; 8 p.m. Friday, June 21; 8 p.m. Saturday, June 22; 2 p.m. Sunday, June 23; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, at the similarly revivified Scottsdale Playhouse, 7219 East Main. The production's been extended through Sunday, August 4. Tickets are $19.50, available at Dillard's. Call 952-2881 or 678-2222.

Cast: The British band, led by former La's member John Power, sounds a bit like Buffalo Springfield mated with the Housemartins. Touring behind the Polydor disc All Change, featuring the jangly single "Alright" (which is also on the soundtrack to Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible), the band performs a rescheduled show on Thursday, June 20, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. Self co-headlines; Chalk Farm shares the bill. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are $5, available at the club and Ticketmaster. Call 968-8664 or 784-4444.

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 and creative team. This week's performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 20; 8 p.m. Friday, June 21; 8 p.m. Saturday, June 22; 2 p.m. Sunday, June 23; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, at Phoenix Theatre, Central and McDowell. The production continues through Saturday, June 29. Tickets are $20. Call 254-2151.

friday
june 21
Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You: Ellen Devine stars as the title character, a dogmatic nun on a verbal rampage, in Christopher Durang's black comedy. Evann Wilcosky directed the show, presented by Eureka! Theatre Company in Chambers Lecture Hall at Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort, 5401 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. This week's performances are at 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 21; and the same time Saturday, June 22. The production continues through Saturday, July 6. Tickets are $10. For reservations and details, call 256-1124.

WestWorld of Scottsdale 1996 Summer Rodeo Series: The Southwest Professional Rodeo Association-sanctioned series features competitions in bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling and more. It continues at 8 p.m. Friday, June 21, and each Friday, through August 30, in Equidome Arena at WestWorld, 16601 North Pima Road. Tickets are $7, $3 for kids 5 and under, available at the scene and Dillard's. Call 483-8800 or 678-2222.

Forever Plaid: See Thursday.
Grand Canyon State Games: See Thursday.
Shakespeare for My Father: See Thursday.
Six Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know: See Thursday.

saturday
june 22
Dale Watson: Alabama-born, Texas-reared Watson is a hard-core honky-tonker of the first order, and it's not too much of a stretch to mention him in the same breath as Johnny Cash, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard--potentially, at least. Dale paid homage to Haggard ("Help me, Merle/I'm breaking out in a Nashville rash") on his excellent HighTone debut, Cheatin' Heart Attack, which was packed to the rafters with purist-pleasing grooves like "South of Round Rock, Texas" and "Holes in the Wall." In support of the follow-up, Blessed or Damned, Watson is on a 22-week tour of truck stops, with gigs planned at such garden spots as the Circle Bar 76 in Ozona, Texas; Alda, Nebraska's Grand Island West; and the Wilderness in Wytheville, Virginia. Proceeds from the tour benefit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Watson and his band take a short break from the diesel fumes on Saturday, June 22, for a performance at the Rockin' Horse, 7000 East Indian School in Scottsdale. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the scene and Ticketmaster. Call 949-0992 or 784-4444.

Ford Motor Company Jets Versus Funny Cars Extravaganza: It's the drags versus the alcohols in this East Side Story of racing, set for 8 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at Chandler's Firebird International Raceway, 20000 South Maricopa Road. Also on the bill, those monster vehicles of the gods: fire-breathing Robosaurus (see "Dino Might" in Kid Pics) and Bigfoot, that big-wheeled beast whose mission in life is to squash lesser vehicles. A parade of Fords precedes at 7:30; a fireworks display is also planned. Tickets are available at FIR and Dillard's. Call 268-0200 or 678-2222.

Rickey Woodard Quintet: The tenor saxman and straightahead jazzer, a veteran of stints with Ray Charles, Marian McPartland and the late Ella Fitzgerald, is heading his own group on this tour in support of Woodard's latest Concord disc, Yazoo. Rickey and crew continue the weekly Summer Jazz Series in the Territorial Room at SunBurst Resort, 4925 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, with a performance at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 22. Admission is $18. Call 945-7666 or 1-800-528-7867.

Road Trip: Route 66 Car Show in Flagstaff: The kicks keep on coming at the fifth annual, Route 66 Car Club-sponsored homage to the Mother Road and the vehicular beasts that once roamed her. Highlights include a swap meet, a slow-drags competition, entertainment and an awards ceremony. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at Sinagua High School, 3950 East Butler; registration precedes at 7. Admission is $1, free for those under 12. Call 1-520-779-6020 or 1-520-526-1111.

Forever Plaid: See Thursday.
Grand Canyon State Games: See Thursday.
Shakespeare for My Father: See Thursday.
Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You: See Friday.
Six Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know: See Thursday.

sunday
june 23
The Scorpions, and Alice Cooper: Germany's Scorps have always been a bit English-challenged (exhibit A: the grammatically suspect but anthemically superior "Rock You Like a Hurricane"), but they play heavy metal, so who cares? Hell, who hears? For those who prefer their hard rock a bit brainier--comparatively speaking--there's the Valley's own Vincent Furnier, a.k.a. sweet Alice. Vince has played too many rounds of golf in the baking sun in recent years, but he's still got a great feel for an arrangement and that famed theatrical mean streak; see the story on page 97. Beat Angels--an odd choice, but not a bad one--share the bill on Sunday, June 23, at Compton Terrace, I-10 and Riggs Road in Chandler. Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets are $23.50 in advance, $24.50 the day of the show, available at Dillard's; call 678-2222.

Forever Plaid: See Thursday.
Grand Canyon State Games: See Thursday.
Shakespeare for My Father: See Thursday.
Six Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know: See Thursday.

monday
june 24
The Nixons, and Gravity Kills: The Oklahoma City quartet named after the disgraced former president is a hard-rocking, well-grounded bunch that's hip to recent history and literature. The title of the band's MCA debut, Foma, is a term borrowed from the Kurt Vonnegut lexicon that vocalist/guitarist Zac Maloy reads as "lies that people make up to make themselves feel better." St. Louis' Gravity is full of foma. The band's press kit grandiloquently trumpets its sound as "a complex mosaic of organized noise derived from the manipulation of imperfect instruments, environmental artifacts and rhythmic deconstructions." For those who aren't up on recent (some would opine ancient) history, that's called "industrial." Third-billed L.A. rock trio Hog breaks the tie in favor of unpretentious. Two out of three ain't bad. Showtime is 8 p.m. Monday, June 24, at Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe. Tickets are $10, available at Ticketmaster. For details call 967-1234 or 784-4444.

tuesday
june 25
Lowen & Navarro: The team of Eric Lowen and Dan Navarro (Dan's a cousin of Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist David Navarro) had a lucrative career writing songs for others--the Bangles, David Lee Roth, Pat Benatar--before deciding to croon their own tunes. Their bank accounts might be going through withdrawal, but the aesthetic rewards are piling up. The duo returns to the Rockin' Horse, 7000 East Indian School in Scottsdale, for a gig on Tuesday, June 25. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, $13 the day of the show, available at the scene and Ticketmaster. For details call 949-0992 or 784-4444.

The Dave and Deke Combo: Dave Stuckey and Deke Dickerson's L.A.-based hillbilly quartet, one of the top groups in the "twang-core" revival that's sweeping Southern California, returns to the Valley for a gig in support of its Heyday debut, Hollywood Barn Dance, at 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $4.50. For details call 265-4842.

wednesday
june 26
Kevin Welch: Another successful songwriter struggling for recognition as a performer of his own works, Nashville's Welch follows hot on the heels of Lowen & Navarro (see Tuesday) at Scottsdale's Rockin' Horse, which is rockin' harder than usual this week. Welch, an Oklahoma native, is a graduate of the brooding/introspective branch of the new-country school, which won't land him rotation on TNN or win him any popularity contests in it-don't-mean-a-thing-if-it-ain't-got-tight-jeans Music City; his raw, relaxed-fit vocals won't, either, but he earns summa cum laude honors for his dead-on word play. Showtime is 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 26. The Horse is located at 7000 East Indian School. Tickets are available at the scene and Ticketmaster. For details call 949-0992 or 784-4444.

Forever Plaid: See Thursday.
Six Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know: See Thursday.

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