Pic Hits for the week

thursday
july 4
Fabulous Phoenix Fourth featuring the Mavericks, and Junior Brown: Two healthy doses of fine, neotraditionalist country--Raul Malo's Florida-based Mavs and Texas' bodacious Brown--are on tap at this 11th annual blowout on the grounds of the Arizona State Capitol, 17th Avenue and Washington. Mandy Barnett shares the main stage. The fun, including entertainment on four additional stages, the Southwest's largest aerial fireworks display, carnival rides and games, a kids' area, skydivers, fly-overs by jet fighters and more, starts at 4 p.m. Thursday, July 4. Admission and parking are free. For details call 534-3378.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: The Greatest Show on Earth is back for its annual visit, with host Dinny McGuire presiding over the three rings of fun. This year's featured act is Airiana the Human Arrow, whose raison d'etre is being launched from the world's largest crossbow. Other highlights include animal trainer Graham Thomas Chipperfield; Kenya's Samson Power, who lifts weights with his teeth; and more clowns than you can shake an oversize shoe at. Final performances are at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 4; 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 5; 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 6; and 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, July 7, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson; a downtown fireworks display follows Thursday's evening show. Tickets range from $11.50 to $15.50, available at the arena and Dillard's; discounts are available for kids and groups. Call 379-7800 or 678-2222.

Warped Tour '96: The caravan of attitude boasts two stages full of hard-and-fast alt-rock bands--Fishbone, Pennywise, NOFX, CIV, Deftones, Blink 182, Rocket From the Crypt, Dance Hall Crashers, Lagwagon, fluf, Unwritten Law, Red 5, and the Suicide Machines--and some mighty slacker stylin' in the Amateur World Skateboarding Competition; see the story on page 98. Showtime is 3 p.m. Thursday, July 4, at Desert Sky Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue. Tickets are $15.25, available at Ticketmaster; proceeds benefit Camp Pacific Heartland for kids with HIV or AIDS. Call 254-7599.

Phoenix Firebirds Versus Las Vegas Stars: The Valley's Triple A affiliate of baseball's San Francisco Giants continues its Pacific Coast League season with a west-side match versus Sin City's Stars at 6:05 p.m. Thursday, July 4, at Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 North 83rd Avenue; a fireworks spectacular follows the final out. More contests against the Stars are planned at 7:05 p.m. Friday, July 5; 7:05 p.m. Saturday, July 6; and 6:05 p.m. Sunday, July 7, at Scottsdale Stadium, 7408 East Osborn. Call 275-0500.

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, July 4; 8 p.m. Friday, July 5; 8 p.m. Saturday, July 6; 2 p.m. Sunday, July 7; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, at the Scottsdale Playhouse, 7219 East Main. The production continues through Sunday, August 4. Tickets are $19.50, $9.75 for Thursday's show, available at Dillard's. Call 952-2881 or 678-2222.

More Fourth of July Fun: For other Independence Day options, see Kid Pics and the Events and On the Road listings.

friday
july 5
Nico-Icon: Director Susanne Ofteringer's documentary tells tales on the late, Berlin-born Nico (real name: Christa Paffgen), model, actress, Teutonic chanteuse, Andy Warhol cohort, short-lived Velvet Undergrounder and, in the bitter end, a star-crossed junkie who perfectly embodied the Velvets' tune "Black Angel's Death Song"; see the review on page 67. The unrated film opens Friday, July 5, and screens daily, through Thursday, July 11, at Valley Art Theatre, 509 South Mill in Tempe. Call 829-6668.

Here in America: Performance artist Robert Post, a deft physical comedian, sends up philosophy, politics, the media, basketball, ballet school and a bunch of other frankly indescribable stuff in his solo touring show, billed as "an evening of illegitimate theatre." Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, July 5; 8 p.m. Saturday, July 6; and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 7, in Stage West at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. The production continues through Sunday, July 21. For reservations and details, call 252-8497.

Mark Wills: The rest of the world's going to Atlanta; peach-blossom-cheeked Georgia whippersnapper Wills (real name: Mark Williams; stage-named after: swingin' Bob Wills) is making a pit stop in hotter-'n-Hades Phoenix on his way to the big time. Mark, who claims influences as diverse as George Jones and Jon Bon Jovi (he'll hopefully grow out of the latter), is touring behind his eponymous Mercury debut and the single "Jacob's Ladder." Showtime is 8 p.m. Friday, July 5, at Toolies Country, 4231 West Thomas. The cover is $4. For details call 272-3100.

Lysistrata: Mike Fenlason's Mercury Theater, dedicated to producing classic works with a contemporary spin, takes a vaudevillian approach to one of the all-time classics, Aristophanes' wonderful antiwar comedy. Written more than two millenniums ago, and rarely matched for pure wit in the ensuing span, Lysistrata is about a group of women from Athens and Sparta who agree to withhold sexual favors from their warring lesser halves until the men lay down their swords. This week's performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, July 5; and the same time Saturday, July 6, at Mesa's Unlikely Theater, 2950 South Alma School, Suite 6. The production continues through Saturday, July 13. Tickets are $7, $5 for students and seniors; those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Call 777-2771.

Scottsdale Symphony: The ensemble offers its 20th annual patriotic salute at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 5, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts Amphitheater, 75th Street and Main. The program includes Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture," Sousa marches, Broadway classics and other popular fare. Admission is free. For details call 945-8071 or 994-2787.

Forever Plaid: The revival of the Stuart Ross musical, a tribute to the so-called "good-guy" harmony groups of the '50s and, thus, to the polyester-wearing geeks of the world, features the production's original Valley cast and creative team. Final performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, July 5; 8 p.m. Saturday, July 6; and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 7, at Phoenix Theatre, Central and McDowell. Tickets are $20. Call 254-2151.

Let 'er Rip: Herberger Theater Center recently hosted Lynn Redgrave's tony one-woman production Shakespeare for My Father; the center, 222 East Monroe, now balances the artistic ledger with this booking of inelegance personified--in the form of zinger ringer Rip Taylor, star of his own autobiographical (and occasionally serious) solo show. This week's performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, July 5; 8 p.m. Saturday, July 6; and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 7, in Center Stage. The production continues through Sunday, July 14. Call 252-8497.

Phoenix Firebirds: See Thursday.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: See Thursday.
Six Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know: See Thursday.

saturday
july 6
Acoustic Alchemy: Guitarists Nick Webb, who strums steel, and Greg Carmichael, who prefers nylon, combine for a complex, percussive sound that draws heavily on pop and classical references and only lightly on that usual new-age suspect: elevator jazz. An electric guitarist augments the duo on its current tour in support of the new GRP disc arcan'um. Meadowlark opens at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 6, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts Amphitheater, 75th Street and Main. Tickets are $18 in advance, $22 the day of the show, available at the center and Ticketmaster. For more information, call 994-2787 or 784-4444.

Claudio Slon's Ipanema Jazz Quartet: Bossa-nova baby and Scottsdale resident Slon, a former member of Sergio Mendes' Brasil '66, hosts a reunion of his own group, the IJQ, at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 6, in the Territorial Room at SunBurst Resort, 4925 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. The concert is the latest installment in the resort's weekly Summer Jazz Series, which continues through August 10. Admission is $18. For details call 945-7666 or 1-800-528-7867.

Forever Plaid: See Friday.
Here in America: See Friday.
Let 'er Rip: See Friday.
Lysistrata: See Friday.
Nico-Icon: See Friday.
Phoenix Firebirds: See Thursday.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: See Thursday.
Six Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know: See Thursday.

sunday
july 7
Matinee at the Bijou: The inaugural episode of this killer, yearlong series, whose mission is to re-create the ambiance of those silver-screen family matinees of the '30s and '40s, is scheduled at noon Sunday, July 7, on KAET-TV, Channel 8. Each installment features vintage programming comprising a cartoon, a short subject, a newsreel, a serial segment and a feature film. This week's fare includes beauty tips from Constance Bennett, part one of the serial Zorro Rides Again and the Hoot Gibson oater The Dude Bandit. For details call 965-2308.

Forever Plaid: See Friday.
Here in America: See Friday.
Let 'er Rip: See Friday.
Nico-Icon: See Friday.
Phoenix Firebirds: See Thursday.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: See Thursday.
Six Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know: See Thursday.

monday
july 8
The Specials: Lynval Golding, Neville Staples, Roddy Byers and Horace Panter, four of the founders of this groundbreaking group and, by extension, of England's late-'70s 2-Tone movement, are back with a new Virgin disc titled Today's Specials, which is chock-full of unexpected-pleasure covers like the Dave Brubeck Quartet's "Take Five," the Clash's "Somebody Got Murdered," the Monkees' "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" and Toots and the Maytals' "Pressure Drop." The band headlines a groovy, off-night bash on Monday, July 8, that includes Buck-O-Nine, Reel Big Fish, the Aquabats, Insatiable, Mealticket, and Los Skarnales. The all-ages show starts at 7 p.m. at Electric Ballroom, 1216 East Apache in Tempe. Tickets are $17 in advance, $19 the day of the show, available at Ticketmaster. Call 894-0707 or 784-4444.

Nico-Icon: See Friday.

tuesday
july 9
Pat Grover: Backed by pianist Joe Bousard, the saucy songbird performs her hallmark revue, "The Last of the Red-Hot Mamas," at 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 9; and the same time Wednesday, July 10, in Stage West at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. The two-night stand kicks off the center's "Summer Cabaret" series, which continues through Wednesday, August 28. For details call 252-8497.

Nico-Icon: See Friday.

wednesday
july 10
The Dream Team Versus Team China: Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon, Karl Malone, Anfernee Hardaway and their all-world cohorts on Team USA's Olympics-bound basketball squad, coached by Lenny Wilkens, take on the Chinese national team in an exhibition match at 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. If tickets are available, they're at the arena and Dillard's. Call 379-7800 or 678-2222.

Long John Hunter: The guitarist and Alligator recording artist is the latest in a growing line of obscure Texans enjoying wider exposure thanks to the prevailing blues renaissance. This worthy obscurity cut his chops in the far-western part of the state--specifically, El Paso and its Mexican neighbor, Ciudad Juarez. The most interesting song on Hunter's new album, Border Town Legend, is "Marfa Lights," a cool, unorthodox riff as uncanny as the ghost lights that haunt the tiny southwest-Texas town where Giant was filmed. Showtime is 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School; an open meeting of the Phoenix Blues Society precedes at 7:30. The cover is $6, $5 for blues-society members. For details call 265-4842.

Pat Grover: See Tuesday.
Nico-Icon: See Friday.
Six Women With Brain Death or Expiring Minds Want to Know: See Thursday.

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