Phoenix Coyotes: The Valley's new professional hockey franchise continues its inaugural season in Arizona with a preseason game against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, September 26. Face-off is at 7 p.m. at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. The team's next home match is the regular-season opener, scheduled for the same time Thursday, October 10, versus the San Jose Sharks. Tickets are $8.75 and $26.75, available at the arena and Dillard's. For details call 379-7800, 379-7825 or 678-2222.
Damon Wayans: The former member of the In Living Color cast is a funny guy, but he's in need of a new script consultant. His Hollywood resume includes dogs with fleas like Blankman, Major Payne and Celtic Pride. His latest woofer is named Bulletproof. Wayans performs on Thursday, September 26; Friday, September 27; Saturday, September 28; and Sunday, September 29, at the Improvisation, Rural and University (at Cornerstone mall) in Tempe. For details call 921-9877.
Phoenix Symphony: Guest conductor Hermann Michael leads the orchestra in its first "Classics" performances of the season at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 26; and 8 p.m. Friday, September 27, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. The program includes Brahms' Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Opus 68; Wagner's Overture to Tannhauser; and Lutoslawski's Symphony No. 3. "Musically Speaking" discussions start an hour before each concert. Tickets range from $13 to $37, available at the symphony box office and Dillard's. Call 264-6363 or 678-2222.
Coppelia: Ballet Arizona has opened its season with a revival of E.T.A. Hoffmann's Frankenstein-style work about mad Dr. Coppelius and the strange bond he forms with his mechanical creations, especially the beautiful title automaton. The score is by Delibes, and the set is great. This week's performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 27; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 28; and 2 p.m. Sunday, September 29, in Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. More performances are planned Thursday, October 3, through Sunday, October 6. Discussions begin an hour before each show. Tickets range from $17.25 to $29.25, available at the ballet box office and Dillard's. Call 381-1096 or 678-2222.
Henry Gray: The Louisiana-born and -based bluesman is best known for his Windy City days with Howlin' Wolf. The barrelhouse pianist, backed by Chico Chism's Chicago Blues Band, presides over a live, two-night recording session at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The shows start at 9 Friday, September 27; and the same time Saturday, September 28. The cover is $5. For details call 265-4842.
Les Liaisons Dangereuses: Arizona State University's theatre department kicks off its season with the work about a deadly game of sexual cat and mouse in the court of France's King Louis XVI, finely adapted by Christopher Hampton from the novel by Choderlos de Laclos. Opening performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 27; 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 28; 3 p.m. Sunday, September 29; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 1; and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 2, at Lyceum Theatre, located at the north end of Forest Mall on the west side of the ASU campus in Tempe. More shows are planned Thursday, October 3, through Saturday, October 5. Tickets are $12, $7.50 for ASU faculty and staff, $6 for students and seniors, available at ASU Fine Arts and Dillard's box offices; call 965-6447 or 678-2222.
"William Lesch: Painting With Light": See Thursday.
Phoenix Symphony: See Thursday.
Damon Wayans: See Thursday.
"That Damn Show!" featuring 311, the Butthole Surfers, and the Phunk Junkeez: The Edge, KEDJ-FM 106.3, assembled this package deal of alterna/metallic acts, including raucous Midwestern groups 311 (born in Nebraska, it's now based in California) and the Surfers, the Valley's Junkeez (minus the recently ousted Kirk Reznik), the Voodoo Glow Skulls, Goldfinger, Cake, Schleprock, the Smoking Popes, and the Figgs. Showtime is 1 p.m. Saturday, September 28, at Compton Terrace, I-10 and Queen Creek Road in Chandler. Tickets are $17, available at Dillard's; call 678-2222.
Hoop-It-Up: This year's three-on-three street-ball shoot-out, open to players age 10 and up, is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, September 28; and the same hours Sunday, September 29, in the area surrounding Patriots Square, Central and Washington. Proceeds benefit the Grand Canyon State Games. For details call 280-9241.
Marty Robbins Memorial Concert: The Friends of Marty Robbins host this fifth annual tribute to the late "Mr. Teardrop," Glendale's favorite son, at 7 p.m. Saturday, September 28, at Glendale Amphitheatre, 58th Avenue and Glendale in Robbins' hometown. Expect plenty of songs in the key of Marty, as well as covers of the late country singer's "El Paso," "I Walk Alone" and "A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation)." Admission is a donation of $4 in advance, $5 the day of the show; proceeds are earmarked for the Marty Robbins Glendale Exhibit. Call 841-2881 or 937-6756.