Arizona State Fair: The corn-dog carnival continues daily, through Sunday, November 3, at the fairgrounds, bounded by McDowell Road and Encanto Boulevard between 17th and 19th avenues. Along with the usual attractions--midway rides and games, livestock and agricultural exhibits, etc.--this year's fair includes "The Disney Fair" (see "At the Fair" in Kid Pics); the virtual-reality ride "Red Rock Run" at the AT&T Reactor Theater; and--not to miss--Norma D. "Duffy" Lyon's bovine butter sculpture. The remaining concerts at Veterans' Memorial Coliseum are highlighted by the Goo Goo Dolls show at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 31; and one by Chris Isaak at the same time Friday, November 1. Final Midway Pay-One-Price days are on Thursday and on Sunday, November 3. Regular fair admission is $6.50, $4.50 for seniors, $3.50 for kids ages 5 to 13, free for those younger. For a complete listing of info not covered here, see the At the Fair listing in Thrills. For general information, call 268-3247 or 252-6771.
"Tales of Mystery, Suspense and Horror": Author/storyteller Geoffrey Platts' traditional Halloween reading starts at 8 p.m. Thursday, October 31, at Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. The program includes James Thurber's "The Tiger Who Would Be King," W. Somerset Maugham's "Friend in Need," Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" and an untitled tale by Cave Creek resident Dan Espy. Tickets are $10 and $12, available at the center and Dillard's. For details call 965-5377 or 678-2222.
Halloween Extra: For information about other fun and spooky Valley happenings related to Allhallows Eve, see the special subsection in the Events listing.
George Shearing: The Britain-born pianist is the Anglo-jazz equivalent of R&B god Ray Charles--Shearing's blind, soulful, elegant and extremely gifted. George is backed by bassist Neil Swainson in a show at 8 p.m. Thursday, October 31, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street; a free lecture by Patricia Myers precedes at 7 in the center's Cinema. Concert tickets are $26 and $30, available at the scene and Ticketmaster. For details call 994-2787 or 784-4444.
Legends Tennis Classic: Ilie Nastase, Vijay Amritraj, Ken Rosewall, Cliff Drysdale and John Lloyd are scheduled to compete in this whistle-stop on the ATP Senior Tour, slated for Thursday, October 31, through Sunday, November 3, at the Pointe Hilton on South Mountain, 7777 South Pointe Parkway West. Tickets start at $14. For details call 946-9711.
Jeffrey: In Mixed Company has inaugurated its season with Paul Rudnick's fine "AIDS comedy"--which director Christopher Ashley subsequently transformed into a smashing movie--about the pangs of love and the trials of sex in New York's gay community; see the review on page 63. This week's performances are on Thursday, October 31; Friday, November 1; Saturday, November 2; and Wednesday, November 6. All start at 8 p.m. at 7th Street Theater, 3302 North Seventh Street. Those who come to Thursday's show dressed in drag are admitted on a two-for-one basis; regular tickets are $15, $12 for students and seniors. The production continues through Saturday, November 9. Call 834-3032.
The Pharcyde: The loopy funk/hip-hop group headlines what looks to be a way-out bash on Thursday, October 31. Still touring behind its breakthrough disc for Delicious Vinyl/Capitol, Labcabincalifornia, the 'cyde jams at Electric Ballroom, 1216 East Apache in Tempe. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, and DBA Flip share the stage. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15, available at the club and Ticketmaster. Call 894-0707 or 784-4444.
"Beyond the Visible Terrain: The Art of Ed Mell": The name of the exhibit, a retrospective of the works of the Phoenix-born commercial artist turned world-renowned creator of highly angular, epic-scale Southwestern landscapes, matches the title of Mell's new tome with author Donald Hagerty. The show continues through Sunday, February 9, 1997, in the Atrium Gallery at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street; Mell and Hagerty will sign copies of the book at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, November 3. Viewing is free; hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays (to 8 p.m. Thursdays), noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. For details call 994-2787.
Tool: The quartet has ably filled the void left by Jane's Addiction's defection from the scene, and it's a viable candidate for the role of missing link between alt. and metal. Helmet with a difference, baby. Touring in support of its new Zoo/BMG disc, ®nima, Tool performs on Friday, November 1, at Mesa Amphitheatre, Center and University. The Cows share the bill. Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets are $17.50 in advance, $18 the day of the show, available at Mesa Community Center and Dillard's box offices. Call 644-2560 or 678-2222.
Alan Jackson: The long, tall twanger from Georgia has only been on the national scene since 1990, but his label's already released a greatest-hits package. Jackson's decent enough, if you can stomach pseudotraditionalist contemporary country, but the hits packaging says more about Nashville's priorities (they're spelled "M-O-N-E-Y") than Alan's merits. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Friday, November 1, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Tickets are $23.50, available at the arena and Dillard's. Call 379-7800 or 678-2222.
Caroline Aiken, and Ilene Weiss: Atlanta's Aiken and New York's Weiss co-headline a fund raiser for Habitat for Humanity on Friday, November 1, at the Songsmith, located at Congregational Church of the Valley, 120th Street and Shea in Scottsdale. Aiken's billed as a bluesy, Bonnie Raitt-style folkie. Weiss is a former member of the Second City comedy troupe whose songs were reportedly once rejected by the Maternal Girl, Madonna, because they were "too authentic." Tucson's Jamie Anderson, and the Valley's Michael Grande share the stage. Steve Bodinet of KTVK-TV, Channel 3, emcees. Showtime is 8 p.m. Admission is a suggested donation of $10; all proceeds benefit the Habitat. Call 860-1624 or 451-4565.