"The Wonderful World of Puppets": California's Jim Gamble brings his merry-marionette pals Algernon the Clown, Percy the Penguin, Rollo the Roller Skater and Yankee Doodle to Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, for shows at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 16. Tickets are $10 and $12, half-price for kids age 12 and under, available at the center and Dillard's. Call 965-5377 or 678-2222.
Arizona Boys Ranch Western Barbecue and Fall Open House: The 20th annual event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, November 17, at the ranch, located at the intersection of Rittenhouse and Hawes roads, about 13 miles east of Chandler. Highlights include skydivers, a bazaar, a display of antique cars, arts and crafts, music, trolley tours and carnival games. Admission is free; lunch costs $6, $5 for kids 12 and under. Call 987-2018.
Phoenix Boys Choir: The ensemble performs a free show at 7 p.m. Thursday, November 14, at Mesa Amphitheatre, Center and University, continuing Mesa's Concerts Under the Stars series. For details call 644-2242.
for pet's sake
Arizona Humane Society Benefit Days: Various pet-related events, including programs by animal behaviorists Gary Wilkes and Kay Cox and a book signing by Renaldo Fischer (The Shaman Bulldog), are scheduled on Saturday, November 16; and Sunday, November 17, at the Borders Books & Music locations at Biltmore Fashion Park (24th Street and Camelback, Suite 200) and in Mesa (1361 South Alma School). Admission is free; proceeds from each store's weekend sales go to AHS. Call 957-6660 or 833-2244.
Mary and Jim Walker: The K-9 College representatives present free programs about buying and training dogs at 3 p.m. Saturday, November 16, at the Barnes & Noble store at 10500 North 90th Street in Scottsdale; and the same time Sunday, November 17, at the chain's Peoria location, 7685 West Bell. Admission to each event is free. Call 391-0048 or 487-9022.
arts and minds
"I Can Fly": Photographer Tarah Rider Berry snapped children in various states of wide-eyed informality for this exhibit, whose ultimate mission was "capturing the innocence, creativity and freshness of youth." It continues through Sunday, November 24, in the New Directions Gallery at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Call 994-2787.
Saturday Performing Arts Series: The City of Tempe sponsors the series, which introduces kids to the fine arts. It continues at 10 a.m. Saturday, November 16, with "Musical Q Zoo." The scene is Edna Vihel Activity Building, 3340 South Rural. Admission is $2 for children age 2 and up; one adult is admitted free with each child. Call 350-5287; the TDD number for the hearing-impaired is 350-5050.
on the stage
Alice in Wonderland: Playhouse Theatre for Children at Manistee Town Center, 5633 West Northern in Glendale, continues its tenth season with this update of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Final performances are at 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday, November 16; and 2 p.m. Sunday, November 17. Call 245-1566.
Great Arizona Puppet Theater: The troupe presents The Three Wishes, a musical based on a German folktale, at 10 a.m. Thursday, November 14; 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday, November 15; 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, November 16; 2 p.m. Sunday, November 17; and 10 a.m. Wednesday, November 20, at its theatre, 3302 North Seventh Street. The production continues through Sunday, November 24. Admission is $4.50. Call 262-2050.
The Short Tree and the Bird That Could Not Sing: Childsplay continues its 20th season with Dennis Foon's parable about the friendship that develops between the title outcasts. This week's performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, November 15; 2 and 4:30 p.m. Saturday, November 16; and 2 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, November 17, at Tempe Performing Arts Center, 132 East Sixth Street. Saturday's late-afternoon show is interpreted in American Sign Language. The production continues through Sunday, November 24. Tickets are $12.25, $9.25 for students and seniors. Call 350-8101.
at the museum
Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting: "Happy Birthday, Smokey," celebrating the history and future of 52-year-old fire-prevention spokesbruin Smokey Bear and providing illumination about fire and firefighting, continues through Saturday, November 30, at the museum, 6101 East Van Buren. For details call 275-3473.