Pic Hits for the week

thursday
november 28
Of Ice and Hit Men: Phoenix Coyotes, Phoenix Roadrunners: Don't cry for the Valley's pro-hockey franchises; they'll eat their fill on Thanksgiving--of haymakers and high sticks. Two editions of the most dangerous game are scheduled on Thursday, November 28: The National Hockey League's Coyotes take on the New Jersey Devils at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson; and the International Hockey League's Roadrunners play the Las Vegas Thunder at Veterans' Memorial Coliseum, 19th Avenue and McDowell. More Coyotes home matches are planned this week against the Calgary Flames on Saturday, November 30; and the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, December 3. Coyotes tickets are $8.75 and $26.75, available at the scene and Dillard's (call 379-7825, 379-7800 or 678-2222). The 'runners also host the Utah Grizzlies on Wednesday, December 4, at the coliseum. Roadrunners tickets range from $10 to $17, available at the coliseum and Ticketmaster (call 340-0001 or 784-4444). All games face off at 7 p.m.

The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe: Kathy Fitzgerald stars in Jane Wagner's one-woman, 13-character work. Theatre League has reprised the production following a New York run. Final performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, November 28; 8 p.m. Friday, November 29; 8 p.m. Saturday, November 30; and 2 p.m. Sunday, December 1, at the New Scottsdale Playhouse, 7219 East Main. Tickets are $19.50 and $21, available at the scene and Dillard's. For details call 675-8811 or 678-2222.

Arizona International Auto Show: Next year's models--and a few from the next millennium--are displayed at the automotive extravaganza, slated for noon to 10 p.m. Thursday, November 28; noon to 10 p.m. Friday, November 29; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, November 30; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, December 1, in exhibit halls A through E at Phoenix Civic Plaza, Second Street and Adams. Tickets are $6, $4 for seniors, $1 for children ages 7 to 12, free for younger kids. Call 262-7272 or 1-800-345-1487.

friday
november 29
Soundgarden: Seattle's finest is, conceivably, the band of the decade. Chris Cornell, Kim Thayil and company are hard, dark, heavy and hip enough for Gen X, but they also know how to write songs and arrange them. Take "My Wave"; the great, accessible number from the great, accessible disc Superunknown sounds like Bob Mould's Sugar with that little something extra that Sugar's always lacked. The same album's centerpiece, "Black Hole Sun," sounds like nobody else, ever. Soundgarden's most recent A&M offering, the self-produced Down On the Upside, is a step backward, but it's still better than anybody else's best. Rocket From the Crypt, and Pond share the stage. Showtime is 5 p.m. Friday, November 29, at Mesa Amphitheatre, Center and University. If tickets are available, they're at the scene and Dillard's; call 644-2560 or 678-2222.

"Wild Winter Nights": Wildlife World Zoo has zoo lights, too. The west-side menagerie, 165th Avenue and Northern in Litchfield Park, unveils its second annual after-hours display on Friday, November 29. Like Phoenix Zoo's ZooLights (which opens Sunday, December 8), "Wild Winter Nights" features thousands of lights placed strategically around the WWZ grounds. Unlike Phoenix Zoo, Wildlife World Zoo lets some of its critters stay up late and enjoy the show. Other highlights include "the first penguins ever displayed in the Southwest United States" and a lighted petting zoo. The display continues from 5:30 to 9 nightly, through Sunday, January 5. Special admission is $5, free for kids 2 and under. Call 935-9453.

Holiday Extra: For information about other Yuletide doings, see below, "'Tis the Season" in Kid Pics or the "Holiday Highlights" guide following page 82.

Rush: The Canadian trio has been a functioning entity since 1969, and has fielded its classic lineup--bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart--since '74. And while Rush and the Bic lighter breathe, so does the endangered species called progressive rock. Touring behind its new Atlantic disc, Test for Echo, the band performs on Friday, November 29, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 and $35, available at the arena and Dillard's. Call 379-7800 or 678-2222.

Arizona International Auto Show: See Thursday.
The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe: See Thursday.

saturday
november 30
Fiesta of Light and Downtown Holiday Tree Tour: The City of Phoenix's free Fiesta begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, November 30, at Symphony Hall Terrace, Second Street and Adams, with an event titled "Electro Magic!", featuring the postdusk lighting of the city's 194-foot-tall tree by Mayor Skip Rimsza. The second annual, self-guided Tree Tour also starts Saturday. The Fiesta and the Tour continue nightly, through Wednesday, January 1; guided excursions are planned at 6:30 p.m. each Saturday, through December 28. For details or a free tour brochure, call 534-3378 or 254-8696.

Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: The bounteous, white-lights-only bonanza is back. It begins with a party from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday, November 30, at Desert Foothills Park, Desert Foothills Parkway and Chandler Boulevard, featuring a visit from Santa, a food drive for St. Mary's Food Bank, a toy drive sponsored by the Phoenix Fire Department and more. The lights display can be viewed from 6 to 11 nightly, through Sunday, January 5; take Chandler Boulevard west about three and a half miles from the street's intersection with I-10, and follow the signs. Hay rides and "luminary" hikes are scheduled each Friday and Saturday, through December 28. Call 460-6169.

International Christmas XVI: The free, annual show, held in conjunction with Fiesta of Light (see above), opens with a preview from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, November 30, at Bank One Center Concourse, 201 North Central. The highlight of the event, as always, is the display of live Eldarica pines decorated in the traditional styles of various nations. ICXVI also features music and displays of dolls, Nativity scenes and wooden Santa carvings. Hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (including Christmas Day), through Friday, January 3. Choral concerts are planned at noon each weekday, from Monday, December 2, through Friday, December 20; for the schedule, see the Music listing. For general information, call 221-1005.

Tempe's Fantasy of Lights: A festival in honor of the opening of this third annual display starts at noon Saturday, November 30, at "Plazita de Descanzo," Sixth Street and Mill. The Fantasy of Lights Parade follows at 6, traveling from the Mill Avenue bridge to Seventh Street. Mayor Neil Giuliano flips the big switch at 7, and the city's official tree-lighting ceremony follows that at 7:15; both events are at Hayden Square, Fourth Street and Mill. The lights display can be viewed from 5 p.m. daily to 1 a.m., through Thursday, January 2. All events are free. For details call 894-8158.

Arizona International Auto Show: See Thursday.
Phoenix Coyotes: See Thursday.
The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe: See Thursday.
"Wild Winter Nights": See Friday.

sunday
december 1
"A Day Without Art": In honor of World AIDS Day and of those who have fallen to AIDS and HIV, many arts facilities will be dark or hold special commemorations on Sunday, December 1. For details about a special event at downtown's Icehouse on Sunday and a related installation that opens on Tuesday, December 3, at Arizona State University Art Museum at Nelson Fine Arts Center in Tempe, see the Art Exhibits listings. For information about a gathering in Jerome, see the On the Road listing.

Festival of Trees & Marketplace: Phoenix Art Museum's 28th annual show and sale of donated trees, wreaths, garlands, centerpieces, ornaments and other holiday staples opens Sunday, December 1, and continues daily, through Sunday, December 8, at the museum, 1625 North Central. Special admission is $5, $4 for seniors, $2 for children under 12; discounts are available for PAM members daily and for everybody on Wednesday, December 4. For details call 257-1880 or 257-1222.

Boston Pops: Keith Lockhart conducts the ensemble in a program of carols and choral favorites at 7 p.m. Sunday, December 1, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Tickets range from $15 to $100, available at the arena and Dillard's. Call 379-7800 or 678-2222.

Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: See Saturday.
Arizona International Auto Show: See Thursday.
Fiesta of Light and Downtown Holiday Tree Tour: See Saturday.
International Christmas XVI: See Saturday.
The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe: See Thursday.
Tempe's Fantasy of Lights: See Saturday.
"Wild Winter Nights": See Friday.

monday
december 2
Phish: The jammy, introspective quartet from Vermont stared at its collective navel more intensely than usual during the making of its new Elektra disc, Billy Breathes. On the other hand, producer Steve Lillywhite worked some minor miracles behind the board, winnowing and focusing the band's vision in much the same way that Peter Asher did for another Elektra act, 10,000 Maniacs, during the making of that group's best album, 1987's In My Tribe. Phish performs on Monday, December 2, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $22.50 in advance, $24.50 the day of the show, available at the arena and Dillard's. Call 379-7800 or 678-2222.

Asleep at the Wheel: "Brother Ray" Benson's sassy Western-swing crew is one of the tightest acts you'll hear this year--or this lifetime. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Monday, December 2, at Toolies Country, 4231 West Thomas. Tickets range from $10 to $25, available at Toolies and Dillard's. Call 272-3100 or 678-2222.

Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: See Saturday.
Festival of Trees & Marketplace: See Sunday.
Fiesta of Light and Downtown Holiday Tree Tour: See Saturday.
International Christmas XVI: See Saturday.
Tempe's Fantasy of Lights: See Saturday.
"Wild Winter Nights": See Friday.

tuesday
december 3
Deathtrap: Veteran actors Elliott Gould and Mariette Hartley star in this touring production of Ira Levin's comic, sometimes startling, play about a murder plot most foul. Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Tuesday, December 3; and the same time Wednesday, December 4, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. More shows are scheduled Thursday, December 5, through Sunday, December 8. Tickets are $36 and $40, available at the center and Ticketmaster. Call 994-2787 or 784-4444.

Accelerando: Lisa Loomer (The Waiting Room) penned this Durang-style tale about an obsessive ballet dancer's search for love in these lovelorn '90s. Arizona State University's theater department presents performances at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 3; and the same time Wednesday, December 4, at the school's Prism Theatre, Rural and Orange in Tempe. More shows are planned Thursday, December 5, through Saturday, December 7. Tickets are $12, with discounts available for ASU students, faculty and staff, available at ASU Fine Arts and Dillard's box offices; call 965-6447 or 678-2222.

Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: See Saturday.
Festival of Trees & Marketplace: See Sunday.
Fiesta of Light and Downtown Holiday Tree Tour: See Saturday.
International Christmas XVI: See Saturday.
Phoenix Coyotes: See Thursday.
Tempe's Fantasy of Lights: See Saturday.
"Wild Winter Nights": See Friday.

wednesday
december 4
Phoenix Suns: Coach Danny Ainge and company continue the season with a game against the Golden State Warriors at 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 4, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. If tickets are available, they're at the arena and Dillard's; call 379-7867, 379-7800 or 678-2222.

Accelerando: See Tuesday.
Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: See Saturday.
Deathtrap: See Tuesday.
Festival of Trees & Marketplace: See Sunday.
Fiesta of Light and Downtown Holiday Tree Tour: See Saturday.
International Christmas XVI: See Saturday.
Phoenix Roadrunners: See Thursday.
Tempe's Fantasy of Lights: See Saturday.
"Wild Winter Nights": See Friday.

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