Pic Hits for the week

thursday
december 5
Baby, It's Bright Outside: Fiesta of Light and Downtown Holiday Tree Tour, Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: The City of Phoenix's free Fiesta and its second annual, self-guided Tree Tour continue nightly, through Wednesday, January 1; guided excursions start at 6:30 p.m. each Saturday, through December 28. For details or a free tour brochure, call 534-3378 or 254-8696. Ahwatukee's bounteous, white-lights-only bonanza 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.

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. Final performances are at 2 and 8 p.m. Thursday, December 5; 8 p.m. Friday, December 6; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, December 7; and 2 p.m. Sunday, December 8, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $36 and $40, available at the center and Ticketmaster. For details call 994-2787 or 784-4444.

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

friday
december 6
Noche de las Luminarias: Desert Botanical Garden's phenomenally popular fund raiser, in its 19th year, features an elbow-to-elbow stroll on luminaria-lighted paths, music and more. It's scheduled for 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, December 6; and the same hours Saturday, December 7, at the garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, in Papago Park. If tickets are available, they're $10, $4 for kids ages 5 to 12; all proceeds benefit DBG. Advance purchase is required, and early arrival is recommended. Park at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, 5999 East Van Buren; free shuttle service is available. For details call 941-1225.

Tumbleweed-Tree-Lighting Ceremony: Chandler's annual Doo Dah Days Parade is butterfly-net nutty, and its traditional Tumbleweed celebration also displays a touch of that signature Western otherness. Inaugurated in 1957 by relocated Indianan Earl Barnum--who, bless his heart, saw a need--the free ceremony features the lighting of a 40-foot-tall tree constructed of chicken wire, adorned with Salsola kali tenuifolia (a.k.a. those nasty, rolling Russian thistles), then doused with paint, flame retardant, about 50 pounds of silver glitter and, eventually, lights. The fun begins at 6 p.m. Friday, December 6, at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, located on Arizona Avenue between Buffalo and Boston streets. The seventh annual Parade of Lights follows at 7:15, traveling north on Arizona Avenue from Chicago Street to Buffalo Street; the "tree" is plugged in immediately afterward. For details call 786-2518.

Jennifer Harbury: The author, lawyer and widow of Guatemalan rebel leader Efrain Barnaca Velasquez takes pot shots at an ever-deserving target--the CIA, whom Harbury fingers in her husband's death--in a speech co-sponsored by the Valley Religious Task Force on Central America and the Social Action Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church. The event starts at 7 p.m. Friday, December 6, at Unitarian Universalist Church of Phoenix, 4027 East Lincoln Drive in Paradise Valley. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Special tickets that include a prelecture dinner with Harbury are $40. Proceeds benefit the task force. For more information, call 840-8400 or 265-9800.

MARS Blu-Lite Invitational: The annual fund raiser at MARS Artspace, 126 South Central, in Luhrs Office Center, features reasonably priced contemporary artwork, ornaments and other stuff. It opens with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, December 6, and continues through Saturday, December 21. Regular hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is free; all proceeds from ornament sales go to AIDS Project Arizona. For more information, call 253-3541.

Arizona State University "Pass in Review": The Rose Bowl-bound Sun Devil marching band reprises the top performances from its fall halftime shows in concerts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 6, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe; and 3 p.m. Saturday, December 7, at the Sundome, 19403 R.H. Johnson Boulevard in Sun City West. Tickets are $5, available at Gammage, the 'dome and Dillard's; proceeds go toward ASU music scholarships. For details call 965-3434, 975-1900 or 678-2222.

Tempe Fall Festival of the Arts: The 28th annual blowout, featuring artisans and craftspeople from across the country and tons of family-style fun, is scheduled on Friday, December 6; Saturday, December 7; and Sunday, December 8, in Old Town Tempe. Daily hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 967-4877.

Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: See Thursday.
Deathtrap: See Thursday.
Festival of Trees & Marketplace: See Thursday.
Fiesta of Light and Downtown Holiday Tree Tour: See Thursday.

saturday
december 7
Smashing Pumpkins: Billy Corgan's crew, the creme de la creme of the alternative scene, is touring behind two recent Virgin releases: the dual-CD set Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and the new five-disc collection The Aeroplane Flies High, which includes previously unreleased covers of songs by Alice Cooper, Blondie, the Cars, and the Cure. See the story on page 95. Butch Vig's band, Garbage, shares the stage. Showtime is 8 p.m. Saturday, December 7, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Tickets are $25, available at the arena and Dillard's. Call 379-7800 or 678-2222.

Electric Light Parade: The 10th annual caravan of lighted floats and folks in luminous costumes, held in conjunction with Fiesta of Light (see Thursday), steps off at 7 p.m. Saturday, December 7, from the intersection of Central and Missouri, traveling south on Central to Thomas. Viewing is free (call 534-3378 or 254-8696). The related Jingle Bell Walk and Run--in its eighth, seasonably noisy, year--precedes at 5, starting on Central just north of Montebello. Registration is $15; proceeds benefit the Arthritis Foundation (call 264-7679).

The Mavericks: The Miami-based group, led by Cuban cowboy Raul Malo, might not be C&W's best-selling act, but it's the best, by a true-blue-country mile. Powered by Malo's huge, soulful vocals and set apart from the hat-band horde by their disdain for the slick, hollow Nashville "sound," the Mavs are a vintage, honky-tonk delight, but their songs are fresh, timeless and indubitably danceable. Junior Brown shares the bill. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Saturday, December 7, at Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street. Tickets range from $15.75 to $27.75, available at the scene and Dillard's. Call 267-9373 or 678-2222.

BeauSoleil: Michael Doucet's group is, arguably, at the head of the Cajun class, thanks to the rock sensibility underlying its swampy folk strains and to its high profile--unusual, on both counts, for the genre. BeauSoleil was featured in the smash movie The Big Easy, and it's worked with everybody from Garrison Keillor to Keith Richards. And it is mighty spicy. The band performs an early show at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, December 7, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. Tickets are $20, available at the club and Ticketmaster; those who pay for BeauSoleil are welcome to stay for a postconcert performance by Sistah Blue. Call 265-4842 or 784-4444.

Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: See Thursday.
Arizona State University "Pass in Review": See Friday.
Deathtrap: See Thursday.
Festival of Trees & Marketplace: See Thursday.
Fiesta of Light and Downtown Holiday Tree Tour: See Thursday.
MARS Blu-Lite Invitational: See Friday.
Noche de las Luminarias: See Friday.
Tempe Fall Festival of the Arts: See Friday.

sunday
december 8
ZooLights: Phoenix Zoo, 455 North Galvin Parkway, in Papago Park, is garbed in its usual Technicolor dreamcoat of lights during this fifth annual display, which starts Sunday, December 8. The after-hours fun continues from 6 to 9 nightly (except Christmas Eve), through Sunday, January 12. Special admission is $4.50, free for kids age 2 and under; discount tickets are available at Fry's stores. Call 273-1341, extension 7810.

Arizona Cardinals: Head coach Vince Tobin and his NFL redbirds take on those gol-danged Dallas Cowboys at 2 p.m. Sunday, December 8, at Sun Devil Stadium, College Avenue and Stadium Drive in Tempe. The team's final regular-season home game is at the same time Sunday, December 15, against the Washington Redskins. If tickets are available, they're at Dillard's; call 379-0102 or 678-2222.

"Humanism in Star Trek": Author Susan Sackett, longtime executive assistant to late Trek honcho Gene Roddenberry, addresses the title topic at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, December 8, in conjunction with the monthly meeting of Arizona Secular Humanists. The scene is Room 5 of the community center at Eldorado Park, Miller and Oak in Scottsdale. Admission is free; donations are accepted. Call 230-5328.

Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: See Thursday.
Deathtrap: See Thursday.
Festival of Trees & Marketplace: See Thursday.
Fiesta of Light and Downtown Holiday Tree Tour: See Thursday.
MARS Blu-Lite Invitational: See Friday.
Tempe Fall Festival of the Arts: See Friday.

monday
december 9
Quincy Troupe: The best-selling author co-wrote Miles: The Autobiography with late jazzman Miles Davis. Troupe's latest tome is a collection of poetry titled Avalanche. He reads from his works at 7:30 p.m. Monday, December 9, at Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. The event's sponsored by the Writer's Voice of the Scottsdale/Paradise Valley YMCA. Tickets are $7, $3.50 for students and seniors, available at the center and Dillard's; Writer's Voice members get in free. For details call 965-5377 or 678-2222.

Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: See Thursday.
Fiesta of Light and Downtown Holiday Tree Tour: See Thursday.
ZooLights: See Sunday.

tuesday
december 10
The Black Crowes: The roadhouse-rock band from Atlanta aims to recapture the swaggering spirit of the Sticky Fingers-era Rolling Stones, and it largely succeeds. The brothers Robinson--vocalist Chris and vocalist/guitarist Rich--lead the group, touring behind its new American Recordings disc, Three Snakes and One Charm. Gov't Mule shares the stage. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 10, at Union Hall, Sixth Street and Van Buren. Tickets are $24 in advance, $26 the day of the show, available at the hall and Dillard's. Call 253-7100 or 678-2222.

Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: See Thursday.
Fiesta of Light and Downtown Holiday Tree Tour: See Thursday.
MARS Blu-Lite Invitational: See Friday.
ZooLights: See Sunday.

wednesday
december 11
"In the Cool of the Night": This event marks the gala opening of the AMC Ahwatukee 24 moviehouse--billed as the largest in Arizona, though that billing will likely be short-lived. The festivities start at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 11, at the cinema, I-10 and Ray Road, and include entertainment, a silent auction and, naturally, screenings of a spate of first-run films. (The theater opens for regular business on Friday, December 13.) Tickets are $30, and include complimentary food, drinks and concessions; all proceeds benefit the Arthritis Foundation. Call 264-7679.

Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: See Thursday.
Fiesta of Light and Downtown Holiday Tree Tour: See Thursday.
MARS Blu-Lite Invitational: See Friday.
ZooLights: See Sunday.

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