Cactus League Baseball: The boys of spring are back for this year's slate of preseason games, which opens with a couple of charity matches on Thursday, February 27: The Seattle Mariners take on the San Diego Padres in a benefit for the Peoria Diamond Club at 1:05 p.m. at the teams' dual training site, Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 North 83rd Avenue; and the newly rechristened Anaheim Angels host Brigham Young University in a fund raiser for the Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley at 6:05 p.m. at Tempe Diablo Stadium, 2200 West Alameda. Regular games begin Friday, February 28, and continue daily, through Friday, March 28, at these and other venues; for this week's schedule and other information, see the "Cactus League Baseball" subsection in the Sports listing.
Jackie Mason: The old-school comedian speaks loudly and wields a big shtick. The New York-based standup artist also owns an honorary degree from the Oxford University Union, an award bestowed upon only three previous recipients: John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Gandhi--worthy men all, though not a funny bone between 'em. Theater League presents performances of Mason's new one-man show, "Direct From Broadway," at 8 p.m. Thursday, February 27; 8 p.m. Friday, February 28; 8 p.m. Saturday, March 1; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 2, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams. Tickets are $35.50 and $38.50, available at Phoenix Civic Plaza and Dillard's box offices; call 503-5555 or 262-7272.
Vital Signs: The most ambitious, and perhaps the best, work by enigmatic playwright Jane Martin (Keely & Du, Talking With . . . ). Arizona State University's theater department and the school's Institute for Studies in the Arts collaborated on a multimedia production of the by turns farcical and devastating 60-character study of American womanhood. Final performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 27; 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 28; and 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at Paul V. Galvin Playhouse at ASU's Nelson Fine Arts Center, 10th Street and Mill in Tempe. Tickets range from $6 to $12, available at ASU Fine Arts and Dillard's box offices; call 965-6447 or 503-5555.
Will Bruder: The architect, designer of Phoenix Central Library and the in-development Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art--which is scheduled to take over the building next to Scottsdale Center for the Arts that's currently home to a United Artists discount cinema--previews SMOCA and discusses "ideas and images related to art [and] architecture" at 8 a.m. Thursday, February 27, at SCA, 7380 East Second Street. The event's held in conjunction with Scottsdale's monthly Mayor/City Council Breakfast, which precedes at 7:30. Admission is free, and includes a gratis continental breakfast. Call 994-2335.
A Grand Night for Singing: This show is a windfall for Rodgers and Hammerstein fans, featuring numbers like "Some Enchanted Evening" and "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair" and lesser-known works like "Allegro" and "Pipe Dream." This week's performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, February 27; 8 p.m. Friday, February 28; 8 p.m. Saturday, March 1; 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, March 2; 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 4; and 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, at Phoenix Theatre, 100 East McDowell. The production continues through Sunday, March 9. Tickets are $20 and $22, available at the scene and Dillard's; call 254-2151 or 503-5555.
Ashley MacIsaac and the Kitchen Devils: It had to happen sooner or later, "it" being the techno-groove desecration of traditional Scottish highland music. But MacIsaac--a young man from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, who wears a kilt and combat boots, plays a salty fiddle and is on a self-proclaimed mission to make the music of his forefathers safe for Gen X--defiles the form so well. The tunes on MacIsaac's major-label debut, hiª how are you today?, range from trip-hops to simmering mantras to bum-kicking Scot-rock tunes like "The Devil in the Kitchen." MacIsaac and band perform a free set at 5 p.m. Friday, February 28, at Tempe's Zia Record Exchange, 105 West University (call 829-1967). Tara MacLean shares the stage at an evening concert slated for 7 at nearby Gibson's, 410 South Mill in Tempe; tickets are $6, available at the club and Ticketmaster (call 967-1234 or 784-4444).
Indian Fair and Market: Heard Museum Guild presents the 39th annual cultural festival, one of the West's best. It opens with a preview/reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, February 28, at the Heard, 22 East Monte Vista; tickets are $15 (call 251-0214). The fest proper is held on the museum grounds from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 1; and the same hours Sunday, March 2. Highlights include Native American art, chicken-scratch music and hoop dancing. Tickets, available at the scene and Dillard's, are $6, $3 for kids ages 4 to 12, and include museum entry (call 252-8840 or 503-5555).
Haunted Summer: Peter James Cirino and Christopher Haines co-wrote this fictional, though fact-based, work about the famed Gothic-horror summit held in the summer of 1816 by writers Mary Godwin Wollstonecraft Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron and others; Haines portrays Byron. Opening performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, February 28; 8 p.m. Saturday, March 1; and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 2, at Planet Earth Multi-Cultural Theatre, 909 North Third Street. The production continues through Saturday, March 22. Tickets are $9, $7 for students and seniors; they're $2 less on Thursdays. Call 241-1828.
The Paladins: Dave Gonzalez's San Diego trio has been playing nonsense-free roots rock, thick with the smells of smoke, spirits and diesel fuel, since the dawn of the '80s. Touring behind its new live disc, Million Mile Club, the band performs Friday, February 28, at Nita's Hideaway, 1816 East Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe. Flathead shares the bill. Showtime is 10 p.m. The cover is $6. Call 967-9531.