Cactus League Baseball: The boys of spring are back for this year's slate of preseason games, which continues daily, through Friday, March 28, at stadia Valleywide. On Thursday, March 6, the Oakland A's play the Chicago Cubs, the Milwaukee Brewers take on the San Diego Padres, the San Francisco Giants host the Anaheim Angels and the Colorado Rockies play the Seattle Mariners. All games start at 1:05 p.m.; the latter match is in Tucson. For the rest of this week's schedule and other information, see the "Cactus League Baseball" subsection in the Sports listing.
"W X SXSW": Translation: "West by South by Southwest." The mini music showcase, a local warm-up for the mondo music showcase named SXSW coming up in Austin, Texas, features a series of live performances and related chat fests. Organized by Nita's Hideaway booking czar Charlie Levy, it takes over Nita's, 1816 East Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe, Thursday, March 6, through Wednesday, March 12. The schedule: California groups Extra Fancy, and Wing Nut Supreme tonight; Arizona's Sand Rubies, and Satellite, on Friday, March 7; California acts Pansy Division, and the Dragons on Saturday, March 8 (see the PD story on page 94); Washington-state groups Pilot, and Churn on Sunday, March 9; California's Inch, and Rock Band #47 on Monday, March 10; Washington's Flake, along with Oregon's Spectator Pump, on Tuesday, March 11; and Washington's Gerald Collier (of former Valley group Best Kissers in the World), and Marc Olsen, along with Phoenix's Suicide Kings, on Wednesday. All-access badges cost $16. Call 303-0009 or 967-9531.
Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic: Formerly known as the Arizona Men's Tennis Championships, this tourney features a field that includes defending champ Wayne Ferreira, Andre Agassi, MaliVai Washington and Carlos Moya. Final rounds in the ATP Tour stop are scheduled on Thursday, March 6; Friday, March 7; Saturday, March 8; and Sunday, March 9, at the Scottsdale Princess resort, 7575 East Princess Drive. Tickets are available at Dillard's. Call 922-0222 or 503-5555.
Phoenix Symphony: Pianist Panayis Lyras joins the ensemble, led by guest conductor Carl St. Clair, for a performance of "Rach 3," a.k.a. Rachmaninoff's monumental Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Opus 30--Australian pianist David Helfgott's musical Waterloo, as depicted in the film Shine. Also on the program: Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet Suite, Opus 64a. Shows are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6; 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, March 7; and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Friday morning's program is a "Coffee Classics" concert, and does not include the Rachmaninoff piece; tickets are $12 and $16. Regular tickets range from $13 to $37, available at the symphony's box office and Dillard's; call 495-1999 or 503-5555.
Chandler Ostrich Festival: The ninth annual homage to those fast, flightless, funny-looking avians includes big-bird races, the Ostrich Festival Parade, concerts by Immature, America, and Gary Puckett (see the Music listing), hoops-related stuff courtesy of the NBA Jam Van, a chili cookoff, a carnival and more. Hours are 4 to 11 p.m. Thursday, March 6; noon to 11 p.m. Friday, March 7; 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, March 8; and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, March 9. Events are centered on the intersection of Arizona Avenue and Chandler Boulevard. General admission is free, but fees are charged for races and carnival rides. Call 963-4571 or 898-5665.
Korn, and Helmet: Two of hard-core's hardest; beware the mosh pit at this affair. Limp Bizkit shares the all-ages bill. Showtime is 7 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at Mesa Amphitheatre, Center and University. Tickets are available at Mesa Community Center and Dillard's box offices; call 644-2560 or 503-5555.
"Ask Not . . .": Ballet Arizona rocks out and rolls over Beethoven in this "balletdelic" work, choreographed by the troupe's artistic director, "unbound baby boomer" Michael Uthoff, and featuring music by Jimi Hendrix, Sonny and Cher, Janis Joplin, Petula Clark, and the Rolling Stones. The finale, "Sinfonia Danzante," is danced to Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in A major, Opus 92. Opening performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 7; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 8; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 9, in Center Stage at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. More shows are scheduled Thursday, March 13, through Sunday, March 16. Tickets range from $15.25 to $29.25, available at Herberger and Dillard's; call 252-8497 or 503-5555.
APS Electrics: The environment-friendly EVs (electric vehicles) return for this seventh annual event, which includes races, test drives and a resource fair. It's scheduled Friday, March 7; Saturday, March 8; and Sunday, March 9, at Firebird International Raceway, 20000 South Maricopa Road in Chandler. Daily hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets range from $5 to $30. For details call 256-2599.
Katsina: The Valley's Carol Duval Whiteman adapted this drama from the 1940 novel Sun Chief, a true story about survival, sacred/secular conflict and societal sins written by a Hopi scribe from Second Mesa. Actors Theatre of Phoenix presents the world premiere of Katsina; the run opens with a preview at 8 p.m. Friday, March 7, in Stage West at Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe. The official opening is at the same time Saturday, March 8; more shows are scheduled at 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, March 9. The production continues through Sunday, March 23. Tickets range from $16 to $26, available at Herberger and Dillard's; call 252-8497 or 503-5555.
Knucklehead Spoken-Word World Tour: Canada-born author Peter Gault and New York City performance artist Amy Rachelle perform in this show, which sounds not dissimilar to the "Royal Nonesuch" in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. To wit: "Bodies painted and bedecked in flamboyant costumes . . . , the duo, nearly baring all, weave dialogue through an arrangement of spoken-word songs in what has been dubbed a 'psycho-sexual incantation.'" The tour's in support of Gault's new book, Knucklehead: A Journey Out of the Mind, and a related CD. Showtime is 8 p.m. Friday, March 7, at the usually well-scrubbed and -behaved Ark Room, 539 East Glendale Avenue in Phoenix. The cover is $7.50. For details call 266-7368.