Calendar for the week

thursday
april 17
Arizona Science Center: Check out the grand new facility at 600 East Washington--a construction that soars on wings of concrete--in its first full week of business. The programs "Arizona Skies," "PlanetQuest" and "Sun, Earth, Stars" are featured in the center's planetarium through Friday, May 30. The Oscar-nominated film Cosmic Voyage continues through mid-November (see the Repertory Film listing). The facility features numerous interactive and educational exhibits for kids of all ages. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except Thanksgiving and Christmas days. Admission ranges from $3 to $11, $2 to $9 for children and seniors. For details call 716-2000.

Erykah Badu: Texas-born Badu (real surname: the not-quite-so-exotic Wright) was trained as a dancer, but she's a natural singer, with a voice that crackles like the dry, clear air of the desert mountains. On her debut, Baduizm, the gorgeous 26-year-old fuses her lifelong love for Billie Holiday with a crossover hip-hop appeal reminiscent of the Fugees' and the best quality of Nigerian native Sade--a stylish soulfulness that Badu broadens and deepens. (Speaking of crossover hip-hop appeal, Philly's Roots lent support on three of Baduizm's tracks.) Erykah performs Thursday, April 17, at Electric Ballroom, 1216 East Apache in Tempe. Eric Benet shares the stage. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $18, available at the club and Ticketmaster; call 894-0707 or 784-4444.

Canadian Dance Festival: Three contemporary ensembles from the Great White North--Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Toronto Dance Theatre and Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal--join forces for six Valley performances at this inaugural event, sponsored by Southwest Dance. Jazz de Montreal performs at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 17, at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 West Adams; and the same time Friday, April 18, at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Arizona Avenue. Toronto Dance is scheduled at 8 p.m. Friday at the Orpheum and the same time Saturday, April 19, at the Chandler facility. Festival highlights are shows by the outstanding Les Grands troupe at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 20, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. Tickets range from $12 to $28, half-price for kids and students, available at Dillard's or Ticketmaster. Call 482-6410, 503-5555 or 784-4444.

Phoenix Firebirds: The Triple A/Pacific Coast League affiliate of baseball's San Francisco Giants continues its 34th--and final--season in the Valley with a home stand against the Salt Lake City Buzz. Games are scheduled at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, April 17; 7:05 p.m. Friday, April 18; 7:05 p.m. Saturday, April 19; and 1:05 p.m. Sunday, April 20, at Scottsdale Stadium, 7408 East Osborn. Tickets range from $4 to $8, available at the scene and Dillard's; call 275-0500 or 503-5555.

Don Juan in Chicago: David Ives (All in the Timing) penned this farce about the promiscuous title nobleman's visit to contemporary America. Phoenix College's theater-arts department presents the Arizona premiere of the work. This week's performances are on Thursday, April 17; Friday, April 18; and Saturday, April 19. All start at 8 p.m. at John Paul Theatre on the PC campus, 1202 West Thomas. More shows are scheduled Thursday, April 24, through Saturday, April 26. Admission is $8, $6 for seniors, $4 for students. For details call 285-7300.

friday
april 18
Phil Collins: Collins is the unlikeliest superstar. He's a decent drummer and singer, but he's no artist, and decidedly no pinup. Still, Phil--at least when he's not power-balladeering--adds up to more than the sum of his parts. Collins performs an in-the-round concert on Friday, April 18, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 and $42.50, available at the arena and Dillard's; call 379-7800 or 503-5555.

"Drawing the Lines" Native American Arts Festival: The mixed-media festival features the premiere of a new work by Spiderwoman Theater Company, installation and performance art by James Luna, music by Brent Michael Davids and Chesley Wilson, puppetry by Buddy Big Mountain and a panel discussion about "drawing the lines"--i.e. making connections--between traditional and contemporary Indian arts. The fest is scheduled Friday, April 18; and Saturday, April 19, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe. Event times vary. Daily passes are $5, available at Gammage and Dillard's. For more information, call 965-3434 or 503-5555.

Rusty Zinn Blues Band: The redheaded purist from California is one of the bright young hopes of the blues. The guitarist and his group return for a performance at 9 p.m. Friday, April 18, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $4. For more information, call 265-4842.

Arizona Science Center: See Thursday.
Canadian Dance Festival: See Thursday.
Don Juan in Chicago: See Thursday.
Phoenix Firebirds: See Thursday.

saturday
april 19
No Doubt: The nonpunk quartet from Punk Ground Zero--Orange County, California--is good. Its lead singer, Gwen Stefani, is pretty great; she might even prove to be the Debbie Harry of her generation, especially given her passionate relationship with center stage--akin to the one a topflight model has with a camera. And Stefani's lovely, elastic face and indisputable charisma, combined with the band's sunny ska-pop, have put No Doubt way over the top after an extended struggle for professional subsistence. Still touring behind its breakthrough disc, Tragic Kingdom, the group performs Saturday, April 19, at Desert Sky Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue. Cake, and the Vandals share the bill. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $16.50 and $23, available at Ticketmaster. Call 254-7599 or 784-4444.

The World Series of Basketball: The Harlem Globetrotters, augmented for this occasion by Earvin "Magic" Johnson, take on a team of college all-stars in a competitive match on Saturday, April 19, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. Tip-off is at 1 p.m. If tickets are available, they're at the arena and Dillard's; call 379-7800 or 503-5555.

Kim Wilson's All-Star Blues Band: The vocalist/harpist and front man for the Fabulous Thunderbirds has played every type of venue with the T-Birds, from stadiums to dives, but he's at his hard-to-beat best at an intimate roadhouse on a beer-stained Saturday night--as he'll be this Saturday night, April 19, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. Showtime is 9. The cover is $7.50. Call 265-4842.

Hollywood All-Stars Celebrity Softball Game: Celebs including beefy singer Meat Loaf, former Brat Packer Judd Nelson (Suddenly Susan) and Jonathan "The Single Guy" Silverman are scheduled to suit up for the Tinseltown squad, which takes on a group of NFL players at this second annual benefit. Game time is 1 p.m. Saturday, April 19, at Scottsdale Stadium, 7408 East Osborn. Tickets are $10, available at Dillard's; all proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley of the Sun. For details call 860-5520 or 503-5555.

Aunt Rita's Foundation Auction and Bake Sale: The ninth annual fund raiser is slated for 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 19, in the North Hall at Veterans' Memorial Coliseum, 19th Avenue and McDowell. Highlights include a display of quilt panels created by Valley residents, entertainment and exhibits. Admission is free; all proceeds from the live and silent auctions and the bake sale benefit the foundation, a support group for those with HIV or AIDS. Fairgrounds parking costs $4 per vehicle. For details call 279-0716.

ASU Maroon and Gold Football Game: Bruce Snyder's Arizona State University squad plays its annual spring match at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 19, at Sun Devil Stadium, College Avenue and Stadium Drive in Tempe. Admission is free. For details call 965-2381.

Make a Difference Day: The fourth annual public-service-oriented event features volunteers working on a variety of projects throughout the community. It starts at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 19, with registration at Symphony Hall Terrace, Second Street and Adams. A closing celebration for participants is planned for 2 p.m. at the same locale. For details call 222-9412.

Phoenix Suns: Coach Danny Ainge and company wrap up the regular home season with a game against the Vancouver Grizzlies at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 19, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. For general info or details about the team's playoff schedule, call 379-7867. If tickets are available, they're at the arena and Dillard's; call 379-7800 or 503-5555.

Arizona's Family Women's Expo: You'd be hard-pressed to find a more, er, eclectic (the word "campy" also leaps to mind) group of keynote speakers as the one at this year's expo: fitness/motivation guru Richard Simmons, grown-up child gymnast Nadia Comaneci and daytime-talk-show motor mouth Maury Povich. The fifth annual event also features health and beauty tips, cooking demos, etc. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 19; and the same on Sunday, April 20, in exhibit halls A through D at Phoenix Civic Plaza, Second Street and Adams. Admission is $6; proceeds benefit Arizona's Family Charities. Kids 11 and under get in free; gratis, on-site child care for those ages 3 to 8 is available. For details call 207-3825 or 262-7272.

Arizona Science Center: See Thursday.
Canadian Dance Festival: See Thursday.
Don Juan in Chicago: See Thursday.
"Drawing the Lines" Native American Arts Festival: See Friday.
Phoenix Firebirds: See Thursday.

sunday
april 20
New Times Music Awards Showcase: The second annual celebration of local sounds, scheduled for 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday, April 20, includes concerts by more than 45 acts at 11 Tempe venues (for the lineup, see the Music listing or the special section elsewhere in this issue). Wristbands good for all performances are $5, available at the New Times office (1201 East Jefferson) or any participating venue. For details call 238-4801.

Phoenix Coyotes Playoffs: The National Hockey League team hosts first-round games against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim at noon Sunday, April 20; and 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, at America West Arena, First Street and Jefferson. If tickets are available, they're at the arena and Dillard's. Call 379-7825, 379-7800 or 503-5555.

Home-World Improvement: Earth Day Expo 1997, EarthFest '97: The expo, sponsored by Earth Day Arizona, Gentle Strength Co-op, and Concerned Arizonans for Animal Rights and Ethics (CAARE), is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 20, on the Gammage Lawn at Arizona State University in Tempe (call 266-8044 or 968-4831). EarthFest, sponsored by Valley Forward and scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Earth Day proper (Monday, April 21), is billed as the state's official commemoration; the scene is Symphony Hall Terrace, Second Street and Adams (call 240-2408). For information about other Valley celebrations, see the Events listing.

Arizona Science Center: See Thursday.
Arizona's Family Women's Expo: See Saturday.
Canadian Dance Festival: See Thursday.
Phoenix Firebirds: See Thursday.

tuesday
april 22
The Gourds: The twangy roots quartet from Austin, Texas, is led by Kevin Russell, former head of one of the best bands you've undoubtedly never heard of--the Louisiana-born Picket Line Coyotes. As with the Coyotes, there's nothing so extraordinary about the Gourds save for the songs--especially Russell's, which are in a little league of their own. Ned Beatty and the Inbreds open at 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $4. Call 265-4842.

Arizona Science Center: See Thursday.
Phoenix Coyotes Playoffs: See Sunday.

wednesday
april 23
Pinetop Perkins: The 83-years-young master of the boogie-woogie blues and the former ivory man for Muddy Waters' band (Pinetop replaced Muddy's former pianist, Otis Spann, in '69) has retired from touring--at least officially--which makes his Valley gig on Wednesday, April 23, all the sweeter. Perkins is joined by harp player Lester "Mad Dog" Davenport, and Aron Burton Blues Band at the Rhythm Room, 1019 East Indian School. The cover is $10. Call 265-4842.

Arizona Science Center: See Thursday.

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